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Time Travelers

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Time machines might only be available in the movies, yet many people have experienced unexplained events that seem to be temporary but very real slips into the past and the future

Where and to what date would you go if you could travel through time? It's a question people have long enjoyed contemplating - the possibilities are so fraught with wonder and excitement. Would you watch the pyramids of Egypt being build? Join the spectacle of a gladiatorial battle at the Roman Coliseum? Catch a glimpse of real dinosaurs? Or would you prefer to see what the future holds for humankind?

Such fantasies have fueled the success of such stories as H.G. Welles' The Time Machine, the Back to the Future movies, favorite episodes of "Star Trek" and countless science fiction novels.

And although some scientists think that it might be at least theoretically possible to travel through time, no one (as far as we know) has devised a sure-fire way to make it happen. But that's not to say that people haven't reported traveling through time. There are many fascinating anecdotes from those who say they seem to have quite unexpectedly visited - if only briefly - another time and, sometimes, another place. These events, often called time slippages, seem to occur randomly and spontaneously. Those who experience these events are often bewildered and confused by what they see and hear, and afterward are at a complete loss to explain them.

Here are some interesting cases that will keep you wondering:

FLIGHT INTO THE FUTURE

In 1935, Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard of the British Royal Air Force had a harrowing experience in his Hawker Hart biplane. Goddard was a Wing Commander at the time and while on a flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to his home base in Andover, England, he decided to fly over an abandoned airfield at Drem, not far from Edinburgh. The useless airfield was overgrown with foliage, the hangars were falling apart and cows grazed where planes were once parked. Goddard then continued his flight to Andover, but encountered a bizarre storm. In the high winds of the storm's strange brown-yellow clouds, he lost control of his plane, which began to spiral toward the ground. Narrowly averting a crash, Goddard found that his plane was heading back toward Drem. As he approached the old airfield, the storm suddenly vanished and Goddard's plane was now flying in brilliant sunshine. This time, as he flew over the Drem airfield, it looked completely different. The hangars looked like new. There were four airplanes on the ground: three were familiar biplanes, but painted in an unfamiliar yellow; the fourth was a monoplane, which the RAF had none of in 1935. The mechanics were dressed in blue overalls, which Goddard thought odd since all RAF mechanics dressed in brown overalls. Strange, too, that none of the mechanics seemed to notice him fly over. Leaving the area, he again encountered the storm, but managed to make his way back to Andover. It wasn't until 1939 that that the RAF began to paint their planes yellow, enlisted a monoplane of the type that Goddard saw, and the mechanics uniforms were switched to blue. Had Goddard somehow flown four years into the future, then returned to his own time?

CAUGHT IN A TEMPORAL VORTEX

Dr. Raul Rios Centeno, a medical doctor and an investigator of the paranormal, recounted to author Scott Corrales a story told to him by one of his patients, a 30-year-old woman, who came to him with a serious case of hemiplegia - the total paralysis of one side of her body. "I was at a campground in the vicinity of Markahuasi," she told him. Markahuasi is the famous stone forest located about 35 miles east of Lima, Peru. "I went out exploring late at night with some friends. Oddly enough, we heard the strains of music and noticed a small torch-lit stone cabin. I was able to see people dancing inside, but upon getting closer I felt a sudden sensation of cold which I paid little attention to, and I stuck my head through an open door. It was then that I saw the occupants were clad in 17th century fashion. I tried to enter the room, but one of my girlfriends pulled me out." It was at that moment that half of the woman's body became paralyzed. Was it because the woman's friend pulled her out of the stone cabin when she was half entered into it? Was half her body caught in some temporal vortex or dimensional doorway? Dr. Centeno reported that "an EEG was able to show that the left hemisphere of the brain did not show signs of normal functioning, as well as an abnormal amount of electric waves." (See Dimensions Beyond Our Own for more details on this story.)

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