A car is suddenly engulfed in a strange mist and its shocked driver gets out, wipes the windscreen, hops back in and drives off … seemingly oblivious to the three witnesses watching in astonishment close by. A family driving to the Barossa Valley passes through a town, just as it must have been way back in the 1800s. A farmer pulls on a pair of second hand khaki trousers and soon finds himself in the jungle witnessing the death of an Australian soldier at the hands of a Japanese sniper.
Someone seems to have thrown a spanner in the works of time and space.
So, what is time anyhow?
We may experience time as linear but is this really a true representation of what time is? We are constantly moving from the present into the future…and when we get there, the future appears ready to greet us, as if it’s been waiting for us to arrive. Does the future already exist – now? And if the future does already exist, then does this mean that the past also exists?
The block universe theory of time suggests just that. According to this theory, time, rather than being linear, is more a four-dimensional block where past, present and future all exist and that all points in time are therefore equally real. In this model, all future events already exist, and somewhere, all past events are happening right now.
Sound hard to swallow? Then consider the following fleeting travels through time and space.
Weird mist engulfs car on the road to Nundle
Jenny Randles, author of Time Storms: Amazing Evidence for Time Warps, Space Rifts and Time Travel, has investigated apparent rifts in the fabric of time. These slips through time are usually brief, and often accompany sudden changes in the surrounding environment such as the appearance of a clinging mist or haze and strange electromagnetic disturbances.
In her book, Randles includes the following account of a car being engulfed in a strange mist early one morning at Nemingha in northern NSW.
“At 5.45am on 22 March 1976, a couple driving home to Murrurundi in New South Wales had a bizarre experience according to a letter they sent to the Northern Daily Leader newspaper a few days later. They had stopped just outside Tamworth at the settlement of Nemingha – a small crossroads consisting of little more than a hotel, a petrol station and a railway halt. They had parked and were consulting a road map, trying to decide the best route to take.
“On the otherwise deserted early morning highway a white car now appeared, coming from the road that led to Tamworth. The couple got out, hoping to flag it down and ask the driver’s advice. However, at that moment, something weird happened. A hazy yellow-green light seemed to fall from nowhere and in moments it engulfed the white car. As if the driver had lost control, the vehicle crossed to the wrong side of the road where it was surrounded by a very localised small patch of white haze or mist. The car coasted to a stop in the middle of the road. It had seemingly lost all power and its lights were off.
“According to the stunned onlookers, after about a minute or two ‘the white haze disappeared. A lady dressed in blue stepped from the car and with a yellow cloth proceeded to wipe the windscreen, which seemed to be covered in a white substance’. After she did so, the car’s lights suddenly returned – apparently without anybody inside to switch them on. The woman looked shocked, threw away the duster, jumped in the car and drove off. Simultaneously, the discarded cloth burst into flames.
“The startled couple had now been joined by a pick-up truck that had stopped beside them. Its driver was staring at the events in amazement, and all three witnesses watched as the white car drove slowly away towards Nundle. Its windscreen wipers were clearing the forward view, whilst the rest of the vehicle was covered by a white layer that had not been there before the strange haze appeared. Unsurprisingly, the couple were concerned and eventually returned home by a round-about route they felt was ‘safer’ than the one from which the mist had arrived.”
So, what happened to the lady dressed in blue driving the white car?
Did she experience a time slip? Was she at that moment existing within the same time and space as the couple and the pick-up driver … or was she somewhere else? It is strange that after experiencing such an unusual event, and getting out of the car to wipe the windscreen, that she would not acknowledge the others on what would be a lonely stretch of road in the early hours of the morning.
Perhaps at the moment the witnesses saw her, the lady dressed in blue was wiping her windscreen at some other moment in time and space?
Driving through the town from another time
In 1995 a family on a regular journey from the north of South Australia down to the Barossa Valley passed through a small town they have passed through many times before. Only this time, something was very different. The following account was reported to paranormal.about.com.
“I was entering a straight level stretch of road from some hills. I could see the small town ahead called Allendale North, which is just outside of Kapunda. Looking ahead, I could see a large group of people milling about the hotel. This interested me as there had only ever been a couple of cars outside the hotel at anytime when I had travelled through.
“As I got closer, I could naturally see this group in closer detail. These people were at a fair of some kind; I assumed that this gathering must have been a reunion of some sort. Every person was dressed in early 1800s style. Very Victorian-era dress sense. I needed to slow down, and recall on my left was a horse and buggy. As I travelled through the group, there was a boy about seven years old holding onto a woman’s hand, who I presumed to be his mother. He watched intently as I approached and drove past. I watched him as he was close to the road. He was dressed in a navy blue sailor outfit with white frills. He had the most penetrating blue eyes. No one else seemed to notice my travel through the group, but his eyes did not leave me…”
“…My wife stirred and asked where we were. I told her and suggested we stop… at which point I looked in the rear view mirror, and saw an empty main street.”
Did this family briefly travel back in time as they passed through the town? And what was the experience of the young boy holding his mother’s hand? Was he the sole witness to some strange vision of the future?
The khaki trousers and a dead Aussie soldier
The following letter by J Truman of Calcarra, Western Australia appeared in the Western Mail on 1 August 1946. The author relates a bizarre experience in which he is apparently transported through space and time after pulling on a pair of second hand khaki army trousers.
“Having served in many parts of the Empire and have seen many strange happenings, beyond my limited comprehension, I have always been partial to khaki, having worn it for more years than I sometimes care to remember. So there was nothing strange in my going into an Army surplus store and purchasing, amongst other goods, a pair of second hand khaki trousers.
“The first time I put them on was a Saturday night, and a feeling came over me which would be hard to describe. I had a restless night and on Sunday morning I put the same trousers on again, picked up my haversack and rifle. As I was walking across the paddocks, the heavy fog seemed to become more intense. Suddenly I found myself in a jungle. In front of me was a young Australian soldier, advancing along the trail, tommy-gun at the ready.
“Then I spotted a Jap sniper in the tallest tree on the right side of the trail taking aim, I yelled a warning to the Aussie but too late he lay dead on the trail.
“My yell frightened sheep and lambs in all directions and I felt a great fool yet it was just as though I had been there with him. I examined the trousers carefully when I arrived back at the homestead, and found what appeared to be blood stains on them. I suppose there is an explanation somewhere but the experience has got me beat.”
J. TRUMAN (Calcarra)
Is the explanation to Truman’s experience a time slip into the recent past? The Second World War had finished just 11 months earlier. There is a curious similarity with other time slip anomalies recorded by Randles, including the case of the lady dressed in blue driving the white car. Truman, while walking through the paddocks, experienced a “heavy fog that became more intense” just before his vision of the past.