News of the very strange…

Saw this article the other day on Huffington Post.  A Seattle based attorney claims that, between the ages of 7 and 12, he was part of a secret U.S. government experiment into…

…wait for it…

Time Travel.

Further, he points out a photograph taken at Gettysburg wherein he is supposedly present.

Curious?  The full article is here:

There is an included video, which I have embedded below:

I find the whole concept of time travel absolutely fascinating, even as I find the above very, very hard to believe.

I’ve heard it said more than once that young authors, especially those interested in writing science fiction, should not bother with time travel stories.  Why?  Because there are so many of them out there and written by so many well respected authors, that you simply couldn’t possibly do any better.  Alas, I didn’t follow this advice and have written a few time travel stories, my favorite of which is Dreams Do Come True, available in my Shadows at Dawn collection of short stories. (Shameless plug ends in 3…2…1…)

In terms of the possibility of time travel, when one looks away from the actual science and physics of the matter, which so far point to time travel being impossible, and toward the philosophical, there are those who argue that time travel doesn’t exist because if it did, we would have some evidence of it already.

They’re talking about things like accidentally discarded material from the future that is found in ancient sites (ie, a Coca Cola bottle found in Athenian ruins, etc.).  Also, if people could travel back in time, why not alter things?  There is the idea that one can’t do so, that history is somehow written in stone, but I have a hard time accepting this.  If one could go back in time, why couldn’t one alter things?  The fact is that I could choose to do any number of things today that could change history, though perhaps in only small ways.  But if I could go back in time to 1899, and somehow make my way to Austria and find the infant Adolph Hitler, what is to stop me from stopping him?  (The film The Terminator is duly noted)

Which brings us to the biggest philosophical questions about time travel:  The so-called Grandfather Paradox.  I’ll quote the concept from the link to the left, which is from Wikipedia:

Suppose a man traveled back in time and killed his biological grandfather before the latter met the traveler’s grandmother. As a result, one of the traveler’s parents (and by extension the traveler himself) would never have been conceived. This would imply that he could not have traveled back in time after all, which means the grandfather would still be alive, and the traveler would have been conceived allowing him to travel back in time and kill his grandfather. Thus each possibility seems to imply its own negation, a type of logical paradox.

Makes your head spin, don’t it?

In some ways, (shameless plug begins in 3…2…1…) I worked around on the fringes of this type of logic trap with my Dreams Do Come True story, creating the “perfect” murder, with what I felt was an interesting twist.

In the end, I suspect that the philosophers and scientists who don’t believe in the possibility of time travel are probably right.  Doesn’t mean I don’t wish it were possible.  I think it would be beyond exciting to be able to witness first hand all those magnificent historical events or recover lost objects of art or literature or film.  It would also be amazing to have the chance to save a Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison or John Lennon and, subsequently, live in a world where more of their music exists.

It’s a lovely dream, but a dream nonetheless.