Time Traveler Caught on Film?

by Nancy Atkinson on October 28, 2010

There’s a video making the rounds and creating buzz on the internet and we thought we might as well join in. Filmmaker George Clarke from Ireland is a Charlie Chaplin fan, and saw something unusual in a 1928 Chaplin movie called “The Circus.” In a crowd scene at the opening of the movie there appears to be a woman (or a man in drag) talking on a cell phone as she walks in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In the video above, Clarke goes on about it for awhile, but at about 2:40 in, you can see the footage. This person has all the mannerisms of someone walking down the street and talking on a cell phone.

Screen grab of Clarke's zoom in of the Charlie Chaplin film 'The Circus.'

I’ve been checking around the web and no one seems to be able to come up with a good explanation, although there are lots of questions, such as, how could she be using a cell phone in 1928 since there were no cell phone towers or satellites at that time? Across the internet there are discussions of “Back to the Future”- like Walkie Talkies, alien homing devices, and pretty much everything else you can think of. My favorite discussion comes from the Washington Post, which claims this person is the worst time traveler ever, and the only reason no one has noticed this person before is “Because this may be the first time in history that someone has watched the DVD extras of “The Circus.” Forget the DVD extras! People didn’t even watch “The Circus” when it came out!”

It doesn’t appear this is a movie set, just film from taken out front of a real location. Anyway, its a weird video and there’s lots of discussion out there, but what are your thoughts?

Via SciBlogs


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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