Fortean Times

Fortean topics


Over the many decades of reading FT, I have come to some conclusion­s about three current fortean topics, which may be of interest to readers.

Time Travel: Although I don’t believe that this will ever come about, there are those who do, and there is one fact I should like to point out. There is no such thing as ‘the present’, except when we use the phrase when talking about ‘this month’ or ‘this year’ etc. as a convenient time reference. We are travelling into the future all the time; when one second has gone by it has created the past; in other words time is a continuum. This leads to two concepts when discussing time travel, i.e. as we are already travelling into the future, the mechanism for speeding up time travel into the far future would require a quite different method from travelling into the past. So time travel into the past would be “going against the grain” so to speak, which would be much more difficult to achieve than travelling into the future. (However, despite my pessimisti­c view on time travel, I enjoy the early science fiction of HG Wells, The Time Machine being my favourite work of fiction, as well as being a fan of Doctor Who, in particular the original Doctor played by the one and only William Hartnell.)

The Loch Ness Monster: There has been a recent discovery of prehistori­c plesiosaur­s that could swim in fresh water about 100 million years ago (see FT423:10-11), which has led to the revival of the theory that Nessie could be something like a plesiosaur. However, as Loch Ness was formed only 10,000 years ago, this is impossible. Another problem concerning Nessie is that if there is such a creature, there must be many more breeding individual­s, which would surely have been noticed many times by the locals over the centuries. In any case, there are legends of lake monsters all over the world, none of which has been substantia­ted.

Ancient Aliens: The nearest star to our Solar System is about four light years away, and with the rockets we have now, a journey to the star would take over 70,000 years. Unless we develop something like warp drive, or other improbable methods of space travel, this precludes humans travelling amongst the stars. A while ago I listened to a radio interview with a NASA scientist who, when asked whether she thought we ever could achieve such developmen­ts, laughed and said decidedly no! The same problem would also occur with advanced life-forms from exoplanets, which is extremely unlikely considerin­g the distances involved. So the idea that they came to Earth thousands of years ago and interfered with the developmen­t of ancient humans, or helped them build their sometimes colossal structures, is highly implausibl­e. And more importantl­y those who believe in such things forget the boundless ingenuity and imaginatio­n of Homo sapiens (and Homo Neandertha­lensis?). Also, if aliens did help out early humans, why did they leave and have never bothered to openly visit us again over the millennia?

Eric Fitch


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