Hello Grimericans! Fall is here and with the changing of the season comes the changing in atmosphere, in outlooks and in the internal awareness of one’s mortality, at least for me, anyway. In the 1600’s, as more and more people started living in larger towns and cities, the word harvest fell out of use and people started using the phrase, “ fall of the leaf”. The word fall itself, comes from the old English word feallan which means “to fall or to die”. Eventually, “fall of the leaf” was shortened to just Fall. And while the Autumnal Equinox happens late September signaling the beginning of fall, it doesn’t really feel like Fall for most until October. The third season has always represented an ending in many cultures and in many aspects of human mentality. The end of the harvest season. The end of decent weather. The end colorful leaves on the trees and maybe, after this post, the end of the way you view reality. For some of you, the following will be nothing new or mind-blowing and might even seem ridiculous for being proposed. To the rest of the Grimerican readers, they might not be able to sleep after reading some of these reported glitches in the matrix. But for those of you who share the mainstream/current version of these memories, I ask you this. Isn’t it odd that so many others remember these things a different way? What follows is a list of some of what I found to be the craziest alternative memories shared by many people. This is by no means a comprehensive list and more alternative memories of events can be found all over the web, including a couple subreddits dedicated to this phenomena widely called The Mandela Effect.
Nelson Mandela Died in Prison
On the 5th of December, 2013, an announcement was made that Nelson Mandela, civil rights activist, anti-apartheid revolutionary, philanthropist and South Africa’s first black president, passed away in his hometown of Houghton, Johannesburg after suffering from prolonged respiratory infection at the age of 95. This came as a shock to many people who all shared the distinct memory of Mandela dying many years prior in prison. Wait, what? Apparently, there are many people, hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands, that have distinct memories of the late Mandela dying sometime in the 80’s while still incarcerated. These memories include snippets of the funeral service on T.V., legal talks over book rights, some rioting in cities, the mourning of his passing by the South African people and even a heartfelt speech by his wife/widow. It was this collective “false” memory that coined the usage of The Mandela Effect by Fiona Broome who then created the website mandelaeffect.com and also an upcoming book on the collective topic of mass memories of alternate history. Don’t be mistaken. This phenomenon has been going on before “this timeline’s” version of Mandela’s death in 2013. It has also been called The Still Alive Effect. It basically encompasses the memories of people who recall hearing someone has passed away and finding out later that they are alive and well or passed away at a different date that what is remembered. Here is a short list of some of those people. See if any of them don’t sound right to you.
- Betty White. As of this post, she is alive and well and a beautiful 93 years young.
- Brian Dennehy. Still acting with a few future projects in the works.
- Quite a few people remember Billy Graham’s televised funeral but as of October, 2015, he’s still alive.
- Many report remembering that David Soul of Starsky and Hutch fame committing suicide but apparently, he’s still alive and kicking.
- Dom DeLuise passed in 2009 but many people (including me) remember him passing in the 90’s.
- Louie Anderson’s T.V. show was not canceled due to his sudden death as many (also including me) remember, as he is also still alive.
- Muhammed Ali did not pass away in 2009 but at the time of this post, is still living at the ripe old age of 73 in Louisville, Kentucky.
A few of these, I must admit, blew me away. I have a distinct memory of Dom DeLuise Passing away in my youth and watching memorial footage in honor of his career. I also remember Louie Anderson dying and thus the cancellation of his show. I also remember hearing of Muhammed Ali’s passing a few years ago. Am I taking crazy pills?! Well I’m not the only one. Many people remember these people passing and others as well. This phenomena is not restricted to celebrity deaths, it also includes things like…
The Berenst(E)ain Bears
This one has been getting a lot of attention as of late but has actually been around for a number of years. It basically goes as this. The spelling of the surname in the series of books about a family of bears that teaches morals and the difference between right and wrong HAVE BEEN TAMPERED WITH BY TIME TRAVELERS IN AN EVIL ATTEMPT TO… TO… well, no one really knows why. But that doesn’t negate the fact that many people who grew up reading the Berenstein Bears have had the minds blown with the apparent sudden realization that the series has ALWAYS been spelled The Berenstain Bears. Wait, what?! Um, yeah. According to the publishers of the book series, the title has always been spelled Berentstain and never Berenstein, after the books creators, Stanley and Janice Berenstain. This might not come to a shock to some of you but my brain almost melted when I frantically tore my children’s book collection apart looking for proof of the opposite and desperately trying to draw up distant memories of my youth for verification. This is actually the reason for this post. Upon further research into this subject, I found many other instances of alternate historical memories. Many include alternate spelling of words like Berenstain- stein… whatever. Not a big deal you say. Well many people will tell you that they remember certain words being taught in school to be spelled one way and not until years later do they find out that it is spelled completely different. This definatley causes quite a dilemna. I mean definitley causes a dilemma. See what I mean. Now whilst I remember always using the later spelling of definitely, with an i instead of an a, others do not. Grammar.net lists it as one of the top 15 misspelled words in the English language. As far as the word dilemma is concerned, I too have memories of using an n instead of two m’s. Misspelled words not enough to blow your mind? How about out-of place countries?
New Zealand is South East of Australia
This one also blew my mind because of how recently I looked for New Zealand’s geographical location. As some of you know, I do the newsletter here at Grimerica and was determining the time zone for the broadcast reminders. I remember getting curious with its location as I had also recently listened to a podcast about the Treaty of Waitangi and as some of you might remember, we here at Grimerica have a Kiwi Ambassador to New Zealand. I remember that its location being north east of Australia, and yet alas, upon checking it now, it lies to the south east. It’s not just New Zealand that has got people crisscrossed on its geographical location. Some include Cuba, Japan, Mongolia, Portugal, Poland and Sri Lanka. Still not crazy enough for ya’? How about…
A Portrait of Henry the VIII With a Turkey Leg In His Hand
Sound familiar? Can you picture the pudgy King of England in his royal clothing and a huge turkey leg in his hand? Me too. And many other people as well. Apparently, this portrait doesn’t exist. Evidence that suggests that this shared memory is indeed false is the fact that Henry VIII couldn’t have dined on turkey as it is native to North America and wasn’t even on the menu in England during his time. Still, I can clearly picture this image. How about you?
So what’s going on? Some examples can be attributed to simply not remembering correctly. As I’ve mentioned before, the human memory is a tricky thing. We have the ability to change our memories every time we think about them. For instance, some famous quotes from historical figures and movies are often misquoted. In Star Wars, Darth Vader never says, “Luke, I am your father.” But instead says, “No. I am your father.” The evil queen in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty doesn’t say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” but rather, “Magic mirror on the wall.” Forest Gump doesn’t say, “Life IS like a box of chocolates.” He says, “Life WAS like a box of chocolates.” Neil Armstrong, upon laying the first human foot on the moon (supposedly… a-wink) didn’t iconically say, “That’s one small step for man…” the historical quote was actually, “That’s one small step for a man…” He maintained up until his death in in 2013 (although some recall him passing in 2012) that apparently no one heard the a. And if people can get a whole quote wrong, then a few misspelled words isn’t so far fetched. The truth is, once something becomes embedded in popular culture and in what is considered “common” knowledge, it’s pretty hard to nudge it free from its common usage as fact, regardless if it is true or not. One hypothesis brought forth to explain this phenomena is the merging of two alternate dimensions. It basically goes that, for example, in one dimension (the right one… a-wink) the book series was always spelled Berenstein and then some unknown and incomprehensible force merged our dimension with some wacky one where the book series was spelled Berenstain. So why do only some remember it one way and not everybody? Well, with the merging, some of the people’s consciousness stayed here while other went over to crazy town. On the bright side of things, in the other dimension, there are thousands of people who suddenly realized that it’s spelled with an e instead of an a and after trying to explain this crazy hypothesis on their blogs, their readers will give a resounding, “Uh… nope.” Another possible explanation is what is called “glitches in the Matrix” which goes into the whole “what is reality” question. And we’ll save that for another discussion. So there are our options. Or ya’ know, time travelers and stuff. Well that’s it for me Grimerica, as always, Stay Classy.