Sometimes, researching facets of Mandela Effect phenomena leads me down odd rabbit holes. The Leslie Charteris detective/mystery story, “Dawn,” published in 1947, has been one of them. It’s a very strange tale, and inconsistent with Charteris’ other stories.
(“Dawn” appears in the collection, Saint Errant. It’s a collection of stories about “The Saint,” best known as a popular TV series starring Roger Moore, and then a movie starring Val Kilmer, and then a failed TV pilot starring Adam Rayner.)
I know most readers are likely to sigh and feel this is very geeky and off-topic. (Feel free to stop reading here.)
I apologize for the strangeness of this, but — because this could point to something useful and relevant (I’m not sure what, yet) — I want to present what’s been discussed (in comments and in private) so far. It does relate to Mandela Effect… maybe.
(My opinion…? I see the potential forks in this research, but there’s too much data for me to pursue at this time, and — in the end — it may lead nowhere.)
UPDATE: Thinking about this overnight, four possibilities — or perhaps a blend of a couple of them — seems to emerge.
- It’s just a story and we’re reading too much into it. I’m fine with that.
- Whomever actually wrote the story had authentic (perhaps personal) insights about shifting between realities.
- The person who wrote the story had inside information about secret government projects involving advanced physics. (If this is true, my guess is it’s editor John W. Campbell.)
- A group of individuals — most of them sci-fi & fantasy writers — found some kind of entry to the future or to alternate realities… and then laced their stories with hints about what they discovered. The group included Leslie Charteris, Cleve Cartmill, and Henry Kuttner, possibly Theodore Sturgeon, and likely John W. Campbell.
(At this point, while Charteris’ story, “Dawn,” offers some intriguing, Mandela-ish inferences, I think Henry Kuttner’s writing may provide even more.)
Here’s why I’m posting this, even though it may turn out to be nothing of note:
Initially, a long-time Mandela Effect researcher and enthusiast, Vivek Narain, mentioned the Charteris story. I hadn’t read it in years, but Vivek raised several questions about time-travel, alternate realities, and other issues suggested in this short story from “The Saint” series.
For one, I found many names that — to me, anyway — seemed odd enough to be anagrams or substitutes for real-life names.
Selden Appopoulis was one. Trailer Mac was another. Even “Dawn Winter” might be code for someone or something else. (A cameo opal may seem a little unusual to Americans, but cameo opals are less rare in Australia.)
Vivek pointed to eerie coincidences with other names and hidden references. Most connect with American government projects and a few conspiracy topics, notably:
- DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
- The Lindbergh kidnapping
- John Lennon’s life and death, and
- JFK’s assassination.
“Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass” elements connected some of them (for code names), especially The Walrus and The Carpenter (Jabberwocky) poem.
Of course, I’m familiar with shaky conspiracy theories and the thready evidence they can be based on. I do not want to make this about the related conspiracies. That’s a very important point. Keep it in mind when leaving comments; I will not approve anything that will spark conspiracy-focused threads.
Instead, if Vivek and a few others I’ve talked with are correct, the hints and signposts in “Dawn” could present a compelling argument supporting the Mandela Effect.
In fact, the more I researched the story, “Dawn,” the more familiar some elements seemed. They included a character — Big Bill Holbrook — with “the peculiar delusion that he is only a character in a dream which Andrew Faulks, a bank teller in Glendale, has been having. Each night the man`s dreams have been going on a bit longer than before, and this time, `Holbrook` is worried that it`s passed the point of no return and the dream won`t have an ending.” (That was from an alt.pulp summary by Dr. Hermes)
Aside: While that plot device isn’t unique, the story presents it with unsettling phrasing I’ve heard in real life… related to something definitely not fiction.
A few years ago, a noted scientist described to me — in confidence — his continuing, sequential (and often daily) dreams that suggest a second, concurrent life in a parallel reality.
It happened at a specific time each day, and only when he spontaneously fell asleep at a particular location. (Not feet away from it, or at home or when traveling for his research; just at one, exact spot.)
Generally, he’s been a skeptic of paranormal phenomena, so I took his story very seriously. He’s not the kind of person who’d piece together a fantastical tale from thready evidence.
For me, this could be part of the Mandela Effect: Alternate, very real timestreams we visit in our sleep, and — because they’re equally “real” — sometimes don’t distinguish from the current reality. (This also refers to research by Dr. Fred Alan Wolf.)
Of course, the dream/reality concept isn’t entirely new, just the quantum research suggesting it.
From “Through the Looking Glass” (1871) by Lewis Carroll:
“He’s dreaming now,” said Tweedledee: “and what do you think he’s dreaming about?”Alice said “Nobody can guess that.”
“Why, about you!” Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. “And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be?”
“Where I am now, of course,” said Alice.
“Not you!” Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. “You’d be nowhere. Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his dream!”
“If that there King was to wake,” added Tweedledum, “you’d go out — bang! — just like a candle!”
As I looked into “Dawn” (aka “The Darker Drink”), things quickly took a dramatic and confusing turn… followed by another, and another, and so on.
It’s a very labyrinth-like rabbit hole.
First, there’s the story itself and the odd references in it. Then there’s the mystery of who wrote it, which — because it might make a difference if you’re looking into this — I’ll present first.
Charteris may not have written “Dawn.” According to popular accounts, Charteris hired a ghost writer, Cleve E. Cartmill (1908 – 1964) who also used the pen name Michael Corbin.
“Dawn” is generally attributed to Cartmill. (It was previously attributed to Theodore Sturgeon, but Henry Kuttner also wrote for Charteris, so authorship isn’t clear. Nevertheless, most experts agree that Cartmill was the most likely writer behind the story, “Dawn.”)
Aside: Researching Henry Kuttner becomes another rabbit hole. I started with his robot inventor, first called Gallegher and then Galloway… and quickly landed at some synchronous research at Harvard. It didn’t look promising enough to pursue.
One curious thing — and a flag for Mandela Effect: in 1944, Cartmill had written a story — Deadline — which described the then-secret atom bomb in some detail. That brought Cartmill into an awkward conversation with the FBI.
(Compare with Heinlein’s “Solution Unsatisfactory,” from that same era, which included nuclear arms predictions, a year before Roosevelt authorized the Manhattan Project.)
If you research Cartmill’s main (known) pen name, Michael Corbin, be careful you don’t go astray. Another Michael Corbin (1955 – 2008) was the director of the ParaNet Information Service, one of the Internet’s earliest UFO-related and paranormal websites, with a BBS history as well.
While Cartmill and associates (including his editor, John W. Campbell, who may have been a guiding force) seemed to have access to unusual (but not necessarily secret) information, and a true gift for piecing fragments together, I’m not convinced that’s all they were doing.
For example, it’s difficult to know which is the chicken and which is the egg, when comparing references in “Dawn” to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of The Unites States’ Department of Defense) projects.
“Dawn” seems to point to several DARPA projects… but DARPA was created in 1958 under the American president Eisenhower. “Dawn” was first published (as “A Darker Drink”) in 1947.
(Quirky coincidence: 1958 is the year 42-year-old Henry Kuttner died of an apparent heart attack in Los Angeles.)
With as many as a dozen DARPA references in “Dawn,” explanations can vary widely. It might be plain-vanilla coincidence or — at the other extreme — names created by DARPA as a smokescreen to cover how accurate “Dawn” may have been, and how much the author knew.
It’s very easy to get sidetracked by references in “Dawn” that seemed to predict the future.
For example, here are just a few odd, potential connections. Some have been pointed out by others, especially Vivek (who deserves full credit for this discovery). Others are clearly stated in “Dawn.” (Remember, it was published in 1947.)
- Jimmy, also called Oswald (an actual name in the story) and — of course — the man attributed with Jack Kennedy’s assassination.
- Big Bill Holbrook (Sydney Greenstreet, Jack Ruby, Big Jim Garrison)
- Trailer Mac (Mac Wallace, with connections to Ruby and others)
- Little Lord Feigenbaum (not Little Lord Fauntleroy, the logical choice) – Feigenbaum (an unusual name) may predict Mitchell Feigenbaum (b. 1944), who pioneered chaos theory and other important concepts. Or, the name in “Dawn” might be a quirky coincidence.
However, while chasing rabbits that lead to even more labrythine research, it’s easy to lose sight of the main question: Whether “Dawn” points — with many heavy hints — to time travel, parallel realities, and Mandela Effect… or not.
It’s a more tangled question than I’d expected, and I haven’t a clue what the answer is. Everything could be attributed to coincidence and startling synchronicity.
So, there are the leads. Most people probably stopped reading long before this point. For those who want to pursue this, I’ve given you plenty to work with.
Note: I’ve omitted at least half the odd, predictive references in “Dawn,” but welcome others to mention them in comments, as long as we don’t get lost in conspiracy theories that are secondary to the focus of this websites.
A few references, for those who want to pursue this topic further
Alt.pulp summary of the Dawn/Darker Drink story, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.pulp/Lzkf5r5f8FQ
Leslie Charteris’ author page at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction – http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/charteris_leslie (Mentions that some of Charteris’ work may have been penned by Theodore Sturgeon, Henry Cuttner (1915 – 1958), or Cleve Cartmill, but the latter is generally attributed with authorship of “Dawn.”)
John W. Campbell bio – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Campbell
Cartmill’s pen names – The FictionMags Index, http://www.philsp.com/homeville/fmi/s992.htm and http://www.philsp.com/homeville/fmi/s1231.htm#A28882
Deadline controversy – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadline_%28science_fiction_story%29 and Robert Silverberg’s “reflections” on the story - http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0310/ref.shtml and http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0311/ref2.shtml, explaining that there was no security leak or mystery involved. (The misspelling of “Cleave” in the title of the second article caught my attention, but — even at Asimovs.com — typos happen.)
The second article refers to Heinlein’s “Solution Unsatisfactory,” in greater detail than the current Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_Unsatisfactory.
Also see another reference to Campbell’s knowledge in “The Cleve Cartmill Affair” – http://www.futilitycloset.com/2010/05/31/the-cleve-cartmill-affair/
If you want to pursue the anagram angle – http://wordsmith.org/anagram/
The Walrus and The Carpenter poem – http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/walrus.html
Henry Kuttner bio – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kuttner and “Neil Gaiman and F. Paul Wilson Discuss Why They’re Reviving Henry Kuttner’s Stories” – http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/04/neil-gaiman-and-f-paul-wilson-discuss-why-theyre-reviving-henry-kuttners-stories
Kutter’s “Time Locker” story was included in “The Best Time-Travel Stories of the 20th Century.” (Google it, or search for “Kuttner ‘Ahead of Time'”.) Most of his stories — and his pen names — are listed at the Index to Science Fiction Collections and Anthologies – http://www.philsp.com/homeville/isfac/s177.htm#A2806
Mitchell Feigenbaum bio – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Feigenbaum
Rarity of the Andrew Faulks name – http://andrew-faulks.nameanalyzer.net/
Another, unrelated coincidence: an author named Dawn Charteris, working with aboriginal dishes for healthier eating http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/4963145 (PDF link at that page was for her complete cookbook — now at http://www.gofor2and5.com.au/Portals/0/PDFs/2and5_QLD_ATSI_Cookbook_Feb09.pdf — with some delicious-sounding recipes. Yes, when almost overwhelmed with a series of odd coincidences, I often default to the mundane.)