This site is Fiona Broome’s archive of theories and individual reports, from 2009 through 2016. Fiona and friends discussed the possibility of alternate memories and alternate realities. They used the phrase “the Mandela Effect” to describe those possibilities.
This website’s original conversations were in that grey area between speculation and sci-fi. Then, new comments cast the Mandela Effect in a slightly different light. It became more serious.
From there, the topic has taken on a life of its own. You’ll find it discussed at Reddit, YouTube, on TV and radio shows, and across the Internet.
The “Mandela Effect” is what happens when someone has a clear, personal memory of something that never happened in this reality.
Many people — mostly total strangers — seem to remember several of the exact same events with the exact same details. However, those memories are different from what’s in history books, newspaper archives, and so on.
- This website’s earliest, “what if…?” musings flourished in 2009 through 2011. During that time, many of us speculated that parallel realities might exist. Perhaps we’ve been “sliding” between them without realizing it.
- Other conversations favored the idea that we’re each enjoying holodeck experiences, possibly with some programming glitches. (Of course, these two theories aren’t mutually exclusive.)
This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s not a mental health site, and this website isn’t about so-called “fake news,” “alternative facts,” “confabulation,” or “false memories.”
Late 2009: Fiona Broome (that’s me) launched this website, using the (then new) phrase, “the Mandela Effect,” to describe an emerging phenomenon. Initially, the site attracted just a few visitors, and we talked in sci-fi terms.
2010 – 2014: People began reporting other alternate memories. Visitors shared anecdotes and informal theories. Discussions ranged from chatty conversations to speculation based on data collected, so far.
The topic attracted scant attention, and our discussions were fun & informal. Generally, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously.
2015: This topic abruptly reached critical mass. The Berenstein/Berenstain subject went viral, followed by other widespread alternate memories.
Visitors were astonished to learn about others’ memories with astonishingly similar details and points of reference by multiple, unconnected people.
However, some of those reports may have been posted by jokers and people with agendas that didn’t respect readers’ genuine concerns. When that was clear, I deleted those comments.
On the other hand, I’ve always tried to give people the “benefit of the doubt.” I’ve never felt equipped to decide if someone’s reported memories were true, confusions, or something else.
I’m sure that some “fake” comments appear on this site. That was inevitable, once the topic began to trend.
2016: By mid-2016, moderating comments required six or more hours per day. Weeding out snarky comments, and those by not-so-clever trolls, was not fun.
So, I closed this site to new comments.
Then, for a while, the Reddit community provided some great forums for related discussions. Since then, as soon as a serious discussion group pops up, it’s only a matter of time before snarky skeptics and trolls hijack the conversations.
Some of the Mandela Effect criticisms – particularly the personal attacks on my credibility and integrity – come from two of four “paranormal researchers” who were exposed as con artists and predators, around 2009. (I was instrumental in revealing three of them.) I do my best to ignore them.
2018: I’ve been exploring patterns in the earliest Mandela Effect reports, and — so far — the scant credible (and consistent) data isn’t producing enough useful conclusions. In addition, my professional studies relate to other fields, and occupy most of my workday.
I encourage others to compare notes and see if they find more (and better) Mandela Effect synchronicities and patterns than I have. If you do, please share them with others. This community have a wealth of unanswered questions about this topic.
A little more background
Many years ago, I was one of the two people who coined the phrase “Mandela Effect” during a conversation in Dragon Con‘s “green room.” Between speaking to audiences, many of us would start discussions about quirky, fun topics. It was a way to relax.
(The other person was called “Shadow,” then a Dragon Con security manager. I have no idea which of us started using the phrase, first. And, it’s possible that my husband actually came up with the phrase. It was a typical, informal, not-very-serious “what if…?” conversation in that room.)
The discussion started when Shadow mentioned that — like me — other people remembered Nelson Mandela’s tragic death in a South African prison, prior to late 2009. (In this reality, Mandela died in 2013.)
Apparently, others in the green room shared that memory. Many others joined the conversation. It was a fascinating discussion that spun into weird and hilarious tangents.
After returning home, I researched the concept and started this website to see how widespread the Mandela memories were. I thought it was an interesting fringe topic (and potential book topic) for my spare time.
Since then, this topic has turned into something much bigger. I’m still astonished by that.
Here’s my brief bio…
Fiona Broome is intrigued by unexplained phenomena in everyday life. She uses books, videos, podcasts, and websites to share ways you can encounter “the unknown” on your own, and with others who share your enthusiasm.
Fiona has been researching — and writing about — paranormal phenomena since the early 1980s. In the 1990s, her ghost-related website, HollowHill.com, was one of the first online resources for new and experienced ghost hunters.
Ms. Broome has written over 1,000 articles for magazines and websites, describing baffling anomalies, patterns, and mysteries. Discussing paranormal topics, she’s been a guest on many radio and TV shows.
For many years, Fiona has been a speaker at international events including Dragon Con, the New England Ghost Conference, GhoStock, Central Texas Paranormal Conference, and Canada’s annual G.H.O.S.T.S. conferences.
Today, Fiona is semi-retired. She continues to enjoy research & writing, as well as her hobbies… including the Mandela Effect.