Neil Armstrong’s Death – Another Mandela Effect Moment?

Neil Armstrong photo (1930 - 2012)Though Neil Armstrong died on 25 August 2012, it seems as if many people “forgot” it.  When a badly phrased headline appeared at ABC news, talking about the one-year anniversary of Armstrong’s death, many people thought he’d died in 2013.

While some may have been busy a year ago, and missed the initial obituary, many others are clearly fans and followers of Neil Armstrong’s legacy.  How were their memories “wiped” so his 2013 death was forgotten?  That question was raised by many people, including David Emery at About.com’s Urban Legends topic.

Continue reading “Neil Armstrong’s Death – Another Mandela Effect Moment?”

More Mandela Effect Notes – Nelson Mandela

In a discussion at the G+ community, Alternate History, some interesting issues have been raised.

A community member shared a lengthy, cached article about someone’s belief that Nelson Mandela died Tuesday, 25 June 2013.

This is part of that cached article:

Mandela-x2-Jun2013

Here’s some of my reply at the G+ community, with notes.

The obvious question is: Was that more evidence of the Mandela Effect? The first “mistaken” report could be a simple mistake.  In fact, it most probably was.  But, to be fair, it’s difficult to evaluate with so little information about that report.

What caught my attention was the second “mistaken” report in the article. The writer said about that source, “She is trusted and was very convinced about the accuracy of this and her source, and she was very specific in what she was told – that he had died a half hour earlier and that the President was going to make the announcement at ten pm.”

Those are the kinds of specific details we see in credible Mandela Effect events, but with social media and its inherent flaws, it’s not evidence I can work with.  For example, the Huffington Post offered the following credible explanation.

Mandela-Dutch-error

Worse, as the following article in The Drum explains, this became a global “goof.”

Mandela-AustralianGoof

So, the waters have been thoroughly muddied, at least in terms of reports related to Mandela’s death in June 2013.

Despite (or because of?) these gaffes, more people seem to be examining conflicting Mandela-related memories. Even for those of us who are okay with Mandela Effect concepts, this seems like an unsettling time.

For some of us, these past couple of weeks have seemed surreal at times. Personally, it’s as if I’m watching a reality being constructed, a few hours at a time.

It’s as if the “fixed” points — using another G+ community member’s description — are arriving first in this timestream. Then, the connect-the-dots events between them are being filled in spontaneously.  (This is difficult to articulate, but I hope you get my point.)

The thing is, if we believe the quantum theory that every potentiality exists in some reality (or dimension, universe, timestream, etc.), it’s possible that Nelson Mandela has died many times in the past few days and weeks… but not in this timestream.

The majority of new, conflicting reports can be explained by rumors set wild in social media.  It’s essential to keep critical thinking skills engaged.  Verify everything as best you can.

However, despite reporting errors, this is an intriguing time for those of us studying the Mandela Effect.  That’s not just about history in this timestream, as well as alternative history.  It’s also an opportunity to see the effects of social media and news reports, and how they influence our memories and — at times — form or restructure them.

And, personally, I’m sketching the visual images I recall from Nelson Mandela’s death, years ago.  I’m going to watch to see how many of them reappear in the future… though I hope it’s many years away.

Premature Obituaries and the Mandela Effect

Premature obituaries and the Mandela EffectPremature obituaries are not — so far — a significant factor in “Mandela Effect” reports.

Among all the stories I hear in real life, via email, and in comments at this website, few (if any) represent documented premature obituaries.  Even the prepared obituary for Nelson Mandela was leaked long after the era when people clearly remember his funeral.

You can see a list of the major false reports at Wikipedia’s list of premature obituaries.

It’s routine for news reporters to prepare obituaries for important public figures.  Then, when the person is gone, the tribute to that person is ready to rush to press (in the case of newspapers and magazines) and to broadcasts.  Reporters have the highlights of the person’s life already written.  Only the death information is necessary for the new report.

In at least one case, some of those prepared obituaries were leaked… but not as actual obituaries.  The event was known as the “CNN incident.”  Here’s how Wikipedia describes the hack:

Multiple premature obituaries came to light on 16 April 2003, when it was discovered that pre-written draft memorials to several world figures were available on the development area of the CNN website without requiring a password (and may have been accessible for some time before). The pages included tributes to Fidel Castro, Dick Cheney, Nelson Mandela, Bob Hope, Gerald Ford, Pope John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan.

When considering the Nelson Mandela reports, it’s important to put them into context:

  1. This CNN website issue wasn’t reported as actual obituaries.  Mostly, when the story went public, it focused on ridiculous things like Dick Cheney being described as the “Queen Consort,” and Fidel Castrol being a “movie star.”
  2. The CNN website leak was reported in 2003.  Most people who remember Nelson Mandela’s death, remember details from the 1980s.  They’re not confusing that era with 2003.

So far, I don’t have any good explanations for the detailed, rich, credible memories people report in connection with the death of Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham, and others.  Nevertheless, when your memory of a celebrity’s death doesn’t match the timeline you’re in, it’s important to double-check the premature obituaries list, just in case.

Wikipedia lists the following explanations for premature obits:

  •     Accidental publication: accidental release of a pre-written obituary, usually on a news web site, as a result of technical or human error. The most egregious example was when, in 2003, CNN accidentally released draft obituaries for seven major world figures.
  •      Brush with death: when the subject unexpectedly survives a serious illness or accident which made them appear to be dead or certain to die.
  •     Fraud victim: many people from Uttar Pradesh, India have been registered dead by officials who are bribed by relatives who want to steal the victim’s land. The ensuing legal disputes often continue for many years, with victims growing elderly and sometimes dying in reality before they are resolved.
  •     Hoax: when a death is falsely reported, as a prank.
  •     Impostor: when an ordinary person who for years has passed himself off to family and friends as a retired minor celebrity dies, it can prompt an erroneous obituary for the real (but still-living) celebrity.
  •     Misidentified body: when a corpse is misidentified as someone else, often someone who was involved in the same incident or who happened to go missing at the same time.
  •     Missing in action: soldiers who go missing in war are sometimes incorrectly declared dead if no body is found. In particular, a number of Japanese soldiers thought to have died in World War II in fact survived – typically hiding in remote jungle for years or even decades, believing that the war had not ended.
  •     Misunderstandings: such as when a Sky News employee thought that an internal rehearsal for the future death of the Queen Mother was real.
  •     Name confusion: where someone with an identical or similar name has died. Usually the subject of the obituary is famous; the deceased person is not.
  •      Pseudocide: when the subject fakes his own death in order to evade legal, financial, or marital difficulties and start a new life.

Premature obituaries and other news reporting errors can lead to misunderstandings.  However, most of the reports I receive can’t be explained by a news error or simple misunderstanding.  The Mandela Effect goes far beyond that.

Patrick Swayze – Alive and Hospitalized?

Ghostly dancersIn late January 2012, stories started emerging about Patrick Swayze being hospitalized.

Is that due to confusion over recent interviews with his widow, Lisa?

Is this because his classic movie, Point Break, is — according to the Huffington Post — getting a reboot?

I don’t see any news stories related to his brother, actor Don Swayze.  So, it’s not that the two were confused.

When I checked Google Insights, the following terms were listed in the current Rising Searches.

Patrick Swayze searches at Google, 1 Feb 2012
Swayze-related searches at Google, 1 Feb 2012

When the term is indicated as “Breakout,” it means it has at least a 5000% increase in searches, relative to the recent past.

Currently, most of those searches are coming from: Canada, USA, UK, Ireland,  Australia, Portugal and Hungary, in that order.

Is there a logical explanation for this quirky surge?  I’m looking for a logical explanation.

It might simply be the confusing headline from Fox — “Patrick Swayze’s widow Lisa Niemi blasts tabloids for coverage of husband’s cancer” —
which didn’t make it clear that he was hospitalized over two years ago.

That seems the most likely explanation.

However, I’m also wondering if this is Mandela Effect again.  I’d like to think there’s a parallel world in which Patrick Swayze is alive and well, even if — in that reality — he’s briefly in the hospital, hopefully for something minor.

Patrick Swayze, the talented actor, dancer and singer, was born on August 18, 1952  and left this world on September 14, 2009.

His acting career was highlighted by many wonderful films in which he starred, including Ghost, Point Break and Dirty Dancing.