Visual Cues and the Mandela Effect

Luke faces Darth Vader
Illustration courtesy of JD Hancock

This week, visitor Mike H. shared a couple of video links with me. (I rarely have time for YouTube, even for topics that interest me.)

I’ve posted those videos, below.  Because this is a busy week, I haven’t watched either video, in full, but — skimming the second one — I realized something that’s important. Well, it’s important to me, anyway, as it’s part of how I remember things, and how I clarify those memories.

I’m a visual learner. Things that I see reinforce memories, and they can trigger memories, as well.

To find out more about learning modalities, here are a few helpful links: Learning Modalities, at Education.comModalities, at the State University of New York, CortlandThe Four Modalities of Learning, at Ms. Dillard’s Classroom.

Every day, I receive many emails and comments related to alternate memories (and an alternate past). On average, I recall about 20% of the memories I read in those emails & comments. I think most people agree with some — but not all — alternate memories they read about at this website and others that explore the Mandela Effect.

Sometimes, I’m not sure about a particular memory. It may be a dual memory, but, at other times, it’s something that wasn’t important to me (when I first learned about it), so I don’t want to claim I’m certain of the alternate memory.

For me, one of those ambivalent memories was the Star Wars’ movie line, “Luke, I am your father,” as opposed to “No. I am your father.” (The movie seems to have the latter line, not the former. However, with several different edits of the original Star Wars movies in circulation, those movies aren’t the strongest evidence to support Mandela Effect theories.)

I was fairly certain I recalled the line as “Luke…,” but — though I’m a fan of Star Wars — I can’t claim that one line made enough of an impact for me to be confident of my alternate memory.

Then, I saw the visual in the second video, below.  It triggered vivid and detailed memories of seeing Star Wars for the first time… and the second time, the third, and so on.

Right away, I understood why — in my reality, at the time — that line definitely started with “Luke…”

It’s because, at times of stress and urgency, when a parent wants to impress his (or her) child with an important fact or order, that parent almost always starts the sentence with the child’s name.

Had Darth Vader said “No. I am your father,” I would have thought he was lying, trying to throw Luke off-guard. I’d have expected the lie to be exposed in the sequel to that film.

That’s my kind of logic. But, until I saw Darth Vader facing Luke in the video, below, I wasn’t 100% certain that my original memory was different from what’s current in this reality.

So, I’m sharing these videos in case they’re helpful to others. I’d like not to launch another “Heinz 57 varieties” series of comments on the individual topics, but I’m interested in hearing from people who find visual cues helpful in clarifying alternate memories.

I’d also like to know how you decide whether something is an alternate memory for you. That is, do you look it up, online? Or, do you go back to an old book, movie, or journal? Do you check with friends or family who might have the same memory?

What’s your process when you encounter a memory that doesn’t fit the current reality?

14 thoughts on “Visual Cues and the Mandela Effect”

  1. Hmm ? This is just straight crazy !! I have just recently been seriously affected by this whole Berst*n Bears spelling!! I had absolutely zero knowledge of this so called Mandela Effect. I recently noticed the current spelling of the books and show and went WTF!!!! Wait!!! What is this?

    … [Edited for length.]

    After that my children and I adopted this family joke where they would lovingly call me “dadstein” and I would sometimes call them Jordynstein and Zoestein. How could we possibly have even begun this ritual which only started after positively and conclusively checked the spelling of the books we owned and the VHS and the show more that once.

    1. Jay Alexander, that’s the reaction many people have. And, from your comments, I’m seeing some confirmation that visual cues impact at least some people, triggering a cascade of alternate memories.

      You may want to read others’ advice, when the Mandela Effect seems too strange for anything except denial.

  2. Likewise I am visually based and in childhood I had a near eidetic memory for images. I also used to know the entire TV timetable from only reading it once a week. Every program, the time and channel. An almost autistic ability!. Today….meh! not so much! LOL.
    I find it most convincing that I have many of the same (but not all) ME’s that have been brought up by others. Specific things like “we’re going to need a bigger boat!” Are iconic phrases that are unforgettable. They are to GEN’X people the same as the biggest memes of today. However the difference is that we only had one or two of these memes every year and everyone knew them, because everyone saw the same blockbuster films and TV shows and repeated the same phrases. Today there are thousands of memes per day fighting for attention.
    So to me when one of these ‘known by heart’ phrases suddenly changes, its like the statue of liberty suddenly holding up a bannana!!!
    I don’t need to look back at old photos or ask friends to know its 100% wrong!
    Now if M.E’s were a simple effect of bad memory, then everyone everywhere would be constantly misremebering quotes from every film, tv show, book title etc. It would be a perfectly well known phenomena of human memory. There would be “luke i your father” “Bob im your furer” “No. Im a cobbler” etc..A cocophany of badly remembered phrases..But when a whole chunk of society stands up and says they have the very same *specific* alternate memories. Then its something to take note of.
    I also find it very interesting that many of these common ME’s are cross continent or global. I don’t know if its berenstein bears or frankenstien bears because that wasn’t part of my childhood. I was on the wrong continent to know about Jif or Jiffy peanut butter. Jif was something we cleaned the sink with and that had its named changed to Cif because it jif was rude in some european language!. But Still I share the majority of alternate memories with people around the world.
    It is very-very interesting that something so global is also so specific.

  3. p.s Looney TOONS !!!!! all day long! Toons as in carTOONS, simple. Looney Tunes…………..erm just what? what possible relation does “tunes” have to it? it makes no sense, not now not ever.
    Now maybe that in itself offers some answer. If it was “Tunes” and made absolutley no sense to anyone.Perhaps our brains have edited the title to make sense? we are after all logical beings and we like order. SO maybe its easier to lay down a memory when the parts of that memory have logical relationship to each other. so we remember Toons instead of Tunes.??????
    That makes sense to me, but im still not buying it and its my theory!!! it was TOONS dammit TOONS i say!!!!!

  4. Hmm, yes! The Looney Toons remake most definitely strikes a chord with me. When I was younger I would rent VHS tapes of Looney Toons from Blockbuster’s, I can vividly remember staring at the cases for these tapes, and like many others, making a mental and visual note of the two o’s which were opposite to each other – lOOney tOOns. It just made sense. Visuals trigger many memories — when I was unsure of discrepancies in the position of continents, I confirmed my suspicions by simply editing maps and moving continents to where I remembered them to be.

  5. Re process when faced with alternate memory…
    Eventual acceptance that I remember incorrectly. I try first to figure out the source of my erroneous memory using all of the methods you suggest. Pre-Google I would check old albums, books, etc., maybe ask friends what they “knew”. Nowadays I wiki, Google and YouTube. For the majority, I simply accept that I remembered wrong. For a very small number of MEs (those for which I am thoroughly certain I am right because I recall some struggle to create that memory, as in mentally sounding out dee-lem-nah whenever I write the word) I have to classify them as minor personal mysteries that will never be solved. Until l learned of ME I assumed the “fault” lay in my having misunderstood something way in the past and then failing to notice that I was always wrong. Now? I am back to confused.

  6. As an artist, I am definitely visually oriented. I try to associate memories with whatever visual cues I can recall, such as the room I was in, people I was with, what house I was living in, etc. Here are a few examples.

    Berenstain bears: I seem to be one of the few people (at this particular forum, at least) who remembers it as always having been spelled that way. I remember it that way on the book covers and thinking it was an odd name.

    Svalbard: I have memories of coloring in maps in geography class (my favorite part of the class, naturally), and there was no such island back then. Plus, I would have remembered a place with a name that sounds like it came straight out of a sword-and-sorcery fantasy novel about Vikings!

    Star Wars: I saw it in the theaters in 1977, and I remember scenes of Luke Skywalker talking to his friend, Biggs Darklighter. Many people recall those scenes, yet soon after the movie’s initial release, we were told that they never made it to the final cut, and we must be confusing the movie with pictures from a book or the comic adaptation.

    Froot Loops cereal: Definitely remember the double-O in both words on the cereal boxes. Same with Looney Toons, watching it as a kid and noting the misspelled word.

  7. “What’s your process when you encounter a memory that doesn’t fit the current reality?”

    I do something that is calming and relaxing, I might go for a walk or do something anything to prevent getting freaked out.
    I am in this alternate reality on this earth with a very different geography and history than the earth I have lived on for the last 28 years, I have some memory of the life in this reality but it is a different kind of memory, it feels like past life memories do, memories from my life in this reality have a freaky feeling to them, like the feeling that past life memories do have to me . I feel it could be dangerous to force memories of my life in this reality, it makes me feel very strange in an uncomfortable kind of way to remember things from here . However memories from the other earth reality I have come from is not problem to remember .
    My process is that I am here and I am not going to try and force memory of anything from here but instead let memories come naturally if I have to remember anything, but also hoping that I do not have to access a lot of memory from this reality because it is not comfortable for me to do that .

  8. When I find out that something else has changed, I first look it up online to make sure it\’s really changed and then look for something I might own to verify the change.

    When it comes to the visual, every time I drive to the south side of town I\’m hit with two visuals that are so glaringly wrong to me … One is the spelling of J. C. Penney which is across the street from Chick- Fil-A… It was always J.C. Penny and Chic-Fil-A for me… So I decided to do an experiment with several of my friends by asking them how they spell the name of the chicken restaurant … A couple of them spelled it Chik-Fil-A but most of them spelled it Chic-Fil-A, and NONE of them spelled it Chick_Fil-A, which is what it has supposedly been all along!!.. As for the spelling of the department store only one of them spelled it J.C. Penney. All the rest spelled it Penny…. Swifters changing to Swiffers is another shock to all of us… My friends keep asking me what is going on and how are these changes happening? … I wish I knew the answer.

  9. Visual cues are becoming apparent,sun is regaining its yellow shade,ants which caused mayhem for 4 yrs are on retreat,sparrows and cockroaches are back though crows are still missing,klan like groups have shed their somnambulance,passions have made their resurgance,class war is back with a vengeance,zombies have become sentient,cunningness is in the air.

  10. I wanted to weigh in on the Sun. Vivek is right, it has started to regain its yellow hue. I started noticing this about a month ago. A few people on other sites have also mentioned this. Mike H.

  11. Vivek, Mike H. – I haven’t noticed that. If it is regaining a yellow hue would that not seem to indicate it is climatic, perhaps related to El Nino?

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