Brian Williams’ “false” reports could be important to Mandela Effect discussions. This is a high-profile case of someone who seems to remember an incident clearly — and have some supporting testimony — but, in this reality, the actual event was slightly different.
In the bigger picture — whether Williams’ helicopter was shot down, or one close to him was — isn’t especially noteworthy. History won’t note this with alacrity. Williams’ experience — as he recounted it — is representative of others’, if not his own.
However, in Mandela Effect terms, it’s interesting that Williams’ report was — and still is — echoed by the helicopter pilot, Rich Krell.
Sure, it’s possible both were mistaken. For Williams, the experience was terrifying. For the pilot, it may have been something he confused with a different time he was shot down. But… maybe neither are confused.
This question was brought to my attention by one of this site’s regular readers and contributors, NDE Survivor. Here’s the initial comment:
For your consideration (borrowing a phrase from The Twilight Zone)….
Brian Williams. Generally, I think news anchors are egotistic narcissists. But, this whole thing feels off to me. From 2003 to 2012? His recollection of his helicopter experience seems fairly consistent. Now, his recollection differs. What really got me thinking about this is when he said this in his apology:
“I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy,” Williams wrote. “I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08, and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp.”; and “I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams told the newspaper. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
It reminded me of the Berenstein-ers searching through their attics only to discover that their childhood books now say Berenstain.
And today, the pilot of helicopter, who originally concurred with Williams’ recollections of their helicopter coming under fire, said this: “…the information I gave you was true based on my memories, but at this point I am questioning my memories.”
So Williams and the pilot are now questioning their memories. Other soldiers clearly have a different set of memories. In light of the phenomenon discussed here, I am willing to extend credulity. I think this could be more complicated than what is being portrayed in the media.
Here’s my reply:
I agree, 100%. Brian Williams is a terrible liar. When he’s delivering a story he doesn’t fully agree with (or perhaps doesn’t fully believe), you can read it all over his face. That’s one reason I like him as a newscaster. When he told his helicopter story, I saw zero “tells” to indicate a shaky, embellished, or false story. He said it with certainty. I’m sure he believed it.
His emotions were in high gear when he made his apology, so his expressions are hard to read. He’s not quite himself there — obviously chagrined and unsettled — so I can’t tell what’s going on. (I’m a big fan of Paul Ekman — the— and have done some of his courses.)
Also, Brian Williams’ “credibility” is getting far too much media attention, and I’m trying to understand why. Maybe it’s just the nature of news. Maybe his competitors are doing their best to oust him.
My family and I watched several interviews on Newsy and other curated news feeds, in which Williams talked about either the helicopter incident or his NOLA/Katrina experiences.
(The latter is no big deal. Having dealt with high-level media in reference to the French Quarter: So far, 100% of the media I’ve talked with, outside Louisiana, don’t understand where the French Quarter ends. Several high-end hotels aren’t in the Quarter; they’re on on the edge of it. TV producers booking hotels have seemed utterly oblivious to that important difference. Obviously, Brian Williams didn’t know, either, and I’m fine with that… or maybe the Ritz in his then-reality was in the French Quarter. It’s hard to tell.)
Seeing a body float down the street in America was far beyond anything Williams ever expected to see. And, Williams believed what he’d said about the helicopter incident, which I’m sure was terrifying at the time.
Were these “Mandela Effect moments”? Maybe. For me, it’s just as easy to believe that the trauma of those incidents was so severe, he’s blocked most memories of them.
My family also wondered (in true tin-foil hat mode) if Williams has been working on a news story — his own project — and someone higher up the food chain isn’t happy with it, so some pre-emptive discrediting is in progress.
I’ll be watching Williams closely to see what happens next. For now, I don’t doubt his credibility for a second. His stories weren’t 100% accurate in this reality, but I’m sure he was telling each story exactly as he remembered it.
His reports raise an interesting question: Is there a correlation between “sliding” and traumatic or highly emotional experiences? That is, during (or immediately after) an event that we’d like to flee from, do we unconsciously slide to a different reality, hoping it will be better?
And, having slid like that, once, are we more likely to do so in the future, not necessarily fleeing trauma, but out of sheer curiosity?
What makes the Williams story so interesting is that Williams isn’t the only one with an alternate (and fairly credible) memory of the helicopter incident, and they both remember it the same way.
In Mandela Effect terms, that’s pure gold.