Nelson Mandela – The First Mandela Effect Memories

The previous post, Nelson Mandela Died in Prison?  triggered so many, varied responses, it became difficult to find the Mandela memories in the 540+ comments that followed.

These were some of the earliest comments. They’re the ones that sparked the controversy… and many other conversations.

Perry Ware said:

Both my wife and I remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison. Included in this memory are the funeral snippets on TV and a legal flap over book rights involving his Widow.

Scott said:

Clear distinct memory of the Nelson Mandela funeral on tv in the early 80′s.

C. A. Low said:

I have experienced this many times. Not only Mandela’s death, but also the death of Muammar Gaddafi several years ago…

Jackie said:

The first Nelson Mandela memories - Mandela EffectI remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison. The problem is that I either just knew he did (like it was common knowledge), or it happened at a different time for me. I was born in 1985, so I couldn’t have a memory from the early 80s. I think it must have been that it was at a different time, because I remember events after he died… like a really big Oprah episode, concerts in his memory, celebrities ALL wearing his prison numbers, etc.

My experience was that on a regular day, my mom and I were doing separate things with the TV on in the background. I think I was on my laptop and my mom may have also been on hers or reading a book. I believe CNN was the channel the TV was on. Nelson Mandela was mentioned as doing something, which caught both of our ears, I guess, because we both looked up and Nelson Mandela was there… walking around, present day. My mom and I both looked at each other, wide eyed and pale. I was like, “Isn’t he dead? I remember him dying….” And she said YES, and we were both discussing how on earth he was alive and no one else was shocked. We BOTH remembered the Oprah show, we BOTH remembered a specific concert that was live and shown on multiple channels… we both remembered that he died years ago in prison.

I’m amazed that so many other people have this memory. We couldn’t have all slipped into another dimension and remember it. There must be something more logical at work… like he did die, and the forces at work just expected us to not say anything? I have no idea what the explanation is, but I know he died. You could give me a polygraph and I would pass.

Margaret said:

I also remember Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the deaths of Billy Graham, Dom Deluis, Ernest Borgenine and Mickey Roomie. It’s all very interesting.

Colleen said:

I also remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison and was quite amazed when he was elected president of South Africa. Last night I watched the movie, Invictus, and kept wondering where or when was I? I clearly remember the announcement of his death and was amazed that more people around me were not moved by the sadness of it. I also remember vaguely some controversy about his “estate”.

lorrie @ clueless… said:

Nelson Mandela-I remember somebody talking about how his spirit was soaring free from his jail cell. Bill Cosby named his TV grandchildren “Winnie” and “Nelson” and I thought, oh how sweet, he’s paying homage to a brave deceased hero.

Jasper Allen said:

I remember Mandelas funeral being on the news in the UK in the late 80′s. At the time I was just a kid and I didn’t have a clue who Mandela was.

ggameoverr said:

I too remember Mandela dying in Prison, right before he was to be released. I thought this won’t be good, the South Africans will think he was kill or something. It was on CNN Headline news around lunchtime. I was in Highschool so it was in the 80′s.

Jonathan said:

This is just WEIRD ! The more I think about it, the more REAL the memory becomes. I live in South Africa, was born in 1980 so I would have been a kid. The memory is most certainly there (SOMETHING about his Mandela’s death).

…It’s weird, like the men in black movie. I don’t believe in parallel universes, but mind altering ? Sure.

kim wing said:

I also remember reading the newspaper and all the whoopola about Nelson Mandela dying on tv. I remember the banners at his funeral. I am an adult and take such history seriously. When he was released from prison I was flabbergasted. Art bell also bought this up on one of his shows and if he hadn’t I still would have been thinking I was goofy. this happened folks.

Ron said:

I remember Nelson Mandella dying while in prison, and I also remember that his wife became president there sometime afterwards. Later on I heard a radio show with someone talking about this subject, that others too remember his death.

Inquiring Mind said:

I remember it too.

I was only a kid — I was born in 1983 — but I remember seeing something about his death on TV once when I was waiting for Saturday morning cartoons to come on. It was like a biography/memorial/documentary thing. I had no idea who he was, but for some reason it made an impression on me. What I specifically remember is that A) he was in prison at some point, and B) that he passed away.

Years later, as a teenager, I remember having a few moments of “Wait, what? I thought he died!” …But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered I’m not alone in my recollection!

Teri said:

I saw this subjected posted on another site with a link to this site. My mom and I both also “remember” Mandela dying in prison…

Fab said:

I was very young at the time but am 100% certain that Mandela passed while in prison. I recall all the press dedicated to his life and memory so vividly that when news that he was being released came over the air waves I was stunned and immediately went searching for answers only to find out I wasnt alone. I agree that there must be time line ripple effects that some of us are not aware occur. I’ve had gaps of missing time and dreams so real I can still recall how things felt when I touched them! Glad i’m not alone!

Kassia said:

Interesting on so many levels. I am in the same boat in regards to Mandela…

Kate said:

This site is freaking me out. My friend Mikey and I used to talk about the Mandela memory all the time because we remembered him dying in prison. We used to talk about jumping time lines and we really believed it because things got ‘different’ for us both, but we NEVER talked about it with anyone else because of how insane it sounds! I have since then looked for anything about it, and I found this website- I just can’t believe this.

miss_fionna said:

I remember Mandela having died in prison. But I was very young then and I don’t remember the exact event, but an anniversary of his death. It was all over the tv, they showed footage of him alive and some funeral footage too. Now I wasn’t very old, but they were definitely talking about his death.

Kate said:

My friend, who I often talked about this kind of thing with years ago, pointed out to me tonight that Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham were born in the same year.

C-Man said:

I also thought Mandela died in prison, and a couple of my friends share this memory.

J. Ezra Powell said:

I recall the asasination of N. Mandela around 1983-1985. I was a child at the time and attended a majority black school. I recall the next morning we all wore black ribbons and had an assembly. I recall the tv news showing crowds of people as there was a parade in Mandelas honor and while riding in the back of the car he was shot and killed. He had Kat been released from prison and apartide was ending. Now he lives and my memories are wrong it would seem or are they. Did I experience another reality?

Catherine said:

I remember a lot of these, Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham both dying in the 90′s.

Amy said:

I, too, remember news report stating that Nelson Mandela died — and that was in the 1980s! I distinctly remember the television channel 5 news broadcast in Boston where the TV news broadcaster, Natalie Jacobson, stated that he died. It was the main story during the 6:00 p.m. news that day. Then I was stunned, startled and confused years later when I heard another news report stating that Nelson Mandela “just died.” I actually had a sickening feeling when I heard the news report the second time because it was so unsettling to me. Because how can you remember something that is completely inconsistent with the facts that are presented at a later time? I was relieved when I heard that other people also remember a news report from many years earlier stating that he had died (in prison). Then I knew I wasn’t losing my mind. But this phenomenon just fascinates me. I wish someone could explain how this “dual timeline” really works. My conclusion is that there must be parallel universes.

stephen stockton said:

A friend and I have discussed many times the Mandela death. We both remember the same thing in detail. I think this an insight into a very important event. It could be a mis-quote from the media which has been suggested before but no one has owned up to it. No retractions -nothing. It could be a “natural” event in the fabric of space-time, a hickup so to speak. Or as we have conjectured, a “correction” by yes, I dare say it, a time traveler. It’s the internet-get over it. I have heard that a number of countries have been experimenting with time travel and it is possible a correction was made to re-direct the situation-probably unknown to us 99%.

Will said:

Yes, yes, yes! Mandela died in prison…

Alex posted this very interesting update about Nelson Mandela:

I live in South Africa and ‘Nelson Mandela’ was admitted to hospital last week Saterday.

Here’s the REALLY interesting part:

3 weeks ago a Dakota DC3 flew to Qunu where he lives with his medical team aboard. The female pilot failed her flying license, and her instructor gave the Air Force the strict orders to never test her again as she as zero ability to fly. Anyway, 3 weeks ago she flew the medical team to Qunu and totaled the DC3 on landing. Luckily everyone survived.

2 weeks ago another Dakota DC3 flys to Qunu and this time it crashes in the Drakensberg mountains killing all on board.

These weekly flights were said to be for Mandela’s health check-up’s. But when the second DC3 crashed killing everyone the media immediately denied that any medical personnel were on board!?

Last week Saturday Mandela was admitted to hospital for ‘routine tests’ at One Military in Pretoria. Tuesday the media said he had lung infection from TB that he contracted during his 27 year prison stay. Wednesday we were told he was at the Heart Clinic in Pretoria and that he was never at One Military. On Friday he was supposed to be discharged and today we were told that he had gall stones removed.

As you can see, if you remember Nelson Mandela’s death in the 1980s or 1990s, or at some other time prior to 2013, you’re not alone.

Nelson Mandela Died in Prison? [First article]

Original Mandela Effect articleNote: This was the original post that launched this website.  I’ve updated it to include more recent information.

Nelson Mandela’s 20th-century death is just one unusual memory among thousands. Visit the “Major Memories” page  to see many other surprising topics.

Nelson Mandela died in prison, long before his loss on December 5th, 2013.

Many people – perhaps thousands – seem to believe that.

That’s where the name of this phenomenon – and my original Mandela Effect website – came from.

I’m the person who first popularized that phrase, and here’s what I said, back in 2009, slightly updated with newer information.

See, I thought Nelson Mandela died in prison.  I thought I remembered it clearly, complete with news clips of his funeral, the mourning in South Africa, some rioting in cities, and the heartfelt speech by his widow.

Then, I found out he was still alive.

My reaction was sensible, “Oh, I must have misunderstood something on the news.”

I didn’t think about it again for many years, until – in the VIP suite at Dragon*Con – a member of Security (“Shadowe”) casually mentioned that many people “remember” when Nelson Mandela died in prison.

That caught my attention in a hurry.

One thing led to another, and I discovered a large community of people who remember the same Mandela history that I recall.

Others have similar “false” memories.  One of the next earliest conversations was about the death of Billy Graham.  (He was alive at the time people started reporting that.)

Some claimed that people were confused, and actually recall Mr. Graham’s retirement announcement, or perhaps the televised funeral of Mr. Graham’s wife.

Those who clearly remember the announcement and funeral coverage… they disagree heartily. (Billy Graham died in Feb 2018, long after his funeral was discussed on the Mandela Effect website.)

However, it’s not just deaths.

People have told me about a variety of odd conflicts between their vivid memories and the world they’re currently living in.

For example…

During Dragon*Con 2010, someone insisted that he remembered a Star Trek episode that – according to one star of the show – was never even filmed.

The person who remembered the alternate episode wasn’t weird or wild-eyed… he was a very normal person, and only referenced the episode as part of a routine conversation.

I was there when he heard that the episode never existed.  He was stunned, and quickly tried to find a logical explanation for his “faulty” memory.

And then, when people discovered that there never were any “Berenstein Bears” books, and no movie included the line, “Luke, I am your father” … the Mandela Effect went viral.

These aren’t simple errors in memory; they seem to be fully-constructed incidents (or sequential events) from the past.  To many of us, these seem to exceed the normal range of forgetfulness.

Even stranger, other people seem to have identical memories.

But what’s going on?  And what’s causing it?

My favorite sci-fi explanations include the possibility of parallel realities, quantum science, real-life “Sliders” experiences, and alternate history.

But, of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the Mandela Effect. Some could be faulty memories. Some could be errors in news reports, and online pranks. But others…? Nobody knows, yet.

If you believed that Nelson Mandela died in prison – long before his passing (in this timestream) on 5 December 2013 –  or you have similar memories of a “different” past, you’re not alone.

It’s called the Mandela Effect, and you’ll find lots of fascinating reports about it, if you look for them.


This article – but not the related comments (below) – is available for you to share with others, under a CC-BY-NC-ND license.