Challenger Explosion – 1984, 1985, 1986?

In this reality, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in January 1986. However, it’s clear that many others recall it exploding earlier. (Also, the Columbia disaster was much later in 2003, so it’s not a simple name confusion.)

In fact, in 2010 — before the Challenger topic became popular at this website — someone actually posted a Challenger explosion video at YouTube, and labeled it as a 1984 event. Was that deliberate misinformation, or the result of someone else’s alternate memory? (That’s a rhetorical question no one can answer with available data.)

One of the first references to an alternate Challenger memory was posted in 2012 by colin:

Secondly,and most importantly is the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.I was in my final year of junior school and there was a TV set that was swithed on in the dinner hall to show pupils what had happened.I know every detail of that room,the position of the TV and various people including a girl that i fancied who spoke to me for the first time ever that day.That day however was in 1983 and NOT 1986 as other websites would have me believe.There is no way in hell it happened in my later school in 1986 because certain people,including that girl never went there.We also never had that dinner hall with the TV set which was used at other times to show us educational schools programs.

I’ve moved most of the Challenger-specific comments to this post. So, starting now, this is the best place for Challenger-related comments and conversations.

88 thoughts on “Challenger Explosion – 1984, 1985, 1986?”

  1. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is another example of this. More than a few people get the date wrong, or do they?

    1. Hi, David!

      Ooh, that’s a good one, and I’m so glad you mentioned it!

      I saw (really) the disaster broadcast, live. I can recall it clearly, and I got on the phone and called my mom and told her not to watch TV. She had no idea what I was talking about, and I was a blubbering wreck, having just seen it.

      Until my mom passed away, a couple of years ago, it was something we referenced regularly in conversation, because it was so very weird.

      The thing is, the event was on a time delay or something. I guess that was so they could edit out anything horrendous, but there was no way to edit out what happened. So, they ran the tape and the American people saw it.

      Apparently, I saw it — on my TV — about three minutes before it aired. It was not a psychic thing. I really saw it on the TV.

      So, I think that was a significant ripple, tear, or whatever, in our timestream.

      And, until you mentioned it, it didn’t cross my mind that it was a Mandela Effect kind of event. In my mind, it was just something weird that I couldn’t explain. And, it never occurred to me that others may have witnessed or experienced the broadcast at an “alternate” time.


      Too bad the Global Consciousness Project wasn’t going then. (I’ll have to check to be sure it wasn’t, but I think that was far before technology was at that level of facility.)

      Of course, now I’m wondering if the GCP indicates when the timestream (or membrane) hits a snag, tear, opening, portal, or whatever. The “eggs” registered something traumatic hours before 9/11. In general, the eggs sometimes flare anomalously before an actual event. What if that event — in a parallel reality — is influencing our reality…?

      Cool stuff. It’s definitely worth its own page.

      Thank you!


      1. I too remember the space shuttle challenger happening at a different date than recorded history. According to our current history, challenger exploded in 1986. But I have clear memories of it happening in 1984.

        1. I remember the challenger disaster as 1984, clearly. I was 14 yrs old in 1984 , and I was in Jr High. This is a very clear memory to me because of science class. We were supposed to watch the event live on TV (was is even ever shown live. . .?) but our class’s test grades had been so bad, the teacher said we were NOT allowed to have the TV in the room as punishment. On that day, she gave us busy work and she left the room (she didn’t say where she was going, just that we better do our work and that she’d be in the hall within earshot). But, I had left my notebook in my locker. Students were not allowed in the hallways without a note; however, my parents were teachers at this Jr High, and all the teachers knew me, so I had special privileges. So, I left the classroom to get my notebook, and a bunch of teachers were in the library looking at a TV (on a cart) watching something…and when I looked, it was the launch…something wasn’t right and the teachers were crying. That scared me. So I went back to the classroom with my notebook and sat there upset. . . then when the teacher came back, you could see she had been crying. That upset me more…in that way that young people act when they see an adult cry, it’s not reassuring and makes the child more upset. It is a vivid, painful memory. I was 14. But in 1986, I was 16 and in High School. A different building. My parents didn’t work there. And I have no memory of the Challenger exploding on take off when I was 16.
          I also remember Billy Graham’s Funeral because I thought he died shortly AFTER his wife and how touching it was, she died and then he died.
          And New Zealand . . .first I thought it was to the West (SW) of Australia but was surprised to find it was North East (near PN) but now it’s on the East and South… I think. Ask me tomorrow and it will be somewhere else.

          1. I have NOT A Doubt that Challenger exploded in 1984. I lived in an apartment in Barrie Ontario and was preparing for my daughter’s wedding. The TV was on and I saw the disaster.

            In 1986, my first grandson was born, 2 years after the marriage, and I lived in Toronto, Ontario.

            Can such family memories outshine the date of Challenger? No way! They are permanent, and the explosion was 1984.


            1. Tried writing this out in a lot of ways but it keeps coming out faily incomprehensible, so I’ll just keep it simple. Whichever way I look at it Challenger blew up no later than 1985 in my memory. We did a project on the space program at school the year 85-86. I remember the teachers considered pulling it from the syllabus prior to that academic year, but went ahead after all. I’m certain that when we briefly studied the disaster my teacher was writing retrospectively, even using the phrase “blew up last year”.

          2. I realize I had a wrong memory re the Challenger. In 1984 AND 1986 I lived in the same place……it was the months that threw me off. So I can go with 1986.

            1. Annie, that’s great! One more “alternate memory” you can cross off the list. Frankly, if all my not-quite-right memories turned out to be unexplained, I’d be pretty anxious about how often I was sliding! LOL

          3. I distinctly remember the Challenger explosion being in 1986. It was my first year in college. I was with a group of girls in the dorm and we we watched it live on tv. Some of us were crying.
            As a side note, I also remember the Bernstein Bears as a kid.

          4. Wait Challenger didn’t explode till 86? that’s not possible I was in high school in 86 the shuttle exploded when I was in junior high I remember because I was watching it in history class with my crazy 8th grade history teacher.

          5. I was 13 in 1984 and CLEARLY and DISTINCTLY remember watching the explosion live in middle school. I remember almost everybody crying, the sound of Mrs. Marsh’s voice breaking as she tried to calm us down and then, after several minutes of people crying or being silent (not a single person said a word), the school principal’s voice coming on over the loud speaker asking all the teachers to turn off the television sets and to have all the students meet in the gymnasium. I sat by my, then, best friend, Chris Millar; we both wanted to be astronauts and were excited to be watching this launch live. We talked about the explosion extensively that year and how the school staff were extremely supportive of the kids who were traumatized; and, for the remainder of the year, the teachers would occasionally talk about it with the class and/or have us break in to small groups.

            I was going to school at Eielson AFB in Alaska (Ben Eielson Junior High), living in North Pole, AK; after this school year finished, my Father was stationed at Elmendorf AFB and I spent 8th grade at Central Middle School in Anchorage. By the time 1986 rolled around, I was attending high school at Bartlett High School. There is absolutely no way that the disaster happened any other time in history than 1984; that was the last year that I ever saw my friend Chris. I remember this event extremely well.

            [Fiona’s note: SteveO, I’ve added that surname initial to your comments without it, to distinguish you from other Steves at this site.]

        2. The space shuttle did not explode in January 1986, like Wikipedia states. (I just went to look it up.) I have a clear memory of watching it explode on TV in the third grade. It was a big deal. I was 8 years old. My mother was currently working in the school I was enrolled it at the time. My mother died in 1986. I was 10 when she died. There is NO way I would not remember these dates. Incredible. I had no idea that this was a “thing” — I just assumed that it was public knowledge the date the Challenger exploded. 1984. Dur. What’s going on???

          1. First, I Just wanted to say that I’m sorry you lost your mom at age 10. That must have been really hard.

            I’m surprised at how many people have this alternative memory of the Challenger blowing up two years earlier. For me it has always been in 1986 and I have my own firm memories (below) linking it to that date.

            What’s happening is that you may be finding out that “reality” is much more fluid than you thought. Not a small discovery. When I found out about this thing called “The Mandela Effect” last December, I really couldn’t think of anything else for 2 to 4 days (can’t remember exactly how long.) It was even hard to get to sleep at night. I call it a personal “paradigm shift.” It still occupies a large part of my consciousness thinking every single day. It does sound nuts until you can wrap your mind around the thought that seems to make sense is not necessarily what is true.

            Don’t doubt yourself but don’t doubt that the memories that match what sources (like Wikipedia and all other sources online) say about the event happening in January 1986.

            1. Thanks, Julia!

              I’m so grateful when friends like you remind us that the Mandela Effect opens so many, happier alternatives to the traditional right/wrong model we’re taught in school.

              Our conflicting memories may all be correct… but not necessarily “correct” in the reality where we are at that moment.

              It’s one thing to be able to open a mathematics book and say, “See? 1 + 1 = 2.”

              It’s not quite so easy to explain to someone in the “dilemma” reality that some of your memories reference experiences in a “dilemna” reality. It’s not as if we can open a book or point a telescope and show them the reference.

              Still, I do like how the Mandela Effect takes the edge off the right/wrong dichotomy, giving us (perhaps) infinite ways we all can be right. And, I’m confident that this concept will become more accepted as physics continues to find evidence supporting alternate realities.

              Thanks again!


          2. Hi Julia and Fionna,
            Thanks for your responses…

            So I reached out to a friend to ask what SHE remembered of the event.
            This was her take on it:
            Huh? I agree with you that we were in 3rd grade. I remember being in Mrs. McGonagle’s class and watching the Challenger blow up. I thought it was a light show. When my parents explained to me what happened, I remember feeling no emotions about it and wondering why I didn’t care. Anyway, let’s do the math.
            First, here is a chart of how old kids are in each grade:

            ages 4-5: Pre-Kindergarten (optional and not included in all schools…sometimes it’s still part of preschool)
            ages 5-6: Kindergarten
            ages 6-7: 1st grade
            ages 7-8: 2nd grade
            ages 8-9: 3rd grade
            ages 9-10: 4th grade
            ages 10-11: 5th grade

            So, if we started third grade when we were 8, in September, the year must have been 1984. (1976- 1984 = 8 yrs). But, if the Challenger blew up in January, the year must have been 1985!

            I think I remembered the year 1986 because my most recent memory of the Challenger was from college. And the College talked all about 1986 being the year it blew up. In fact, Christa McCauliffe’s mother came to talk about her daughter at some school event… So, that begs the question: why is there a need for a conspiracy? Or a glitch in the matrix? I don’t get it.

            And in asking two other people from my hometown, I got varying answers as well… both though it was 1984 / 1985. I have SUCH a solid memory about this that finding this website has really struck deep.

            While I agree (and am fascinated!) on the possibilities of physics/alternative timelines… it also makes me really take a hard look at mainstream media. I have known that media is manipulated (I’ve been exploring “the rabbit hole” for quite some time!)… but never realized the DEPTH of possibilities to it all. After reading about “Tank Boy” … I have come to the conclusion that China and/or TPTB (the powers that be) have manipulated the official history on this AFTER the event… OR the possibility that what was shown in America at that time was manipulated to generate a certain opinion on China.

            So, while the idea of fluidity in timelines is intriguing, from where I stand, it is more likely an aspect of “system control” and we are getting a peak behind the curtain, so to speak.

            Thank you, Fiona, for this website. And btw, it WAS Berenstein!!! 🙂

            1. I was born in March of 86. My mom went in to early labor in Jan of that year and had to spend a couple days in the hospital until the labor stopped. The challenger happens while she was in the hospital and being bored and just local channels on the room’s TV she said that was all she had to watch was news about the explosion. She got so sick of it that she can’t stand to hear about it to this day.
              I’m her only child so she hasn’t got her dates wrong.
              It must be a timeline slip type event.

              1. The Challenger definitely blew up in January 1986, I watched it live on tv

                by ‘definitely’ I mean my strong strong memory of it is blowing up in January 1986. What’s interesting to me is that it seems possibly younger people are remembering it earlier, 1984. Are the memories of the dates the Challenger blew up related to the age of the people remembering? just curious if that makes sense

              2. I was also born in March of 1986, and I remember reading about the Challenger explosion when I was four or five (I was a precocious kid) and thinking that it had happened the year I was born. So if people have slid around in realities, one happened in very early 1986, apparently.

                1. Maybe. The question lingers: Did the slide occur at the time of the event, or sometime after? Someone could have slid into this reality yesterday, bringing with them alternate memories of when the Challenger occurred.

        3. I know for a fact it was 1984. I watched it live in my 5th grade class. I was 10 years old. I remember how horrifying and traumatic it was!

      2. Fiona, Since the beginning of 3rd quarter of 2oth century we had been fed with the doomsday scenario slated for the turn of century. This was an interpretation of nostradamus,people were thankful for the early warning and long lease,fact is people were bewildered when the singularity didn’t happen. Could it be that the event did occur and we were shifted to an alternate earth?. Ever since, surreality has taken over our waking hours which hitherto belonged to the realms of dream world. Dreams still occur, but the waking times are no different.

        1. I definitely saw the Challenger exploding as a senior in college in 1986. I hadn’t been watching news (didn’t own a tv and too busy to read the news) and didn’t know about the mission it until after it happened. Then we talked about it in one class for a whole period. But now that I’ve had my own alternate memories, I can believe some others experienced it at a different time!

      3. Earth Day. My wife and I recall Earth Day being celebrated on 4/20 every year, not 4/22 as the wiki entry suggests. 4/20 was weed, Hitler, Earth Day and Columbine.

        1. Wait what? Earth day has always been 4/20 always! I remember because of how ironic it was that the deep horizon oil spill disaster was to have happened on 4/20. That’s still 4/20/2010 but now earth day is always 4/22 and always was? What?

    2. I recall it happening in 1986, as I was attending Clarion University (I only attended fall ’85-spring ’86), and I was involved in the media department as I was studying mass communications. I remember viewing it on tv then. So I must have been a part of this universe at that time.

  2. Challenger with the teacher on it DEFINITELY happened in 1984!! I remember clearly the living room of the flat we were in, how shocked we all were, my mom saying how sad it was, the scene in the news clip, that was the year we got a color TV so it was all in color, and later that year we moved to another apartment in a totally different part of the city, where the color TV moved to my mother’s room. So there was NO WAY IN HELL this shuttle blew up in 1986.

    1. I was born in 1966, that would make me 20 years old in ’86 – I remember watching the Joan Rivers afternoon talk show where it was interrupted or perhaps she covered it the next day. Point is, I remember being with a friend of mine Sherry at the time, my parents were out of town so she was staying with me. The challenger with the teacher on it blew up with everyone watching it (including her students) when I was 23 or 24 – reason I remember is that my parents forced me to go to re-hab the following March. Also, the reason I knew Sherry was through my ex-boyfriend Jonathan – he was from Ottawa as was Sherry – I started dating him about 2 months before my 21st birthday which is in January – reason I remember is that we were so into each other, and for my 21st b-day my parents took me on a cruise to celebrate – I wrote to Jonathan daily, I missed him so much. I hadn’t met Sherry yet as it was early days in the relationship – this is blowing my mind because I remember sitting with her in the afternoon, and after I had broken up with Jonathan two years later so my memory is well after 1986, I’m saying 1991 at least. The challenger was the one with the frozen thinga-ma-jig right??

      1. Challenger was the one with the frozen o-ring, yes. The ring worked perfectly at room temperature, but physicist Richard Feynman placed it in ice water to mimic the cold morning of launch and it turned brittle. However, I remember this far before Vanilla Ice, and it seemed to be a couple years prior to New Kids On The Block being popular. It’s one of my earliest memories and I was born in 81, so I was apparently in the current timeline by ’86. That’s what my recollection has always been for it in any case.

    2. see and I remember it as happening in the early 90s – I can tell you who I was with, where we were when it happened, this is just so bizarre.

    3. See! And I so remember it in 1986! That’s what makes it so weird! I was in Sweden in 1983-1984; I remember that shuttle explosion so well. I would think that those who were with her or close to her would remember her (the teachers) death. It’s so odd how some of us may have been in a different dimension separated by just a few years.

  3. I have no problem with the Challenger Disaster happening in 1986. What has bothered me for years is that I have two very distinct sets of memories of that day.

    The first is that I was in class. It was seventh grade, and our English teacher–a very earnest type, a little awkward, who I was always embarrassed for because she was so serious about everything–had been very excited about the launch and had been telling us about it nonstop. It was near the beginning of the class period and she had been in her office, listening to the radio, when she came out crying, and told us about what had happened. We all just sat there, kind of shocked, not only because of the disaster, but because a teacher was crying and none of us knew what to do.

    But I ALSO remember, very clearly, that I was at home sick that day, and I was slightly ticked off because my dad was in town, so instead of watching whatever I wanted all day, I had to watch the news with him. And we were watching the launch, and the shuttle (or the camera) kind of turned so that we were watching mostly the back, and all I could see was a ton of smoke, and suddenly there was much MORE smoke. And fire. My dad had been trying to tell me about how the different stages would go, and I just looked at him and asked, “Is it supposed to do that?” And he said, “No, I don’t think so.”

    To this day I don’t know which of these memories is the “real” one.

  4. The Space Shuttle Challenger event I have noticed a lot mentioning the whole different years thing. Well I have a wonderment that has to due with the crew. I have a memory of a Sally Ride being part of the crew and remembering that she was a teacher. I remember hearing about her class mourning over the loss. But last year I was talking about this with my mother and she remembered a teacher and Ms. Ride both. So I looked up the crew listing and their was no mention of Sally Ride. But the teacher was mention tho. Does anyone have this memory too? Or Am I mixing up my facts and misremembering the events details?

    Floating around in space and time,
    Daizy B.

    1. I absolutely have thought that Sally Ride died in an explosion my entire life. Only after reading your memory about it did i look it up and see that she died of cancer… strange

    2. Sally Ride was the teacher on the Shuttle. I vividly remember the day of the explosion – I was in 7th grade and we watched the launch in Social Studies. It was only because a teacher was on board that we were allowed to watch in school.

      1. I was not born until ’86 so do not recall what year it exploded…I remember anniversary shows however and your are right the name of the teacher WAS Sally Ride or maybe she was on and another teacher…Both sound somewhat right to me…

        1. I remember the teacher’s name being christa mcCauliffe or something like that.
          And I remember Sally ride as being the first woman in space.

    3. I thought it was Christina McCallough. But when I looked it up, it was Crista. I had a friend named Christina and I kept thinking it would be so cool to see her go up in space which is how I remembered the teachers name.

    4. I remember the explosion happening in 1985. I was in the 9th grade, I was at home on my couch when it happened. I immediately called my mother at work crying. I stayed home for every shuttle launch because I was planning on being an astronaut. Lets just say that I was obsessed! So I remember it clearly. Also I remember the spelling of the name being McCullough and Sally Ride was on board. I can still remember all of it like it was yesterday.

  5. Hello,

    I am new to the site and these kinds of theories. This is all very fascinating.

    I tend to be skeptical but all the varied recollections of the Challenger shuttle explosion really struck a chord with me! I am actually not sure on the date – 1986 sounds about right to me. However, I am *positive* the explosion occurred in the evening. I was recently shocked to read that it occurred in the morning. (EST)
    I know it was not a rebroadcast because my father made a big deal about it happening live. And there is no way my parents would have let me watch something so awful on the news that night if they had heard what happened earlier in the day (and there is no way they wouldn’t have heard about it. My dad was really excited for us to watch it live and we gathered around to watch it. It was definitely an evening/night launch. The sky was dark.
    It was extremely traumatic watching it blow up live and we were all crying. We also discussed it at school the next morning – who had seen it live and who had only heard about it.

    After learning about this difference a few years ago, I began to lie and tell people I watched it live at school, since the important part was I watched it live and it was traumatic. But I am *certain* I watched it live in the evening at home with my parents.

    I also have two questions – which I hope you do not take the wrong way – I am genuinely curious.
    1. Why do you use Wikipedia as a source when Wikipedia should never be used as a source? I could edit it right now to say that Madonna had died in 1990 or something…
    2. What are your thoughts on Ockham’s razor? (relating to simpler explanations such as two memories getting mixed up, media mistakes, etc… being more likely than time slips? Again, not meant to offend anyone certain they have slipped – but wondering)


    1. Quick reply, as I’m knee-deep in comments to approve, this morning.

      I’m using Wikipedia because it’s an easy reference with lots of footnotes, usually clickable. I’m not saying it’s the ultimate source. I include the links to help readers do their own research. And really, if it’s a bad entry at Wikipedia and it’s also a popular topic (as most of these are), it’s usually quickly corrected at Wikipedia.

      My Occam’s razor for Mandela Effect is: If multiple people have the exact same memory, the simplest explanation is that it happened that way. Maybe it didn’t happen in this reality, but quantum studies suggest that other, similar realities may exist. (Occam’s razor explained: )

  6. I just realized I the Challenger date doesn’t match up for me either. It just came together as I was going through the memory list again, and saw that it was 1986 – I didn’t think anything of it at first, but then I did the math and realized I remember it as 1984 or 1985. It had to be, because I was in kindergarten at the time. I very clearly remember my kindergarden teacher Mrs. Kipps telling us before the launch that there was going to be a teacher on this space shuttle mission and how exciting it was, and then I remember her tearfully explaining to us about the disaster. Also, my dad came and picked me up from school so I could watch the coverage with him and he’d be there to answer any questions I had. It COULDN’T have been 1986, because in 1986 my dad had a job that caused him to be away from home Monday-Friday most weeks.

  7. “Challenger shuttle explosion date? (Per Wikipedia, 28 Jan 1986.)”

    OK, I swear it was Jan 1987. No idea 28th or not. But I was quite surprised once to see it listed a 1986.

    1. I remember Challenger being in ’88. Jan of ’86 I was only 2 years old and we lived in a trailer. I saw the Challenger explosion on the floor of my Grandparent’s living room when I was 5, which in my reality would make it late Sept at the earliest of 1988. Even if it was some sort of anniversary memorial clip that I remember, the time of year would be all wrong because I remember it still being warm enough to play outside in a t-shirt, not a cold January. But even ’87 seems closer to me than ’86 because the place I was in ’86, we moved out of later that year (probably the summer) and the launch I swear I watched live at my Grandparents place because I remember my grandfather always watched the space launches and thought I should always watch them too and him being mortified that I saw it blow up and he didn’t let me watch them after that.

    2. I also remember it as being January of 1987 because I was in kindergarten and we watched it in the gymnasium because it was a big deal that there was a school teacher on board. If it happened in 1986, I would not have been in school (I didn’t go to pre-school).

  8. I have a quick question, and please don’t take this the wrong way because I am just honestly curious. I’ve noticed a lot of people remembering the challenger explosion happening in the spring/summer. Do you happen to remember what caused the explosion in that timeline?

    The reason I ask is because in this timeline, the investigation determined that it was caused by an o-ring failure due to extremely low temperatures resulting in a fuel leak. The o-ring was only tested to 40 degrees and it was 18 degrees the day. 18 degrees is cold for Florida even in the winter. I remember them speculating on the news and in our classes that the cold weather had caused the explosion.

  9. Okay I’m not one to comment on this kind of thing, but I’m compelled to comment on the challenger explosion. I remember it growing in 1984 or 85 & not in the winter! I was born in 1978 in 1984 I was in kindergarten living in Michigan. We moved to Maryland when I was in 1st grade. I explicitly remember coming home from school to our home in Michigan to my father watching coverage of the explosion in our Michigan living room. I also remember not having to take off coats, boots, etc which I must certainly would’ve had to do in Michigan in January. I remember it being a sunny day & being sent out to play.

  10. OK. I have a few things to bring up regarding this. Now I’m not trying to downplay anyone elses memories, but I think these are important discussion points.

    First, I moved to a new town in July of ’87. The Challenger explosion happened at my old school where I started school in ’83 giving me a 4 year timeframe for the memory of the explosuion because we watched it at an assembly in the gym.

    Second, I remember from the very beginning that they speculated the extreme cold weather played a role in the cause of the accident which would put it in the winter. Does anyone have an alternate memory for the cause of the explosion that would offer an explaination for it occurring during warmer weather?

    Third, I remember everyone being excited about Halley’s Comet coming, and everyones facination with it, but in this timestream, it came through in early February of 1986…….I find it hard to believe that people would be excited to look into space with excitement about anything 2 weeks after a shuttle disaster like that. Now I suppose that it could have been the hype leading up to it that I remember, but I also remember people bragging about how many times they saw it and trying to one up each other.

    So, my quandries are if it was always meant to explode regardless of time of year, what caused it to explode during the warmer weather memories? Outside interference? Also, did Halley’s Comet shift too? Are the 2 events tied together somehow?

  11. Columbia disaster in 2003? I thought it was in 2007.
    Wasn’t it close to the jubilee, 2009 = 40 years after moon landing, and = 30 years of space shuttles?

  12. I’m also noticing several people referencing “Christa McCullough,” I would have sworn her name was Christa McAuliffe–actually, I’m checking, and Wikipedia is backing me up on that. So again, I was born in March of 1986, and when I learned about Challenger I remember thinking it happened the year I was born (and to reference other comments on this page, I also remember learning about Chernobyl happening the year I was born, and that Halley’s Comet came around in March of 1986, the month I was born).

    1. Sarah, if it’s any help, some Celtic pronunciations of McCullough and McAuliffe are the same. (The “gh” sounding like an F. Say them out loud and I think you’ll see how much they’re alike.) That could be part of the spelling glitch.

  13. The official date of teh challenger catastrophe seems correct to me. But when I read report after report of it both in this comment section and elsewhere, something strikes me that I remembre differently.
    I always read in recent weeks, there was one school teacher on board. Challenger was celebrated because it would be the first school teacher in space. One school teacher, that’s it.
    I remembre there were pupils onboard, or like you Americans would say “high school students”. The best pupils of the school the teacher worked in were awarded a place in the Challenger space shuttle. When politicians mourned the desaster, they said “we lost some of our best people” referring to the fact that the pupils with the best grades were placed in the shuttle and died in the explosion.

    1. I remember further details.
      The follow students of the same high school were brought in busses to Cape Caneveral at the expense of NASA. So they could see the rocket start with their teacher and follow students in it. A few of them stood at a special point selected for them by NASA. They were filmed.
      The broadcast of the rocket launch was a permanent cut. Every few seconds there was a cut between two cameras one that follows the rocket and the other that shows the pupils, teachers and some NASA personel. The moment when the rocket burst, the TV picture showed the pupils, not the rocket. In no rebroadcast could we see the rocket in the moment of burst. We see the burst indirectly as we saw the spectators react.
      Even more, when the cut went back to the camera that films the rocket, the cameraman had lost track of the rocket. We saw at first only the exhaust trail from where the rocket had not yet burst. He had to move the camera to the right quickly into the cloud.
      There are no pictures of the moment of the explosion (burst), only moments before and after, in the reality I lived in the eighties.
      The pictures of the launch are mainly notable for the crying teachers and pupils. They fell into each others arms.

  14. I was in 7th grade, and watched it in my social studies class. I had class after lunch, and our teacher had been crying….she’d already seen the recording and knew what was coming. I remember sitting in my desk, I remember the t.v. cart, I remember seeing the now-iconic explosion with the two rocket boosters spiralling away in different directions.

    But I KNOW I was in 7th grade, because in our town, Jr. High was in a different building than elementary school, and contained 7th & 8th grade

    If Challenger exploded in January, the year was 1986.

    1. Well, yes, miss kitty. If you recall the Challenger exploding in January 1986, it means your memory isn’t part of the Mandela Effect.

      Note to other readers: I’m not going to keep approving comments that aren’t ME-related. I let a few of them in because they demonstrate that people who’ve experienced the Mandela Effect, and those who haven’t, both use similar contextual reference points when describing their memories. (A few “false memory” enthusiasts seem to believe that “real” memories are described differently. From what I see at this site, the description styles aren’t different.)

  15. Summer of 1984. I vividly remember being in my parents bedroom watching it on their 12inch Sony color TV. My mom turned on the TV for me while she did something in the kitchen. She said, “watch the shuttle launch.” It had to be summer because I was home from school. I remember the shuttle going up and one of the rockets that lifted it on either side of the fuel tank arched off to the right as the shuttle exploded.

    Other people mentioned the name Sally Ride. I remember hearing that name a lot on the news. I don’t know what. I was 6. It was 1984. It definitely was not in January.

  16. Challenger happened in 1984 for me. I was in sixth grade and I was a crossing guard at my school. The morning of the shuttle disaster was a cold winter day. I was helping kids cross the street in front of my school like i always did and that day i had managed to inhale a lot of car fumes as they drove past me and it made me feel sick. About an hour after school started i threw up all over the floor. After i threw up i felt much better, but the nurse sent me home anyway. When i got home i turned on the tv and watched the shuttle blow up. I was in sixth grade and it was cold so it had to have been early 1984 or possibly late 1983.

  17. A friend and I are both 46 years old and when it comes to the shuttle disaster we remember a different date completely. We know for 100 percent certain we were in middle school when it happened, 6th to 7th grade to be more precise. I remember watching the entire thing happen live in class on tv. But that puts the event happening between 1979 or 1980. What the heck is going on? Can anyone tell us what is going on? I know for a fact I watched a shuttle explode when I was middle school. And we graduated in 1986.

  18. I was married in September of 1984, and I remember driving to a friends house to watch it (around lunch time, after I hearing people talk about it at work ). If it was 1986, I would have have just driven home to watch it .. since after I was married we lived very close to my work. I didn’t change jobs, was at that job 10 years. What the heck is going on?

  19. I clearly remember that this event happened in 1984. I was in kindergarten and I didn’t find out about it until I got out of school. My mom was home with my brother (who is two years younger) and she watched it happen on TV. If it had happened in 1986, we both would have been in school and I probably would have seen it happen because I would have been in second grade.

  20. I remember the Challenger disaster as 1986, but this reminds of something VERY odd that day that my friend remembered as well. I had to go to the doctor or somewhere that morning so I slept in. My friend came and picked me up. I mentioned the disaster and she wasn’t aware it had happened. We went to Wendy’s for lunch and there was our daily newspaper in its box for sale with the Challenger all over it. This was about two hours after it happened. I was living in Alaska at the time. It was a morning newspaper, which means it goes to press at 2 a.m. HOW did they get it on their front page? I went to work for that paper a few years later and asked the editor – who had been editor at the time – “How the heck did you put the Challenger on the cover that morning?!” He said: “We didn’t. It was one of the few times we hated being a morning paper!” I said – No – you did have it! He said – I was HERE, we didn’t! Everyone in the newsroom agreed – they were frustrated because they wouldn’t get it until the next day. So I later told my friend: “How funny – I thought they put out a paper that morning.” She said: “They did – don’t you remember?” And discussed our discussion about it at the time. I’m freaked out by that to this day.

  21. It was the spring semester of 1985 when the Challenger disaster happened, not 1986. I distinctly remember the Entomology Professor’s crass comment, “Oh yeah, and in case you hadn’t heard yet, the Space Shuttle blew up this morning.” It was in Applied Entomology class, and my transcript copy shows that class in the Spring semester of 1985.

  22. I had to do a research on Google for this, only to clear my mind I was not the only one who remembered this tragedy in 1984. I remember clearly as well. I was in Leadville, Colorado when it happened. The teacher had brought us into a room to watch. That may not seem like a big deal, however, in 1984 I was at the highest point in the United States to live and in 1986 I was in Lamar, Colorado. There is a huge difference from Mountains above the timber line and the flat lands of South East Colorado.

    It was a big deal because of the teacher who was on board. I remember very clearly where I was, it seems that the Government wants to rewrite history. It must be kept alive when this history happened in the world, lest we forget and repeat after the rinse.

    Thank you for this post and having the courage to post it.


  23. The weird thing for me is that I don’t remember the Columbia disaster at all despite being thirteen in 2003 and quite tuned in to current events at the time.

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