Whether or not you reported a hot air balloon memory (one that you know couldn’t really have happened) in my recent survey, if you have one of those memories, I hope you’ll share the details here.
You can post comments anonymously — with a different-than-usual username — if you like. I know this can be a sensitive topic and I’m asking for some personal details.
I’d like to see if people with the hot air balloon memory (or memories) might have had it implanted by a researcher in Elizabeth Loftus’ study, or by someone wanting to emulate her study to confirm or deny her results.
As an aside: I consider that kind of research completely unethical, appalling, and unacceptable. It’s even worse that people like Alan Alda don’t recall the memory being implanted until something triggers the truth.
Here’s what I’d like to know, if you have a hot air balloon memory that you know can’t have happened in real life. (Answer as many or few of these questions as you’re comfortable with. And, if this triggers anything unpleasant, end your comment immediately and find something pleasant to take your mind off this.)
If you have an “impossible” hot air balloon memory…
- When were you born? (It’s okay to say “first half of the 70s” or something vague, if you’d rather not specify a year.)
- Where did you live when the memory took place? (If it’s a small, rural town, also mention the nearest college town or nearest city.)
- Where were you when you first remembered that memory? Is there any location (geographical) where you seem to recall that memory the most clearly? (Not necessarily where it happened, or an obvious trigger location like a theme park or hot air balloon event.)
- When did you first clearly recall that memory? Was it always with you, or did something bring it to the forefront?
- What happened in the false memory? (As brief or detailed a summary as you’d like.)
- Was it a happy memory or an unpleasant one?
And, if you’d like to share any other thoughts that might be relevant, that’s great.
Remember: I’m not saying that your hot air balloon memory was implanted. In fact, your memory might be from a different reality, and its emotional content has kept it active among your memories in this reality.
In this conversation, I’m hoping to uncover commonalities (or that they have nothing in common) among these kinds of memories, to see what might be revealed.
[UPDATE: Comments are now closed.]