Out of Time



Joan Forman. The Mask of Time: The Mystery Factor in Timeslips, Precognition and Hindsight. Macdonald and Janes, 1978.
Included in this book are several accounts by people who claim to have had experiences in which they were transported in time. What interests us is not whether any of these experiences are literal encounters with another time (which we very much doubt), but the quality of phenomenological descriptions of some of these experiences. As summarised by Ms Forman, these include:  
  1. A silvery light which seems to be present during the timeslip, irrespective of the actual weather conditions.
  2. An unusual silence, outside noises seeming to fade.
  3. An apparent distortion of the planes in the scene viewed.
  4. A trigger or threshold factor, setting the experience in motion.
  5. A feeling of physical unease or malaise in the percipient, preceding the onset of the event.
  6. Distortion of sounds or speech, when these are present during the experience.
  7. Abruptness of the onset and termination of the experience.
All of these items, particularly two, five and seven, are to be encountered in accounts of alleged UFO experiences.
Timeslips are basically metachoric experiences, in which the percipient(s) find that the environment of consensus reality is replaced by one which appears to the percipient to belong to a past (or more rarely a future) time. The above features seem to be common to all kinds of waking metachoric experiences.

There is even a case in which ambiguous physical evidence, so typical of ufology, is presented. An elderly man went into a shop in Yarmouth and bought some envelopes for his coin collection. He noted a few period pieces: the Edwardian dress of the lady assistant, her surprise at decimal money, etc., but thought nothing of it. Only later, on returning to the shop, d id he find that the entire scene had changed and there was no lady assistant. The bag in which the envelopes had been put disintegrated, though the envelopes remained. However examination by the manufacturers indicated that they were simply 10 to 15 year old cellulose film bags, and could not have come from the Edwardian period. In other cases alleged conversations are reported in timeslips which seem to have the same absurd and trivial character as those described in UFO encounters.

This is a book which will serve to broaden our understanding of the basis of the UFO phenomenon. -- Peter Rogerson, MUFOB New Series 13, Winter 1978/9


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