I Hope They Got That Edith Keeler Thing Sorted Out

This guy thinks he has found evidence of time travel, in the form of a person talking on a cell-phone-like device caught on film in 1928. But wouldn't having a cell phone in 1928 be like having the first fax machine?


  1. Retardo:

    Not if earlier (or later) time travelers built a cell tower nearby in 1927, as depicted in the old RKO Pictures logo. Or if it's actually a radio, not cell phone. Or maybe it's a cell phone, but the film itself was actually made in the future using old cameras and film stock, then inserted into the past by time travelers. Or the item was recently photoshopped into this print of the film by non-time-traveling hoaxsters.

    Once you grant time travel, you've granted a magic wand, and nothing proves anything. Some people have seen this as a sort of ontological (or something) argument against the possibility of time travel. I see it as an argument against talking to people who argue about time travel.

  2. me:

    LOL. Clearly must have been aliens then.

  3. john VI:

    Of Course, those same time travelers must have gone back further again, since the first mobile phone patent was issued in 1908. Those buggers must be filthy rich by now!

  4. morganovich:

    not if was an intertemporal cell phone.

    if you can move people through time, why not radio waves?

  5. Sol:

    To be fair, I've been known both to talk to my cell phone ("Note to self: today is garbage day." is a very useful thing to say to a Droid phone) and listen to it (got about 5 gigs of music on it, for instance, and the Kindle software can read to me) without need of a cell tower. I've not had an entire conversation with it yet, however.

  6. ArtD0dger:

    Uh oh. By posting this clip, this guy has effectively notified the future time travelers that they were detected. This will force them to return to the past to rectify the temporal paradox, thereby ending our time line. Prepare yourself for a big "poof."

  7. Jody:

    Or it's a two-way radio and time travelers travel in pairs

  8. Sameer Parekh:

    Obviously, she is talking to The Doctor.


  9. DMS:

    I bumped into this retronaut website a few days ago - did Coyote have another (earlier) link?

    Anyway, this woman seems to be scratching or shielding her face while muttering. I find the *photo* of the time traveller in a different post on teh site much cooler (although also easily explained - see comments).


  10. Orson:

    Connect the dots, people. Joseph Williams Collins, a theatrical agent from the U.K., was trying to find some American talent to contract with during the time of the Chaplin film and that's when he met a waitress/dancer. The mysterious 'woman' was sent by Starfleet so that this meeting never happene and that Mr. Collins's life would be altered in such a way so that Joan Collins [or Edith Keeler, if you prefer] would never be born -- a way to really undo the mess Dr. McCoy made. The problem is that the Romulans are hell bent on sabotaging Starfleet's plan and life as we know it -- AT THIS MOMENT -- shows the Romulans are succeeding.

    I agree with ArtD0dger: one day the whole thing (and everything that led up to this blog post) goes "Poof!"

    Nanu nanu,


  11. epobirs:

    I'm reminded of this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046213/

    A movie cobbled together from a failed TV series. One of the things Heinlein specified was cordless telephones of the sort that became common in the 1980s. The production designer had no clear concept of what Heinlein was trying for, so he took a standard AT&T desk phone of the era, cut off the cords, and attached huge coil antennas to the handsets. The director didn't get it either, so the characters were glued to the spot while having telephone conversations, as if the phone only had a range of about three feet.

  12. Steve-O:

    I'd heard that fax technology was developed contemporaneously w/ the telegraph. So while the having the first fax machine would indeed be useless, I think that that useless creation happened, somewhat surprisingly, in the mid-19th century.

    A quick Google search appears to confirm this, but I didn't see any links that I'd call definitive evidence.