There’s an excellent article by Mike Dash
over at the Smithsonian blog that should catch the imagination of
ATS. It deals with an apparent case of ‘time-slips.'
The bare bones of the story involve three young Naval cadets trying to find their way to a designated location, way back in ‘57. When they arrived,
it was as if they’d wandered into a village that had been suspended in time like a bug in amber…
When Three British Boys
Traveled to Medieval England (Or Did They?)
Looking back, the really strange thing was the silence. The way the church bells stopped ringing as the little group of naval cadets neared the
village. The way even the ducks stood quiet and motionless by the shallow stream that ran across the road where the main street began.
And, when the boys thought about it afterward, they recalled that even the autumn birdsong faded as they neared the first houses. The wind had dropped
to nothing, too.
Not a leaf stirred on the trees they passed. And the trees appeared to cast no shadows.
Spooky stuff, huh? Exploring the silent village, they approached a building and looked through the dirty windows to see the carcasses of oxen
mouldering inside. One of them recalled how…
There were no tables or counters, just two or three whole oxen carcasses which had been skinned and in places were quite green with age. There
was a green-painted door and windows with smallish glass panes, one at the front and one at the side, rather dirty-looking.
I remember that as we three looked through that window in disbelief at the green and mouldy green carcasses… the general feeling certainly was one
of disbelief and unreality…
The story came to light in the ‘90s and was investigated quite thoroughly. Old maps were studied and efforts were made to try and identify *when*
the village looked this way. It was found that the building described was once a butcher’s shop in the 18th Century. Some felt that the boys could
have stumbled into a period just after the Black Death in the 14th Century. A creepy time in anyone’s imagination…who knows?
Mike Dash investigates the evidence and favours (on probability) the explanation that they hadn’t wandered into a peculiar ‘no man’s land,’
but had experienced a condition known as derealisation
Derealization (sometimes abbreviated as DR) is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or
unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one's environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth.
Derealisation isn’t a group activity, according to the literature, rather than a personal experience. That doesn’t rule it out as an explanation,
it seems to have been an anomalous experience and anything remains possible...
What strikes me, is the descriptions of the carcasses and the building they lay in. According to the evidence, and factors, in the article, they
remain, in my view, anomalous. If it was during the Black Death period, glazed windows were an uncommon luxury. If it was 1957, why would rotting
carcasses be laying in an empty building?
It's a thought-provoking account and a good piece of research by Dash. Imagining the experience leaves an uncomfortable feeling...like reading a good