Talking time travel, Charlie Chaplin and Donald Trump with filmmaker George Clarke

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George Clarke is an award-winning film director, screenwriter, producer and founder of independent film company Yellow Fever Productions. Best known for his micro-budget zombie horror flicks, his sixth feature film, The Blood Harvest, won two awards at the 2015 Freak Show Horror Film Festival in Florida.

But back in 2010, George shot to worldwide attention for an entirely different reason. He found what he believed to be a time traveller in a Charlie Chaplin DVD extra and posted his discovery on YouTube, sparking a 21st-century urban legend.

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Today I’m interviewing George in order to get to the bottom of his thoughts on the time travel conspiracy happening all around us…

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Hi George. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. How have you been and what are you working on right now?

Thanks for the interest and support! The past 6 months have been pretty crazy on a personal level, which in turn has scuppered the latter half of 2016 for me. We’ve had some major delays in the production of my 7th feature film, Mindy Has To Die, which is based on the novella by US horror comedy writer Jeff Strand. It began shooting in June but with so much having happened in between I’ve still got 3 days to schedule for completion. This meant that at the 7th Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival in November, it was the first time in all these years I didn’t have a premiere of my new film. But we’ll get there! I’ve had worse thrown at me over the years and I’m still going…

One of the things you’re known for is the ‘Chaplin’s Time Traveller’ YouTube video, which is approaching 7 million views. In it you talk about how you’d spotted a possible time traveller in an extra on the DVD of Charlie Chaplin film The Circus. Can you talk me through what was going through your head when you first saw this clip?

It’s almost 7 million on my YouTube channel, yes, but I still can’t get over the fact that it was shown on most (if not all) major news channels, breakfast shows and media websites around the world. Crazy! I had noticed the video about a year before I made my discovery public. In fact, a few months earlier, I did a live reveal at our 2nd film festival to an audience and left most people speechless by what they saw. It led to some amazing debates of course!

When I first found it, I remember sitting on the couch just casually watching the premiere footage of The Circus. I’ve always loved old footage so I was watching intently at what was happening on screen. And as you become comfortable watching things in 1928, something as odd as someone talking on a handset really stands out. I jumped up off the couch and rewound the footage to double check, then started calling people to take a look.

Why did you conclude that this woman was a time traveller?

It was 1928 and the woman seemed to be having a fun chat on a mobile phone! What else could I think? Plus, I love the romance of it being a time traveller. Perhaps Chaplin himself went back in time to attend a personal event that made him very happy, but of course, had to be in disguise.

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Sneak peek of my story “Rachel Can See” now available to read!

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Happy Halloween!

You can now read a sneak peek of my new short story and honourable mention winner, Rachel Can See, the latest of the Million Eyes Short Stories, published in Metamorphose Volume 2. A Facebook user has already given the story a positive review: “Good story about a woman who is convinced she is not crazy.”

Here’s the link to read the excerpt!

By the way, today’s the last day you can pre-order Metamorphose V2 and get 50% off. It features 10 stories from upcoming science fiction and fantasy authors (including yours truly). Current price is only $7.50.

You can purchase a print copy of the journal here, and an e-book version here. The e-book is currently only $2.99.

Remember, once Metamorphose have sold 1,000 copies, they’re donating 50% of all profits to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) to help people suffering from anxiety and depression.

Enjoy!

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I’m going to be on Spaced Out Radio! October 25th Pacific Time, October 26th London Time

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Howdy!

Next week I’ll be on Canadian online radio station, Spaced Out Radio, talking to host Dave Scott about UFOs, conspiracies, time travel and general weirdness. Eeeek! I’m nervous and excited but I’m sure it’ll be great fun — for me and for listeners!

The interview, I’m told, will last two hours and Dave wants my take on some of the stranger conspiracies, mysteries and monsters  out there. I’ve certainly covered some utterly crackers theories of late! Expect talk about royal lizards and Flat Earth. Hopefully we’ll get into some time travel urban legends (my favourites) and things like the Loch Ness Monster and the suicidal munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. I’ll also make sure to talk a little bit about my conspiracy fiction writing, namely Million Eyes and the Million Eyes Short Stories, which are ultimately the reason why this blog exists.

I understand I’ll also be answering questions from the audience in Spaced Out Radio’s chat rooms.

The show broadcasts from British Columbia and will start at 9pm Pacific Time, midnight Eastern Time, and 5am London Time.

And yes, as I’m a Brit on London Time, it’s going to be an early start for me! Hopefully I’ll be coherent. Thank you Flying Spaghetti Monster for inventing coffee.

The show will broadcast live on Spaced Out Radio’s website at all the times I’ve just mentioned, and you can also listen to it on Tune In. If you’re in the UK and, like most people, your bed is more important at that time in the morning, you’ll be able to listen to the show on the station’s YouTube page afterwards. I’ll post a link on the blog when I have it. I’m also told you’ll be able to download the show from iTunes.

 

Time traveller spotted in Charlie Chaplin DVD extra

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Whoops. A time traveller has made an epic boo-boo and got themselves caught on film in 1928. And now filmmaker George Clarke has exposed their clumsy arse to the world.

I’ve mentioned this particular urban legend a few times recently. That’s because it inspired my short story, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, which was published last month in Tigershark Issue 11. In the story, facts and fiction are mixed, so let me now present the uncooked facts.

In 2010, Belfast filmmaker George Clarke posted a video on YouTube explaining that he had discovered evidence of time travel in a Charlie Chaplin DVD extra. The extra was a short behind-the-scenes clip of the premiere of The Circus at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 1928. The Circus is one of Charlie Chaplin’s most popular movies, the seventh-highest-grossing silent film in cinema history, and still attracts high praise today. So it’s a wonder it took seven years for someone to notice this (the DVD came out in 2003).

Anyway, 20 seconds into the clip, you see a bunch of circus animal statues outside the Chinese Theatre. Walking behind a fake zebra is a large woman in a hideous dress, hooded coat, pointed shoes and a black top hat. But her terrible fashion sense and looking a bit like a man in drag is not what caught George’s eye. It was the item she was holding to her ear and talking into.

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Strange but true? The green children of Woolpit

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The quaint little English village of Woolpit in Suffolk is home to a mysterious legend. In the 12th century, two nameless children showed up there out of the blue. They spoke an unknown language, ate only raw beans and their skin was green. Were they aliens? Demons? Time travellers? Sick children suffering from chlorosis?  

One day, during the reign of King Stephen (the one who fought a war with his cousin, Empress Matilda, and got an honourable mention in my Game of Thrones article two weeks ago), the villagers of Woolpit found two children—a young brother and sister—beside one of the pits they used for catching wolves. They wore unfamiliar clothing but looked human, apart from their green skin. They were taken in by a local landowner called Richard de Calne and initially refused all food. When they came across raw beans, they hungrily tucked in. Eventually they learned to eat food other than raw beans and started to lose their green pallor.

The brother didn’t last. He was sickly and frail. The children were baptised, then the boy died. His sister, however, adjusted to her new life and learned to speak English. That’s when she told people her story. She and her brother had come from a place called ‘St. Martin’s Land’, where the sun never shone, the light was like twilight and all the inhabitants were green. Just before arriving in Woolpit, they’d been herding their father’s cattle and had followed them into a cavern. They heard the sound of bells, saw a bright light and suddenly found themselves in the wolf pit.

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Time travel in Times Square? The strange case of Rudolph Fentz

An alleged photo of the mysterious Rudolph Fentz

An alleged photo of the mysterious Rudolph Fentz

When people go missing, does anyone ever think that they might’ve fallen through time? Of course not, because time travel’s impossible… isn’t it?

In 1950, a man in Victorian-era clothes was spotted in Times Square, New York City. Witnesses who saw him said he looked startled and disoriented, like he didn’t know where he was. Then he ran out in front of a taxi and was killed.

When his body was searched, a number of 19th century items were discovered in his pockets: old, obsolete banknotes, a copper token bearing the name of a saloon, a bill from a stable for washing a carriage and feeding a horse. None of these items showed any sign of aging.

Also found were some business cards with the name “Rudolph Fentz” on them, plus a letter to Fentz that was postmarked June 1876.

Captain Hubert V. Rihm of the NYPD Missing Persons Department investigated and eventually tracked down Rudolph Fentz’s daughter-in-law. She said that one evening in 1876, her husband’s father went out for a stroll and disappeared. Rihm checked missing persons records for 1876. To his astonishment, there was an entry for a ‘Rudolph Fentz’ matching the description of the man who’d been run over in Times Square.

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Do the Nazca Lines prove that ancient humans could fly?

The Nazca Lines were discovered by a Peruvian archaeologist in 1927 and have bewildered the world ever since. Some say they reveal a shocking truth: humans were capable of manned flight 1,500 years ago…

The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs—aka drawings on the ground—spread across 168 square miles of the Nazca Desert in Peru and consisting of 13,000 lines. The drawings include depictions of a spider, hummingbird, lizard, monkey, pelican and various other creatures, as well as geometric patterns and straight lines stretching for miles. Carbon dating has estimated that they are at least 1,500 years old.

What do they mean? Scientists and archaeologists are still trying to work this out. Many believe that the ancient Nazca Indians created them to be seen by their gods from the sky, perhaps as some kind of worship or message. Others have looked for astronomical connections. To this day, nobody knows what the lines really mean or what their purpose was.

For me, though, it’s not about what or why. It’s about how. The Nazca Lines are a bit like Stonehenge. Nobody knows Stonehenge’s true purpose, but the big question is how on Earth ancient tribespeople were able to haul those enormous 50 ton stones up onto the Salisbury Plain and erect them. It’s a question that’s never been satisfactorily answered.

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The book that no one can read: the Voynich manuscript

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Where’s Robert Langdon when you need him? And what would the star of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code make of the Voynich manuscript, the world’s most mysterious book?

The Voynich manuscript is well known today as the book that no one can read, and the code that no one can crack. The manuscript comprises writings and illustrations, but all the words are in an unknown language, and no one can decipher the meaning of the pictures either.

There are about 240 pages, with some missing, and the book has been carbon-dated to sometime between 1404 and 1438. Ever since its discovery in 1912, professional and amateur cryptographers – including British and American codebreakers from the First and Second World War – have worked tirelessly to decode it. But to this day, we are no closer to understanding the truth.

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