Since its official proposal in 1954 by Hugh Everett III, the idea of parallel universes has boggled the minds of scientists, philosophers, bloggers, and average folk alike. Perhaps we’re just a sliver of time away from an alternate existence, or perhaps regular people we pass on the street are beings from another universe that have already mastered the art of dimensional travel. Quantum physics aside, our only information about these alternate realities comes from the tales of people who claim they found dimensional slips and traveled to unfathomable worlds.
10 The Man From Taured
On a seemingly normal day in 1954, a seemingly normal man allegedly flew into Tokyo, but upon landing at the Tokyo International Airport, his seemingly normal trip had taken a very drastic turn for the weird. When he handed over his passport to be stamped, the man was immediately interrogated as to the whereabouts of his origins. It wasn’t a case of racial profiling: While his passport looked authentic, it listed a country no one had ever heard of called Taured.
The mystery man claimed his country was located between France and Spain, but when he was asked to point it out on a map, he pointed to the Principality of Andorra. Insisting he had never heard of Andorra and that Taured had existed for 1,000 years, he claimed that he was in Japan on business, something he had been doing for the past five years. His passport seemed to back up his story, as it was covered in previous customs and visa stamps, and he carried with him legal currency from several European countries. He even had a driver’s license issued by the mysterious country and a checkbook containing checks from an unknown bank.
After more interrogation and confusion for both parties, the traveler was sent to a nearby hotel until an official decision could be reached. There, two immigration officials stood outside the hotel door until morning. It was then that they discovered the mystery man had vanished without a trace, which was troubling, since the only possible exit was a window with no ledge 15 stories above a busy street. The Tokyo police department conducted an extensive search but continually came up empty-handed. Hopefully, if he really was from a parallel Earth, he was able to find a way back to the comforts of his home in Taured.
9 What If The Beatles Never Broke Up?
While many have attempted to recreate the famous stylings of The Beatles, none have been able to match Fab Four’s unique vibe that made them so revolutionary. But you don’t have to feel bad if you missed out on the ’60s—all you have to do is take a trip to an alternate universe where John Lennon and George Harrison never died and the group is still making music.
A man who has adopted the pseudonym of James Richards claims he was chasing his dog through Del Puerto Canyon in California on September 9, 2009 when he tripped in a rabbit hole and knocked himself unconscious. Upon waking up, he found himself in a room next to an unrecognizable machine with a man who introduced himself as Jonas. According to the strange man, while on a work-related trip for a dimensional travel agency, he had used the machine to transport the unconscious Richards to a parallel Earth in order to help him.
Of course, the logical thing to do in this situation was to start discussing pop culture, which led Jonas and Richards to the topic of The Beatles, a band both dimensions shared. To Richards’s surprise, in this alternate dimension, The Beatles were all alive and still creating music. Richards brought back a souvenir cassette tape entitled Everyday Chemistry that was composed of Beatles songs never released in our dimension, which he helpfully uploaded to his website.
8 Ong’s Hat
Ong’s Hat, New Jersey was founded sometime in the 19th century by a man named Ong after he threw his hat up in the air and lost it to a tree branch. (Or maybe it slipped into another dimension. Who knows?) By the 1920s, the city had become a ghost town, but Ong’s Hat wasn’t forgotten. On the contrary, the abandoned town became the topic for one of the earliest Internet-based conspiracy theories.
During the 1970s and ’80s, a new scientific paradigm called “chaos,” which is concerned with everyday experiences such as the sound of a fan or the buzzing of a computer, began to gain popularity. Two chaos scientists named Frank and Althea Dobbs developed a theory that consciousness could be modeled as its own universe, and if one could master one’s own “mind map,” the ability to control the chaos and possibly travel to other dimensions would be achieved.
According to a long-debunked hoax pamphlet, three other chaos scientists joined the Dobbses in founding the underground Institute of Chaos Studies in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey. It was here that they discovered the “gate” to alternate dimensions by putting scientists in a modified sensory deprivation chamber called “the egg.” Allegedly, they succeeded and mastered the science of interdimensional travel. On their explorations, they discovered a world that never developed human life but sustained plant life and water, which is where the chaos scientists were said to reside ever since.
7 Carol Chase McElheney
In 2006, as Carol Chase McElheney was driving from Perris, California back to her home in San Bernardino, she claims she decided to stop in her hometown of Riverside. It didn’t take long, however, for Carol to realize she wasn’t in the right town, although its geographical location was correct. She claims she couldn’t find her childhood home or those of other family members. In fact, she didn’t recognize any of the houses, even though all the numbers were still correct. Even the cemetery where her grandparents were buried was just a fenced lot full of overgrown weeds.
Was she simply in the wrong town? This would be a strong theory had she not found some landmarks that were familiar, such as the college and middle school. However, her relief in finding something recognizable was short-lived, as she soon noticed the eerie vibe surrounding the Riverside residents who were walking around. She soon left, afraid to approach any of these sinister beings.
Carol believes she had stumbled upon a parallel dimension, in which Riverside was a much darker place. Her story can’t be confirmed because when she returned to Riverside a few years later for her father’s funeral, it had reverted back to the town she knew as a child. She never encountered the alternate dimension Riverside again.
6 Lerina Garcia
In July 2008, a well-educated 41-year-old woman named Lerina Garcia woke up in her bed on what seemed to like an ordinary day. However, as she went on with her normal routine, she claims she found small details that seemed peculiar. For example, her sheets and pajamas were different from what she remembered wearing to bed. She resolved to brush off this curiosity and drove to her place of work, where she had been employed for 20 years. However, upon arriving at her department, she realized it wasn’t actually her department, despite being in its usual location on its usual floor.
Having decided that something weird was definitely going on, she returned home only to find the man from whom she says she had separated six months before, who acted like the separation had never taken place. Her new lover, whom she claimed she had been seeing for four months, was nowhere to be found. Even after hiring a private detective, his whereabouts remained unknown. There was no trace of him at his alleged residence nor any trace of his family.
While it seems more likely that Garcia’s perceptions are the result of some neurological malfunction, she believes she woke up in a parallel universe. Unfortunately for the alleged dimensional traveler, Garcia has not been able to return to her normal universe, leaving her stuck in a dimension where she doesn’t belong with a boyfriend she can’t get rid of.
5 Pedro Oliva Ramirez
At around 11:00 PM on November 9, 1986, Pedro Oliva Ramirez claims he was driving from Seville, Spain to the town of Alcala de Guadaira. Being no stranger to this trek, it came as a shock when he allegedly went around a curve and found himself driving on an unfamiliar, straight, six-lane highway. He was surrounded by foreign structures and bizarre terrain. He felt a sensation of heat while a chorus of voices rang out in the distance. One voice stood out among the others, telling him that he had just been teleported to another dimension. The cars around him, which passed at intervals of exactly eight minutes, were outdated and either white or beige with dark, narrow rectangles for license plates.
After about an hour of confused driving, Ramirez found a turnoff to his left, where signs stood pointing to Alcabala, Malaga, and Seville. Ramirez began driving toward Seville, but when he stopped, he was astonished to find he was looking at his home in Alcala de Guadaira. When he retraced his steps, he could not locate the crossroads, the road sign, or the six-lane highway again.
4 Gadianton Canyon
In May 1972, four girls were allegedly driving back to Southern Utah University after spending their Saturday at a rodeo in Pioche. While crossing the desolate Utah-Nevada state line at around 10:00 PM, they came upon a fork in the highway, where they veered to the left and began driving through Gadianton Canyon. Suddenly, the black pavement turned to white cement. Believing they had simply taken a wrong turn, the girls headed back the way they came, but to their surprise, they were suddenly driving past grain fields and ponderosa pines with no desert in sight.
They decided to stop at a roadside tavern to ask for directions but quickly changed their minds after one of the girls began screaming hysterically. Four egg-shaped vehicles mounted on tricycle wheels with bright lights shining from the top of them began speeding after them. The petrified girls sped back through the canyon as the white cement changed back to its normal black asphalt, leading them into the familiar desert. After wrecking in a creek, leaving them with three flat tires, they waited until morning to hike to Highway 56, where they flagged down an obviously skeptical state trooper.
As outlandish as their story seemed, the tire tracks they left are difficult to explain. The only tire tracks left by the girls’ Chevy ended abruptly only 200 meters (about 600 ft) into the desert, which leaves the mystery of how the girls ended up over 3 kilometers (2 mi) north of the highway with no physical evidence of their travels. The car was also missing a hubcap that was never located. Maybe it got lost somewhere in the Utah desert, or maybe it’s being displayed at a museum on the parallel Earth.
3 The Montauk Project
Based out of an abandoned Air Force radar station on the eastern end of Long Island, the Montauk Project was a series of top secret United States government experiments following the Philadelphia Experiment, whose purpose was to create the technology to render ships invisible to radar detection. The 1943 project was almost too much of a success, as the USS Eldridge supposedly went literally invisible before being teleported into another dimension, eventually reappearing off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia.
Because many of the crew died when the project went wrong and those who didn’t were driven to the brink of insanity, official funding for the Philadelphia Experiment was pulled. However, scientists and military officials were fascinated with the experiment’s results and wanted to continue exploring the possibilities of teleportation and interdimensional travel, so the Montauk Project was launched in the 1960s.
Headed by Dr. John von Neumann, the Montauk Project focused on examining the psychological changes of those who traveled through dimensions and determining why the Philadelphia Experiment was a disaster despite its achievements in teleportation. According to their theories, humans are born with a time reference point that is linked to the electromagnetic fields unique to this Earth and dimension. This is why such a dramatic jump to another dimensional plane was detrimental to so many of the crew, causing insanity and death. During the Montauk Project experiments, Von Neumann solved this problem by creating a computer-simulated Earth and altering the body’s time reference points.
According to documents on the Montauk Project, Von Neumann succeeded at sending people to other dimensions without consequence. However, upon the experiment’s completion in 1967, a report was sent to Congress on their findings about mind control and interdimensional travel. Congress halted funding and terminated the project, fearing of mass mind control.
2 Shadow People
According to Albert Einstein, there are four dimensions, three of space and one of time, with the special property of the ability to bend light. Stephen Hawking furthered this theory by questioning the possibility of many more dimensions existing in the realm of our universe. However, according to Hawking, matter and light are confined to the “membrane” of the dimension, making interdimensional travel impossible. Because space-time has the ability to bend light, however, there exists the possibility that we can see the shadows of people and even galaxies from other dimensions in our own, and they ours.
Supposed encounters with these “shadow people” are common in North America. One tale describes a woman’s meeting with the mysterious entities as a little girl while living in Dorchester, Massachusetts during the mid-1990s. During her first night sleeping in a new room, she claims to have seen a tall and unnatural shadow on the wall. To her surprise, the shadow stepped off the wall and glided around the room, wearing what appeared to be glasses. She saw three more of these shadow people near her closet. She eventually realized a large shadow was slowly enveloping the entire room, leaving her in pitch darkness before she leaped from her bed to take comfort in her grandparents’ room. She believes that what she encountered that night were dimensional travelers, who most likely saw her as a shadow person.
1 Markawasi Stone Forest
The Markawasi stone forest lies in the Andes Mountains in Lima, Peru. The stones are almost like sculptures, taking eerie shapes like human faces, but no one is sure how they formed. As if that isn’t spooky enough, the real mystery is the possibility of a dimensional door that is said to be located in the forest.
According to Dr. Raul Rios Centeno, an investigator of the unexplained in Lima, a patient came to see him about her extreme case of hemiplegia, a disorder that results in a complete loss of motor function in half of the body. When he inquired about the woman’s condition, she revealed that she had been camping with friends in the Markawasi. According to the patient, they had gone out exploring late in the night and happened upon a torch-lit stone cabin filled with dancing revelers in 17th-century attire. The woman said she felt an otherworldly pull toward the cabin, but she was yanked away by one of her friends before she could fully enter. The incident left the side of her body that had entered the cabin paralyzed.
Her test results revealed no discernible cause for her paralysis. Centeno believes the woman experienced a dimensional shift, producing a change in her nervous system’s energy flow. Many natives as well as scholars believe that a dimensional doorway exists in the stone forest of Markawasi, which the woman and her friends may have unknowingly crossed. Hemiplegia may not be a great consolation prize, but had she not been pulled away, the woman may have been lost forever.