The question is, who’s she talking to?

YouTube - Chaplins Time Traveler

This has hit me twice on Google Reader this morning, shared from two different people quoting two different sources, both of which refer to the same video that’s embedded below.

Basically, on the extras disc on Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 film ‘The Circus‘, there’s some footage from the premiere which clearly* shows a person of some description yabbering away on their mobile phone.

Yes, that’s right, their mobile phone…. in 1928!

George Clarke, the chap who discovered this finding, is desperately searching for some kind of explanation because, at the moment, all he can surmise is that this woman** is a massive Chaplin fan from the future who fancied spending her holidays in 1928.

I’m certain there’s a reasonable explanation for this, besides the fact that you would hope that by the time time travel is possible, we’d have advanced mobile technology so far that holding it up to our ears would be a thing of the past?! No?

Take a look for yourself, the final bit where she turns at glances up while still talking is the thing that got me.

*about as clear as anything can be in old non-HD black & white
**is it a woman? George raises the issue of her apparent manliness and her overly large feet – perhaps in the future we’ll all be dressed in drag?

What do you think?!

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

14 thoughts on “The question is, who’s she talking to?”

  1. I tweeted this a few times as it was featured in a local Finnish paper, and my wife showed me. Obviously no mobile phone networks back in 1928, so not a mobile phone that the man in drag is bearing in his hand, but more likely something completely irrelevant. Does make interesting viewing though.

    whatleydude Reply:

    Cool. I spotted it in the early hours this morning but my site went down and I couldn’t post! Grr… However:

    1. How do you know there were no mobile networks in the 1920s?

    2. Even if there wasn’t, how do you know that they’re even needed for the kind of technologists that would be behind TIME TRAVEL?!


  2. ITS ME!

    I would love to think its time travel but she may just be blocking out the sun with her hand or something or concealing identity from cameras.

    But then again, I can’t be sure its me, but I did receive a top hat just like that mysteriously in the post a few days ago..

    whatleydude Reply:

    Good point. I’ve never actually seen your face without hair before. Perhaps it IS you?!

    Bennycrime Reply:

    I really hope so, it would also explain the rain soaked note I received from the old west saying ‘something had to be done about my kids, but first heres a top hat’

  3. I have a feeling the person in the Chaplin frame did not want to appear on the massive and very obvious camera. I often get this when taking photos in the street and mad jabbering folks hide their face.. I think madjabbering lady trumps time traveller in any sane mind. There is no device that i can see.. Perhaps she is holding a ticket to the premier or her purse.

    The youtube video is 8 minutes too long and the guy although desperate to believe in time travel has made a good job of advertising his work.

    Bennycrime Reply:

    Yes I did begin to suspect ,it was probably him standing infront of his movie poster or his troy mclure intro.. ‘Hi, … I’m an award winning producer of such films as ‘Tentacles: No Place to Hide’ or ‘Speed III: Keanu V. Shamu’

  4. Call me crazy, but yes I do believe that time travel is possible and with regards to what she might be holding – might not be a phone but could be some kind of communication device.

  5. Great Scott ! I told Marty to be careful and not get caught like this. Now listen very carefully since it is imperative that you do not share this video with anyone. If we keep a lowprofile im sure the damage to the time stream want be too substantial.

    This is as bad as the time Marty tried to interface his tomtom with the titanic !

  6. He does a great job at publicising his films and his film festival. I love all the comments above and time travel apart perfectly plausible. My theory is probably as improbable as the time travel.

    Either George himself (unlikely) or the production company has produced this and put it into the film hoping someone will pick up on this and do just as George has done. lets all dash out and but the Chaplin box set and spend hours going through footage to see if we can spot a time travelling phone user. Given the pace at which stories like this spread around the internet this would be a great story. True it would be a slow burner and rely on someone to spot it but theses things happen. After all there are whole sites dedicated to film faux pas.

    Looking at the footage there are a few signs that tell me this is modern day footage, take a look at the very sharp shadows. I may be wrong, call me a cynic but that’s my theory. OK maybe it’s a bit of a conspiracy theory but who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory.

  7. If she was talking on the phone then where did the signal came from?
    Absolutely there are no networks available on that time.

    But if happens that it was a real time travel then she might have the skills on bending the spectrum, spaces etc which are possible to as time bending or time travelling.

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