What started as an ordinary day—waking in bed one morning—evolved into a series of fearful shocks and haunting horror for a desperate woman lost in an alien world: our world.
As Lerina García left her bed she noticed the sheets and bedclothes were strange. She didn't recognize them. Still shaking off the last vestiges of sleep, however, she simply shrugged away the eerie discovery and began her morning routine.
Everything most precious to her was gone
But García would soon learn that once she'd left that slightly alien bed she entered another reality. Her life, her past—everything most precious to her—was gone.
As she went through the routines of her first day in another universe she noticed small incongruities: things out of place, items missing or items she hadn't purchased.
How many of you are there? Perhaps an infinite number
As she later wrote on the Internet seeking someone to offer an explanation for her nightmarish dilemma and maybe offering help: "One day I woke up and found that everything was different—nothing spectacular or having to do with time travel and such things. I simply woke up in the same year and day on which I went to bed, but many things were different. They were small things, but sufficiently important to know that there was a point at which everything was different."
Not everything was small. Although her car seemed the same and she still worked at the same company she had for 20 years, in the same building, she was shocked to learn her department no longer listed her. Her office was now in another department in a completely different part of the building.
There may be inifinite Earths being infinitely created
As the level of strangeness escalated, she dealt with her hesitancy and surprise by telling co-workers she wasn't feeling well. She shares her first day on an alien Earth:
“Four months ago I awoke on a normal morning. I was in my rented home where I’d been living for seven years. Everything was the same, except that my bed linen was different, and I paid no attention at the time.
"So I went to work in my car, which was parked where I’d always parked, and it was the same office I’d worked in for the last 20 years. But when I got to my department, it wasn’t my department. It has names on the door and mine wasn’t on it. I thought I was on the wrong floor, but no, it was my own floor. I went over to the office’s wireless section and looked myself up. I still worked there, but in another department, reporting to a superior I didn’t even know.
"So I went to the department indicated in the directory, said I was feeling ill, and left. All the contents of my handbag were the same: my credit cards, my ID, everything, but I didn’t recall having changed departments at any time.
"I went to the doctor and underwent drug and alcohol testing…all clean.
"I returned to work the next day and was able to make my way by asking questions and saying that I wasn’t feeling well."
Through a glass darkly: universes are not identical
Lover disappears, old beau remains
“I’ve been separated from my partner of seven years for some six months. We broke up and I started a relationship with a fellow from my neighborhood. I know him perfectly well, having been with him for four months. I know his name, surname, address, where he works, his son from another relationship, and where he studies.
"Well, that fellow no longer exists. He appeared to have existed before my 'jump' but there is no trace of him now.
"I’ve hired a detective to find him and he does not exist.
"I’ve visited a psychiatrist and its all been put down to stress. He thinks they’re hallucinations, but I know this isn’t the case. My former boyfriend is with me as though nothing had happened—apparently we never broke it off [in this world]—and Agustín (my current boyfriend) appears to have never existed. He doesn’t live in the apartment he used to live at and I cannot find his son.
The multiverse is an architecture of puzzles and paradoxes
"I swear to you that it's true and that I’m very sane. My own family doesn’t remember things like surgery performed on my sister’s shoulder a few months ago: she says she's never been operated on. Small things to that effect."
Yes, just small things. Things like a different job, a loved one that's vanished forever, and another life in another universe that can never be returned to again.
Hall of mirrors: we all may exist on a trillion worlds
A plaintive plea
As can be imagined, Lerina's traumatic life on this new Earth with a boyfriend she'd broken up with in the other world is causing her bouts of stress and depression. She ends her story with a plea for help:
"Please, if someone has had a similar experience, please contact me to see what may have happened.
"I cannot find any pathology that matches my experience. For five months I’ve been reading all of the theories I’ve come across and am convinced that it has been a jump between planes or something, a decision or action taken that has caused things to change.
In 'The Twilight Zone' a woman confronts her multiverse double
"What upsets me is that that I’m in the same year, not in a different time, and I’m exactly the same. Let me explain: it’s as though I had lost my memory five months ago and woke up having dreamed those five months, with the exception that everyone remembers me during that time, and I’ve done things that I’m not aware of having done.
"Has anyone had a similar experience? Pranksters and people with a grasp on 'the truth' can refrain from commenting. This is very serious to me. Thank you — Luz.”
Could Lerina—a highly educated woman—be simply hallucinating everything? Perhaps she is suffering from a form of rare spatial time-related mental illness?
Perhaps not, for she's not alone in her experience.
A man from another reality shows up in Tokyo's airport
An impossible visitor arrives in Toyko
A curious incident took place in Tokyo, Japan during the early 1990s: a man arrived on a flight with a passport from a non-existent country.
The man expressed anger and shock when Japanese customs officials detained him. Although the officials checked their records carefully, the passport had been issued by a country that did not exist. No record showed the country had ever existed.
Although passports exist issued by non-existent countries (known as camouflage passports), this passport was real and had custom officials' stamps on various pages including stamps by Japanese customs officials from previous visits.
The man was well-traveled, caucasian, said the country was in Europe and had existed for almost 1,000 years. He carried legal currency from several European countries, an international drivers license and spoke several languages.
Finally, indignant, he demanded a meeting with higher government authorities. He was convinced some massive practical joke was being played on him.
Once transported you may never return home
After being detained for almost 14 hours in a small security room at the airport terminal, some government officials took pity on him and transported him to a hotel. They ordered the mystery visitor to wait there until they decided what to do about the matter. From the reports, the Japanese were just as confused and flustered as the mysterious man without a country.
Although two immigration officials were posted with instructions not to permit the man to leave his room, the next morning the guards discovered he was gone. The only exit was the door they watched and the only window had no outside ledge and was 15 stories above a busy downtown street.
The authorities launched an intensive manhunt throughout Tokyo for the mysterious traveler, but finally gave up the hunt.
The man was never seen again.
Other universes are all around us; we can't see or touch them
The professor's drive into oblivion
Inexplicata relates a story that is like Lerina's, except from the opposite point of view.
The original account was written by journalist Segundo Peña and published in one of Venezuela’s biggest newspapers, El Tiempo.
Peña relates a strange tale that smacks heavily of a multiverse shift. The incident occurred on the campus of ULA (the University of the Andes) and involved a well-known faculty member.
This is what happened in full daylight, according to dozens of witnesses: the professor left one of the university's buildings, crossed a parking lot to his parked car, and entered it. Many saw him as he walked to his car, some even called out to him and waved.
The professor opened his car door, climbed in, sat down, and closed the door. The car sat there unmoving. Eventually, a few curious students went to the car and found it empty.
The professor had vanished, presumably for good, as the incident occurred more than 40 years ago.
Reality may be more tenuous than imagined
Can such things be explained?
There is no orthodox scientific explanation for any of the incidents described, unless one looks at the leading edge of scientific speculation.
Exploring that dimly lit boundary between knowledge and myth—between the known and the unknown—the answer may be found.
People who appear and disappear may not be snatched up by rogue ripples of time, but by anomalies in the fabric of the shifting, living multiverse.
Some quantum physicists theorize that existence is populated by infinite universes infinitely created. Each universe is like an infinite bubble birthing new universes—new limitless bubbles. Time does not exist. Instead everything is an eternity of now.
In the world of the quanta—which encompases all that is—the multiverses are vibrating at different rates and some parallel worlds literally overlap ours.
Physicists also have had glimpses into these other realties during experiments where sub-atomic particles have winked out of existence and then reappeared. Whether they're jumping dimensions, or actually traveling between multiverses, no one knows.
Some 'Earths' may not have a moon
Finally, quantum theory and string theory recognize a symbiotic relationship between cognitive awareness and the universe. In essence, a universe cannot really exist unless a mind perceives it. The mind influences the quanta and the quanta influences (perhaps even programs) the mind. It's a two way street.
So now what would happen if that quantum link between the quantum universe and the quantum mind were broken—even briefly?
Would the person become like a ship that lost its anchor—in this case an anchor to the universe? Could a person slip from this reality into one right "next door" to our universe? If so, would there be an exchange trading one version of a person for another, sort of a universal-multiverse swap? Or, as in the case of the hapless lost professor, would a person simply vanish with no counterweight replacing him or her from an adjoining reality?
Time would be unaffected, and the two parallel universes would be so symmetrical that only minor things may be different.
Yes, minor things like a lover that no longer exists or a sister who never had surgery…