Time Traveler in Chaplin’s The Circus?

It seems like I can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about something related to time travel.  First it was the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future, now I keep hearing about a guy who claims to have found a person talking on a cell phone in footage from the 1928 premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus.  If you haven’t already seen the footage, here you go:

Or if you’d like to see it along with the comments of the guy who discovered it, you can see that here. Feel free to make your own conclusions.

As for my opinion on it, I don’t think its anything noteworthy.  It could be a lot of things.  Personally, if I were to go through all the trouble of mastering time travel to go back to the 1920s and crash a silent movie set or premiere, I’d want to make it nice and obvious that I came from the future.  I’d show up wearing my Ramones shirt, I’d bring a current copy of People Magazine, or I’d be holding up a copy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album.  If you’re going to go and succeed at doing something widely considered to be impossible, what’s the point in announcing it by doing something so very ambiguous like talking on a cell phone?  Why invest all that time and energy just to have people say, “Meh, I’m sure he or she is probably just blocking their face.”


  1. Having just heard about this I think I’m more fascinated with all the 2010 hoopla around it than I am with what this woman was doing at the original premier! My first though, eh, she got stung by a bee and is holding up a rag or something while cursing how much it hurt. Like you say, I doubt it’s noteworthy and it could be one of a million things. Good for this guy and his 1.5 million YouTube views though, wow, that’s some marketing!

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