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Time Travel In The Halls Of Academia

By Sean Casteel

The book “Weird Time” presents the work of many researchers and offers up numerous points of view on time anomalies and what they may mean. Also included in the book are, surprisingly, the efforts of scientists from the so-called “straight world,” meaning distinct from the more familiar UFO and paranormal community. Two of those scientists, Dr. Ronald Mallett and Dr. Michael Masters, have gone public with their interest in this admittedly “out there” field of study. This is a brief summary of their work.

Dr. Ronald Mallett: Using Lasers And Relativity To Travel In Time

It is unusual for someone highly placed in mainstream academia to take an interest in a “fringe” topic like time travel, but such is the case with Dr. Ronald Mallett, who holds a B.S., an M.S., and a Ph.D in physics and is on the faculty of the Department of Physics at the University of Connecticut. As one of the first African Americans to hold a doctorate in physics, Mallett has become known for his work in time travel, quantum cosmology and relativistic astrophysics.

Dr. Ronald Mallett

Mallett’s fascination with time travel began when he was a child. Mallet’s father died of a heart attack at age 33 when Mallett was ten years old, leaving him depressed and devastated. About a year later, Mallett read a comic book version of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi novel “The Time Machine,” which led to a determination to travel to the past and save his father from death. This idea became a lifelong obsession that was further fueled by an episode of the original 1966 “Star Trek” television series called “The City on the Edge of Forever” involving the theme of time travel and lost love.

While one might be inclined to believe that Mallett’s inspiration draws from fantasy and make-believe, his proposed time machine is firmly based on hard science, speculative though it may be. He conceived a device that uses the properties of a ring laser in the context of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. According to Mallett, the ring laser would produce a limited amount of “frame-dragging,” which would be measurable.

What is “frame-dragging”? In general relativity, a mass’s rotation influences the motion of objects in its neighborhood. The rotating mass “drags along” spacetime in this vicinity, similar to the more familiar concept of “bending” space and time sometimes thought to be the method of travel for alien spacecraft.

Since both matter and energy can produce a gravitational field, Mallett argues, the energy of a light beam can do so as well. In the weak gravitational field of a unidirectional ring laser, he predicts that a spinning neutral particle placed in the ring would be dragged around by the resulting gravitational field. Mallett would later claim that he had found new and exact solutions to Einstein’s field equations for the exterior and interior gravitational fields of the light cylinder. If one were to drive all this with sufficient energy, the circulating laser would produce not just frame-dragging but also “closed time-like curves” (CTC) that would permit time travel into the past. In other words, this creates the foundation for a time machine based on a circulating cylinder of light.

Mallett’s efforts have become known as the Space-time Twisting by Light (STL) project, for which he is seeking funding. He wrote a book, “Time Travel: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality,” along with author Bruce Henderson and first published in 2006. Movie director Spike Lee later bought the film rights to the book.

Meanwhile, critics Ken Olum and Allen Everett published a paper in which they claimed to have found problems with Mallett’s ideas. For instance, they say that even if Mallett’s ideas about spacetime were correct, the energy required to twist spacetime sufficiently would be huge, and that with present day lasers the ring would have to be much larger in circumference than the observable universe.

Nevertheless, is Mallett onto something that may change our beliefs about the workings of time and our place within it?

Dr. Michael Masters: An Anthropologist’s Take On Future Humanity

Like his contemporary Dr. Ronald Mallett, Dr. Michael Masters is an academic who believes that time travel is genuinely possible.

Masters holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Ohio State University and is currently on the faculty at Montana Tech. He has written two books on the anomalous relationship between extraterrestrials and the nature of time, “Identified Flying Objects: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the UFO Phenomenon,” followed by “The Extratempestrial Model.”

Dr. Michael Masters

In summarizing his first book, “Identified Flying Objects,” Masters writes on his website that it “represents a unique examination of long-term evolutionary change in human biology, culture and technology as it pertains to the question of ‘UFOs’ and ‘Aliens.’ This study carefully considers the possibility that the individuals described in reliable reports of close encounters may represent our distant human descendants, returning from the future to visit and study their own evolutionary past.”

Having participated in and directed many archeological digs in Africa, France and throughout the United States, Masters says it is easy to conceptualize just how much more could be learned about our own evolutionary history and the environments of the past if we could simply create the technology to actually journey to the past in a literal and physical sense. He adds that with the accelerating pace of change in material science, technology and engineering, it is likely that future humans will develop the knowledge and machinery required to travel to the past.

Changes in human evolution, Masters writes, consist primarily of determined shifts toward habitual upright walking, changes in brain size and shape, facial reduction, reduced body hair, higher intelligence and the development of increasingly complex tools and culture. These changes have happened throughout the evolution of hominins and “have persisted despite marked modifications to our subsistence strategy, climate, ecology, environment and systems of social, economic and political organization.”

Furthermore, according to numerous and credible close encounter experiencers, the visitors observed are most often described as bipedal, hairless, humanlike beings, with large brains and eyes and small noses and mouths. The alien creatures appear to have their own cultural and social organization. They can breathe our air and communicate with us in our own languages. They possess technology far in advance of our own, but “clearly built upon our own.”

Masters believes that by combining a thorough understanding of our past with our modern human condition, the accounts of human UFO experiencers demonstrate the continuation of established biological and cultural trends here on Earth long into the distant future.

In other words, given where we came from and how we are now, it is possible to visualize our further evolutionary transformation into the hairless, large headed grey “alien,” an entity who has not only changed physically but has also developed time travel to the extent that he can observe and even direct earlier stages of his own evolution. Modern man could be but a link in a long chain that may one day begin to double back on itself.

A detailed and fascinating Q and A with Dr. Masters is included in “Weird Time,” so if this summary has whetted your appetite for more, be sure to buy a copy of the complete book.

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