The Mandela Effect 


Human memory is a peculiar thing, at once astonishing in its scope and power and dismaying in its fallibility. There's much we don't know about how memory works, but suffice it to say it isn't perfect. Particularly vexing is the phenomenon of false memories, erroneous or unconsciously fabricated recollections of past events that feel so real and true that people who experience them refuse to accept evidence to the contrary. 

Watch the video below. A heartbroken pastor tells his congregation that the bible, particularly the King James Version (KJV), has changed it's text. The pastor let's his listeners pray out loud The Lord's Prayer. After that, he reads the version that is now (!) written in the bible and it has changed! He gives more examples of changed text. 




When Did Nelson Mandela Die?

 

One type of memory glitch that has generated a lot of Internet buzz in recent years is called the "Mandela Effect." Examples include lines from famous movies that everyone gets wrong (e.g., Humphrey Bogart's saying "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca) erroneous dates and numbers (apparently many people answer "52" when asked how many states there are in the U.S.), and historical misconceptions (are you among those who recall learning in school that cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney was black?).

The term "Mandela Effect" was coined by self-described "paranormal consultant" Fiona Broome, who has written on her web site that she first became aware of the phenomenon after discovering that she shared a particular false memory — that South African human rights activist and president Nelson Mandela died in prison during the 1980s (he died in 2013 in my timeline) — with many other people. Then she began noticing other examples:

One of the most recent and prevalent is the death of Billy Graham.  Though some claim that people are confusing that with Mr. Graham’s retirement, or perhaps the televised funeral of Mr. Graham’s wife, those who clearly remember the events disagree heartily.

Many people recall a painted portrait of Henry VIII holding a turkey leg in one hand.


It’s among my memories, too. It was a classic painting of Henry VIII, in the Holbein style (at right), but Henry is shown enjoying a hearty meal.  I recall something that looked like a turkey leg in one hand. (I thought it was his left hand — on the right side of the canvas — but I may be wrong.)


... Apparently, the “turkey leg” portrait doesn’t exist. It never did… not in this timestream, anyway.


Do you recall the fast food chain as McDonald’s or MacDonald’s?


This is an especially odd alternate memory, since the “golden arches” are such a familiar symbol, most Americans can describe the brand icon, Ronald McDonald, without having to look him up, online, and so on.


History in this reality: The original restaurant was started in 1940 by Dick and “Mac” McDonald. The restaurant was always McDonald’s.


"These aren’t simple errors in memory," Broome observed (rightly or wrongly).  "They exceed the normal range of forgetfulness. Even stranger, other people seem to have identical memories."


The Berenstain/Berenstein Bears


No single example of the Mandela Effect has generated more online buzz than that of the children's book series and animated TV show The Berenstain Bears. Quite a few people who grew up with the series, it turns out, remember the title being The Berenstein Bears, with the name ending in "ein" instead of "ain".

A page on Broome's web site cites a number of testimonials:


I too clearly remember it as ‘Berenstein’ even though I never read the books. Why would anyone change that? Seems irrelevant.


Does anyone remember the Berenstein Bears? I do. Although somewhere along the line the name has changed to the Berenstain Bears. No record of “stein” which is definitely how it was when i was younger. No question about it.


I would like to say that I VERY CLEARLY remember “Berenstain Bears” being Berenstein Bears. I very specifically remember it being pronounced “STEIN” on the show.


Didn't it used to be the Berenstein Bears? Now, suddenly it's the Berenstain bears? Is this some sort of anti-semitic cover-up? Or have those of us who grew up in the 1980's been misinformed, misread, and mispronounced?


Clearly, something of interest is going on here, but what? How to explain the fact that many different people can share the same false memory? 

In the video below there are more excellent examples. How do you remember the "Staples" logo? In my case, not the way it is now in my timeline. Just watch.


Parallel Universes and Virtual Realities


One theory based on principles of quantum mechanics holds that people who experience the Mandela Effect may have "slid" between parallel realities (à la the science fiction TV series Sliders). After growing up in a universe where it was "Berenstein" Bears, for example, some people one day woke up to find themselves in an alternate universe with "Berenstain" Bears. 


Another theory posits that unbeknownst to ourselves, we all exist within something resembling a "holodeck" (a device in the world of the Star Trek series that creates a virtual reality experience for recreational purposes). On this model, apparent memory glitches are actually software glitches that cause inconsistencies in our perception of reality. Can you prove this isn't the case?

 

Source: Snopes