The Time Traveller’s Wi-Fi

This video made it onto the BBC News website, and so is certainley being taken seriously by some. Either that, or it is a BBC-backed plug for this guys own movies and film festival that he introduces at the beginning. Hmm, anyway.

In case you missed it, the theory is that the larger woman wearing a hat that walks behind the zebra on the set of the Charlie Chaplin movie, ‘The Circus’, is a time-traveller. The reason? She is evidently talking on a mobile phone. There’s simply no other explanation according to George Clarke, the Irish movie-maker.

His reasoning: she is talking (lips are moving, blah blah yada yada). She is holding her hand to her face, with her fingers curved and knuckles showing as you would a phone (not an ear-piece, which when he pointed out did make me laugh.) And there is a ‘black object’ in her hand. She also very conspiratorially looks straight at the camera whilst on her mobile as if to say “I know you’re watching me, and I’m watching you. Check this shiz out.” Oh, and most importantly, she could be a man in drag. But more on that later.

I love a good conspiracy theory. And I was ready to watch this BBC-endorsed video and at least consider the possibilities of “what if?” But there are a few things that just don’t follow:

    1. Let’s say she did time travel, and remembered to take her mobile with her. Where is the mobile reception coming from, to allow her to talk on the phone? Unless O2 or Vodafone have a trick up their sleeve, and are just waiting to launch their “fastest and widest-ranging network speeds ever, now froom 1910 – 2010!” this is my biggest problem with the whole theory.The only counter-theory would be if Charlie Chaplin had himself worked out time travel, and moved the entire set of ‘The Circus’ into the future, say even to 2010, and this lady inadvertedly wandered onto the set whilst discussing whether Cher is going to win X-Factor with her friend whilst on her iPhone / Blackberry.


  • Surely if we in the future, or even now, are sophisticated enough to time travel, we would do so with style and adopt a blue-tooth head set? Just sayin.



  • Who is she talking to? Is there someone else who has also time travelled back in time? And again, if so, surely they would have a more sophisticated means of keeping in touch.



  • Why is this guy so obsessed with whether the subject of the video is a woman, or a man “in drag”? He refers to it once before we’ve even seen the clip, again points out she’s quite “manly” as we’re watching it, even dwells on her feet and gait as if to suggest it’s a “manly walk” and then at one point refers to the subject as “he, ah ha, I mean she”. Is this relevant at all? Have we time travelled back to the 1920s ourselves where it is inconceivable that a woman, yes a woman!, would be allowed to time travel when surely it’s a man’s job?


Whatever the reason for George’s apparent obessesion with the sex of a slightly larger woman who has big feet, it lowers his credibility. He admits he has been watching this for a year. In the 2 minutes that the clip is looped in this video, slowed down, zoomed in, sped up, I got a bit fed up watching it the sixth time. Nothing changed since the first time! He has obviously done this an awful lot for the past year, and it really feels like he’s trying to make the most out of these 6 seconds that he can, including theorising the gender of the time traveller and wondering why the time traveller looks straight at the camera. The key word being “obsession” which seems to be clouding his judgement.

I would be one of the first to jump on the bandwagon of a credible, viral video that could maybe possible perhaps prove time travel. But the fact this guy, in the whole year he has been watching it, hasn’t once thought about the fundamental problem of where the mobile phone / 3G / wi-fi signal is coming from bothers me.

Well, I speak too soon. He may have considered this, and he may have an answer. If so, I’d genuinely like to hear it. Until then, I’m not convinced.


About jenny

a yogi, a foodie, a runner. head over heels with edinburgh. facilitator of FOMO.
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