the Wanderling

“The Bootstrap Paradox as it is so called, is a time-travel paradox wherein an object or information can exist without ever seeming to have been created. The object or piece of information in the future is taken back in time where, through the normal passage of time from the past to the future, it is retrieved to become the very object or piece of information that was brought back in the beginning.”


The question is, if you could travel back in time would it be possible to meet yourself? Most people who contemplate such matters usually relegate an actual outcome of similar or like events into the realm of science fiction or the theoretically impossible. However, there is on record an actual every day real life example of an incident wherein just such a scenario as one meeting oneself transpired. While it is true the incident seems to have been set into motion initially in a somewhat more exotic environment or atmosphere than most people experience on a daily basis the event itself transpired nonetheless with the people involved being just ordinary people, or at least the primary participant being so. To wit:

In the early to mid 1940s a very young American boy from a small Southern California beach town travels to India with a foster couple, ending up staying several months at or near the ashram of the venerated Indian holy man, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai, south India. Prior to his departure from the U.S. the foster couple allows the boy to select one, and one only, small easy to carry toy to take with him. He picks his hands-down favorite, a metal decoder badge known as a Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph that has a picture of Captain Midnight mounted in it.[1]

In a seeming set of incredible coincidences, an American man, who was at the time around age 25 or so, and unbelievably from the same Southern California hometown as the boy, visits the ashram during the same period the young boy is there. Oddly enough, although a full grown man, he has with him a near duplicate decoder, albeit slightly more tarnished than the boy’s decoder that has on it’s surface a somewhat newer like sheen. So too, in lieu of the Captain Midnight photo, the man’s Code-O-Graph has in it’s place a black-and-white photograph of himself as a young boy. After inadvertently meeting each other and discovering they both have decoders, with the boy’s permission, for reasons no longer known but seemingly valid at the time, they switch the two photos, exchanging the man’s for the picture of Captain Midnight and vice versa for the boy.

Not long after the man’s departure from the ashram the young boy leaves as well, returning to the U.S. with the couple, ending up being left off by the couple totally unannounced at the home his grandmother on his father’s side in Pennsylvania. When the boy returns to California, the decoder with the now switched picture of the boy in it, for reasons unknown, is left behind at the grandmother’s and, rather than trying to return it, she simply stores it in a box where it slowly languishes away and soon forgotten.

Several years later the grandmother dies and upon her death her son, who happens to be the boy’s uncle, travels to her home in Pennsylvania to put her things in order. There he finds the decoder in the box among her belongings. Having been the boy’s onetime guardian the uncle instantly recognizes the photo as being that of his nephew while at the same time remembering how important Code-O-Graphs were to the boy during his very early childhood years as well. So said, the uncle, knowing that the boy had stayed at his mother’s for a short time during those same years, after which the decoder went missing, but now having found it, without really thinking about it sends it to his nephew. The nephew however, is now no longer a young boy but reaching into his late teenage years and just about ready to graduate from high school. The decoder, having lost both it’s luster physically as well as in importance to the boy, floats around a few years eventually ending up stored away in a box at his younger brother’s when the boy, now a man just into his early twenties in the 1960s, is drafted into the U.S. Army.

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