Cell Phone Time Traveler? Doubtful!

Cell Phone Time Traveler? Doubtful!

Stop me if you've heard this one before.  (I'm kidding - this story is everywhere; it just got picked up by CNN, for pity's sake.)  Filmmaker George Clarke was watching an extra on a Charlie Chaplin DVD, and captured what looks like an overweight older woman walking down the street talking on a cell phone.

My favorite thing about this story is everyone who debunks it by pointing out that "it can't be real, because there weren't any cell phone towers in 1928." Sure, because that's the problem with this story!  The lack of cell phone towers.

Point #1 being, anyone who has the technology to travel back in time would presumably be able to construct a device which communicates correctly, even in 1929.  The evidence here is that otherwise, she's spending an awful lot of time talking on a cell phone that isn't working.

"Hello?  Hello, this is Commander Fussyshoes to Time Travel Base, come back please.  OH BLAST, there aren't any cell phone towers!  I forgot!"

Point #2, the first thing I wondered was, "What kind of time traveler walks around talking on their magical terrifying high tech communicator RIGHT OUT IN PUBLIC?"  She even gets filmed by a film crew!  That's quite a feat, for 1928! 

(It's not like today, when any fatty's waddling butt can end up on B-roll footage for the evening news.  Which is one of my own personal fears.  Thanks for reminding me.)

Even Kirk and Spock took care to camouflage their true levels of technology when they went rampaging around violating the Prime Directive in their wonderful velour shirts.  Sure, the "my ears got stuck in a rice picker" excuse is pretty thin, but at least dude made an effort by wearing a hat.  1928 Time Traveling Matron is pretty darned brazen, for a time traveler.

Point #3 here is, this has got to be the easiest thing in the world for someone to fake.  Please note that the person bringing it to our attention IS AN INDIE FILMMAKER.  Do I have to draw a schematic on this one?  George Clarke has the means , method, and motivation to fake this footage.  He has the specialized knowledge, access to the editing equipment, and several upcoming films to promote.

Frankly, I'm pretty sure that we're all being trolled.  Remember the Sci Fi Channel special about the Blair Witch footage, which came out a few months before the movie was released?  Like that, but on YouTube.  (And without WWE commercials.)

To sum up, the most likely explanations (in descending order of likelihood) are:

1.    Total fake.  Cute and effective, but fake.
2.    A woman using a newfangled hearing aid (they had just become available, and you had to hold them up to your head just as she is doing).
3.    Your run-of-the-mill delusional crazy person.  (They did have telephones back then.  Maybe she thinks she's talking on one.  "OPERATOR, GET ME KLONDIKE 525, STRAIGHT AWAY!")
4.    An old lady holding her scarf up to her face in a strange way, either to block a draft or in an ineffective attempt to block her face from being filmed.

The real story here is, why is a giant papier mache zebra wearing a saddle blocking the sidewalk?