Have you ever looked at or heard something and had to stop and think because it just wasn’t how you remember? Maybe a line in a movie or some song lyrics just sounds completely wrong to you all of a sudden. Perhaps a company logo or name brand unexpectedly looks completely incorrect but there is nothing to suggest that there has been an actual change made by the company. It has just “always” been that way. Well perhaps you have just encountered the Mandela Effect, or ME for short.
We all forget things, a lot of things, it’s just the nature of humans, our brains, and memory in general. But what about those things that you just know are wrong? In recent years there have been growing communities with members claiming vivid memories or attachments to certain things. With hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of different people seeming to share the same “incorrect” memory, there are many that think there is much more going on than meets the eye.
There are tons of videos and websites available dedicated to the Mandela Effect but as there are literally dozens of reported “changes” listed out there, I wanted to take a look at some of the ones that interested me in the subject.
How It Got Its Name
|In late 2009 a paranormal consultant by the name of Fiona Broome launched a website that coined the phrase “the Mandela Effect” after visiting a convention and learning that several others there shared a specific memory of Nelson Mandela originally dying in the late 1980s. Yes I said “originally” because what she and the others recalled was seeing his funeral broadcast on television, only to be confused sometime later when he was either released from prison or was in the news for some other reason. Mandela eventually died “again” in 2013 after serving as South Africa’s president.
Shortly after the launch of the website, people began discussing other alternate memories and sharing their stories. While the Mandela double death seems to be a big one for many, there are several others that seem just as freaky or implausible while even more seem to show a little bit of “evidence” of quite possibly actually existing as remembered.
|So how did the notorious Al Capone die and where was he at the time? While many, including some game shows, television series, and trivia sites indicate that he passed away in prison after a long-suffering battle with syphilis, he actually died several years after being released after suffering a stroke followed by a heart attack.
The UK show The Chase and television’s Archer are just two recent examples of those that have gotten it wrong, but there are many people both young and old that have almost vivid recollections of learning it this way either in school or via a documentary. While there isn’t any argument that Capone suffered from a venereal disease and was indeed in prison for tax evasion, there seems to be a rather large disconnect between that information and his subsequent early release and death.
Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping
|Okay, so chances are you weren’t around at the time of the infamous Lindbergh baby kidnapping, but many of us did learn about it in school. Charles Lindbergh was a huge American celebrity aviator and when his son was suddenly snatched from his second-story bedroom, the whole country was in shock. A ransom note was soon received and at one point Al Capone himself offered to help mediate the safe return of the child. And this is where current history and many people’s memories diverge.
Once again many point to education or television documentaries and possibly even books as the reason for their misinformation regarding the resolution of this case. There are quite a few people who claim that in their memory the child was never found and no one was ever charged in the case, which would help explain why it is so often referred to as the Lindbergh baby “mystery.” The child’s body was actually found just a couple of weeks after the kidnapping and someone was not only charged but also executed for the crime, so there doesn’t seem to be much mystery to the case at all.
Ed McMahon & PCH
|So everybody remembers Ed McMahon cruising with the Prize Patrol and handing out those giant-sized checks to the winners at their homes, right? Well, not so much. Mr. McMahon actually never worked for Publisher’s Clearing House, he worked for a now defunct competitor known as American Family Publisher (AFP). And not only that, apparently he never personally notified winners at their homes nor did he ever hand out oversized checks. Now this is one that really gets me because I have pretty clear memories of his association with PCH and, like so many of the other ME’s, there are quite a lot of people out there that share the same memory.
However there is a bit more to this one that seems to substantiate some of these “alternate” memories. All across video land you can find instances where someone, including his longtime friend Johnny Carson, makes a joke or other reference to Ed, PCH, and/or the giant checks. There is even a commercial with Ed rapping where he clearly states that he “showed up at their door with fat checks,” and even his obituary in some very mainstream news sources listed him as a spokesperson for PCH. There are multiple movies, sitcoms, and other television shows that make jokes regarding Ed showing up with a giant check and on Roseanne he does a guest appearance where actually was holding an oversized check.
Now of course I realize that in his later years Ed was experiencing quite a bit of money troubles and some of these appearances may well just be him accepting a check and saying whatever lines he was provided. But I would think that he would have at least taken the opportunity and time to correct them and if so, that they would’ve fixed the script. I could do almost a whole article on just this one ME, providing links to all the little cameos and interviews, but if you’re interested in learning more simply just search his name on YouTube or Reddit.
|Unless you just recently landed on this planet, then you have more than likely at least seen photographs of the pyramids outside of Cairo. But how many do you remember? Three? Six? Well how about nine. Yep that’s right, there are nine pyramids on the Giza Plateau and did you know that there is a luxury golf course located just a stones throw away from them that holds the honor of having installed Egypt’s first in-ground swimming pool over 100 years ago. This particular “change” is quite perplexing to many because they were not only positive that the pyramids were pretty deep in the desert and quite a decent ways away from any city, some of them also recall that there were fewer than the nine pyramids there.
There are many, many instances where the changes called into question are with name brands, song lyrics, movie quotes, logos, or brands and some are almost certain to make you do a double-take. Here is a quick list of some of them:
Berenstain Bears are remembered as Berenstein
Forrest Gump never says “Life is like a box of chocolates” but actually says “Life was.” Even old VHS tapes have the quote as “life is” even though that line never actually appears in the movie.
In the original Disney movie Snow White the Evil Queen never says, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall” but instead says, “Magic Mirror.”
Darth Vader never says “Luke, I am your father.”
Sinbad never starred as a genie in a movie titled Shazam!
Jif peanut butter has never been known as Jiffy
Billy Graham died well before 2018 with some even recalling vivid details of the previous memorial services and even others that remember him dying up to at least 3 times. Yikes!
Louie Anderson was thought to have died sometime before 2010 but is still alive. At least at the time I’m punching this up.
The list could go on and on. There are reported changes to the Bible, geography, and even anatomy. Where is your heart located? What critter actually lays down with the lamb? And didn’t South America used to be a few hundred miles to the West?
So What’s Going On?
Well, no one knows and I guess that is probably some of the appeal for some people, but it is extremely hard to simply dismiss every single incident as confabulation or mass false memories. There are almost as many theories for the explanation as there are of reported MEs and while I can’t explain exactly what is happening, I can tell you that the Effect is real. It’s just the definition itself that is subject for debate.
A person could spend several full days just reviewing all of the different ones but as it appears to be quite a deep rabbit hole, everyone should approach this phenomena with their skeptic-cap placed firmly on their heads.
What do you think? Are there any of the Mandela Effects that you have personally experienced? If so, were there any that really shook you? Have an idea for what you think is happening? Leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts and experiences.