The concept of time is something we all think we have a pretty good handle on but the more you think about it the more weird it gets. We all occasionally feel like time has slipped away on us; time flies when you’re having fun right? In more extreme cases people report feeling like 5 minutes has passed but in reality it has been several hours. What causes this phenomenon and is it possible that something paranormal is happening in those minutes we don’t remember?
Einstein determined that time is relative with his special theory of relativity. Two observers standing on different ends of a basketball court would describe the movement of the ball differently to one another. They wont always agree on what happened and how long it took. A second in one person’s frame of reference may be longer or shorter compared to a second in another person’s frame of reference.
It’s easy to dismiss this effect as a quirk of psychology at our usual pace but at the speed of light the differences become very pronounced. In an experiment scientists synchronized two highly accurate atomic clocks and then placed one on a plane and flew it around the earth. When the clock from the plane clock came back to the ground, it was a fraction of a second behind the one that stayed on the ground. If one of the clocks was moving at the speed of light rather than the speed of a plane the difference in time could be minutes, hours or even years different. Time is not the constant, unchanging beast that we believe it to be.
Almost everyone has experienced the quirkiness of time. If you are doing something you enjoy time goes much faster than when you’re waiting for an appointment or doing chores. Some people report more startling losses of time in which they feel only a few minutes have passed but to an objective observer many hours or even days have passed. One user on Thought Catalog reported that while they were off-roading in the daytime New Mexico a bright light suddenly filled the vehicle. After what felt like just a few minutes the sky was suddenly dark and they realised an hour and a half had passed.
There are may similar stories on the internet where people experience weird things while driving and suddenly it is several hours later than it should be. Many alien encounter or abduction stories include an element of missing time. Some theorise that some aliens have the ability to wipe human memory and just leave a gap where the abductees experience of interacting with the aliens should be. Is it possible that the aliens are able to take people from where they are and place them back without them noticing with the only evidence being a strange time disparity. What happens to the victims during time? It is difficult to prove what is happening in these cases. Hopefully with more investigation we can reach some answers.