Cell Phone in Charlie Chaplin Movie: Time Traveler Caught on Film?

Linda Sharps
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A Zapruder-esque video is circling the Internet at the moment, and of all the oddball things, it's footage from a Charlie Chaplin film that appears to show a woman (or is it a man in drag?) talking on a mobile phone.

Which is weird, because cell phones totally didn't exist in 1928.

OMFG!!

The scene can be found in Chaplin's The Circus movie, in the DVD extras menu in Documents/The Hollywood Premiere, and it shows a person with a dark hat holding their cupped left hand to their ear and talking as they walk through a scene. Filmmaker George Clarke not only spotted the unusual footage, he made an entire YouTube video to show off his find—slowing down the video and zooming in to more clearly show the woman (man?) talking (to themselves?) on a (hearing aid?) phone.

The comment section of Clarke's YouTube page is pretty awesome, with lots of breathless theories about what's going on. They range from debunking (how could a cell phone work with no cell towers?) to the fervent belief that this person was, in fact, a time traveler from the future who had the bad luck to be captured on film, thus destroying the very fabric of the universe.

That might explain the inexplicable enduring interest in Paris Hilton. Just saying.

Go ahead and take a look at the video and decide for yourself: visitor from the future? (Skip ahead to 6:15 to see the slowed-down footage.)


(Time traveler: "Can you hear me now?")


Image via YouTube


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