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The False Face Society

The False Face Society is probably the best known of the medicinal societies among the Iroquois, especially for its dramatic wooden masks. The masks are used in healing rituals which invoke the spirit of an old hunch-backed man. Those cured by the society become members. Also, echoing the significance of dreams to the Iroquois, anyone who dreams that they should be a member of the society may join.

The False Face Society proper performs a ritual twice a year. The ceremony contains a telling of the False Face myth, an invocation to the spirits using tobacco, the main False Face ritual, and a doling out of mush at the end. During the main part of the ritual, the False Face members, wearing masks, go through houses in the community, driving away sickness, disease and evil spirits. Members use turtle shell rattles, shaking them and rubbing them along the floors and walls. If a sick person is found, a healing ritual may be performed using tobacco and singing. The tobacco is burned, and wood ashes are blown over the sick person.

The community then gathers at the longhouse where the False Faces enter and sit on the floor. The people bring tobacco which is collected as they arrive, and burned when the ceremony begins. The ceremony itself is meant to renew and restrengthen the power of the gathered masks, as well as the spirit of Hadu⁷i⁷ in general. The ritual continues with dancing. At the end of the ritual, corn mush is doled out to the assembled crowd, and everyone goes home.

The design of the masks is somewhat variable, but most share certain features. The eyes are deep-set and accented by metal; the noses are bent and crooked; they are painted red and black; most often they have pouches of tobacco tied onto the hair above their foreheads. Horse tail hair is used for the hair. 

When making a mask, a man walks through the woods until he is moved by Hadú⁷i⁷ to carve a mask from a tree. Hadú⁷i⁷ inspires the unique elements of the mask’s design and the resulting product represents the spirit himself, imbued with his powers. The masks are carved directly on the tree and only removed when completed. Masks are painted red if they were begun in the morning or black if they were begun in the afternoon. Red masks are thought to be more powerful. Because the masks are carved into trees that are alive, they are similarly considered to be living and breathing.

EDIT: Since I posted this last night a member of the Iroquois has been in contact with me asking me to stress some important facts about The False Face masks. Apparently such masks aren’t supposed to be seen be non-Iroquois (although we came to the conclusion that as the masks above are readily available for anyone to see on Google images they were alright on Tumblr). There’s a bit more about this on the False Face Society’s Wikipedia page (second paragraph down) and I highly recommend people go read it!

[Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 - 4]

Edward VIII.

Edward VIII.

[Image 1 is] so amazing that many have been quick to cry fake: North America’s most iconic falls, apparently frozen mid-flow – but with the origins of the photo veiled in a mist of uncertainty, nothing is guaranteed. It seems claims of Photoshop frolics are misguided in this case; yet while the shot looks authentic, because its photographer is unknown, we can’t be sure precisely when it was taken. 1911 has been the date aired most on the web, but it could just as easily be 1912, when much of the surrounding Niagara River was frozen. 

According to historical records, during only one year, 1848, has freezing weather caused the thousands of cubic feet of water per second flowing over the Niagara Falls to run dry, an event thought to have been caused by ice jamming and damming upriver. Ice bridges spanning the Niagara River from bank to bank have formed as a result of various other colder winters, and in 1936, when [image 2] was probably taken, the American Falls are said to have frozen over completely. 

To conclude, if there is one specific day when the Niagara Falls might be said to have frozen solid in recent history, it most likely took place in 1848, and even so, the news reports of the time were patchy on detail. More likely, we are looking at several days over the course of a century and a half when the falls gave the appearance of having fully frozen over, when in fact they only did so partially.

(Source: environmentalgraffiti.com)

The Dionne quintuplets (born May 28, 1934) are the first quintuplets known to survive their infancy. Four months after the birth of the sisters, the Ontario government intervened and found the parents to be unfit for the quintuplets, and custody was withdrawn. The government realised the massive interest in the sisters and proceeded to engender a tourist industry around them.
The girls were moved to this nursery which had an outdoor playground designed to be a public observation area where tourists could observe the sisters behind one-way screens. The buildings were surrounded by a seven foot barbed wire fence. The sisters were brought to play there for thirty minutes two or three times a day.  They were constantly being tested, studied, and examined with tedious records taken of everything.
While living at the compound, had a somewhat rigid lifestyle. They were not required to participate in chores; they were privately tutored; every morning they dressed together in a big bathroom, had doses of orange juice and cod-liver oil, and then went to have their hair curled. They said a prayer before breakfast, a gong was sounded, and they ate breakfast in the dining room. After thirty minutes, they had to clear the table, even if they were not done. Then they went and played in the sunroom for thirty minutes, took a fifteen minute break, and at nine o’clock had their morning inspection. They bathed every day before dinner and put on their pyjamas. Dinner was served at precisely six o’clock. Then they went into the quiet playroom to say their evening prayers. Each girl had a colour and a symbol to mark what was hers.
Approximately 6,000 people per day visited the observation gallery that surrounded the playground to view the Dionne sisters. The nursery and the area acquired the name “Quintland.”

The Dionne quintuplets (born May 28, 1934) are the first quintuplets known to survive their infancyFour months after the birth of the sisters, the Ontario government intervened and found the parents to be unfit for the quintuplets, and custody was withdrawn. The government realised the massive interest in the sisters and proceeded to engender a tourist industry around them.

The girls were moved to this nursery which had an outdoor playground designed to be a public observation area where tourists could observe the sisters behind one-way screens. The buildings were surrounded by a seven foot barbed wire fence. The sisters were brought to play there for thirty minutes two or three times a day.  They were constantly being tested, studied, and examined with tedious records taken of everything.

While living at the compound, had a somewhat rigid lifestyle. They were not required to participate in chores; they were privately tutored; every morning they dressed together in a big bathroom, had doses of orange juice and cod-liver oil, and then went to have their hair curled. They said a prayer before breakfast, a gong was sounded, and they ate breakfast in the dining room. After thirty minutes, they had to clear the table, even if they were not done. Then they went and played in the sunroom for thirty minutes, took a fifteen minute break, and at nine o’clock had their morning inspection. They bathed every day before dinner and put on their pyjamas. Dinner was served at precisely six o’clock. Then they went into the quiet playroom to say their evening prayers. Each girl had a colour and a symbol to mark what was hers.

Approximately 6,000 people per day visited the observation gallery that surrounded the playground to view the Dionne sisters. The nursery and the area acquired the name “Quintland.”

Edward VIII hunting in Canada. 1919.

Edward VIII hunting in Canada. 1919.

Oak Island is a 140-acre island on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Oak Island is noted as the location of the so-called Money Pit and the site of over 200 years of treasure hunting. Repeated excavations have reported layers of apparently man-made artifacts as deep as 31 meters, but ended in collapsed excavations and flooding.
In 1795, 18-year-old Daniel McGinnis, after observing lights coming from the island, discovered a circular depression in a clearing on the southeastern end of the island. McGinnis [and] friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, excavated the depression and discovered a layer of flagstones a few feet below. On the pit walls there were visible markings from a pick. As they dug down they discovered layers of logs at about every 10 feet. They abandoned the excavation at 30 feet.
About eight years after the 1795 dig another company examined what was to become known as the “Money Pit.” The Onslow Company sailed from central Nova Scotia with the goal of recovering what they believed to be secret treasure. They continued the excavation down to approximately 90 feet and found layers of logs or “marks” about every ten feet and layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fibre at 40, 50 and 60 feet.
According to one of the earliest written accounts, at 80–90 feet, they recovered a large stone bearing an inscription of symbols. Several researchers apparently attempted to decipher the symbols. One translated them as saying: “forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried.” The pit subsequently flooded up to the 33-foot (10 m) level. Bailing did not reduce the water level, and the excavation was abandoned.

In 1851, treasure hunters discovered fibres beneath the surface of one beach called Smith’s Cove. This led to the theory that the beach had been converted into a giant siphon, feeding water from the ocean into the pit via a man made tunnel and accounting for the repeated flooding.
THEORIES.

Oak Island is a 140-acre island on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Oak Island is noted as the location of the so-called Money Pit and the site of over 200 years of treasure huntingRepeated excavations have reported layers of apparently man-made artifacts as deep as 31 meters, but ended in collapsed excavations and flooding.

In 1795, 18-year-old Daniel McGinnis, after observing lights coming from the island, discovered a circular depression in a clearing on the southeastern end of the island. McGinnis [and] friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, excavated the depression and discovered a layer of flagstones a few feet below. On the pit walls there were visible markings from a pick. As they dug down they discovered layers of logs at about every 10 feet. They abandoned the excavation at 30 feet.

About eight years after the 1795 dig another company examined what was to become known as the “Money Pit.” The Onslow Company sailed from central Nova Scotia with the goal of recovering what they believed to be secret treasure. They continued the excavation down to approximately 90 feet and found layers of logs or “marks” about every ten feet and layers of charcoalputty and coconut fibre at 40, 50 and 60 feet.

According to one of the earliest written accounts, at 80–90 feet, they recovered a large stone bearing an inscription of symbols. Several researchers apparently attempted to decipher the symbols. One translated them as saying: “forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried.” The pit subsequently flooded up to the 33-foot (10 m) level. Bailing did not reduce the water level, and the excavation was abandoned.

In 1851, treasure hunters discovered fibres beneath the surface of one beach called Smith’s Cove. This led to the theory that the beach had been converted into a giant siphon, feeding water from the ocean into the pit via a man made tunnel and accounting for the repeated flooding.

THEORIES.

Cowboy. c.1923.

Cowboy. c.1923.

“Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. 1941 (?)”

It’s the short description for the photograph shown at the virtual Bralorne PioneerMuseum, from British Columbia, Canada. The image can be seen specifically on this page (scroll down to the middle), among other items of the online exhibit. Did you notice anything out of place? Or perhaps, out of time?

The man with what appears to be very modern sunglasses seems to be wearing a stamped T-shirt with a nice sweater, all the while holding a portable compact camera!

Internet people reached to the obvious conclusion: it’s a time traveller caught on camera on 1940! Finally, we have proof!

If the story seems straight out of a movie and the photo is in itself a great funny find, the most amusing thing i came up with while looking into this – as an Internet person, on the Internet – was the reply for a skeptical, or perhaps somewhat cynical comment on how spurious it would seem the idea that a time traveler would want to visit the reopening of a bridge in some small town in Canada.

Read this on Doc Brown’s voice: “Of course, because we know nothing happened there right? But if we are considering time travel, how can we know if in some other timeline something historical happened right there?”

Indeed! Once you consider time travel, everything changes. But before writing Hollywood scripts, let’s get back to reality and ask again: is the photo evidence of a time traveller?

The source

As noted, the image is indeed available through the official website for Canada’s museums. It was part of the exhibit “Their Past Lives Here” from Bralorne-Pioneer, available to the public since 2004. It was put online since February this year, perhaps before that. And the peculiar “time traveller” image was only noted as such in the end of March, when it was linked on main websites such as Above Top Secret and FARK.

Given the source, we would assume the photo is authentic, and correctly dated to c.1940. Indeed, an Error Level Analysis suggests the image was not digitally tampered with, or at least that if it was, the author was smart enough to normalize the error across the whole thing.  It’s a good job, if it was a job. And again, given the source, we would assume it was not a job.

So, how do we explain the man out of time?

Not quite out of time

As members of the ATS, like “Outkast Searcher”, diligently noted, despite looking very modern the man’s outfit and even glasses and camera could be found in the 1940s. Below, similar sunglasses used by actress Barbara Stanwyck on the movie “Double Indemnity” (1944):

annex-stanwyck-barbara-double-indemnity_02

The outfit could also be found 70 years ago. Being used as we are to our contemporary fashion, we look at the man and assume he’s wearing a stamped T-shirt, something that would be indeed out of place (or time). But if you look carefully, you can see that he’s actually wearing (or could as well be wearing) a sweatshirt. And sweatshirts with bordered emblems were not uncommon in the 1940s – in fact you can find those in other photos from the same exhibit.

11189

The sweater he also uses seems to be hand knitted, with buttons on the front. Something that was definitely available at the time, if he had some kind grandma perhaps.

Finally, despite some comments about the camera lens being too big for the time, too compact, it looks like a Kodak Folding Pocket model, available since the beginning of the 20th century.

kodak folding

That is: even taking this photo for granted, as depicting an authentic scene, a real man with his curious glasses and outfit in Canada 70 years ago, there’s nothing that can be seen that is actually out of place or time. He looks different from other people, but it has already been suggested that he’s using welding goggles and a glove.

This is not much of a proof of time travel, and more like evidence of the cyclic nature of fashion. These days, even a beggar can be mistaken for a trendy fashion model. Keep reading for more into this and other time travel stories.

Not quite new

Despite being an awesome photo and story, the Canadian time traveller is not the first on the genre. One of the most famous Internet stories deals with Andrew Carlssin, a man from the year 2256 who appeared in Wall Street on 2003. It was published as a news item on Yahoo!, but few people noticed it was in the Entertainment section and that the source was the Weekly World News. In case you haven’t checked the WWN, you should do it now.

andrewcarlssinwwn

There’s also the story of John Titor, an elaborate story where a time traveller joined several online discussion forums! On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, but if you tell elaborate stories about being a time traveller, you may just create an enduring digital myth. Alas, time itself took care of disproving all of John Titor’s stories about the future. Or perhaps that’s a nice thing, since the future Titor invented was pretty gloom.

And some years ago, the photo of a man with a Mohawk hairstyle at a festival before the punk movement made the style popular was also reason for buzz. I remember seeing it on BoingBoing, but now I can’t find it! Was it erased by the time travellers? Will I forget about it soon? In any event, I also remember that people quickly pointed out that although the hairstyle was popularized by punks, it was not unseen before that, dating even from before the Mohawk tribe.

Time travel is an amazing idea, but so far it’s all speculation, fiction, hoax and misunderstandings.

Case closed?

As a matter of fact, no! Despite being clear that the image, even if authentic, would not be evidence of an out of time man, it’s still possible it could be a hoax. After all, photoshop jobs mixing modern figures in old photos are not that complex. A series that has been popular the past few weeks placed contemporary super-heroes in historical photos:

agan

Is it possible that an elaborate hoax could have included a manipulated photograph among the items of a museum exhibit, only to have it put online and finally exposed as “time travel proof” later? Well, it would be quite an elaborate hoax, but it is possible.

Let’s look again at the photo. Pay attention to the right arm of the “time traveller”: you may realize that the arm actually belongs to the man right behind him. Why would another man’s arm be in that position? Is there even space for such a large, tall “time traveller” to stand in there?

These could be indications that the man was inserted into the image without much care for perspective.

Or perhaps it’s just an unusual perspective, and the arm from the man behind just looks like it’s over the “time traveller”, even touching the camera? Or could the arm actually belong to the hipster traveller?

I don’t know.

If this is a digital hoax, why would the hoaxer insert a man that seems out of place, but not actually using anything that couldn’t be found in the 1940s? The camera is definitely old. What looks like a stamped T-shirt is a sweatshirt with emblem. Why not have him use something definitely out of time, like the logo for a company that wouldn’t be created until decades later, such as NIKE or even Microsoft? It would even make an amazing viral marketing for any company that managed to get buzz from this. Why not?

I don’t know.

Once again, it must be clear that even if this photograph is authentic, even if it depicts a real scene from 1940, it would not be the proof of time travel. Alas. Also, I tend to assume that given the source, the photo is indeed authentic, not tampered with. But that arm, it does look strange. I’m not sure. I don’t know.

I tried to send an email to the Bralorne Pioneer museum, but the address was not valid. I’m still trying to find (an easy) way to contact it. If you manage to get an official response from them, do share it. If you discover anything else, do share it. This is an adorable little “mystery”.