Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Chronovisor

The 2006 film, Déjà Vu featured a machine that allowed people in the present to view events in the past. The machine utilizes a wormhole and has a restrictive range of what you can view (it goes back exactly 4 days, 6 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds). This is one of my favorite time travel movies and I was especially excited about the concept of the technological window to the past.


As it turns out, it is not a new concept and in fact might not be entirely fictitious…


In the 1950’s twelve world famous scientists allegedly developed a machine called the Chronovisor. The Chronovisor was described by one of the scientists, Father (yes, he was also a priest) Ernetti as a large cabinet with a cathode ray tube and a series of buttons. With the buttons one could select a specific time and location and through the tube, one could view (and hear) the past.


The development and construction of the Chronovisor was kept a secret, until Father Ernetti told his story to the author Francois Brune (another priest) in the early 60s. According to Ernetti, his machine worked by decoding and reproducing the electromagnetic radiation left behind from past events.


Ernetti claimed to have used the Chonovisor to view and photograph the crucifixion of Christ and also to witness and transcribe partions of a play called Thyestes by the Latin playwrite, Quintus Ennius.


Although there is no physical proof of the Chronovisor’s existence, it is believed that the Roman Catholic Church seized the machine and currently has it hidden at the Vatican.


This is not the only (or even the first) claim of a working time window. Many scientists have claimed to have created time viewing devices and you can read about many of them HERE


Further reading:






If you had access to the Chronovisor, what past events would you like to view/hear the most?


B. said...

I've thought about this, and while it might seem insignificant, what I would most want to see in the past are certain sporting events. Not even necessarily famous events, but I would want to go to a baseball game in the early 1900s, just to see what it was like. I also want to see the great old timey pitchers like Christy Matthewson, Walter Johnson, and Satchel Paige, to see if they really were as good as their legends make it seem or if they'd pale in comparison to today's athletes. Oh, and I would like to go to the game where Babe Ruth called his homerun shot so I could confirm if that really happened once and for all.

Of course, with the chronovisor we're talking about simply watching, not really experiencing an event, so maybe I'm going about this all wrong.

I think it would be fun to watch the basketball game played on Jan. 20, 1892, the first official basketbal game ever played (final score: 1-0).

And I want to see an early Beatles show at the Cavern Club or in Hamburg, when they were just starting out.

Matsby said...

It sounds like using the chonovisor was basically like watching TV. So it would be similar to watching those games on TV - which would be cool and would still allow you to get answers to your questions.

I have always been curious about what women in history looked like. I would like to see Ann Boleyn and Cleopatra. See if they're as hot as their legends say they were. Also Pocahontas and Bathsheba and the Queen of Sheba. And Eve.

B. said...

Ohhhh yeah, I can't believe I didn't think of that.

Robert Vollman said...

I want to see a dinosaur.

Matsby said...

I keep thinking about biblical things. Noah's arc, etc. I'd also like to see my ancestors - just to see if they're like me.

Also in case you don't have a Chronovisor and would like to see what the sun looked like in the past, just look to up into the sky.

Because it takes 8 minutes for the rays from the sun to hit us here, when we look up at the sun, it is not where the sun really is right now - what we see is where the sun was 8 minutes ago.

So when we see the sun, we ARE seeing the past.