Mysteries of timeslips: The man who visited 1966

Time slips, also known as temporal displacement or time warps, is a phenomenon in which an individual experiences a sudden shift in time and space. This can manifest as a feeling of being transported to a different time period or location, or even as a brief glimpse into the past or future. The phenomenon has been reported throughout history and across cultures, and has been the subject of much debate and speculation.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

On Wednesday, June 11, 1997, violent thunderstorms raged over Wirral, North West England, and there was a dramatic lightshow in the heavens over Hoylake as strange forked lightning travelled sideways back and forth across the clouds with a loud crackling and fizzing sound.

As the thunder shook the four corners of the peninsula, a 67-year-old widower named Jimmy went missing from his home and was last seen walking near Hoylake promenade.

Jimmy was being treated for clinical depression at the time and his two sons, Roger and Martin, drove around looking for him.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

Roger thought his dad might have decided to ‘go walkabout’ to embark on a pub crawl but Martin, always the pessimist, feared his father was going to live “off the grid” as a vagrant, just to be independent.

The sons couldn’t find their absent father. The following day, they made a new search as fire crews in the area were being inundated with calls to pump water out of premises flooded by the Biblical storm and to deal with backed up sewers.

The police also had their hands full in the mammoth mopping up operation and the chaos it was causing with the roads of Wirral.

Out of the blue, Roger spotted his father Jimmy strolling down The King’s Gap with an actual smile on his face – something he had not seen in a long time. He pulled up and shouted to his father and got out of the car, and Jimmy stood there, still beaming that smile.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

‘Dad, where the hell have you been? Me and Martin have been looking everywhere for you!’ said Roger, embracing his father, who came back with a strange and shocking answer: ‘I think I died and went to Heaven, lad.’

Roger almost pushed him away as he recoiled in surprise, ‘What?’

Jimmy wasn’t very coherent and rambled on about Hoylake Sands, and ice creams and how he had gone back into the past.

‘Get in the car, Dad,’ Roger said, gently guiding his grinning, buoyant father into the vehicle.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

When they got home, Martin was so angry at his father for gallivanting without leaving a note to say where he was going but Roger pleaded with his brother to shut up for a moment so their dad could say where he had been.

It was a bizarre story.

Jimmy had sneaked out of his Hoylake home at 11pm and had been caught in the torrential downpour.

He had felt almost hypnotised by the forks of lightning ripping through the black and grey thunderclouds and he had then seen a bright light overhead which he had assumed to be part of some near-death experience; the light was blinding and hot, and Jimmy slowly realised it was the sun – a fierce blazing summer’s sun in a sky that was now baby blue.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

He saw a red diamond-shaped kite hanging in the sky and then Jimmy lowered his eyes – and there was Hoylake Sands, crowded with people dressed in the colourful attire of so long ago – it looked like the late 1950s or 1960s to Jimmy.

He could not believe his own eyes. He thought for a while that this was heaven – everything was as he remembered it when he was a young man, back in his thirties, back when he never had any health worries and life was so beautifully simple.

Jimmy hurried down to the sands and felt the furnace heat of the sun drying his wet clothes, and couldn’t stop smiling; the awful depression that had blighted his life had now evaporated.

The initial religious conviction that this was some form of nostalgic paradise eventually subsided and Jimmy realised he had somehow gone back in time, and he discovered, from talking to bemused people, that he was in the year 1966.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

People who report timeslips to me seem to belong to two groups; those who become afraid of being stranded in the past (and occasionally the future) and those who want to stay in a bygone age because they feel the times were better back then – Jimmy belonged to this latter group.

He had two sons and knew he would miss them terribly, but seeing Hoylake in 1966 on a scorching hot day and glimpsing some of the characters he had known when he was young (like old Mr Prescot from nearby Market Street) was simply utopia to him.

Jimmy could hear the music of The Beatles piping from a little transistor radio next to a sunbathing lady, and now he felt like crying. Was this just a dream?

He crouched down and went to clutch some sand to make sure it was real when a child accidentally booted a beach ball in his face.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

He laughed as the child apologised. He looked at the ice cream hut and knew the credit card in his pocket couldn’t buy a Ninety-niner – he was technically skint. Jimmy spent some time on that beach, all the time dreading the arrival of 1997.

He walked away and eventually strolled to Market Street and lingered outside the Woolcraft Shop where Jimmy’s mum and auntie were always buying wool to knit jumpers for him and his brothers, and he looked in on the Trustee Savings Bank on the corner of Wood Street, before visiting the DIY shop where his uncle was always sending him for screws and nails.

And then, as a Pink Paraffin van went past Jimmy, everything vanished.

Just as he had dreaded, boring drizzly 1997 was back, and at first he wanted to try and turn around and run back to 1966, but then he felt as if some higher intelligence – perhaps God – had let him go back to 1966 just to show him what type of person he still was at heart, despite the years of depression and anxiety.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

Well, Jimmy’s sons insisted upon him visiting his ‘quack’ because after hearing about his ‘time trip’ they really did now fear for his mental health, but when Jimmy calmly discussed his experience with his doctor, the GP seemed fascinated and said he believed Jimmy had not hallucinated the stroll into the past, but had somehow – through some phenomenon awaiting to be discovered by science – visited 1966.

‘I still have the trainers with the sand in them,’ said Jimmy, pensively, ‘the sands of 1966 – the only bit of my past I could save, and I’ll treasure that sand, and I know some people might say I’m potty, but I don’t care what they say or think, I went back there, doctor.’

Timeslips are now recognised by science – there are types of minor slippages in the space-time continuum that are caused by gravity waves, and they were first observed properly in September 2015, and since then, scientists have been steadily learning more about the ways these waves can mess with time and space.

They have also discovered that, despite what people say about nothing being able to move faster than light, that space-time itself can expand faster than light: This doesn’t violate the rules of Relativity, as nothing is physically moving through space, but rather space itself is stretching, and some physicists think these little discoveries will lead us one day to a machine as sophisticated and as powerful as the Large Hadron Collider which will allow us to first televise the past, and then allow us to visit the past in person.

Remove ads with Anomalien PLUS+

I sincerely hope they use such a machine for a peaceful purpose.

Author: Tom Slemen, a Liverpool writer, known foremostly as the author of the best-selling Haunted Liverpool series of books which document paranormal incidents and unsolved or unusual crimes. Check his Books on Amazon here.

Get access to PREMIUM articles, special features and AD FREE experience with Anomalien PLUS+ Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter) and Telegram for BONUS content!
Default image
Tom Slemen

Tom Slemen is a Liverpool writer, known foremostly as the author of the best-selling Haunted Liverpool series of books which document paranormal incidents and unsolved or unusual crimes. Check his Books on Amazon here.

Leave a Reply