This one is gonna sound weird.
I’d like to start by saying that I am both a scientist and a hypnotist. Which means that I know how to make objective measurements, and I know the sorts of things that cause us to hallucinate.
So years ago now, I was driving home from seeing a customer in a remote town. The quickest I’ve ever managed this particular trip is around 4.5 hours, other than on this one instance. It’s usually more like 5 hours or more. I made this trip a lot of times, so the road was very familiar to me.
I was driving my old car, which was an ancient Subaru Justy. If you’re not familiar with the model, it’s a 3 door hatchback with a 1 litre engine, and it used to struggle to maintain even the speed limit of 100kph other than going down a hill.
A good portion of the journey that I’m talking about in this story was along a winding road over a mountain range. Suffice it to say that the car in question was simply not able to go fast enough to pull off the feats I’m about to mention.
So there I am. It’s a regular day for me, I woke up, got up, checked out of the motel, and headed down to the business I’d been doing some work for to do a final check before heading home. I was in no particular rush, and aimed to get to the business by the time it opened at 8am.
All was well, so I headed off just after 8am, intending to stop for breakfast at a little cafe a couple of hours up the road.
Before I started out, I made a note of the time that I left. I also sent a message to my partner, which had a timestamp on it. Everything indicated that I left just after 8am. And of course, since the journey was expected to be 5 hours in total, I expected to get home around 1pm. Maybe a little later due to the stop at the cafe.
At no point along the road did I exceed the speed limit. It’s not even possible to achieve the speed limit for most of that road, due to the very windy nature of it. Getting close to the speed limit is simply not possible. Even a high performance sports car would be unlikely to manage it. And my car was the exact opposite of high performance.
I stopped at the cafe in question and had breakfast. Back in those days, the phone systems were not particularly reliable around that part of the country and the data network had limited bandwidth, so I used to pay for everything along this particular trip with cash. Unfortunately this means that I have no electronically recorded timestamp of exactly when I was at the cafe.
I’ve been to a lot of cafes though, so I can safely conclude that I was probably there for a total of 20-30 minutes.
Then I headed off. Now to me the entire trip seemed uneventful until I got home. It was a totally regular and normal trip in every other regard. And it seemed to take around 5 hours. That said, how long it seemed to take is relatively unimportant, because of how human perception of time works.
I arrived home around 11am, much to the surprise of my partner, who was expecting me to arrive at more like 1pm.
We checked everything. Timestamps on messages. Called the guy who I’d been doing some work for. Everything was consistent with the duration of the trip being just a little less than 3 hours. The thing is that even if I had been able to maintain the speed limit, it would have taken almost 4 hours.
Unfortunately I didn’t log the odometer readings in the car, because I’m sure that would have been interesting.
Now, as I mentioned, that trip would be very difficult to manage in 3 hours even in a high performance sports car that ignored the speed limits.
To this day, I still have no idea what happened there. What I am quite sure of though is that there is some new science in it, just waiting to be discovered.
As I mentioned at the start, I am both a scientist and a hypnotist. I know exactly how to make objective measurements. And I know exactly how people hallucinate. In this case, there was no hallucination. At least, not in a way that caused the observed behavior of time. The measurements across multiple people, devices and events confirmed that.
And the measurements were also inconsistent with anything other than space and time somehow shifting along that journey. Maybe the car teleported. Who knows?
It’s not the only time strange things like this have happened.