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Art Bell

Art Bell May 31, 2001: "Time disturbances"

Fiona Broome is widely credited with coining the concept and phrase "Mandela Effect", but a recording from 2001 has surfaced which directly brings up the idea many people thought Mandela died in prison in the 1980's.

Art Bell ran the paranormal Coast to Coast AM radio show for many years, where fans of UFO's, ghosts, aliens etc were offered a forum, via his phone-in show, where their interests would be discussed seriously without fear of ridicule.

It was on one of these shows - May 31, 2001 - when discussing with Dr Morgan Spence the idea of time travellers being able to change things in the past, that the idea of memories being different to the widely accepted timeline, and the exact story which created The Mandela Effct came up. 

It's spooky thinking the Mandela Effect term has only been known since 2012, but, unless things change (!), it turns out even the Mandela story is a fair bit older than that. Listen for yourself ... it starts at the 1:01:11 mark.

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Human Brain Schematic

The memory retrieval process

There's a class of Mandela Effect which could be explained by the fact the method the brain uses to store and retrieve memories is the same for everyone.

The explanation is that an efficiency mechanism uses key points and triggers to fill in any blanks. The missing parts were considered unnecessary at the time of initial storage, because further processing is used to draw them out, or "recreate" them, at the later point of retrieval. Computer scientists are pointing to AI systems as using a similar process when reassembling incomplete data. A statistical "likeliness" algorithm is used in conjunction with the original data stored to produce what is then used as the full memory, and that is then treat as being indistinguishable from the original.

Evolution may have created a sliding scale of memory detail required for humans to survive. This happened alongside the intelligence needed to recreate the memory when necessary. The importance of the memory would then be directly related to the level of detail stored.

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Expert

Being an expert "doubles the risk"

In a controversial study, scientists have concluded that there is a much higher likelihood of false memories being implanted if the subject is an expert in the particular field in question.

This counter-intuitive outcome arises when the subject has a stong interest in the topic, which clearly experts will have.

Trials were conducted where 4 incidents were related to the subject, of which 3 were true and one was false. Statistically, it was found significantly more believed the false stories if they were and expert in that field.

The studies were carried out at the University College Dublin by Dr Ciara Green, who said

Increasing scientific and public understanding of the causes of false memory is an important goal, particularly in light of some of the more negative consequences associated with the phenomenon, including faulty eyewitness accounts and the controversies surrounding false memories of traumatic childhood events.