By J.W. Schnarr
This past weekend I went falling down the rabbit hole and may have, for once, actually brushed against something I shouldn’t have.
I’ve been a little disturbed by it ever since.
“Falling down the rabbit hole” is what you call it when you get onto a subject while surfing the Internet and you end up following it into weird or strange places while searching for the whole truth… or sometimes, just veering off randomly from one interesting bit to the next.
But I’m veering again. Here’s the disturbing thing:
Quickly, do you remember the Berenstein Bears from your childhood? That happy family of moral forest creatures, featuring Ma and Pa and Brother and Sister Bear? I read those books as a kid. I think maybe everybody did. I asked my sister, and her husband, and my parents.
Sure, sure. Barenstein Bears. We discussed whether they were pronounced BerenSTEEN Bears or BerenSTINE Bears. We couldn’t agree on how you say it. But one thing we could agree on is that it was definitely Berenstein Bears, spelled with an “E”
And wouldn’t you know it, but we were wrong.
It’s actually the BerenSTAIN Bears.
I didn’t believe it either. But a Google search revealed that this was indeed the case. It’s the Berenstain Bears, and I, along with pretty much everyone I’ve talked to about it (save my nephew, who claims he knew all along it was spelled with an “A”) have all remembered it wrong. Everyone. Most likely, you as well, Constant Reader.
I stumbled across this information after reading a story by freelance writer Rob Schwarz about parallel universes (Four Weird “Clues” that Parallel Universes Exist) posted to the Stranger Dimensions website. That was back in 2013.
In 2015, he wrote another story (The Berenst#in Bears Problem: Are We Living In An Alternate Worldline?), where he described the weird feeling he had discovering the news that yes, indeed, they are, and, apparently, have always been the BerenSTAIN Bears.
The suggestion Schwarz makes is that we are living in an alternative worldline, and the mass confusion we are all feeling could be because at one point the name WAS BerenSTEIN, and we have somehow moved into a parallel universe where the name is slightly different.
Schwarz was actually quoting from a story (The Berenstein Bears: We Are Living in Our Own Parallel Universe) posted on a blog called the Wood between Worlds from a poster named “Reece” who described the physics required for such a shift to have taken place.
The post was from back in 2012, and, I have to admit, it takes a bit to get your head around (math is not my best subject, even to this day). But Reese is describing “4D complex Euclidean spacetime,” (his words) and that we moved into a slightly different version of our original universe, from one where the name contained an “E” to one where it contained an “A.”
He says his theory does not describe time travel or the quantum many worlds theory, but that it is a weird thought exercise over a commonly misspelled word, and that his math describes the shift itself.
But Reece did originally cite another blog, The CDP.net, with a post titled “Somebody Must Have Stepped on a Butterfly.”
The title is a reference to the Ray Bradbury story “A Sound of Thunder,” where time travellers go back to hunt dinosaurs, one of them steps on a butterfly, and when they return to their regular time they find it has been altered.
This was CDP’s suggestion here. At some point between 1986 and 2011, a time traveller altered our timeline that lead to the changes in question.
In this theory, there would be many little changes such as this one; little things we might look at and think it was weird we had remembered it differently, and that the one with the Berenst#in Bears was simply a change made to something that was historically significant, and we have all found ourselves wondering why the name isn’t the same as the one we remember from our childhoods.
CDP’s post doesn’t take itself too seriously. The poster claims the only person he knows who remembers that “A” is his wife, who is constantly trying to get him to shut up about the subject. This leads him to the conclusion that his wife is THE time traveller in question, and that he wants a divorce.
Now, I know what I remember. I’m about 95 per cent sure it was an “E” when I was a kid. And now that our two universes or timelines have been polluted, there are probably lots of you out there who remember the “A.” Fair enough.
What I’ve really begun to worry about, though, is what our world leaders have to say on the issue. I have been having this creepy thought that those in true power in the world are all “A” people, and that the rest of us poor sheep are the “E” people.
And that somehow, at some point, those “A” people went back in time and made the necessary changes to make sure they stayed in power for as long as possible. Or that somehow the Large Hadron Collider is responsible for all of this, and we have ripped the fabric of our universe to shreds trying to discover what it is made of.
This is a machine a couple scientists once claimed was trying to turn itself off from the future to avoid the destruction of our universe, after all.
Or Chemtrails, man. Chemtrails.