The Mandela Effect: False Memory

Analis

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While false memories are usuallu given as a convenient explanation for the Mandela effect, I believe that it mssing important sides of the phenomenon. We know how it can be really frustrating to trace a book, a film or a TV series episode (notably in the case of old SF-fantasy anthologies which looked more or less the same, a feature illustrated in the recent X-Files episode The lost art of Forehead Sweat). The thread on false memories had provided an example of a so-called false memory that wasn't, of a TV version of The Godfather. Had I not watched it in 2004, maybe it would be still considered here as a valid example.

The problem is even worse with logos and brands. Much is made of research by company historians, but they have serious limitations when it comes to state that it is definitely impossible that somebody saw in a distant past a different version of a given logo. Records are often incomplete, who could record every instance of the use of a logo along many decades around the world, including local mistakes or initiatives in obscure ad campaigns ?And even if they are not, specialists of the history of a company may miss some significant parts of it. They comprise of thousands of pages, and it's very easy to miss something. We should add reproductions of known brands in fiction, and sometimes counterfeiting, which could account for many memories of 'innacurate' logos.

I have an amusing example of mine. It is not of a false memory, but of how we could have very different perceptions of the world. Under the title Goldorak, Japanese anime UFO Robot Grendizer was a huge success in France and other countries in the late 70s and the 80s. The airing was orregular, and while the first episodes aired in July 1978, I had always believed that the last ones had only in the Fall of 1983. It was a hot topic at school, so I couldn't imagine that it could be otherwise, as the last aired episode was always heavily discussed. However, I read sometimes that the last episodes had aired in October 1980, which I dismissed as bad journalism. Nonetheless, later on the web I found that a number of old viewers were claiming that they had watched them in October 1980, at a slot that was filled when completed by a new airing of the then successfull Japanese live series San Ku Kaï (Uchu kara no messeji : Ginga taisen, also known internationnally as Message from space: Galactic battle, Message from space TV Series or Sankuokai) shortly before All Hallows' Eve. They were quite adamant at that, but I was also reinforced in my opinion by the fact that other posters and a number of magazines were of the same opinion than me. However, it was found that the archives from the INA (the French Institute for the audiosual media), which record all airings on every resort, state that the last episodes had indeed aired in October 1980. I can't explain how I could have missed them with nobody mentionning them to me, and how many others could have been mistaken in the same way, especially as I had a clear recollection of the said re-airing of San ku Kaï, as it had allowed me to watch the first episode that I had partially missed. As another poster involved in the discussion had said, sometimes, we seem to live in parrallel universes !
 
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Ringo

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Is the infamous Thunderbird photograph an example of a complete universe shift? Or has "the man" successfully erased it from existance?
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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Thanks... that's certainly the footage I saw the last time I saw it. But some of the angles are all wrong for how I remember it being, all the times I watched it before (plus the road sign which just never was there before).

When I have more time on my hands I shall have to dig deeper into this I think.
 

sherbetbizarre

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Thanks... that's certainly the footage I saw the last time I saw it. But some of the angles are all wrong for how I remember it being, all the times I watched it before (plus the road sign which just never was there before).

When I have more time on my hands I shall have to dig deeper into this I think.
Actually I think George Lucas was allowed to make a Special Edition back 1997 - he added the road sign, changed the angles, and took the old version out of circulation. That must be it!
 

Comfortably Numb

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Elsewhere, I have recently discovered that my late uncle, Billy Vandermotten, had a notable football career - played for Stirling Albion, Third Lanark and was capped for Scotland juniors.

Responding to this, I queried:

"Last time I met with Billy was at an England v Scotland game at Wembley and I simply can't find this online.

False memories maybe here... my recollection is that our goalkeeper played for Everton and in a contentious decision, Alan Ball challenged him for a crossed ball - blatant foul - resulting in a goal.

Anyone maybe help with this?".


A knowledgeable reply:

"Maybe you're thinking of 1979 game where Bob Latchford challenged George Wood for the ball but the goal was chopped off ?".

That's definitely the same game and moment.

Just shows you... I can even remember watching highlights of the game, where that incident I recall never actuality happened.

I find this somewhat unsettling...
 

escargot

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We sometimes go to a buffet/carvery place. Recently Techy suggested changing our plate sizes from 'immense' to 'reasonable' to help us eat less.

Well, there were actually three sizes of plate displayed on hooks on the wall, with a large oval plate, a normal dinner plate and a smaller plate.

I said grumpily 'We normally have a regular size plate, don't we? Not the huge one? Are we supposed to have a small plate now?'

So Techy inquired about the plates and was told there were actually only two sizes, Regular and Small, and that there had only ever BEEN those two.

Even though the hook was visible the wall above the Regular and Small plates and we'd seen people greedily choosing and loading the big oval plates.

After all this we ended up having the same size meal as we normally do.

So why were we told there were only two sizes when we knew differently?

It's either the Mandela Effect - we thought there were three sizes - or gaslighting, where the staff were told to pretend there were only ever two.
 

Roland Deschain

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This happened just a week ago. Bear with me because its a bit more involved than most.

For my work I am part of a small team that develops electronic products - mostly niche things you wont have heard of.

The team consists of one guy who designs the circuits, another who lays the design out into PCBs and me who does the firmware on any embedded processors. So any new product takes three people - remember this bit.

Now some products get made for years and during that time some components go obsolete, so the products periodically get a degree of redesign.

One customer unexpectedly placed an order for a product that we knew had obsolete parts, so time for a redesign and to gather together any existing stock to tide them over.
While gathering the old stock something odd happened - I found a new PCB, completed with the redesign already done. This redesign was not trivial and included a new processor and an improved layout and new input/outputs. I am gobsmacked - my collegues have already done this and not told me - so I thought!

I took this PCB and asked my collegues about it. They were gobsmacked too - this was something we knew we had to do in the coming weeks. No one remembered doing their part of the design and we each had to check our files to see what was going on. Each of us had worked on and completed their part and we had a fully working product done six months previously, and not only that but we had sold a batch to the customer who had themselves forgotten that they had the latest version and were anticipating a wait for the new stuff!

So multiple simultaneous memory failures, on something quite involed, that we actually did recently - either the mind is a funny thing or the matrix glitched.
 

catseye

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We sometimes go to a buffet/carvery place. Recently Techy suggested changing our plate sizes from 'immense' to 'reasonable' to help us eat less.

Well, there were actually three sizes of plate displayed on hooks on the wall, with a large oval plate, a normal dinner plate and a smaller plate.

I said grumpily 'We normally have a regular size plate, don't we? Not the huge one? Are we supposed to have a small plate now?'

So Techy inquired about the plates and was told there were actually only two sizes, Regular and Small, and that there had only ever BEEN those two.

Even though the hook was visible the wall above the Regular and Small plates and we'd seen people greedily choosing and loading the big oval plates.

After all this we ended up having the same size meal as we normally do.

So why were we told there were only two sizes when we knew differently?

It's either the Mandela Effect - we thought there were three sizes - or gaslighting, where the staff were told to pretend there were only ever two.
I would cynically suspect that the carvery got tired of people loading up large plates (with the possible 'leaving' of lots of food which was therefore wasted) and have been told to only offer the two more reasonably sized plates. If person asked is relatively new, they might not remember the, what I am from now on going to call, Fat Bastard plates and therefore, in their reality, there only have ever been those two.

It happens in the shop where I work. Workers who are new in say 'oh, we've never sold (f'ex) gold topped milk', when those longer serving among us remember that we used to, but don't any more.
 

Cochise

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This phenomenon really makes me think. It's possible our whole concept of continuity is mistaken. After all, if you didn't know how it worked you wouldn't guess a movie was made up of individual frames. What if life / time elapsed is also individual frames we cannot perceive because of the way our senses works? We know everything we see is a fraction of time behind when it actually happens, and that in reality there is no such property as 'colour' - these are things our senses have evolved out of consciousness to make us more successful survivors.

What if, in the interests of conservation of storage, the frames retained as 'history' are frames that have , say larger than 10,000 people remembering, thus rare phenomenon are discarded? Just as a library might discard books that are never lent out.

Discuss, in time for Thursday's class :)
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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This phenomenon really makes me think. It's possible our whole concept of continuity is mistaken. After all, if you didn't know how it worked you wouldn't guess a movie was made up of individual frames. What if life / time elapsed is also individual frames we cannot perceive because of the way our senses works? We know everything we see is a fraction of time behind when it actually happens, and that in reality there is no such property as 'colour' - these are things our senses have evolved out of consciousness to make us more successful survivors.

What if, in the interests of conservation of storage, the frames retained as 'history' are frames that have , say larger than 10,000 people remembering, thus rare phenomenon are discarded? Just as a library might discard books that are never lent out.

Discuss, in time for Thursday's class :)
That is very interesting. And if I wasn't currently fighting to stay awake against painkillers I'd put together a much more eloquent reply.

Suffice to say I think your idea has merit.
 

Austin Popper

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This topic is really interesting. I do think there is something real behind at least some of these things, and it's intriguing to speculate on what it might be. Of course our memories are subject to comically huge errors at times, but some of this stuff just doesn't add up. Things like the "Berenstein Bears" (which is how I thought it was spelled) can easily be written off as trivial mistakes. I never noticed the spelling of Dan Aykroyd's name on movie credits or news stories, even though I was a fan. It took a question about it on the TV show Jeopardy to get me to see it. When a building someone was very familiar with suddenly isn't there anymore, and apparently never existed, however, it gets really interesting. I haven't had anything like that happen, but recently we had an amusing incident here in our house that still has me scratching my head.

Mrs. Popper is a quilter and fiber artist. She does all sorts of things, some of which seem more like sculpture to me than quilting. She's quite talented and has had her work in some big shows. Something like twelve years ago, maybe longer, she bought a nice new Viking sewing machine. Since she uses it a lot, it needs an annual cleaning and tune-up. That was easily accomplished when we lived a few blocks from the shop where she bought it. They were quick and very good at getting it done.

A couple of years ago, we moved to a cute little town high up in the Rockies. The nearest Viking dealer is a few hours away, and even the nearest competent tech we were able to learn about is nearly as far. The machine had gone over two years between servicings, and was getting a bit cranky. One day my wife told me she pulled out her old Singer to do some mending so as not to annoy the Viking, and said she didn't think it was the right machine. "I think maybe we got rid of the wrong machine when we moved, because it seems strange and I couldn't even figure out how to wind the bobbin," she said. I said the machines we got rid of were antiques and looked nothing like her old reliable. "I dunno. I couldn't even figure out how to run it. Maybe I'm losing my mind." Now this is a machine she bought when she was in college, which means she's had it about forty years and has put many, many miles on it. She has used it in recent years, for mending and when the new machine was in the shop, so it's not like it has been years and years since she dug it out of the closet.

We planned a trip to the city, where we could get the Viking worked on, and I forgot about the Singer. Until I walked into the sewing room one day, that is, looking for something or other. There on the sewing table sat a weird looking machine I would swear I had never seen before! I was pretty familiar with the old one, having made a minor repair or two on it myself over the years, as well as taking it in for work myself. We got the Viking tuned up, and Mrs. Popper put the Singer back in its case so we don't have to look at it. Curiously, the case looks exactly as we both remember it always looking. It's a rather distinctive white molded plastic thing. The machine itself just looks wrong, and it creeps us out a bit.
 

Swifty

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'Plategate' reminds me of Allan Partridge's big plate (2:50 onwards) .. I reckon you should both start smuggling your own plates in Skargy :dinner:

 

cycleboy2

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I saw that on its first showing and immediately related. One can, however, become expert enough at plate-loading to need only the smaller size.
Years ago when one of the pizza chains only allowed one visit to the salad bar I became an expert at loading the bowl, using a pagoda-like structure to increase the amount of food it was possible to carry: cucumber or stronger lettuce leaves at the bottom to increase the effective circumference of the bowl, load salad on that, then another layer of lettuce/cucumber etc. As much as I could eat in one bowl. Healthy too, apart from those very tasty bacon bits that probably aren't bacon!
 

Swifty

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I saw that on its first showing and immediately related. One can, however, become expert enough at plate-loading to need only the smaller size.
The Mrs favourite trick is to load as much as she can inside her yorkshire pudding at a self service carvery.
 

catseye

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Actually my post to Skargy above, about newcomers not realising that the past was different from their present experience might explain some things.

How long is 'never'? And in whose experience?

Those newcomers to where I work are quite right, in their experience we've 'never' sold gold top milk. In my experience, we have. But how far back do we need to go to say 'never'? Sabre tooth cats have' never' existed in my experience, but excavation reveals that they have. There may be other things out there there we swear have 'never existed', but we just lack current proof.

Sorry. Just thinking aloud about the reality of never.
 

Swifty

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Actually my post to Skargy above, about newcomers not realising that the past was different from their present experience might explain some things.

How long is 'never'? And in whose experience?

Those newcomers to where I work are quite right, in their experience we've 'never' sold gold top milk. In my experience, we have. But how far back do we need to go to say 'never'? Sabre tooth cats have' never' existed in my experience, but excavation reveals that they have. There may be other things out there there we swear have 'never existed', but we just lack current proof.

Sorry. Just thinking aloud about the reality of never.
Now you've got me wondering what sabre tooth milk tasted like.
 

escargot

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Actually my post to Skargy above, about newcomers not realising that the past was different from their present experience might explain some things.

How long is 'never'? And in whose experience?

Those newcomers to where I work are quite right, in their experience we've 'never' sold gold top milk. In my experience, we have. But how far back do we need to go to say 'never'? Sabre tooth cats have' never' existed in my experience, but excavation reveals that they have. There may be other things out there there we swear have 'never existed', but we just lack current proof.

Sorry. Just thinking aloud about the reality of never.
That's a very good point. When people think things have always been like this they've lost the knowledge about how things change, and how easily they can revert.

We in western Europe have had peace and liberal democracy since the last war. Only since then - before that we had Fascism and war. Sadly, later generations see those times as history, not as a state that could come back. It's on its way because we have forgotten.
 
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How long is 'never'? And in whose experience?
I was told recently that liquid containers at airports had always been 100ml or less and they all needed to be in a single sealed plastic bag, one bag per person.

Except for when it was 50ml...like it used to be before...2006.

It's on its way because we have forgotten
Aye. This is why teaching history matters.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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This topic is really interesting. I do think there is something real behind at least some of these things, and it's intriguing to speculate on what it might be. Of course our memories are subject to comically huge errors at times, but some of this stuff just doesn't add up. Things like the "Berenstein Bears" (which is how I thought it was spelled) can easily be written off as trivial mistakes. I never noticed the spelling of Dan Aykroyd's name on movie credits or news stories, even though I was a fan. It took a question about it on the TV show Jeopardy to get me to see it. When a building someone was very familiar with suddenly isn't there anymore, and apparently never existed, however, it gets really interesting. I haven't had anything like that happen, but recently we had an amusing incident here in our house that still has me scratching my head.

Mrs. Popper is a quilter and fiber artist. She does all sorts of things, some of which seem more like sculpture to me than quilting. She's quite talented and has had her work in some big shows. Something like twelve years ago, maybe longer, she bought a nice new Viking sewing machine. Since she uses it a lot, it needs an annual cleaning and tune-up. That was easily accomplished when we lived a few blocks from the shop where she bought it. They were quick and very good at getting it done.

A couple of years ago, we moved to a cute little town high up in the Rockies. The nearest Viking dealer is a few hours away, and even the nearest competent tech we were able to learn about is nearly as far. The machine had gone over two years between servicings, and was getting a bit cranky. One day my wife told me she pulled out her old Singer to do some mending so as not to annoy the Viking, and said she didn't think it was the right machine. "I think maybe we got rid of the wrong machine when we moved, because it seems strange and I couldn't even figure out how to wind the bobbin," she said. I said the machines we got rid of were antiques and looked nothing like her old reliable. "I dunno. I couldn't even figure out how to run it. Maybe I'm losing my mind." Now this is a machine she bought when she was in college, which means she's had it about forty years and has put many, many miles on it. She has used it in recent years, for mending and when the new machine was in the shop, so it's not like it has been years and years since she dug it out of the closet.

We planned a trip to the city, where we could get the Viking worked on, and I forgot about the Singer. Until I walked into the sewing room one day, that is, looking for something or other. There on the sewing table sat a weird looking machine I would swear I had never seen before! I was pretty familiar with the old one, having made a minor repair or two on it myself over the years, as well as taking it in for work myself. We got the Viking tuned up, and Mrs. Popper put the Singer back in its case so we don't have to look at it. Curiously, the case looks exactly as we both remember it always looking. It's a rather distinctive white molded plastic thing. The machine itself just looks wrong, and it creeps us out a bit.
Verrry interesting and doubly so because both of you have had the same reaction to the Singer machine.

Perhaps (Zebs says half-jokingly) the Singer machine has become a bit peeved over the years because of being usurped by the Viking, and its unhappiness comes across to you and your wife as a feeling of it being off...
 

Ulalume

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I've never experienced much in the way of the Mandela effect, outside of a couple of false memories and thinking certain celebrities were dead. A few months ago, however, I had one that has left me utterly confused.

I'll try to explain as clearly as I can. *All names have been changed for the sake of privacy.*

In 2015, I happened upon the website of a woman called Kendra. It was interesting, so I read all she had written previously, then subscribed for updates. The updates were fairly frequent, and I remember the content quite well. At one point Kendra had written a book review that seemed intriguing. I looked up the book and the author.

The author was a woman named "Rosa Adams." Rosa Adams had a fairly extensive website and social media presence as well, so I pored through all that, quite thoroughly because I was looking for a specific piece of information. Among other things, Rosa Adams was a lesbian with a memorable hair color.

I subscribed to her website as well, and as in the case with Kendra, received updates frequently.
Eventually, though, I became busy with other things and didn't check very often.

This past summer, it happened that I wanted a piece of information I'd found on Kendra's site, and went to look for it. However, there was a message saying she'd closed down her site - in 2011. Of course, this being the internet, I thought maybe she'd just deleted everything back to 2011, so I checked the Wayback Machine. But nope, all the archives from 2011 onwards showed the same message and nothing after.

I wondered if somehow I'd got Kendra confused with another person (though this was unlikely - I don't subscribe to many websites) but remembered seeing most of the things that were left on the site - just an awful lot was missing, too. Like the book review, for instance.

The next place to look was the book Kendra had reviewed, which I did manage to find. The publication date was July of 2015. If the site had really been dormant since 2011, the review couldn't have been there. Odd.

But while I was looking up Rosa Adams, something else screwy happened. She now appeared to be Rose Adams. Not a big change, but I was very sure the name had been "Rosa" because I'd thought the placement of the A's made the name awkward to say. It had really stuck out at me every time I'd read it, that it didn't flow very well.

I thought, well, maybe she's changed it, so did a bit of searching, but judging by the dates, it seems it had always been Rose.

Next thing, I went to poke around the now Rose Adams' website and social media. Much was familiar from my earlier readings, but some things were distinctly different. For one thing, there was a husband very much in evidence (and from years back too, so I surely would have seen this) and her hair color was not at all what I had remembered, and judging from the dates, never had been.

This seemed especially strange, as I had seriously envied this woman's hair, and why would I envy something I'd misremembered, or worse yet, only imagined? It was most definitely the same woman, though.

The only rational explanation I can come up with is that the posts regarding her husband had been hidden and then made public at some later date - thus the timestamps -and all references to lesbianism removed (though there's nothing in the context that suggests that's what happened.) The hair color thing, though, I just can't explain.

Either I've had a crazy memory impairment just related to these two women and their websites, or something weird is going on. :eek:
 

EnolaGaia

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What was the message you found on the Wayback Machine that remained consistent from 2011 onward? Was it the message that Kendra had closed her site as of 2011? Or was it a message generated by the Wayback Machine itself?

When you went looking for the Kendra site, did you have a _recorded_ URL (web address) that you were searching on, or did you have to (e.g.) search to find the exact address the Wayback Machine shows as (whatever) from 2011 onward?
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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I've never experienced much in the way of the Mandela effect, outside of a couple of false memories and thinking certain celebrities were dead. A few months ago, however, I had one that has left me utterly confused.

I'll try to explain as clearly as I can. *All names have been changed for the sake of privacy.*

In 2015, I happened upon the website of a woman called Kendra. It was interesting, so I read all she had written previously, then subscribed for updates. The updates were fairly frequent, and I remember the content quite well. At one point Kendra had written a book review that seemed intriguing. I looked up the book and the author.

The author was a woman named "Rosa Adams." Rosa Adams had a fairly extensive website and social media presence as well, so I pored through all that, quite thoroughly because I was looking for a specific piece of information. Among other things, Rosa Adams was a lesbian with a memorable hair color.

I subscribed to her website as well, and as in the case with Kendra, received updates frequently.
Eventually, though, I became busy with other things and didn't check very often.

This past summer, it happened that I wanted a piece of information I'd found on Kendra's site, and went to look for it. However, there was a message saying she'd closed down her site - in 2011. Of course, this being the internet, I thought maybe she'd just deleted everything back to 2011, so I checked the Wayback Machine. But nope, all the archives from 2011 onwards showed the same message and nothing after.

I wondered if somehow I'd got Kendra confused with another person (though this was unlikely - I don't subscribe to many websites) but remembered seeing most of the things that were left on the site - just an awful lot was missing, too. Like the book review, for instance.

The next place to look was the book Kendra had reviewed, which I did manage to find. The publication date was July of 2015. If the site had really been dormant since 2011, the review couldn't have been there. Odd.

But while I was looking up Rosa Adams, something else screwy happened. She now appeared to be Rose Adams. Not a big change, but I was very sure the name had been "Rosa" because I'd thought the placement of the A's made the name awkward to say. It had really stuck out at me every time I'd read it, that it didn't flow very well.

I thought, well, maybe she's changed it, so did a bit of searching, but judging by the dates, it seems it had always been Rose.

Next thing, I went to poke around the now Rose Adams' website and social media. Much was familiar from my earlier readings, but some things were distinctly different. For one thing, there was a husband very much in evidence (and from years back too, so I surely would have seen this) and her hair color was not at all what I had remembered, and judging from the dates, never had been.

This seemed especially strange, as I had seriously envied this woman's hair, and why would I envy something I'd misremembered, or worse yet, only imagined? It was most definitely the same woman, though.

The only rational explanation I can come up with is that the posts regarding her husband had been hidden and then made public at some later date - thus the timestamps -and all references to lesbianism removed (though there's nothing in the context that suggests that's what happened.) The hair color thing, though, I just can't explain.

Either I've had a crazy memory impairment just related to these two women and their websites, or something weird is going on. :eek:
That's very interesting and fits very well with the 'Glitch In The Matrix'* -type experiences that I love to read about; subtle differences that seem to have no explanation - hair colour changing, suddenly appearing husband, one-letter difference in her name, etc. Especially given that some of the stuff you can find is the same as what you remember.

Trying to think of mundane explanations:
Do you have, in your browser history, links to the pages on her site that you once read? (Possibly your history might not go back as far as 2015, though) - but if you did, do they now just go to the 'site closed' page? (What I mean is, would they possibly point to a different site - perhaps the one you're finding that says 'closed' was a previous incarnation of her site and she since (when you read her stuff in 2015) was on a different site? Is that possible?

Also, you say you subscribed for updates - does that mean you got updates via email, if so do you still have them and do they shed any light?

All-in-all though, does sound to me like a glitch. :nods: Thanks for sharing, I love stuff like this.


* As I understand it, Glitch In The Matrix refers more to personal experiences of unexplained changes (like this one), whereas Mandela Effect refers to shared experiences of unexplained changes (like movie changes or what-have-you).
 
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