The idea that our universe is not alone, that other dimensions exist that brush up against our own, is nothing new. It has been fuel for science fiction for years, and in modern times science has grown to accept that indeed there very well may be other parallel universes existing beside our own. The implications of such possibilities open up the inevitable question of if alternate universes do exist, then is it possible to travel to them? While the basic premise of other universes beyond our own has theories that point to the possibility, crossing over that veil between them is murkier territory. Yet, there are cases of enigmatic people who claim to have done just that, pushing through the boundaries of different realities to jump from one universe to the next. In this article I am not going to pretend to understand how such a process might work, how it would be possible, or how the known laws of physics would allow for it. I am not going to lay down complicated theories of inter-dimensional travel or the intricacies of what it might entail. What I am going to do is present to you the most bizarre tales of those who claim to have done so. These are cases that cover the full spectrum of the weird, ranging from the slightly odd to the downright absurd, and whether they have any basis in fact or not, they are still titillating glimpses into the possibilities of reaching out into dimensions and universes beyond what we consider to be the real.
On November 9, 1986, at around 11PM at night, a car was driving along a rural road on its way from Seville, Spain on its way to the town of Alcala de Guadaira. Within this car was a man named Pedro Oliva Ramirez, who was on his way home from a business trip. He knew this road well, even in the dark, and may have perhaps been lost to his own thoughts as the monotonous landscape blurred by in the night, yet he would encounter something that was to startle him awake into the now. As he turned a bend in the road, he claims that the narrow, two-lane road had suddenly become a wide, 6-lane spacious boulevard which he had never seen before. Ramirez was positive that he had not taken a wrong turn somewhere, and he was equally sure that what he saw around him should not have existed in the state he knew the area to be in.
Along the inexplicably broad highway he’d found himself on was thin and very tall green grass that had never been there before, as well as buildings that looked like small houses and apartment buildings about 20 stories in height scattered about, which was odd considering he had never seen such structures there before in all of his times traveling through the area. Out in the distance he claimed he could make out sprawling factories of some sort covered with shimmering lights that loomed upon the landscape like some sort of alien creatures, and again he was sure those had never been there before. As he tried to get his head around what he was seeing, Ramirez began to notice that there was a strange heat welling up around him, eating into him, and that he could hear a din of voices echoing out from the distance. One of these voices allegedly reached out through the cacophony and clearly explained to him that he had been transported to another dimension.
Becoming steadily unsettled by the whole ordeal, Ramirez then began to notice that there were other cars on the road whizzing by him, which he described as being old fashioned white or beige Cadillacs with license plates that were wholly different than were typically issued in Spain, being merely narrow, dark rectangles. Ramirez continued his drive onwards, and occasionally stopped the car to take a look around, but everything seemed somehow alien and unfamiliar, with that odd high grass seeming to dominate the landscape as far as he could see. He eventually came to a sign designating the way to the towns of Alkabala, Malaga and Seville, and he turned off to follow the road leading there. After some time driving along the road in confusion, he was allegedly met with the sight of his very own home in the town of Alcala de Guadeyra, looking precisely the way he had left it.
According to his clock he had been on the road for more than 3 hours and had used way more gas than he should have for what should have been a mere 30-minute drive under normal circumstances. Ramirez would go back and try to find the route that had taken him home, to no avail. Neither could he relocate the expansive 6-lane highway he had travelled along nor any sign of the outdated Cadillacs that had been everywhere during his strange journey. Indeed, a look at maps confirmed what he had suspected from the beginning, that no such broad highway had ever existed in the area. Did Pedro Oliva Ramirez somehow pass into another dimension during his bizarre drive home? We may never know.
An equally odd tale was related by a man from Livermore, California, who calls himself James Richards. On September 9, 2009, at around 2PM, Richards claims that he had been driving home with his dog after visiting a friend, and that on the way he had decided to take a detour through a scenic drive in an area called Del Puerto Canyon, just west of the town of Turlock. As they meandered through the rugged landscape, Richards’ dog apparently started to whine to be let out of the car, as if she needed to relieve herself. He stopped the car to let her out to do her business, and at some point she apparently started chasing a rabbit out into the wilds. Richards claims to have given chase, and at some point he tripped on a rabbit hole and fell down, hitting his head and being knocked unconscious in the process. This is where things would take a turn for the decidedly bizarre.
Richards claims that he had awoken in a room with furniture and “some electronics” within it, and that there had been placed upon his head bandages put there by some unknown person. He was particularly startled by the sound of traffic outside, which in no way matched up to the secluded, quiet rural area in which he had been when he had fallen. In one corner of the room sat an unusual and sophisticated looking electronic machine the likes of which he had never seen and whose purpose he could not fathom. As he struggled to take in all of this new information, the door then opened and Richards’ dog purportedly ran in to give him a warm welcome, as if he had been gone for awhile. As Richards hugged and played with his beloved dog, still wondering just where in the world he was, he noticed a man standing in the doorway.
The stranger was described by Richards as being “about 6 ft tall, had medium long black hair and was dressed casually nice but gave me a "greasy" vibe, if you know what I mean.” The strange man introduced himself as Jonas, and claimed to have found the unconscious Richards lying in a field with his dog barking nearby. The weird thing was, according to Jonas, that field was only about 20 feet from the room they were now in, which was preposterous considering Richards had been in a totally uninhabited and remote area at the time.
When Richards objected to this idea and insisted that he had fallen and been knocked out in an area with no houses around, the mysterious Jonas gestured to the machine in the corner of the room and came up with a truly weird story indeed. He admitted that he was in fact an inter-dimensional traveller using his strange machine to jump about to parallel universes, and that he had by chance come across Richards laying unconscious upon the ground, alone and with nobody to help. Jonas claimed to have taken it upon himself to pull Richards into a portal back to his own dimension, something which he said he never normally did but had made an exception in this case. As the conversation dragged on, things would become weirder.
Jonas claimed that in his world, such inter-dimensional travel machines, or “Parallel Travel Machines,” as he liked to call them, were readily available, but that they were considered to be incredibly dangerous. He also explained that there was an infinite number of Earths, and that hopping about between them was a harrowing task at best, holding the risks of a portal opening from a large height, underwater, into fire, or countless other unpredictable factors. This had apparently ended up with the government coming up with a list of worlds that were considered safe for travel, many of which were sparsely inhabited, untouched by mankind. Jonas himself claimed to be involved with staking out new, uncharted worlds into which common people could travel without danger when he had come across the dimension in which he had found Richards lying upon the ground.
The fascinated Richards began a conversation with Jonas about all of the intricacies of the world he had come from, trying to come to an understanding of the similarities and differences between the two and covering a wide range of topics including food, pop culture, and technology. It was then that the topic turned to music, and when the great band The Beatles got brought up, Jonas said that his brother had just gotten back from their concert recently. When an incredulous Richards claimed that they had long ago broken up and that John and George had died, Jonas insisted that in his world they were still alive and well. As evidence, Jonas apparently guided Richards into a room with strangely designed speakers and a wealth of Beatles output that had never existed in the “real world” that he was familiar with. While many of the songs were the same, there were also some that had never been released or made in the world from which Richards had come from.
It all seemed to be bizarre but in good fun until Richards suggested that he take a recording from one of these never made Beatles songs back with him to his own dimension, to which Jonas took on a rather somber and sinister demeanor. He allegedly made it very clear that none of it was to go back, explaining: “No, you are not to take anything with you back to your world. No pictures, no souvenirs, no tapes, NOTHING.” Richards breathlessly agreed, but when Jonas was distracted by someone coming to visit he allegedly covertly stuffed one of the tapes into his pocket. When Jonas returned, they apparently had something to eat, with more differences between the realities making themselves known, such as purple ketchup and various foods with different names, and then Richards expressed his desire to be getting home. They went back into the room with the machine and went through some sort of portal, and going through it purportedly had the sensation of “getting wet and staying dry at the same time,” which seemingly freaked out the dog a great deal. When Richards returned, he found that there was a burn mark on the ground where the portal had appeared, and that the tape he had stolen would not play even when he bought a new tape player to play it. All he could ascertain was that the title of the album was “Everyday Chemistry.” One wonders what was on that tape, or if any of this really happened at all.
Yet another weird tale of alleged inter-dimensional travel comes to us from a Carol Chase McElheney in 2006. She claims that as she was driving back to her home in San Bernardino, California from the town of Perris, she had stopped off at her hometown of Riverside. At some point during her journey, she suddenly realized that something was decidedly off. As she drove around, she was unable to locate her home or other familiar landmarks that should have been there, even though she ostensibly appeared to indeed be in Riverside and the house numbers all seemed to be correct. A trip to the cemetery where her grandparents had been buried turned out to be an unkept and abandoned overgrown lot choked with weeds. Considering that her old junior high school and high school were still there, as far as she could tell, she was indeed in Riverside, but in some bizarre, mixed up version of it. Additionally, the residents of this shadowy place seemed to be rather withdrawn and surrounded by a certain ominous vibe. She left promptly and claims that when she returned at a later date everything had gone back to the way she had remembered it to be. She remains convinced that she had somehow wandered in to some alternative version of the town she had grown up in. It is a strange case to be sure.
Some cases of supposed inter-dimensional travel are almost surreal and dreamlike in their sheer bizarreness. One man known only as Michael had just such an experience while driving from the Australian Capital Territory to New South Wales, in Australia. He was traveling along a series of roads that cut through rugged territory that alternates between thick forests and scattered remote plains, on a route that should have taken him to his destination in around 2 or 3 hours. As he drove, watching plains give way to forests which would melt back into plains again, Michael claims he began to get the distinct feeling that he had been driving far longer than 3 hours, and he stopped the car to take a rest and look around. It was a mild, clear night, and at the time nothing seemed to be particularly out of place, but things would take a turn for the weird quite quickly.
It started when he looked up at the moon and noticed that it seemed far lower and brighter than it should have been. Amazed by this perplexing phenomenon, he went out to search for a field where he could get a better look at this strange, bight moon. After trudging through underbrush, he came to an open field that looked as if it had recently been plowed, and when he looked up to see the moon again he says it became evident that it was not the moon at all, but rather a blindingly bright spotlight, so bright in fact that he had to put his hands up to shield his eyes from its intensity. Then, he was suddenly immersed in darkness as the spotlight cut off, only to be bathed in light again as another spotlight switched on facing from another direction. Illuminated within the spotlight’s beam, Michael claims that he could see the form of what looked to be a scarecrow, which seemed to be moving, either from the wind or some power of its own.
Unsettled, Michael hurried back to his car and started the engine. Before leaving, he took one more look back at where the spotlight had been only to find it was not there anymore and yet the whole field was awash in light as if being illuminated by it. More bizarrely, there was no sign of the trees and brush he had had to slog through to reach the field, and the field was there in the open in full view. As the startled Michael looked on, he claims that the light of the field began to shrink and contract until it became a bright beam focused on what appeared to be a man standing in the center of the field. In the man’s hand was a gun, and every time Michael moved, the stranger moved the gun up little by little until it was pointing at his own head, as if he planned to shoot himself. In reaction to this, Michael froze, not knowing what to do next.
This went on for a time, both him and the stranger frozen there, but as Michael grew tired, his hands and legs began to shake, which prompted the mysterious stranger to inexorably move the gun up until it was aimed squarely at his own head. It was then that the strange man began to cry, and even though he was far away, Michael could make out what appeared to be cuts on his body that oddly did not bleed. As he cried, the man raised his other hand and pointed to his left before pronouncing in an ear piercing wail: “THERE!” At this point the gun went off and Michael threw his hands up to block the macabre sight. When he pulled his hands away to look, he realized that he was in his car and that the car had somehow been teleported to the center of the field, and there was no sign of the stranger who had been standing there. Disoriented and confused, Michael drove off.
Curious about the bizarre, dream-like incident, Michael returned to the spot a few days later in the daytime. When he arrived he found the field, but it was once again ringed by forest. He ventured out into the spot where he remembered seeing the stranger, and looked out to where he had been pointing. As he looked out into the distance he claimed that he could see a house, and through the window of the house he could make out the form of a man who for some inexplicable reason was upside down. Michael claims that he sped home at “a million miles an hour” and never took that route again. It is hard to wrap one’s head around this case. Is this an example of traveling to another dimension or just a particularly potent and bizarre hallucination? Just what in the world does any of this mean? It is a case wrapped in true oddness for sure.
Roads seem to have a way of leading to places other than one’s intended destination, and another case of someone seemingly driving into another dimension is the ordeal of four University students who were on their way back to Southern Utah University after seeing a rodeo in 1972. At around 10PM, they approached the state line of Utah and Nevada, surrounded by desert badlands, and took a fork in the road that led them through a place called Gadianton Canyon. As they drove, they claim that the road suddenly and mysteriously transformed from black asphalt to white cement, and they turned to go back the other way. After turning around, they then found themselves driving through pine trees and grassy fields, with no sign of the parched desert in sight.
Confused and not knowing where they were, the girls decided to stop and ask for directions at what seemed to be some sort of lone tavern by the side of the road. As they pulled up to the establishment, one of the girls started screaming in a panic and when the others looked to see what had upset her they were met with the strange sight of what looked like four egg-shaped craft that seemed to be mounted on wheels and which had beams of light emanating from them. As the frightened young women sped away, the weird vehicles allegedly began speeding after them, their purpose unknown. Careening along the road with the odd vehicles in hot pursuit, the white concrete is then said to have slowly become asphalt again and the trees and grassland gave way once more to desert scrubland.
In their desperate rush to escape, the women wandered off the road, lost control and crashed into a dry creek bed, after which they made their way back to the side of the highway and were helped by a state trooper who did not know what to make of the outlandish tale the four excited and very scared young women told him. Oddly, it was found that although their truck was found around 2 miles from the highway, the tire tracks abruptly stopped after only 600 feet, making it unclear how they could have travelled that distance without leaving any tracks at all or sign that their truck has passed through. The fairly new truck was also missing a hubcap that had been knocked off and could not be located anywhere. Did these four young women somehow travel through the boundary between worlds and end up in another dimension, or is all just a strange tall tale?
Even more recently is a bizarre tale related by someone who not only claims to have travelled to another dimension, but who says she is actually originally from there. In July of 2009, a woman named Lerina Garcia woke up to what she thought would be another normal day in her life. On this day, she got up as usual and went about her daily routine, but claims that as she continued through the day strange incongruities began to pop up. She first noticed that the blankets and sheets on her bed were somehow “off,” not her own, and that the pajamas she was wearing did not seem to be the same ones she remembered wearing to bed. As she woke up and went about her daily life, she noticed that many of her everyday things were misplaced or missing altogether, and she also saw many things that she knew that she had never bought on her own, such as strange clothes in her closet which were not her own. She would later lament on the Internet:
One day I woke up and found that everything was different—nothing spectacular or having to do with time travel and such things. I simply woke up in the same year and day on which I went to bed, but many things were different. They were small things, but sufficiently important to know that there was a point at which everything was different.
She claims that she went out to her car but that it wasn’t her car, even though it was parked where she’d always parked it. She headed to work, where she had been employed for the last 20 years, and where the weirdness would only deepen. She went to her department to find that she seemingly did not work there. The door which should have had her name on it had the name of another person and although she at first thought she may be on the wrong floor it turned out she was in the right place. When she looked herself up she found that she was working in a completely different section she had never heard of, in a different part of the building and reporting to a superior she did not know. After checking things out, she found that she was listed as working in a completely different part of the building. Other than the change of location and boss, everything else including her portfolio, ID cards, and business cards were all exactly the same. She explained what the bizarre events unfolding around her thus:
So I went to the department indicated in the directory, said I was feeling ill, and left. All the contents of my handbag were the same: my credit cards, my ID, everything, but I didn’t recall having changed departments at any time. I went to the doctor and underwent drug and alcohol testing…all clean.I returned to work the next day and was able to make my way by asking questions and saying that I wasn’t feeling well.
Feeling increasingly disturbed, Garcia told her office that she was feeling sick and went home. She went to see a doctor to see what was wrong with her, but tests turned up nothing out of the ordinary, and no signs of drug or alcohol in her system. There seemed to be nothing physically wrong with her at all that could account for what was happening to her. A look at the TV news showed her that things going on in the world were also mixed up, with some events remaining the same but others remarkably different than what she remembered. She would go to work the next day and although her duties remained the same, she could not shake the feeling that everything was off. Conversations with her family also turned up anomalies, such as the fact that in this world her sister had never had surgery done on her shoulder, which in Garcia’s own “reality” had been performed a couple of months before. Things from her childhood were also apparently different in this place.
Adding to the weirdness was the fact that Garcia claimed to have had a new lover from her neighborhood who she had been seeing for around 4 months, but that when she tried to contact him he was nowhere to be found and indeed his number was not listed. Garcia even went as far as to have a private investigator try to hunt him down, but there was no one of that name to be found, nor even any trace of his relatives. An investigation of where the man supposedly lived turned up no sign of him, as if he had never existed at all in this place. Indeed, in this new world she inexplicably seemed to be still with an ex-boyfriend she had been with before for 7 years. All of this has convinced her that she has somehow been “displaced” into another dimension, one from which she seemingly cannot return. She would later explain of her bizarre predicament:
I cannot find any pathology that matches my experience. For five months I’ve been reading all of the theories I’ve come across and am convinced that it has been a jump between planes or something, a decision or action taken that has caused things to change. What upsets me is that that I’m in the same year, not in a different time, and I’m exactly the same. Let me explain: it’s as though I had lost my memory five months ago and woke up having dreamed those five months, with the exception that everyone remembers me during that time, and I’ve done things that I’m not aware of having done.
Garcia claims that she has been to several medical professionals trying to figure out what is going on and has been told that it is everything from a form of amnesia to the effects of stress, but she is convinced she is stuck in a parallel dimension which is not her own and in which she does not belong. Is any of this real? Is this a woman who has somehow passed into a dimension similar yet different from the one she came from, perhaps some alternate reality of her own universe from which she cannot escape? Or is this just the ramblings a troubled woman who may be suffering from delusions or neurological issues? It is unknown.
There is nothing in any of these cases that seems to fit into the world, universe, reality, whatever you want to call it, as we know it. Such tales of travel between dimensions lie squarely outside of our ability to explain in terms of the physics we know. These are cases that inhabit a realm out in the bizarre reaches of the universe lurking in the fringes of the weird that we may never fully grasp or understand. Although there may come a time when we prove that alternate dimensions exist and that other universes do indeed snuggle up against us all around, it is uncertain if the intricacies of how travel between them may also prove to be possible or whether this will forever remain the realm of science fiction and imagination. In the meantime, what do we make of these cases of people who claim to have already jumped over that boundary between realities, to have punched beyond into inscrutable new realms beyond our known universe? How do we classify these stories or explain them? How did they do it? Indeed how could these bizarre tales possibly fit into what we know? Are these hoaxes, hallucinations, or something more? For now they remain an odd, tantalizing peek into what may possibly happen when we jump out from our known reality and journey out into the very fringes of our understanding of the universe, to fly off to strange domains that continue to stubbornly defy conventional understanding.