Occasionally here on Mysterious Universe I will go out from the strange topics that I cover and truly fly out to catapult myself into new realms of the absurd and the entertaining. It may be deeply weird conspiracy theories or utterly bizarre stuff that defies explanation, but I find it amusing enough to want to dive into it a little and bring it to your attention. Perfectly at home out here in the remote fringe are the various cases of the celebrities that many of us know and love being claimed to be some sort of immortal beings or time travelers, often with the “photographic evidence” to prove it. And so here we go on a trip down the rabbit hole, to look at celebrity doppelgängers throughout history, or are they immortal vampires or time travelers? I’ll let you decide as we go on this journey with tongue firmly in cheek.
A really well-known example is that of Nicolas Cage, who has managed to pop up in an old-timey picture from 1870 of a man in Bristol, Tennessee. In 2011, Jack Mord, of Seattle, Washington, stumbled across the original print and then proceeded to put it up for auction on eBay for a cool million dollars. There was much speculation at the time that the photo was some sort of photoshopped hoax, but Mord has been adamant that this is indeed the original, even going so far as to claim that it is proof that Cage is an immortal, saying:
Personally, I believe it’s him and that he is some sort of walking undead / vampire… who quickens / reinvents himself once every 75 years or so. 150 years from now he might be a politician, the leader of a cult or a talk show host.
What do you think? Cage is certainly not without his oddness, but how deep does that go? Those who have analyzed the photo have come to the conclusion that although they look very much alike, there are subtle differences in the chin and ears that point to the fact that they are indeed different people. At around the same time there was a print from 1860 that purported to show the famous actor John Travolta in another era. The picture was allegedly uncovered by a man in Ontario, Canada. The unidentified man put up the picture for sale for an eye-watering $50,000, and just like Mord speculated that it was evidence of some sort of strange goings on, saying:
I know you are saying John Travolta is alive today in 2011 and he doesn’t look 151 years old. John Travolta is a Scientologist, and many Scientologists believe in a type of reincarnation. Of course, time travel can’t be ruled out as well.
Keeping with actors for the time being we come to Bruce Willis, who many might not realize is the spitting image of General Doug MacArthur, who was a five-star general and played a prominent Role during World War II. Throughout his illustrious career he earned many medals, including the Medal of Honor. He also looks exactly like Bruce Willis, which has stirred conspiracies that he joins a long line of immortal celebrities.
From even earlier, in the 13th century, we have the portrait of Pope Gregory IX, who bears a striking resemblance to a certain cinematic pugilist.
Also going way back is the 1570 portrait by Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola that hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, which features a visage that shows the strikingly familiar face of Keanu Reeves. Coincidence or time-travel? Keanu would also later appear 300 years later in a 1875 masterpiece by Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel. There is also the portrait of doctor and actor Paul Mounet, who “died” in 1922 and also happens to look exactly like Keanu Reeves as well. Coincidence or immortality? This fits very well into the fact that Keanu Reeves doesn’t seem to have aged much at all through his career, so what is going on here?
Well-known actor Orlando Bloom, star of the Lord of the Rings series of fantasy movies, also seems to have a way of traveling through time, as he is a dead ringer for the Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu, who happens to have died way back in 1907. Or did he?
Other actors that seem to have dabbled in shifting through the sands of time, and/or remained immortal are Alec Baldwin as Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States.
There is Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who seems to have been Sebastián de Morra, also a dwarf and jester at the court of Philip IV of Spain in the 1600s.
Here is Eddie Murphy in the 1920s, as shown by this picture of an unidentified man of the day.
Moving on we have Jimmy Fallon, who looks exactly like the Turkish revolutionist and the leader of People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey, Mahir Cayan, who died in 1972. Allegedly. What do you think?
And more recently there is a very popular, viral shot of someone from the 1960s who looks remarkably like Matt Damon. The picture was initially posted by Reddit by user “Coffeeandtrout,” who claimed it was his parent’s wedding day in 1961, and immediately made the Internet wild with the similarities. I have to admit, it is a rather startling similarity, but the poster says that his father was much taller and was certainly not the real, presumably time-traveling Matt Damon.
It seems that Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, also has done his fair share of jumping through time as well. Reddit user “microwavetea” posted a picture of his or her grandmother and it is hard not to see the similarities, so perhaps Radcliffe has gained some real magical abilities from his onscreen persona?
Speaking of grandparents, another Reddit user posted a picture of his grandfather, who happens to also look exactly like Mathew McConaughey. He does seem to get around.
Why should actors have all the fun with immortality and/or time travel? Some musicians seem to have jumped on the bandwagon as well. Popular, best-selling rapper Jay-Z popped up in a photo from Brooklyn in 1939, allegedly taken by a man named Sid Grossman, which shows an unidentified man who could seriously be his twin. Coincidence or time travel? You decide.
There is also an old photo which is supposedly a criminal mugshot that bears a certain resemblance to singer Justin Timberlake.
Late night talk show hosts also seem to be keen to time travel, as we can see with Conan O’ Brien and his doppelgänger, a Union Army soldier from the Civil War and later state senator of Vermont, Marshall Harvey Twitchell.
One well-known figure outside of the entertainment industry who has generated scores of conspiracies about himself can now add being an immortal vampire to that list. None other than Russian president Vladmir Putin seems to have had a veritable safari through time, turning up in various old images. Two pictures came out from 1920 and 1941 respectively that seem to show a younger Putin. The photos both Russian soldiers that bear a striking resemblance to the leader, and there was serious talk that they are actually him. Somehow. Time travel? Immortality? I don’t know how the logistics of this stuff works.
With all of the time-traveling celebrities, in 2009 famed physicist Stephen Hawking decided to host a party for them all and actually sat there waiting. The party was set up as a sort of experiment and was set up to be held on June 28th 2009, complete with champagne and party decorations, and it was an open invitation to any time travelers at all, but he sat there all alone. Hawking would say, “I gave a party for time-travelers, but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party. I sat there a long time, but no one came.” The whole party was even filmed. This all fits well into Hawking’s idea that time travel to the future is possible, but not to the past, of which he has said:
We are all travelling forward in time anyway. We can fast forward by going off in a rocket at high speed and return to find everyone on Earth much older or dead. Einstein’s general theory of relativity seems to offer the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that we could travel back in time. However, it is likely that warping would trigger a bolt of radiation that would destroy the spaceship and maybe the space-time itself.
Or maybe they just didn’t want to go to the party. You can see a clip about this party, as well as some reasons for why no one showed up, here. There are certainly even more instances of celebrity immortals and time-travelers out there, and this is just a selection. How do they do it? What are their methods? Are we looking at time-travel, immortality, doppelgängers, or just plain coincidence? (hint, probably the latter.) Whatever you may think, there are those who seriously take these sorts of images as some sort of evidence of something weird going on within the ranks of the rich and famous, and whether that weirdness extends to immortality and time travel or not, it is all certainly entertaining regardless.