One fascinating idea that has come to be a fixture of science fiction and fantasy is the notion of other universes and realities other than our own, new worlds existing side by side with us, bumping up against each other, different from our own, holding fantastical realms with their own laws of physics, and even harboring other versions of ourselves. It is a concept that has been explored in numerous movies and pieces of fiction, yet is this all mere science fiction or is there something more to it? In recent years there has been increasing serious consideration of the idea of parallel universes, that we are but one of many, possibly infinite worlds, and the discussion has turned more and more towards the idea of whether travel between these realms is possible. This notion has unleashed all manner of debate and conspiracy theories on whether such portals have been opened, and one place where this has been claimed to have been done is of course a secret scientific facility located in a remote area of Switzerland.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN, is a research organization made up of 23 member states that was established in 1954 at Geneva, on the Franco–Swiss border for the purpose of pursuing research into atomic nuclei and high-energy physics, mainly the interactions between subatomic particles and their effects. The name CERN also applies to its sprawling laboratory, which employs nearly 3,000 scientific, technical, and administrative staff members, and is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. CERN is perhaps most well-known for its massive Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy particle collider, which was built between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with hundreds of countries, universities and laboratories in a groundbreaking acheivement of science and engineering. While a monumental feat and huge jump for science, from pretty much since the LHC was turned on it has proven to be controversial for the general public. It was widely believed that the particle accelerator would mean the end of the world by creating a miniature black hole or unravelling reality somehow, despite assurances from scientists that there was nothing to worry about, and even when the first particle collisions were achieved in 2010 without the world ending CERN and its particle accelerator would go on to generate all manner of conspiracy theories on secret research and interdimensional portals, somehow punching through the curtain that seperates realities and even letting things from the other side bleed through.
The LHC itself is comprised of a vast loop stretching 27 kilometers (about 17 miles). This loop is more or less used to hurl subatomic particles at extreme speeds in order to smash them into each other to test what will happen for the purpose of unlocking some of the secrets of our universe, including recreating the conditions of the Big Bang, to find out how our universe was created, and find dark matter and the so-called God Particle, among others. Perhaps one of the most famous discoveries linked to the various experiments at the LHC was the observation of Higgs Boson particles, which give matter mass and up until then had been purely theoretical. However, the very presence of such a large and remote scientific facility located deep underground, its innately somewhat scary-sounding premise of smashing particles together at the speed of light, and its being manned by scientists working on strange experiments in a subterranean tunnel, have perhaps not surprisingly given it a somewhat ominous reputation, causing quite a bit of concern among the public and spawning all sorts of wild theories about what is really going on there in the dark depths of the earth.
In addition to the alarm and fears that the LHC would create miniature black holes or undo reality itself are the various ideas and rumors that CERN is up to all kinds of top-secret experiments down there in the bowels of the earth. One of the more popular conspiracy theories is that the facility is actively engaged in opening rifts between dimensions in order to enable teleportation, form doorways to alternate realities, and by some of the more far-out accounts to even open a gate between Earth and Heaven and Hell, with one rumor in 2012 claiming that scientists at CERN had let in Biblical giants called the Nephilim through the gateway, which supposedly prompted them to shut the LHC down in order to make it more powerful. Some researchers into the matter have said that all sorts of strange beings could tumble through such a doorway. One author, researcher, and very vocal conspiracy theorist on the idea of the LHC creating doorways to strange realms is Stephen Quayle, who has claimed that everything from actual demons, to angels, to reptilian beasts and other things we cannot possibly fathom could be let in if such a gate were opened. Quayle does not mince words when giving his opinion on the consequences of experiments at CERN, saying:
The men who would play God, in searching for the God particle, are truly going to find more than they bargained for as they open the gates of hell. They will find inter-dimensional beings who have a taste for human flesh and humanity’s destruction. Most scientists, in lacking an understanding of the ‘supernatural entities’ that are going to confront them, are way beyond their ability to comprehend, let alone control, the forces of Pandora’s box that will be released.
While this may be at the extreme end of the spectrum of talk of the LHC opening up doorways to alternate dimensions, the idea that this is happening to some extent is already persistent. Evidence for this sort of interdimensional activity is often offered in the form of the various strange things that have allegedly been photographed or filmed in the skies over CERN over the years, including UFOS, strange vortices, and other unexplained aerial phenomena. For instance, in December of 2015 footage was taken by some tourists of what seems to be an orb of some sort entering what appears to be some kind of portal or vortex, which vanishes as soon as the unidentified object enters it. Another similar video from May of 2016 supposedly shows some sort of portal in the clouds that appeared right after the power went out at CERN, an incident they claimed was caused by a weasel getting into some of the sensitive machinery.
It is Interesting to note that a lot of the anomalous events that have purportedly occurred at CERN seem to coincide with blackouts, such as an alleged ripple that was sent out from the facility in 2009 that purportedly disrupted the Earth’s magnetic field and distorted space and time, also right at the time of a blackout at the facility. A report from Russia claimed that this very same “time wave” had instantaneously teleported an Airbus on its way to Bolivia thousands of miles away to the Canary Islands, along with its 170 passengers. This time the blackout was blamed on a piece of bread that had fallen into the device after being dropped by a bird. One would hope that such an advanced scientific facility deep underground would be able to keep out all of the weasels, birds and bread that’ve seemingly been jamming their equipment.
One ambitious project undertaken in recent years by CERN, which drew a fair number of conspiracy theories concerning opening portals between dimensions is what CERN calls the Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiment, or AWAKE, which has the aim of accelerating super-charged particles by way of “plasma wakefields driven by a proton beam.” It is not necessary to really understand what all of that means, only that it sounds rather ominous and not a little scary, and this may be why it has been singled out as one of the experiments focused on opening portals between worlds. Supposed proof of this came forward when on June 24, 2016, photographs of alarming, portal-shaped cloud formations were taken in the skies above CERN not long after the AWAKE project was off the ground and on the same day that an experiment was scheduled. While photographs and videos such as these could have a rational explanation in known phenomena or even be cleverly crafted CGI hoaxes, there are a fairly large number of people who insist that these are the result of CERN experiments pursuing the opening of interdimensional doorways and tears in the fabric between dimensions, even altering reality itself.
Adding fuel to the fire are the conspiracy theories pointing to the potential connection and significance of the erection of a statue of the Hindu god Shiva, with the more sinister moniker “The Destroyer,” as well as the fact that the letters CERN are the first four letters of the name Cernunnos, who happens to be a pagan god of the underworld. It doesn’t stop there with the name game either. CERN is partially located in the French town of Saint-Genus-Poilly, and some have pointed to the fact that the word Poilly comes from Appolliacum, or the Latin word for a temple dedicated to the god Apollo, who was believed by the locals of the area to have created a portal to the underworld right around where CERN is located.
This could all be due to wild conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and panic, and it is unknown if the machine could ever possibly really even open an interdimensional gate anyway, but one thing that is for certain is that it is not only the ignorant public that have been wary of CERN and its particle collider, or who think that experiments with the LHC could have profound unexpected effects. For instance, legendary physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that the machine could create a black hole that ends all life as we know it, and even CERN’s own Director for Research and Scientific Computing, physicist Sergio Bertolucci, has claimed that it is quite possible that a doorway between dimensions could possibly open, and has said that “Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it.” Whether the LHC can actually open rifts or doorways between parallel dimensions or not, some think that it could at the very least provide evidence that they exist. Harvard University theorist Lisa Randall has explained of this:
There could be more to the universe than the three dimensions we are familiar with. They are hidden from us in some way, perhaps because they're tiny or warped. But even if they're invisible, they could affect what we actually observe in the universe. There are lots of things we cannot see with the naked eye that turn out to be based in reality. Extra dimensions could be relevant to one of the questions we're trying to answer at the LHC: how particles get their mass, and why they have the masses that they do, which are far smaller than physicists would expect them to be.
So our idea is there's an extra dimension that's so warped, the masses would be big in one place and small in another. In other words, gravity could be weaker in one place and stronger in another. If so, it could be a natural explanation both for why particles masses are what they are, and why gravity is so much weaker than the other elementary forces we observe. It interacts with our dimensions only via gravity. And gravity is extremely weak. An elementary particle at ordinary energies exerts negligible gravitational force. But at the LHC, if this idea is right, we would see evidence of this extra dimension. Particles could carry momentum into the extra dimension, and that could actually be observable.
It is unclear whether the LHC is being used to open these mysterious portals in the fabric of reality, intentionally or otherwise, or not, but it does seem certain that conspiracy theories and fears will continue to swirl around it as long as it is in operation. Now, CERN is proposing to build an even bigger $21-billion supercollider in search of the god particle, so what that might mean is anyone's guess. Is there a multiverse? Are there other, possibly infinite parallel universes existing side by side and can the veil between them be broken through? If this is possible, then is it happening at CERN and their super particle accelerator? There is no way to know, but the rumors continue to swirl about this mysterious and intimidating place.