26 February 2012

Wormholes, Aliens, Engkantos and Quantum Physics

Over the weekend, I watched this YouTube video on the Russia Today channel about the supposed mystical forces that could be found somewhere in the Urals, that mountainous region that more or less delineates Russia’s European territory from much more in Asia. One segment of the full documentary featured the investigations of a Russian scientist – a ufologist or somebody who scientifically studies unidentified flying objects and their accompanying hypotheses.

The scientist explained that his interest in UFOs – and aliens – began when he was a 5-year old boy who used to see what he referred to as ‘aliens’ walking to and from a triangular-shaped wormhole in the middle of a potato garden. He admitted that what he saw could have been figments of a boy’s imagination; and so hence the investigations that he continues to undertake to this very day.

For those who are not into these things, the term ‘wormhole’ refers to the way the space-time continuum – or what is called ‘spacetime’ in the emerging field of Quantum Physics – can be ‘bent’ so that one dimension is brought closer to another. Because the wormhole allegedly narrows distance or acts as a shortcut between dimensions, it opens possibilities for not only interstellar travel – which is improbable using conventional propulsion – but also time travel.

Moreover, the concept of the wormhole is associated with the existence of ‘parallel’ dimensions that co-exist along spacetime or what are referred to as multi-verses. Whereas in conventional Physics, we are taught that there is this singular dimension called the UNIverse, in Quantum Physics it is thought that many dimensions can exist within spacetime not unlike the different channels that can be beamed through one television screen.

The wormhole – or at least hypothetically – makes movement from one universe to another possible. Do not ask me how. I am just the blogger.

Why that Russian scientist jumped to the conclusion that those were ‘aliens’ going through the alleged wormhole in the middle of the potato patch, this he did not elaborate on. Whatever they were, what was unmistakable was the notion that these ‘entities’ walked freely among men.

In fact, the video documentary opened with an interview of an elderly Russian man who had been seeing these so-called ‘aliens’ from time to time in his entire life. He said that they looked, for all intents and purposes, exactly as humans do. Some, he recalled, were remarkably tall; he even called them ‘giants.’

Personally and as a Filipino, my immediate thought upon watching the documentary was not about aliens at all. Don’t we all know of some baletê tree somewhere that everyone gives respectful distance because of creepy stories whispered around the neighbourhood about ‘beings’ that live there?

Back in the sixties, in a compound owned by some distant relatives in Pasay, there was supposed to be a distant cousin in the compound who would be visited by mysterious entities who were fair-skinned and fair-haired. They were humans in every respect but for the absence of the philtrum, that indentation in the skin between the nose and the upper lip.

In fact, it was whispered when I was a boy that it was this absence of the philtrum that was the dead giveaway that a person is, in fact, an engkanto.

Yes, there was a baletê tree inside the compound; and yes, this was where the fair-skinned visitors would come from and retire to. It was also whispered when I was young that, while all most everyone could see was a creepy-looking tree, in fact inside was a kingdom and palace of dazzling light and precious metals and stone.

It was said that if any of these engkantos became smitten with a human and invited the human into the kingdom, all overtures should be resisted because being able to return to this world was not always an option.

Getting back to the Russian scientist’s experiences as a boy, was the wormhole that he used to see as a boy no different from the ‘gates’ in baletê trees that were said in Filipino folklore to open once in a while and through which the engkantos passed? Could what the scientist called ‘aliens’ passing through the wormhole portal have been the very same beings called in Filipino folklore as engkantos?

When I was a boy, most everyone my age more or less accepted the baletê kingdom stories as fact, even if there was no physical proof to substantiate these. As one grew up, one learned to take them more with a grain of salt, if not entirely discounting the probability that they might be true.

The emerging concepts of Quantum Physics, with its Mathematical models, may yet reveal many of our folkloric stories and superstitious beliefs, if not necessarily all true, then at least possible. Are the engkantos in fact inhabitants of distant planets who cross over and return using wormhole portals? Or are they from one of may unseen universes that run parallel to ours? Maybe time travellers?

While we call the beings engkantos, in fact stories about these are not unique to our culture. They are ubiquitous the world over, as a matter of fact.

Because Quantum Physicists are as yet engrossed in the Science and Mathematics at sub-atomic level, perhaps even they do not realize that their theories and discoveries may one day fully explain things that we in the present place in the domain of the paranormal or the superstitious.

Admittedly, though, not yet in this lifetime…

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