Time traveler in a Chaplin film?

1.5 million views in a week. That’s as good a definition of a viral video as there is and this one from a filmmaker qualifies. George Clarke says Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus has a time traveler in it.

He’s wrong, however, that “nobody can give me an explanation of what it is.” Several people have opined that it’s a hearing aid, not a woman on a cellphone.

If it is a person from the future, who is she talking to? Someone in the future? You can’t get a good signal from inside Target Center, but you can get one from the past?

Time.com — who else would you go to for questions about time? — is not buying it:

It can’t be a cell phone — or at least our version of one. The time-traveling woman must have been from further into the future than we are, because her phone seems to work without the help of satellites or towers. NewsFeed has to agree with the New York Daily News, which suggests it could be a hearing aid. They were invented in 1920 and were widely manufactured by 1928. Why is she talking into it? She could be testing the aid, talking to someone near her, or she could just be crazy and talking to herself. Don’t judge her, she’s hard of hearing as it is. But she’s probably not a time traveler.

  • Xopher
  • Kassie

    It isn’t actually in the movie, it is in the extra footage. And it is probably a crazy person talking to herself/himself into a box or something.

  • John P.

    I wonder who she’s calling, and through what cell towers? I suppose aliens don’t need cell towers to talk to their ship hovering overhead.

  • JackU

    It’s obvious what we have here. This is one of Dr. Who’s companions. In the new series he’s always modifying his companions cell phones so they can call home and let there loved ones know they’re fine. They also can use it to contact the Doctor if they need him.