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Teleportation is when some one or some thing disappears in one location and appears, almost instantaneously, in another location that is too distant from the original location to be explained by walking, running, driving or any other normal means of transportation. Since the idea of teleportation first emerged in the past century, people have gone back in the history books and explained mysterious disappearances and appearances by claiming teleportation occurred. One example of this rewriting of history is the story in the Bible when Jesus� disappears from the tomb where he was buried and later appears before his disciples, many hundreds of miles away. Alien abductions are also considered examples of teleportation and several reports of �vanishings� have been blamed on unusual forces that take people and objects from one area and place them in another, foreign locale. Many theories have been proposed to explain the phenomena of teleportation, including Harold Wilkins �Vortex Theory� that claims invisible-like tornadoes in the universe might suck people up and later lose their steam and deposit them in a different location. Alternate realms and universes are also proposed as possible keys to solving the mystery. And, of course, the work of aliens and cosmic tricksters are also referred to. Star Trek is one well known example of how science fiction has employed the idea of time travel and instantaneous teleportation. Beam me up Scotty!
Skeptical Perspective
Several of the cases used to provide examples of teleportation involve confused people who have experienced the feeling of lost time and do not know how they arrived in their present location. This is a natural experience that many of us go through and may have more to do with psychology and brain phenomena than with teleportation. The practice of re-writing history and finding new meaning in old ideas is also questionable. As with many vague stories and ideas passed down through the ages, we can often read a wide variety of our own ideas and a number of possible meanings and references into any given account. It is difficult, if not impossible, to ever find the real idea behind a story unless it is clearly spelled out. What we have learned about matter, time and space, makes it difficult to take the teleportation claim seriously. Bodies with mass require energy to be moved and they also take time to travel through space. Photons are the fastest traveling matter we know of and even do not leave one area and appear in another instantaneously. The location of an atom, as well as several other theories in quantum physics, is often referred to as support for the teleportation idea but we are learning that the impossibility to determine an atom�s location at any given time isn�t telling us that the laws of nature need to be revised but that our own perception and instruments may not be sophisticated or objective enough to solve the problem. Instead of solving a mystery with another mystery in need of explanation, we need to consider that there is a natural explanation for this phenomenon that may not require supernatural forces.
- Justin Fellows (Parent)
CSICOP Resources
Skeptical Inquirer Online Articles


Skeptical Briefs Online Articles
Skeptiseum Online Exhibits
Other Online Resources
Skeptic's Dictionary: ��Teleportation
The Edge: ��Time in Quantum Cosmology
Pro-Paranormal Online Resources

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