We take it for granted that at all times someone somewhere is keeping a very close eye on the chronicling of events and the development of a long-term calendar to put history in perspective for those of us in the future. It’s difficult to imagine anyone not knowing the proper year or being able to write it down in a way that future generations will be able to appreciate. So why would so many believe in the possibility that several hundred years may have never happened at all? This is precisely what advocates of a theory known as “phantom time” are proposing.
It’s not always easy to keep track of what day it is, and some may even have momentary lapses where they don’t know what week or month it is. But for the continuity of civilization it’s extremely difficult to imagine that at some point humanity may have lost complete track of time so much as to actually fully fabricate an entire 297 year period. The theory usually comes in one of two veins. Either record keeping at the time – which was nowhere near as extensive as modern day second to second record keeping, would have had only one person in a given region keeping track of such trivial matters as what year (or century) it was. As a result, even one mistake (or a series of mistakes over the course of several years) could have resulted in an incredible discrepancy between how many years had passed and how many were believed to have passed.
Distancing themselves from the fall of the Roman Empire, these changes would have built up their own mythology complete with historical figures, civilizations that may have risen and fallen, and an entire period of human history where very little happened technologically when compared to what would soon follow.
If it sounds preposterous, these theories may have more weight to them than it appears upon initial inspection. Looking into the Phantom Time theory, there are indeed references to Greek and Roman architecture appearing in times when it would have been particularly anachronistic. And the complex algorithm of calendar keeping could have been avoided as the year to year calendar does repeat itself (with leap years and all) in a cyclical fashion once every three hundred years. And so with this the theory starts to gain momentum. But what’s more there needs to be evidence that there was some sort of conspiracy or vast error in order to make this phantom time possible.
The theory, which began with Heribert Illig in 1991 states that there is a three day discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. This discrepancy, which mysteriously never appeared when calculated by Illig years later served as evidence that something had gone very wrong at some point in our record keeping. And the only logical explanation is not that the Earth simply disappeared for three days, but rather several centuries had been added to the calendar later. And in the end that would mean that this is the year 1714.