So in the last year or so it seems the Mandela Effect has taken the paranormal world by storm. The effect gathers its name from the anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela and the fact that some folks thought he died while in prison during the 1980s even though he definitely served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 before his death (again) in 2013.
I’m not sure what the actual point of this effect is supposed to be. Is it to point out the way things intuitively should be in relation to how they actually are? To highlight how it is possible for a large number of people to be wrong about the same thing? Is it evidence that multiverse theory is a fact? Is it just a clever marketing ploy be self proclaimed “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome to get her name associated with the phenomenon she labelled The Mandela Effect in 2010? Let’s look at some examples of these collective false memories.
For instance the children’s books the Berenstain Bears are almost always remembered as The Berenstein Bears, even to the point that as I type this Berenstain is marked as a misspelled word while the correct title is not. The misspelling is so pervasive that there are even some mass produced instances of (non-official) products set to print with the wrong title. I wonder how Jan and Stan Berenstain feel about what Semitic or anti-Semitic ( I’m not sure which it would be) cover up is happening involving their life’s work. I think this example falls into what could be considered presupposition as -stein is a much more common suffix to many names than -stain is.
Another example is people believing McDonald’s fast food restaurants were once MacDonald’s probably due to the success of the Big Mac and the failure of the Big Mc or the 80s ad campaign featuring the terrifying Mac Tonight character. I chalk this one up to bad but incredibly effective marketing.
Corporate identity is a common target for application of the Mandela Effect. Like McDonald’s, many logos have fallen under scrutiny of those trying to prove some cosmic corporate conspiracy to confuse the masses with misspellings and inconsistency in corporate branding over long periods of time. Ford specifically has been called out based on a little loop that exists in the official version of the logo but not in the memory of many die hard Ford fans. The official stance from Ford is that their logo has always had that loop. Third party aftermarket manufacturers, however, do not always use the official logo and have often used approximations of the logo, especially on cast parts such as the cast aluminum valve covers often used as an example of how the logo used to be.
There are countless other examples out there and I’m not even gonna mention a certain movie about a genie that people thing starred stand-up comedian Sinbad but was really just a failed memory of a not great piece of film starring a certain basketball star. I’ll just leave this here.