The Chronovisor
Time Travel by David Revoy / Blender Foundation CC BY 3.0

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The Chronovisor

Time. Time is the continued sequence of existence and events that occurs in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.


That is the Wikipedia description of time. A dimension, and a unit of measure that moves in one irreversible direction.


The constraints of time are the inspiration for a lot of classic stories, from HG Wells “The Time Machine” published in 1895, Robert Zemeckis 1985 masterpiece “Back to the Future”, and even the contemporary Marvel Universe’s multiverse themed onslaught of movies. 

1985's Back to the Future

Time is the also the irritant that led to the busy pace of modern world from the TV Dinner to the demand for faster and faster planes and trains and automobiles. Time is the invisible but always present reminder of our own mortality, and of our fallibility.


The Idea of a Time Machine has been around ever since we realized what Time was. And I think at times we take this for granted.


It wasn’t that many episodes ago, where we discussed the US Army’s Stargate program. Psychic spies, Remote Viewers, and on at least one occasion, a psychic sort of Time Travel that took Joseph McMoneagle to the Planet Mars, 1 million years in the past. Sound crazy? Check out the episode “The CIA’s Project Stargate and Life on Mars” Or check out the link in the episode description or read about on the CIA’s website for yourself. 


This should be a clue that the idea of Time Travel has at least on some level, made it into the minds of folks with serious budgets. 


Remote Viewing, for the sake of this episode, is probably one of the most interesting things to consider. Roughly speaking, the idea is that an energy of sorts is out there and connected to everything, and if we can tune in to the right frequency so to speak we can understand the information carried by that energy. This is of course how Radio, and TV work, it’s the same concept just a little more on the metaphysical side.


But what does metaphysical REALLY mean? Have you stopped to consider that the universe is thought to be something like 80% dark matter? And do you understand that the word “Dark Matter” is made up word for “Unknown”? seriously, our standard model of physics only accounts for a small % of the behavior of the universe and everything in it. Dark Matter, you could say is almost like a gigantic fudge factor to make that model make more sense where it doesn’t. 


In many ways, you might even say Dark Matter is a rebadged version of the concept of the Ether, and infinitely small form of, infinite, well, something, that permeates all of space and time and allows light, energy, anything to exist and interact throughout the universe. The point being the amount of stuff we know is dwarfed by orders of magnitude by the things we don’t know. So where exactly is the line between physical and metaphysical? Or do you feel more comfortable if we instead phrase that as “So where exactly is the line between science and science fiction?”


Well, that bleeding edge is certainly where the great minds of scientific discovery exist. 


But shall we get a little stranger? One concept is that this energy also carries the reverberations of the past. Fuzzy, distorted, and faint, but still existing, nonetheless. It just takes more expertly tuned hardware to filter out the signal from noise. Not unlike turning the dial on an old AM radio.


There is a story, a legend if you will, of a time machine that was assembled by of all people Italian Monks working for the Vatican, sometime in the 1950s with the help of some legendary and powerful names in physics like Enrico Fermi, and Wehrner Von Braun.


Our story starts in the early 1950s, in the Electro Acoustics Lab of Father Agostino Gemelli at the Catholic University of Milan which he founded in 1921.

Father Agostino Gemelli

Father Gemelli now 78 years old was working in his lab with the young 27-year-old Father Pellegrino Ernetti. Ernetti was a musical genius in his right who would go on to publish several volumes on the subject, together he and Gemelli were experimenting with various ways to record and filter and modify sound and its resulting electrical signals to produce higher quality. 


Now, how do you react when something you are working intensely on or with refuses to cooperate or breaks down? Do you swear? Or have a catchphrase that you repeat? Father Gemelli did, except rather than swearing, he would quietly say something along the lines of “What now dad?”, innocently asking his deceased father for help, which is much better than swearing.


As Gemelli and Ernetti were attempting to record one day in 1952, their recording device kept malfunctioning. Frustrated Father Gemelli looked up and quietly asked his father for help. 


To the shock of both men, a voice, the voice of Father Gemelli’s father answered them through the recording device. 


They were stunned, paranoid, and even a little afraid. What was the voice? Was it really Gemelli’s father, was it even real, was it a demonic trick, or had they inadvertently done something they weren’t supposed to do?


But the younger Father Ernetti was more curious than anything and convinced Gemelli to do the same sequence of events again. And to their amazement, the voice responded again, in a humorous fashion and using a childhood nickname of Gemelli’s. 


The men were in awe and struggling with the ramifications of what they had experienced. 

You see, in the Bible in the 1st Book of Samuel Chapter 28, King Saul of the Israelites uses a medium to summon the Ghost of the Prophet Samuel from the dead to attempt to gather some advice. Forbidden, damnable black magic if you will. And Saul is ultimately told of his impending death, and the death of his sons. It isn’t a pleasant event.


Gemelli and Ernetti allegedly visited Pope Pius the 12th and told him of the incident expecting to be chastised, but quite the opposite, Pius instructed them to pursue this mystery even further, arguing that it was merely science and that if the result were genuine and repeatable, they may have the first actual tangible modern evidence in favor of the belief of the afterlife. 

Father Pellegrino Ernetti

Over the next several years, the experiments are said to have continued, and on again off again contributions, according to Father Ernetti, were made by several prominent scientists of the era including the likes of Enrico Fermi and Wehrner Von Braun, but no one person having the full picture or knowledge of the device that would eventually become known as the Chronovisor.

The device ultimately consisted of three major components, an antennae array capable of detecting virtually every sort of wavelength and made of some mysterious metals, a directional array of sorts that allowed this energy to be tuned to a place or a time, and third component that allowed for the recording of audio and even the display of images from the targeted time and location. 


In early 1956, the core Chronovisor team was ready to fully test the device. The first target was Benito Mussolini the tyrannical Italian dictator. The reason, because the team was of course mostly Italian, and because there existed lots and lots of video and audio recordings of Mussolini to compare to. This was a success, so they moved back to another known date and person, Napoleon Bonaparte, and his conquests in Italy, once again satisfied they went further back in time, to the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan, and then to a famous speech given by the famous Roman philosopher and orator Cicero. Satisfied yet again, they went to one of the most impactful events in human history, the last week of Jesus of Nazareth. The witnessed the last supper and the crucifixion of Jesus, and even claimed to have seen the resurrection at the tomb before shutting down the device.


The team went to Pope Pius with the results and recordings of what they saw and heard. Recounting each event in detail. The story of the Crucifixion even challenged some of the minor, yet commonly held beliefs, for example, Simon did not want to help Jesus carry the cross, he was forced etc. Ernetti also recounted the resurrection as being such an unusual and extreme scene no one had the words to describe it. 


Ultimately Pope Pius decided the machine was too dangerous. Humanity he felt, could not be trusted with a device that would effectively eliminate the possibility of keeping secrets, or trusting anyone or anything. The argument was that some things may be best left unsaid, hard decisions made at the state level, or even minor things done by individuals. Humanity, he argued, was not ready to be presented with the ultimately ability to know and judge our fellow humans. 


Pius ordered the machine to be disassembled and its components and plans locked away somewhere deep in the archives of the Vatican….


The primary source for the Story of the Chronovisor comes from the account of Father Ernetti as relayed to Father Francois Brune and recorded in Brune’s Book written in 

French called “The Vatican’s New Mystery”, there is also a book you could perhaps find at a library near you called “Father Ernettis Chronovisor” by Peter Krassa which itself is an English Translation of Krassa’s original book written in German.  Both go into more explicit detail than I did here about the people involved and the sequence of events.

Primary Sources:

Brune François. (2002). Le Nouveau mystère du vatican. Albin Michel. 

Krassa, P., & Krassa, P. (2000). Father ernetti's chronovisor the creation and disappearance of the world's first time machine. New Paradigm Books. 

Ernetti was initially open about his experience on this project. And of course, his story falls into the same world of he said she said, fake evidence versus real evidence, versus information versus disinformation that is rampant through virtually any “conspiracy” oriented topic whether it is UFOs, or the Kennedy Assassination. At some point though it seems evident that Ernetti was discouraged from speaking about the topic and he drops off the radar, save for the account of Father Brune. 


Pellegrino Ernetti passed away in 1994, perhaps taking with him the only known first-hand account of the world’s first-time machine, and Father Brune who wrote what we know of Ernetti’s account passed away in 2019. 


What stands out to me, is the nature of the Chronovisor. They aren’t physically going back in time, and thus can’t interact with the past and inadvertently change the future avoiding the complicated chain of events as depicted in films like Back to the Future or needing to invoke complicated fantasy such as the Marvel Multi-verse. 

They are merely seeing and hearing what came before. This is not so unlike the experiences the of the Remote Viewers who decades after the chronovisor, claim to have viewed events in the distant past by tapping into the same mysterious energy. 


Do you think its possible? How about plausible? And if it did happen, how do feel about Pope Pius’s decision to dismantle the device fearing that the technology could fall into the wrong hands?


I for one, favor Pius’s alleged decision. We live in world that increasingly does not believe in redemption. Every day people are hung out to dry for old tweets or pictures, so imagine if no moment of your life could be lived with any expectation of any level of privacy oe trust whatsoever. Not all secrets are evil. So, imagine if your most hated politician had something like the chronovisor?

Pope Pius XII

Or do they already? If the device existed did the powers that be at the Vatican really get rid of it, could there be a little cabal of people playing games on the world stage with information we are not privy too? And when you think about it, what inspired the US Governments idea of spending untold dollars viewing the past in the first place?


And let’s not forget the story of Gemelli and his father’s voice, or Saul and the summoning of the ghost of Samuel, that wasn’t really the past speaking, was it? What happened to that loose end?


The universe is a strange place, and if you believe in the supernatural, then anything is possible…


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I apologize for being absent the past few months, but it has been a busy summer, busy in a good way, but I’m ready to get back into some Lore and Legends, and I hope you’ll continue to join me.


Cya next time!