Mandela Effect, Can’t Remember It?

By: Gabriel Alvarez

De La Salle Institute

If you were to fill in the blank, __ I am your father, you would most likely say Luke, but what if I told you it was not? Believe it or not, the famous Star Wars quote is actually, “No…I am your father,” and no mention of Luke was ever in the sentence. The strange phenomenon that is occurring in your mind here is called the Mandela effect. The Mandela effect typically occurs when you are trying to remember information but cannot fully have the info come to mind.

The first-ever recorded occurrence of the Mandela effect was with a self-described paranormal consultant, Fiona Broome, who in 2010 started this all. Broome one day described how she could remember the death of a man, supposedly in jail, named Nelson Mandela. Broome herself could remember specific things about the death of Nelson, including some news reports and a speech following his apparent death. When brought up, others would also say similar things as they could remember a word of his death, or so they believed. Years later, Broome and the others were all most likely confused and(or) shocked to hear the word of Nelson’s actual death occurring in 2013, three whole years after the situation.

Who is this Mandela guy anyway? Nelson Mandela became deputy national president of the ANC (Advocating Nonviolent Resistance) in 1952. Nine years later, in 1961, Nelson was arrested for treason, then again a year later for illegally leaving the country. Nelson’s trial was in 1964, wherein June, “he was convicted along with several other ANC leaders and sentenced to life in prison.” Nelson spent the next twenty-five years in two prisons and under house arrest. In 1989, South African president F.W. de Klerk lifted the ban and suspensions, saving Nelson two years until his original release prior to the ban. After Nelson’s release in February of 1990, he went on to become very famous! In 1993 Nelson and F.W. de Klerk were awarded a Nobel peace prize. Later in the year, the ANC would win a majority in the country’s first free elections; Mandela would become South Africa’s president.

The last of Mandela was his official retirement from politics in 1999, where he proceeded to remain a global advocate for peace and social justice until his death in December 2013. As a result of Nelson’s enormous fame and being the first known example, Fiona Broome named the effect after him.

Nowadays, eleven whole years after Ms. Broome’s incident, we still have abundances of examples of these seemingly, simple and yet complicated events. To list some common examples of the effect: “Curious George’s tail,” “Froot or Fruit Loops,” “Monopoly man’s monocle,” and many other examples that may even occur in just your household alone! The Mandela effect occurs when you start to remember something. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, your brain may find the position of specific pieces. Afterward, your brain will begin to make assumptions to fill in the small blanks of the memory. Due to the assumptions made, masses can all say they remember the same event, even if it never occurred.

In short, the Mandela effect occurs when your brain starts to make small, misleading assumptions. The first recorded response of the Mandela effect in action was with a woman named Fiona Broome and many others that thought they knew about the death of a man, Nelson Mandela. Broome and others later found out about the fame of Nelson, his release in 1990, and how they were all wrong. Broome decided to name the effect after Mr. Nelson Mandela himself. Now, anytime you think something may be true, you might want to double-check if you are experiencing the same effect as Broome.