Saturday, May 7, 2016

high weirdness

I couldn't think of anything to write that would match this new picture so I went instead to look for a story I read about a few months ago. It's an old tale anyway so I don't suppose you'll mind me having waited a while to tell it.

Unexpected teleportation must come as a shock. Consider the case of Gil Pérez:
Señor Pérez, a soldier in the Filipino Guardia Civil mysteriously vanished from his sentry post in Manila, on October 23rd, 1593 and reappeared in the Plaza Mayor of Mexico City on October 24th, 1593.  At the time of his appearance in Mexico, Pérez was dressed in the resplendent costume of the Palacio del Gobernador in the Philippines, and immediately reported that moments before his bizarre transport to Mexico City, Governor of the Philippines, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas has been axed to death by Chinese pirates.

Since instantaneous travel from Manila to Mexico City is largely unheard of even today (given the state of air transport, somewhere along the line a flight would be cancelled), Spanish officials in Mexico were understandably dubious in 1593, and jailed poor Pérez on the assumption that he was a Spanish Army deserter.  He was also questioned unproductively by the local office of the Inquisition (which no one expected). 

Two months after his sudden arrival, a Spanish galleon arrived from Manila with (1) news that Gomez Perez Dasmariñas had indeed been axed to death by the Chinese on October 23rd, (2) that Gil Pérez had been seen in Manila on the same day and was positively identified by a witness on the newly arrived galleon, and (3) weirdness was clearly afoot. 

Pérez was then released; returning to the Philippines to resume his previous posting, and nothing important was heard about him after.  Considering that in the late 16th Century Pérez managed to travel 8900 miles in less than a day and deliver accurate information, with no understanding of where he was or explanation, I would say the absolute silence regarding his later life manifests an overwhelming degree of modesty. 

If subatomic particles can be in two places at once, why not members of the Filipino Guardia Civil?


The Crow said...

Wonderful artwork, Susan. Always a pleasure to see.

What a story! Can't imagine how Perez felt upon finding himself in Mexico, dressed in such finery, only a day after witnessing the murder of the governor of the Philippines, but I wished I'd been there to ask him all the questions buzzing around in my head at the moment.

marja-leena said...

Weird tale indeed! Good thing he survived the return home.

Beautiful painting, Susan! Glad to see you have been inspired lately.

susan said...

I'm happy you like the picture, Martha. It was fun to paint.

From what I read the story was that he continued marching up and down the square while pretending nothing had actually changed. I'm sure your questions would have been much more gently put than those of the Inquisition.

susan said...

Hopefully he went home the normal way. Of course, back then sailing by galleon wasn't especially safe either.

Thanks for your sweet words about the picture. Yes, inspiration has been a bit thin recently.

Should Fish More said...

Fascinating story, one wonders about it. Do you have any source material references? Understand I'm not doubting you, I'm just a curious retired academic.
Great colors in the watercolor....the woman has a faint Southwest air to her, and I don't know what to make of the cat in the man's holster.
One wonders about Gil's story....perhaps a reference back to the movie "Close Encounters" maybe. There have been several encounters over the years, too many to dismiss out of hand. Who knows.
As always, enjoy your work, Susan.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Once again a fascinating and wonderful picture to conjure up in my mind so many possible interesting stories about presumably this ancient figure of wisdom and or power with the women and her mysterious bag to go well with the interesting legend.
Best wishes

susan said...

I've always been fascinated by strange stories, Mike, even though most (like this one) can't be verified. This one I found on wikipedia. Another very interesting case was reported in Tokyo in 1954 when a businessman arrived at the airport and handed the officials a passport from a non-existent country called Taured. He was held overnight in a guarded hotel room while the authorities investigated his other documents (also from Taured) and his story. The next morning he and all his possessions (including the documents) were gone.

I'm glad you like the picture. Drawing things that are a little strange is a delight for me. I feel I've been neglecting color too much recently. :)

susan said...

I'm delighted you enjoyed the story and picture both, Lindsay. Anomalous stories always provide some amusement, mystery and comfort in a world that seems too full of bad news.
All best wishes

The Crow said...


A blogger I follow wrote an article about gravitational waves (of which I know little but am reading about) and wondered if that phenomenon could have had something to do with Sr. Perez' time travel experience.

What do you think?


Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Similar thing happened to me. I wrote a book about it. Nobody believes me. They think I am joking. Strange.

susan said...

Hi Martha,
Yes, that's a pretty interesting thought but my own interpretation (with no scientific understanding whatsoever) is that it could also have been an example of interdimensional bilocation - as in the many worlds interpretation of string theory. Then again brane theory is also related to super-gravity, something that may include Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance. We may not be well equipped to discuss such things but there's no doubt that thinking about our place in the greater reality of the universe is satisfying.

Don't you agree?

susan said...

But I believe you, Andrew. Then again, I have been called credulous so there's that.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

I don't believe you do. Credulous I am not.

susan said...

Me neither but I'm open to persuasion. It's true we can find it difficult to balance doubting and believing but, as Carl Sagan said: "It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it."