October 28, 2010 at 08:38 PM EDT
Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

A smalltime Irish director says he’s found proof of a time traveler in extra footage from a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film. Maybe because we all badly want to it to be true, George Clarke’s clip is doing major press rounds. In it, Clarke introduces a shot of The Circus premiere from back in the days when telephones were scarce. And yet there she is, just as Clarke said she would be: a stout lady shuffling by, seeming to talk into a cell phone. (See video below)

I’m definitely the kind who wants to believe. When that mermaid started jumping around the Israeli coast, I was like, Obviously! Who doesn’t believe in mermaids? (Admit it.) Bring on griffins! But this seems implausible. First of all, the woman (or man in drag, according to Clarke) looks old and stiff-jointed, not exactly up for a trip through time. Wouldn’t future people dispatch an agile body? Then there’s the fact that the phone is shaped less like a super future mobile device than an ear trumpet. But the most damning rebuttal is Clarke himself. He’s a hungry filmmaker. He’s got a million and a half views on YouTube. He seems really sure that we’ll all appreciate his own films soon enough. I, for one, forgive him a hoax.

What are your thoughts Popwatchers? Better to believe?

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