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BELIEVE IT OR NOT? The ABC News caption reads: "Physicist Ronald Mallett shows ABC's John Berman his time machine. Although the invention won't allow him to go back in time to visit his deceased father, Mallett hopes his work in science would have made him proud."(ABC News)

There are scant details of how it would work and no experts are named to back physicist Ronald Mallett’s claim. But there it is, a report about real plans for a time machine from ABC News  instead of a news outlet more befitting the subject —The Onion.

ABC News writes: “Mallett said he believes that if he can create a gravitational swirl — a whirpool — he can actually twist space and time. ‘So if I’m twisting space violently enough, ultimately what will happen is that that timeline will get twisted into a loop,’ Mallet said.”

The ABC News headline, “Time Travel: Fantasy or Science?” promises a story about Mallett, who “builds [a] time machine to save his father’s life.” He “worshipped” his father and kept his ambitions to build a time machine secret. He told ABC, “I was astute enough to realize that people were worried about me already and if I told them that I wanted to build a time machine I might not want to deal with the consequences,” Mallett said.

Commenter funkandspacejunk writes, “Wow. Is it just me or are the ABC News journalists getting worse by the day?” He then quotes from the following passage, that refers to “other scientists” who are never named. (Emphasis mine):

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“People might think he was crazy, even though he has worked his way to a job as a tenured physicist at the University of Connecticut. But it’s not a secret anymore, because of something really crazy. He said he thinks he has come up with a way to do it. It’s complicated, but not crazy, according to some other scientists who have studied Mallett’s idea.”

But wait. ABC buries the bad news in the very last line of their report. The time machine “only works from the moment the machine turns on,” Mallet said. “That means you couldn’t go back to a time earlier than the time when the machine begins to work.” Bottom line? ABC News answers, “Mallett could never go back to 1955 to see his father. But still, he said, he is certain his father would be proud.”

Another commenter Extremophil, got it right, in StinkyJournalisms’s view: “I wish I could jump in a time machine and get back the minutes I wasted on this article. Bleah.”

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