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Strange Time Warp At Blind River


By Rocco Frangione

The Saulte Star


This may read like an X Files story, but something in the Blind River, Ontario area is moving electrically powered clocks ahead by 10 minutes. Hydro One is not only surprised but stumped.


As best as can be determined, the time jumping seems to have started this past Monday.


Local residents didn't start talking about it until Wednesday because many thought someone in their home put the clocks ahead or it was an isolated incident.


Local media became aware of the situation when about 10 residents in the Blind River area called an Elliot Lake radio station Wednesday morning asking staff if they knew why the clocks in Blind River were jumping 10 minutes ahead.


What type of clocks that are affected appears very specific: electrically-powered digital clocks on stoves and microwaves, as well as clock radios. VCR or television clocks don't appear to be affected.


"It first happened to us Monday morning," said Perry Boyer, who works at the Mississauga First Nation band office.


"My daughter walked to her bus stop at the usual time of 8:10 a.m. and when she got there she thought she had missed the bus because no one else was there. So she started to walk back home and thats when she saw other students headed to the bus stop."


Boyer said it turned out his daughter had left home 10 minutes earlier because of the time jump.


"When she got back home and we found the clock was 10 minutes ahead she asked why I moved it up," Boyer said. "I'll do that sometimes, but not this time. So we moved the clock back 10 minutes. But on Tuesday morning the same thing happened. The clock was ahead by 10 minutes and my daughter again left too early for her bus. When I got to work Tuesday my co-workers told me they had encountered the same type of incident . . ."


Boyer said he again moved the clock back on Tuesday and Wednesday morning he found it was about five minutes ahead as the Boyer household prepared for work or school.


Boyer said the time shifting only affected electrical clocks in his home and that battery operated clocks were fine.


Because of this, Boyer dismissed the incident as hydro related.


Ken Corbiere, the Town of Blind River's administrator, confirmed he also experienced the clocks at his home moving ahead.


"I thought it was just me until I mentioned it at work," Corbiere said.


That's when he learned his co-workers also experienced the same problem.


"But no one said anything because we all thought it was just happening to us individually. One thing I did notice though is the clocks on our computers have not been affected by whatever's happening but our dial hand clock at the Town Hall, which is electrically powered, was affected."


A call to Hydro One only deepened the mystery.


Daffyd Roderick, Hydro's media spokesman, said the events "were very unusual."


"It isnt a problem weve encountered in the past," Rodderick said. "There may be something else going on here. But something affecting only clocks is highly unlikely to be hydro."


Rodderick said if there is some kind of voltage fluctuation, normally that should burn a digital clock because of the sudden surge in power. But that's not happening, which is one reason why Hydro One doesn't believe hydro is causing the time jumps.


Engineers Rodderick checked with at Hydro One are stymied but Rodderick said he planned to keep looking into the matter.