Most people have thought about what they would do if they could move through time, but no one has been able to crack time travel code just yet. Unless, of course, you count Paul Dienach, a Swiss-Austrian humanities teacher who lived in Europe in the early 1900s. Dienach suffered from ill health, falling into not one but two comas over the course of his short life. During the second coma, which lasted a year, Dienach claimed he traveled from 1921 to the year 3906.
Dienach maintained that he awoke in the body of Andreas Northam in the future, which supposedly was a well-known occurrence referred to as a "conscious slide." Once in the body of Northam, Dienach received information foretelling events from thousands of years in the future. Before his death, Dienach turned over his notes filled with the information gleaned during his time as Northam to a student, George Papahatzis, who translated them into Greek from Dienach's native German.
This collection of Dienach's notes was released as a novel under the name Chronicles of the Future in the 1970s. Dienach's alleged experience remains complicated and difficult to track - not to mention impossible to prove.
Paul Dienach Fell Into A Mysterious Coma In 1917
Paul Dienach was supposedly living in Switzerland and teaching humanities courses as a professor when he fell into a coma in 1917. Referred to by Dienach as "a lethargy" in his own notes, he remained in the coma for 14 days before regaining consciousness.
The professor's health never quite rebounded from this early sickness, and Dienach later fell into another coma.
Four Years Later, He Fell Into A Second Coma But This Time Could Not Be Woken
Dienach fell into a coma that lasted from spring 1921 until 1922. During that time, doctors in Zurich kept him alive via feeding tubes, and they gave encephalitic lethargy as the reason for the sickness. Encephalitic lethargy affects a person's neurological system, prompting some to have symptoms like being "dazed, confused, and delirious."
While Dienach was asleep, his mother passed away. Although this coma was the one that changed Dienach's life, he kept all of the details to himself before beginning to write it out in a type of diary.
When Dienach Awoke One Year Later, He Wouldn't Share What He Experienced While Unconscious
Dienach considered telling a priest about his experience during his year-long coma but was unable to bring himself to do so. In his book, he claims he would have shared it with his mother, had she not passed during his illness.
He feared people seeing him as mentally ill if he admitted that he remembered nothing of his first coma but in-depth details of his second. Dienach continued to write in his notes while keeping all of his supposedly miraculous experiences to himself.
An Illness Forced Dienach To Move To Greece And Start Teaching Again
Poor health due to tuberculosis pushed Dienach to relocate in 1922 and continue teaching in Greece, where he met student George Papahatzis, a man who would figure largely in sharing the professor's unlikely story.
While the climate in Greece initially helped his illness, Dienach moved to Italy two years later. Only then did Dienach hand his notes about his year-long coma experience over to Papahatzis.
As His Tuberculosis Worsened, He Decided To Write Out The Details Of His Coma Experience
At some point, Dienach placed pen to paper to record his coma experience for posterity. Some sources say that he wrote out the details immediately after waking from the coma in 1922.
He wrote about waking in an unfamiliar room as a man named Andreas Northam and speaking to people who looked astonished at the language he spoke. Dienach, never a prolific writer in his life, noted people and conversations he supposedly had during his coma and his time in Northam's body.
In 1972, Student George Papahatzis Published A Book Detailing Dienach’s Diary
After Dienach handed his notes over to Papahatzis, he moved to Italy, ultimately passing from his tuberculosis in 1924. Papahatzis read Dienach's fantastic story and translated it from German to Greek over the course of 14 years. It would be another 32 years before the contents of Dienach's notes were released to the public under the name Valley of the Roses and then in English as Chronicles of the Future.
During the 14 years spent translating Dienach's writings, Papahatzis hit roadblocks, such as the military confiscating the notes in 1944 due to them being in German. Papahatzis also lost some notes to a Freemason friend who believed they held secrets too powerful to let go. There was also the matter of Papahatzis finding out his professor and friend's name was likely fake.