If you closed your eyes for only a moment and then found yourself instantaneously transported to another country thousands of miles away, how would you react? How would you explain yourself? Such was the bizarre situation that Gil Perez allegedly experienced in 1593, when he, if the legend is true, became an unwitting victim of random teleportation.
Who Was Gil Perez?
Gil Perez was a Spanish soldier assigned to guard the Governor’s palace in Manila, Philippines. He was an ordinary man, having not experienced anything extraordinary up to that point. Just a soldier doing his job.
However, on October 24, 1593, that changed. Gil Perez was busy fulfilling his duty as a guard for the Governor’s palace, but the situation had become complicated – the governor, Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas, had been assassinated the night before after a mutiny aboard his ship by Chinese rowers. He’d been on an expedition to the Moluccas, and the attack came unexpectedly under the cloak of night. They were now deciding who would succeed Dasmariñas as governor, and the palace was on high alert.
Wanting a short break, Gil Perez rested himself gently against a wall of the palace and closed his eyes, just briefly. But when he opened them, he noticed something odd – the area around him had changed.
Confused but bound by duty, he continued to guard the palace, though it too seemed different. It was only when Perez was questioned by Mexican authorities that the true surreality of his situation became clear.
He was no longer in Manila, Philippines. He was in Mexico City, Mexico, about 9,000 miles away (14,211 km).
Gil Perez told his story to his questioners – about how he was from Manila and had been guarding the palace before apparently being whisked away through time and space to Mexico City. He told everyone of the death of the governor, news that had yet to reach them. And although he wore his uniform, carried “a different type of musket,” and spoke with a confused conviction, those in Mexico City didn’t quite believe the strange man claiming to have teleported across the Pacific Ocean. They threw him in jail.
At best, they thought, he was a deserter. At worst, a Devil worshiper.
However, two months later, a ship from the Philippines arrived, and those aboard confirmed the death of the governor. They also vouched for Gil Perez and his sanity. They had, indeed, last seen him in Manila on October 24 – there was no way he could have made that journey so quickly.
Gil Perez was released, and presumably returned home. But had he truly teleported, as the story suggests?