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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Strange Case Of The Teleported Spanish Soldier

Teleportation is a common plot device in science fiction and fantasy. Who wouldn't like to travel from one place to another instantaneously? At the height of the Spanish Empire, a certain guardia civil is said to have teleported roughly 14,500 kilometers away from Manila to Mexico in 1593. Let us investigate the strange case of Gil Pérez.

Gil Perez, Teleport Spanish Man
Image: Filipino Historian
To give some context on the time period where the incident happened. The date of the alleged teleportation incident probably happened on October 24 or 25 1593. Historical records prove that the key incident is the assassination of the 7th Governor-General of the Philippines, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas died at Caca Batangas after Chinese pirates killed him while he is on an expedition to the Spice Islands. It turned out that Gil Perez is one of the Palace guards in service for the fallen Governor-General.

So according to the written accounts of his instantaneous travel. Like any guard on duty, Gil Perez can't help himself but to go drowsy or go dizzy while guarding a key government establishment. His days on duty is more challenging than usual because of the turmoil brought by the death of the Governor-General. This led to the infighting of several prominent Spanish officials positioning themselves for the prestigious position of being a Governor-General. This means Gil Perez has to work for an extra number of hours to guard the Palace against infiltrators and saboteurs.

The fateful night came, and he nearly passed out while leaning on the palace walls. He struck the floor and saw himself in an entirely new yet familiar place. One can imagine that Gil Perez may not have a hard time adapting to this unknown place since he can hear familiar chatters on the buzzing streets of Zocalo Mexico City another territory of Mother Spain. He is still sporting his issued Guardia Civil outfit and observed how different it is from the one worn by Spanish authorities in Mexico.

Gil Perez achieved a feat of traveling from the Philippines to Mexico in just seconds. The trip may take as long as 6 months in the usual galleon route from Manila to Acapulco. Viceroy Luis Velasco interrogated Gil Perez about his allegiance, how did he get to New Spain or Mexico and so on. Since there is supposed to be an arduous process of arranging travel from one colony to another. Gil Perez told the Viceroy everything he know about the political climate of the Philippines.

Gil Perez, Spanish Teleport Man
Image: Wikipedia
The 16th Century is a dangerous time for anomalies like the teleportation of Gil Perez. The Inquisition is razing throughout Europe and the colonies are not spared from the massive purging of these heretics or witches. Unfortunately, Gil Perez was not spared from this, it turned out that the news of his apparition reached the Church. They sent him to an island in the Caribbean since he was suspected to have been in league with the Devil.

He was later freed months later when a galleon from Manila arrived and some passengers confirmed that he was a Guardia Civil in the Palace of the Governor-General. No other records of Gil Perez told about his life after his incident. Researchers are skeptical about the authenticity of Gil Perez's story and often dismiss the story and see it as an early example of an urban legend. You can watch a short animated reenactment video below.


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