For most of history, the existence of alternate, or 'parallel,' universes has been nothing more than a scientific theory and vague possibility. On August 2, 2007, however, alternate universes became a fact as the NYPD blocked off a section of Tompkins Square Park in response to the appearance of a rift into another universe.
Causes & Research
The underlying causes of the rifts and the function of alternate universes remains unknown. Although there have long been a number of scientific theories, including the Multiverse and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, none have yet been concretely proven.
The foremost center for research on rifts, alternate universes, and the quantum physics which may cause them takes place at Tompkins Square Park Research Center, established on the site of the first rift. It attracts many of the world's top physicists, mathematicians, and other scientific minds.
The First Rift
Rumors of the Tompkins Square Park rift began in late July of 2007. YouTube videos which purported to depict a destroyed Manhattan began circulating. They are first widely dismissed as hoaxes, but on August 2, the NYPD cordoned off the area, and two days later the National Guard was called in to create a security zone. Authorities refused to comment on either the actions or the videos, refused to comment specifically on the videos, saying "I haven't seen them, I don't know what they are. That's all I can say at this time." It wasn't until August 23, nearly twenty days later, that the government acknowledged the existence of a 'Rift' leading to a destroyed Manhattan. They assured the public that the situation was under control.
Several other events of note occurred at the site.
On September 12, 2007, authorities announced that the 'Rift' in Tompkins Square Park had closed without explanation. The park remained under quarantine for several months, and eventually the site of the rift was closed to the public for good and the Tompkins Square Park Research Center was established on the site.
- The first AU encountered, its rift opened in July 2007 and closed on September 12, 2007.