The “overwhelming shock” of his father’s death caused Mallett, now 63, to “just disconnect from reality,” he says. So when, at age 10, he started building a jury-rigged jalopy, based on the gyroscopic contraption on the cover of the Classics Illustrated version of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, it might have seemed as if he had gone over the edge.
But the next decades only saw Mallett’s focus on his mission intensify with laser-like precision. He devoured every book on Einstein he could find. He boned up on differential equations and tensor calculus. And by 1973, at Penn State, he’d earned his Ph.D. Moved by the intensely personal nature of his quest, Spike Lee announced this past summer that he’s currently writing a screenplay for a movie “‘ which he’ll direct “‘ based on Mallett’s book, Time Traveler (Thunder’s Mouth, 2006).
(via Tomorrow Museum)