The USS Nimitz, a nuclear aircraft carrier with full combat complement, is awaiting launch from Pearl Harbor, in the mid 1980s. A Mr. Tideman, CEO of Tideman Enterprises, shows up to give the crew a sendoff. Mr. Tideman is later revealed to be one of the designers of the USS Nimitz. He also delayed its launch by two days.
The Nimitz passes through some sort of seemingly natural electromagnetic storm, and vanishes. When they come out of the storm, the crew begins to notice that all communication with Pearl Harbor is gone, their support fleet has vanished, and all transmissions they intercept are of pre-WW2 variety--Jack Benny comedy broadcasts, a Joe Lewis boxing match, among others. At first the crew is badly shaken by this, because they believe that they are at war, and that Pearl Harbor has been destroyed. Sending out a number of aircraft to do recon, they quickly discover other strange sightings: a pair of mint-condition WW2 vintage Japanese Zero fighter planes, and more alarmingly, Pearl Harbor in undamaged condition. The memorial to the attack is gone, and the harbor is filled with all of the ships that were destroyed in the Japanese attack. From this, the captain surmises that the electromagnetic storm which the ship passed through was some sort of time portal, and it has taken them back from the mid 1980s, to December 6, 1941, less than 24 hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Two of the recon airplanes, F-14 fighter jets, watch as the pair of Zero fighter planes strafes a small personal yacht. Onboard said yacht is Senator Sam Chapman, his personal assistant, and several members of his staff, as well a collie by the name of Charlie. Chapman, his assistant Laurel, the captain of the yacht, and Charlie all jump ship when the Zeros begin their attack run. The yacht is destroyed, killing all other personnel onboard. As the Zeros strafe the water surrounding the yacht, they kill the yacht captain, who is floating in the water. The F-14 fighters radio back to the Nimitz and ask for permission to engage the Zeros in a dogfight, to protect the survivors. Permission is given to "Play with the Zeros," and so the F-14s do just that. Some fancy flying maneuvers later, permission is given to "Splash the Zeros," and so the F-14s destroy the hostile aircraft.
The USS Nimitz sends out a rescue helicopter to pick up the survivors of the yacht, as well as the downed Japanese pilot. Senator Chapman turns out to be vice chairman of the armed services defense committee. History recorded him as being missing and presumed dead. Chapman is placed into isolation, and begins questioning everyone he comes into contact with, about the ship that they are on, demanding answers; none are given. The Japanese pilot is being interviewed by an interpreter, and eventually obtains a weapon, and kills 4 or 5 Nimitz personnel before being killed himself. Senator Chapman finally has his request to see the captain of the Nimitz, and after a failed attempt at contacting Pearl Harbor, demands to be flown there. Instead of being flown to Pearl Harbor, the crew flies him to an island in Hawaii, along with his assistant and Mr. Owens, the first officer of the ship. When Chapman realizes where they are, he attempts to hijack the helicopter, and unwittingly destroys it, killing all onboard, and stranding Mr. Owens and Chapman's assistant on the Hawaiian Island.
Onboard the Nimitz, the crew prepares to defend Pearl Harbor with the arsenal available to them. They launch every single war plane, and prepare to attack the approaching Japanese air force. As they are getting ready to engage, the mysterious electromagnetic storm appears again, and the captain calls the attack force back. The Nimitz and all of the planes are sent back to the exact point in time they left in the beginning.
Mr. Laskey, a civilian quality control inspector, gets called over the meet Mr. Tideman and his wife, only to discover that they are Mr. Owens, first officer of the Nimitz, and Laurel, Mr. Chapman's personal assistant.
Since Mr. Tideman AKA Mr. Owens would not have been there the first time in the AB timeline, we can conclude that the events we are watching take place in at least the CD timeline, possibly EF or GH, but for the sake of simplicity, I am going to treat it as the CD timeline.
Much of the events of the AB timeline can be reconstructed. The first and most obvious anomaly is that Tideman Enterprises would not have been the company which designed the USS Nimitz. As military contracts go, however, this is probably not significant. Mr. Tideman AKA Owens would probably have used his knowledge of the ship to design it, perhaps making minor improvements, but overall, the ship would most likely have been developed by a different company, and perhaps had a slightly different configuration in the original history. However, it is doubtful that these would cause any major problems. The original company which built the Nimitz probably would have had other contracts, and likely would have been just fine. Sturm Ruger Firearms originally had the contract to build rifles for the Vietnam war; instead, Colt got the contract. As any gun collector can tell you, Ruger is still in fine shape despite that. So the military contract might be significant, but it might not.
Mr. Tideman's delay of the Nimitz's launch by 2 days could be a problem. Had the ship launched 2 days earlier, it might not have encountered the storm. However, since we know that Mr. Tideman is Mr. Owens, he would have known whether or not the ship's launch was delayed in the AB history, since he would have been onboard her. With that knowledge, it is reasonable to conclude that he intentionally delayed the launch to ensure that the ship would again encounter the storm in the CD timeline. If the ship does not encounter the storm, we have created an infinity loop, because the ship would not make the time trip in the CD timeline. Maybe Mr. Owens AKA Mr. Tideman knows this, more likely not, but he is taking reasonable steps to ensure that it does encounter the storm on time.
It should also be noted that the electromagnetic storm which they encounter seems drawn to the Nimitz (it seems to follow them when they try to escape it). They might arrive in a slightly different place, or perhaps at a slightly different time between the AB history and the CD history, but this is probably not significant. The captain and crew would most likely take the same steps to determine where and when they were, and would make the same decisions based on the knowledge they obtained.
Senator Chapman and his assistant Laurel would have been killed in the ocean by the attacking Zeros, but since Chapman dies in the CD timeline, he would still be listed as missing and presumed dead. The only problem here is that the wreckage of the helicopter that Chapman inadvertently destroyed might be found. It would be unrecognizable as any technology of that time. However, since the helicopter is completely destroyed over open ocean, this seems to me unlikely at best. Chapman would be listed as missing in either history, and so nothing is altered as far as that goes.
The two Zeros which are destroyed in the CD timeline would have made it back to base in the AB timeline, and might have been sent on the attack of Pearl Harbor. This is a possibly significant anomaly. Their actions in the AB timeline had they been in on the attack might have altered history slightly; perhaps a few more people would have been killed had they been there. However, since it is also possible that they did not go on the attack mission of Pearl Harbor in the AB timeline, or that they did not do anything significant in the attack, we can excuse this. The pilots themselves would either be listed as missing or AWOL, but since that will not impact the trip, it does not cause any problems.
Laurel and Mr. Owens create the largest set of anomalies. They obviously get married, find work, start up a company, and alter history drastically. In the AB timeline, none of this would have happened. Someone else would be living in the home they have, someone else would be working at whatever jobs they find. That would change things slightly. The population density of wherever they live would be altered, different people in different places, but possibly nothing of severe importance. Did they have any children in their life together? Possibly, but not necessarily. If they do have children, their children would most likely be adults by the 1980s, when the movie takes place. Could they impact the trip? Perhaps one of them might have joined the Navy, or been in on the Pearl Harbor support team. Other than the increase in population, and the slight displacement of other people, probably any offspring of Laurel and Mr. Owens AKA Tideman would not be very significant. It would create a sawtooth snap, which would most likely stabilize eventually.
The fact that Mr. Owens AKA Tideman creates the company is a significant anomaly. How many people work for Tideman Enterprises? Is it just himself and Laurel doing all the work? Not likely. The work force of their area could be impacted drastically. This could potentially lead to severe population increases in the area of the company. How many times do we hear it? "Great place to live, but there are no jobs." The population in their area is going to be radically changed: different people living in different places. Possibly people that work for Tideman Enterprises meet and get married. This could impact the population of the world at large. By the 1980s, when the movie takes place, members of the Nimitz crew could be completely different people, as well as the support teams at Pearl Harbor. This could impact the trip, as it might be different people who go back in time, but none of this would affect the fact that the trip was made. Different people might make different decisions, but then again, with military training being what it is, the people would probably make very similar decisions. This is significant, but it will probably not have a great impact on the events of the trip. It simply means a sawtooth snap will be involved as these problems stabilize themselves. How long will that sawtooth snap go? It is uncertain, but there is no reason for it not to eventually stabilize itself.
Since Laurel is alive in the CD timeline, it is likely that she made up some story about how she survived the attack on the yacht by the pair of Zeros, and used her assets to assist Mr. Owens AKA Tideman in his life in 1941. Mr. Owens AKA Tideman would use his knowledge of the military to begin Tideman Enterprises. They become rich and successful, and it is also implied that they become very reclusive.
It is quite possible that Laurel changes her identity, and leaves herself as declared missing and presumed dead in the Zero attack on the yacht. She would have to abandon her entire life, her home, and never again see any of her family or friends. She would also have only the money that she has on her, and would have a much more difficult time in the new CD timeline.
If Laurel reveals herself as having survived the attack, however, it would be known how Senator Chapman died. Since Chapman is listed as missing in the CD timeline, Laurel either left herself declared missing, or did not reveal how Chapman died. She could say that they got separated and she never saw what happened, or that she passed out. Chapman would still go as listed missing presumed dead, because there would be no positive confirmation from Laurel. With a little creativity on Laurel's part, she could resume her life, and Chapman would remain listed missing. She may leave herself listed missing as well as Chapman. Either way, it is not significant to the forming of Tideman Enterprises. Since we do know that Tideman Enterprises will come to pass, and will design the USS Nimitz, how it comes into being does not really matter.
There are two potential problems other than those mentioned here. One is that Mr. Owens AKA Tideman might make slight modifications to the Nimitz. Since he served onboard her, he would know what worked well and what didn't. He would have listened to the crew complain about different things, and might try to fix these. In every timeline, there would be different things that he might modify to suit his tastes or the complaints of the crew. In the worst case scenario, he would change one thing to suit his tastes, then decide in the next timeline that he didn't like it, and change it back to the original. This would create an infinity loop, as the two sets of ideas get bounced back and forth. In order to preserve the timeline, however, we will assume that he does not do that, and that the modifications he makes, if any, would eventually suit him, and the sawtooth snap would terminate.
The last anomaly is quite tricky. I am pleased to say, however, that it is the only one which Mr. Young had to point out to me directly. He pointed it out, and I resolved it. The problem is where did Mr. Owens get the name Tideman from? Since we know that a different company originally designed the Nimitz, Mr. Owens AKA Tideman has to beat that company to the punch. He would have to get his company started before them, and get the contract for the Nimitz first. If Mr. Owens takes the name Tideman out of thin air, and names his company Tideman Enterprises, in the EF timeline, he would know that it was Tideman Enterprises that designed the Nimitz, not knowing that he was Mr. Tideman, and would take a different name out of thin air for his company. He might call it Cobos Enterprises, and in the GH timeline, would know that the ship was designed by Cobos Enterprises, and again take the name Tideman. This would create an infinity loop, as the two names become switched between Cobos and Tideman. Unfortunately, an infinity loop is only the beginning of it. In each timeline, he would have to create either Cobos Enterprises or Tideman Enterprises before he did it in the preceding timeline, not knowing that it was he who created that. It would create a sawtooth snap with an infinity loop termination, and repeat the entire cycle all over again.
Is there any resolution to this anomaly? Fortunately, there is one. Since we do not know the name of the original company that designed the Nimitz, it is quite possible that the original company was in fact named Tideman Enterprises. Going on that assumption, Mr. Owens still has to create his company before the original (we will call the original Tideman1) and take their name. In the CD timeline, Owens creates his company, (Tideman2 we will call it) before Tideman1. In the CD timeline, Tideman2 gets the contract for the USS Nimitz, and Tideman1 either emerges as a competitor in the field under a different name, or does not come into being at all. Regardless of the actions of Tideman1, Owens creates Tideman2, and designs the Nimitz.
This sets up a sawtooth snap in the following timelines. In the EF timeline, Owens/Tideman still knows that it was Tideman Enterprises that designed the Nimitz, but now, has to beat himself to the punch, not knowing that he was Tideman in the CD timeline. He would have to work harder and harder to develop Tideman3, to attempt to displace Tideman2. As the snap progressed, the company would come into being earlier and earlier, going from Tideman3 to Tideman4, possibly all the way to Tideman9374 (hopefully not that long). Eventually, however, the time allotted to Owens/Tideman would run short. Suppose that Tideman1 came into being in 1960, and began making ships for the Vietnam war. Tideman2 has to come out before that. Tideman2 emerges in 1959, Tideman3 in 1958, and so on. As his time ran shorter and shorter, however, there are two possibilities. Either Mr. Owens/Tideman would not believe that it was possible to create Tideman Enterprises in such a short amount of time (Tideman16 comes out in 1945, and he has to beat them, not knowing he is them) and would give up on the idea completely. This would create an extremely complex sawtooth snap, because Tideman1 would come into being on it's original schedule, Tideman1 to Tideman2, to Tideman3, etc., ending in an infinity loop, with the entire process starting again. The other possibility is that Owens/Tideman does not give up on the idea, and creates his company Tideman Enterprises at exactly the same moment as it was created in the preceding timeline. This would result in an N jump termination to the sawtooth snap. Let us hope that for the sake of the universe that Owens/Tideman does not give up, and creates his company on time.
It might go to timeline WX or timeline YZ before everything works out, but it is possible for it to stabilize into an N jump termination. In my estimation, this film is a possible timeline, even if it is not the greatest of movies.
I would like to thank Mr. Young for allowing me the opportunity to do this analysis, and for posting it to his site. It has been a very good time, and much more challenging than I ever thought it would be. I would also like to thank my girlfriend Nicole for believing in me and supporting me through this endeavor.