Background to my question:
I recently saw Laurence Krauss at the global atheist convention where he did a presentation. He explained about dark matter and dark energy and showed a graphic of particles popping in and out of existence in the vacuum of nothingness.

It brings to mind "the ether."

Whenever I imagine light travelling through space, I incorrectly imagine Newton's cradle. Something bumping the fabric of "space" at one end, a wave propagating through space and a photon popping out the other end.

Just like AC electrical theory, electrons don't travel from the power station to your home, it's more like Newton's cradle. You bang an electron in to one end of the copper and an electron bounces out the other end.

So with light, I can't help but incorrectly visualise that the "dark" part of our universe exists where we are not. That it can exist in the crystal lattice of transparent objects like glass, partially in water. i.e. if light can travel through it, this is where the "dark" universe is.

Has the passage of a photon been detected without intercepting the photon? Has it been proven that it is not a wave through a medium with a proton jumping out the end, like an electron in copper wire? Is it possible to detect a proton passing by, without stopping it? All of the sensors I know of detect the proton when the proton hits it. But this fits in with my concept of "newtons cradle." It doesn't disprove the ether in the "dark" to me. But my concept of this does not include the maths, it is beyond me. I can only understand the verbal concepts of this.

The Question.
When Einstein discarded the either, did it disprove it in the model of the universe that has dark energy and dark matter? Could whatever contains dark energy be the ether?

Because if it does, the universe makes a whole lot more sense to me.