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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When the Future Whispers to the Present

My previous post discussed experimental evidence suggesting precognition, which is defined as anomalous knowledge of the future not achieved through the normal senses. Experimental evidence gathered in laboratories is only part of the evidence for precognition. There is also episodic evidence from human experiences outside of the laboratory. Larry Dossey's book The Science of Premonitions is an excellent summary of such episodic evidence. Below are some of the very interesting accounts in that book. 
  • A woman awoke at 2:30 AM, having had a nightmare that the chandelier above her baby's crib had fallen, crushing the child. In her dream she saw a clock with the numbers 4:35. She took the child out of the room with the chandelier, and brought the child to sleep with her. At 4:35 that morning, the chandelier did fall into the crib, exactly as in her dream.
  • William Cox researched train accidents between 1950 and 1955, and found that in every case the number of people traveling on the trains was less than the number who rode similar trains that did not crash, suggesting a possible precognitive ability of humans.
  • Quite a few people reported premonitions of the September 11, 2001 disaster before it happened. The four jet planes involved in the disaster had an average of only 21% of their seats filled, as if people had sensed something bad was going to happen.
  • On May 3, 1812, John Williams had the same dream three times in a single night: a very specific dream about someone assassinating Spencer Perceval, the British Prime Minister. Eight days later Perceval was assassinated, and several of the details matched William's dream.
  • A few days before he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln had a dream that he would be assassinated.
  • The famous writer Mark Twain had a dream about the death of his brother that turned out to closely match what happened a few days later.
  • Several people had premonitions that something would go wrong on the Titanic before it sunk. One person who had a ticket on the ill-fated ship had two dreams that the ship would overturn, with passengers in the water.
  • In 1950 a church blew up in Beatrice, Nebraska, at a time when the church normally would have had a choir practice. Amazingly, no one was hurt, because the church was empty. We can only guess at how many of these people felt a premonition of doom, and avoided their regular choir practice.
  • According to research published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, dozens of people had premonitions of disaster before the Aberfan avalanche that killed 144 people. Some had dreams about such a disaster before it happened.
  • During World War II Winston Churchill had two premonitions that may have saved his life or those of others. One premonition led him to switch sides on his staff car. A bomb then went off near the side he moved away from. Another premonition led him to tell his kitchen staff to leave the kitchen and go underground. A bomb then destroyed the kitchen.
  • As reported here, Lawrence Francis Boisseau had a dream that the World Trade Center was collapsing around him. Boisseau was killed in the attack.

On page 263 of the book Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations Into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis by journalist Annie Jacobsen, we have an astonishing case of apparent precognition. The book states:

Out of Langford's mouth came a prophecy. “A United States Pentagon official would be kidnapped by terrorists on the evening of 17 December 1981.”....Langford said he saw the terrorists breaking into the Pentagon official's apartment, binding and gagging the man, and then kidnapping him. Even more specifically, Langford saw this high-ranking official being shoved inside a trunk and secreted in the back of a van.

Sure enough, on December 17, 1981 exactly such a thing happened to Brigadier General James L. Dozier, who was kidnapped by a terrorist group called the Red Brigades. The van even had the same color mentioned by Langford.

I was not at all surprised to read about Boisseau's dream of the World Trade Center collapsing, for I had such a dream myself, several months before September 11, 2001. It was a very simple dream. In my dream, first I was standing inside the World Trade Center, and then the floor collapsed underneath my feet. In the dream I saw myself plunging as the whole building seemed to collapse. That day I told my wife that I had dreamed that the World Trade Center had collapsed. Several months later I was in the World Trade Center when a jet plane hit, but I was able to escape before the whole building collapsed. This is the only dream I have ever had about a building collapsing.

This is only one of many cases in which there was an uncanny match between something I dreamed and something that occurred. According to this wikipedia.org list, the most recent major earthquake in California was the Richter 6.0 quake of August 24, 2014, which caused over 300 million dollars of damage. About 4 hours before the earthquake, at about 2:00 AM I had a dream of a trash can mysteriously moving around on the floor, even though no one was touching it. I thought to myself: this might have been a dream of an earthquake tremor. Lying in my bed, I decided to send out a Tweet describing my dream – as soon as I woke up in the morning. When I woke up and checked the news, I saw it was too late – the earthquake had already occurred, a few hours after my dream.

The post here describes quite a few dreams I had that seemed to closely match reality, mostly events in the future or past events I had not yet learned about. The post here describes a case in which I had a dream of a meteor falling. There was an uncanny match between details of the dream and an event that happened a week later.

It has been quite a while since I had any dream experience closely matching reality. So I thought that I was all done with experiences suggesting precognition. But then this year something very astonishing happened.

I was eating dinner with my wife, watching the very entertaining and funny TV show The Carbonaro Effect. In this hidden camera reality TV show, magician Michael Carbonaro performs magic tricks in front of people who do not know that Michael is a magician and do not know that they are on TV.

I was watching the show in my living room, while my TV screen showed Carbonaro sitting with some other person at a table (I had not noticed they were in a room that was an office dining area). I went into my kitchen, where I could not see the show, and suddenly an idea popped into my head. It was an idea for something that would be very funny if it were done on The Carbonaro Effect show. My idea was that Michael Carbonaro could take a frozen fish and put it in a microwave oven, kind of saying, “I'm going to heat up my lunch now” in front of someone. Then when he opened the microwave door, there would be a live, moving fish about the same size as the fish he put in the microwave. I thought to myself: that would be very funny, to see something like that on this TV show.

I returned from my kitchen to the living room, to watch some more of the TV show. About 30 or 40 seconds later I saw Michael doing exactly what I had imagined. He took a frozen fish, and put it into the microwave. We saw the microwave oven apparently running, and then Michael appeared to take a live fish out of the microwave. He was saying something like, “Wow, I guess the fish came back to life,” or something to that effect. They might have done this trick by having a trick back door in the microwave, or maybe Michael had the live fish up his sleeve.

I had never seen the TV episode in question before, nor had I seen anything like it on any TV show. But my mind somehow managed to get the idea of exactly what was going to happen 30 or 40 seconds into the future – a totally weird and unpredictable type of thing. What are the odds of that happening by chance, maybe a million to one, or a billion to one?

I cannot say these things amount to ironclad proof that humans are able to sense the future in some paranormal way. I can merely give you some advice. If you ever have a strong premonition that disaster is about to strike, take that very seriously. So, for example, if you are about to board a bus, and you suddenly see in your mind a very vivid vision of the bus crashing, like in the Final Destination movies, with clear and distinct details, then take that seriously and go on some other bus. And if you have a flight scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and you have a dream on Tuesday morning that your plane crashes, take that very seriously and change your travel plans.

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