Here’s another tale about my life that will probably be uploaded and printed out by my doctor, then added to my bulging medical file.
I used to dream of air accidents…
I used to dream of air accidents…
… and then they’d happen in real life a few days later.
Before I go on, it is quite a common phenomenon, apparently, though – when I got in touch with a few airlines about it, they did have a good chuckle.
They were always lucid, like I was actually there.
I’d think to myself or say out loud: “This is just like the dream I had, happening for real.”
There would be an aircraft struggling, engines howling or having fallen silent, and I’d look up and watch its final descent, usually ending with a ball of flame and that ice-water splashed feeling of shock that you’re witnessing death.
Then I’d wake up…
At first, they were just bad dreams and I’m sure I didn’t make any connection. I was in my mid-teens and not a great fan of the TV news. We didn’t have the Interlands then, of course, so I was quite ignorant to the goings on of the wider world.
The first time I did match that information, it would have seemed a coincidence, but as time went on and they kept happening, I became aware and confident enough to tell others about the crashes before they happened.
You can picture some teenage kid coming up to you and telling you there’s going to be an air disaster, and you’ll probably agree that you wouldn’t give much or any credence to their proclamations.
But then it happens…
One such incident of notifying people stands out in my mind. It must have been 18 or 19 and I was in a pub, in Carlisle. I used to drink with quite a cosmopolitan bunch of people, including a religious education teacher and a policeman. I think I may have had a pony-tail then.
I’d had one of these prophetic dreams the night before and some prompter in the conversation led me to telling them about it. It was the first time I’d mentioned this to them.
The policeman got very upset about it and told me that I was sick. He was so angry at me that he actually left the pub, and then I was confided to the knowledge that he had been in the clear-up teams that picked up body parts in the wake of the Lockerbie disaster, where a bombed Pan Am Jumbo Jet landed on the small town of Lockerbie… which is about 25 miles from my home city of Carlisle. That happened about five years earlier, but it’s obviously something that stays long in the mind. I never knew about it because he didn’t talk about it.
A few days later… after the crash had actually happened… I saw the policeman again and, before I could apologise for upsetting him, he said sorry. He seemed stunned by it all, asking how I knew and if I’d told the authorities. I had sent letters (actual letters, made of paper and sent through the physical world) to a few airlines, but only one replied, saying they received a lot of such information but couldn’t really do anything about it.
Anyway, I was nicknamed Nostradamus for a while.
By that time it was like some grim party-trick. There was nothing I could do with the knowledge, but I still kept dreaming them and telling people and they still kept happening.
They were always in the same general setting, a stone’s throw from my house. I’d ‘wake up’ in the dream and look around to see the flailing aircraft…
Using my home as a perspective, I realised I could predict a general compass point direction to where the crash would happen in the world. If I was looking across the road that runs through my village, from the perspective of my house, I’d be looking east. If I was looking out the back of my house, that would be west.
I could also tell the difference between planes and helicopters, and distinguish civilian and military aircraft by their colouring – white for civilian and green/grey for military.
Of course, it could all be some bizarre coincidence, but when you look at the timeline of major air disasters, they’re not really an everyday occurrence – so to predict them with such reliability was really pushing the odds up.
They stopped when I was 19 or 20, with a same-type dream that didn’t come true, but which was the most frightening of all of them…
Yes, it’s probably fairplay if you think I’m crazy, but a decade and a half later, with the Internet around, I had another. It was so similar to the old dreams that I even wrote it up on Facebook, as this screenshot shows (click to see full size):
The crash that occurred, ten days later, was Pakistan’s worst civilian air disaster. Another coincidence?
The dream that didn’t come true had the vantage point of the bottom of a small flight of steps on the path to the back of my house.
It was dusk, just after Sunset, with powder-blue skies on the horizon and everything framed in an indigo twilight. Something’s wrong, though, and people are outside, looking west with concern.
Then there’s this angry, churning orange and red light on the horizon, that rises until you can see it’s an approaching wall of fire, thousands of feet high, rushing up so fast that you know you don’t even have the time to turn you head to say goodbye to anyone.
Then I woke up…
I did philosophise that maybe major incidents cause some sort of ‘time shock’ – that they set off a quantum shock wave which echoed across time, both afterwards and before the event. It stood to reason, then, that if an air crash were to create a reverberation through time that could be felt a few days away, something along the lines of a global cataclysm would have created a much louder boom, so I could be picking up an echo from something decades into the future.
I watched the film, Knowing, with Nicholas Cage, about a young girl who predicts the end of the world and all the disasters running up to it – and was honestly quite creeped out at the end (Spoiler alert!) because I’d seen it happen before.
Although I prefer the comfort of calling them ‘just dreams’ and believing in the coincidence, I have to admit, I do take too much interest when there’s news of an incoming solar flare. If one happens on 18th December, 2012, it will really freak me out for a few days.
The weirdest thing about this is that you could wire me up to a lie detector and find all of this is the truth. Not that it is the truth, but that all of this actually happened. I’d welcome the comfort that it was just a bizarre series of coincidence, because that means the last dream won’t ever come true.