ESP - can the future be predicted? - What do you think?
Have you ever had a premonition - knowing without doubt something is about to happen? Have you then documented it and been proved correct?
Many of us, feet planted firmly on the ground, take the concept of extra sensory perception (ESP) and dismiss it as the stuff of fiction and movies?
Yet the idea of paranormal abilities has intrigued people for centuries, perhaps more than we are willing to admit?
Here are four well documented ESP events - could they have been stopped?
Sadly, on the 31st of August 1997, Princess Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris.
Five days before she died, Edward Williams, retired miner, called at his local police station in Glamorgan, Wales. He had seen a vision of Diana’s death and was shaken.
The police took him seriously.
Logged on computer as incident 767 is the following - ‘On August 27th at 14.12 hours, a man by the name of Edward Williams came to Mountain Ash police station. He said he was a psychic and predicted that Princess Diana was going to die.
Mr Williams told the police he was out walking and picking blackberries when he had the premonition. He reportedly went cold with fear.
'Suddenly everything in front of me was obscured in darkness. I could see lots of shadowy figures, which I was sure were members of the royal family. In the middle I could clearly see the face of Princess Diana. There were no words but the expression on her face told him she was in great danger.’
Still troubled 48 hours later, Mr Williams reported to local police who were very understanding and made the report. Getting it off his chest relieved him but the feeling of danger persisted. When he heard the devastating news Mr Williams is reported as saying, he felt ‘sick to the stomach.’
'I felt and still do - that Diana’s destiny had somehow been in my hands and I didn't do enough to help her. If only the police had taken me more seriously, perhaps Diana might still be here today.'
James Byron Dean was an American actor born in 1931. He starred in three films Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, and Giant. Still popular today, his enduring fame rests on these performances. He was feted as a new and potentially famous actor.
Tragically, he died in a car accident on September 30th 1955 aged 24.
A week before he died, the actor, Sir Alec Guinness was in a restaurant when a young man introduced himself as James Dean.
Sir Alec joined Dean at his table. But first, Dean insisted on showing off his new toy - a sports car.
Sir Alec said he heard his own voice begging Dean. - ‘Please never get in it. It is now ten-o-clock, Friday the twenty-third of September, 1955. If you get in that car you will be found dead in it by this time next week.'
Dean did not take this seriously and ignored the advice.
Seven days later, four o'clock the following Friday, James Dean was pronounced dead, killed in a car accident while driving his new car.
The disaster of the liner Titanic, which collided with an iceberg in fog on its maiden voyage from Europe to America, was foretold many times. These prophecies began even before the vessel was built.
In the 1880s the English journalist W.T. Stead wrote a fictional account of the sinking of a liner – he made an iceberg the cause of the calamity. In 1910 Stead, in a lecture, emphasized the necessity to match a liner’s lifeboats to the accommodation offered.
The maiden voyage of the Titanic began on April 10, 1912. On board was a reluctant W.T. Stead. Not only did he ignore his own foreboding but those of others. An American friend had heard a voice telling her that Stead ‘would soon be called home.’
Another, from a clergyman, warned him that the Titanic was doomed and would sink.
Four days after sailing from Southampton - the liner collided with an iceberg and sank; there were insufficient lifeboats to save all the passengers and crew. Stead was drowned.
Some people heeded the warnings. The banker, millionaire J. Pierpont Morgan cancelled at the last moment.
Mr Colin Macdonald resigned as second engineer because he had a premonition of disaster.
As the Titanic sailed out of Southampton, a woman in the crowd was heard shouting hysterically:'That ship is going to sink! Do something - save them.'
In 1968, Jeane Dixon, the Washington seer, forecast the assassination of Robert Kennedy, just as she had prophesied the murder of his brother President John F. Kennedy.
She was not alone.
Jacqueline Kennedy spoke her concerns to composer Gian-Carlo Menotti. Menotti asked Jackie if she was pleased with Robert's decision to stand for presidential nomination.
Her answer - 'I can't be very happy, because I know he is going to be shot like my husband. They're going to shoot him.'
Another prediction of Senator Robert Kennedy's death was reported to the Dream Laboratory at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The researchers received a letter on the morning of the assassination describing a series of dreams. The dreams involved Robert Kennedy, killing, violence and death. The writer asked that Robert Kennedy be contacted and warned. The letter did not receive attention until after the death.
Nostradamus was a seer who lived in the 16th century. He wrote long-term predictions about the future and world events. He is said to have predicted the rise of Napoleon and Hitler and prophesied the September 11th bombings.
Today, people still refer to his works expecting to link his predictions with current events.
Edgar Cayce 1877-1945. Cayce was an American psychic who, from a hypnotic trance answered questions on war, healing, and had visions of the end of the world.
From the UK two psychics Sally Morgan and Lisa Williams, both claim to have had psychic experiences from an early age.
Both have hosted their own TV shows to display these psychic abilities.
Jeane L Dixon -1904-1997
Perhaps the best known American psychic of the 20th century. She wrote a syndicated newspaper astrology column. One of her most remembered predictions was of John F Kennedy’s assassination followed by that of his brother Robert Kennedy.
Biggest and Best
Enter reality TV and the psychic world was in it. A challenge entitled ‘Battle of the Psychics’ showcased psychics from different countries. The USA, Azerbaijan, Germany, Great Britain, Ukraine, and Russia. Hayal Alekperov from Azerbaijan was awarded the title – Best Psychic.
Playing devil’s advocate shouldn’t the contestants have been able to predict the outcome?
Surely, the question to ponder is this - if a tragedy doesn't happen because of a premonition which is heeded - then the event is unlikely to happen and therefore could not be predicted.
Let’s leave it all to Shakespeare. In Hamlet he puts it into perspective - ‘there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio.’'