Children Who Remember on TV
On the Non-Existence of France

Psychic Prophecies

'Tis the season for natural disasters. Once-in-a century stuff. Much of Southern England is under water; hurricane-force winds have battered the coast. London has been spared so far. Even so, I may ask Santa to bring me some waders on his next visit - or perhaps a small inflatable boat.

Recently I got a phone call from Eric, a retired mining engineer in Yorkshire who also happens to be psychic. He’s been getting apocalyptic visions of disasters that humans are storing up for themselves by their irresponsible behaviour. A chatty fellow. He said he was 75 years of age and wanted to tell me a story - an hour later he was still going strong.

His spirit visitors are worried about plans to frack in the north of England. They showed Eric a vision of an abyss opening up under Manchester and half the city falling in. Eric thinks it’s up to him to warn the appropriate authorities. But will they listen? He described some of the conversations he’d been having.

Eric: City council? Eric here. Put me through to chief engineer.

Receptionist: What’s it about?

Eric: It’s about fracking. It’s a bloody disaster.

Receptionist: Well he’s very busy.

Eric: Never mind about that. Put me through.

Chief engineer: Hello, what’s this about?

Eric. It’s about fracking.

Chief Engineer: Well I’m very busy.

Eric: Is it true city council’s given permission to oil company to frack under Manchester?

Chief Engineer: Aye, what about it?

Eric: What about it? It’s a bloody disaster. Don’t ask me how I know, but if this goes ahead, a great big hole will open up under city, and thousands of lives will be lost.

Chief Engineer: How do you know?

Eric: Never mind that. Question is, what are you going to do about it?

Engineer: I don’t know. (Hangs up).

Eric then decides to approach the Anglican Church and goes to the local church offices.

Eric: I want to speak to head man.

Receptionist: What about?

Eric: Fracking.

Receptionist: Well he’s very busy.

Eric: Never mind about that. (Church official passes by). Here, are you head man? I want a word with you.

Official: How can I help?

Eric: It’s about fracking.

Official: Well I’m very–

Eric: City council’s gone and given permission to an oil company to drill under Manchester. Don’t ask me how I know, but if it goes ahead, a great big hole will open up under city, and thousands of lives will be lost. (Elaborates)

Official: Good heavens! That’s a scandal.

Eric: Yer what? A scandal? Look, if a man sleeps with a woman who in’t his wife, and it gets onto front page of newspaper, that’s a scandal. This is a bloody disaster!

I think even Eric realises he’s wasting his time. He drives his wife mad with his visions, he says, and none of his seven children will listen. (‘Oh Grandad, not this again!’). But it’s a real worry to him because what he sees is so realistic. For him, this future is going to happen unless action is taken to stop it.

Ominously, he added that ‘if you folks down there in London think you’re all right you’ve got another think coming’. The spirits think that ‘London is dying’, apparently, and Eric had quite a lot to say about the inadequacy of the flood defences. In fact expert opinion holds that, here at least, they’re quite robust, but I sensed there was no point arguing; he just wanted to talk to someone who would take him seriously. Which I do – up to a point. If one accepts the idea of individual consciousness surviving death, and being able to communicate with the living, then one is bound to have some interest in what it has to say.

But it’s surely wrong to take this sort of thing at face value. It doesn’t need supernatural intervention to suspect that using toxic chemicals to fracture the rock underneath a large population centre might not be a great idea. We can figure it out ourselves – as many people have. Despite the prosperity it can bring fracking is controversial almost everywhere.

Spirit ‘prophecy’ is one of the most dismal aspects of psychic activity. Take Edgar Cayce, whose readings were widely admired for their diagnostic accuracy but not so much for their apocalyptic warnings. They predicted, among other things, that parts of California would slide into the sea, and that earthquakes would flatten Manhattan and cause the Great Lakes to empty into the Mississippi, as well as wiping out Japan. One could argue these things could still happen - and on a geological time scale probably will - but that hardly counts as prophecy.

Psychics and astrologers make confident predictions about these things, but is there a single one with a successful track record? Not like Nostradamus, with gibberish that can be made to mean anything, but clear and intelligible statements about major events in the near future. Sure, for every natural disaster there’s someone in the world who can claim to have predicted it, but only in the sense that at least one out of ten tipsters will successfully identify the winner of the 2.30 at Newbury. As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Still, I believe Eric about his prophetic visions, and calling him a nutter doesn’t get to the bottom of the mystery. So what goes on?

One might say there’s nothing psychic going on at all. It’s simply one means – admittedly an exotic one – by which the mind brings buried anxieties to the surface, serving the same function as a dream or nightmare. There’s certainly something to be anxious about here, particularly for someone who has spent much of his professional life underground. The long term consequences of fracking are still unclear, and a lot could go wrong.

If the dead really do survive physical death, with all their memories, they might indeed be playing a part here, just not in the way that they think. Perhaps they’re sensitive to collective human insecurity on matters such as genetically modified crops, floods, earthquakes, fracking, etc. If what mediumistic communicators say is true, that their reality is so much more subjective than ours, then perhaps they amplify these fears and project visible actualisations of them, without realising what they are doing. In turn they scare the bejeezus out of people like Eric who are psychically in tune with them, and who they use to try to sound the alarm.

Swedenborg might be relevant here. He was very insistent that one shouldn’t pay any attention to what ‘spirits’ believe, because they’re so wrapped up in illusion they really haven’t a clue. One certainly senses that with Cayce, whose later readings validated all sorts of obviously terrestrial myths and imaginings – Atlantis, mermaids, unicorns and so on.

My point is, there’s a serious problem here for those of us who would like to see a more mature consideration of psi. We can’t detach the idea of it being genuine in a scientific sense from the social implications that follow from that. Secularism has created a very necessary protective boundary against superstition. We tinker with it at our peril.

So do we really want ‘spirits’ interfering in our world? It’s hard to imagine a functional human society in the machine age allowing itself to be directed from the outside in anything but a purely abstract, moral sense. The living can accept, and perhaps even appreciate, advice to cooperate, and be wise and moderate in all their dealings – it’s what they would tell themselves. But when it comes to the details they absolutely have to rely on their own judgement.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

As with any purported 'spirit' communication it seems to me that the key is evidential content, or lack thereof.

What is the prophet's track record? I assume none recognised in this case. What I find more curious is why Eric thinks anyone would pay him any heed.

Isn't it possible that Eric is simply delusional?

Don't think Eric has to much to worry about fracking particularly when you look at the decline curves for those type of wells!

Paul, I avoid using the term 'delusional' which in modern usage is often no more than an ideological construct. It's what sceptics say about people who have psychic experiences generally, or even those who believe in God (eg Dawkins). I'd also argue it doesn't have to be evidential to be taken seriously, as an experience.

I think you're onto something there with subjective sensitive to collective human insecurity.. I remember reading "Mass dreams of the future" by Chet Snow and Helen Wambach - a majority of the people who were progressed into future lives in the 80's imagined a future with a reduced human population after a nuclear war. This was when a massive nuclear war was a very real fear and the devastation was timed as it would have happened by now. Evidently world events took another turn and the future as it was seen in the 80's never came to be in our dimension/timestream.

Most interesting is that Helen Wambach earlier had shown how accurate past life regressions and hyppnosis in general can be when done on a large scale and analyzed statistically in her books "Reliving Past Lives: The Evidence Under Hypnosis" and "Life before life".

I had a vision of a catastrophe, and it came true, but not in the way I expected.

I saw orange and yellow in the sky and a gigantic plume of some sort. I had a sense of looking up in terror and dread and of devastation all around me. And I had a sense of a huge tsunami.

The problem though was both time and location. The oil spill was going on in the gulf and there was a danger of a huge methane blow. I related my vision to that.

Yet that's not what happened. The plume turned out to be an enormous gas explosion near my home that burned down fifty homes and killed several people. The plume was tower of flame shooting hundreds of feet high.

The tsunami was in Japan much later.

Even when they're true these predictions aren't very useful.

Hi Robert

I use the term delusional in the strict sense of suffering from a delusion. I can't see anything wrong with that term to be honest. The delusion would be that he is receiving visions from the future if he isn't. If he attempts to convince someone else that they should share in his experience somehow then I'd argue it's a potential problem. Whether he is delusional or not, I'm not qualified to say.

As for taking 'it' seriously as an experience: if you mean acknowledging that he has had some kind of experience, I'd agree that's a matter for his own judgement. If by 'take it seriously' you my taking action on it then, without supporting evidence, I would see that as unwise and potentially risky.

Hi Craig

It sounds to me like you had some sort of experience. Then there was a catastrophe. I can't see how it 'came true' ie how the two events are necessarily connected.

If one accepts accepts that visions of future events are possible, and I'd say that there is evidence this may well be the case, I can't tell from your comments how your experience differs from coincidence.

I'm not saying it was coincidence, just curious to understand what makes you think it wasn't.

In my view, Eric incarnated to have certain experiences, and the archetypes of his visions were part of his life plan. His experience should be seen as highly personal and not necessarily predictive of consensus reality. There might be times when his visions match the unfolding of consensus reality, but that would be incidental. Eric was to have those symbolic experiences, and they may or may not be experienced by the rest of us. If we insist that he is delusional, that too might be part of his life plan.

For the record I'm not saying Eric is suffering from a delusion. I'm simply wondering how we know he isn't.

Sorry Rob I know you're not keen on the word. Not sure what to use instead.

Well Paul I'm not banning it or anything. But it is a challenge for psi-advocates, if we argue that some things that aren't there really are there (eg NDE visions) and other things that aren't there probably really aren't there. If you see what I mean :)

Yes I understand where you're coming from. You'd probably agree that there are occasions where people experience things that don't have a basis in reality though? Or would you?

Well yes of course, but as I say, it's a mug's game trying to distinguish between them.

Not if there is evidential content. Which is the point I was making originally.

I'd never thought about it this way before, but thanks to you, I had a sort of mini-epiphany reading this article.

"Predictive psi" is, indeed, consistently and overwhelmingly disappointing, and I would say that the feeble results of this particular type of manifestated psi are actually one of the major impediments to psi being taken more seriously by the lay population.

Remote viewers, telepaths, mediums, etc., in contrast, have enjoyed strikingly persuasive results, so it's too bad that for so many lay people "psychic" is often defined predominantly (or even exclusively) as "being able to predict stuff." Prediction is really not where the action is.

Having said that I have received some very interesting and oddly pertinent predictions.

Hey, would be good to hear more!

Do you mean me? Well I'm happy to relate a couple but I'm not sure they will mean much. Here's one: I went to a medium looking for evidence of survival really but didn't get any. What she did say was that someone connected with me was talking about football (sock-er for anyone from US of A). She told me that I was standing in front of an open goal, and that it was business-related.

I hadn't worked for about 9 months up to this point and hadn't anything on the horizon. Within a month or so we landed the biggest job we ever had and because of the circumstances we could literally name our price as no one else could do the work. In essence, an open goal.

I'm not saying it's evidential and I'm also aware that I am looking for things that fit what she said. Nevertheless it struck me as, at least, curious.

Yes that's a good example. I've had one or two experiences like that (relating to family matters, and a bit too intimate to talk about). As you say, not something that would convince a sceptic, but the sort of thing that makes one think.

As a long-time resident of Southern California, I've read a lot of prophecies (from both sides of the veil) about apocalyptic disasters that are supposed to destroy us at any moment now. To the point where I actually DIScredit any supposed psychic who claims a vision of any version of "California's going to slide off into the ocean". Yeah, okay, tell us something we don't know already!

This is one of my favourite subjects, being a Psychic and a Medium myself. I also happen to know who I believe is one of the best Psychics in the world for predicting events, and his predictions were made in the media in the 90's, recorded and highly accurate including 9/11.

The problem is real psychics like this are in the minority. It's all very good and well for Eric to go around predicting stuff and hoping people will listen, but what is his track record? Has he successfully predicted events in the past? Have they been independently verifiable? If not then he just adds to the 10,000's and millions of Psychics who make predictions that never come true.... and cast doubt amongst the whole industry.

If you want to know what a REAL psychic who can predict events with high accuracy including timeframes... then Scott Russell Hill is what I see as the measuring stick for premonitions that should be acted upon.

Not only were his premonitions accurate and actually happened... they were very very specific and more importantly VERIFIABLE. He made them on air on a radio station in the 1990's (He was a radio DJ with a Psychic radio show on Mainstream radio. They were recorded and verified after they happened as being 100% genuine (Not to mention the 10000s that heard it live at the time and remembered them after 9/11)

Here is the actual audio of his predictions... taken from the radio in the 1990's. Now compare these predictions of disasters and events... to what Eric is giving you... and you see the difference between someone who can genuinely see the future... and someone who may or may not be. If Scott Russell Hill says a giant hole is going to open up under Manchester... then you bloody well better listen! because he has proven himself.

That's interesting, Frank. To quote Chris earlier: -

"'s too bad that for so many lay people "psychic" is often defined predominantly (or even exclusively) as "being able to predict stuff."

I couldn’t agree more Chris. In fact, the attitude you describe irritates the hell out me.

Actually, I have to fess up here and admit to a (not entirely rational) prejudice against the idea of precognition as understood by most – i.e. a magical ability to ‘read the future’ as though the future already exists. The idea of ‘time travel’ winds me up similarly because it implies that such ‘magical’ precognition might be possible.

And yet, with a nod in the direction of Craig’s comment earlier (and Paul's contribution), I also have to confess that I had a, seemingly precognitive, lucid dream a couple of years ago – on the night of Tuesday, March 8 2011, to be precise.

I dreamt that I’d taken my kids and girlfriend on holiday to what appeared to be a far eastern location (the entire local population were oriental in appearance, anyway), and upon arrival I was extremely under-whelmed by the place – a quite scruffy, grey, semi-industrialised location by the sea. The accommodation was similarly disappointing and I remember thinking ‘ much money have I wasted bringing us all the way to this dump for two weeks?’

Shortly after arriving at our hotel, we were standing in the ‘lounge’, when someone shouted ‘tidal wave’ (a term I hadn’t heard used for many years), and an evilly black wall of water, of unimaginable power, smashed through the wall. The water carried a sense of merciless annihilation that I find very difficult to put into words.

Nevertheless I managed to grab the kids and my better half by the scruffs of their necks all at the same time (it was a dream after all, folks) and haul them out to the safety of a high area where we could see that everything for miles around had been smashed to pieces. Then, I found myself smoking a cigarette while sitting on an extremely dirty beach on a wide river estuary, surrounded by all sorts of wreckage; and I could see a headland around which, I 'knew', was the open sea. The dream ended with me thinking that 'given that this place is prone to this sort of thing...what a stupid place to build a town. I wonder if the travel agent will give me a refund?'

I have to admit that I was actually a little nonplussed to see the breaking news about the tsunami when I switched on the TV on Friday morning. I was, frankly, speechless to see a shot, taken in one of the affected locations and repeated on the news many times over subsequent days, that pretty much matched, in every major detail, the view I'd had whilst smoking my post-tsunami dream cigarette.

So what happened here?

Well, I have little doubt that the skeptical explanation would be that I have dreams about going on holiday to tsunami-prone far-eastern locations all the time and, just by chance, one has occurred three days before a real event of that nature. Or, I’m making it all up. Or, a few years after the event, I’ve confabulated the memory of the dream to make the content rather more relevant to the actual event than it really was.

I think that it’s probably more likely that psi really just amounts to there being a greater, non-local, mind. This is not brain dependent, and has links to the fabric of physical ‘reality’ itself and other ‘local’ minds. Our local link to this greater mind (mediated to an extent by the brain) is what we term the ‘subconscious’, and this, in turn can access information being processed in the non-local version – with its access to wider events in the ‘physical’ world and also the input of the conscious/subconscious processes of other sentient beings. With most people, however, the only way such non-local information can reach the conscious mind (for some reason) is during sleep (dreams), or immediately either side of the sleep state i.e. the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states.

Researching the Japanese tsunami a little further, I found that pre-shocks were felt up to around three days before the main earthquake – which would have been around the time that I had my dream. So doubtless, (even though I knew nothing about this) other local minds, geographically more closely connected to the issue, were starting to assess that information and, probably, deducing the possible major and tragic consequences. Myself, Craig, and (probably), others, then picked up on this.

However, that explanation still struggles a bit, in my view, to account for my (seemingly), substantially accurate, depiction of the view across the estuary at one of the disaster locations. I think that, perhaps, there may be something similar to G.N.M Tyrell’s proposed mechanism for the perception of apparitions. That is, that there is an unknown mechanism in each localised mind that can, on occasion, construct an accurate scene, using minimal information – possibly from multiple sources (see Such sources might, even, include (in theory) discarnate minds that are in on it.

Unfortunately, though, if that is something like the real explanation, then the mechanism will doubtless be subject to elements of interference. Chief of these, I feel, would be (as already mentioned): the preconceived ideas and fears of the ‘receiver’, which could end up interfering with, or aping (entirely) the results of the genuine process.

Hopefully Eric’s visions fall into that category and, I feel that they probably do. But one can only really make any judgement after the event. And I’ve little doubt, that if I’d contacted the media and announced that I’d dreamt that there was going to be an earthquake in Japan then I’d have been labelled a ‘nutter’.

I obviously should have just given Rob a bell ;)

Hey, dramatic stuff Steve! This sort of experience is the most direct answer to the question 'why on earth do people still believe in the paranormal in this day and age?'

Bit pressed for time now, but would like to hear more at some point.

To paraphrase (and slightly alter) Russell Targ's original statement - as Steve's experience shows, people believe in paranormal experiences "not because they reading about them, but because they are having them." :)

Michelle Gibson
To paraphrase (and slightly alter) Russell Targ's original statement - as Steve's experience shows, people believe in paranormal experiences "not because they reading about them, but because they are having them." :)

Think that was a reply to me when I posted an article on the number of people that believe in ghosts had risen.

Hi everyone!

Since we're on the topic of psi/pre-cognition I thought I might share a few things.

Since I've started to really entertain the idea that mind may not be constrained to the brain, I've noticed the instances of small (possible) psi experiences increasing. Whether I am more in tune with it or that my mind is just trying to find patterns, I do not know. I can only relate my experience.

Two of which occurred at my college's improv club. Both consisted of an idea in my head that was later said/realized by one of my colleagues. Now anyone that knows improv knows that the acts are completely made up and off the top of one's head, so it's surprised me that they said what I was thinking (almost exactly) when there was no prompt for doing so. Now sure, it definitely could just be coincidence but having the possibility that minds could interact without (known) sensory signals across brains might allow psi experiences to occur, especially in an environment, like improv, where ideas and thoughts are popping in and out of one's head at a moment's notice.

Another idea that I have been thinking about involves slight precognition, similar to the experiments Dr. Daryl Bem has done. I have noticed, and maybe some of you have as well, that when I search for the answer to something online, the second before the loading is complete, I will remember the answer. Now this is more specifically in the case of remembering a celebrity's name. I will blank out on it completely, go to search the movie/show on IMDB and the second before the page loads I will remember the name. Now, again this could just be coincidence or connecting patterns, but when we have the possibility available that stuff like this MAY happen, then these occurrences become more interesting. What do you guys think? Has this ever happened to you?

I have often noticed the 'improv' effect, Natasha, albeit in a different context: Music.

I noticed many years ago that on odd occasions when performing with a fair degree of improvisation (when the occasion allowed it) that sometimes the musicians would just 'go for it' and damn the consequences. There would often be occasions where everyone would seem to anticipate effortlessly what the others were going to do. Sure, everyone knew the key and, usually, if everyone stuck to that then one would justifiably expect to be slapped for going awry harmonically.

I’m sure that most experienced musicians, especially jazzers, would acknowledge that there are certain rules of thumb that you usually follow, and subtle normal cues that musicians give each other while improvising, to avoid making a complete fool of themselves.

However, I have had many occasions when all that has just gone out of the window, and everything seems to take care of itself. Everyone just appears to anticipate what everyone else is going to do AS THEY ARE DOING IT. I used to describe this phenomenon as being like the instrument is playing itself, with me as a casual observer. But after talking about it to a very experienced jazz player a couple of weeks ago (who acknowledged that he tended to experience it a couple of times a year, in a major way), I decided that it would be more accurate to describe it as being as if someone else is playing the BAND - as if it was one instrument.

Incidentally, I have experienced this phenomenon probably more often with musicians that I’m not familiar with than the other way round.

Interesting, Steve! Thanks for the feedback.

I never thought of seeing it in music, but now that you say it, it makes perfect sense. Also lines up with what I've seen of jazz performances, always amazed me that something so fluid and on key could be improved.

Or started from nothing at all - which is often the way.

So do we really want ‘spirits’ interfering in our world

according to these articles the "diviners" of the Zulus (prior to the white man) were very effectively "interfering."

"LIGHT" vol.32.aug 1912.
pp374-aug 10.
pp.406-aug. 24

The Spiritualism of the Zulu and his evidence for a future life"

this just in:

Another quake rocks Manchester
Manchester was shaken by another small earthquake today, the British Geological Survey said.
A tremor measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale was felt in areas of north Manchester at 4.39am, said assistant seismologist Julian Bukits.
An aftershock, measuring 2.0 on the scale, was felt 14 minutes later, and was then followed by a series of three more small aftershocks.
The latest tremor comes after Greater Manchester was hit by a series of quakes yesterday, which caused damage to property but caused no injuries.
The first tremor, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, alarmed people arriving for work at 8.45am. There were reports of a smaller tremor seconds later.
A second earthquake, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale - 11 times bigger than the morning's tremor - shook the area at 12.42pm.
Just seconds later it was followed by an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale.
Further quakes followed at 6pm and 11.30pm.
The Fire Brigade reported damage to several homes in the district, including fallen chimney pots and slight damage to stores in Manchester city centre.
The British Geological Survey said the earthquakes were quite big for the UK, but only minor damage would be caused.
Mr Bukits said: "It appears that the first quake at 8.45am yesterday was a pre-shock, which was followed later by the main shock.
"What we have been seeing since are a series of aftershocks.
"We can expect to see more but they should be diminishing in size.
"It could go on for weeks or months but most of them will go unnoticed."
Last month the West Midlands was hit by a quake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale.

i don't think i'd have taken much notice of the article, had i not seen your article here first, Robert.

keeping my ears and mind open
"Oh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?" The Oracle, the matrix

But they haven't even started fracking yet, have they? Unless I'm very much mistaken, they were protesting at the possibility at the weekend.

The comments to this entry are closed.