Psychic Phenomenon and History Precognition Part 3

About the psychic phenomenon precognition also known as ESP or seeing the future, history and a scientific look at the gift of second sight.

PROBING THE PSYCHIC WORLD

PROPHECY AND PRECOGNITION

SCIENCE LOOKS AT PRECOGNITION

One man who seeks to combine the spontaneous precognitive experience with a scientifically acceptable check-off system is Robert Nelson. On his day-to-day job, Nelson is sales development manager of The New York Times, but much of his spare time is devoted to his functions as director of the Central Premonitions Registry (Post Office Box 482, New York, N.Y. 10036). Mr. Nelson collects prophecies sent to him by people who, by one method or another, have concluded that a certain event will take place. Their prophecies are kept in the CPR files. Nelson then waits for the day--which may or may not come--when the precognized event occurs.

The Central Premonitions Registry receives a large number of guesses, premonitory dreams, and hunches of future events that do not come true or lack the detail necessary to make them convincing. One intriguingly accurate prophecy was sent in by Mrs. Arlene Handy of Onsted, Mich., who had dreamed of men in turbans, clad in white and with slanted eyes. She linked this with the death of an American ambassador. Specifically, she recalled a white, 6-ft. fence. Two weeks after Robert Nelson received this premonitory dream, the U.S. ambassador to the Sudan and his military attache were killed in Khartoum. A photograph of the event showed a tall white fence.

Nelson separates out about 80-85% of the prophecies he receives as useless. He rules out predictions that involve the person who mails in the prophecy; often, events can be brought about by conscious or unconscious action. As most prophecies are of some sort of disaster, of death or accident, the danger exists that prophets might harm themselves in order to achieve the reputation of having been right. Deaths of prominent persons and natural disasters are the two most frequent categories received by the CPR. Premonitions come in at a rate of about 1,000 per year. Most predictions come from women, but Nelson does not think that this is because women are better psychics than men, but rather because they are more likely to trust their intuition and more willing to go on record about their hunches or dreams.

Another way of subjecting the spontaneous precognitive experience to scientific verification has been used by the American Society for Psychical Research in New York City. The society, through appeals from its onetime president, Dr. Gardner Murphy, the director of research at the Menninger Foundation of Topeka, Kans., asked people to mail in prophecies that had come true. Its job then was to confirm these reports through interviews.

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