Some people have prophetic dreams involving more widespread
disasters. Lynn Walbeck has had many dreams of the crash of
commercial planes, usually days before the crash occurred. The
dreams, however, are vague, although sometimes she knows the
continent and occasionally the country.
Lynn's most disturbing dream, however, was about the explosion of
the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. The dream occurred the
night before the launch. "I was visibly upset when I went to
work the next day," she said. "I told some of my friends about
my dream, and, during break, a woman came in to tell me the
Challenger had just exploded."
Marla Miller also dreamed about the Challenger. "The next
morning," Marla reported, "I turned on the TV to a Special Report
on the launching of the Challenger. And then watched my dream
again as the Challenger exploded on my TV screen."
Kirby Bevans dreamed of an exploding plane. ""I found myself
falling toward the ground," Kirby says, "surrounded by sharp
plane fragments." Kirby landed in the water, then realized that
the water was actually a swamp. Twenty-four hours later, a jet
plane coming into Logan Airport in Boston made a low approach to
its runway and crashed into the sea wall. Passengers were thrown
into shallow water that was, indeed, like a swamp.
Reports are widespread of people who dreamed about the Kennedy
assassination. The mining disaster in Wales that destroyed a
school in Aberfam and took the life of many children haunted many
dreams beforehand. Another occasion when dreams may have been a
factor in the saving of lives was the sailing of the Titanic.
More than twenty tickets were canceled for undisclosed reasons
shortly before the ship set sail.
There are reports of dreams that foretell more pleasant events:
the birth of a child, an engagement or a wedding to come. People
have claimed they dreamed winning lottery numbers, or seen the
outcome of a horse race. Using the dream as a guide, they've
The majority of prophetic dreams, however foretell death,
disasters or accidents. Perhaps these events have a stronger
impact on the sleeping mind than pleasant experiences. Sigmund
Freud believed that, when a person slept, his mental defenses
were lowered. Another possibility, however, is that people do
remember more clearly the shock of envisioning death or disaster.
Richard Broughton, Ph.D., of Rhine University says, "It could
also be the case that these events are things one should be
warned about. [The dreams] may anticipate potential dangers and
thus serve some evolution-based survival mechanism."
Janice Baylis, author of "Sex, Symbols and Dreams," sets the
occurrence of prophetic dreams at 23 percent of all dreams.
Richard Broughton estimates a little lower, at 15 percent. There
is a good possibility, however, that this number is much higher.
Many dreams may not be remembered, or are never reported.
Prophetic dreams seem to be an inherited trait, as in my family.
Many people who responded to my request remarked on this
fact. Deborah Clark says both her father and her aunt have had
similar experiences. Lynn Walbeck states that these dreams seem
to run in her family and Penny Greenwell says her immediate
family has many such experiences. Holly Byrne attributes dreams
to her sister, her oldest brother and her mother, as well as
herself. ""Both my grandmothers seemed to have knowing ways,"
Although some dreams reveal future disasters, the dreamer seldom
is able to warn anyone. Broughton says, "Precognitive dreams are
not great vehicles for warning about the future. Often they can
be lacking in just the crucial details that one needs to make a
Also, many people may be hesitant to issue a warning because of
the possibility they won't be believed. They could even face
ridicule, especially if they happen to be wrong. Accidents aimed
at a person's family, however, have often been prevented by a
timely precognitive dream.
Some aboriginal people rely heavily on dreams to lead them
through life. The Native Americans have their vision quest. The
Australian aborigines depend on their dream time. In Africa,
several tribes make it a morning ritual to relate the dreams of
the night before.
Has civilization dulled our dream sense? Perhaps if more
emphasis were placed on recalling and relating our dreams,
prophetic dreaming might become more widespread, revealing events
that would help us live more creative, productive lives.
Prophtic Dreams - Page One
This article appeared several years ago in Fate Magazine.
Published On: December 11, 2010