Premonition, or correctly ‘precognition’, is the supposed ability to have foreknowledge of a future event. It can vary from ‘seeing’ a disaster before it happens, to having a ‘feeling’ that you will soon see someone.
We have all experienced the latter. As for the former, there are many examples. In 1974 a woman from Cleethorpes saw a newsflash of the Flixborough chemical plant explosion on her TV before it happened. David Booth ‘saw’ an American Airlines plane swerve off the runway and crash in May 1979. He phoned the authorities. A few days later it happened at Chicago Airport.
Premonitions can come in groupings. Typical was the Titanic disaster, where dozens of premonitions came to light following the event. Indeed, many people had cancelled the voyage due to fear. But are these really premonitions?
You could argue that fears are always present about something important, such as the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Premonition, or unconscious concern? Similarly, it is estimated that there could be tens of thousands of nightmares every night in the UK alone. It is statistically inevitable that many will reflect events that actually happen.
Theories to account for premonition vary. Some believe we live in several states of consciousness, with one level seeing further into the future than the level we normally live in. Others speak of the future causing a ripple that goes back in time, picked up by some people.
A major problem for premonition is the law of causality. Basically, a cause, or action, must come before an effect. If this was not so, then the future would be pre-ordained. In such a universe there is no room for free will, so our decisions are pointless.
In one area premonition could be a definite reality. Animals will vacate an area prior to an earthquake. Something in the environment has warned them. We now know this could be down to electromagnetic release from the ground affecting the brain. And us too?
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