Paranormal experiment to test predictive power of dreams

Many people the world over claim to have had dreams or visions of an impending event even though there is no undisputed scientific evidence that such an ability exists.

Dr. Caroline Watt of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit

Photograph by: Gerry McCannDr. Caroline Watt of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit

However, precognitive dreams remain among the most commonly reported ‘paranormal’ experiences and this week the Scottish Society for Psychical Research is putting it to the test.

On Thursday (17 May) Professor Caroline Watt of the University of Edinburgh’s Parapsychology Unit, the only research centre of its type in the UK, will reveal some of the latest studies into the phenomena during a lecture at the SSPR’s headquarters.

As part of the talk Prof. Watt and the SSPR are encouraging members of the public to take part in an experiment.

On the evening of the 17th of May, in Theosophy House, Queens Crescent, Glasgow, Prof. Watt will reveal a target image but the SSPR wants to know if anyone can predict what that image will be in their dreams leading up to the event.

All people have to do is keep a record of their dreams over the next few days and send their predictions to the SSPR by email or via the society’s Facebook page before the evening of 17 May.

The dream diaries will be ‘blind judged’ against four possible targets before the image is revealed to everyone at the public meeting.

The SSPR is Scotland’s longest established paranormal research organisation. A registered educational charity it was founded in 1987 by the late Prof. Archie E Roy, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow University, to investigate the paranormal in a scientific manner.

Every year the SSPR holds a series of talks, lectures and discussions on the various aspects of the paranormal culminating in the key note Archie Roy Memorial Lecture every May.

SSPR event 17 May 2018

SSPR event 17 May 2018

This year it is the turn of Prof. Watt who will discuss the characteristics of seemingly precognitive experiences, what psychological factors may be implicated, the results of tests carried out under controlled laboratory conditions and whether precognitions could be used to warn the public of impending disasters.

Caroline Watt holds the University of Edinburgh’s Koestler Chair of Parapsychology, and is a founder member of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit which was formed in 1986.
 She is also a former President of the Parapsychological Association and has published numerous journal articles about her research.

Various surveys have revealed that as much as 50 per cent of the public believe they have had at least one precognitive dream.

In a broadcast earlier this year of the UK’s highly popular Loose Women television talk show on ITV presenter Christine Lampard admitted she has had visions of the future. She told fellow panellists and a studio audience how she had a precognitive dream about the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 days before it happened.

“I have had odd dreams. I had one dream, and this is a very strange one about 9/11, about a plane crashing,” said the presenter who didn’t reveal details about the dream which she claimed had been very specific.

“I woke up after it in such a state I told my mum. I was in work on the day it happened and it all came up on the news and I thought ‘I saw that!’.

New York skyline 11 September 2001

Photograph by: Library of CongressNew York skyline 11 September 2001

“I was on the plane within the dream. I knew there was chaos. I could see straight ahead through the cockpit. I could see us going into the building. I could see hundreds and hundreds of windows.”

The presenter said she was open to theories.

“I am a very common sense person and I’m happy for anyone to explain it. The timing was unusual and it shook me up for days afterwards,” she said.

The SSPR talk by Prof. Caroline Watt, ‘Precognition: From Life to Lab’ begins at 7.30pm on Thursday 17th of May at The Glasgow Theosophical Society, 17 Queens Crescent, G4 9BL