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Japanese Rail Crash

Dreamed 1927 by an Air Force wife, reported to the Rhine Institute

The wife of an Air Force lieutenant, a person who says she rarely dreams, or at least rarely remembers having done so, had a vivid and terrifying dream one night. It was in 1927 and she and her husband were in Japan, a post to which her husband had recently been assigned. They arrived a few weeks before at Nagasaki and had taken a train to Tokyo, where they were living at the time of the dream.

The dream was that she was standing high on a hillside overlooking a bay shaped like a half-moon. A railway track ran along the rocky shore rather close to the water. As she watched, a long heavy freight train came into view from the south, traveled around the bay and disappeared in the north. Presently along came a passenger train from the south traveling in the same direction.

She seemed to know what was going to happen. The heavy freight had weakened the track and it was ready to break. When the passenger train was directly beneath her position, the track gave way and many cars turned over and fell into the bay. It seemed shallow and she could see people far below crawling like ants out of the car windows and the waves breaking on the wreckage. She woke up horrified.

At a luncheon at the hotel to which she and her husband had been invited that day, she sat on the left of Mr. S., one of the undersecretaries of the United States Embassy. She heard the woman on his right ask him if any Americans were on the wrecked train. At mention of a train wreck, she asked where it took place. It was on the line she and her husband had traveled to get to Tokyo.

Before he gave details, she told her dream; and the dream wreck coincided exactly with the actual wreck. When pictures were published, they agreed in every aspect with the dream.

The weird part to her was that it was as if she had actually been there and seen it happen! She had not known anyone on that train. And it was the first and, to date, the last experience of that kind she had ever had.


Rhine's comments emphasize the seemingly arbitrary choice of dreamer--no history of such dreams, no connection to anyone on board. It's true that most ESP accounts sent to the Rhine Institute (or to me) are either practical warnings for the dreamer or messages about loved ones; few are about strangers, and fewer about strangers one can't help.

But Rhine forgets that catlike sort of person (I'm one) who relates as much to places as to people. The dreamer had seen that bay, ridden that train, and might well ride it back again at the end of her husband's tour of duty. The fact that her lifeline home had fallen into the sea might very well alarm her dreaming mind; I'd identify with riders of that particular train.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Hidden Channels of the Mind by Louisa E. Rhine, 1961, pp. 161-162. Account untitled, author's name witheld; title & byline added to aid searching & indexing.

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