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Sparrowhawk

Dreamed before 1963 by Anonymous #14, as reported by J.B. Priestley

FOREWORD

In 1963, writer J.B. Priestley put out a request on a BBC show for examples of strange experiences with time. Over a thousand responses came: predictive dreams and visions of varying clarity, accuracy and credibility. The following year he published many examples (though withholding most dreamers' names for privacy reasons) in his book Man and Time. This is one of the thousand.

--Chris Wayan

SPARROWHAWK

[Anonymous #14 is] a man in the B.B.C. Engineering Division, who had read Dunne [J.W. Dunne's An Experiment with Time] and, following his example, had made notes on what he had dreamed immediately on waking:

Dream experience

I dreamed that (specifically) a sparrow-hawk was perched on my right shoulder; I felt its claws. There was no associated dream incident; this was one of a number of isolated and quite disconnected dream situations on that night.

Waking experience

While I was studying in the lounge of my "digs" (being almost totally absorbed in my reading material) my landlord, who had been clearing out the attic, entered the room with a number of items of wooden refuse which he offered my colleagues as fuel for the lounge fire. One of the items was a stuffed sparrow-hawk mounted on the baseboard of (presumably) an original glass case. I paid little attention, until one of my colleagues, having detached the bird, came quietly up behind me and dug its claws into the shoulder of my jacket with sufficient force to enable it to remain standing on my shoulder. I felt its claws. It was only then that I remembered my dream.

Comments

The probability is, obviously, extremely low; I did not previously know of the existence of this stuffed bird. The interval was short--only two hours elapsed between waking (when I recorded the relevant dream, with other material, in a notebook), and the moment when the waking event took place.

I would like to mention that, as Dunne noted, the sensation was of the conviction "I have lived this moment of time before", rather than "I have anticipated this event", and this is also true of other, less spectacular, examples of this effect.



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