I’ve just finished my second experiment in waking precognition, following the same method as the first one. The book I used was The Letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton, Vol II. With a Supplement of Interesting [sic] Letters by Distinguished Characters — and I got no positive results whatsoever.
Before reading, I made a point of getting only high-quality images which would be of value as evidence. I rejected several because they were too vague; and several others because they were too obviously nautical or military in nature, and it would have taken no special precognitive ability to predict that they might appear in a book about Nelson. I got a list of ten “good” images, each with a sufficient degree of detail to make coincidental matches unlikely. But none of them turned up in the book — not even the “obvious” naval-themed ones I had rejected!
The fact is, Nelson’s letters to his partner in crime are stupendously dull, with virtually no concrete details. Security concerns naturally precluded his describing his military activities in any detail, and he never describes scenery, relates amusing anecdotes, or anything of that nature. Even love, which has been known to bring out the poet in even the most prosaic of characters, did not move him to say anything figurative or otherwise visualizable. The other “interesting letters by distinguished characters” aren’t much better. About the only vivid, concrete image which a person precognitive faculties might have foreseen is Lord Hamilton’s account of hunting with the king and slaying vast numbers of wild boars. If I had foreseen that, that would have been evidence of precognition; but aside from that, there just wasn’t anything to work with.
Aside from the lack of visualizable details, the very boring nature of the letters may have worked against effective precognition. Events which arouse powerful emotions are the ones that stick in the memory, and we might speculate that something similar would be true for the postulated “pre-memories” which these experiments are dealing with.
Nor did any of my potentially precognitive images (or “precogs”) come true in my life outside of the book, though one did find a very faint echo in another book I was reading at the time. The third item in my list of precogs is “a stack of rough gray stones, one atop another.” This was written down on May 1, and then on May 3 I read the following in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: “It was a great grim slab of grey stone supported on four upright stones.” The details are sufficiently different that I can’t consider this a hit, and in any case I had read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before.
I intend to do five more of these experiments, but I will have to modify my method of selecting books slightly. Fiction and poetry are, I think, the only acceptable genres, since only they can be relied on to contain a sufficient number of concrete, visualizable images. Since I’ve just discovered that Gutenberg has a random book feature, I will obtain my titles that way, rather than using the more convoluted procedure described previously. All non-fiction books will be excluded, as will all books, authors, and subjects with which I have any familiarity.
Here, then, are the five books I will be using:
- Stewart Edward White. The Westerners.
- Sir Max Pemberton. The Man Who Drove the Car.
- Sir William Magnay. The Hunt Ball Mystery.
- Laura Lee Hope. The Moving Picture Girls Under the Palms.
- Rupert Hughes. What Will People Say?