Dreams of the Future? Have These Ever Happened?

I have always been fascinated by those who claim to be able to see the future. However, people who have this ability are exceedingly rare-the only two I know of are:
-the 19th century Italian priest, Fr. John Bosco (founder of the Salesian Order): He had a series of dreams in which he saw his order established in New York, Los Angeles, and also saw the building of the city of Brasilia (ca. 1953-58), in 1876.
-the Russian-American aircraft designer Igor Sikorski: in 1898, he saw his long distance seaplanes (the “China Clippers”) in great detail, 30+ years before the fact.
Have there been any proven cases of anyone seeing the future in dreams (and writing it down, so that it could be confirmed)?


Unless it is a case of someone having an idea come to them in a dream, which they then go on to deliberately make into a reality (which might be the case with your example of Sikorski).

The future hasn’t happened yet and anyone who claims to have seen it is either lying, delusional, or has a random coincidental experience.
People dream about many things every night. Eventually it’s quite possible for one of these dreams to appear to come true soon after. But it’s just a coincidence.

There are plenty of people who claim to have seen the future and written it down. I think they’re delusional, myself, but sometimes they make some surprising successes. There is a book from the mid-1800s that has a number of these. I don’t recall the title or author right now, but Alan Moore quotes it in his graphic novel From Hell (The Buffalo-Bill-like impresario is reading it, and quoting from it).

Unfortunately, such successes seem to be invariably either drawn from a long list of misfires and/or require “interpretation”. Have a look at the work of Nostradamus for lots of examples.

If a person has a dream where they see e.g. a new type of seaplane, they might then decide it was a premonition that is destined to come true.

That will give them the drive, passion and confidence to focus on that task, with the result that the seaplane does indeed come to pass.

So they can be self-fulfilling predictions.

There’s also confirmation bias - people don’t generally report the dreams they had that didn’t come to pass. I’m sure if you took any random invention over the last 50yrs you could find someone in the past who’d had an idea that had a passing resemblance to it.

Humans are then pretty good at only taking the ideas that fit, rather than all the ones that don’t.

There is no evidence of anybody ever having been able to see the future in a dream. What has been seen is confirmation bias, self-fulfilling prophesy (the seaplanes), edited memory (people edit their memories of their dreams to fit reality) and coincidence.

Deja-vu could also factor into it. I know I’ve been in a few situations or conversations I could swear I had dreamed about years ago, but of course it’s probably my brain playing tricks on me.

The most odd and freaky example happened towards the end of my English MA finals. I dreamt that on the next day, during the oral exam, the interviewer would ask me what kind of musical background I would set for the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.
As a result, I spent the morning listening to Iron Maiden’s rendition of the poem 'cause hey, why not. It’s a cool song, and besides it would help me memorize more of the text. Then not only was I quizzed on RotAM (out of the 20+ texts we had to prepare), but the question I had dreamed did crop up during the exam, word for word. I was literally speechless for half a minute. I still don’t know what the hell - coincidence, of course, but what an odd and specific one…

ralph124c, could you give us some more specific detail about these dreams that John Bosco and Igor Sikorski had and in what way they were accurate predictions of the future?

Last night, I dreamt that I was getting dressed, but kept on accidentally putting on flannels and long pants, even though it’s summer. Does this mean that some time in the future, I’m going to forget what season it is?

Possibly Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, written in 1887 about the year 2000. It’s a really fun read.

I’ve had a number of dreams that have come true, or partially true. I’ve also had thousands that haven’t. I don’t consider myself psychic, just aware enough that sometimes my subconscious gets it right.

I think that it’s just averaging out against my dream of going to class in Ann Arbor in January naked. (I’m 53 and I still get “college anxiety” dreams. :o)

Back in the early 1970s, I had several dreams that turned out to be precognitive. They were so weird that I wrote them down, but then forgot about them until one came true five days after I’d dreamed it. I was so shaken - it was a death dream, and the person actually died - that I dug out the folder where I’d recorded some dreams and discovered that two additional ones had come true.

Except for the death dream, they were all relatively insignificant and had meaning only to me, although other people were involded in the dreams.

The death one still weirds me out, 35 years later.

Forgot to mention - the person who died was the father of a classmate I’d been at school with in the 1950s but hadn’t known well. I never knew her father, and hadn’t heard or thought of the girl or her father until my dream.

No, that’s definitely not it – I’m very familiar with Looking Backward, which doesn’t purport to be a real vision of the future – it’s a piece of speculative utopia n fiction.
The book Moore cites actually claims to be a prediction of the future, and the “hits” given in From Hell are far more startlingly accurate than anything in Bellamy’s book. But I suspect that they’re buried in a mass of incorrect (but uncited) predictions.

You’ll always have that dream.

Ain’t it the truth!

Well, just to get this on the record (so to speak!)

Some years back (perhaps 10yrs) I was on holiday in France and I had a dream that a girl called Mary Wemser, a pupil at St Mary’s School for Girls in Cambridge, England, was killed in a car crash.

I don’t know anyone by that name, although I have friends who were at that school.

So on the off-chance that this comes to pass you heard it hear first :wink:

(It was such a vivid dream that I have googled the name to see whether my subconscious was replaying something I’d seen in the newspaper, but I never found anything).

I had something similar with one of my Calculus courses, but I attribute it to my subconscious being smarter than me. My problem was with the theory question, not with the practical exercises; I’m not good at memorizing and the teacher was one of those who must have everything exactly as they have given it (if he’d used x[sub]a[/sub] and x[sub]b[/sub] and you used x[sub]1[/sub] and x[sub]2[/sub] and got all the steps right he’d give you a zero, even though you were defining the terms, therefore your version was actually correct, because it was not identical to his - you could only get a 100 or a 0 in each question). After dreaming that the theoretical question would be Bolzano’s Theorem several nights in a row, I decided to focus my study on it, although not exclusively.

The question was Bolzano’s Theorem. Yay, I finally passed. I still think my hindbrain must have noticed some emphasis in the way the teacher talked about it, or that he mentioned it more often than other possible questions.

Fr. Bosco’s dream was recorded by his biographer-Fr. Bosco did write that “a new city will arise in South America, between latitudes 15 and 18 degrees south-this city will have the shape of a large bird”-Brasialia was laid out like an airplane.
In the case of Igor Sikorsky, his revelation was recounted by his son-he reported that his father saw the aircraft, and went inside (he desribed the interior in great detail).
In the case of Sikorsky, the dream may well have expressed ideas that he already had, for the “Clipper”-what is remarkable is that he had such a vision, in an era when airplanes were made of wood and fabric, and flew (maybe) a hundred miles-the China Clippers could fly 2000 miles.

Possible, but unlikely - for one thing, this was a correspondence course so I’d never met the teacher, never mind analysing her speech patterns. My preparation for this particular exam was also… poor. And by that I mean the first time I read the course papers was in a rush, two days before the exam.

Besides, the examiner was an external one sent by the academy. The teacher would have had no way to know which text we would be quizzed on or which aspect of a given text the quizz would focus on. So either my subconscious is somehow crazy in tune with the ministry of education’s random assignment generator, or it was one of those one-in-a-million shots.

Now that I think about it, every time I only crammed one small part of a larger coursework on a lazy gamble, that part ended up being on the finals test. I might be on to something here…