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An Intuitively-Sensed Holiday Homecoming?

November 28, 2019

For many people, one of the joys of Thanksgiving comes in being with friends and family who've traveled from afar to celebrate the holiday with them. These homecomings are often awaited in anxious anticipation, although sometimes, they pleasantly arise out of the blue when a certain loved one arrives home unexpectedly. In some of these instances, could some of these surprise homecoming arrivals be conveyed slightly ahead of time through an intuitive sense?

Parapsychologist Louisa Rhine had seemingly come across several suggestive examples of such "arrival intuition" moments in the extensive collection of reported psychic experiences that she'd gathered from members of the general public, and one of them, which first appeared in the June 1954 issue of the Journal of Parapsychology, is the following:

My mother always knew when any member of the family was coming home and would casually place the dishes on the table for them and they never failed to arrive, no matter how far away they had been or how long since they were heard from. One of my brothers had been gone for eight months...

He had gotten a ride to within five miles of home, to a place called Carlisle and was walking the five miles in one of the real rain and wind storms they have there. She got out of bed at 10 o'clock at night and started cooking a meal for him, although our step-father thought she was crazy. But my brother was there when she got it on the table.
[1, p. 100]

Another example, which was published in Rhine's classic 1961 book Hidden Channels of the Mind [2], involved a mother in California whose sons were serving in the military during World War II. After the war ended, her youngest son Harold remained in the service so that he could "see the world." Being young, Harold had become a bit careless about writing home, and soon, his letters had stopped coming. Rhine went on to recount the mother's experience as follows:

One day...her other sons and their families were going to their cabin on the Sacramento River for the weekend. They wanted her to go, too. But she got a strange feeling that she must not leave the house.

"I knew Harold was coming Sunday and someone must be home to greet him. My sons knew I had not heard from him. They acted as if they thought I was losing my mind. They went on their way.

"On Saturday I managed to keep busy. On Sunday morning, I put the house in order and sat down to wait for Harold. At last it was four-thirty and I began to feel a little let down, when I heard someone come running up the stairs, two at a time - and in came Harold!

"I said, 'Well, it's about time. I've been waiting all afternoon for you.'

"He looked puzzled. 'How did you know I was coming? I didn't write.' I said, 'Oh, I just knew it.'

"I was very happy to say, 'I told you so,' to the family when they came home that evening; but I believe to this day they think I knew something I wouldn't tell them."
[2, p. 66]

Although they do not appear to be as common as those that reportedly occur in dreams, survey studies tend to indicate that ostensibly precognitive experiences like these - in which people seem to become aware of an impending future event through an intuitive-like sense - do occur to a fair degree, making up roughly one-third (or 33%) of the reported types of experience [1, 3 - 4].

Assuming for the moment that these arrival intuition cases took place just as reported, and that no other sensory cues were involved in them, it is reasonable to wonder: Is it really possible that each of the mothers in these cases might've known about their son's impending arrival through precognition? That would seem to be a serious possibility to consider, given the extensive amount of experimental evidence for precognition that has been gathered over the past 80 years or so (for a concise review of that evidence, see Ref. 5).

The PRF is thankful for all the support it has received from its supporters - both past and present - and would like to wish everyone a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday.

********
References:

[1] Rhine, L. E. (1954). Frequency of types of experience in spontaneous precognition. Journal of Parapsychology, 18, 93 - 123.

[2] Rhine, L. E. (1961). Hidden Channels of the Mind. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc.

[3] Saltmarsh, H. F. (1938). Foreknowledge. London: G. Bell & Sons, Ltd.

[4] Hearne, K. M. T. (1984). A survey of reported premonitions and of those who have them. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 52, 261 - 270.

[5] Mossbridge, J. A., & Radin, D. (2018). Precognition as a form of prospection: A review of the evidence. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 5, 78 - 93.

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