10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True

Patrick Lynch - March 16, 2018

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Part of the wreckage of Flight 191 – National Weather Service

2 – David Booth Dreamed About a Commercial Aviation Disaster

May 25, 1979, was one of the worst days in American aviation history. It was the day when American Airlines Flight 191 crashed minutes after taking off from O’Hare Airport in Chicago. One of the engines came away from the wing which resulted in significant damage to the wiring and hydraulic systems of the plane. The pilot had no control of the plane, and it crashed into a nearby trailer park. 272 people died, and for one man, it was an especially harrowing scene because he had predicted an aviation disaster, he just wasn’t able to narrow it down.

David Booth was an office manager in Cincinnati, and for ten nights in a row in 1979, he had the same nightmare. On each occasion, he saw a plane veering off a runway before flipping over and bursting into flames. He decided to tell the FAA about these dreams but didn’t expect to be taken seriously. To his surprise, the FAA listened to what he had to say and concluded that it was either a DC-10 or a Boeing 727 plane. Booth had also told American Airlines, and while the company, and the FAA, took what he said on board, there was nothing else they could do because there was no exact date or other details in his dreams.

Booth had his last nightmare on the night of May 24, little did he know that the disaster was right around the corner. When news broke about the crash, Booth was in front of his television, unable to believe his eyes. Booth was investigated several times during the investigation. While he wasn’t a suspect, the authorities were intrigued as to how he could have known what was about to happen. American Airlines may have listened to him, but it didn’t stop the firm cutting corners. The investigation revealed that the company was guilty of a short-term fix that caused the disaster in a bid to save maintenance time.

It later transpired that Booth wasn’t the only person who had a premonition about the disaster. Actress Lindsay Wagner, best known for her portrayal of the Bionic Woman, was supposed to board Flight 191 on May 25. According to Wagner, she suddenly felt very ill while waiting for the plane and the closer it came to boarding time, the worse she felt. Rather than risk getting sick on the flight, she decided to go home. Wagner claims that she felt much better as soon as she left the airport.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Reeva Steenkamp – CNN.com

3 – Did Reeva Steenkamp Predict Her Death in a Painting?

On February 14, 2013, the murder of model Reeva Steenkamp rocked South Africa. It became worldwide news when it was revealed that her boyfriend, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, nicknamed ‘Blade Runner,’ was accused of the crime. At the trial, it was determined that Steenkamp was locked in the bathroom and Pistorius had fired his gun at the bathroom door. According to his defense attorney, Pistorius thought Steenkamp was in the bedroom and that an intruder has broken in.

Pistorius was ultimately found guilty of culpable homicide, but this ruling was later overturned when the athlete was found guilty of murder. His initial six-year sentence caused outrage for being too lenient, and eventually, it was increased to over 13 years. Rather than going into detail about what did and didn’t happen on that fateful Valentine’s Day, I would like to focus on Steenkamp’s painting which apparently predicted her death by shooting.

A few months after the death of their daughter, Steenkamp’s parents appeared in a documentary and showed a drawing that Reeva completed when she was just 14 years old. It was an extremely disturbing picture that showed an angel, a gunman, and a stairway to heaven. In the image, the man is standing next to a tree in the field, and he is holding a gun. On the other side, it was a two-part drawing that joined together; there is a young girl wearing angel wings and a ladder going up to heaven. The girl is clearly terrified as her hands are covering her mouth and there is a look of horror on her face.

During the interview, Reeva’s mother discusses their grief and also admits to feeling guilty that she and her husband were unable to protect their daughter. Mrs. Steenkamp cannot understand why Pistorius kept firing his gun; Reeva had already been hit at least once yet he continued to shoot at the bathroom door. Very few people now believe Pistorius’ story that he mistook Reeva for an intruder. When Reeva’s body was discovered, the grim scene horrified investigators as there was blood on the furniture, walls, and stairs. Reeva is sadly not around to explain what her drawing meant.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
RMS Titanic – Wikipedia

4 – Morgan Robertson’s Book Predicted the Sinking of the Titanic

The sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912, is one of the most written about disasters in human history. It was especially tragic because the catastrophe could have been avoided. In his novella Futility, Morgan Robertson seemingly wrote about the sinking of the giant passenger liner because of the remarkable number of similarities between the Titanic and the doomed ship in his story, the Titan. The thing is, Robertson wrote Futility 14 years before the tragedy!

At best, it is a remarkable coincidence, and at worst, it was a case of Robertson inadvertently predicting a disaster that was yet to happen. In Futility, the ship is called the Titan and was the largest vessel of its time, just like the Titanic. It was just 25 meters shorter, and like its real-life equivalent, the Titan was supposed to be unsinkable. Both ships were capable of traveling at over 20 knots an hour and they both sank after hitting an iceberg in the middle of April. Finally, both ships only carried the bare minimum number of lifeboats even though there were thousands of passengers on the ship.

Robertson dismissed any suggestion that he had psychic powers and said that he only knew about writing. According to Titanic scholar, Paul Heyer, Futility was nothing more than a series of coincidences. Robertson was an experienced sailor and correctly predicted that ships would eventually get larger. His experience also told him that there was a real danger of these behemoths striking an iceberg and sinking. I would imagine that the lack of lifeboats was nothing more than a dramatic addition to heighten the tragedy.

It almost seems as if the Titanic was destined to sink given the number of misfortunes that preceded its maiden voyage. Some people claim that the champagne bottle didn’t break at its christening while others suggest it sank because of a cursed Egyptian mummy that was on board. Another rumor said that a cat and her litter left the ship which was a sure sign of bad luck. As the ship pulled out of the harbour, it almost collided with a boat. The Cardeza family bought the most expensive suite on the ship but their maid, Anne Ward, refused to board after having a premonition that tragedy would strike.

For all the talk of curses and misfortune, it was human error that resulted in up to 1,635 deaths. As well as having a woefully inadequate number of lifeboats, the ship’s crew seemingly ignored six separate warnings about sea ice on the day of the disaster. The Titanic was traveling at close to its maximum speed when the crew spotted the iceberg. It was far too late as the ship couldn’t turn fast enough and sank remarkably quickly after striking the ice. While Robertson couldn’t predict the future, he knew well enough the propensity for shipbuilders to cut corners, and on this occasion, it was a costly blunder.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
The World Trade Center Before the Attack – Central Compliance UK

5 – Barrett Naylor Twice Avoided Terror Strikes at the World Trade Center

It is pretty spooky when a premonition comes true. When it happens twice in the same place eight years apart, it is almost terrifying, but this is what apparently happened to Barrett Naylor in 1993, and again in 2001. On the morning of February 26, 1993, Naylor, a Wall Street Executive, was on his way to work at the World Trade Center. It was a regular morning, but when he reached Grand Central Station, he had a sudden and unmistakable feeling of foreboding that he couldn’t describe. Something he couldn’t explain told him to turn around and go back home.

Naylor did just that, and his U-Turn probably saved his life because at 12:17 pm that day, a bomb exploded in the Center, killing six people and injured over 1,000. The terrorists had intended to bring down Tower 1 and force it to crash into Tower 2. Had they succeeded, the death toll would have been in the thousands. Four men were convicted of the bombing in 1994 while two more were convicted in 1997. It was a dark day for the United States, but just over eight and half years later, the nation experienced its worst ever terrorist attack.

September 11, 2001, now known simply as 9/11, was a day like no other. Naylor was once again getting ready for work in the World Trade Center when he got the same feeling as he did in 1993. Naylor went home, just like he did once before and he was stunned to discover what happened next. To this day, he is grateful that he received the premonitions but also feels guilty that he was unable to help others. To be fair, had he told people about his premonition, would they have believed him enough to go home?

The events of that day need little introduction. The official death toll was 2,996 including the hijackers while over 6,000 people were injured. 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four planes. Two of them were crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center while one was crashed into the Pentagon and another was destined for Washington D.C. until the passengers tried to fight back and the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Sadly, the terrorists succeeded where they had failed in 1993 and incredibly, Barratt Naylor turned back from disaster not once, but twice.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Sharon Tate circa 1965 – Time Magazine

6 – Did Sharon Tate Predict her Own Murder?

In what was one of the most shocking murders of the 1960s, actress Sharon Tate was brutally slain by members of the Manson Family on August 9, 1969. She was just 26 years of age and seemingly had the world at her feet. The actress came to prominence with a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Valley of the Dolls. Tate was married to Roman Polanski, director of The Fearless Vampire Killers. Aside from the bloody nature of the murder, the other shocking aspect was the fact that Tate was just two weeks away from giving birth.

Back in 1967, a full two years before the murder, Tate was in a bedroom at her boyfriend’s house and had a terrible feeling of foreboding she found impossible to shake off. She was attempting to get to sleep when suddenly, a man entered the room. It was the house’s former owner, Paul Bern, a man who had committed suicide several years previously. Tate was terrified and ran out of the room and down the stairs. However, she was greeted with the hideous sight of a figure with its throat slashed. After taking a minute to compose herself, Tate had a drink but the apparitions of Bern and the ghostly victim remained.

Over the next few years, Tate became convinced that she was the victim on the stairs. While she told many people about the events of the evening, there was nothing anyone could do to save her. As intriguing as the story is, you can explain the first part. Tate would have known all about the story of Bern who killed himself in 1932 after the actress Jean Harlow left him. Tate was alone in the house and when she saw someone come into the bedroom, she describes him as looking like every description she had heard about Bern.

The terrified Tate ran out of the room and met the gruesome apparition at the bottom of the stairs; an incident that is harder to explain but perhaps she was hallucinating? It was the 1960s so there is every chance that Tate had consumed narcotics that could have altered her mental state. In 1969, she was stabbed to death by several Manson Family members and it is probable that she was hanged from a rafter in the living room. Her place of death was just one mile away from where she had seen the apparition in 1967.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Diana Princess of Wales – Hello Magazine

7 – Did Diana, Princess of Wales, Predict Her Death in a Car Accident?

Even UK residents who didn’t care a great deal about the Royal Family were shocked by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on August 31, 1997. She was in a car that crashed along Paris’ Pont de l’Alma road tunnel and died from her injuries. Her lover, Dodi Al-Fayed, and the driver, Henri Paul, were also slain while Trevor Rees-Jones, Diana’s bodyguard, was the only survivor. At the time, the British media blamed the paparazzi who pestered Diana but later, it was revealed that Henri Paul was under the effects of prescription drugs and lost control of the car.

An estimated 2.5 billion people around the world watched her funeral and predictably, conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork claiming that it was a ‘hit’ on the unfortunate princess. One of the most intriguing pieces of ‘evidence’ is a letter that Diana supposedly wrote to Paul Burrell, her butler. She allegedly wrote it several months before the crash and told Burrell: “This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. My husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury to make the path clear for him to marry Camilla.”

Prince Charles had been having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles for years and, Diana had an affair of her own, with Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of the Harrods owner Mohammad Al-Fayed. Diana had divorced Charles the year before the crash and while the scandal rocked the Royal Family, it was hardly a reason for her murder. Nonetheless, Mohammed believes the British military was responsible for the death of Diana and his son because they wanted to make sure the couple never got married. Al-Fayed even claimed that Prince Philip ordered MI6 to carry out the assassination.

Burrell kept the note secret until 2003 until he published it in his book, A Royal Duty. According to Burrell, Diana wrote it as an insurance policy ‘just in case’ and it was written just two months after her divorce from Charles was finalized. However, Burrell also said that it was “impossible” for Charles to have killed the mother of his children. Speaking at an inquest in 2007, Burrell said that he didn’t believe it was murder. On April 7, 2008, the jury concluded that the princess and Al-Fayed were unlawfully killed by the gross negligence of the driver.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Edgar Allan Poe – Famous Biographies

8 – Did Edgar Allan Poe Predict a Gruesome Murder 45 Years in Advance?

Poe is one of the greatest creators of unusual and macabre tales in American literary history but even he would have been shocked by his apparent fortune-telling skills. In 1838, his only finished novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, was published. In the book, the four-man crew of the ship Grampus found themselves shipwrecked with no food or water. While they found a tortoise to eat, it didn’t provide enough sustenance. Eventually, the crew decides to draw straws to determine which crew member is to be eaten by the others.

Richard Parker, a former mutineer, draws the short straw and is brutally murdered. His feet, hands, and head are tossed into the sea. Two of the remaining members of the crew manage to survive after their act of cannibalism and are eventually rescued. Poe referred to the story as ‘very silly’ but it did serve as a source of inspiration for Jules Verne when he wrote 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and Herman Melville when he wrote Moby Dick. However, the real ‘magic’ of the story took place some 45 years after it was written.

In 1884, a yacht called Mignonette sailed out of England destined for Sydney, Australia. In hindsight, it was a foolish endeavor by the four crew members because their vessel simply wasn’t suitable for such a lengthy journey. It sank en-route and the four men had to escape via a lifeboat. It soon became clear that they lacked the provisions for survival and things were getting desperate. They found a tortoise and ate it but the paltry servings each man received wasn’t enough. One of the crew members fell overboard and tried to drink seawater to satiate his thirst.

This is where the tale gets downright spooky. The man’s name was Richard Parker and his seawater mistake led to his demise. The crew had considered drawing straws but decided that the weakening Parker was the best choice. Had they waited for him to die from his illness, there’s a chance his blood could become contaminated so they stabbed him in the throat. They feasted upon his carcass and it sustained them for long enough to be recused, just like in Poe’s book. Their relief didn’t last long as they were sentenced to death for their crime. However, their sentences were commuted to just six months in prison.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Abraham Lincoln – Pacific Standard

9 – Abraham Lincoln Dreamed About His Assassination

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the U.S., was murdered by John Wilkes Booth. The assassination was purportedly part of Booth’s plan to revive the Confederacy and he planned to kill three of the nation’s most important officials. Booth did not act alone however; he has at least three conspirators and they planned to turn the night into a bloodbath. While Booth was successful, his co-conspirators were not. David Herold and Lewis Powell did not kill William H. Seward, the Secretary of State, and George Atzerodt did not kill Andrew Johnson, the Vice President.

According to Lincoln’s friend, and occasional bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln predicted his assassination. Lamon claimed that Lincoln shared details of a dream he had just a few days before his death. In it, the president walked into the White House’s East Room where

he found a body protected by soldiers and surrounded by a mourning crowd. Lincoln asked one of the soldiers who had died. “The president” was the reply. “He was killed by an assassin.” There are doubts over the veracity of Lamon’s tale and also a suggestion that Lincoln said the corpse wasn’t him.

It seems increasingly likely that Lamon made the entire thing up. He didn’t publish his account for 20 years and it was a reconstruction based on notes he had made at the time. It is also odd that neither he, nor Lincoln’s widow, mentioned the dream after the president’s death. However, there is evidence to suggest that the former president was extremely interested in deciphering the meanings of dreams and what they said about the future. In 1863, Lincoln wrote to his wife and said that she should put their son’s pistol away because he “had an ugly dream about him.”

According to members of his cabinet, Lincoln spoke about a dream he had the night before the assassination. In it, he dreamed about sailing rapidly over a body of water but he didn’t know where it was. Lincoln revealed that he had the same dream multiple times before; always before important events during the Civil War. In the end, he was unable to harness the predictive power of dreams and was slain on the night of April 14. Booth became the most wanted man in America and was killed 12 days later.

10 Premonitions of Doom from History That Actually Came True
Carl Jung – Vision.org

10 – Carl Jung Predicted World War I

Carl Gustav Jung is one of the most famous psychoanalysts and psychiatrists of all time and was also an expert in dream analysis. However, he was unprepared for the dreams he began to have in 1913 which suggested that something apocalyptic was about to happen in the world. It was an especially traumatic time for Jung because he had recently broken away from his mentor, Sigmund Freud. Soon after disconnecting himself from Freud’s work, Jung began to have extraordinary visions.

In October 1913, he dreamed about “a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps […] I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. I saw mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood.” If this was frightening enough in isolation, Jung had the same vision two weeks later. It was even more vivid and featured a greater emphasis on bloodshed.

At the time, Jung was concerned that these visions were the beginning of psychosis. During 1914, he began to dream of a barren wasteland that surrounded him. In his vision, an Arctic cold froze the land to ice in the middle of the summer. Jung saw the entire Lorraine region as frozen and deserted. Every living thing died because of frost and the dreams occurred just a few months before the outbreak of World War I. Jung said that his last dream of this nature occurred in June 1914 and war broke out on 28 July.

Although it is tempting to believe Jung (on reflection he believed he was dreaming about World War I), it is important to remember that he was in the middle of the most turbulent time of his life. It is possible that the flood represented Jung’s creative life breaking free from the constraints of Freud’s psychology. The ‘drowned bodies’ could have referred to the death of old ideas that don’t fit into Jung’s new way of seeing things. Perhaps Jung did see the destruction of the war in his visions or maybe it was nothing more than series of dreams that focused on Jung’s new path.

 

Where Did We Get This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources

“Aberfan: The mistake that cost a village its children.” Ceri Jackson, BBC News. October 2016.

“The strange mystery of flight 191, and the 5 times it crashed. – Strange Unexplained Mysteries. December 2020.

“Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp had ‘chilling premonition of her death” Andy Rudd in The Mirror. June 2013.

“Author ‘Predicts’ Titanic Sinking, 14 Years Earlier.” Heba Hasan in Time Magazine. April 2012.

“Disaster Predictions: People Claim Premonitions of September 11 Attacks, Japanese Tsunami.” Eamon McNiff and Harry Phillips in ABC News. October, 2012.

“Did Sharon Tate Dream of her Murder by the Manson Family Two Years Before It Happened?” Jason Schafer in Dangerous Minds. February 2015.

“A New Twist Emerges in Princess Diana’s Death.” Nico Hines in The Daily Beast. August, 2013.

“Edgar Allan Poe’s Eerie Richard Parker Coincidence.” Stacy Conradt in Mental Floss. February, 2012.

“Did Abraham Lincoln Predict His Own Death?” History.com. October, 2012.

“The End of Civilization: Did Jung Underestimate the Significance of His Own Dreams?” John Goldhammer in The Jung Page. October 2013.

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