Editor’s Introduction:

John A. Johnson, Ph.D. (real name), is currently a Professor of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1981, with his training specializing in evolutionary biology and personality psychology. He has published over 30 articles and book chapters on personality measurement, many in the top journals of his field, and several by invitation for special issues. Professor Johnson has also co-edited a major reference book, The Handbook of Personality Psychology, and he spent a year conducting research in Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. This experience happened to him while he was a student.

Fated to be Thursday
John A. Johnson

During the summer of 1975, I kept a dream diary and a journal of unusual experiences. My dream diary entry for the night of July 13-14 describes an emotional meeting with Amy, my first serious love relationship. (In real life, Amy and I broke up in the fall of 1973 and I had not even seen her in over a year.) In the dream she appeared to me somewhere in downtown State College. She was very emotional and insisted, at the end of our involved, animated conversation, that we had to get together to talk further. She stressed that we must talk on Thursday. I awoke with the word Thursday, Thursday echoing in my ears.

On July 16 (Wednesday) I was cutting grass (my summer job) for the Borough of State College at the cloverleaf on the Benner Pike when I spotted Amy riding toward me on a bicycle. At first, all I thought was that this was odd, because not many people ride their bicycles on the rather busy and dangerous Benner Pike. I had forgotten about the dream.

Amy pulled up, we chatted for a few minutes, and she said she would like to get together at the Hetzel Union Building on campus that evening to talk some more. Only after she left did I recall my dream, but then realized that today was Wednesday and in the dream she said we had to meet on Thursday. I shrugged and thought to myself, “Wow, that was nearly a precognitive dream.”

When I got home late that afternoon, my mother told me that Amy had called to apologize that she could not get together that evening, that it would have to be tomorrow–Thursday. I got chills as the word “Thursday” rang again in my head, just like it did in my dream.

Contributor’s Comments on the Experience

In college I dual majored in biology and psychology. My original plan was to study human behavior from a straight-science, ethological-evolutionary perspective. But then I had a number of strange experiences and meetings with unusual people that got me interested in the paranormal. I describe some of these experiences (including the dream) on a web page:

http://drj.virtualave.net/other/religio/paranorm.html .

Nevertheless, in graduate school my interests in the paranormal seemed incompatible with my career goals as an academic psychologist. Out of seeming necessity, I have immersed myself in a traditional paradigm of personality measurement. I have also become more skeptical over the years and have become more convinced by arguments like Michael Persinger’s that transcendent experiences often result from glitches in brain functioning. But I can’t forget my precognitive dream experience. That cannot be explained away as a temporal lobe transient, and it keeps me open to the possibility that reality is even stranger than it seems.