These stories are taken from James M. Deem's
to Read Your Mother's Mind
Whether you believe
in the possibility of ESP or not, you can learn to analyze an ESP story.
If reading and analyzing stories
involving ESP sounds too easy, think again. Reading an ESP story is easy, but
deciding whether the story could possibly be true is much more difficult.
Read the following ESP account:
A pilot was
practicing some difficult maneuvers in her Piper Cub one day in 1956. Suddenly
she felt that something was wrong - not with the airplane but on the ground.
She doubted this strange feeling, though, and pushed it from her mind and
continued to practice. But the feeling kept returning, each time breaking her
Finally, she stopped practice
and gave in to the feeling. She flew seventy miles off her intended course and
noticed a car that had gone off a deserted country road. Without hesitating,
she landed the small plane on the road and ran to the car. There, she pulled
an unconscious woman from behind the wheel.
As she dragged the woman
away from the car, the gas tank exploded and the car burst into flames. She
laid the woman on the ground, only then realizing that the woman was her
An ESPrivate Eye might wonder about
the truth of the story itself.
Use this form to determine the
1. Source of material. Where
did the story come from? Although the story about the pilot was used by Bernard
Gittelson in his book Intangible Evidence, he never mentions where he
found it. Did he know the pilot personally? Or did she write him about the
incident? Or, most likely, did he find it in a book or magazine? If so, where?
An ESPrivate Eye should always be able to check the source of a story,
especially one as remarkable as this.
2. Identity of person, place, and date. Another
way to judge the truth of an ESP story is the type of information the author
presents. In this case, the pilot's name, the location (for example, what state
did this happen in? or did this happen in another country?), and the exact date
are not given. This lack of specific information doesn't mean that the story is
false, but checking its accuracy would be difficult. By knowing when and where
this incident took place, an ESPrivate Eye would be able to read a local
newspaper to see if a woman had been injured in a car accident (and perhaps
rescued by her pilot daughter). Even if the clairvoyant part of the case wasn't
reported, such a dramatic event should have received some type of newspaper
3. Type and date of ESP report. If
the incident happened in 1956, how and when did the woman report the events? Did
she immediately write a journal entry describing the events in detail? Did
Gittelson or a newspaper reporter interview the woman shortly after the
incident? Or did the woman write about her experience years after it happened?
If so, her memory may not have captured the true events of that day. An
ESPrivate Eye will want to determine if the report could contain any errors.
Dr. Ian Stevenson, who has
investigated many unusual incidents, wrote about an ESPerience that occurred to
the Judd family of Upland, California, in his book Telepathic Impressions.
Around 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday,
December 18, 1967, Mrs. Brigitte Judd was all set to have a quick cup of coffee
at the apartment of her next-door neighbor. She left Cindy, her nine-year-old
daughter, to watch younger brother John and four-year-old sister Celeste. Then
she hurried next door.
Ten minutes later, John ran into the
"Puppy bit Dumpling!" he
Puppy was the name of the family's
dachshund, and Dumpling was Celeste's nickname. Brigitte ran home where she
found Celeste screaming. Puppy was skulking in a corner nearby.
Brigitte described what happened
next in a letter written January 9, 1968, to Dr. Stevenson:
Naturally I was
upset. My four-year-old..... played with the dog all the time. Now the dog had
bitten her! I first calmed [Celeste] down and determined that the
"bite" was mostly a large bruise on her mouth that slowly turned
dark blue. There were only her own teeth marks on the inside of her lip. The
two older children confirmed that the dog had growled and snapped at her
though. All this time I thought strongly of my husband and what he would say
At 10:30 that morning, the
telephone rang. It was Mr. Judd.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"I know something has happened. Tell me, what's going on?"
"Oh, nothing," Brigitte
said. "Puppy just bit Dumpling, that's all."
Brigitte was surprised that her
husband had somehow found out about the incident. But she was even more
surprised to discover that he was about one hundred miles from home, on his way
back to the office from a business call, when he realized something was wrong.
When Dr. Stevenson received Mrs.
Judd's letter, he didn't just file it away. He wrote to Mr. Judd, asking him to
write his own account. Mr. Judd wrote that he had driven from Los Angeles to San
Diego that morning to make a business call. On his return, he felt uneasy.
He put it this way:
I became more and more
worried over nothing in particular. When I reached the office, I could contain
myself no longer and I called home. The only thing I could think to say to my
wife was, "What's going on?"
Again, Stevenson was not satisfied.
He wanted to know more of the details of the case. In particular, he wanted to
know if Mr. Judd had a habit of calling home regularly. If he did, the timing of
his phone call may simply have been a coincidence. He wrote another letter to
Mrs. Judd replied that her husband
rarely called home, because it was a long-distance call. "I can tell
you," she wrote, "that my husband has not called me more than five or
six times during the last year."
Before finishing his
investigation, Stevenson interviewed the Judds at home because he believed that
the case had "borderline significance" - meaning that ESP was probably
involved but in a commonplace way. Only then, when he had all the facts,
did Stevenson (like any ESPrivate Eye) write about the Judds and their
ŠJames M. Deem. Taken from
How to Read Your Mother's Mind (Houghton Mifflin,
1994). All rights reserved.