Premonition Of Motorcyclist's Death

gattino

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#1
...reported in the news.

Occasional news reports of these things interest me, because its a fairly standard claim as an experience, but one that "educated" people, including main stream media, are not meant to treat seriously. There's no attempt to analyse - or dismiss - in the report, but I doubt any more will be heard of it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-42043883
 

Ascalon

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#2
OK, this needs to be looked at in context.
Motorcycle road racing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

Macau is a street circuit that only gets used once a year. The riders ride superstock, BSB and superbike machines here, depending on the class. 220-220hp machines that weight less than 200kg ready to start.

The Macau GP is run along with GT and Formula 3 cars, who have different safety needs.

If you were to think about it logically, there's not many people who would not face it without a certain sense of unease.

I'm not undermining the experience here, but the context means the risk level is far higher than most other events, with the exception of the Isle of Man TT.
 
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escargot

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#3
OK, this needs to be looked at in context.
Motorcycle road racing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

Macau is a street circuit that only gets used once a year. The riders ride superstock, BSB and superbike machines here, depending on the class. 220-220hp machines that weight less than 200kg ready to start.

The Macau GP is run along with GT and Formula 3 cars, who have different safety needs.

If you were to think about it logically, there's not many people who would not face it without a certain sense of unease.
I'm not underlining the experience here, but the context means the risk level is far higher than most other events, with the exception of the Isle of Man TT.
People do learn to live with a certain level of risk though, both to themselves and others, as the mothers of serving military personnel will tell you. (Including me.)

There's a constant background anxiety - you jump when the phone rings late at night and hesitate to answer it, for example - which doesn't usually flare up into a panic. What's being described in the article is very different.
 

gattino

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#4
There's no claim that the accident itself was improbable. It's that a man deeply involved in the sport and in this particular race had a depth and degree of out of the ordinary feelings prior to the race which he defines as premonition. If it were ordinary rational wariness of his friend being involved in a generally dangerous activity then it would surely be something relatively unworthy of special note or being labelled as a premonition.
 

Ascalon

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#5
Agree with all of the observations here, but the fact remains, despite the premonition being correct, that the premonition was still far from improbable, and may well have been shared by a large number of people for various competitors.

The individual in question may have had some unconscious observation of behaviour, set up, or circumstance that meant he was uneasy at the rider's prospect of racing.

Every year in Macau, there are crashes and injuries, though not many fatalities. This particularly awful tragedy was an unusual incident, but not so far from what happened in MotoGP a few years ago to Marco Simoncelli.

As such, it makes this a much less fantastic prospect.
 

PeteS

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#6
This reminds me of an accident I witnessed in the late 70's. I was in relatively slow moving traffic 10/15mph. A motorcycle went past (very safely) and I suddenly had a massive sense of impending doom- almost what would now be regarded as a panic attack. Not more than a 100 yds up the road a car pulled out of a junction and knocked the motorcycle over.
I can't attribute the feeling to the way the bike was being ridden since it was a small one and in the 70's they were no where near as quick as today. The road is very wide and there was plenty of room for overtaking for a bike. It wasn't a case therefore of "look at that idiot he's going to be injured riding like that"- just a sense of doom. Peculiar.
 

Peripart

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#7
...reported in the news.

Occasional news reports of these things interest me, because its a fairly standard claim as an experience, but one that "educated" people, including main stream media, are not meant to treat seriously. There's no attempt to analyse - or dismiss - in the report, but I doubt any more will be heard of it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-42043883
I don't want to be too dismissive, but the problem with these sort of stories is that most of the time, we only get to hear about the premonition after the event. I'm not saying that this man didn't have a sense of doom before the crash, but it's hard to prove.

Also, how many times does one have a feeling of dread followed by nothing bad occurring? Very often, I suspect, but those times don't stick in the memory.
 

gattino

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#8
I'm not saying that this man didn't have a sense of doom before the crash, but it's hard to prove.

Also, how many times does one have a feeling of dread followed by nothing bad occurring? Very often, I suspect, but those times don't stick in the memory.
But one could reverse that statement and say your "suspicion" that such false foreboding happens often..or even at all..is not just hard but nearly impossible to prove. Or at any rate the evidence for the hypothesis is even less apparent than the evidence for such premonitions being genuine. How does one observe, classify or count a subjective thing like thoughts or feelings whose existence has left no trace on the memory of the people who are merely supposed by others to have had them?

As for whether his testimony meets the standard required for "proof"...I'm not sure any such standard exists. It's difficult to imagine what would be a satisfactory test for the veracity of his experience or what judging panel he'd need or have any desire to persuade. I don't think proof of a "feeling" is possible. He's simply bearing witness to his own experience, for whatever its worth.
 
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Coal

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#9
Also, how many times does one have a feeling of dread followed by nothing bad occurring? Very often, I suspect, but those times don't stick in the memory.
That's the kiddy ^^
 

escargot

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#10
(I've taken a long time over this post because it's both very sad and a bit weird and I don't want to sound flippant about it.)

There was a terrible accident in Ireland last year, when a car slid off a pier in Ireland. The driver's partner wasn't here but had a premonition, which was described at the inquest:

Buncrana tragedy

Coroner Dr Denis McCauley is conducting inquests into the deaths of Sean McGrotty (49), his sons Mark (12), and Evan (8), his mother in law Ruth Daniels (59) and Ruth’s daughter Jodie Lee Daniels (14).

They died when the car Mr McGrotty was driving went into the water at Buncrana pier on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.
The inquest heard earlier how the woman who lost her partner, her two sons, her mother and her sister in the drowning disaster got a “bad feeling” at the time of the tragedy.

Ms James told the inquest that at around the time of the tragedy she became alarmed and had a “bad feeling” that something was wrong.

“I got a feeling something was not right - I don’t know why,” she said in her deposition.

She was in England at the time, about to board a plane home from a hen party with friends. But at 7.25 pm she became anxious.
...
It was about this time that the five members of her family drowned in the calm waters of Lough Swilly on what was described as a “beautiful” calm evening.
Ms James 'knew' something was wrong and starting ringing relations, who'd heard of the accident but not the names of the victims. This is all a matter of record. How strange.
 

Peripart

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#11
But one could reverse that statement and say your "suspicion" that such false foreboding happens often..or even at all..is not just hard but nearly impossible to prove. Or at any rate the evidence for the hypothesis is even less apparent than the evidence for such premonitions being genuine. How does one observe, classify or count a subjective thing like thoughts or feelings whose existence has left no trace on the memory of the people who are merely supposed by others to have had them?

As for whether his testimony meets the standard required for "proof"...I'm not sure any such standard exists. It's difficult to imagine what would be a satisfactory test for the veracity of his experience or what judging panel he'd need or have any desire to persuade. I don't think proof of a "feeling" is possible. He's simply bearing witness to his own experience, for whatever its worth.
You're right in what you say, but especially in that the possibility of proof, one way or the other, is extremely remote.

To counter my perhaps sceptical-sounding post earlier, I should say that I have no reason at all to doubt Mr Edwards' account of his feelings before his friend's crash. I fully believe that he had what he considered a premonition - I am prepared to accept that such things can happen, even if I have no explanation for it.

This particular sad tale has echoes of the relationship between Sid Watkins (neurosurgeon and head of safety in Formula 1 for many years) and Ayrton Senna. To quote briefly from "Professor Sid"'s Wikipedia page:
At the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Watkins had to attend to his close personal friend, three-time champion Ayrton Senna, following the accident which claimed his life. Watkins had concerns about Senna's mental state following two crashes earlier in the weekend that had injured Senna's countryman and protege Rubens Barrichello and killed Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, suggesting to him that the two leave the track, go fishing, and forget about the race. Early in the race, Senna hit a retaining wall at nearly 140 miles per hour and Watkins was the first to attend to the driver. He reported that based on what he ascertained on arriving at the scene, that there was no chance Senna could have been saved, due to the graveness of the head injury he had suffered. Watkins also said that, though he was not religious, he felt Senna's "spirit depart" at the moment when Senna apparently drew his last breath.
The fact that Dr Watkins tried to warn Senna off racing that weekend (see my bold above) might be said to be as a result of a general feeling of dread, though I'm not sure it would count as a premonition.
 

Dr_Baltar

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#12
There was a terrible accident in Ireland last year, when a car slid off a pier in Ireland. The driver's partner wasn't here but had a premonition, which was described at the inquest...
Is that, strictly speaking, a premonition, given she got the bad feeling after the incident had occurred? I presume there's another descriptor for that but it escapes me for the moment.
 

gattino

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#13
given she got the bad feeling after the incident had occurred? I presume there's another descriptor for that but it escapes me for the moment.
A crisis apparition is the usual term for that kind of thing (well not specifically...as no apparition was involved - but its part of the same idea that the psyche of the distressed/dying person reaches out at the moment of crisis to a loved one in some form or another.)

Although you could alternatively view it as a premonition of hearing the NEWS of the car accident.
 

gattino

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#15
I think I just have a reflexive "hold on a minute!" response to the ease with which we all accept the "all the times it doesn't happen" argument about any of these subjects...we do so too easily because it SOUNDS like it must be true, so we rarely examine the claim as a hypothesis in its own right and ask if there's any evidence to back it up. More than that how many of us stop and are able recall a number of personal examples of anticipation or foreboding which didn't come true? We can imagine we probably did...but they escape us.

My personal bug bear is the fantasy mathematics used to downplay seemingly precognitive dreams. It involves pointing out the number of dreams you have in a night and over a lifetime and the number of people dreaming and of course by chance alone one of them is going to match a real event once or twice in your life, "but what about all the ones that didn't come true!"

Nearly every part of that argument is an untested assertion/assumption. That the dreams which seem precognitive are rare (I've recorded my own in detail over weeks..and they're not. Apparent "future elements" crop up every night if you pay attention) and that the dreams you don't recall weren't precognitive (! if I don't recall them, how do YOU know they weren't precognitive?! to test what proportion of dreams have any particular quality you can only include in your sample the ones of which you have recollection and knowledge, not randomly add all the ones on which there is no information and declare they belong in the negative pile! ) But as with ominous feelings of doom or anticipating phone calls from particular people it SOUNDS rational to evoke hypothetical large numbers of forgotten experiences which failed to manifest. It sounds like human nature..and you can't argue against it because how do you prove you haven't forgotten a thing as opposed to it never having actually happened?
 

escargot

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#16
Yup, I agree that Ms James, the Irish lady whose family were killed in the accident, didn't exactly have a premonition, but I didn't know what else to call it. It was indeed more like a 'crisis apparition' except that it was a feeling, rather than anything she saw or heard.

What an awful thing to happen.
 
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