The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Psychics and Surviving Disasters


In October of 1989, the World Series was on TV, my wife was home and my mother showed up for a visit right on time, at around 5pm.  Then it hit.  For the first few seconds, it was just another earthquake, but it quickly grew stronger and I knew something was up.  I calmly grabbed my wife and mother and pinned them in the front doorway of our home, which was all I had time for.  As the house shook violently around me I looked around.  I really wanted to see the earth move in waves.  I’d heard so much about that and really wanted to see it.  I watched a plant fall off of the TV, which was moving, but had not fallen.  About the only thing of visual interest was my mother’s van out front, which looked like it was dancing a jig.  And then just like that the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake was over.

Why was I so calm?  My former sister-in-law, also psychic, was an airline stewardess who experienced not one, but two emergency decompressions on separate occasions while working flights.  Same thing.  She was as calm as could be both times and wrote some pretty snarky letters hilariously explaining the experiences.  Oh, and she saved someone who was choking to death at a later date.

Are psychic people, who are often mentally and emotionally all over the place disposed to be clear headed during emergencies?

I’ve brought this up occasionally and I’ve gotten responses that sure enough, there seems to be a link between psychic ability and calmness in a disaster.

Now the obvious psychic response to disaster would be to not to be there in the first place, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and at least one study to suggest that this happens:

W.E. Cox, in a well-known study (1956), analyzed the number of tickets sold for 28 passenger trains that crashed between 1950 and 1955. He found that the trains that crashed always had fewer people than similar trains on the same day of the previous week. The data was also analyzed for weather conditions, and number of sold tickets on the previous day, week, and month. Because every statistical result can be explained as random fluctuation, the author calculated the probability of accumulating the same statistics randomly. This probability was less than 1/100. In other words, we can say with 99/100 certainty that people really have – and use – their psychic intuition to avoid dangerous situations.

Precognition, however, is not the topic of this post.  Recently I stumbled onto an article titled “How to Survive a Disaster.”  There was one small portion that caught my eye because it is relevant to psychic ability.  In particular, this paragraph is one I found particularly interesting:

Survival mode

The prevailing psychological explanation for these kinds of behaviours – passivity, mental paralysis or simply carrying on as normal in the face of a crisis – is that they are caused by a failure to adapt to a sudden change in the environment. Survival involves goal-directed behaviour: you feel hungry, you look for food; you feel isolated, you seek companionship. Normally, this is straightforward (we know how to find food or companions). But in a new, unfamiliar environment, particularly a stressful one such as a sinking ship or a burning aircraft, establishing survival goals – where the exit is and how to get to it – requires a lot more conscious effort.

What I want to address is what happens when a psychic person finds themselves in the middle of a disaster.  I have received a lot of anecdotal evidence that psychic people do not have typical or expected responses.  According to John Leach, about 15% of people involved in a disaster will immediately act rationally and in their best interest.

He has studied the actions of survivors and victims from dozens of disasters around the world over several decades (and as it happens he was present at one of them, the fire at King’s Cross underground station on 18 November 1987 which killed 31 people). He has found that in life-threatening situations, around 75% of people are so bewildered by the situation that they are unable to think clearly or plot their escape. They become mentally paralysed. Just 15% of people on average manage to remain calm and rational enough to make decisions that could save their lives. (The remaining 10% are plain dangerous: they freak out and hinder the survival chances of everyone else.)Passivity, mental paralysis and denial are, from anecdotal reports, not characteristic behaviors of psychic people in an emergency.  Rather the opposite.  Calm, focused goal oriented behavior as well as an immediate grasp of the severity of the situation seems to be the norm.  Why?  Wouldn’t we expect the most stable, take charge extroverted leader type to be the best prepared?  Perhaps not.

Disasters require mental and emotional flexibility.  (A better word is “lability.”) The faster you can change your mental and emotional state of being, the better -because time is not on your side.-  The people most equipped to change their focus will be those who are already good at it.  To be quick at changing your mental and emotional state requires that it not be all that stable in the first place, which is why people who others may consider to be a bit crazy may have an advantage in life threatening situations.

It would be interesting to do personality tests of survivors of short, sudden catastrophic events and find out where, approximately they fit on the Myers & Briggs Type Indicator.  My guess is that the vast majority would be NF type personalities with INF personalities being predominant.

Another possible explanation is that these are people for whom the inner environment is more dominant than their outer one.  So when the outer environment changes rapidly, it does not overwhelm them.  Still another, more cynical explanation is that being psychic might be traumatic enough in itself that psychic people are already desensitized to the point that a disaster doesn’t represent that much more of a leap.  It would be an interesting area to study.

I have long wondered about this strange ability to remain calm and focused in the face of a physical emergency I’ve heard so much about it and this is the first time I’ve ever found a way to make sense of it.  The idea of emotional and mental lability being necessary components of disaster survival makes the whole thing fit together, although it remains to be seen if this will ever be shown scientifically.

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17 comments on “Psychics and Surviving Disasters

  1. Nan C.
    June 1, 2015

    Being extraordinarily calm and focused in emergencies is a familiar experience to me. (interestingly, though, I have a few phobias — fear of open (deep) water and fear of heights! so I have experienced paralyzing panic attacks as well). But emergencies, I am so calm and focused that others notice and remark upon it. In fact, sometimes they have not believed me, that there is an emergency. One time, I witnessed an auto accident (as a child) and I went to tell my mother, “please call an ambulance. There has just been a terrible car accident on the road behind our house.” She just stared at me without acting. I was so young, I did not know how to call emergency services (this was before the days of “9-11 emergency”). I could not believe that she didn’t believe me! It took a few tries on my part, convincing her, before she would make the call.

    I have found myself frustrated at times with other family members who seem to panic or get paralyzed, when I know what we need to do, to get to safety, and they just seem stuck there, and also won’t “follow my instructions” LOL.

    I have also been accused by a government interrogator of being “suspiciously calm” during the interrogation, because I was not getting all upset over their questions as would apparently be the normal thing to do. (I was innocent of their accusations but they were putting on a great show of intimidation.)

    Another time I was met at my door by a police officer who announced that my child had made a suicide threat and they couldn’t locate her but I did not panic — it just seemed so far fetched. I calmly said, “let me try to reach her by phone” and I did (turned out to be case of mistaken identity). I wonder though if the normal response would be to panic and freak out — or if I somehow knew that my child was OK.

    I was also extremely calm one time during a medical emergency (my own) and can recall being rushed on the gurney to the operating room, but I felt very assured by what I would swear was presence of deceased relatives (??) that there would be a good outcome and not to worry. It did turn out to be a good outcome, in fact.

  2. opalwhitely
    April 30, 2015

    I like your insights on this phenomena, Craig. I have contemplated this, too. Being and empath/INFJ type I am still learning how to discern what is “real” and what is just emotional debris coming at me from other people. Yet, during a crisis, I experience a sort of “pause button” effect. There is no fear and I am completely present. I have a clear and precise “knowing” of exactly what to do while at the same time feeling very calm – even as I observe others around me panicking, paralysed, or otherwise acting irrational. HOW this happens is a mystery, but it’s pretty cool, huh?

    I’m wondering what happens to you after the crisis is over? I have found that afterward is when I experience a wave of emotions. That’s why I call it the pause button. Maybe I am simply feeling an accumulation of the emotions from the people around me or it could be my own fears coming to the surface to process.

    Isn’t it fascinating?

    • craigweiler
      April 30, 2015

      It’s the same for me. Once the danger is passed, whatever form it takes, I experience a strong let down, sometimes even shaking.

    • fefamike
      June 1, 2015

      I had a Toyota accident. I blacked out went through itches bto stop acceleration. THE CXAR WAS WIPED OY DAMAGED E everywhere to taLLED PASSENGERS UNSCATHED. the dithes for feet wide rhree feet deep. I regained awareness when were stopped by a tree at for mikes an hour. The base of the fooy was the accelerator. the toes onthe break.

  3. fefamike
    March 11, 2015

    I AN AN intj a healer. I have predidicted many things. I n an extreme emergency I act immediately take effewctive action and cannot remember what happen the respons was suppressed but evidence suggests it worked just right,

  4. Stephanie
    March 8, 2015

    There’s also the little recognized fact that psychic people, in average, experience a great deal more personal trauma than the average population. With each intense trauma they become more sensitive, partially due to being more perceptive as an avoidance strategy. The most sensitive people have learned to anticipate variables to the nth degree, all the way into paranormal levels.

  5. Zeb Zaman
    February 26, 2015

    I feel this is very true; it’s almost like being in a disaster type situation creates the feeling of “being in the zone” … like the presence without judgement, without thought, just acting and awareness – which is kind of … awesome. I think for some people crisis does bring out the inner sage, and maybe it is the same people that volunteer to go to crisis places to help. Not sure about that. But then there is different types of crisis too, and in some types that has not worked for me so well.

    • fefamike
      March 11, 2015

      I would love to but my computer freaks out and cuts off my resonspone thi is why I am over whelmingconcise. On a computer Hawlingsis faster then I.

  6. Tom Butler
    February 25, 2015

    Take a look at A CROWD PREDICTION EXPERIMENT at http://yellowstone.cfpf.org.uk/.

    If you assume that everyone gets the same psi information but people more or less confuse it as it comes to their awareness, then i think the crowd averaging theory might give you another reference point for your discussion.

    It still comes down to how lucid you have trained yourself to be.

  7. djbarney
    February 25, 2015

    Great article 🙂 … Two examples that personally happened to me. I was on a long coach journey on the motorway in the mid 90’s. This guy starts choking a few rows down. I was not the nearest. I became aware of a general paralysis. No one was going to help ! Having heard of this kind of bystander effect before, I forced myself to get up, and walked down to the man. He was indeed choking and his breathing had stopped. I started wrestling him out of his seat intending to do the manouver (forget its name) to clear his passage ways. But that in itself seemed to do it and he choked something up and started breathing again, but he was clearly very confused and groggy for some reason. A paramedic was called and coach waited at side of motorway until he turned up.

    Second story. I was at an animal rights demo (anti animal experimentation). After being at a large Guinea pig farm a large (200 – 300 possibly bigger, difficult to estimate) crowd of protestors started marching into the local village/small town. At this point we hit an entire line of policemen as well as mounted police. They had already made a rather intimidating show of force earlier in the day by gallopping around the protestors at the farm. Now the crowd was caught between the police horses and their desire to get into the village. The atmosphere suddenly had a nastier edge to it. Then I noticed the bystander, or “freeze” effect again. I, in my (psychic?) way I had simply gone around the police horses and started walking down a shallow ditch at the edge of the road into the village (after all thats where my group of friends van was that had transported us there). I looked back and to my surprise the crowd were transfixed in front of the police horses with clear routes of escape around the sides ! I shouted something like “come on!”, and gesticulated. No response. I was considering going back when a mounted policemen appeared out of no where. He was clearly not happy that one had escaped and that I was even encouraging the others. He had his very large truncheon drawn. As I said the atmosphere had turned rather nasty. At that moment one of the crowd who had also broken through was nearby and started shouting “Oh, hasn’t he got a big one!” (the policemen was holding the truncheon low down, held erect). Extraordinarily the policeman actually looked embarrased, his concentration was broken and he rode back to the line.

    Note: There may have been some wisdom in the crowds behaviour. If they had broken around the sides of the horses everything could have deteriorated into violent truncheon swinging (or worse). But I don’t think that realisation was conscious or planned, just maybe lucky. However, without getting into the animal rights issue too much, the consensous among the protestors was that all this large police presence was totally absurd to protect a few Guinea pigs, so for most of the day, until then, the police presence had been thwarted.

    Both examples seem to show low levels of consciousness that lead to people being more easily controlled, or more easily confused in a crisis. I happen to think that full awareness and being a psychic is entirely natural and in fact the natural state of humanity. I’ve drawn some understanding of this from the books by Val Valerian … Matrix I, II and III …

    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?27447-VALDAMAR-VALERIAN-and-the-MATRIX-BOOKS

  8. Maringouin
    February 24, 2015

    Thank you very much for a most interesting comment.

  9. Nicole
    February 23, 2015

    I can attest to the fact that psychic ability does make a person more calm and level headed in the face of disaster. I survived hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi gulf coast in the direct path of the storm. I stayed behind with my daughter and parents. We all survived 16 feet of water clinging to the roof of my parent’s home. In the midst of the storm as the water was rising, I took charge and helped my elderly parents escape to the roof and even saved my own daughter by attaching a rope to her and myself as I was looking for something stable for us to climb on. We all survived and had I not been there, my parents would have died. I had a strong feeling that we needed to leave, but the feeling I had to stay and protect my parents, who refused to leave, was much stronger. I am very highly gifted and have many spiritual gifts. It has been almost 10 years since that storm.

  10. Tom Butler
    February 23, 2015

    Welcome back Craig.

    From my experience, the same process of natural selection that selects for psi functioning also selects for … let us call it situation awareness. Look back at First Sight Theory and the study of presentiment. Indications are that we are psychically aware of potential futures. If so, that unconscious awareness would translate as a physiological bracing before a major event.

    I am inclined to think precognition is really sensing potential futures. As such, the loudest” potential would draw the most intention. If that is the case, then a person who has learned to pay attention to inner sensing might also unconsciously be aware of how the potential future plays out.

    According to James Carpenter, a person wishing to be more psychic should maintain an open, non-analytical frame of mind while also maintaining a commitment to the goal of psi expression. Analysis of information, self-criticism and doubt tends to cloud psi awareness.

    For myself, I would translate that to say a person with a strong sense of personal responsibility, who naturally pays attention to surroundings, is able to delay the good-bad, for me-not for me decision and trusts personal judgement would also keep a level head in an emergency.

    Interesting subject.

    Tom

  11. Anonymous
    February 23, 2015

    Welcome back Craig.

    From my experience, the same process of natural selection that selects for psi functioning also selects for … let us call it situation awareness. Look back at First Sight Theory and the study of presentiment. Indications are that we are psychically aware of potential futures. If so, that unconscious awareness would translate as a physiological bracing before a major event.

    I am inclined to think precognition is really sensing potential futures. As such, the loudest” potential would draw the most intention. If that is the case, then a person who has learned to pay attention to inner sensing might also unconsciously be aware of how the potential future plays out.

    According to James Carpenter, a person wishing to be more psychic should maintain an open, non-analytical frame of mind while also maintaining a commitment to the goal of psi expression. Analysis of information, self-criticism and doubt tends to cloud psi awareness.

    For myself, I would translate that to say a person with a strong sense of personal responsibility, who naturally pays attention to surroundings, is able to delay the good-bad, for me-not for me decision and trusts personal judgement would also keep a level head in an emergency.

    Interesting subject.

    Tom

    • fefamike
      March 11, 2015

      The intellect is the predatory attack mode it shuts down your aura and psychic aware nessd

  12. Robert
    February 23, 2015

    There’s also the little recognized fact that psychic people, in average, experience a great deal more personal trauma than the average population. With each intense trauma they become more sensitive, partially due to being more perceptive as an avoidance strategy. The most sensitive people have learned to anticipate variables to the nth degree, all the way into paranormal levels.

    Is it any wonder then that major disasters that affect large populations have less impact on them? The disasters aren’t personal, they’re general and public.

  13. PinkRangerVida
    February 23, 2015

    YES. ZOMG, that happens with almost ANY stressful situation–there’s this sort of weird calm and the emotions don’t hit for hours. It’s so useful! It makes so much sense this is connected to psi; I’ve never heard of anyone else who does this.

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2015 by in parapsychology, Psychic's Psychology and tagged , , .
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