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Posted on 21 March 2011, 21:57

In her intriguing 2010 book, Messages, Bonnie McEneaney, the wife of one of the victims of 9/11, tells about her husband having some kind of premonitions, or precognition, that his days were numbered. “I’m going to die before you,” Eamon McEneaney told her in a somewhat matter-of-fact manner on September 4, 2001, a week before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, where Eamon worked in mortgage-backed securities.  Bonnie McEneaney says that her husband always believed that he would die young and, in the weeks preceding the disaster, seemed to have a sense that something monumental was imminent.

Monica Iken, the wife of Michael Patrick Iken, another 9/11 victim, informed Bonnie McEneaney that her husband began acting a little strangely during the summer of 2001.  When they received an invitation for a December wedding, Michael told Monica that he couldn’t see himself being there.  Around September 1, Michael’s behavior became even more abnormal.  When, on September 10, Monica told Michael that she was planning to visit a sick family member in New York City the following day, Michael became upset and told her not to come to the city that day.

McEneaney further tells of Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who died in the attack. His friends and family noticed that he began acting very strangely during the summer of 2001. He was described by friends and family as being “depressed,” and “restless,” and, on Labor Day, his mother remembered that he seemed very “melancholy,” which was not characteristic of him.

A woman named Lorraine told McEneaney that she had a dream a week or so before 9/11 that seemed to suggest that her husband, Bill, would meet with a tragedy.  She didn’t tell her husband about the dream, but she also observed that Bill’s behavior and attitude the weekend before 9/11 were very different from what they normally were.

A recent rerun of the Lisa Williams show on TV featured the parents of an 11-year-old boy who was killed in a boating accident off Waikiki in Hawaii.  There was much evidential information passed on through Williams, a medium, to the parents, including the fact verified by his father that he did not want to go on the boat but was more or less talked into it by the parents.  Williams told the parents that their son knew beforehand that he was going to die soon.  When Williams mentioned this, the mother told her that after they returned home following their son’s death, they found that their son left a message for them on his computer that he expected to be dying soon and looked forward to seeing his parents after they crossed over.

A December 7, 2007 Associated Press story tells of a Minnesota man, Fidel Sanchez-Flores, who died accidentally on his job.  A week before his death he told his niece “to pray really hard” because “something is approaching.” The day before his death he told his wife that he loved her and would continue to love her after his death.  When his wife asked why he was saying that, he replied that he didn’t know.

In his 1974 book, On the Death of My Son, Jasper Swain, a Republic of South Africa lawyer, tells of the death of his son Mike in an auto accident and the communications he received from Mike through several mediums. “My death was okayed well ahead of the accident,” Mike told his father at one sitting.  “To be exact, on the previous Monday, while I was watching the races at Kyalami, I suddenly knew that my life was coming to an end, even though I did not know the exact moment.  I didn’t regret it, because I was also aware of the wonder, the love, and the beauty of the world that awaited me.”  Mike also mentioned that he left his body an instant before the head-on impact with the other vehicle and was able to observe the collision from above. 

The story of President Abraham Lincoln’s precognitive dream of his own death is well documented.  One evening, about a month before his assassination, Lincoln sat in the White House with his wife Mary and several others when the subject of dreams came up.  When Lincoln said something to the effect that there may be something to dreams, Mary asked him to elaborate on his beliefs.  With some reluctance, Lincoln then related his prophetic dream.  “About ten days ago, I retired late,” he began the story.  “I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary.  I soon began to dream.  There seemed to be a deathlike stillness about me.  Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping.  I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs.”

As Lincoln, in his dream, wandered around downstairs, he continued to hear sobbing, but he could see no mourners.  In fact, he saw no one.  Lincoln was puzzled and alarmed at hearing the sobbing, yet seeing nobody.  He continued walking until he reached the East Room, where he saw a catafalque, one which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments.  Around it were soldiers posted as guards.  Lincoln then asked one of the soldiers who had died.  “The President,” was his answer, “He was killed by an assassin.”  A loud burst of grief from the crowd awakened Lincoln, who could not sleep the rest of the night.

After Lincoln told of his dream to his wife and the others, Mary Lincoln (below) was horrified, but Lincoln assured her that it was only a dream and suggested they forget about it. 

mary lincoln

Renowned French astronomer Camille Flammarion wrote about the dream of Edwin Reed, director of the Museum of Natural History in the city of Conception, Chile.  Two months before his death, Reed had a dream in which he saw a tomb with a cross on it with the following inscription:  “Reed, naturalist, November 7, 1910”  Reed jokingly related the strange dream to several friends, all of whom apparently shared in the humor of it until Reed died on November 7, 1910.

All of the above cases involve people who died suddenly, accidentally, or prematurely.  There are numerous accounts of people on their deathbeds reporting visions of deceased loved ones visiting them and predicting when they would die. One of the more intriguing cases on record was reported in the June 1918 issue of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research.  It involved 10-year-old Daisy Dryden of California, who was suffering from typhoid fever.  When Daisy’s mother was sitting at her bedside, Daisy mentioned that Allie, her brother who had died of scarlet fever seven months earlier, was standing next to her. When the mother looked for Allie, Daisy told her that Allie said she could not see him because her spirit eyes were closed.  When the mother asked Allie how she was communicating with Allie, since she did not observe Daisy talking, Daisy explained that “We just talk with our think.” When Daisy’s sister started talking about angels with “snowy wings,” Daisy told her that the ones she could see didn’t have any wings.
At 8:30 on the evening of her death, Daisy informed her mother that Allie would be coming for her at 11:30.  At 11:15, Daisy asked her father to take her up as Allie had come.  As they sang, Daisy breathed her last at exactly 11:30.

American doctors William Green, Stefan Goldstein and Alex Moss reportedly researched thousands of stories about patients who died suddenly and unexpectedly. They   concluded that most people had anticipated their own death.  While the majority of them may not have understood their premonitions, there was something at the deep soul level or in the subconscious that at least alerted them to the fact that death was approaching.

Thus, it would seem that whether the person is on his or her deathbed or about to die by unexpectedly, the soul knows beforehand that transition is about to take place.  It may be that the more conscious, i.e., spiritually awakened, the person, the closer the awareness is to the conscious self. 

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.



Hello Friends, I read “Messages” in three days. It moved me more than I can express. A third through the book, I cried and said aloud, “Dear God, please help us to wake up.” I myself have the privilege of, over many years seen the spirit of those I cared for, of family and friends who have left their physical body. If we can realize we are here for a purpose and to serve, it can contribute to waking us up. Loving wishes to all, Sincerely, Margaret Coles. UK.

Margaret Coles, Sun 2 Jun, 08:07


I am sorry, but I have not heard of such a phenomenon before, except maybe in the movies.  Even if I had, I am not qualified to give advice. I do hope it was a hallucination of some kind and that you’ll report back on Friday that all is well.

Michael Tymn, Thu 31 Jan, 19:10

Last Friday I was wakened by a clear voice saying “You will die next Thursday”.  It has been a rough couple of days since then, but none more rough than today since today is Wednesday. Needless to say I am struggling through the day.  I have never had this happen, so how do I know how to handle it?  I don’t.  I just wait for tomorrow….

Kim Z Franklin, Wed 30 Jan, 19:28

Let me tell you something. This winter I had a premonition that I was Ill and I had a job to finish and I made a pact with God to let me get through the winter and if wanted me to take me over the summer. Well the most bizzar shit ever. I had an allergy to a fruit juice so i went to docs got sent for a ct scan and had a major allergic reactions like 4 of them that toasted me and no doubt I will pass from this. It is the most bizzar thing ever but I had this feeling over the winter and I am beside myself with how this is actually coming to pass and I had an actually feeling within my body about it a knowing. By the way I was completely healthy and made ill by this scan which is killing me. I am very pissed now but it is very strange how I had this feeling. I cannot get past this odd strange feeling I had and how dma true it looks to be dam I hope there is an after life because I have a premonition there is and I have always believed that. I swear by this I know it sounds so strange but it is true and I told others about this also

Michael, Sun 15 Oct, 05:03

I keep having a recurring dream/premonition of dying by running head on into something and I can actually feel the impact. I can feel that “this is it”, and I actually think I have died until I wake up, startled. I don’t understand if this is symbolism or if it’s a premonition of my future death. It has left me scared to drive fast, with the feeling that it could happen at any time. Has anyone else felt the same thing? For years I have felt that I would die in a car accident. I feel like I’m just waiting for it to happen and it’s terrifying.

Kelly, Fri 25 Aug, 05:49


Thank you for sharing that very sad and tragic but very interesting story with us.  Thanks to all others who have commented.

Michael Tymn, Mon 26 Jun, 20:47

On July 29,2006 my best friend and I were preparing for a trip to the next town over and had stopped at a convienient store for snacks and drinks on our way out my friend grabbed my hand and looked me straight in the eyes with a look in her eyes I had never seen before and she said, and I quote, “I don’t want to go,I don’t want to die today” I looked at her bewildered at what she had just said and asked why would you say that, get in the car. Not 5 minutes later we crashed and she passed away on the side of the road in a soy bean field while I held her hand!

Amanda Byerly, Mon 26 Jun, 01:34

My son knew he was going to die. The whole year of his leaving it was like the message was being turned up. He told me twice that he did not feel like he would live long. The first time, he had a startled look across his face. I too, “heard” an inner voice that told me, “Your son is gonna die” that February. It was odd because I was always so uncomfortable with the new location he had moved too. A deep unsettled feeling. He told me many times, “He could go right down the road and be killed.” That is how he died. Three days before he died, he called me with an small chore, wanted me to come over to his home. As I went through that door, he told me then just as I entered, with finality, “My life is going to be short”. Just like that. I was in horror, and froze. Unfortunately, the knowledge of this conversation was removed from my memory. That August, I had a distinct experience of looking at the moon and feeling like I was looking at it for the last time. I thought it was me that would pass. And I so wish it had been. As I passed the road that he would lose his life on, I could not figure out why a horrible uneasiness surfaced, which grew enormously as time drew near. I know now, it was some sort of presentience. My small box of beliefs blew up. There is no comeback from this. I wish now, I had known more about how that Otherside interacted with this side of life. My son was exceptionally kind, followed the Golden Rule, and we followed God from our hearts. My concept of who God was, died that day. Perhaps as an unembodied consciousness, there is not a good understanding what it means to be human—to live in this small frame. There are many other experiences since. I only know, if reincarnation does prove true, for me, I never never want to come back…I say so everyday so it is logged for my life review.

Shoresh, Fri 8 Jan, 19:43

Instead, what if we place the coins in three dimensional space, with the four prseidents standing in a line facing the same direction. The difference in profiles would place us (the viewer) in between Jefferson and Lincoln. The symbolism here would be that these four prseidents would all be looking forward, into the future, as we all look backward. Because their faces are on coins, and the united states uses a fiat currency, we can assume that these great forward looking men are telling us that we place an imaginary sense of grandeur on our past. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Syeda, Sun 29 Apr, 06:11

Scary stuff.  I work for a car accident lawyer from Dallas and we have the unfortunate duty of dealing with the death of loved ones on a constant basis.  The ‘knowing’ of one’s own death before it happens does not surprise me.  I’ve always believed in God, an afterlife and a wonderful world on the other side.

Jerry, Wed 26 Oct, 10:57

i can’t never imagine dying and it is the worst you can think of about life really. When i was learning How To Sing Better, i thought i could be like mariah carey.. but i can’t life’s life that, you think you work hard at it and you’ll get there you dont. and you think you can escape death, you can’t..

Kobe, Wed 10 Aug, 20:32

I enjoy every one of your articles Mike. Keep up the good work!

Denise, Tue 5 Apr, 09:20

thanks victor for your words of wisdom ,i recently came across my family papers from 1835 to 1939 from the battle of britain to its end in 1943

terence hotston, Sat 2 Apr, 05:59

Good article.  The three knocks used to mean death to me but now they often mean someone is saying hello.  It’s funny, one night I was frantically trying to figure out who might have died when I saw a ‘dead’ friend leaning on the wall and saying to the others:  “She’s going through the whole list…”  I told them they had to let me know who was saying hello from now on and they did.  Hilarious it was. 

I also felt I was dying one day and lay down to sleep… was in the tunnel when the phone rang.  A bit of advice:  If you feel you’re dying, take the phone off the hook!

Anne, Wed 30 Mar, 14:08

Kudos Mike, well done once again.

Ken S., Sun 27 Mar, 00:26

Being warned of impending death is something my family has become very used to. Usually it we get three sharp knocks on the window or door. When that happens the death of a family member is surely less than hours away. Sometimes I can be looking at a person and something about them just doesn’t seem right, something you can’t put your finger on that lingers with me and makes me feel very uneasy. The demise of that person is usually no more than two day away. On other occasions I’ve had dreams where two white featureless figures stand at the foot of my bed, one taller than the other, then I hear a funeral hymn, sure enough, days later word comes of a relatives death, then as we enter the church, the hymn I heard in my dream is being sung.
Mention this to a skeptic and they would laugh you to scorn or label you as a nutter. But, like minded experienced folk know the truth of it all.

Gerry, Sat 26 Mar, 05:17

The phenomena of premonition are very interesting. I suppose some of the Project Stargate remote viewers are famous modern-day psychics who have seen the future on some occasions. It might be useful to assemble a list of modern day people who have had useful premonitions on various kinds of events, not limited to deaths and births.

Rick, Fri 25 Mar, 05:47

My father was going in for quadruple bipass heart surgery and before he was to be operated on he said to me, his daughter, “You know if this is it, it’s okay.  I’ve lived a pretty good life.”  I told him that that was the wrong attitude to have before going in for a very serious surgery.  I truly believe that he knew his time was coming to an end.  The most amazing thing about his passing was that he was an atheist, but before he crossed over, his guardian angel took him to the other side to show him that there indeed was life on the other side.  This was very comforting to me and my family because he thought that when you died, it went black and that was all there was.  I was so thankful that he made that wonderful journey before he passed because I knew he would be okay on the other side.  He finally was shown and truly believed it.  In fact, when this incident happened, he said, “I’ve been an atheist all my life.  How can I not believe now?”

Leslie Van Ryn, Fri 25 Mar, 05:39

Received from Yvonne Limoges by e-mail:

Good article.
Happens all the time in our family…
and by relatives of those who will leave us as well.  Births, too, with the correct sex of the baby.
The spirit enters the spirit world every night.
We speak with our spirit guides, etc. Our spirit is told when it is time for us to return to the spirit world at the end of a particular material lifetime.
It is a matter of whether a person “remembers” or not. Those who are so materialized tend to brush the idea off. Those who are more intune with their feelings and such, either just know or have a vague intuition of it.

Michael Tymn, Wed 23 Mar, 02:04

Mike another wonderful post. You have done us a great service by putting it all together in this way.

wendy zammit, Tue 22 Mar, 01:46

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The Only Planet of Choice: Visitations – Many people use the word ‘Alien’ to describe a visitor from outer space. Extra terrestrial is another word, which is rather more user friendly. For the sake of the question and answer format, the word used by the questioner has been left, though even Tom questions our use of‘Alien’. Should we wish to foster openess between all beings of the Universe perhaps we should also look at our vocabulary? In a discussion between Andrew and Tom many years earlier, Andrew had asked Tom about UFOs and whether they were created manifestations. Tom had replied: “Many of the flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen”. Read here
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