Twin physically reacted when his brother was shot even though he was miles away when it happened
Posted on 21 April 2012, 15:52
Early in the evening of 27 November 1975, the writer and television personality Ross McWhirter was shot in the head and chest by two gunmen on the doorstep of his north London home. He was rushed to hospital, but was declared dead on or shortly after arrival, before his identical twin brother Norris could reach his bedside. The murder made the front pages of the following day’s newspapers, for the McWhirters, (below) editors of the Guinness Book of Records, were probably Britain’s best known pair of twins after the notorious criminal Kray brothers (of whom more later).
When I heard the news on the radio that night I found myself wondering if there was any truth in the claim that twins could pick up each other’s thoughts and feelings at a distance? I had read somewhere that telepathy – the receiving of information by other than our normal ﬁve senses – was common between twins, especially at times of crisis, and since murder is the most extreme crisis imaginable, I thought here was a good opportunity to put that theory to the test.
The problem was that I did not know Norris McWhirter, and did not feel like writing to ask what he felt, if anything, when Ross was killed. I did, however, eagerly read his biographical tribute to his brother which was published the following year, but ﬁnding that there was no mention of telepathy in it, I decided that while some twins might be telepathic, these two had not been. Even so, the incident stuck in my mind, and I began asking around in the hope of ﬁnding somebody who knew Norris well enough to ask him, after a decent interval, if he had felt anything at the time of Ross’s death. He might have, I thought, but might have preferred not to mention it in his book. However, I could not ﬁnd anybody who knew him at all, so it seemed there was nothing more I could do.
Fortunately, I was wrong. More than twenty years later I had one of those lucky breaks that make you think you do have a guardian angel after all. As I will describe in more detail in due course, I was able to get an eye-witness account from somebody who had been with Norris McWhirter at the time of the shooting and yes, he had unmistakably reacted. Moreover, he had reacted in a dramatic way, almost as if he too had been shot – by an invisible bullet. So it seemed there could be a special twin connection after all. I decided it was time for some proper research. I published four appeals for evidence, and asked everybody I met if they knew any twins. Early results were disappointing – the only twins I knew or was able to meet had never had any experience of the sort I was looking for, and I received fewer replies than I had hoped.
Even so, the evidence began to trickle in and it soon became clear that one twin often reacted to what was happening to the other, and this nearly always seemed to be something painful, frightening or life-threatening. Here are just a few of my early cases, all of them collected directly from the source:
* A mother is holding one of her twin babies when he suddenly goes into convulsions and screams in terror for no obvious reason. His twin is lying silently on the couch beside her, face downwards. He is turning blue and suffocating. His mother is convinced that she only managed to save him because his brother sounded the alarm. The twins are just three days
* A ﬁve-month-old wakes up as the clock strikes ten and startles his father by crying desperately for a quarter of an hour as if in pain, then suddenly stopping and going straight back to sleep. In a hospital several miles away his brother is having a painful injection. His mother, who is with him, happens to note the time – 10 p.m.
* The mother of another pair of ﬁve-month-olds notices that when one of them is having his inoculations, he takes them quite calmly – but the other one yells his head off.
* A student at a New York university wakes up suddenly at 6 am., certain that something had happened to her sister in Arizona. So it had – a bomb had just gone off right outside her home.
* The sister of a London woman who is having a painful pregnancy telephones from Australia begging the obstetrician to operate as soon as he can. ‘I can’t stand the pain’, she says. The obstetrician tells me this kind of thing is quite common with twins.
My new ﬁle got thicker and thicker. There was the case of the Manchester man who woke up with a start, feeling as if he had just been hit on the head, and learning the next day that at exactly the same time his twin had fallen and banged his head. There were the two brothers who went skiing on different pistes in the Alps and both fell, breaking the same leg in the same place, again at exactly the same time. There was the little Spanish girl who suddenly developed a red blister on her hand at the time her sister, several miles away, burned her hand with an iron, causing an identical blister. There was the woman in New York who was suddenly taken ill, saying that she felt as if she was having a baby, which she certainly wasn’t. Her sister in Europe was, though, several weeks prematurely.
So it went on and on. The evidence was abundant, compelling, and above all consistent.
Extract from Twin Telepathy by Guy Playfair published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and all good online bookstores.