Is it possible to predict the future?

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  • #1
Lisa!
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Well I can't believe thatsomeone would be able to predict the future. I want to have your ideas about people or even religions who claim they're able to predict the future events.And I mostly want to discuss about Nostradamus. What do you think of him? Did he really predict future events? What does sciense say about him?
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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I predict that the sun will rise over the great state of Oregon, in the eastern sky, on July 26th, at 5:50 AM PDT. :biggrin:

Oh my, Nostradamus. First of all, much of what you hear is flatly untrue. There are all sorts of statements credited to N that he in fact never said or wrote. What is true is mostly taken out of context and molded to fit modern events. There are a few interesting things here and there but nothing nearly so compelling as is widely reported. For example, one favorite reference is that of Hister [in Germany] over flowing its banks, or something like that, which is taken to mean Hitler. In fact the Hister was the old name for the Danube I think...anyway, its was a river not a mispelling of Hitler's name. And so it goes...

I have also found over the years that the reported predictions, especially the dates, keep changing. I can think of at least twice that according to reports about N and his quatrains, we should all be dead. April of 1984 was one date, and then after that date, I think it was 1994, [and now its something else] at which time we were warned by the great Orson Wells who did the show that about this: "Beware the coming of the comet, for men will become man-eaters" They had actually dubbed in different dates and ran the same show again about ten years later. :rolleyes:
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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Considering how Orson Wells first gained fame, ie. his infamous War Of The Worlds broadcast which nearly caused a national panic, he must have had a an especially satisfying laugh when he got the chance to end his career by pulling another one on the viewing public with his special on Nostradamus.
 
  • #4
Lisa!
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Ivan Seeking said:
I predict that the sun will rise over the great state of Oregon, in the eastern sky, on July 26th, at 5:50 AM PDT. :biggrin:
I predict your prediction will be true! :wink:

I have also found over the years that the reported predictions, especially the dates, keep changing. I can think of at least twice that according to reports about N and his quatrains, we should all be dead. April of 1984 was one date, and then after that date, I think it was 1994, [and now its something else] at which time we were warned by the great Orson Wells who did the show that about this: "Beware the coming of the comet, for men will become man-eaters" They had actually dubbed in different dates and ran the same show again about ten years later. :rolleyes:
Maybe he was talking about the death of altruism not humans! :uhh:
 
  • #5
Lisa!
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Ivan Seeking said:
Considering how Orson Wells first gained fame, ie. his infamous War Of The Worlds broadcast which nearly caused a national panic, he must have had a an especially satisfying laugh when he got the chance to end his career by pulling another one on the viewing public with his special on Nostradamus.
You're talking about what happened in 1938?
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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Yes, the events of 1938 marked his rise to fame. Then, not long before he died, or at least about the last thing that he did beside wine commercials, was a special on Nostradamus that has aired on and off for over twenty years now.
 
  • #7
Smurf
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The man who saw tomorrow?
 
  • #8
hypatia
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This is the one I loved...

http://www.amsiriano.com/nostradamus/II_24.php
 
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  • #9
If you make an abstract prophecy and establish no time to it, eventually something will happen that someone will be able to say is its fulfillment.
Some years ago a Canadian student, in an essay about Nostradamus, wrote the following
In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb
In 2001 someone found this quotation and attributed it to the terrorist attack to the twin towers of WTC. Even if NYC can hardly been called the city of God, the fortress (the USA) has endured and a (not so) great leader (Saddan Hussein) has succumbed.
And it took only a few years, not several centuries for the fulfillment of the prophecy.
 
  • #10
mepcotterell
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I predict the future all the time. Now, whether or not I'm consistently accurate is another story.
 
  • #11
MaxS
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Lisa! said:
Well I can't believe thatsomeone would be able to predict the future. I want to have your ideas about people or even religions who claim they're able to predict the future events.And I mostly want to discuss about Nostradamus. What do you think of him? Did he really predict future events? What does sciense say about him?

You can't predict the future but you can set up algorythms to predict the probability of certain future events =).
 
  • #12
zoobyshoe
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SGT said:
Some years ago a Canadian student, in an essay about Nostradamus, wrote the following

That sounds like fun. Here's one I just made up:

Zoobstrodamus said:
When Aquarius is mounted by the Great Silver Serpent two will reach the summit, and three will be left behind. The congregations of the East will sing, while those of the North lament, and nowhere can the Rod of the Ocean be found.
 
  • #13
Nice! Your prediction is vague enough that it can fit any event. I don't know if your prophecy will be fulfilled next week, next century or next millennium, but it certainly will.
If, as has been made with the prophecies of Nostradamus, it is translated in another language, the translator can twist it to best fit any happening.
 
  • #14
genep
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timeless light

To predict the future is to get ahead of light that has no time to travel, and yet it travels so fast that it makes everything, with time, stationary; and thus timeless.

And you want to predict the future – why not, after all, the mind is what it thinks it thinks be it the timeless-light or everything else that has time but only because it is stationary. Predicting the future should fit in there real easily.

-- just thoughts
 
  • #15
mapper
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For example, one favorite reference is that of Hister [in Germany] over flowing its banks, or something like that, which is taken to mean Hitler. In fact the Hister was the old name for the Danube I think...anyway, its was a river not a mispelling of Hitler's name. And so it goes...

Hitler apparently grew up beside that river called Hister. Interesting...
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking said:
For example, one favorite reference is that of Hister [in Germany] over flowing its banks, or something like that, which is taken to mean Hitler. In fact the Hister was the old name for the Danube I think...anyway, its was a river not a mispelling of Hitler's name. And so it goes...
The original quatrain was:

Bêtes farouches de faim fleuves tranner;
Plus part du champ encore Hister sera,
En caige de fer le grand sera treisner,
Quand rien enfant de Germain observa. (II.24)
Erika Cheetham (The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus, 1989) has translated to English as:
Beasts wild with hunger will cross the rivers,
The greater part of the battle will be against Hitler.
He will cause great men to be dragged in a cage of iron,
When the son of Germany obeys no law.
Knowing that Hister was the name of the lower Danube, James Randi offered a more sensible explanation:
Beasts mad with hunger will swim across rivers,
Most of the army will be against the Lower Danube.
The great one shall be dragged in an iron cage
When the child brother will observe nothing.
We must remember that Germany is called Allemagne in French. Germain comes from latin germanus from germen , meaning from the same blood, having the same father and mother.
 
  • #17
zoobyshoe
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SGT, are you sure you copied this line correctly:

"Plus part du champ encore Hister sera" ?
 
  • #18
zoobyshoe
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SGT said:
Nice! Your prediction is vague enough that it can fit any event. I don't know if your prophecy will be fulfilled next week, next century or next millennium, but it certainly will.
If, as has been made with the prophecies of Nostradamus, it is translated in another language, the translator can twist it to best fit any happening.
You could translate it into Spanish, then have some American whose Spanish isn't very fluent translate it from your Spanish back to English. Then we'll have two different English versions for people to match to real events.

Oh no. I feel another one coming on:

Zoobstrodamus said:
Orion lies down when the moon finds her home, and the markets are bustling with commerce. Many ships are launched, and many more are built. But a great disaster to the West causes Kings and Princes to retire to privacy while their subjects mourn and make mischief
 
  • #19
zoobyshoe said:
SGT, are you sure you copied this line correctly:

"Plus part du champ encore Hister sera" ?
You are right. The correct line is:
Plus part du camp encontre Hister sera,
 
  • #20
Lisa!
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Did anyone predict what would happen in Sep. 11th?
 
  • #21
Zantra
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I will say this. I've read quite a few of the nostradaumus quatrains as quoted in the original french (I can read french). They are mostly vague, open-ended and could be applied to any world event in the timelines. Add to that people twisting or rearranging the translation, if not farbricating it completely, and you will easily see why there's no actual proof his "predictions" aren't just a nice story. for instance he might have said something like:

The great lion fears the Eagle, and allies with the bear.
The son of the king weighs his options
fire rains upon the the new city
Fire, plagues pestilence run rampant

I'm paraphrasing, but this would be a closer representation to a true quatrain. Nostradamus was big on symbolism. But this also makes it too vague. The lion and the eagle? a scholar might say this is Russia and the US. But it could also be 2 other countries, or it could reference 2 opposing factions from medevial times. King Richard used a lion on his crest.. it could refer to him. Then it talks about the "new city" Everyone claims this is "new york" but he never says "new york". He says "new city" this could be ANY city that at some point in the timeline was new. It could e new orleans, or any number of cities. This is a favorite of doomsdayers because they use the quatrain that refers to "new city" to refer to some nuclear event in NY, and they tried to use it to refer to 9/11. People twist the facts to suit their purpose, but it's just vagueness. I could say "a great man will die on a sunday" and if anyone in time of any significance ever dies on a sunday, I'm a prophet.

Here's a better example:

X. 72.
L'an mil neuf cens nonante neuf sept mois
Du ciel viendra vn grand Roy d'effrayeur
Resusciter le grand Roy d'Angolmois,
Auant apres Mars regner par bon heur

This is my tranlation, I'll try not to hack it too bad

The year 1999, seventh month
from the sky will come a great king of terror
reviving(?) the great king of the mongols(?)
before(avant?) after Mars reigns for a good hour

Well, nothing happening during that month that I recall. This AFAIK is the only quatrain that references a specific date for war. And it's wrong.
 
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  • #22
zoobyshoe
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Zantra said:
I will say this. I've read quite a few of the nostradaumus quatrains as quoted in the original french (I can read french).
I agree with your whole post. This part about French though, is even more complicated than you've laid out. We're talking not only about poetic French, but about old French. There's more to being able to understand Elizabethan authors than speaking modern English, and the same applies to any language of 500 years ago.

Is "plus part" an old form of "plupart," i.e. does it say "La plupart du camp..."? or does it mean "plus, part du camp..." The first means, "the greater part of the army..." and the latter would mean "Moreover, the allegiance of the army ("part" being "side" or "concern of"). One of the translators of the quatrain cited by SGT chose one interpretation and the other chose the alternate.

In the same line: "plus part du camp encontre Hister sera" I have to wonder what's up with the bare word "encontre". Isn't it true that, in modern French anyway, this is only used in the phrase "a l'encontre de"? Why doesn't the line read: "plus part du camp a l'encontre de Hister sera"? Does it mean exactly the same thing in the French of Nostrodamus' time, or is there some other spin on the meaning of it only a scholar of the French of that era could fathom?

-----

Additionally, Nostradamus gave "times" for his predictions in the form of statements about where certain astrological figures and stars would be in the sky when a predicted event would take place. Apparently these are specific enough that an astonomer can say "Yes, that particular configuration of the night sky is not random and will denote a particular point in time." The trouble is that these turn out not to be unique. A particular configuration may come round every 20 years or every two centuries, or whatever, and no one has any way of pointing to one and saying "This is when the prophecy will be fullfilled."

A few years ago one of these alignments came around exactly as N had predicted and it was associated with a big disaster in a city some interpreted to be Los Angeles. Actor Eddie Murphy left LA during that time specifically out of nervousness the prophey would come true. Aside from doubt about whether LA was referred to it turns out that same configration of astronomical features had already occurred twice since N's time, and would again after the LA scare.
 
  • #23
Zantra
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zoobyshoe said:
I agree with your whole post. This part about French though, is even more complicated than you've laid out. We're talking not only about poetic French, but about old French. There's more to being able to understand Elizabethan authors than speaking modern English, and the same applies to any language of 500 years ago.

Is "plus part" an old form of "plupart," i.e. does it say "La plupart du camp..."? or does it mean "plus, part du camp..." The first means, "the greater part of the army..." and the latter would mean "Moreover, the allegiance of the army ("part" being "side" or "concern of"). One of the translators of the quatrain cited by SGT chose one interpretation and the other chose the alternate.

In the same line: "plus part du camp encontre Hister sera" I have to wonder what's up with the bare word "encontre". Isn't it true that, in modern French anyway, this is only used in the phrase "a l'encontre de"? Why doesn't the line read: "plus part du camp a l'encontre de Hister sera"? Does it mean exactly the same thing in the French of Nostrodamus' time, or is there some other spin on the meaning of it only a scholar of the French of that era could fathom?

-----

Additionally, Nostradamus gave "times" for his predictions in the form of statements about where certain astrological figures and stars would be in the sky when a predicted event would take place. Apparently these are specific enough that an astonomer can say "Yes, that particular configuration of the night sky is not random and will denote a particular point in time." The trouble is that these turn out not to be unique. A particular configuration may come round every 20 years or every two centuries, or whatever, and no one has any way of pointing to one and saying "This is when the prophecy will be fullfilled."

A few years ago one of these alignments came around exactly as N had predicted and it was associated with a big disaster in a city some interpreted to be Los Angeles. Actor Eddie Murphy left LA during that time specifically out of nervousness the prophey would come true. Aside from doubt about whether LA was referred to it turns out that same configration of astronomical features had already occurred twice since N's time, and would again after the LA scare.


Ugg.. ok you caught me zoob :wink: You are correct that it is more complicated. And I'll be the first to admit that while my contemporary french is decent, I have no knowledge of older french grammar. Maybe a native frenchman with a better knowledge of french grammar could be more specific. I haven't practiced regularly in over 10 years, so I may be a little rusty. Pluspart would also refer to the majority. as for a l'encountre, literally wouldn't make sense. Actually the whole line doesn't make sense

Plus part du camp encontre Hister sera.

This means the greater part of the encampment (encontre isn't a word and I couldn't find it in a dictionary, could be an old word though) Hister will be.

This may not have been copied somewhere corrrectly, but it should read:

Le plus parte du camp sera contre hister. I believe

contre is against, but like I said, I'm a bit rusty. But that's the correct grammatic order I believe.

So it would mean the majority of the encampment will be against hister.

Hister being a river, it could refer to some group setup near the hister. Very ambiguous.

And I can't tell if some of this is just typos, or it's actually just old french spelling. Take this:

Du ciel viendra vn grand Roy d'effrayeur

It should be Roi and frayeur. I don't recall adding an "e" to nouns.

So I would say roi de frayeur.


Of course this could just be poetic french, I'm not sure. I don't know all the tenses and there are approximately 60's tenses in french, including some such as passe histoire that aren't common except in the written french. But one thing stands out 'vn' should be "un". That's an obvious typo.
 
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  • #24
Zantra said:
But one thing stands out 'vn' should be "un". That's an obvious typo.
Not a typo. Ancient languages used v for u . If you see old Latin inscriptions you will see this. In Paris there is an arc with the inscription Lvdovicvs meaning one of the Louis kings. I don't remember wich, but I think it is XIV. Some Parisian poster can confirm that.
 
  • #25
zoobyshoe
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Zantra said:
Ugg.. ok you caught me zoob :wink: You are correct that it is more complicated. And I'll be the first to admit that while my contemporary french is decent, I have no knowledge of older french grammar.
This little bio of N gives his dates as 1503-1566:

Articles: Nostrodamus - Son of Provence
Address:http://www.heart-of-provence.com/nostrodamus.html [Broken]

And we also see that he was a native of Provence, which probably complicates things with a regional dialect.
-------
(encontre isn't a word and I couldn't find it in a dictionary, could be an old word though)
My cassell's has encontre, but specifically refers to it as only being used in the prepositional phrase a' l'encontre de: against, counter to.

SGT has covered the substitution of v for u. That is sometimes seen on monuments inscribed in English as well.

I know that in English at the time of Nostradamus, spelling wasn't fixed at all; it was every man for himself when it came to spelling. I am guessing it was the same situation for all languages where alternate spellings were possible: you end up with a different spelling system for every writer you read.

Then we have to wonder if any of his prophecies still exist written in his own hand. Are we actually looking at copies of copies that have been altered little by little, or do the originals exist? I'm sure someone could find that out with enough googling, and probably find either the originals, if they exist, or the oldest known copies. Still, even someone fluent in French is going to find a lot of weird words, spellings, and grammatical constructions that they have no real idea how to translate into English.
 
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  • #26
zoobyshoe said:
My cassell's has encontre, but specifically refers to it as only being used in the prepositional phrase a' l'encontre de: against, counter to.
From the Petit Robert :
ENCONTRE (À L') loc. adv. (XIIIe; encontre, prép., Xe;bas lat. incontra )...
So, now we have a locution adverbiale (I don't know how to call it in English), but in the 13th century it was a preposition, meaning against .
 
  • #27
zoobyshoe
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SGT said:
So, now we have a locution adverbiale (I don't know how to call it in English),
It just means adverbial term or phrase.
but in the 13th century it was a preposition, meaning against .
This is still a little ambiguous in English.

"plus part du camp encontre Hister sera"

could mean "The greater part of the army will be set up at the banks of the lower Danube." if we take "against" to indicate position. This is just as good, if not better, than "The greater part of the army will be against the lower Danube," in the sense of "against the people or government located at the lower Danube." It's very hard to say if the latter is suggested or not.

Anyway, good work digging that 13th century usage up.
 
  • #28
Zantra
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zoobyshoe said:
It just means adverbial term or phrase.

This is still a little ambiguous in English.

"plus part du camp encontre Hister sera"

could mean "The greater part of the army will be set up at the banks of the lower Danube." if we take "against" to indicate position. This is just as good, if not better, than "The greater part of the army will be against the lower Danube," in the sense of "against the people or government located at the lower Danube." It's very hard to say if the latter is suggested or not.

Anyway, good work digging that 13th century usage up.

actually unlike in english, french has 2 separate words for against signifying an action and the one meaning a location. So if he meant location, he likely would have said "pres du la hister". Of course vagueness still stands in general.
 
  • #29
Chronos
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Very dense material. Something newsworthy may happen tommorow? Hilarious, take that and run with it. When I see a single, definitive prediction of 'tomorrow', I will believe... all I ask for is the winning lottery numbers. Of course all the 'true' psychics have already won the lottery, hence, only the fakes are left for us to judge...
 
  • #30
loseyourname
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True psychics don't sell lottery numbers. They play the lottery.
 
  • #31
zoobyshoe
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Chronos said:
all I ask for is the winning lottery numbers.
4-34-23-7-42-13

However, I have no idea when or where.
 
  • #32
EnumaElish
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Lisa! said:
Well I can't believe thatsomeone would be able to predict the future.
I do not necessarily believe in paranormal or supernatural phenomena. I have a Ph.D. and have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I personally experienced two events that really changed my thinking about that type of phenomena.

1. There was an eathquake in Seattle a few years back and I was asleep when it happened (I live a few 1,000 miles to the east). Close to the time when it happened, I dreamt of a HS classmate who was then (and is now) living in Seattle. She was in a supermarket kind of place except she wasn't shopping, she was kind of taking refuge from something, or waiting out something. There were other people who were asking her whether she was okay. When I woke up I called her to tell her about the dream but instead she told me about the earthquake.

2. A few years back I was going to fly over Europe with a stopover in Ireland. My return date was September 11, 2001. Before I even flew out, I dreamt of being stuck in an airplane and being separated from home for some time. Then I mostly forgot all about it. On my way back, we landed normally into Ireland, refueled and were waiting for the takeoff. We kept getting delayed for no explicable reason. Then rumors started to go around. Then there was an announcement to the effect that all airports were being shut down and we had to stay in Ireland until further notice. When I heard the announcement, I thought, "a-ha!" Only then was I able to make any sense of my earlier dream.

I think these kind of phenomena have physical explanations, only we are not as advanced as to be able to scientifically explain such phenomena. We are sort of like the early human who saw lightning as a sign from the world beyond.
 
  • #33
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Ivan Seeking said:
For example, one favorite reference is that of Hister [in Germany] over flowing its banks, or something like that, which is taken to mean Hitler. In fact the Hister was the old name for the Danube I think...anyway, its was a river not a mispelling of Hitler's name. And so it goes...
Actually, Nostradamas wasn't wrong; Hister's parents were. They misspelled his name.
 
  • #34
Kerrie
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I believe it is possible to predict people's tendencies and reactions based on how much knowledge you have of them personally and how much you understand human nature. I believe it is someday possible that we can predict more major natural disasters because we will have a better understanding of how our nature here on Earth and outside of our Earth works. I think the main function science serves humanity is turning the mysterious and unknown into logical explanations with understanding and knowledge of how the energies of all that exists moves.

Note: I use "science" as an umbrella term from everything to psychology to geology.

So, to answer your question, Yes, I do believe it is possible to predict the future.

As far as Nostradamus goes, from what I have read, it seems his verbage is so vague you can interpret it anyway you like.
 
  • #35
Lisa!
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EnumaElish said:
I do not necessarily believe in paranormal or supernatural phenomena. I have a Ph.D. and have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I personally experienced two events that really changed my thinking about that type of phenomena.

1. There was an eathquake in Seattle a few years back and I was asleep when it happened (I live a few 1,000 miles to the east). Close to the time when it happened, I dreamt of a HS classmate who was then (and is now) living in Seattle. She was in a supermarket kind of place except she wasn't shopping, she was kind of taking refuge from something, or waiting out something. There were other people who were asking her whether she was okay. When I woke up I called her to tell her about the dream but instead she told me about the earthquake.

2. A few years back I was going to fly over Europe with a stopover in Ireland. My return date was September 11, 2001. Before I even flew out, I dreamt of being stuck in an airplane and being separated from home for some time. Then I mostly forgot all about it. On my way back, we landed normally into Ireland, refueled and were waiting for the takeoff. We kept getting delayed for no explicable reason. Then rumors started to go around. Then there was an announcement to the effect that all airports were being shut down and we had to stay in Ireland until further notice. When I heard the announcement, I thought, "a-ha!" Only then was I able to make any sense of my earlier dream.

I think these kind of phenomena have physical explanations, only we are not as advanced as to be able to scientifically explain such phenomena. We are sort of like the early human who saw lightning as a sign from the world beyond.
Interesting! So you mean some of your dreams came true. I think there are lots of examples of these kind of dreams but I don't know if people consider them as a ability to predict the future! AS you mentioned you didn't care about your dreams till they came true. But I think Nostradamus predictions are abit different! I don't know if nostradamus predicted the future by his dreams. Perhaps he didn't care about his dreams at first just like you but after they came tru for lots of times, he decided to write about them! I don't believe in his predictions. But I want to know if they had scientific base or he just dreamed about them.
 

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