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Mysterious voice awakened a woman who was able to save herself and two girls

  1. May 22, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    A few thoughts on infrasound and travel fatigue

    http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/8717506.htm

    Lets keep any comments to "a voice"; no God discussions please.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2004 #2
    Given how thick the smoke apparently was, it sounds like part of her unconscious knew something had to be really wrong and created the voice to wake her up to deal with it.

    I have often had the experience of assimilating actual physical stimuli into the fabric of my dreams in order to avoid letting them wake me up. I often am able to do this with alarm clocks: I weave the sound into the dream as something other than what it is in order to sleep through it. By the same mechanism, I suspect this woman turned this unfamiliar and obviously dangerous smell into a voice that she had to respond to.
     
  4. May 22, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was thinking the same thing. One of my hell weeks for work involved a dead CAT Scan and about four days with no sleep. When I finally finished I had to drive about three or four miles down the freeway to get home. I kept falling asleep while driving on the freeway. I would be driving along when this funny buzzing noise kept entering my head. It would get louder and louder until my head snapped up and I realized that I had been dreaming while I was driving. It woke me up four or five times before I got home. It seems clear to me that either someone was taking care of me, or some kind of survival mechanism was kicking in.
     
  5. May 22, 2004 #4
    WOW!

    This is the trouble with states of mind like that: you often lose the good sence not to do things you're in no condition to do. You were lucky.

    Interesting thing you may not want to hear: very loud buzzing noises are known simple partial seizure symptoms. I've had this happen to me three times, I think. Once I was at some guys house applying to rent a room. I was in a state of extreme anxiety at the time because I had to be out of where I was in a week and had had no luck finding a new place. Right while I was talking to this guy I heard what sounded like a large bumble bee hovering about an inch away from my left ear. I'd heard the same thing years before while dropping off to sleep, once, and I recall there being another incident, but not the circumstances. Later, I read several reports of this in the epilepsy literature. Some people hear it as a buzzing that increases to a roar like a jet engine.
     
  6. May 22, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well, considering the circumstances in my drive home, simple partial seizures might be expected??? I was in a state of exhaustion that was beyond my physical limits.

    I worked with another engineer who had the strangest reaction to sleep deprivation. While he was sitting and working, a something hundred pound gizmo fell from the rafters and nearly crushed him. It landed only a few feet to his side. He looked up and thought [approx], "wow, that's funny, that almost hit me", then he went back to work. He kept thinking how strange it was that he wasn't getting more excited. A little while later when a collegue walked up to him, he alluded to the thing sitting next to him, which was not there...he had hallucinated the entire episode!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2004
  7. May 22, 2004 #6
    Exactly. Sleep deprivation is an excellent way to lower the seizure threshold. People who are undergoing video EEGs, in hospital, are intentionally sleep deprived in the hope of provoking seizures that can be monitored and recorded. This is to help locate the focus and also to determine the kind of seizure. It would be perfectly normal for anyone to experience simple partials if they were sleep deprived for four days. One guy I know had only had one deja vu in his whole life which occured after he went 24 hours without sleep while traveling.
    You told this story once before. I don't think this kind of elaborate hallucination is all that uncommon with severe sleep deprivation. I've heard several stories. There is a point where everyone essentially becomes psychotic if they lose enough sleep. Also their motor control is shot.

    People who sail long distances in small sailboats, like across oceans, often hallucinate. Sleep deprivation is what I suspect most, but I often wonder if the exposure to so much salt plays a part, since drinking salt water also causes hallucinations. I wonder, also, if the constant assault on the inner ear occasioned by the constant up and down motion contributes.

    Joshua Slocum reported an exceptionally elaborate hallucination while at sea, but he attributed it to some goat cheese he had eaten when stopped in the canarie Islands: He fell asleep, and woke up to find someone else on the boat with him steering the boat while he slept. The other guy claimed to be Cristopher Columbus' helmsman who had taken over to steer him through some dangerous waters while he was sleeping.
     
  8. May 23, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Last edited: May 23, 2004
  9. May 31, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    It gets better. The failure was due to a catostrophic short circuit in the the X-Ray tube cooling system. This involves 110, 220, and 15000 volt circuitry. With only five hours of sleep in four days, I'm working with all this stuff strung out like spagetti with all sorts of jumpers and manual switches that allowed me to simulate the automated functions so that scanning could continue.

    It is really amazing how when sleep deprived one can function at a high level at certain tasks, while being virtually incapable of functioning in many other modes. I could keep track of the various temps, pressuires, voltages, currents, and sequences to be performed, but I had a hard time talking coherently. I might easily walk into the door jam or forget where I left my truck.

    This makes me think of the recent article about auto-mode for driving. The suggestion [maybe serious theory...I would have to find the article] is that two levels of consciousness exist, and that a lower level "automatic mode" of consciousness can take over when our conscious attention is lost for some reason. The classic examples being statements like: "I didn't remember anything about the drive home", or "I was thinking about such and such and I wasn't even paying attention to the road".
     
  10. May 31, 2004 #9

    Kerrie

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    intuition is quite useful, but we are taught to doubt it because we are afterall only human. i think this is a typical case of it, but those who never use it declare it "divine" in a religious manner. you hear a lot about the mother's who have it developed, and i can vouch for that with my own experience:

    about 5 years ago my ex-husband wanted to take my 3 year old and 6 month old child to a reptile zoo, as his family were reptile fanatics (not a big fan of reptiles myself and it is not a wonder we are now divorced). that particular day i had to work, but he wanted to go. it didn't settle right with me, but instead of starting an argument over it, i begged him to not allow my daughter to get near any of the pythons this particular museum had. he promised, and they went. a few hours later, he called me telling me the owner of the reptile zoo had to go to the hospital after one of her hungry pythons squeezed her so hard it knocked the wind out of her. after years of owning this zoo, this was only one of the two incidences she had with the snakes.

    it could have been coincidence, but i have never ignored my intuition, and so far it has steered me and others clear of possible negative situations.
     
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