Extraordinary People - Monday September 10

extraordinary people: the man who dreams the future

Five’s acclaimed documentary strand continues with another batch of absorbing programmes exploring remarkable stories of human experience. Tonight’s programme tells the story of Chris Robinson who claims to have foreseen the attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the 7/7 London bombings. When the desperate parents of a missing woman ask him for help, Chris’s claims are tested –can he really dream the future?

Chris Robinson is a seemingly ordinary man. He lives in Dunstable with his wife and children, working as a cleaner and living a normal life. But when he is asleep, it is a different story. He dreams of death and destruction, of places and events he has never seen or experienced –and it is this that has brought him international attention.

Six years ago, Chris spoke to Professor Gary Schwartz, then director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health at the University of Arizona. “He was saying things that went beyond anything that I had ever been taught,” recalls Schwartz. “My first question was: ‘Is Christopher Robinson sane? Is this a delusional man who is semi-paranoid, who is inventing a whole series of misperceptions and self-deceptions?’”

Although sceptical, Schwartz was sufficiently intrigued to accept the challenge to scientifically evaluate Chris’s claims. In a series of tests that have become known as the Arizona Experiments, Schwartz asked Chris to dream about the features of a unknown location to which he would be taken the next morning. One particular dream came as a shock: a nightmare about planes crashing into tall buildings. Two days later, the 9/11 attacks took place.

“Sometimes I actually see very, very clearly and very, very vividly what will happen, like 9/11 or the 7/7 bombing,” explains Chris. But sometimes his dreams are coded, with complex symbology which he has now learned to read.

Some of the most conservative and down-toearth institutions are surprisingly interested in the possibility of pre-cognition and other psychic phenomena. In 1995 it was revealed that $140 million had been spent on a long-running CIA project that used telepathic communicators in an attempt to glean intelligence information during the Cold War. One of its key personnel was John Petersen, now director of the Washington thinktank the Arlington Institute, which specialises in futurology. “I had heard the briefings at the Pentagon and there was no question that this was real, and that convinced me that there is far more to this reality than what conventional, mainline science understands and admits,” remembers Peterson.

However, not everyone is so certain. Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, University of London, is about to subject Chris Robinson’s claims to his own scrutiny. “As a scientist, I’m not convinced that precognition is real,” he says, hoping to find out the truth with a series of tests he has specifically devised for this programme.

In Japan, Chris Robinson has just passed a different type of test. He had been attempting to dream the whereabouts of student Mayuke Kawase, missing in the USA since 2001. At the end of last year, he proposed on live TV that she had been killed and her body buried on a campsite on Morgan Road, Oklahoma City, USA. And while this programme was being filmed, Mayuke Kawase’s body was indeed found on a campsite on that road.

News of Chris’s reputed talents have now reached a couple in Phoenix, Arizona – where Chris first came to international attention. Phil and Lynda Randolph want his help in a search that is tearing their lives apart. Can his dreams help find the Randolphs’ missing daughter, Marcy?

About the author

  • Anonymous

    Since seeing the programme on channel 5 yesterday, I would be most interested to contact Chris Robinson, as I have this same ability and would like to discuss this matter further. If you could send me his e-mail address it would be most appreciated.

    Thank You.

  • sue green

    I watch the program and is convinced he is genuine, i to have a small bit of this ability, but i tend to dream mundane things, although they do come true in much detail, i occasionly dream of bigger things but these happen a year or so later, like the resent flooding, i have had recurring dreams a few weeks ago about coal like stuff coming from the sky????

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