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Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and the author of The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (Hutchinson, £17.99). His website is

Archive for Thursday 29th April 2004 - Unexplained Powers: Tuning In by Rupert Sheldrake

Last month I wrote about the way many people think of tunes, then turn on the radio and find that very song is playing. This might just be coincidence, but often seems to be more than that. People may sometimes pick up tunes telepathically from those already listening to them.

Lisa in Croydon told me, “It happens all the time - I’ll be singing something and it will be on the radio or TV when I switch it on.” Soibhan said, “I was singing a tune when I switched the radio on, and the same song was playing at the exact point I’d reached.”

Altogether, 48 readers told me of experiences with songs that could be telepathic. Almost as many thought of tunes that came on the radio soon afterwards. This could be precognitive. Maz in London says, “I often sing a song then the next minute it will be on the radio.” Jennifer finds, “I’m thinking of a tune and then it plays. It’s like I know its going to be on the radio next.”

car Anticipating songs may seem trivial, but feeling something is about to happen can be a matter of life or death. When Catherine was driving in fast traffic, she suddenly “felt” an accident in the making, and started braking: “A second later, the car just ahead of me spun out of control.” If she had not had this anticipation, she would have been in a serious crash.

Leto in London was sleeping in the same room as her baby, who was in a cot under the window. She suddenly woke up, and an “inner voice” told her to go to the baby. Then, she said, “The voice urgently, like an order, told me to move the cot instantly away from the window. I moved it just before the heavy wooden curtain box collapsed, falling exactly where the cot had been.”

Presentiments, feeling things in advance, make sense in terms of evolution, and would be favoured by natural selection. People and animals that sense impending danger would tend to survive better than those that do not.

Rupert Sheldrake would like to hear from readers who have had presentiments of danger. Email Rupert Sheldrake's researcher, with subject heading: Rupert Sheldrake.

Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake is the author of several books including:

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