A Near Thing

Of the loss of the Titanic there is one perfectly attested premonition.

‘On the 23d of March the Hon. J. Cannon Middleton booked a passage on the ill-fated ship, which was announced to sail on April 10. About the end of March he dreamed that he saw her floating keel upward, her passengers and crew swimming round her. The same dream was repeated the following night. Though feeling very uneasy, he told no one and took no action. But on April 4 he received a cable suggesting, for business reasons, that he postpone his journey. He consequently canceled his ticket, and then related his dream to his wife and three friends, all of whom testify to his having done so. He also produces as evidence his canceled ticket and the cable delaying his journey.’

Here the facts seem to be beyond dispute; but it is, of course, impossible to rule out the theory of coincidence. It should be noted, however, that Mr. Middleton had crossed the Atlantic a dozen times, and had never before had any such premonition or felt any nervousness. The coincidence that, just on this occasion, he should twice have a warning dream is certainly very strange.

— William Archer, “Can We Foretell the Future?”, McClure’s Magazine, December 1915