J.W. Dunne: dreaming the future


dunneJohn William Dunne (1875-1949) was an Irish engineer and airplane designer who, in 1927, posited a theory that dreams are precognitive.  This theory came of personal study and of gathering of accounts from others.  He published his findings in An Experiment in Time (1927).




Dunne and his influence are the subjects of a new research project, Dreaming the Future, headed by Katy Price at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. The project is an experiment in how academic research and public engagement can influence each other from an early stage. Instead of conducting scholarly research and telling people about it afterwards, the aim is to talk about Dunne with as many different groups as possible, allowing these encounters to shape research questions and outputs.A_dream;_an_owl_flies_overhead,_while_large_and_small_figures_Wellcome_L0033512

Dreaming the Future seeks collaborators from all quarters. Perspectives, questions and comments on Dunne and his influence are welcomed from all readers, both within and beyond academic circles. International perspectives are especially welcome.

This project is committed to keeping an open mind about whether or not precognitive dreams are possible. The intention is not to prove or disprove Dunne’s theory, but to show that belief in dreaming the future is a rich cultural resource that is still serving readers, writers, film-makers, philosophers and psychologists today.

Genuine and fictional accounts of precognitive dreaming are welcome: please use the contact form. You may also wish to submit non-fictional accounts to Anthony Peake.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia

How Soon is Now? (A Short Story)

by Michelle Foster

‘…the essential significance of a pea is not, that I know, greatly affected by the fact that it lies in a row of similar peas. But each swing of the pendulum owes the extent of its movement to the previous swing.’

John William Dunne, An Experiment with Time

Blink. Blink. Blink.  One by one, the gas lamps go out.  From the impenetrable darkness, a tumult, a roar, building to a crescendo rushes towards me. It is coming.

Then I see him.  He nods at me slowly.


I look at him, then up to the destroying angel above us. I understand.  This is the end of days and it’s all my fault. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…

Coming soon in two parts.


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