REPORT ON THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE DREAM EXPERIMENT
Target: Front page news on Sunday, January 9, 1994
Brian O'Neill's column of December 16, 1993 yielded 11 letters from his readers, who recounted 36 dreams. Four judges were in unanimous agreement that two of those dreams contained content that later appeared in the Post-Gazette on January 9 1994. Both of these "hits" were of a photograph of a 66-year-old widow, Helen Lang, holding a framed photograph of her husband as a young serviceman. The accompanying story concerned his exposure to radiation while serving in the Army in the 1940s and 50s, and the government's failure to take responsibility for his symptoms of radiation exposure. He died of cancer at age 39. This story was paired with another on government sponsored radiation experiments on humans.
Dream hit #1: "I was looking through some high school year books or family photo albums... when one of the neighborhood kids wanted to come in and visit." Then "without any transition I am seeing the front of the newspaper. I suddenly blurt out to the neighborhood kid, 'Look Stevie! It's a married person!' I could see a woman's photo from the shoulders up, she reminded me of Eleanor Roosevelt, even though I could not see her face, I could see her grey hair..."
The judges remarked on the correspondence with "family photo," "a married person," "a woman's photo from the shoulders up," the appearance of an older woman, and the concurrence of the time period of the young serviceman with the era of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Dream hit # 2: The dreamer reported a long and complex dream where she was editing a news report for publication. "The story concerns a woman concealing medical records which she was under court order to produce." As the plot thickens, the dreamer receives a letter from an informant. "We 'published' a picture of this young letter-writer: a profile (looking toward the right side of the page) of a thin-faced, dark-haired young man." Later, the dreamer is passing by a factory when a woman "pointed to the factory...[and] I could see the heads of Hitler, Mussolini and someone I did not recognize projected out of the smokestacks."
The judges commented on correlations with "concealing medical records" as well the woman under court order. Not only does Helen Lang report on the Army's withholding information on her husband's medical condition, but the accompanying article states: "At the direction of Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary her department has vowed to 'come clean' on human radiation experiments..." The dreamer's publishing a picture of a young man corresponded with the published photograph of young Walter Lang. He too appears thin-faced and dark-haired, and faces the right side of the page. Finally, the smokestack images of Hitler and Mussolini reminded the judges of the era of the young serviceman. For some judges, those heads also served as an meaningful metaphor for the lethal pollution of radiation.
The next report covers a precognitive dream experiment conducted with memebrs of a dream study class.
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