The history of precognition or the ability to see into the future has been recognized since the ancient times, when seers, diviners, and mediums were regularly sought by kings and ordinary people alike for their access to the future. However, scientific studies on the phenomena were not conducted until recently. It was British aeronautics engineer, J.W. Dunne who first conducted a systematic study on precognition after discovering that his dreams happened a few days after having them. Dunne began his study on precognition and discovered that he shared the same ability with numerous others. In 1927, he published his findings and theories in the book, “An Experiment with Time.” He theorized that many people possess the ability of precognition, but this is not recognized due to failure to recall the dream or analyze the dream symbols properly.
Other studies followed Dunne’s. The most sophisticated and systematic study on ESP and precognition at that time was done by J.B. Rhine at Duke University. Rhine, a psychologist, and his wife Louisa conducted experiments on ESP at the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University in the 1930s. This resulted in the largest compilation of dream evidence from thousands of accounts of ESP experiences available to research today.
J.A. Barker, an English psychiatrist, established the British Premonitions Bureau in 1967. This agency collected data using individuals who had precognitive abilities in order to gather early information about impending disasters. Another agency created in an attempt to study and use the knowledge gained from precognition was the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab, which spent years on research studies. It was eventually closed in 2007.