The idea of precognition has been around for thousands of years, and ancient societies placed great importance on people who were able to see into the future. However, formal studies on precognition were not conducted until the beginning of the 20th century.
It was a British aeronautics engineer who formally started the inquiry into precognitions in modern times. J.W. Dunne’s interest in precognition and precognitive dreams started when he realized that the events in his dreams were actually happening the day after he had them. Dunne, a British aviation engineer, started to study his dreams, the trivial incidents in his own life, and the major events in the early 20th century, which he thought were related to his precognitions. He eventually published a book titled, “An Experiment with Time,” in 1927 containing his findings. In it, he concluded that precognitive dreams occur in many people, but most are not recognized as precognitions by those who are dreaming them. This text is now considered a classic in the field of precognition and ESP studies.
Dunne also proposed the theory of Serial Time, which suggested that time exists in layers of dimensions, all of which can be seen through different angles, and that the origin of all layers is Absolute Time, which is a creation of God.
The studies conducted by J.W. Dunne were followed shortly by studies done by J.B. Rhine and his wife Louisa at the Parapsychology Laboratory of Duke University. Rhine and his wife conducted experiments using Zener cards to test for precognitive and other paranormal abilities of individuals.