Today, a story of remote viewing from the First World War.
A gentleman writes to The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1919 about his telepathic connection with his son, an officer in the Signal Corps of the US Army.
A VISION OF A SUBMARINE BATTLE.
From my youth I have been sceptical about everything connected with the occult. I have defied ghosts by midnight visits alone to supposedly haunted houses. I have frequently complied with all the conditions said to be necessary in order to see apparitions. The absolute failure of all of these efforts served to confirm my natural scepticism. On several occasions I went with others who had seen ghosts; but with a strange perversity the spectral visitants always failed to arrive while I was an observer.
I may say further that I have received degrees from two universities and one theological seminary. I have also traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. I have dined with ambassadors and looked on the faces of kings. I have served on reception committees to welcome successful candidates for the Presidency of the United States. I mention these facts as illustrating the kind of training and education that form the background of my thinking.
I have five children, three daughters and two sons. With my youngest son, who is now in his twenty-fourth year, I have always had the closest psychic relations. So far nothing vitally affecting him has ever taken place that I have not received notice of it hours in advance. This has usually been made known to me through a dream. Once while he was a student in High School he had been in training for the two-mile race. The night before I saw him fall; when they picked him up his face was bleeding from a cut on his forehead which had struck a sharp stone. In the race the next day, he left all contestants behind and was nearing the goal, when a fellow classman overjoyed at the prospect, ran alongside of my son encouraging him to keep up to the end. In his excitement he came too near and tripped the runner throwing him forward on his face inflicting exactly the kind of a wound I had seen in my dream the previous night. This is only one of many similar incidents disclosing in advance coming events in connection with the life of this lad.
Last July my son, now an officer in the Signal Corps of the U. S. Army, sailed for Europe. Twelve days after he left an Atlantic port, and we felt satisfied that he had landed safely, I was in my study when, suddenly, in the midst of my work, I was compelled to stop. I became greatly agitated; at first I was at a loss to account for this intense mental excitement, I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes for a few moments in order to regain my composure. Instantly a sea scene was before me; I saw clearly a large convoy of ships. In the midst of them I saw the dark form of a submarine come up out of the water and prepare to launch a torpedo. It was so close to the one transport that I saw most clearly that our gunners could not fire on it. From somewhere beyond the range of my vision came a shell sinking the submarine. The sinking was the only thing that was perfectly clear. I was so impressed by this vision that I put down the date and the hour and minute; I went downstairs immediately and told the family that our son had been in danger and that the submarine had been sunk without doing any damage.
Six weeks later we received the following letter from my son Corporal Clement S. Fox, acting Sergeant A. E. F.”
“We were quite well protected as we left the American coast, for a short time ; then most of our convoy left us and returned, as there is small danger on the high seas. We numbered better than twenty ships, transports and freighters. It certainly made a beautiful array with all those ships pushing quietly through the water.
“We were required to wear our life preservers at all times. In addition to this, we had boat drill twice a day. I was put in charge of a raft and seventeen men. In case of disaster we were to wait with the raft until the deck was almost awash, then throw it into the sea, and jump after it into the sea. This would have been quite an exciting experience in an icy sea, such as that in which the Tuscania was torpedoed.
“About two days before reaching port, we were met by a large number of destroyers, and submarine chasers. How our boys did cheer the Stars and Stripes! The little chasers ride very low in the water, and have a very high speed. They dart back and forth four or five times as fast as the big transports, and give one a feeling of considerable safety.
“About three o’clock one afternoon, when the sea was comparatively smooth, I was standing on deck watching the waves, when suddenly the destroyers far to the starboard side turned quickly and sped away. Soon they began dropping depth bombs at the rate of three or four a minute ; we saw the water spout up fifty feet into the air and heard the deep boom which shook the ships hundreds of yards away.
“All of the ships veered quickly in their course at a signal from the battleships. Suddenly the transport on our starboard, which was about four hundred yards distant, fired two shells which struck the water just ahead of us. By that time we began to realize that something was really happening. Immediately we got our signals from the steamer’s whistle that a sub had been sighted on our port. In about ninety seconds, every man on board was at his boat or raft station. We had just reached our stations when I saw the ship on our starboard fire again this time at a spot in the water about one hundred yards from us ; the shell struck the water and was followed by a great explosion. The water was thrown up in a great, long, high wedge; with it came an enormous cloud of black smoke. I knew at once that there was one less U-Boat to Germany’s Navy !
“Officers and men began to shout and cry out, ‘We got that one ! We got that one ! we got it!’
“Suddenly the Major appeared on the scene; he quieted everything by commanding, ‘You men are at attention!’ The effect was instantaneous.
“We learned later that the numerous shots from other ships which followed this little incident had also proved effective. The total bag was three submarines for one afternoon.
“The one which got so close to us was too near for action. We almost rammed it and brought it suddenly on our starboard, again too close for it to send a torpedo. This gave the other transport a good target.
“The submarine excitement was a good tonic for the men; they stood it well, like good soldiers which they are; there was no hint or suggestion of panic; had a torpedo really struck the ship, I’m sure the whole force would have gone through the ordeal without a hitch; that is saying a good deal, I think, for men who had never been under fire before.”
Some will say that my vision is explained by telepathy. I had thought of that myself, but that explanation must be ruled out by the fact that a comparison of the dates shows that my vision of the battle occurred twenty-four hours before the real battle.
Frank Hampton Fox.
THE CONGREGATIONAL, CHURCH
Comer Church and Eldorado Street
Frank Hampton Fox, D.D.
436 W. Eldorado St. June 2, 1919.
Mr. James H. Hyslop,
The undersigned members of the family of Frank Hampton Fox remember distinctly that he came downstairs from his study on the afternoon of July 26, 1918, and described an encounter with a submarine by the transport on which Clement S. Fox was sailing to Europe. He said for us not to be alarmed for the submarine was sunk without having a chance to damage the transport.
Detailed description of the submarine encounter received from Clement S. Fox later proved the vision to have been true.
[Signed] Mrs. Frank Fox, Miss Rachel Hampton Fox.
Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research,Vol. XIV 1920, pp. 50-52
I would feel a touch more confident about the story if the Rev. Dr. Fox had given specific dates in his account.
Chris Woodyard is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead, The Ghost Wore Black, The Headless Horror, The Face in the Window, and the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series. She is also the chronicler of the adventures of that amiable murderess Mrs Daffodil in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales. The books are available in paperback and for Kindle. Indexes and fact sheets for all of these books may be found by searching hauntedohiobooks.com. Join her on FB at Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard or The Victorian Book of the Dead.