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Observations placeholder

Vaughan, Dr Alan – Predicting the assassination of Robert Kennedy



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Patterns of Prophecy – Alan Vaughan

…. On May 25, I wrote the London Evening Standard's Premonition Bureau with my premonition that Robert Kennedy would be the victim of an assassination attempt within two months.

On the morning of May 25 I rose at 5:00 A.M. to record some vividly remembered dreams. Two of them seemed to be related. In the first dream an American Indian fired a rifle through a grating to murder a person.

In the second dream Robert Kennedy became me, walking through a hallway; dirt fell from an overhead grating, which I associated with a kitchen hallway in my boyhood home. I commented in my dream diary:

"A single rifle shot from a grating might be connected with the dirt shifting down from the grating in the second dream. It may be precognitive, but in a very distorted form. The dirt coming down seems ominous."

I took the American Indian to be symbolic that "the assailant will not be a member of a group commonly thought of as anti-Kennedy."

And as bizarre as it may sound, the American Indian may also be symbolic of the curse put on President Harrison- which may have started the twenty-year death cycle-by a Shawnee Indian prophet. There were also a number of literal correspondences between the dreams and Kennedy's assassination on June 5, 1968, in a kitchen hallway of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles…..

Probably the greatest discrepancy between the dreams and the actual assassination is, in the first dream, a rifle firing a fatal shot through a grating. I had assumed that this was a dream distortion until recently when I read of the coroner's testimony at Sirhan Sirhan's trial. The coroner who examined Kennedy's body testified that the fatal bullet was fired one to three inches from the back of his head-and Sirhan never got closer than four feet in front of Kennedy. Sirhan's lawyers have been attempting to reopen the trial on the strength of this, but need an alternate theory of the assassination. My dream suggests that another gunman, armed with a .22-caliber rifle, fired the fatal shot through a grating, perhaps overhead.

Sirhan, who had been practicing automatic writing shortly before the assassination, does not remember how he got into the kitchen hallway nor does he recall the actual events of the murder. Although he was visibly firing bullets into Kennedy and several others in the crowd with a .22-caliber revolver, the laws of physics still hold-a bullet cannot change direction. Some might object that Kennedy was not expected to go through the kitchen passageway and the assassin(s) would not expect him there; present theory is that Sirhan encountered him there by chance. But that alternate way out of the Ballroom seems to have been used by a number of people after giving talks there. For instance, the actress Shelley Winters gave a Kennedy campaign talk in the Ballroom on June 2, 1968, and left by the same route that Kennedy took.

Ominously, she felt "terrible vibrations" as she went through the kitchen passageway, and told a policeman that "something is going to happen to Bobby." She sent Kennedy a telegram asking him to be "extra careful." On May 28, a few days before, prophetess Jeane Dixon also gave a talk at the Ambassador's Ballroom and also left via the kitchen passageway where she says she sensed Kennedy would be killed.

On that same day in Germany, I gathered all the impressions that might possibly apply to my premonition and sent them to the Society for Psychical Research in London and to Dr. Stanley Krippner, director of the Maimonides Dream Laboratory in Brooklyn, since I knew of his interest in dreams and synchronicity, especially the presidential death cycle. I summarized for him the key elements of the premonition, of which some proved right and some wrong, and added this:

I somehow doubt if Kennedy would pay any more attention to a warning than did his brother. Even, in a curious way, Kennedy seems to be playing the role of an ancient cult god and will perhaps seek a final fulfilment of that role in a martyred death. If you can think of any way of drawing his attention to such a threat . . . I would be appreciative. If it happened, I think I should have it on my conscience; if it doesn’t, then I only need feel a bit foolish…………..

What was my own reaction to the news of that tragic shooting? June 5, 1968, shortly after 11:00 A.M., my landlord interrupted my reading to exclaim excitedly in German that Robert Kennedy had been shot and severely wounded. Even though I had been fearing it, I was completely taken by sur- prise. Anguished grief flooded over me, and I fought a deep sense of guilt welling up from within-as if my premonition of that tragedy had been somehow partner to it. A little after noon a shudder passed through me, and I knew that Robert Kennedy was dying.


The source of the experience

Vaughan, Dr Alan

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