My husband, who I will refer to as "Paul" (not his real name), had a vivid dream/premonition of the 9/11 destruction of the WTC towers, but I did not learn of it until after the events, which I will explain.
At the time, Paul and I had been married for less than six weeks and were living in eastern Tennessee. It was my second marriage, but the first for Paul who turned forty-three in those weeks between our marriage and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. These details are relevant to Paul's dream, how he initially interpreted it, and how I later found out about it.
One other set of factors; Paul lived in Manhattan from 1983-1984. One of his first job interviews was for a book publisher whose offices were located inside one of the two WTC towers (he no longer remembers which, although the office itself was at least 40 floors up). He did not get that job, but returned to the towers several times during his time in NYC, for sightseeing and to eat at their restaurant on the top floor.
Incidentally, although Paul and I would not meet and become friends until 1986, I happened to visit NYC during the same time that he was living there. A girlfriend and I spent a week in the city, during which time we also had a meal at the restaurant on the top floor of the WTC towers (I'm writing all this from memory so forgive me for not researching which tower [#1 or #2] housed the restaurant). My experiences are not exactly relevant to this account, but I include them because of the unique circumstances.
Anyway, when discussing his dream/premonition and subsequent reactions, this is what Paul told me, then, as well as now... The story has never varied:
On the evening of Wednesday, 5 September 2001, Paul was writing a letter to a friend who lives in Wyoming. Unable to wrap it up before we went to bed, he planned on finishing it first thing in the morning so that it would go out with Thursday's mail.
Later, deep into the night (around 2:00 or 3:00 A.M., Thursday) Paul dreamed that he and I were visiting NYC and decided to have an early lunch at the WTC restaurant. Up at the top, in this dream, Paul glanced around the restaurant and it looked just as he remembered it, though he recalls that there were no other customers around, probably because of our early arrival. Still in the dream, Paul and I walked closer to one of the huge windows and admired the panoramic view.
Abruptly, in the dream, Paul felt a tremendous jolt, and amid a growing din of rumbling, crashing and clamorous noise, he found himself falling. Debris rained down with him and he reached out into the blackness hoping to find my hand, but I was gone. Afraid, he closed his eyes as he fell. He felt a sudden end to it all, and after some sort of pause (?) he found himself back in Wyoming, but, apparently, as just an observer. He seems to have died in the dream, which is unusual because whether it's a nightmare or a falling dream, Paul has never, before or since, "died" in any of his dreams.
So, in this dream, he finds himself back in Wyoming, three days later (a detail Paul distinctly remembers, though he doesn't know how he would have known that), and in some kind of spirit form because he was able to hover around unseen. He remembers looking in on his family members and even checking on the friend to whom he was writing. Everyone seemed happy and well, but he felt sad that he could not interact with anyone.
That's when he awoke, filled with an almost overwhelming sense of grief and dread. He noted the time and then left the bed so as not to wake me up. He went into the bathroom, feeling "heavy" and stunned. He put the toilet lid down and sat there just staring before he began to cry. He cried and cried, recalling the dream and wondering why he was so completely devastated. Rather than go back to bed, he stayed up and finished the letter to his Wyoming friend, ending it by describing his dream in detail.
Afterward, as the day was dawning, Paul sat alone at the dining room table and tried to make sense of the dream; was he just missing his family and friends in Wyoming? Or maybe it was an anxiety dream pertaining to our recent marriage; he'd led a long and lively bachelor life, so perhaps he harbored a fear of being wed... The WTC building could have represented our house/marriage, and to have it all come tumbling down maybe symbolized an unconscious anxiety on his part about possible failure. Which is the reason why Paul didn't initially tell me about the dream; he didn't want me to get upset thinking he was having cold feet or doubts about our marriage.
So that's pretty much how he rationalized the dream. Because he couldn't just ignore it; the whole thing came at him out of the blue, more vivid and powerful than any dream before or since. Later that morning Paul mailed the letter to his Wyoming friend, and, over the course of the days afterward, the dream dissipated and faded into some subconscious level of his mind.
Forward to five days later, Tuesday, September 11th. I leave for work at 7:30 A.M., but Paul has the day off and plans to run some early morning errands before he heads over to his favorite music store, which opens at 10:00 A.M., in order to purchase Bob Dylan's "Love and Theft" which is being released that day. He hopes he can be first in line to get into the store, because he's worried they'll sell out of the CD before he can get his hands on one.
While driving around, with stops at the bank, post office, coffeehouse and gas station, Paul hears on the radio that a plane (possibly of the small commuter type) has crashed into one of the towers at the WTC in Manhattan. He's listening to a music station, but soon they break in with another announcement, another plane has crashed into the other tower, and now it seems that they were both passenger planes and that these crashes were likely intentional. At the coffeehouse, customers, some crying, are gathered around a television. Paul sees both buildings burning like torches. A report over the television says another plane may have crashed into the Pentagon.
Everything is confusing and happening quickly, and Paul's dream from five days ago doesn't even cross his mind. He drives over to the music store, changing radio stations along the way. No more top forty songs; America is under attack. At the music store, no one else cares about Dylan. Paul is the only one to buy the CD. Television sets line one wall of the store and he watches them all as, in synch, they broadcast the collapse of the first tower.
Paul is shocked and races home to turn on the television and find out what's going on. During the drive, someone on the radio announces that another plane has disappeared off the radar in Pennsylvania. At home, Paul turns on the television just after the second tower collapses. All of lower Manhattan is covered in a cloud of pulverized debris. It's all so insane, like a bad dream, but Paul still isn't thinking of the nightmare/premonition of five days earlier.
Paul decides to phone his Wyoming friend. They're two hours behind us, so his friend is just waking up and hasn't yet seen or heard the news. Paul tells him to turn on the television, and then fills him in on what he knows. Two hours and over a thousand miles separate them, but they watch the same images unfolding live. Footage of the buildings collapsing is repeated over and over. At some point, the Wyoming friend says to Paul, "It's just like in your dream."
Paul can hardly believe it; Oh my God, he's right! I dreamed this and wrote about it to him just hours afterward!
When I got home from work, Paul told me about his dream, as well as the reasons he didn't disclose it to me at the time. It was an eye-opening day. Paul told a couple of family members about the dream, but they were indifferent to the fact. He told one other person, and, after a similar response, he doesn't tell anyone else about it ever again. Soon after all this, he had a falling out with his Wyoming friend, and they've not corresponded since. Paul's convinced that the friend still has his letter, which was dated, but he's lost interest in pursuing it.
We still talk about it all, on occasion. Paul thinks that these terrorist acts, all occurring within a couple of hours, involving over a thousand victims (more if you count family and friends), all being broadcast in real time throughout the entire world, came as a traumatic and overwhelming shock to the collective consciousness of our planet and the people who live here. Couldn't such a simultaneously experienced seismic event like this cause metaphysical shock waves that would then ripple through time and space? If so, many other "sensitive" people would have had visions, dreams or "feelings" along the same lines. A person's mind is most open and susceptible to such input while they're asleep, which may be why so many premonitions of this event occurred in dreams.
In closing, I've noticed that Paul often is able to ascertain smaller events before they happen, but he just shrugs them off saying that all people probably have that ability, but that most, including himself, do not focus on it or try perfecting it.
I hope I haven't forgotten anything. Thanks for your time. Paul is glad that his story is out there now and not locked away in his memory.