Thursday, 14 March 2013

When a movie cuts into real life!

Rolling titlesINT. DRAWING ROOM - DAY

The room is silent with low lighting. CHARACTER 1 is seated in a soft chair reading intently from a magazine. Nods slightly.


Well that was weird!

What CHARACTER 1 (C1) had just witnessed was this. The whole room scene had vanished to be replaced by the yellow rolling credits of a movie. The titles were not seen on a cinema or TV screen but directly ahead, as if floating in space, against a perfectly black background, like the picture above. And C1 was real - my acquaintance who has microsleep with REM (MWR) - see here for more info on this.

Clearly C1 had just gone into a microsleep and began dreaming instantly (MWR), a fairly frequent occurrence for C1 in suitable circumstances. But the content of the dream was very unusual indeed, appearing as if INSIDE a movie! This is interesting because dream content mingles with real scenery during hypnagogic episodes which are behind some reports of paranormal phenomena (usually at the point of falling asleep or waking). Clearly, a scene consisting solely of rolling credits cannot arise from any real-life experience, except perhaps using a head up display, which C1 never has. It is, apparently, an adaptation of the experience of watching the closing credits of a movie on TV or in a cinema. What is interesting is that the dreamer has become part of the scene itself, no longer simply an outside observer.

Now, suppose C1 had, instead, dreamt of the interior of an alien spacecraft once seen in a movie. So the scene might have proceeded more like an alien abduction. One moment reading a book, the next in the interior of a highly detailed alien spacecraft cabin. This sort of near sleep experience can certainly explain some apparent alien abduction experiences, with the detail of the spacecraft lifted wholesale from a movie scene the witness had once seen.

The most obvious lesson from this experience, for C1 at least, is that entirely fictitious visual material, like the rolling credits, can be introduced into near sleep experiences just as easily as scenes from real-life, with nothing to signal any difference. We have known for some time that fictional material appears to be feeding into reported real-life weird experiences (see here). But it is rare for such an explicitly fictitious example, such as this one, to be reported.

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