First mem­o­ries

Fortean Times - - Letters -

I can’t com­pete with Re­becca Shar­rock in an Ashes se­ries of “Highly Su­pe­rior Au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal Mem­ory” [ FT362:14], but I share her scep­ti­cism that events be­fore we are five are ir­recov­er­able. I was born in Chel­tenham in June 1965. I re­call my first nonliq­uid meal (lamb din­ner, from a glass jar), and, more trau­mat­i­cally, con­fus­ing cus­tard and mus­tard. On the day we moved to Swansea in 1968 I was amazed at the height of the build­ings there, and that win­ter I was trans­fixed by the snowy Bre­con Bea­cons. Are these false mem­o­ries? I can’t prove they are not, but I doubt they are. A cou­ple of other de­tails: I was pre­co­cious (read­ing at three) but not a prodigy, and I suf­fer from OCD (com­pare the brain scan of Jill Price).

Si­mon Young’s fas­ci­nat­ing ar­ti­cle about fairy sight­ings [ FT362:30-37] made me think of one pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion. What is seen are small, of­ten fly­ing hu­manoids. In the womb, at some stage or other, we are their size, and float­ing in am­ni­otic fluid is not un­like fly­ing. Could these ex­pe­ri­ences be a mem­ory of our­selves in utero pro­jected out­wards, with affini­ties to au­toscopy? I was also in­ter­ested in the “Oz Fac­tor” and “high­way hyp­no­sis” el­e­ments. Does be­ing en­closed in a car un­con­sciously re­mind peo­ple of be­ing co­cooned as a foe­tus, with few ex­ter­nal stim­uli? Richard Ge­orge St Al­bans, Hert­ford­shire

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