Further to my opening post…

I was watching a rerun of Unsolved Mysteries a while back where they did a segment about a fighter pilot who was shot down over Kuwait during Gulf War I. He was captured by the Iraqis, taken prisoner and tortured.

At one point his captors bound his wrists together above his head, hung him by the bindings from a hook in the ceiling and beat him with whips and sticks.

Back in America, where it was still night, a good friend of his dreamed all this. It was, he said, just like being there. He felt the pain in his wrists; suffered with every blow. In fact, it was so realistic that his hands hurt so much the following day he couldn't even lift his morning mug of coffee.

A few nights later the friend had another strange dream where he was locked in a dark dungeon. It was cold and he could see a blanket on the other side of the room, but could not reach it because he was shackled to the wall.

When the war was over, the pilot was released. So severe were the injuries inflicted on him, it took him many months to recover. When he was finally able to come home, he and his friend met up. The friend told the pilot about the strange dreams, and the pilot confirmed that, yes, that's exactly what happened. He was surprised his friend knew about the blanket, because he hadn't told anyone about it.

Exactly how his friend could have been inside the pilot's body and felt his pain and distress was, as the show's title suggests, an unsolved mystery.

So I guess this sort of stuff does happen if there's a strong enough bond between the two people involved – it just doesn't happen very often, and the bond must be very deep and special.