Twilight Zone Cruise on a Submarine
Our nuclear sub was submerged near the Mediteranean Sea, where we had been involved in 6th Fleet exercises for several weeks. We were headed back to homeport. Two of us were in the sonar room, on watch, when the relief supervisor arrived. Within a few minutes, the other relief arrived, yawning. It was just before 0400.
The yawner told the three of us that he was disturbed by a very realistic dream he had just awoken from in which one of our shipmates, on leave in New London, had died. We all liked the young yeoman (victim in the dream), and dismissed it as ridiculously odd and the telling of it in very poor taste. The dreamer said no more and stood his watch. The other three of us told no one, because it was just a crappy dream.
At about 1500 hours that day, our captain advised the crew in uncharacteristically somber tones of a message advising that our shipmate, the yeoman, had died in a mobile home fire the night before. The crew was stunned. The dreamer never uttered an I told you so to us.
The young yeoman had been a smoker and had probably shown about everyone in the crew how he held his cigarette a certain way so that if he fell asleep, the lighted end's heat would burn his palm and awaken him instantly. He told us it had worked every time.
The firemen found his body in the bath tub of the trailer he had just rented in preparation for his impending marriage. The police had to cut his ring off its finger. I later observed the deck gang cleaning the ring before it was turned over to his mother and regretted the grief it would inevitably bring her.
The dreamer was transferred to shore duty before he qualified. Was the dream just a strange coincidence, or a case of the paranormal? Had the dreamer been privy to the message contents long before the CO's announcement to the crew?
I tried to relate the episode to a friend once, but it still sounded like crap, so I dropped it for decades, until now. What made me remember it now? This bit of news just today.
Submarines are always silent and strange.