Forums

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages 
Homing Instinct

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fortean Times Message Board Forum Index -> It Happened to Me!
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
CyberianTigerOffline
Grey
Joined: 06 Jul 2014
Total posts: 11
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 19-08-2014 16:05    Post subject: Homing Instinct Reply with quote

This happened to me when I lived in Stockholm. I had lived there a few months, in the southern suburbs of the city, which are very spread out and interspersed with woods. I still didn't know the local area, or even the city very well. One night, I fell asleep on the last train home and woke up at the end of the line. It was about 1am and -5 degrees. I had no phone and decided I had no option but to walk (taxis are rarer than bears in Sweden).

I was, at first, undaunted by the fact that it was very far (10km or so) and didn't really know the way, reasoning I could follow the train line. This was only possible for a while before it diverged out of sight. I wandered several hours, across fields, and through silent streets, without seeing anyone or any landmark I could relate to. I was wandering in hope really, but finally found myself walking up my own street (even then, it didn't look familiar, and I only knew it by the street sign).

I had somehow found my way home. It seemed to be total chance, given my route and the fact I was half asleep as I walked. It may not be a Fortean level of strangeness, but I felt thankful to some kind of subconscious homing ability in this instance.


Last edited by CyberianTiger on 20-08-2014 07:02; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile 
MythopoeikaOffline
Joined: 18 Sep 2001
Total posts: 9664
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 19-08-2014 16:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's amazing!
Brave of you to even attempt it in the cold. Me, I'd have looked for somewhere to stay (i.e. a B & B).
Back to top
View user's profile 
CyberianTigerOffline
Grey
Joined: 06 Jul 2014
Total posts: 11
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 19-08-2014 17:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Longjohns are real life saver and -5 is not especially cold over there, although I've heard stories of people freezing to death under bushes in similar predicaments. I didn't see a B&B or anyone the entire way, I was well away from the main roads.
Back to top
View user's profile 
rynner2Offline
What a Cad!
Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Total posts: 26165
Location: Under the moon
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 19-08-2014 21:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

You knew you were 'at the end of the line', so you had a rough direction to head for home.

There are many cues you might have used after 'diverging' from the railway. And being half-asleep may have enabled your subconscious to access these cues better than if you'd been awake!

If the sky was clear, then there may have been moon or stars to indicate direction. Consciously you may not know much astronomy, but maybe your subconscious does! (The modern world floods us with info, most of which passes the conscious mind by.)

But if it was cloudy, there is another possible cue - the sky-glow from the city lights on the underside of the clouds. This may manifest as a big glow from the city centre, and secondary glows from bigger suburbs or industrial units.

It's known that many birds navigate by 'magnetic compasses' in their brains, and it's been suggested that humans have this ability too.

And I'm not being facetious when I suggest sense of smell comes into it too! Different districts do have distinctive smells, whether from local trades, or geology, or vegetation, or whatever. (Even the local sewage farm!)

As for sounds, they carry far in the dead of the night and may provide even more cues for the half-asleep rambler.

On the other hand, however, perhaps the route home was not that complicated after all, and there weren't that many alternative routes you could have tried, and you just got lucky! Wink


(I think "The Half-Asleep Rambler" would make a good pub name!)
Back to top
View user's profile 
CyberianTigerOffline
Grey
Joined: 06 Jul 2014
Total posts: 11
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 20-08-2014 06:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you mention it Rynner, I remember being vaguely aware of (the noise and light) a distant major road, which may have given me a bearing. Anyway, it was a bit freaky going from feeling completely lost one minute, to finding I was exactly where I needed to be, the next. There must have been a large slice of luck, as I have never displayed such uncanny navigation skills on any of my other rambles, before or since.
Back to top
View user's profile 
Naughty_FelidOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Total posts: 223
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 21-08-2014 11:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've met a few people who seem to have natural compasses and always seem to know which way to go. All have been male.
Back to top
View user's profile 
MercuryCrestOffline
The Severed Head Of A
Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Total posts: 712
Location: Floating down the Ganges
Age: 34
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 21-08-2014 15:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

My "natural compass" is forever stranded in the Bermuda Triangle.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Isis177Offline
Great Old One
Joined: 22 May 2004
Total posts: 503
Location: Australia
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 21-08-2014 22:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

MercuryCrest I think mine must be too. I can get lost coming out of a shopping centre toilet block. If there are 2 exits I'll take the wrong one.
Back to top
View user's profile 
Mouldy13Offline
Yeti
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Total posts: 83
Location: Halifax West Yorkshire
Age: 57
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 21-10-2014 16:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naughty_Felid wrote:
I've met a few people who seem to have natural compasses and always seem to know which way to go. All have been male.


My mate Tim is one of these, so much so that he's earned the nickname "Pathfinder"
Back to top
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fortean Times Message Board Forum Index -> It Happened to Me! All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group