Thank goodness for guts—that enigmatic yet intuitive part of our bodies that just knows when something is wrong. Whether it’s standing hairs on the neck, or butterflies in the belly, our bodies just have a way to telling us to not go down that path. These Redditors confessed to their own close encounters with ruin, missed only by chance. Buckle in for these shocking stories about how “gut feelings” saved lives.
1. The Wheels of Fate
Was riding my motorcycle with a friend on the back. We were going down a country road behind a truck hauling a bunch of old car tires, when all of a sudden, I decided we shouldn’t be there. I slowed way down to let the truck go ahead of us. Just as I did, one of the tires fell off the truck and landed right where we would have been.
2. The Man in Red
Well, I was walking home. Wasn’t late and I’m from a pretty safe area, but it was that time of year when it starts to get dark really early so felt kind of ominous. Anyway, I pass this guy in a red sweater and red tracksuit bottoms, and he looks at me funny. Maybe he’s high, maybe he’s drunk…either way something not quite right about him.
I keep going. Look behind me, he’s still there. Cross the road. He crosses with me. As soon as I turn a corner, I sprint to my apartment complex and run into the coded gate and wait. He rocks up a minute later and stares at me through the gate. He just stares at me for a good 10 or so seconds then runs back the way he came.
3. No Party Favors Tonight
Had a friend who said we should go to this party he was invited to by a classmate of his. We ended driving out to it. We noticed the neighborhood was not too pleasant and sketchy. We saw that house had some lights on in backyard but kind of quiet for a party. I decided that we should not go since something felt really off.
Friend ended finding out that the classmate that invited him got robbed and threatened when he went to the party. It ended up being a fake party.
4. Stand Your Ground
Some dude gets off the bus at the same stop as me. It’s about 8 pm and October so it’s quite dark out already. He had spoken to me on the bus, one line about nice weather. Anyway, he gets off the bus after me. I cross the road and make a mental note of him walking the opposite way to me. I make sure to watch him walking away. Something in my gut says not to trust him.
To get to my house, I have to walk up a hill with a path alongside a high stone wall. It is secluded. Usually, I listen to music as I walk. I decide not to this time. I’m about halfway up when I get this awful feeling. I take out my phone, dial my mother’s number and as I do, I hear fast steps of someone running up behind me.
I know it’s the guy before I turn around and, as I do, he is literally running full speed towards me. I look him dead in the eyes, ready to fight for my life. As I do this, my mother answers her phone and I say, “Hi mom.” He slows right down to a light jog and says “evening” as he jogs past me. I ask my mom to stay on the line. Her bf comes out to meet me at the top of the hill. The guy is nowhere to be seen.
He was definitely running up behind me to strike me and by turning to face him I’m certain it threw him off.
5. Man’s Best Friend
I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell it again. It’s one of many, but this one stands out. I’m about seven, my neighbors are eight and nine, and we’re at a bus stop. Guy in stereotypical white van pulls up and asks if we’ve seen a dog. He doesn’t describe the dog, and the truth is, dogs ran around in our neighborhood. My mother taught me stranger danger since as long as I can remember.
So, one of the boys at the stop, we’ll call him Paul: Paul describes a dog and man in van is like, “That’s my dog; why don’t you get inside the van, we can all go look for him?” Well, I had red flags going off at this point, and said, “No, I have to ask my mother,” and as soon as those words left my mouth, he peeled out.
It was only later that I realized I saved us all from child abduction, specifically Paul who was walking toward the van to get in. Teach your kids what to do if this situation happens. Get the license plate, the guys face, the car type, and what to do if something does happen. If I had known to snag his plates, we might have had a chance at catching him, but I only knew to “say no!”
Another time. I was speeding down a hill and thought, “What if there’s a deer around the corner?” So, I slowed down and sure enough, there were three deer in the road. Saved my own life by a rando thought.
6. Man or Monster
Went to a college party, and one of the guys made me feel very uncomfortable. He didn’t ever do anything to me, but something seemed off. I kept dumping my shots because getting smashed seemed like a bad idea. I ended up taking a friend and leaving while he told us that we were being lame by not having more of the Grey Goose
He raped another girl at the party that night.
7. Not Good With Rejection, Or Humanity
Worked as a Shot Girl at a pub. One night, I rejected someone who attempted to get my number. Not unusual and he didn’t seem that bothered. The whole exchange wasn’t strange to me. In the early hours after the bar closed, I went to leave through the back door into the car park like usual, when I saw the sensor light outside was on. Someone was standing just outside the door.
I felt uneasy so went out the front and asked one of the bouncers to walk me around the back to my car. As we rounded the corner, we spotted this guy lurking outside the door holding his belt like a makeshift garotte. When he saw us, he started screaming that I was a freaking shrew and I should die. He scampered off into the road and never came back.
8. Read, Aim, Fire!
I’m a firefighter. We got called out to a tree fire started by fallen power lines. We pull up in the truck, and I’m trusting that my driver and crew leader are doing their job and have good situational awareness. We get out of the truck, and we’ve parked next to a set of power lines (not fallen). It’s a very windy night and I can see the lines swinging so I voice my concerns to my crew leader who says it’ll be fine.
We get out hose out (risk of the tree fire catching onto a house outweighing potential risk of arcing plus the line disconnected when it fell), and I’m on the branch ready to start putting it out with 2 others near me when I get a chill. I look up to see the lines swinging violently and yell “everyone freaking move!” As the three of us sprint and dive out of the way we hear a thwip and crack, and, sure enough, the line we were under came loose and stayed connected to the power pole.
If I hadn’t got that chill chances are, we would have had three fried firies.
9. Get Your Own
Not me but my best friend, who was driving to California from Arizona with her two-year-old for work (about 5 months ago). She stopped at a gas station and just got a weird feeling. She normally doesn’t lock her car when she pumps gas, but she decided to do it. During that process, a woman came up to her and started talking all nice and whatnot.
She got an uneasy feeling about it and heard a noise like someone trying to open a door. She turned around and saw the woman’s husband trying to get into her car to steal her baby. She told him to get the heck away from her car, and the man tried to play it off. She told them to screw off and got in her car to leave.
The couple got in their vehicle and followed her, tried to swerve her off the road and brake check her on the highway for a few miles. She was smart enough to call the cops (this was in Primm, Nevada btw), and they caught up to her and ended up arresting the couple. They had gotten multiple reports that day of issues like that.
10. You Nearly Blue Your Life Away
A guy dyed blue came into the motel lobby at 1 am. In and of itself, not terribly unusual. Clubs get out, you see folks with body paint, foam, etc. But he just seemed “off.” When he came up to the counter, I took a step back. Which is why his bowie knife hit my tie and not my neck. Slammed the fire door down, called the cops.
Wasn’t difficult for them to find a bright blue guy (who got naked for some reason after I slammed the door) running around in the snow at 1 am.
11. Day Care Don’t
Posted this before…took my two babies to an in-home daycare run by a lovely woman. About nine days in, the woman’s teenage son was home when I picked up my kids. He gave me a super creepy vibe. Pulled the kids from the daycare and placed them elsewhere. Maybe 10 years later that kid murdered two people then killed his mom.
12. Don’t Face Off
There’s been a few times where I hadn’t listened to my gut, but one sticks out where I did. I used to live in a smaller Minnesotan town down near some train tracks and a bike/running path that extends out of town into the woods. One evening, I’m sitting outside on my porch drinking a couple of beers with my buddy. Two dudes walk up on us kind of out of nowhere and immediately something seemed off with them. It’s a college town and drunk people come up onto your porch a lot or randomly just say hello on their way to or from the bars downtown.
But these dudes had a bad ass vibe to them. I had a little black Louisville slugger lying next to me on the porch, so I grabbed and just held it across my lap. One dude asks us, “You guys got an extra smoke?” Buddy says nope. The other guy comes up real close almost onto the porch and says, “Did you see my face?” I just kept looking forward but not directly at him and just said “Nah man we didn’t see anything.” He said something like “Good… lil punk ass…” and they both walked away.
Two nights later, I’m sitting in my living room with the same buddy and the local news is on. Two guys arrested for robbing and stabbing a man a couple nights back on the trail down by the train tracks next to where I live. My buddy had looked at their faces coming up and I had seen the dude clear as day that had asked for the smoke. It was those same freaking guys.
13. A Hole In the Wall, Where They Can See it All
I woke up at 3 am once sitting upright in bed. I felt on alert and my heart raced when I saw that my cat was on alert too, wide awake by my feet with his ears perked up. But I didn’t see or hear anything weird. Something didn’t feel right, and I couldn’t relax. So, I got up and went to the kitchen. Turned on some lights and ate food even though I wasn’t that hungry. Eventually went back to bed.
We discovered the next morning that someone had stopped while in the process of using some kind of tool to silently cut a big hole in the glass window in the living room. They were trying to break in. Right next to the bedroom. I think the lights I turned on scared them away. We had three long years of issues with our neighbors. They repeatedly came into our property and were pissed that we put up a nine-foot fence to keep them out.
This attempted break-in happened right after the fence went up and two days before they all moved out. Glad those pieces of trash are long gone.
14. Never Too Young to Be On Edge
At age five, I was almost abducted by strangers at the park who had a bunch of toys on a blanket and tried to lure me into their motor home. I looked back to my dad, who was talking to his friend maybe 100 yards away. I got a “tummy ache” when one of them tried to coax me by reaching for my arm to lead me away, and I screamed and ran like hell back to my dad. Years later, I found out those same people had abducted other kids who weren’t so lucky. Never ignored a gut feeling since.
FYI, trust me, once my Dad got over the shock, he let me have it for not only wandering off but speaking to complete strangers. I talked to my mom a bit about it today. and she told me my dad broke down and blamed himself. Positive outlook on this though, guys, this is just one instance (scary as it may be) where my gut led me in the right direction and my instinct for danger is now uncanny. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I trusted my instincts and it kept me safe still does.
15. There’s a Wrong Way to Name-Drop
Someone came into my work that gave me the “I’m in danger” feeling. I work in a place where 60% of my customers are children, and I naturally get very protective of them, but you can’t call the police because someone’s creeping you out. He kept getting close to children but not doing anything or even making them uncomfortable so there still wasn’t anything I could do.
He leaves and I shrug it off. Another customer soon comes in and gives me the same feeling, so I’m thinking “I’m just anxious today.” He’s talking about Donkey Kong and stuff, casual conversation. Then he says, “I’m best friends with Martin Bryant” (the spree killer from the 1996 port Arthur massacre, who is in solitary confinement and can’t even interact with whoever has to throw his food at him), so I’m getting a bit nervous now.
Then the first creepy guy comes in, and the one I was talking to says “I know him, we went to prison together!” So immediately I start having a panic attack and have to end the conversation as quick as possible, so I can contact the manager to say I need someone else to come into the store (I was there alone). They immediately call the police.
Turns out they were both registered sex offenders; neither were allowed anywhere near my work because it’s too close to the CBD, and they’re legally now allowed near anywhere that could have children there. I actually recently went to court for this, waited hours to go in, and he pleads guilty at the very, very last second. Bastard.
16. First Isn’t The Worst
When I was in middle school and around 14 years old, I was returning home. I live like five mins away from said school, and I noticed there was a man following me. He wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at his phone. He wore a cap, so I wasn’t able to see his face fully. Anyways he gave off this weird vibe. I reached my apartment building, and the guy was still behind me. I know mostly everyone who lives in my neighborhood and I couldn’t recall him.
Last moment. I decided I wasn’t going to go inside the hallway; I turned around and went to a store where I waited for my mom to come. A few weeks after, there were some news about an 11-year-old girl from my school who was assaulted in the building right behind mine two days after the incident. The guy they caught looked a lot like the guy who had followed me and given the time frame and the proximity there’s a high chance that it was him.
17. Not Every Shared Experience is a Great One
I am a petite woman and was 19 at the time. Had a late shift that ended at 10 pm. Hit the grocery before my walk home (about 10 blocks). I’ve got arms full of groceries and notice a car drive past me in the opposite direction. Heard it pull a U-turn behind me and park. I tell myself, ‘probably just getting home from work too,’ but then I hear footsteps behind me. I turn around and it’s a man in his 30s, I’d guess.
He doesn’t say anything but stops walking when I stopped walking. I keep walking, bit faster now and I can hear him speed up too. I turn around again and say, ‘Hey man, what’s up?’ He says nothing. I turn around and keep walking, almost at a mini-jog pace and I hear him speed up too. I was about 4 blocks away from home. The adrenaline kicked in, I dropped my bags and booked it.
Made it home, told my boyfriend what was happening. As he goes outside to find the guy, dude drives by in his car. Right past my house. We call the cops, give them a description and the operator tell us they’ve had other calls about the same guy. Really hoping he never actually caught someone. Really hoping his creepy ass wound up in jail. Really happy I listened to my gut.
18. Play Your Own Doctor
1st time was 3 weeks after getting my gall bladder out. I felt terrible; I still had a drain in my stomach. I called my sister and said I’m afraid I’ll be dead tomorrow. Went to the emergency room and turns out the surgeon had nicked my liver and I was bleeding internally. It turned into a blood blister on my liver, and if it popped, I would have bled to death.
Second time, I had been feeling like someone was squeezing around my chest for months. I passed out one morning, went to the hospital and they found a tumor between my heart and lungs. Turned out to be cancer. A couple surgeries and chemo and I’ve been in remission for almost five years.
19. Take Her Breath Away
My daughter was a year and a half at the time. She had a cold, but bedtime went off without a hitch. I woke up in the middle of the night that night, really uncomfortable and anxious. Something was off and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I got up, had a midnight snack, tried to calm my nerves. I decided to check on my kids, who shared a room, before trying to go back to sleep.
I get in there and immediately I hear a light sound coming from her crib—wheezing. It was so quiet, there was no way to hear it outside of the room. I got her up and saw that her breathing was fast and labored. I took her to the hospital, where she ended up with an overnight stay, oxygen, and nebulizer treatments because her oxygen had dipped. She was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease due to the cold (which triggered the asthma attack).
20. Out of Your Age Group
I was in Turkey for vacation when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and I made friends with some other tourists but also some locals, all around the age range of 8-16. These two local guys were about 16, and at one point during the late afternoon they asked if I wanted to go with them to go-kart outside of the hotel area, and I agreed.
Approximately 30 seconds of walking along with them, I got the most chilling feeling I’ve ever had in my life. All the hairs on my skin rose up and I had this super uneasy feeling deep in my gut. It actually felt like some supernatural force was beckoning me to dip. I turned on my heels and sprinted so fast to get back to the hotel. I didn’t even look back. When I returned, my mother asked where I had been. I told her I was taking a rough dump.
Oddly enough, I was quite fond of those guys before this happened. But, thinking about this in retrospect, why would two local 16-year-olds have any genuine interest in go-karting with a young eight-year-old tourist? I feel like I may have dodged a bullet. We may never know.
21. Missed a Hot Departure
Not me, but when my mum was a teenager on November 18, 1987, she was going to London to visit a friend. It was around 7:20 pm and she decided she was going to take a taxi instead of going by tube because it didn’t feel right (King’s Cross tube station). Ten minutes later, the whole station caught on fire and 30 out of the 40 people died. If she had decided to take the tube, she would likely have died.
22. Happy to Be a Moving Target
Was at a party in a rough neighborhood (I made a lot of poor choices as a teen.) I’m vaguely aware of an argument going on somewhere else in the house. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but the tension was rising. I decided it was time to go. I grabbed my friends and left. Not ten minutes after we left, someone pulled a gun and fired a few rounds. Some random girl was hit (non-fatally). Anyway, someone stole someone else’s coke.
So, the guy left, came back with a gun. Threatened some people, then lost control of the situation and shot some poor girl.
23. Beats the Ambulance
I stood up and had a quick Matrix-like wave (just like how the walls flex in the move). I turned to the closest person and asked for a ride to the emergency room. Honestly, it felt like a little head rush or lightheadedness that I’ve had a hundred times before. If I would have brushed it off as such, I would be dead. My lungs were at 30% capacity as I was drowning from fluids and had absolutely no other symptoms than the brief lightheaded feeling. Also, I had been feeling a bit down and hadn’t eaten.
The more I analyzed the situation, I have no idea why I asked a stranger for a ride to the hospital.
24. A Walk Up the Stairs is Good For Everyone’s Health
I work in a mental health hospital—there’s a set of communal stairs, a lift, and some locked staff stairs. I was working on the top floor that night, and my gut told me to use the locked stairs. More of an inconvenience than the lift…Went through the last door and found the patient who lived closest to that door hanging in their room. They were only there about 1-2 minutes, so I managed to call for help and get them down…
25. What’s Up Pussycat?
Was hiking by myself (real smart). I get this feeling that something wasn’t right, but I normally act on that feeling. That day, however, I ignored it. Went to a lookout, turned around and headed back. About the same place as I got the feeling, I noticed cougar tracks cross mine in the snow. They followed mine for a few meters and then went to a bit of shrub that overlooked both where I was now, and the lookout.
I immediately left and avoided going anywhere near something that would give a cougar cover. Occasionally behind me, I would notice a small rustle in the bushes and trees or some snow falling off a disturbed branch.
26. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Biggest Hazard of All?
I used up sleep with a large, heavy mirror on the wall above my bed. It weighed 50-60 lbs. One night, I had the urge to take it down fearing it’d fall on me and shatter. As soon as I took it off the wall, the two mason anchors holding it crumbled and fell to the floor.
27. Two’s Company, Three is a Felony
My fiancé worked with this guy who had this weird crush on him. He always called him randomly to hang out, which wasn’t a problem, but he just made me uncomfortable. If we ran into him at the store, he’d tag along and completely ignore me. He’d give me dirty looks and I would tell my fiancé I didn’t like him. He once called him 10 times one day when we had a date night.
Well eventually he left us alone and we hadn’t heard from him for a good four months. We saw on the news the other day that he was arrested for stabbing a guy 12 times over some disagreement.
28. Unwanted Guest
When I was in college, I went to a restaurant with family. This was during Spring Break; we were on vacation at Smokey Mountains in TN and had just stopped to eat dinner. Shortly after we were seated, I noticed a guy sitting by the front (where the waiters had a table with menus), and I had a bad gut feeling about this guy.
He was facing us, and I noticed him glancing at us every now and then. A while later, I noticed a waiter bringing him a box of food, but he stayed and just sat there, expressionless, and looking at us sometimes. Anyway, I decided to keep an eye on him. The service was really slow, and we ended up staying for about two hours. It was odd that this guy also stayed because he got his food much earlier.
Finally, we left the restaurant, and as we walked to the door, he got up and exited too! Then I noticed him getting into the car right next to ours—he was driving a large SUV or truck with tinted windows—and he started following us! I told my father, who was driving, and he made several U-turns to be sure.
Yep, this guy was following us. So, my father turned onto a busy road, and after a few turns, we lost the guy. It was very strange and scary—I have no idea why he’d want to follow us. But my gut feeling alerted me and maybe we got out of a bad situation.
29. If the Shoe Fits, Call the Cops
I was clubbing and felt something was wrong—I realized one of my friends was missing. I looked in the club, then outside, and saw her barefoot in the car park with glass in her feet being dragged off by a stranger to his car. I started screaming and making a scene for people to realize what was happening; the guy drove off and I spent 4 hours with my friend in the hospital getting a broken bottle out of her feet.
30. Eye of the Tiger, Thrill of Your Gut
I was visiting my ancestral place in India. We were just about done with the visit and called some “auto-rickshaws” or tuk-tuks as some people know them because those are the only things available there. We get our baggage and get loaded up. It’s about 9 PM, which for that place is basically ghost town time. As we ride out, we pass rice fields illuminated only by the glowing moon.
I feel like we’re being watched by something not quite human. I tell the driver to drive faster. Note that rickshaws are open on both sides, they don’t have doors per se. As soon as we take two steep turns, we hear a growl. Turning back, we see an honest to god freaking tiger standing there. If we had been a second late, which we would have been if I hadn’t told them to drive faster—the tiger would have knocked us into the rice fields and who knows what would have happened.
The interesting part is I had not seen or heard anything; it was pure intuition.
31. You Can’t Sting Me
I worked in an industry where kickbacks to customers were not uncommon. Bribery is a very grey area with the law. There’s a fine line between thanking a buyer with something like game tickets and enticing them with things much more valuable. Whether you’re dealing with a private company or government related is also a big difference.
One day, I took a call from a potential customer who said that he had been dealing with a competitor who went out of business. He wanted to place a very large order, for which I would have received thousands in commission—but right up front, he asked what was in it for him. He made it clear he wanted cash directly to him, that his employer could not know about.
My gut told me he was bad news and not to oblige him, and I didn’t. I was certain he was out to screw us in some way, so I even went a step further and told him that what he proposed was illegal, and we want no part of it. If somebody was recording me, I wanted to be clear as a bell. Sure enough, that phone call stopped a government sting operation in its tracks. Several companies were raided, and many individuals arrested in its wake. Many had fallen for it because their greed got the better of them.
This was back in the 80s and 90s when a lot of industries and companies were doing very bad things with only occasional repercussions, like this one.
32. Not Every Elder Is Worth Respecting
I went to a private Christian high school; one of my teachers gave off a bit of a creepy vibe. I pointed this out to my mom, and she told me to respect my elders. A couple years later, he was in the news after being arrested. He was a camp counselor at some Christian summer camp and a kid woke up to him playing with the kid’s junk.
33. Blessed by the Belt
This past Sunday, actually. I was with 2 friends of mine going on a drive to a Magic the Gathering tournament, and it was raining to all hell. The friend that was driving is a habitually reckless driver but just in this case, he took precautions and slowed down to a safe 60 mph on the expressway. (I should say that just that morning I had a discussion with my mother about how fast and heavy a car needs to be to hydroplane.)
So, we are driving down the expressway, me sitting behind the passenger seat, when I realize I’m not wearing my seatbelt. I clip it in and make the joke “good thing I put my seat belt on before we hydr-” and then we spun out and ended up totaling his car. Messed up my hip and back and my bag nearly gave me a concussion when it hit me upside the head.
34. I’ll Pencil You In For Survival
So, when I was about 8-9 years old, I was coming from school later than usual, and right before I came to my house, I decided to go to a nearby store instead to buy a new package of pencils. (I used to like drawing back then). Returning from the store, walking in the courtyard, I saw from afar two people coming out of the house I live in, and they did not look friendly at all. As you probably guessed it, our house was robbed, and sadly, I couldn’t remember the intruders’ faces.
To this day I wonder, what would have happened if I have not decided to buy those freaking pencils…
35. Not So Cuddly A Plan
I tell this story a lot. An old friend and I used to cut through a construction site a lot to get to the lake we’d skip rocks on. We did it like weekly for a year and a half. One day, I just felt an intense urge to go the other way. I said we should just go the long way today friend. He asked why. I didn’t really have a reason I just felt uncomfortable.
So long story short he called me a wuss and we walked up on a family of bears.
36. “Aunt” You Gonna Pay Me Back?
When my uncle married this woman that he had only recently started dating. I had a bad feeling about her from the get-go, although I tried to be supportive for him. Even her kids seemed too quiet and detached from our family. Turns out she was stealing his money and racking up huge amounts of credit card debt.
37. A Sweet One, And a Not-So-Sweet One…
Both good. My daughter met a nice young man her freshman year of college. They were both super shy and he was only 17. Hardly saying hi to each other. Followed my gut feelings and told him to ask her out. I told her to accept. He’s about to become my son in law, years later. They never looked at anyone else again.
Second. I’m involved with hiring in my management role in healthcare. Give me 5 minutes of casual conversation and I can call a hire better than any behavioral interview technique. One prospective hire interviewed well, got an offer. Stopped at my desk for introduction, visited for a few. I told the admin team I didn’t want her.
They went ahead—had to after conditional offer. Turns out she was on the adult abuse registry—twice! No job for her.
38. Time for a Detour
First month, I was a student at college; I was bored and lonely and decided to walk to my best friend’s house across town at midnight. It was a walk I’d made several times with no issues, but this time when I got to the edge of the campus parking lots, I had a gut feeling hit me that I needed to go back to my dorm, NOW. I did, and the next morning a campus alert went out through email that around 12:30 that morning, a student had been attacked and raped in the parking lot I’d have had to pass through.
39. War Never Changes
Iraq in 2006. We were going to be inserted for 48hrs. It was 2200 and past curfew. As we snake our way in our armored trucks down from a main avenue and just before my truck makes the left, a man smoking a cigarette and I lock eyes, he flicks the cigarette in my trucks general direction and walks away from our convoy. I leaned towards the center of the truck to look out the front windows and say “Stuff’s about to go down.”
The first two IEDs and shots were fired within seconds of me saying that. The ambush lasted for what seemed like hours, was only a few minutes.
40. Threat On The Docks
A former co-worker, Jason, told me this story. Jason was working at a dock in China and unloaded shipping containers from huge international cargo ships. A typhoon had just passed, and many of the inbound ships had been delayed for days due to the extreme weather. Once the weather cleared, there was a backlog of ships waiting to be docked and unloaded.
To make matters worse, a tropical depression had just been upgraded to a tropical storm and was expected to make landfall within 48 hours. It was organized chaos as the dock workers frantically tried to unload three times the volume of shipping containers in half the time. Jason was a Senior Cargo Agent, and his job was to verify that the information on the offloaded shipping containers matched the information on the manifest, and to visually inspect shipping containers for damage.
A cargo agent had to sign off on all cargo before an unloaded ship could disembark. As there were a limited number of spaces for ships to dock, it was crucial that the cargo agents verify the unloaded shipments as quickly as possible so that another ship could dock immediately. Everyone at the dock had walkie-talkies (hand-held portable two-way radios), and Jason heard Dock Manager 1 going absolutely crazy because an unloaded ship had been waiting in the dock for nearly two hours, and no cargo agent had verified their delivery.
Jason radioed Cargo Agent 1 assigned to that area, but there was no answer. He then radioed Cargo Agent 2, and still received no response. He then radioed the next closest Senior Cargo Agent 1 and asked him to drop everything and verify the cargo immediately. After thirty minutes, Dock Manager 2 radioed that the ship was STILL docked.
Jason then radioed Senior Cargo Agent 1 who he had sent over there and did not receive a response. He then radioed Dock Manager 1 who had been screaming into the radio and again received no response. Jason was now the only Senior Cargo Agent in the area, and it now fell to him to verify the unloaded shipment and get the delayed ship out of port ASAP.
As he got into his truck to drive over, a nagging feeling of dread kept telling him not to go. He ignored the feeling and drove there anyway, all the while trying and failing to radio anyone else in the area. When he arrived at the unloading zone, he couldn’t bring himself to get out of the truck, and later said that it felt as if he was being physically pushed back into his seat.
Jason then picked up his radio with a shaking hand and broadcast, “Unknown threat near unloading section four. All workers evacuate immediately. This is not a drill.” And just like that, a multi-billion dollar port was shut down. A HazMat team was soon dispatched and found that a shipping container damaged in transit had been carrying a heavier-than-air type of inert gas.
The gas leaked and displaced the air, then became trapped between several rows of closely stacked shipping containers. Every person that approached immediately lost consciousness. Five people were found dead near the damaged container, and Jason was later fired because he did not actually have the authority to shut down the port.
Jason filed the Chinese equivalent of a wrongful termination lawsuit, but was strongly encouraged to settle, or else the Chinese government might find him partially responsible for the workers’ deaths. As a white foreigner in China, this was a very real possibility, and he ended up settling for a modest amount. Jason still blames himself for the death of Senior Cargo Agent 1 and gave the settlement amount to the man’s widow.
41. Just in Time to Say Goodbye
This happened just this week. My grandma got diagnosed with cancer about a month ago. We caught it late so there wasn’t much we could do. She was too old and weak for chemo, so we decided against that. Last Sunday I just had a gut feeling I had to fly out to visit her. So, I did that, got back on Wednesday. She passed away Friday, a few weeks earlier than the prognosis predicted.
I’m really glad I was able to see her one last time.
42. Saved By a Lace
While walking down a street in a Nicaragua, I noticed my shoelaces were getting loose. At which point, I had a ‘gut feeling’ that I should stop and retie them, to avoid untied shoelace related accidents and injuries. In the 10 seconds I took to tie my sneakers, a bus stop with 5 people at it, about 10 seconds walk from where I was standing, gets laid flat by an out of control bus.
The people that had been waiting for the bus were now under it.
I work as an ER nurse and had a patient with a little dizziness, a little nausea and a swollen abdomen. She was fairly bright, able to talk, and nothing seemed too horrific. But she was turning a grim gray color and breathing quickly. Our average wait time today was two hours. I could have put her back in the queue and moved on.
But I had a little dark feeling that there was something sinister happening here. So I called our most senior doctor out of a consultation and asked him to see her. Right now. Ever heard of your abdominal aorta? Enormous blood vessel that can pouch out, suddenly rupture, and make you bleed internally to death in minutes?
It’s called a burst AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm). You’ve heard of it now. That’s what she had. I’ve never seen one before. But now I have. Within five minutes, she was barely responding. Within ten, her blood pressure had dropped to a barely sustainable level. Within twenty minutes, I was pouring blood into her and eight people were around the bed.
Within an hour, she was on an operating table clinging to life. But because I raised the alarm, and because my team worked their butts off, that woman is still, somehow, alive. Feels good, man.
44. Some Devastatingly Flawed Logic
I worked at a daycare. One of the mothers gave me the heebie jeebies. She would show up randomly and be like “my baaaaaaby, I neeeed my baaaaby.” Like, moms love their kids and miss them, but her obsession with her daughter really made me feel weird. She ended up killing her daughter so that she could be an angel. It really messed me up when I found out.
45. At Least They Were Already in a Hospital
I work at a psych hospital. I was in the cafe with an adult unit and the adolescent unit was also there. I had known one of the kids from when she was on the children’s and normally we had a good rapport. I went to say hi and told her I was proud she had been staying out of trouble, and a few of the other girls reacted weirdly to me saying it and the girl looked guilty.
I told the staff on the unit and said they should keep an extra eye on the girls because I had bad vibes about it. The staff kinda brushed me off. A half-hour later four girls (including the one I knew) literally almost killed the two staff, one got her head bashed in and suffered brain trauma and the other staff was blinded in one eye.
46. Grandma’s Intuition
We had a serial killer in South Carolina a couple of years ago. No one knew what he looked like yet but he had already killed three people at this point. Well, my granny has lived alone since my paw-paw passed about 15 years ago. She lives at the end of a long dirt road with about 10 other families but the closest one was about a quarter mile up the road.
One afternoon some random guy comes knocking on the front door of her house. My granny is a practical woman, she has never been to school because she grew up on a farm and was expected to pull her weight, but she is a smart woman. She goes to the door but doesn’t open it—it’s a glass door. The 40ish-year-old man is there asking if he can use the phone since his car broke down, but Granny doesn’t like the look of this guy.
If he doesn’t live here there is no reason for him to be on this road and if he was visiting someone their house or anyone else’s house would have been closer since she lives on a dead end. Anyways, she tells him that no he can’t use the phone and needs to leave. She backs up and picks up my paw-paw’s 410 as she goes. Once he sees the shotgun he hightails it out of there. About a week later the cops finally catch the serial killer and lo and behold if it isn’t the same man.