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LookingSkyward
2012-Apr-19, 08:32 AM
Prompted by JustAFriend’s post in the Professional Pilot Testimony thread...


For a number of years I commuted about 50k miles a year on my motorcycle.
On day, riding home on a twisty narrow road primarily inhabited by logging trucks and squashed possums, I came around a corner to see the grill of a log truck in my line, with another in the southbound lane.

Perception: I’m going to possum…

I was just rolling in to a hard braking right turn – no shoulder, just a 5 foot bank down to a stock fence, hoping I could lay down my bike and keep it between my fragile bits and the fence.

Just before taking the slidey splat, I realized that the truck in my lane was actually being towed northbound, and not a threat.

I managed to complete the short (from there) trip home, and get to the bathroom and get to the bathroom for the ‘I have to go NOW’ adrenaline reaction, and then deal with the shakes on my couch.

Note that the perception, plan, and updated perception above all happened in less than a second or so.
Got any skewed perception stories? BigDon?? Anyone?

geonuc
2012-Apr-19, 08:47 AM
I have one that happened to me recently. It's not a quick-reaction thing like you had.

Sitting at a red light, I noticed a woman in the car behind me in my mirror. She was interesting looking, so I stared a bit (you can do that using a mirror when you have sunglasses on). She seemed to be sad from the look on her face. But when I moved my head just slightly, she seemed to instantly brighten up with a smile.

Seems there was a small piece of debris on my rear window and when I moved my head just so, it lined up with her mouth in a way that extended it into a smile, at least on one side. But my mind filled in the blanks and her whole face smiled. I was initially confused because I couldn't understand why she seemed to be alternately very sad and very happy. But the strange thing was that after I realized what was happening, I still couldn't make my mind stop seeing her as brightening up. I couldn't alter my perception.

It was a long light.

BigDon
2012-Apr-19, 02:56 PM
Woke up in the front passenger seat of my brother's jeep and experieneced the exact same thing with a trailered bulldozer.

Both logging trucks and D-9 Cat's are near the top of the list of things you don't want to hit in your car, (or motorcycle). On par with loaded cement mixers and bank trucks carrying quarters. Topped by main battle tanks which are topped by freight trains.

Don't hit any of those.

Also, don't let your children play in trainyards, especially at dusk. I'm not saying my parents let me, they just thought I was smarter than that. (Neither were my friends.)

Ten lanes of track on a flat curve with stationary trains parked on three of them and you can make a mistake as to which track you want to be standing on when the San Jose To San Francisco express train comes barreling through the yard at full speed because it doesn't stop at the last station. A kid named Mike Wright made that mistake and was even luckier than that guy on the flightdeck I wrote about. The train flat out hit him. Knocked his little twelve year old backside into a horizontal flat spin that propelled him higher than the train that hit hit and he landed on the train parked next to the track he was hit on, which was an open topped gravel hauler full of gravel.

His only injury was a big lump on his elbow. And full body soreness.

He had an odd phone conversation with his parents immediately afterwards.

I didn't play there anymore after that. I must of grown out of it. (Yeah, that's it.)

profloater
2012-Apr-19, 03:13 PM
Can't beat that train near miss. I did have one that changed me. I was driving home, dark and I thought I was on a dual carriageway stretch, not much traffic, casually overtaking a truck when lights came at me in my lane. My spine reacted faster than my brain and swerved and braked and swerved again tucked in behind the truck. Part of my conscious brain thought "this will turn the car over" but it didn't. I missed killing myself and the other guy by less than a second, maybe less than a quarter second, and it over before I knew it. The rest of my life is a bonus, that was my nearest miss.

BigDon
2012-Apr-19, 03:47 PM
The rest of my life is a bonus, that was my nearest miss.

You are aware that you just jinxed yourself hard? Let me run down my list.

"Whew! I was almost sucked down that F-14 intake! That was the closest I'd come to dying!"

Whew! I was almost washed overboard off of the elevator in heavy seas, blah blah blah.

Whew, I was rescued fron an CO2 filled void alive only because the damage control rescue locker was the next room down the passageway

Whew I was dumb enough to want to go look at an 18 foot king cobra ever body else was running away from. (Without coiling that snake reared to eye level with me. Made me realize what a tiny little monkey I am.)

Whew! I was dumb enough to get loud mouth drunk and talk Irish politics with five real Irishmen! In 1985! All by myself! You're from the UK. You know I'm not being cute here. (Though it is kind of a funny story)

I could go on with the near death experiances. But I think you get the point.

Welcome to the club. Wear a helmet.

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-19, 04:12 PM
Back to the misperceptions, my college roommate told me this one. He was heading home late at night to a small town in northern Montana while school was out for a break. Came around a corner and saw a 40 foot tall green man standing in the road, legs splayed.

After the initial panic, he realized there was a little gas station/roadhouse there. It had a sign atop the building and another by the road, at the same height. His mind put the two signs together into one and then filled the gap with something blocking part of the sign -- the leg of a 40 foot green man.

BigDon
2012-Apr-19, 04:34 PM
There is an S curve coming out of Colma on El Camino Real that a car dealership put a billboard up to intentionally get people's attention. Looked like there was a Caddie parked across both lanes as you rounded the bend. That was up for about 12 years. IIRC the mayor owned the dealership.

grapes
2012-Apr-19, 05:18 PM
You are aware that you just jinxed yourself hard?

A bunch of kids were petting my horse through a fence and to show off I flopped on top of him, and just as quickly found myself on my back on the ground watching his hind hooves piston on either side of my head. He settled down when the other kids stopped yelling.

I was driving a station wagon with eight people in it, from Laramie to Ft. Collins (that 50 mile stretch of road was listed in two slots on the top ten deadliest US highways list in the nineties, once for the WY side and once for the CO side), on a bright sunny day, going 60 mph. Hit a patch of ice and did a smooth 360 and caught dry pavement again before anyone even had a chance to scream.

Climbing in the Snowy Range, and on a lark took a detour from what was normally a grassy walk-up. I ended up fifty feet off the ground, my last protection thirty feet below me, no cracks, and I'd climbed on finger width ledges for forty feet. My fingers were sore and one leg was starting to sewing machine. My belayer said he wished he could help me, I said I wished he could too. I could feel/see what might be a finger hold just above my reach--so I jumped a little. It was there.

And then there was the time I had to stand up and give a speech for Mr. Peart...

Perikles
2012-Apr-19, 05:55 PM
It's pretty dangerous falling asleep at the wheel of a car, but once during a long journey I actually fell asleep on a motorbike. I woke and found myself on an unrecognizable road, driving on the right hand side. But this was England, where this habit meets with disapproval, and usually death. I suppose the sleep must have been momentary, but I had no idea where I was, nor who I was.

LookingSkyward
2012-Apr-20, 09:57 AM
Wow! I've gotten drifty when driving, but never on the bike..Glad you came out OK!

Jim
2012-Apr-20, 12:20 PM
I was driving along Interstate 35 one night, doind about 70 in the righthand lane, when the fellow in the lefthand lane decide he wanted to be where I was. So he came over.

I swerved to the right, went off the highway, up the embankment, and came to a stop. The care stayed under control the entire time. Had I thought about pushing in the clutch, the engine probably wouldn't have stopped. As it was, I started it up, and drove back onto the highway.

Oh, I was driving a Corvair. Ralph Nader is an idiot.

SeanF
2012-Apr-20, 03:09 PM
I've got a humorous one that doesn't involve driving. I think it'd be kind of hard to explain the set-up, so I made a little diagram:


---PATIO DOOR-------------------------



Dining Room/Kitchen



---------------------------

<--Me walking this way


Living Room



-------------LARGE WINDOW-------------
I had gotten up in the middle of the night and was going to the kitchen to get a drink of water (my bedroom is off to the right on that diagram). When I reached the end of the wall and turned to my right, I realized there was someone in the dining room, right in front of me and in the process of stepping towards me (close enough to touch). I could only see them by their silhouette against the ambient light coming in through the patio doors. Absolutely scared the crap out of me.

But I quickly realized that I had made my right turn a bit too early. What I thought was light coming in through the patio doors was actually coming in the large window behind me and reflecting off the wall (which I was about to walk right into). The silhouetted figure was my own shadow cast on the wall.

Yes, that's right. I was literally scared of my own shadow.

LookingSkyward
2012-Apr-20, 03:11 PM
Nice! We let the horse and llama out in the yard frequently, and I've been startled a few times by 'unexpected llama'.

BigDon
2012-Apr-20, 04:28 PM
I had gotten up in the middle of the night and was going to the kitchen to get a drink of water (my bedroom is off to the right on that diagram). When I reached the end of the wall and turned to my right, I realized there was someone in the dining room, right in front of me and in the process of stepping towards me (close enough to touch). I could only see them by their silhouette against the ambient light coming in through the patio doors. Absolutely scared the crap out of me.

But I quickly realized that I had made my right turn a bit too early. What I thought was light coming in through the patio doors was actually coming in the large window behind me and reflecting off the wall (which I was about to walk right into). The silhouetted figure was my own shadow cast on the wall.

Yes, that's right. I was literally scared of my own shadow.

I nearly killed a full length mirror checking my neighbor's house for intruders. She came home late from work and her front door was ajar. My lights were on and my windows were open. Good thing I had the safeties on because I did squeeze. (One of the reasons God put them there.)

Yep, turned the corner of a darkened hallway and there was a big mean looking dude with a coachgun!

Would have scared anybody. Still would have never lived it down.

BigDon
2012-Apr-20, 04:35 PM
It's pretty dangerous falling asleep at the wheel of a car, but once during a long journey I actually fell asleep on a motorbike. I woke and found myself on an unrecognizable road, driving on the right hand side. But this was England, where this habit meets with disapproval, and usually death. I suppose the sleep must have been momentary, but I had no idea where I was, nor who I was.

Twice I've come awake as a passenger in a full car and realized I was the only one who was.

Good thing Interstate 280 is a wiiiide freeway.

You really shouldn't let the designated driver drink. Kinda defeats the purpose.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-20, 06:53 PM
...When I reached the end of the wall and turned to my right...
I had a similar "walking" one lately.

Bedr. \ |
\ |
__ \| / Bath
| | /
| |/ ____________
|
| hall <--------walking
|

I was going to the bedroom, and walked into the bath by mistake. When I reached to turn on the light, I was really baffled why there was a door to my left in the way of the wall with the switch. It was actually scary thinking that I didn't know my own house until I realized which doorway I walked into.

And; today after lunch (normally I eat at my desk). The ventilation system gave me a kind of puff. It was enough to make me lose concentration on the screen and notice a crumpled paper napkin right in front of me that I had used. HEY, WHO THREW THAT?

BigDon
2012-Apr-20, 07:16 PM
Wait! I have one that can only come from me. Though I'd like it if Tog can back me up on this.

When I was in the service in that psycho dojo I was part of for a while, I did pick up an interesting trick or two.

For instance, my go to manuever when somebody is dumb enough to try to bear hug me from behind is to clamp my hands over theirs, then kick them hard in the face.

I really don't look like the kind of person who can kick over his own shoulder. Being wide and all.

and every single time I've done that to somebody the person in question looked around for a second assailant.

After I started to expect it, I'd say:

"Nope, just me."

Solfe
2012-Apr-20, 11:52 PM
This is a bad assumption followed immediately by poor perception.

One of my first dates with my wife Kitty was horseback riding. It was very late November or early December. She thought she had me out of my element, but I had been riding many times before. I am by no means an expert, but I like horses.

I picked a largish horse named Chico; He was expressive and very friendly. There was were 18 other people saddling up so I had a long wait just chit chatting with Kitty and other riders.

Then Chico turned his head to look at me with a funny look in his eye. Then his nostril sort of quivered, not like an angry animal but like a cute and fuzzy bunny. (This is the bad assumption.) So, I smiled at Kitty and said "What do you think that means?" As we chuckled, the quiver turned into a twitch that ran up his face to his ear and then race the entire length of his body. That was somewhat worrisome and if I had more than a half tick to think about it, I might have dismounted. I never had the chance. He bolted.

Chico took me on this mad cap ride down snow covered trails, through bushes and over a pile of logs. I tried to slow him but he was not having any of it. I tried to turn him and he shrugged it off. As a bend in the trail came up, I realized he had no intention of turning. He was going run on to an ice covered pond and there was nothing I could do to stop it. He smashed through the thin ice and plowed on about 45 feet. It turns out, this was no pond but about a 150 foot wide, 8 inch deep puddle. (This was the bad perception.)

Once he was going slow enough to suit him, he threw himself down in the water and rolled over me. I was bent backwards and had his whole rear end slam my face and chest into the ice, water and muck. He did it again then leap up, with me still on his back. This was no skill on my part, a better rider would have done anything to avoid that roll.

Stunned, I just sat there on his back as he sauntered back to the stable where about 30 people stood looking just as stunned as I felt. Since no one was going to say anything, I finally said "So, everyone ready to go?"

SolusLupus
2012-Apr-24, 05:08 AM
It's pretty dangerous falling asleep at the wheel of a car, but once during a long journey I actually fell asleep on a motorbike. I woke and found myself on an unrecognizable road, driving on the right hand side. But this was England, where this habit meets with disapproval, and usually death. I suppose the sleep must have been momentary, but I had no idea where I was, nor who I was.

I know first hand what it's like to do this in a car, but without waking up. Roll over, car fire, still paying the bills.

LookingSkyward
2012-Apr-24, 10:38 AM
really, really gald you're still with us, SL

SolusLupus
2012-Apr-24, 04:21 PM
Thanks. Sorry to pull the thread off-topic with my issues. :)

Almost all paid, and need to do the paperwork to get state farm insurance on my property.

LookingSkyward
2012-Apr-25, 09:41 AM
Ok, this one may be a little hard to visualize, as it happened on a submarine.
We were in port, not our home port. One of my jobs (watches) was roving the missile compartment, checking gauges, tank levels and general security. There are 4 levels in the MC (on a Trident).
The 2nd level had a stationary watch station, and I needed to check in every half hour or so, or there he’d call a security violation (vanishing security patrols rated as ‘bad’). 3rd level was the berthing compartment – mostly bunkrooms, heads (including showers), and laundry. 9 people to a bunkroom (and they were smaller than the office I work I now).

As the rover, I carried a clipboard for logs, and a web belt – the thick green kind that toggle link in front.

Now to set the stage… we’re not in home port, and everyone who could had their wife/gf/kid brother/mom fly in. I didn’t so I took a lot of extra watches to get my buddies time on the beach (it comes back around when you need it). I hadn’t slept in about 18 hours, and I hadn’t slept more than about 4 hours in a row for a week or so – pretty normal in submarine world. It’s the middle of the night, and everyone who could has hit the beach, and everyone not on watch is catching a nap.

I wake up, in my bunk, and see the clipboard and guard belt on the bunkroom floor. Immediately, I assume I zoned out and hit my bunk while on watch (remember the security violation bit above). I grabbed the guard belt & clipboard, and beat feet up to the 2nd level watch station to check in with my buddy, Mac.
Mac said something like “What the heck are you doing? And you’re in your underware…”
Turns out, I’d been relieved and gone to bed. My relief managed to get doused with hydraulic fluid, and nipped down to our bunkroom to change, leaving the belt and clipboard on the floor. He was standing right there when I jumped out of bed and scurried off with the watch gear, and followed me up to the second level, laughing up his sleeve.
I didn’t even see him…

Hornblower
2012-Apr-25, 01:48 PM
Ok, this one may be a little hard to visualize, as it happened on a submarine.
We were in port, not our home port. One of my jobs (watches) was roving the missile compartment, checking gauges, tank levels and general security. There are 4 levels in the MC (on a Trident).
The 2nd level had a stationary watch station, and I needed to check in every half hour or so, or there he’d call a security violation (vanishing security patrols rated as ‘bad’). 3rd level was the berthing compartment – mostly bunkrooms, heads (including showers), and laundry. 9 people to a bunkroom (and they were smaller than the office I work I now).

As the rover, I carried a clipboard for logs, and a web belt – the thick green kind that toggle link in front.

Now to set the stage… we’re not in home port, and everyone who could had their wife/gf/kid brother/mom fly in. I didn’t so I took a lot of extra watches to get my buddies time on the beach (it comes back around when you need it). I hadn’t slept in about 18 hours, and I hadn’t slept more than about 4 hours in a row for a week or so – pretty normal in submarine world. It’s the middle of the night, and everyone who could has hit the beach, and everyone not on watch is catching a nap.

I wake up, in my bunk, and see the clipboard and guard belt on the bunkroom floor. Immediately, I assume I zoned out and hit my bunk while on watch (remember the security violation bit above). I grabbed the guard belt & clipboard, and beat feet up to the 2nd level watch station to check in with my buddy, Mac.
Mac said something like “What the heck are you doing? And you’re in your underware…”
Turns out, I’d been relieved and gone to bed. My relief managed to get doused with hydraulic fluid, and nipped down to our bunkroom to change, leaving the belt and clipboard on the floor. He was standing right there when I jumped out of bed and scurried off with the watch gear, and followed me up to the second level, laughing up his sleeve.
I didn’t even see him…

That is a gem. It has been my understanding that sleeping while on watch is one of the most serious offences a crew member can commit. I certainly would have panicked if I had experienced something like that.