You could say I discovered FATE magazine while conducting an experiment. I am not sure of the year, but I think it was 2003. I was working a part-time job at a small shop in Lake Anne Village Center in Reston, Virginia.
One evening as the daylight ran out, I left work and walked to my car. I had recently been experimenting with “asking and listening.” I had some free time between work and an event I was attending later that evening, so I decided to try asking and listening to see if an angel or spirit guide might suggest something to for me to do. I posed my question and waited silently in my car for an answer. I had only so much faith in this kind of thing, but I was open enough to experiment, in spite of being uncomfortable with the whole business.
The answer I heard was simply: “Sam.” I couldn’t get anything beyond that, although I tried. I tried thinking of what that might mean. I didn’t know anyone by that name. I thought of “Uncle Sam,” but that didn’t help. I remembered there was a street in Reston with “Samuel” in its name, so I looked at my map and found it: Samuel Morse Drive, a short dead-end street with small office buildings. I drove over there with an open mind; I thought maybe there would be a restaurant or shop that I could go into. No such luck. So I turned around, made a left turn onto Sunset Hills Road, and just drove out trying to be open to further messages. I seemed to “hear” this phrase in my mind: “Sam I Am.” I chuckled and kept on driving.
The event I was attending that evening was in downtown Herndon at 7:30 p.m. I was headed in that direction, so I just went with that. I turned right onto Reston Parkway and then took a left into a shopping center north of Reston Town Center,which includes Best Buy, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble. I wasn’t really hungry, so I went to Starbucks and ordered a hot cocoa and a snack. I hadn’t been to that Starbucks before and I was surprised to see it had direct access to Barnes & Noble. There’s a good place to kill some time, I thought. So I walked in.
I had nothing in mind, so I just let my eyes lead me. I found a section of non-fiction bargain books, and was immediately drawn to a book calledMystic Experiences, compiled and edited by Jennifer Spees. The subtitle read: “Fascinating Real-Life Stories of Spirits, Other Dimensions and Strange Phenomena.” That sure sounded interesting, so I looked at the back cover, which only got me more interested. I opened the front cover and was about to start reading the inside of the book jacket. But instead of starting at the top, my eyes were drawn to something near the bottom of the flap: the name “Sam”! I was stunned as I read further: “Sam the ‘Spunky Angel ofMercy,’who averted a head-on collision.” It was the first of several bits about some of the book’s stories, which continued on the back flap. When I got over my shock, I chuckled a bit, saying something like,“Okay, very funny. I get it.” It was quite humbling to know that I might have been directed in spite of it not seeming that way. I can’t think of a better explanation.Why else would I only hear “Sam” in response to my question about what to do,where to go, and then find this? Of course I had some doubts; it could have just been coincidence. But I found that harder to believe. Obviously, I bought the book, and pretty much devoured it. I found the “Sam” story first, and actually read the entirety of it while standing there at the bookstore. Certainly my circumstances were not anything like what the person in the story was dealing with, and it might not have been the same angel who directed me to this, but I don’t think that matters. In the introduction, on page xi, the author says:“For over 50 years, the readers of FATE Magazine have submitted their true stories of strange, unexplained, and paranormal
experiences. True Mystic Experiences has been one of FATE’s most popular features since 1948.These are firsthand accounts of extraordinary events happening to ordinary people.” I couldn’t recall ever having heard of FATE, but I knew I had to look into it. I ended up subscribing. I even started seeing it in various places after that; I hadn’t noticed it before. Later, on a really slow night at work, I tried my experiment again. This time I seemed to hear the name “Franz Ferdinand.” So I got on the Internet and started searching. Of course this led me to Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria-Hungary whose assassination in Sarajevo was the spark that lit the powder-keg of World War I. I had no idea why I was told this name. However, over time and several psychic readings, it seems that I might have been him in that life. I still find it hard to believe, but I don’t know what else to make of it.
—David Wisbey, Lakewood, Colo.