Super Senior: Allan Hobson

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 1:10 PM EDT
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Allan Hobson is a dreamer. The world is just a keystroke away at this old farmhouse in East Burke.

"I'm immobile but I have the internet. I have the whole world of art and science right at my figertips," Hobson said.

The retired Harvard professor is a world renowned expert on the subject of dreaming. He's written 300 papers on the subject. "Everyone sleeps -- that's the point of the story," he said.

Hobson is far from reserved. His opinions are thought provoking on life after death. "I believe spirit arises from the brain, but I think when the brain goes, that's it, there's nothing more and that's a very hard sell," he said.

And on smoking pot. "It's now clear that even marjuana, which is popular, caused brain damage. There's no question about it," Hobson said.

But all would agree -- everyone sleeps. "People don't pay attention to sleep, they think it's a waste of time. Actually, I think it's just as important as being awake," Hobson said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you ever write down what you dream about?

Allan Hobson: Always, every morning. I have a dream journal with over, I don't know, two or 3,000 dream reports... Do you get it, do you understand my story?

Reporter Joe Carroll: Well, I'm starting to understand it.

He put his story on paper in his autobiography. "I call it 'Dream Life' because it's the life of my work in dream science," he said.

He spent his early life growing up in an upper middle-class family in Connecticut. His research days were at Harvard. In the early '60s he bought his Vermont property to remain grounded.

Reporter Joe Carroll: What have you learned about Vermont people?

Allan Hobson: Self reliance... I was unaware of the resources. I was unaware of what those people had to give me and teach me.

But Hobson is aware of his own faults.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Are you hard to deal with?

Allan Hobson: I'm sort of an impossible person, yes. You can see why. I'm hopelessly ambitious, very obsessed with these ideas.

His ambitions have created a sleep museum in a converted milking barn next to the house. It's arguably the most unusual museum in Vermont that no one's heard of.

Hobson suffered a stroke and it's difficult for him to move about. His caregiver, Beullah Nickles, helps with the tours.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Would Allan like to see more people come here?

Beullah Nickles: Oh yes, most definitely.

"I've dreamt this all my life and I want to tell you a little about it," Hobson said.

There are no crowds, but Hobson says the people who do come are passionate about the world of dreams. "It's not important to remember your dreams, it's important to have them," he said.

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