A British schoolboy was stranded in Abu Dhabi for 18 months because of a paralyzing fear of flying. Twelve-year-old Joe Thompson had to be hypnotized so that he could finally get back on a plane and go home to Somerset, England.
Thompson’s family had moved to Abu Dhabi four years earlier when his father Tony, a former a former aide to Labour politician John Prescott, was offered a job at a private hospital. They were due to fly back in June 2012 when Tony’s contract ended but around four months before they planned to go back, Joe inexplicably developed a serious phobia of flying. ‘We got on the plane but Joe became so traumatized, the crew said he had to get off,’ his father told reporters. Joe refused to get on planes on four separate occasions prompting the family to try and drive 4,500 miles to get him back to England. Visa issues prevented them from making the journey, so the family decided to hire hypnotist Russell Hemmings in a last bid to get Joe back home.
Check out the extraordinary mini documentary below:
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.