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The Boy Who Recalled Dying in World War II. Exploratory Studies in Reincarnation.

July 28, 2021 Authored by: Chaitanya Charan

‘Demystifying reincarnation’ by Shri Chaitanya Charan Das Ji is an engaging book that explores the phenomenon of reincarnation from the scientific, religious and spiritual angles. The author presents evidence from scientific researches and takes us through how the different world civilizations, across ages, have viewed reincarnation. As part of scientific evidence, the book gives you true accounts of reincarnation cases from across the world, that have been studied and verified by experts and scientists in the field. Today, we bring to you a riveting account of James Leininger, a boy who recalled extraordinary details about his past life as a World War II fighter pilot.

Case with Information Too Obscure to Be Known : James Leininger

James, a boy born to educated American parents Andrea and Bruce Leininger, started having nightmares when he was two. He would scream in terror and would say, “Airplane crash, on fire, little man can’t get out.” Coincidentally, from his early childhood, he played primarily and often exclusively with planes and showed extraordinary knowledge of fighter planes, despite never having watch war documentaries. At three, he would inspect a toy plane systematically, as if he were doing a pre-flight checkup.

On one occasion, when Andrea pointed to what she thought was a bomb on the back of  a toy plane, he corrected her, saying that it was a drop tank. Andrea had never heard of a drop tank till then. When she read about planes, she found that not only was James right, but that he knew more about planes than she did.

When James’ nightmares increased in intensity and frequency, his parents took him to therapist-counsellor Carol Bowman, who had researched and written on past-life memories in children. Although James’ parents didn’t believe in reincarnation, they were ready to try out anything as long as it relieved their son of his nightmares.

During her counselling, Bowman encouraged them to let James speak about his nightmares. When they did so, to their pleasant surprise, his nightmares soon decreased  and eventually disappeared. To their even greater surprise, he started revealing, before falling asleep at night extraordinary details about his past-life as a World War II fighter pilot killed by the Japanese. One by one, he revealed details which, on investigation, Bruce found to be true, but which would have been increasingly unlikely for an American boy to know. James mentioned the following details. 

1. That he had flown a Corsair, and that those planes “used to get flat tires all the time.” Bruce found that Corsairs did indeed have that defect. 

2. That he had taken off from a boat named the Natoma and had flown off with a “Jack Larson.” It turned out that the Natoma Bay was a small aircraft carrier in the pacific. Also, Jack Larson, an ex-fighter pilot, was still alive and living in Arkansas. 

3. That he was shot down at Iwo Jima, sustaining a direct hit on the engine. James also started signing his crayon drawings “James 3.” Research showed that the only pilot from the Natoma’s squadron killed at Iwo Jima was a James M. Huston Jr. The Jr. or “second” in the name explained why James, who thought of himself as the reincarnation, signed himself as James 3. Ralph Clarbour, a rear gunner on the plane flying right next to James M. Huston Jr. during the Iwo Jima raid, confirmed little James’ account of how the plane had been hit by anti-aircraft fire. “I would say he was hit head on, right in the middle of the engine.”

The confluence of all this evidence chipped away Bruce’s scepticism, fully convincing him that his son was indeed a reincarnation of James M. Huston Jr. Bruce. His wife’s father went on to describe their son’s extraordinary experiences in a full book, Sole Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot.


[Source: Chaitanya Charan, Demystifying reincarnation. Fingerprint Publishing (21 August 2017)]


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