Can a soul be reborn into a new earthly form? If Buddhism and Hinduism are to be believed, yes, reincarnation is real. However, the rest of us generally refuse to subscribe to such a belief, and that's really quite understandable. After all, it already requires quite a stretch of faith to believe that souls exist; an even bigger stretch is required to endorse the notion that such spirits can be recycled.
However, as difficult as it is to accept that souls can indeed be reborn, several cases throughout human history serve as pretty strong arguments for the reality of reincarnation. The circumstances in these cases may be different, but a common element is present in all of them: accurate memories of a past life. These memories often occur in children who could not have possibly known about the information they possess. And yet, when verified, these details turn out to be correct.
Here are five cases that will make it difficult for anyone to deny that reincarnation is indeed real:
5 The Boy With Unexplained Memories of Barra
Six-year-old Cameron Macaulay from Glasgow loved to talk about his family and draw pictures of his home, just as many young boys did. However, the family he talked about and the pictures of his home that he drew were were not those of his biological family. Instead, Cameron was making references to what he claimed was his past life as a resident of Barra, which was 160 miles from where he lived.
At first his mother, Norma, believed that the behavior her son was displaying was merely childish make-believe, but she began to grow concerned when the storytelling didn't stop as Cameron grew older. In fact, he often expressed worry that his former family was already missing him. Cameron also mentioned various details, including how he longed for his old house since it had three toilets instead of the one at his current home, and how his former father, a certain "Shane Robertson", died because of his failure to look both ways. Norma then decided she would allow a film company doing a study on reincarnation to help her take her son to Barra.
After a careful search, the home that Cameron described was found; however, its discovery caused considerable sadness for the boy when he learned that the previous owner of the home had died. Nevertheless, upon being let in by the housekeeper, Cameron showed how he knew every bit of the house, including the three toilets that he had mentioned while in Glasgow. Shane Robertson, however, has yet to be found.
4 Startling Memories of Being a WWII Pilot
When James Leininger was around two years old, his parents observed him experiencing nightmares as he slept. He appeared to be in a state of panic and trying to get out of something he was stuck in. When James started to speak more clearly, his parents began to decipher the phrases their son would scream out in the throes of those night terrors: "airplane crash", "can't get out", "plane on fire". Then later, when James was older, he began to draw scenes of war, in particular, of plane battles, which he would sign "James 3" despite the fact the he had yet to learn how to write. When asked by his parents about the signature, the boy explained it was because he was the third James.
The startling incidents continued as James grew older. At the age of three, James was videoed going over a plane as if doing a preflight check. Another time, his mother bought James a toy plane and pointed out what she thought was a bomb underneath the plane. "That's a drop tank," the boy corrected her.
Even more surprising was how James began to reveal details about the life of a former pilot. He talked about several pilots he knew, how his plane, a Corsair, had taken off from a boat called "Natoma", and how it was eventually shot down by the Japanese. At that point, James's father felt compelled to do some research on the information his son was sharing. What he learned shocked him: the names his son identified were actual pilots from the Natoma squadron of WWII, and a James Huston, Jr. from that squadron had been shot down by Japanese fighters over the Pacific in 1945.
James eventually got to meet the sister of the pilot whose soul seems to have been reborn through him. He has also visited the site where James Huston Jr.'s flight crashed. From then on, his nightmares slowly began to cease until they stopped completely.
3 Dead Daughters Reborn as Twins
On May 5, 1977, Joanna (11) and Jacqueline (6), daughters of the Pollock couple from Hexham in England, were playing on the pavement when they were fatally hit by a car. A year later Mrs. Pollock fell pregnant, and her husband revealed to her that in a vision, he saw how their dead daughters would be reborn as twins. Mrs. Pollock was skeptical about the prophecy, her doubt further fueled when a gynecologist confirmed that she was carrying only one baby. However, when she gave birth on October 4, 1958, Mr. Pollock was proven at least partly right as his wife delivered identical twin girls: Gillian and Jennifer.
Immediately, Mr. Pollock noticed that Jennifer had a scar above her right brow, which was exactly like the one Jacqueline developed after falling as a child. Furthermore, Jennifer also had a birthmark on her hip where Jacqueline did. In fact, when the twins were brought back to Hexham when they were two, despite the fact that they had last seen Hexham when they were four months old they seemed to know their way around the area. They also described places where they lived, studied, and played as if they were the deceased sisters.
Mrs. Pollock was still unconvinced, but her disbelief left her when the twins saw their deceased sisters' toys and were able to identify them by the names Joanna and Jacqueline had given them.
2 In-born Physical Peculiarities Correspond to Injuries from a Previous Life
While Thian San Kla of Ban Rasai, Thailand was still in his mother's womb but close to being born, both his parents had a dream where Thian's deceased uncle, Phoh San Kla, told them that he wanted to be reborn as the couple's child. At the time of the dreams, Phoh, a cattle thief, had been dead for a couple of months, a victim of his enemies hitting him on the back of the head with a large knife.
Thian was born on October 9, 1924, exactly one year after Phoh's murder. The first few years of his life went by uneventfully, but when Thian was close to four years old, he began to talk about his name being "Phoh". In fact, the boy was often angered if he was called "Thian". Furthermore, the boy would occasionally call his father "brother" and his paternal aunt "sister".
Thian also displayed astonishing knowledge of Phoh's circumstances. Once, a policeman who had performed investigations on Phoh's criminal activity and eventual murder paid the boy a visit. At once, Thian recognized the policeman and even called him by his name. Moreover, upon being questioned, Thian was able to correctly identify the persons who had killed Phoh.
In another incident, Phoh's wife visited Thian and tested the boy by forcing him to distinguish which among a mixed group of items belonged to Phoh and which ones did not. Thian not only accomplished the task but also narrated to Phoh's wife details about her married life.
Perhaps most unique among the details of this case is that Thian was born with physical peculiarities that seemed to match Pho's circumstances upon his death. One was Thian's partly detached nail on the big toe of his right foot, which corresponded to a chronic infection Pho suffered from on the same toe. The other was a scar-like birthmark on the back of Thian's head, which appeared exactly in the same area where Phoh's fatal wound was inflicted.
1 The Case Confirmed by a Special Commission
In Delhi, India during the 1930s, a little girl named Shanti Devi claimed to recall details of a past life. The case was so compelling that Mahatma Gandhi himself set up a commission to investigate it.
According to the accounts from the investigation, when Shanti was around four years old she revealed to her parents that she actually lived in Mathura, which was 145 km from the family home in Delhi, and had a husband who lived there. She also claimed that she had died ten days ten days upon giving birth to a child. Furthermore, when interviewed by her headmaster and teacher, Shanti used words from the dialect of Mathura and mentioned that the name of her merchant husband was "Kedar Nath". Curious, the headmaster did her own research and learned that there was indeed a Kedar Nath in Mathura whose wife, Lugdi Dev, had died ten days after giving birth to a son.
When the man was informed of the story, he traveled to Delhi with his son, but pretended to be his brother as a test for Shanti. The girl, however, immediately recognized both Kedar and Lugdi's son. In fact, Shanti was able to reveal intimate details of Kedar's life with Lugdi, including how Kedar had failed to keep his word on promises he made to his wife on her deathbed. As a result, both Kedar and the commission formed by Gandhi were convinced that Lugdi Devi had indeed been reincarnated through Shanti.