Reincarnation. Do you believe? Stories of children who suddenly begin to see images from a past life are not all that uncommon. What is uncommon is when one of these stories include impressive evidence to support the claims of reincarnation.
When Ryan was four years old he began to experience horrible nightmares. A year later he finally told his mother what had been bothering him at nights.
“He said mom, I have something I need to tell you,” she told TODAY. “I used to be somebody else.”
The preschooler would then talk about “going home” to Hollywood, and would cry for his mother to take him there. His mother said he would tell stories about meeting stars like Rita Hayworth, traveling overseas on lavish vacations, dancing on Broadway, and working for an agency where people would change their names.
She said her son even recalled that the street he lived on had the word “rock” in it.
Suspicious (or curious), the boy’s mother browsed through countless book from the public library, looking at pictures of actors from the golden age of Hollywood.
“Then we found the picture, and it changed everything,” she said.
That photo, in one of the books from the library, was a publicity shot from the 1932 movie “Night After Night,” starring Mae West in her film debut.
“She turns to the page in the book, and I say ‘that’s me, that’s who I was,’ Ryan remembers.
Cyndi said she was shocked, and only more confused, because the man Ryan pointed to was an extra in the film, with no spoken lines.
But finally she had a face to match to her son’s strange “memories,” giving her the courage to ask someone for help.
That someone was Dr. Jim Tucker, M.D., the Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia.
The child psychiatrist has spent more than a decade studying the cases of children, usually between the ages of 2 and 6 years old, who say they remember a past life.
Dr. Jim Tucker, along with researchers, began to dig into the mystery of the identity of the man that Ryan claimed he used to be. What they found in their searches only helped solidify Ryan’s claims of his past life.
After weeks of research, a film archivist combing through original production materials for the movie “Night After Night” was able to confirm who he was. His name, Marty Martyn, a former movie extra who later became a powerful Hollywood agent and died in 1964.
“If you look at a picture of a guy with no lines in a movie, and then tell me about his life, I don’t think many of us would have come up with Marty Martyn’s life,” Tucker said, “Yet Ryan provided many details that really did fit with his life.”
After digging through old records— almost none of them available on the internet, and tracking down Martyn’s own daughter, Tucker was able to confirm 55 details Ryan gave about his life.
It turns out Martyn wasn’t just a movie extra. Just as Ryan said, he had also danced on Broadway, traveled overseas to Paris, and worked at an agency where stage names were often created for new clients.
Tucker also discovered Ryan’s claim that he lived on the street with the word “rock” in it was nearly spot on— Martyn lived at 825 North Roxbury Dr. in Beverly Hills.
Tucker was also able to confirm other obscure facts that Ryan gave— how many children Martyn had, how many times he was married, even how many sisters he had. While Martyn’s own daughter grew up thinking her father had just one sister— Tucker was able to confirm he actually had two, again, just as Ryan claimed.
Dr. Tucker’s research is not without critics. When his work was recently featured in The University Of Virginia Magazine, some readers shared their outrage in the comments section. One reader wrote he was “appalled” that this kind of work is being done at the university. Another called Tucker’s research “pseudoscience.”
Dr. Jim Tucker’s next claim is equally (if not more) as astonishing:
Tucker said he’s only trying to apply the rules of science to the mystery of reincarnation. Even with Ryan’s case, there was one fact the detailed obsessed scientist thought the little boy had wrong.
“He said he didn’t see why God would let you get to be 61 and then make you come back as a baby,” Tucker said.
That statement seemed to be incorrect because Martyn’s death certificate listed his age as 59 years old when he died.
But as Tucker dug deeper, he was able to uncover census records showing Martyn was In fact born in 1903 and not 1905, meaning Ryan’s statement — not his official death certificate— was indeed correct.
So here we have it. A claim of reincarnation made by a 10 year-old boy that is being backed up by a Dr. Jim Tucker. Who also happens to be the author of the successful book Return to Life. In which he recounts several other cases of children just like Ryan’s.
Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, Ryan’s incredible story on Today.com is interesting nonetheless.