It is hard enough to recall anything before the age of 10 but this amazing boy remembers his past life in shocking detail.
However, when the nightmares began four years ago for 6-year-old James Leininger of Lafayette, his parents, Bruce and Andrea Leininger, were troubled. The nightmares were coming as much as four times a week, and James would violently kick and scream with his feet up in the air. It appeared as though he was fighting with something or buried in a box, trying to get out. The only way he could escape the nightmares was for his parents to shake him awake. The nightmares were out of control
From the age of 18 months little James was obsessed with airplanes, especially World War II airplanes. After a while he also began to have nightmares about being shot down and unable to escape his burning cockpit.
James became really specific with details of his nightmarish crash. From July to September of 2000, James began to tell his parents that the plane in his nightmares was shot down by the Japanese after it had taken off from a ship on the water. When James was asked if he knew who the pilot was, he simply replied “James.”
His down-to-Earth parents, Bruce and Andrea, were absolute non-believers in reincarnation. In fact, James’ father began to do some research into the Second World War just to prove to himself that none of this could be true. However, Bruce was bemused to find that there had been a US Navy carrier called the Natoma Bay which was involved in the battle for Iwo Jima.
Moreover, Bruce found that one of the carrier’s pilots had indeed been called James. And this Lt. James M. Huston had been shot down by the Japanese on the 3rd of March, 1945, his flaming fighter plane hurtling into the Pacific.
A book about him, Soul Survivor, is a best-seller in the US and tells how he began to have dreams about the war as a two-year-old.
His parents Bruce, 59, and Andrea, 47, were initially sceptical about the idea of reincarnation but have now traced the relatives of the dead pilot who were impressed by James’s apparent memories of the war.
Mrs Leininger told the Mirror: “In the throes of his nightmares you couldn’t work out what he was saying. But two or three months in, I was walking down the hall and I heard him saying, ‘Airplane crash, plane on fire, little man can’t get out.’ “It chilled me to my bone hearing this.
“I asked him what happened to his plane and he said, ‘It crashed on fire.’ I asked how it crashed and he said the Japanese shot his plane.”
Andrea’s mother, Barbara Scoggin, suggested an explanation that later seemed to be the right answer: James might be experiencing a past life memory. After reading about a counsellor by the name of Carol Bowman from Pennsylvania, Ms. Scoggin explained how Ms. Bowman was an expert on a child phenomenon that was similar to what James was experiencing. Ms. Bowman had also authored a book, Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child, after her own son had similar problems with nightmares and strange recollections.
“When we are dreaming, our conscious minds are not filtering material as when we are in a waking state, so unconscious material, including past life memories, emerge,” Ms. Bowman explains. “It is not uncommon for young children to dream of their previous lives. We tend to notice the nightmares, because they disturb the sleep and are often dramatic, realistic stories, as in James’ case. They are often recurring, as the child relives the same dramatic events over and over. On some level, they are seeking resolution to these disturbing memories. When Andrea acknowledged what James was remembering in his dreams – his plane crashing – it helped him move through the trauma.”
Bruce also found that Billy, Leon and Walter were the names of three Natoma Bay Navy aviators who had died before James Huston, Jr. Their full names were Billie Peeler, Leon Connor and Walter Devlin.
James called his GI Joe dolls Billie, Leon and Walter, and that he said that they were waiting for him when he went to heaven. Bruce and Andrea learned that the hair color of each doll matched the hair color of the deceased aviator. Billie Peeler had dark hair, as did James’s Billie doll. Leon Connor had blonde hair, as did the Leon doll and Walter Devlin had reddish hair, as did James’s Walter doll
James said his boat was called the Natoma and he remembered the name Jack Larsen.
Flicking through a book the two-year-old pointed at a picture of Iwo Jima in the Pacific and said that was where his plane was shot down.
Mr Leininger found that just one pilot died during the battle of Iwo Jima, James M Huston Jnr, 21.
He was shot down on March 3, 1945, while on his 50th mission, his last before he was due to go home.
Every detail of James’ dreams have been verified to the Leiningers’ satisfaction, whether through eyewitness accounts, personal interviews or military records. Bruce and Andrea say they are absolutely convinced that Huston’s spirit has touched James. They just can’t figure out why or how exactly.
“If a soul reincarnates with ‘unfinished business,’ or dies a traumatic death, these memories are more likely to carry over into another life,” says Ms. Bowman, the author and expert on such metaphysical phenomena. “In James’ case, he died a traumatic death as a young man. There was still much emotion
and energy that may have propelled these memories forward. … As I see it, a part of James Huston’s consciousness survived death and is a part of James Leininger’s soul consciousness. The present incarnation is not a carbon copy of the last, but contains aspects of James Huston’s personality and experience.” James told Bruce and Andrea that he picked them as parents when they were at the pink hotel in Hawaii. Indeed, Bruce and Andrea were at the Royal Hawaiian hotel five weeks before Andrea became pregnant with James. As such, it appears that James was observing Bruce and Andrea from the spirit world, prior to his birth.
James continues to recall his past life memories, even today. But Bowman says children usually lose their abilities to remember past life memories by the age of 7. With time running out, what could be the final piece to the puzzle is the crash site itself, and if the cockpit were jammed shut, it would explain the first nightmares. But due to U.S. military regulations concerning downed aircraft in foreign waters, Bruce says diving on the site and disturbing the remains of the pilot would be prohibited.
James, from Lafayette, Louisiana. told the Mirror: “I think the story is incredible. I don’t remember any of it but hearing about what happened when I was two, it is incredible.”
The James Huston, Jr. | James Leininger case is one of the most compelling reincarnation cases in existence. Evidence of spirit beings is also provided in this rich case. We thank the Leininger family for doing this very important reincarnation research and making it public, even when it conflicted with the tenets of their religion. You are heroes in the search to understand the mechanism and meaning of human existence.