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Researching Reincarnation

Date: 06-11-12
Host: George Noory
Guests: Roy Stemman, Giorgio Tsoukalos

Making his debut on the show, journalist and publisher, Roy Stemman, who has spent his life researching the paranormal, talked about his most recent work investigating reincarnation, comparing the best-documented case studies from around the world. There are mainly two types of cases, he explained, children who spontaneously remember past lives, and adults who recall previous incarnations through past life regressions (hypnosis). A lot of material was available in parapsychology journals, but many astonishing cases had never made it into the public domain, he noted. In the cases that involve children, they typically start having recall of a past life around the ages of 2 or 3, but "by the time they're six or seven, those memories fade pretty rapidly, and they stop talking about it, so there's only a narrow window of opportunity for researchers to find these cases," he pointed out.

If a child does start making reports of a past life, it can be difficult for parents to evaluate these claims, as kids often do have imaginary friends, Stemman said. In this type of situation, he advises parents to not be dismissive, and to find out if what they are remembering is disturbing in any way. For instance, an Indian family living in Canada, went back to Jaipur, India for a vacation, and their son started recalling a previous life there, and was highly disturbed by it, so they ended up seeking counseling. Past life recall is more common in cases where the previous incarnation met a violent end, which led Stemman to ponder-- are people just remembering a past life because of its traumatic associations, or was the previous incarnation coming back in a new body to fulfill their destiny because their life had been cut short?

The late researcher Dr. Ian Stevenson found an intriguing connection between birth marks/defects of people who experienced past lives, and their previous incarnations. He isolated 49 cases where it was possible to compare records of the wounds/injuries of the deceased/past life person, and in 43 of the cases, the reincarnation claimants had some type of corresponding markings on their bodies, such as a man who had birth marks on his chin and head, in spots where the deceased had shot himself. Stemman also talked about how a person's inexplicable phobia could possibly be rooted in a past life-- such as fear of water, connected with the previous incarnation drowning.

'Ancient Aliens' Update

In the first hour, publisher of Legendary Times magazine, Giorgio Tsoukalos, shared updates on his work, and announced that a new season (season 5) of Ancient Aliens had been picked up by the History 2 Channel. A consulting producer on the series, he noted that it's now a flagship program on the new History 2 Channel, which is offered for free to cable providers who already carry the History Channel. Just because humans don't have interstellar travel, that doesn't preclude other beings from having that ability, he argued, adding that years ago Wernher von Braun suggested a concept called a "generation starship" which would serve as an habitat in outer space, where astronauts would procreate, and maybe an 8th or 10th generation would arrive at a destination planet like ours.

News segment guests: Katherine Albrecht, Steve Shenk

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