KUSA - It's not unusual for little boys to have vivid imaginations, but Ryan's stories were truly legendary.
mother Cyndi said it all began with horrible nightmares when he was 4
years old. Then when he was 5 years old, he confided in her one evening
"He said mom, I have something I need to tell you," she told TODAY. "I used to be somebody else."
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.
"His stories were so detailed and they were so extensive, that it just wasn't like a child could have made it up," she said.
said she was raised Baptist and had never really thought about
reincarnation. So she decided to keep her son's "memories" a secret—
even from her own husband.
Privately, she checked out books about
Hollywood from the local library, hoping something inside would help her
son make sense of his strange memories and help her son cope with his
sometimes troubling "memories."
"Then we found the picture, and it changed everything," she said.
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. Read More
Return to Life: For more than a decade, Jim Tucker has traveled the country meeting
families, hearing stories like these, and trying to determine if the
children’s memories are valid. Continuing a fifty-year research project
at the University of Virginia involving children from all over the
world, he decided to focus on cases in the United States, where parents
would not expect their children to say such things.
A first-person account of his experiences with a number of extraordinary children, Return to Life
follows Dr. Tucker on his investigations. Readers see him taking a
young boy and his mother to a remote island the boy has talked about
repeatedly, working to identify a man in a photograph whom a little boy
says he used to be, and meeting a young golfing prodigy who has said he
was the famous golfer, Bobby Jones. One little girl talks about a great
fire; another recalls walking along a dusty road before being kidnapped
by two men in a car.
By the end of Return to Life,
readers will conclude that Dr. Tucker has amassed persuasive evidence
that some children do possess actual memories of previous lives. He then
puts the cases in the context of current scientific understandings and
concludes with his vision about what the cases say about the question of
life after death for all of us. Read More