Watch CBS News

University Of Virginia Professor Shares Stories Of Children He Says Were Reincarnated

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - James Leininger was only 2 years old when he first started talking about his memories.

He explained events such as a plane crash and drowning in the ocean to his parents' disbelief.

At night James would toss and turn and wake up with nightmares as he vividly dreamed about flying in a plane, then crashing in to the ocean and drowning. He would even fly his toy planes in to the coffee table and scream "crash."

Return to Life (Pt.1)

The Leininger family was a typical Christian, Louisiana family who had a son with a very interesting past, they say. His father began his own research in to James' story and found that the details he was sharing were similar to that of a real person.

The events he described actually mirrored those that occurred to a man named James Huston. Huston's plane was shot down into the ocean by Japanese troops and he drowned during World War II. Even more fascinating was the name Jack Larson. James said this man was his best friend and with him right before he died. Records showed that Jack was in the plane right next to Huston before he was killed.

How did a 2-year-old possibly know this information? And how could he give a detailed description of this man's death, all from memory?

Return to Life (Pt.2)

Jim Tucker, M.D., is a Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Personality Studies for the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia Health Systems.

Dr. Tucker is the author of "Return to Life," a collection of first-hand accounts from children who claim they have been reincarnated. Dr. Tucker has performed his own research on numerous children and is ready to explain his findings as well as his explanation theory on Quantum Physics.

The study of reincarnation in children has been reviewed for the past 50 years, Tucker says.

James Leininger is just one of the many stories told to Dr. Tucker throughout his research around the world. So far, none of their research has been able to uncover a psychological answer for these phenomenons.

He has been called to cases all over the world by families who are just looking to tell their story. He says that they don't want fame or fortune, but answers from someone who is knowledgeable in this study.

In other areas, such as India and Thailand, have a large base of people who already have a strong belief in reincarnation. These are the most common places he hears about these children.

Return to Life (Pt.3)

But now, more and more children in the west are beginning to express their memories and their families are taking action to get to the bottom of their mystery, Tucker says. Many times these children will spontaneously start talking about something that happened to them to people other than their family.

Dr. Tucker says he looks for signs of foul play, by assessing the family's medical and psychological history, conducting his own research on the provided information and questioning many witnesses for corresponding stories.

He explains that these memories seem to occur when the child is around 2 years old, but by the age of 6 or 7 years, just like a regular child, they'll begin to lose the memories of their childhood and create new ones.

Return to Life (Pt.4)

"With these cases, if you accept them and you can't just mask them all to a materialistic understanding of the world that physical matter is all there is, I think you have to look at other approaches," said Tucker. "What I did was look at quantum physics, which is certainly a challenging area for any of us. But what I found was that people like Max Planck who was the founder of Quantum theory, talk about consciousness."

He quoted Max Planck as saying, "I regard consciousness as fundamental, I regard matter as derivative from consciousness, we cannot get behind consciousness."

Dr. Tucker stresses that we need to recognize consciousness as a separate entity all together, as something that exists outside of this world. He thinks "soul" is a good word for it.

More From NewsRadio 1020 KDKA
Like NewsRadio 1020 KDKA On Facebook
Follow NewsRadio 1020 KDKA On Twitter

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.