Parents Think Boy Is Reincarnated Pilot

Six decades ago, a 21-year-old Navy fighter pilot on a mission over the Pacific was shot down by Japanese artillery. His name might have been forgotten, were it not for 6-year-old James Leininger.

Quite a few people — including those who knew the fighter pilot — think James is the pilot, reincarnated.

James’ parents, Andrea and Bruce, a highly educated, modern couple, say they are “probably the people least likely to have a scenario like this pop up in their lives.”

But over time, they have become convinced their little son has had a former life.

From an early age, James would play with nothing else but planes, his parents say. But when he was 2, they said the planes their son loved began to give him regular nightmares.

“I’d wake him up and he’d be screaming,” Andrea told “Primetime Live” co-anchor Chris Cuomo. She said when she asked her son what he was dreaming about, he would say, “Airplane crash on fire, little man can’t get out.”

Reality Check
Andrea says her mom was the first to suggest James was remembering a past life.

At first, Andrea says she was doubtful. James was only watching kids’ shows, his parents say, and they weren’t watching World War II documentaries or conversing about military history.

But as time went by, Andrea began to wonder what to believe. In one video of James at age 3, he goes over a plane as if he’s doing a preflight check.

Another time, Andrea said, she bought him a toy plane, and pointed out what appeared to be a bomb on its underside. She says James corrected her, and told her it was a drop tank. “I’d never heard of a drop tank,” she said. “I didn’t know what a drop tank was.”

Then James’ violent nightmares got worse, occurring three and four times a week. Andrea’s mother suggested she look into the work of counselor and therapist Carol Bowman, who believes that the dead sometimes can be reborn.

With guidance from Bowman, they began to encourage James to share his memories — and immediately, Andrea says, the nightmares started to become less frequent. James was also becoming more articulate about his apparent past, she said.
Bowman said James was at the age when former lives are most easily recalled. “They haven’t had the cultural conditioning, the layering over the experience in this life so the memories can percolate up more easily,” she said.

Trail of Mysteries
Over time, James’ parents say he revealed extraordinary details about the life of a former fighter pilot — mostly at bedtime, when he was drowsy.

They say James told them his plane had been hit by the Japanese and crashed. Andrea says James told his father he flew a Corsair, and then told her, “They used to get flat tires all the time.”

In fact, historians and pilots agree that the plane’s tires took a lot of punishment on landing. But that’s a fact that could easily be found in books or on television.

Andrea says James also told his father the name of the boat he took off from — Natoma — and the name of someone he flew with — Jack Larson.

After some research, Bruce discovered both the Natoma and Jack Larson were real. The Natoma Bay was a small aircraft carrier in the Pacific. And Larson is living in Arkansas.

“It was like, holy mackerel,” Bruce said. “You could have poured my brains out of my ears. I just couldn’t believe it.

James 2 = James M. Huston Jr.?
Bruce became obsessed, searching the Internet, combing through military records and interviewing men who served aboard the Natoma Bay.

He said James told him he had been shot down at Iwo Jima. James had also begun signing his crayon drawings “James 3.” Bruce soon learned that the only pilot from the squadron killed at Iwo Jima was James M. Huston Jr.

Bruce says James also told him his plane had sustained a direct hit on the engine.

Ralph Clarbour, a rear gunner on a U.S. airplane that flew off the Natoma Bay, says his plane was right next to one flown by James M. Huston Jr. during a raid near Iwo Jima on March 3, 1945.

Clarbour said he saw Huston’s plane struck by anti-aircraft fire. “I would say he was hit head on, right in the middle of the engine,” he said.

Treasured Mementos
Bruce says he now believes his son had a past life in which he was James M. Huston Jr. “He came back because he wasn’t finished with something.”

The Leiningers wrote a letter to Huston’s sister, Anne Barron, about their little boy. And now she believes it as well.

“The child was so convincing in coming up with all the things that there is no way on the world he could know,” she said.

But professor Paul Kurtz of the State University of New York at Buffalo, who heads an organization that investigates claims of the paranormal, says he thinks the parents are “self-deceived.”

“They’re fascinated by the mysterious and they built up a fairy tale,” he said.

James’ vivid, alleged recollections are starting to fade as he gets older — but among his prized possessions remain two haunting presents sent to him by Barron: a bust of George Washington and a model of a Corsair aircraft.

They were among the personal effects of James Huston sent home after the war.

“He appears to have experienced something that I don’t think is unique, but the way it’s been revealed is quite astounding,” Bruce said.

Asked if the idea that James may have been someone else changes his or his wife’s feeling about their son, Bruce said: “It doesn’t change how we think. I don’t look at him and say, ‘That’s not my boy.’ That’s my boy.”


Life Before Birth

Where were you – your soul, your spirit – before you were born? If the soul is immortal, did it have a “life” before your birth?

Much has been written, and many anecdotes recorded, of the near-death experience (NDE). People who have been declared dead and then revived sometimes report an experience of being on another plane of existence, often meeting deceased relatives and beings of light.

Rarer, but no less intriguing, are stories from people who recall an existence shortly before their births into this world – the pre-birth experience (PBE). These recollections differ from past-life recall in that past-life recall are memories of previous lives on earth as humans, sometimes recently and sometimes from hundreds or even thousands of years ago. The pre-birth experience seems to “remember” an existence in the same or similar plane of existence described by NDErs.

Those who say they have had this amazing experience recall being in a spirit world, are aware of life on earth, and can sometimes choose their next life or communicate with their future parents. Some people even get a glimpse or a sense of the pre-birth realm during an NDE.

“Our research indicates that there is a continuity of self, that the ‘same you’ progresses through each of the three life stages – life before life, earth life, and life after death,” according to Royal Child – The Prebirth Experience. “In a typical pre-birth experience, a spirit not yet born into mortality crosses over from the pre-earth life or heavenly realm and appears to or communicates with someone on earth. The preborn soul often announces that he or she is ready to advance from the premortal existence by being born into earth life. After nearly 20 years of collecting and studying PBE accounts and comparing data with other researchers of spiritual phenomena, we have identified typical traits, characteristics, and types of PBEs; also when, to whom, and where they occur.”

Of the people has surveyed, 53% felt they remembered a time before conception, and 47% after conception, but before birth.

Pre-Birth Memories and Experiences

Most memories of a recent pre-birth existence come from children who reveal their recollections spontaneously and without prompting. One such case, from a woman identified only as Lisa P., is told in the book, Coming from the Light by Sarah Hinze:

I was putting three-year-old Johnny to bed when he asked for a bedtime story. For the past few weeks, I had been telling him of the adventures of his great-great-grandfather: a colonizer, a soldier, a community leader. As I started another story, Johnny stopped me and said, “No, tell me of Grandpa Robert.” I was surprised. This was my grandpa. I had not told stories of him, and I could not imagine where he had heard his name. He had died before I had even married. “How do you know about Grandpa Robert?” I asked. “Well, Momma,” he said with reverence, “he’s the one who brought me to earth.”

Some experiencers claim to have been given a preview of their coming lives, as in this story at from Gen:

I remember someone talking to me, not with a voice, but more to my own mind, that it was not good for me to choose who was my parents, that it would not work out. And I was insistent on coming into my family, and it would not work out between my mother and father. I remember being shown various things and places that have happened in my life, even down to the house I live in now.

And here’s an excerpt from Michael Maguire’s experience at Thoughtful Living:

I can remember standing in a dark space, but unlike being in a darkened room, I could see everything around me and the blackness had dimension. There was another person standing to my right, and like me, he was waiting to be born into the physical world. There was an older person with us who could possibly be a guide, since he stayed with us until we left and answered my questions. In front of us and approximately 30 degrees below us, we could see the Earth with the facial images of two couples. I asked who those people were whose images appeared on the Earth and he replied that they were going to be our parents. The older man conveyed to us that it was time to go. The other person standing next to me walked forward and disappeared from my sight. I was told that it was my turn and I walked forward. Suddenly I found myself lying in a hospital nursery with other babies around me.
Communication from the Pre-Born

More common than actual pre-birth recollection is communication from the unborn or “preborn.” And this communication can take several forms, according to very vivid dreams, lucid visions, auditory messages, telepathic communication and sensory experiences. Here are some examples.

Vivid dreams
In this case a parent has a dream about his or her unborn child. The dream is often unusually vivid and memorable. In her article, “The Mystery of Pre-Birth Communication,” Elizabeth Hallett reports on one mother’s dream:

My son was born five months ago and the first contact that I remember happened three years ago when my husband and I first met and fell in love. It was during our first month together that I entered into my journal a dream where I saw our son Austin playing with his dad. The dream was very vivid and the image of him as clear as a photograph. I wrote a physical description of him and knew what a beautifully special little soul he is. I fell so in love with this child that for two years all I could think about was getting pregnant and being able to hold him in my arms. After two years and finally a commitment to be married I became pregnant. Throughout my pregnancy I dreamed of him and he always looked the same. Same golden red hair and beautiful blue eyes. Now that he’s here I get physical tangible evidence of what I felt about him all along.

And sometimes the child even conveys a message that can be of importance to the parent:

Don and Terri met a little later in life, but agreed that they didn’t want to wait before having children. Terri became pregnant on their wedding night. An ultrasound taken several months later showed that without a doubt she was carrying twins. The pregnancy was making Terri very ill, and Don was worried about her health. He feared that she might lose the babies, but he was also more frightened that he might lose her as well. One night, he woke up and looked toward the bedroom door. A light was shining in the hall, but he remembered that he and Terri had shut everything off before coming to bed. The light grew in brilliance as it came down the hall, then turned into their bedroom. Within the light was a young man wearing a white robe. He came and hovered next to the bed and looked at Don. “Dad,” he said. “My sister and I have talked it over, and decided that she will come first. It’ll be better for Mom this way. I’ll come in about two years.” Don turned to wake up Terri, but when he turned back, the figure and the light were gone. The next day, Terri miscarried one of the babies she was carrying. The other twin suffered no trauma and was born at full term, healthy, red-haired – and a girl. Twenty-one months later, Terri gave birth to a boy with red hair exactly like his older sister’s.

“The PBEr sees distinctly male or female form, various ages, variously attired, while awake,” says “Sometimes form is accompanied by glow or light, sometimes not; sometimes appears and/or disappears suddenly.” One such experience was related by Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss to Barbara Walters on the show “20/20”:

The conversation went back to Dreyfuss’ meteoric rise to stardom with such memorable films as The Goodbye Girl, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Jaws. History has proven that such rapid success is often difficult to handle. Dreyfuss was no exception. Now 50, he responded to Barbara’s pointed questions with the hard-earned yet peaceful candor of one who has succumbed to addiction and overcome it. The interview revealed that Dreyfuss’ first marriage had fallen casualty to his troubled years, as had some great film roles. Over 20 years of addiction recycling had come and gone. The turning point occurred miraculously in a dark hour. Dreyfuss was hospitalized in an effort to detox him yet again from the grasp of drugs and alcohol. Hours passed. As he sobered all alone in the hospital room, there entered a three-year-old girl in a pink dress and shiny black patent leather shoes. She told him, “Daddy, I can’t come to you until you come to me. Please straighten out your life so I can come.” And she was gone. But the pleading message of her haunting eyes was seared into Dreyfuss’ memory, a constant inspiration to reorder his life so that his daughter might come. With this sacred incentive he maintained sobriety, remarried and prayed. Within three years a daughter was born to Dreyfuss and his wife – the same girl who had come to his hospital room.

Auditory Messages
In some cases the unborn may not be seen, but can be heard. Experiencers claim that what they hear is distinct and quite different from an inner thought. A woman named Shawna tells this story at Light Hearts:

My husband and I had always wanted five children. After we reached number five we began to use birth control. One night, after love, I lay in bed and had a wondrous experience. I heard a voice of little boy asking me if I would be his mother. I felt this was a soul reaching out to me. I said quietly, “I’d love to,” and that’s when my little boy Caden and I first met. He has been a blessing for the whole family, gentle and loving – even his birth was amazing. Thinking I might be in labor and not being able to sleep, I went downstairs and began to make a cake. All of a sudden I felt my body pushing. I made it just into the living room. Caden was born into his father’s hands.

Some people attest to a kind of telepathic communication from the preborn. Joy relates these remarkable experiences at Light Heart:

I am a nurse-midwife. For about 10 years, occasionally an unborn baby of one of my patients “talks” to me telepathically. Most often this happens during labor to suggest some position change to make descent easier, or to tell me of a change in maternal blood pressure, maternal fever, etc. This information always proves true and often shortens labor. Occasionally the “talking” happens during prenatal office visits to tell me of something affecting the mother at home that I wouldn’t know otherwise, such as drug abuse, domestic violence or extreme stress. I use the information to bring up the subject nonchalantly with the mother and we talk about options from there. These communications do not happen with every baby, seem to be for specific purposes and end abruptly with the delivery of the baby’s head, almost as if it has passed through some veil and communication is not possible for me now.

Sensory Experiences
Sometimes the spirit of the preborn is an overwhelming sensory presence. Andi tells this story at Light Heart:

About four years ago, I and my boyfriend (now my husband) were in college. I had this feeling that I was pregnant, and looking back I can see I could feel the presence of a spirit before that. We went and got a test and we were devastated when we found out the test was positive. I did want a family, but not right then, and my boyfriend felt the same way. Although I wasn’t ready, a huge part of me wanted to keep the baby and just struggle along, but another part knew that in reality I wasn’t ready and neither was my boyfriend. We decided to abort, which went against everything I felt was right. I followed through with the procedure. I woke up crying, with a nice nurse telling me understanding words. Fast forward a year and a half… I was ready… I could feel a child standing by me. I knew it would happen soon. I was having dreams about the first child as a girl, and I lost her… then I would hear a cry and there on a pillow was a little baby boy. I picked him up and shielded him from the world. I knew this was going to be my baby. About two months after the first dream I became pregnant. I knew right away it was a boy. When I was 20 weeks pregnant my suspicions were confirmed.