Life After Death After Life: James 3 (Part One)
James Leininger is a playful and very normal eight year old today. But two years ago, the boy made national news while being featured on Good Morning America, The Montell Williams Show, and ABC News. Little James was conveying knowledge and experiences no child would have recollection of. What many people believed was that six year-old James Leininger was a reincarnation of a World War II pilot, James Huston Jr.
When James Leininger was 20 months old, his parents brought him to an airplane exhibit. James had a fascination with airplanes, and Bruce and Andrea Leininger had always tried to create a hands-on learning environment for their young son. James kept going back to the World War II exhibit, and he refused to leave even after 3 hours.
For you parents out there, how many 20 month year-old boys do you know can be so focused on something for that long???
At age three at another plane exhibit, James got inside the cockpit of a vintage display and did something that caught his parents' attention. He started to maneuver the controls and go through the instrumentation as if he was doing a pre-flight check. He even went so far as to do a quick once-over on the outside of the plane. It was as if he knew what he was really doing. Bruce and Andrea were fortunate to get the whole thing on video.
Interesting, but easily dismissed as coincidence. Maybe the kid is just very bright.
Later, they bought James a toy plane. Andrea pointed out what looked to be a bomb on the underside of the plane. James corrected her and said, "No, that's the drop tank." His mother was a little surprised, as she had no idea what a drop tank was. She looked it up, and sure enough, her little son was correct.
They had never before talked about Corsairs, World War II, or aviation prior to all of this. James' parents were very protective about what was on TV. Nothing but educational programming like Sesame Street was on.
At this time, James was having horrible nightmares. Three, sometimes four nights a week, James would be screaming about being shot down and being engulfed in flames, screaming, "airplane on fire...little man can't get out!"
Bruce and Andrea would try to figure out exactly what James was dreaming about. What freaked them out was all the details James was able to provide. Words like "Corsair" and "Natoma" were simply words that weren't in a normal 3 year old's vocabulary. Bruce did some searching on the internet and found that there was indeed a ship called The Natoma Bay that housed fighter planes in the Pacific. But he chalked it up to coincidence, especially when he said the pilot's name in his nightmares was named James too.
The nightmares continued, and Andrea's mother first suggested that maybe little James was remembering past life memories. At this time, he was signing his name on every piece of artwork with "James 3." Maybe it was because he was 3 years old.
On October of 2000, James provided another very specific detail - a name. That name was Jack Larson. He said he was a guy that he had flown with. By this time, Andrea was beginning to believe what her mother believed. They continued to ask James questions, to talk about his "memories." The nightmares finally began to subside. Despite this, Bruce remained a skeptic.
Bruce had gotten a book, Battle for Iwo Jima, which had come in the mail as part of a history book club. While leafing threw it, James jumped on his father's lap to watch cartoons. The boy pointed to a map of Chichi Jima near Iwo Jima and said, "Daddy, that is where my plane was shot down."
James had pointed to a very specific spot on this large map - a harbor. And who was this Jack Larson James was talking about? Could Jack Larson have been a real person...a real fighter pilot that had flown with James in a past life? And why did his son keep referring to himself as James 3???
Very soon, Bruce would learn just how accurate his son's "memories" were.
To be continued...