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No. 13: Winter 1981

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Proof of reincarnation?

"The authors report a case of the reincarnation type with several unusual features. First, the subject began to have apparent memories of a previous life when she was in her thirties, a much older age than that of the usual subjects of cases of this type; second, the memories occurred only during periods of marked change in the subject's personality; and third, the new personality that emerged spoke a language (Bengali) that the subject could not speak or understand in her normal state. (She spoke Marathi and had some knowledge of Hindi, Sanskrit, and English.) A careful investigation of the subject's background and early life disclosed no opportunities for her to have learned to speak Bengali before the case developed. A final interpretation of this case cannot be made on the basis of present information and knowledge. The authors, however, believe that, as of now, the data of the case are best accounted for by supposing that the subject has had memories of the life of a Bengali woman who died about 1830.

(Stevenson, Ian, and Pasricha, Satwant; "A Preliminary Report of an Unusual Case of the Reincarnation Type with Xenoglossy," American Society for Psychical Research, Journal, 74:331, 1980.)

Comment. Most such cases of purported reincarnation quickly collapse under scrutiny, but this one seems a bit more substantial.

From Science Frontiers #13, Winter 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987