Six-year-old James Leininger may be the reincarnation of a 21-year-old Navy fighter pilot who was shot down over the Pacific by the Japanese during World War II. James’ parents Andrea and Bruce say they are “probably the people least likely to have a scenario like this pop up in their lives.” So what has convinced them it’s true? James liked to play with toy planes from an early age, but by age two, they started giving him nightmares. Andrea says, “I’d wake him up and he’d be screaming [saying] “Airplane crash on fire, little man can’t get out.” In a home video when he was three, James seems to be doing a sophisticate preflight check. When she pointed out what she thought was a bomb on the underside of a toy plane, James corrected her and told her it was a “drop tank.” She says, “I’d never heard of a drop tank. I didn’t know what a drop tank was.”

James’ nightmares got so bad that his mother took him to see therapist Carol Bowman, who has been a guest on Dreamland. She encouraged James to tell his parents about his memories. He told them his plane had been hit by the Japanese and crashed. He said his plane was a Corsair and says, “They used to get flat tires all the time.” He also said the ship he took off from was called the “Natoma” and he flew with a pilot named Jack Larson. His father Bruce discovered that both the ship and the pilot were real. He says, “You could have poured my brains out of my ears. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Bruce began to search the internet for information about the pilot and the ship and found out that the only pilot from that squadron who was killed at Iwo Jima was named James M. Huston Jr. He contacted Ralph Clarbour, who was a rear gunner on a U.S. airplane that flew off the same ship and he told him his plane was next to one flown by Huston over Iwo Jima on March 3, 1945. He saw Huston’s plane being struck by anti-aircraft fire and says, “I would say he was hit head on, right in the middle of the engine.”

Bruce believes “He came back because he wasn’t finished with something.”

There’s almost nothing that can’t be real when you learn how to use your limitless mind.

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