MUSKOGEE, Okla. – An Oklahoma boy is causing skeptics to take a closer look at their beliefs related to life after death.
Cyndi Hammons said her son Ryan was 4-years-old and would frequently wake from horrible nightmares. A year later, he told her something unbelievable before going to bed.
The then-preschooler would talk about “going home” to Hollywood, meeting stars like Rita Hayworth, traveling to Paris, dancing on Broadway and working for an agency where people would change their names.
“His stories were so detailed and they were so extensive, that it just wasn’t like a child could have made it up,” she said.
The curious mother began researching Hollywood, hoping to make sense of her son’s strange memories.
“Then, we found the picture and it changed everything,” she said.
“She turns to the page in the book, and I say, ‘That’s me, that’s who I was,” Ryan told TODAY.
The photo was from the 1932 movie “Night After Night.” Cyndi said she was even more confused because the man Ryan pointed to was an extra in the film.
She turned to Dr. Jim Tucker, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia. After weeks of research, the family found out the man’s name was Marty Martyn, a former movie extra who later became a powerful Hollywood agent.
“If you look at a picture of a guy with no lines in a movie, and then tell me about his life, I don’t think many of us would have come up with Marty Martyn’s life,” Tucker said. “Yet Ryan provided many details that really did fit with his life.”
Tucker was able to confirm 55 specific details Ryan gave about his life.
In addition to talking about his work history, Ryan was spot on when it came to how many times he married, how many children and sisters he had, a fact his own daughter didn’t even know.
However, one fact Ryan did not get right was Martyn’s age.
“He said he didn’t see why God would let you get to be 61 and then make you come back as a baby,” Tucker said.
Martyn’s death certificate listed his age as 59-years-old when he died. When Tucker dug deeper, he realized Martyn’s official death certificate was wrong.
Ryan was right after all.