Ryan Hammons was born in 2005 in Oklahoma, and started having nightmares when he was 4 years old. There’s nothing unusual about that; most people have nightmares from time to time, but these were persistent. Ryan frequently woke up screaming and crying in the night, saying it felt like his heart was exploding. His mother, Cindy, was naturally concerned.
After a year of the nightmares, Ryan told his mother that he’d been someone else before, living in Hollywood with three sons in a house with a pool. His Christian mother didn’t believe in reincarnation, nor did she give much stock to her son’s stories, believing them to be nothing more than his vivid imagination.
Ryan was insistent and often pretended to be filming and snapping clapboards. There were a few of Ryan’s behaviours that were unexplainable; for instance, he knew tap dance routines that he’d never been taught and the first time his parents took him to a Chinese restaurant Ryan was able to use chopsticks without any direction. The detail that finally got his mother’s attention was Ryan recalling his favourite drink being Tru Ade, an orange soda company that went out of business before Ryan was even born.
Mother and son went to the library to research Hollywood, and in one book they came across a black and white photo showing a group of people from the film Night After Night. Ryan excitedly pointed to one of the men, telling his mother “That’s me. That’s who I was.” (deepenglish.com).The book unfortunately didn’t name the man.
At this point, his mother decided to seek the help of a child psychologist, so contacted Dr Jim Tucker who specialises in children remembering past lives. Research has discovered that a traumatic death is more common in these cases. Together they hired a film archivist who was able to identify the man in the photo as an extra called Marty Martyn.
Now they had his name, they could search some of the things that Ryan remembered and see if they were true. Ryan begged his mother to go to Hollywood and see his ‘children’. Marty’s daughter was a little reluctant to be involved, but she did corroborate fifty-five of Ryan’s ‘memories’ including having three sons and the name of the road Martyn lived on.
Marty, born Morris Kolinsky was one of three children to Ukrainian Jews who immigrated to the USA. With his sister, he moved to New York City where he tap danced on Broadway before moving to Los Angles where he took on the name Marty Martyn. In LA, he was an extra in films, including Night After Night, but wasn’t able to make a living this way so founded a film agency which became quite a success. Marty was married four times, had one biological daughter and five step-children. He died in hospital of leukaemia in 1964, 41 years before Ryan was born.
One question of Ryan’s sparked some further research into the story. He asked why God had let him (Marty) die so young at 61 when records suggested that Marty had in fact died at 59. Some investigation found census information which had the wrong birth year, and Marty was indeed 61 when he died.
When Ryan was eleven, Dr Haraldsson conducted a follow-up interview with the family, and learnt that Ryan very much displayed some traits of Marty, including an interest in Judaism despite being brought up Christian, loved music from the 50s, and aligned with the Republican Party.
Reincarnation is a common and accepted belief in Buddhism and Hinduism, but largely discounted in Western culture. Is it possible that Ryan was the reincarnation of Marty Martyn?