Oklahoma Boy, the Reincarnation of Long-forgotten 1930’s Hollywood Actor?

Bhante Rahula’s Note: One of the most convincing of all rebirth stories is the one about Ryan Hammons’ claim of his previous life. Given below is a news report about Ryan Hammons and his story, along with several video and news links at the end.


The theories of reincarnation, especially cases that involve children, are left with many theories, but no explanation. Children are known to have vivid imaginations, but a recent peculiar case has 10-year old Ryan Hammons remembering very specific details of his “past life” as character actor Marty Martyn.

Hammons, a 10 year old from Muskogee County, Oklahoma claimed that he “Used to be someone else.” Though at first it seemed like another overactive imagination, Hammons started giving details about his past life, talking about “going home to Hollywood”, and meeting actress Rita Hayworth.

Ryan suffered from nightmares for years. Ryan’s mother, Cyndi Hammons had heard about getting books about the places children claimed to live in during past lives to help stop the nightmares, hearing they usually gave the children relief.

After reading through one of the books his mother had bought one night, Ryan got very excited claiming his mother had “found him”. Pointing to a photograph of a still from the movie Night After Night, he pointed to a man in the picture saying “That’s George”, referring to George Raft.

Hammons pointed to another man in the picture claiming the man to be himself, but he didn’t know the man’s name.

Ryan knew the entire plot to the movie in the picture, 1932’s Night After Night, before his parents watched it, and continued to claim to be the man in the photo. After his parents watched the movie, they were disappointed to find that the man in the photo had no credited role.

Ryan’s nightmares continued, making his parents desperate to help him find closure. Eventually they reached out to Dr. Jim Tucker of West Virginia, medical director of The Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia.

Originally, Ryan seemed to think Ralf Harolde resembled the man in the picture, but seemed uneasy about it. After he made multiple claims that didn’t add up to Harolde’s life, Tucker chose to continue looking.

Eventually, Tucker reached out to professional film footage researcher Kate Coe to search for the man in the picture. After searching though endless pieces of information about the movie Night After Night, Coe came across Marty Martyn, identifying him as the “Man in the picture”.

After learning the identity of the man Ryan claimed he used to be, the family traveled out to Hollywood to meet Martyn’s daughter who is now about the age of Hammons’ grandmother.

Ryan provided a lot of accurate information about Martyn’s life, but occasionally said things that led to doubt about his claims. Martyn’s daughter claimed that he only had one sister, while Ryan insisted that he had two. Tucker looked further into the claim, eventually finding that Martyn did indeed have two sisters, and that his own daughter had just never heard of the other one.

After Hammons once said to Tucker “didn’t see why God would let you get to be 61 and then make you come back as a baby”, causing a lot of doubt. Martyn, who later became a Hollywood agent, had died in 1964 at the age of 59, not 61.

Tucker, looking further into Hammon’s claim, eventually found an old census record that claimed that Martyn had actually been born in 1903. Though his birth certificate claimed that he had been born in 1905, the old census made Hammon’s statement correct.

With over 2,500 records of children with memories of a past life, Tucker believes the phenomena of reincarnation need to be further investigated.

You also can watch and read more by clicking the links below:

Vihara News

Vassa Invitation This Saturday, July 8

Traditional Vassa invitation takes place this Saturday (on the full-moon day of July). You are requested to be at the Vihara around 6:30 p.m. Five monks will observe Vassa this year.

The day after the invitation, the Bhikkhus will observe Vassa. Every day thereafter, they will follow special rituals throughout the Vassa season, including daily chanting at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. inside the shrine hall. Interested persons can participate in the 7:00 p.m. chanting.

This Saturday you also can bring such objects like talismans and jewelry (with your name tags attached) to be placed inside the chanting encircle for blessing throughout the months of chanting.  You can take them back at the end of the Vassa season. We firmly believe that blessed items in this way have the power of good luck. 

Special  Dhamma programs during the Vassa season will be announced on the day of Vassa invitation.  As you did last year, each program can be sponsored.

Saturday’s Program:

6:45: p.m.Monks will walk into the Shrine Hall in a procession
7:00 p.m. A brief Puja
7:15 p.m.Traditional invitation to Maha Sangha by Ashoka Kao and family, the main sponsor of this year’s Kathina ceremony, and several others
7:45 p.m.Dhamma talk
8:30 p.m.Dinner organized by Ashoka Kao family