#76 Bob Snow: Portrait Of A Past Life Skeptic
Johnny Burke: Welcome to closer to Venus on Johnny Burke. Today’s guest is Bob Snow. He’s a retired homicide detective who’s written several books on police work, as well as” Looking for Carroll Beckwith , A Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic.” This documents the past lives he discovered during a past life regression. Today, we’ll be talking about his story. Bob, welcome to the program.
Bob Snow: Thank you for having me on your show.
Johnny Burke: Prior to this experience, what were your beliefs in the afterlife, past lives, and for that matter reincarnation?
Bob Snow: Before I took undertook this, I thought I thought that was just a bunch of hooey. I thought it was people who are trying to blame their misfortunes in this life on something else or say, “gee, I know this life’s a mess, that’s because of a past life type thing. I really thought just goofy people trying to find some reason for messing up this life. I didn’t believe there was any validity to it
Johnny Burke: Okay. Interesting. Many of us, myself included kind of thought the same thing. It does seem very fantastical, something you’d read in a book, a work of fiction. That is so, yeah. Okay. you are a writer and you’ve been writing, I believe about 20 or so books on police work.
Bob Snow: Yes. I have 20 books in print, of them, except for my book about Beckwith are about police procedure, about SWAT teams, sex crime investigation, homicide investigation, how to protect yourself from crime, these kinds of things. You write what you know, and I was a policeman for 38 years, so I know a lot about police work. It’s interesting. I never wanted to be a policeman, when I was growing up. Never thought about that. But I was in the military during the Vietnam war. And when I did my time, I was discharged. I came home from service and I needed a job. Police work was a good job with lots of excitement and pay a good pay and good benefits, but also gave me just mountains of information to write about.
I had over a hundred articles and short stories published before our started books. To be a writer, you just can’t write, you have to be a very voracious reader too. I belong to a number of book clubs and one time, there’s book called” “Coming Back” by Dr. Raymond Moody. Dr. Moody had recently done research on near-death experiences. He had a friend who was a psychologist who did a past life regression therapy, and she wanted him to undergo it. So he allowed her to hypnotize him. And then, they guess it went to eight past lives, in the book at the very end. He kind of hedges ,”I don’t know what this was. I’m not really sure if this was true or not.” That’s kind of why I felt- it’s nice, but it’s all imagination. That’s not true.
Johnny Burke: That’s a good point. you brought up Raymond Moody, who is an authority, in that area. Now you read this before you had your experience, right?
Bob Snow: This is this kind of what led to it. A few months later at reading a book, I was at a party. My wife was also a police detective. And I went with her and it was a lady there, Kathy Graven, Kathy was a child abuse detective but she was also a practicing psychologist. And I didn’t know at this time that Kathy used past life regression therapy in her practice. She asked me what I thought about it. And I told her, I thought it was just a bunch of goofy people making up stories to please the hypnotist and all. And I’d been late in the party and I had been drinking and I was kind of obnoxious- I was making fun of past life and everything. She basically said, “well, if you think it’s stupid why don’t you try it and tell me it’s stupid. And I said,” nah, I’m not doing that.” But then it got to the point where she said” oh, you’re scared.”
Anyway, I finally said,” okay, I will, I’ll try it.” So she gave me a card of a friend of hers, a doctor Mary Ellen Griffith, who did past life regression.” Go see her, have it done and tell me how goofy you think it is. The next morning, this is stupid. I’m not going to go that. But they seemed like then on I’d run to Kathy all the time. It seemed like almost every day I’d see her and she’d asked me, ” well, have you made your appointment at Dr. Griffith yet?” And I’d make some kind of flimsy excuse, but all I had three meetings and reports, I couldn’t do it. But it seemed like I just run to her every time I’d walk down the hall – there she is again, , I’d want to hide to get away from her!
So finally, I got tired of this. I thought this is silly. So I called Dr. Griffith. I’d made the appointment. My plan was I was going to go see Dr. Griffith. I was going to cooperate 100%. I was going to show Kathy how goofy this was. I was going to bring my own tape recorder along, take the session.
And I was going to prove to Kathy that past lives and all this was just hooey it was just weak people making up stories to please the psychologist. So anyway, that’s when the day come, I came to see Dr. Griffith. Very nice lady. So I sit down on the couch and she asked me,”, well, have you got some problems?” No. I just think past life regression sounded interesting I want to try it. I’d had my own tape recorder turned on. I was going to record everything to show how stupid this all was.
Johnny Burke: Interesting. I’m sure that recording is going to have some discoveries which I’m sure we’re going to get to .
Bob Snow: We just sit and talk for a bit. She asked me about my college graduation, then she went to high school and grade school, then, kindergarten. She wouldn’t have been a very good interrogator cause I could anticipate her next question, but she kept going and going. Finally, she said, okay, you’re ready to start? I said, Okie Dokie. So I turned her tape recorder on and she says,” now close your eyes. Can you see a balloon? imagine you can see a balloon .”Now I could see a purple blob on my eyelids. I knew it was just to see the light coming from the window. ” Yeah. I see a purple balloon.” she said, “okay, now imagine you get in the balloon and he’d go up. “So I’m trying to imagine this with her. And she said,” okay, now I want you to fly away.” I’m trying to imagine this and everything. At the bottom of my eyelids, I could see little points of light, but I assumed that would just glare off the floor. I didn’t think it was anything important. She says” okay. Now I want you look up above you, there’s a handle on the pole, we’re going to take the balloon down somewhere. So we went through this probably a dozen times and nothing happened.
I thought I’m not going to say something just to please her and make up anything. She said, “okay, obviously there’s places you don’t want to stop. Now see if you can imagine for me to imagine a mountain. So ” tried to imagine my mind a mountain. She said, okay, now take the ballon into the mountain. she said,” now look, there’s a log cabin here. I tried to imagine seeing the log cabin and I did, but the funny thing, in my imagination, when I sit in the log cabin, the logs are going vertical rather than horizontal. One of my readers later wrote me and told me that’s the way the French built their log cabins. So anyway, she said,” okay, now go into the log cabin and what do you see?”, I didn’t see anything again, this is her daydream. I didn’t see anything. So she said” well, imagine a meal and it’s all bright and cheery. Okay. I went to all this, tried to imagine things with her.
So finally she said,” Okay, now we’re going to leave the cabin we’re going to go walk down into the valleys. There’s going to be 12 steps. . So she starts counting, “12.. 11 and the numbers get longer …10.., and I’m thinking myself, boy, this is really stupid. Jesus, what am I doing here? When she got down to one, something bizarre happened, something really bizarre. All of a sudden, I was in a valley. No, I wasn’t just imagining it as in a valley or daydreaming, I was in a valley. Now I knew I was still sitting in her office. I could still feel a couch. I could hear noises outside of the window, but at the same moment I was in a valley.
I was walking along like a little brook and there was a bush next to me. I could see the veins and the leaves on the bush. I’m not stupid. I knew what happened. I knew I had been hypnotized . It was really kind of neat. Everything was just crystal clear. It was as clear as any experience. I could see the veins on leaves
Johnny Burke: this is the first time you had been hypnotized, you were never hypnotized before?
Bob Snow: Yeah, first time ever, but I could also feel a breeze in my face. There’s a breeze blowing because the leaves are moving, but I just wrote that off to the air conditioner in the office and all this. So as I’m walking along, she said, “okay. She said, look down, describe yourself.” so I looked down, I see a pair of hairy, dirty, hairy legs and normal-looking feet. We’re in some really dirty matted fur. In my left hand, I have a large piece of a tree limb. , Dr. Griffith had told me before this, she wanted me to go back to my very first past life.
I knew what this was, everybody has seen movies and TV programs when a caveman looks like. I thought, boy, this is just goofy. I thought it was kind of fun too. You can go to an amusement park, Disney World and they have virtual reality rides that are really realistic, but you know, they’re not real. And that’s all I thought this was, this is really realistic but it’s not real. It’s just my imagination
But all of a sudden, the person, whose body I was in, I could sense what they were thinking. then I realized that I belonged here, that I lived in this valley. I told doc Griffith, I live in a cave up on a hill, and then I started saying things that I didn’t know I was going to say- I just started blurting things out . And I realized it wasn’t me speaking, it was the body of the person speaking it. Cause I realized this is my home. She said, “okay, go to your home, tell me what you see.”
There’s a cave. Whoever lived here was not a very hygienic person. I walked in, there was this terrible stench in the cave. And I couldn’t imagine where would that come from? I just smelled that awful smell. So anyway, I went through describing the cave to Dr. Griffith and she said,” okay, now I want you to go to your death, tell him what you see.” Well, all of a sudden there was maybe a whole four or five seconds kind of like gray fog didn’t see anything. And all of a sudden it clears, and I’m not in the body any , longer I’m floating above. I’m looking down, there is a skinny little guy laying on the cave floor in furs and he’s just coughing and hacking and shivering. I realized that was me and I’m dying. Dr. Griffin said, “okay, so now go out of the cave and look up into the sky see if you see a light.” and sure enough, there was light. And she said,” okay, what did you learn from this life?” And I said,” I learned what it’s like to be alone. I didn’t have anyone at all in this life. I was alone my whole life”. She said,” I want you to go into the light. I want you to go into a life where you did have someone where you had some unimportant to you. ” this is like the coolest amusement park ride ever been on. It was kind of like an LSD trip without the drugs, without the danger. It was that vivid and that clear.
So I went to the light, you’re going to give me four or five seconds of gray fog. Then I come out. And I was in this new vision, it was just blurry and suddenly it clicked in. I could see I was on a city street, it was not today because there were horse-drawn carriages and gaslights. She says, what did you think of this? I didn’t know, but I assumed it was probably the middle-late 18 hundreds. It was a sunny day. I could feel the sun beating down on me. Now I’m in a closed office . She said, “what are you doing?” I said,” I’m going to meet a woman.” She said, “okay, so you meet her, where do you go? “I said, “we went to a sidewalk cafe and she ordered special water. And I ordered wine.
She says” I want you to go five years forward. So again, there’ll be four or five seconds, a great fog. And I’m in the hallway of an apartment building having an argument with this woman. I’m assuming she’s my wife the way we are arguing, so just walk away. I walked down the hallway and I walk into a room and it’s an artist studio. There’s the whole roof of skylights and the wall to my right, the whole wall is the windows. There were just dozens and dozens of paintings hanging around. Then all of a sudden, like what caveman I knew who this person was. I could feel what this person thinking I feel what he was I told her I’m an artist. It’s how I make my living.
So we talked about that for a minute. And she said, “now go five years in the future.” So I went five years and after the fog, I’m at some kind of party, and I’m the guest of honor. People just come over and shake my hand, congratulate me. And I could feel this person whose body was in. This was one of the high moments of his life. Now I had no idea what he had done or what he was celebrating. There was just a moment of intense happiness. “Okay. Now go five years in the future”, but I just didn’t want to. How many times in your life do you really experience just that kind of intense happiness? it was really a good feeling. So Dr. Griffin told me ” now go five years.”
That’s the interesting thing about hypnosis. You see these things on stage where they make it cluck like a chicken and stuff. That’s this not true. You’re in hypnosis. You’re still in control. You know what’s going on around you. But anyway, finally I go five years into the future, after the fog, I’m in a big garden a gigantic garden it went for acres and acres. I had no idea where I was, but I was in a garden. And then anyway, the doctor said, “okay, now I want you to go to your death. “Okay. I’ll go through the fog again, and all of a sudden, I see I’m laying on a bed and I’m dying. And she said, “okay, what did you regret about this life?”. I said,” I regret we didn’t have children because my wife couldn’t have children. ” So, I see myself rising out of the body, and I go through the ceiling of this building. I can see it’s nighttime. I’m in a huge city. There are lights to every horizon. The doctor said, “okay, now go into the light, look up and go into the light. “
But again, I didn’t. I saw myself flying through some woods and I could tell it looked like kind of a cold blustery fall night because trees still had their leaves. So next thing I see I’m on the second or third floor of this mansion and I’m looking at the roof and there was a big fire in the fireplace.Nobody’s in the room, but over the fireplace is a painting is a still life. There’s a bottle and fruit, a big sun. And I told Dr. Griffith,” I wanted to see one of my paintings before I left this earth, left the world. I wanted to see my painting one more time. “So finally she said”, okay, now go into the lights. And I want you to go to a life when you’re a female.”
And I remember laughing myself a “yeah, that’s going to happen.” So anyway, went four or five seconds of that fog and sure enough, I’m standing in some woods again, but it’s not the valley. And I looked down and I’m in a woman’s body. Now I’m trying to think myself that the other stuff I thought, this is just old memories,Bob. you know, movies you’ve seen and TV programs. Now where in the hell could this have come from? I’m thinking this is really strange. After a moment I could think and feel what this person is feeling. I told doc Griffith, “I belong here. I work here.” in front of me was a big circular monument – pillars in a circle. And there was an altar in the middle I told Dr. Griffith,” I work here, me and the other girl who bring things down to the altar. All the girls had said you had to be pretty. You had to be a Virgin to work here. Doctor said, okay,” go five years in the future.” So I did again, and when I come out of the fog, I’m in a cart being pulled by some oxen.
And there’s an old man sitting left to me and to the right, there’s a little girl who I know through this body I’m in, this is my daughter. So obviously I wasn’t a Virgin any longer and I obviously couldn’t work at the alter any longer. The interesting part was, the little girl I recognized as a person from my present life. It was my stepdaughter, but she wasn’t the age she was that day, she was a teenager in high school. This was the age she was when I married her mother, she’s just a little girl. I told Dr. Griffith, this is my daughter, and since I couldn’t work at the altar anymore, they gave me or sold me to this older man.
We got to where he lived on his farm and he died pretty soon afterward. And so I saw myself take my daughter back to the alter and I gave her to him. I kept telling Dr. Griffin and I kept trying to feel like I needed to justify it. That I was really doing the best thing in the world for her, that she’d be taken care of and be happy there and everything. I felt just great, terrible shame. Because what I was really doing was abandoning her there, because I knew it’d be a lot easier for me if I didn’t have a little girl – you’re a single woman back at old ancient times, you would be better off without a little girl hanging on. And so I gave her to the alter.
Johnny Burke: When do you suppose what point in time was this? This sounds like it could have been a thousand years ago
Bob Snow: It was like Greek architecture, the alter had big tall pillars in a circle and the altar was in the middle of it.
Johnny Burke: During that life when you discovered you were female- you had a female’s body, was that the point of departure where you thought: this is not my memory, this is something else?
Bob Snow: I thought this was just goofy. I thought maybe you’re a little more susceptible to what psychologists asked during hypnosis, but anyway, I felt this person was just filled with this terrible shame and guilt. What she’d done was she basically abandoned her daughter. So anyway, the doctor said,” okay, now go to your death. What happens?” Well, apparently I’d moved to, a town or village on the water and I ended up dying in a fishing accident. I could feel nets around my legs and I was drowning. And for just a moment, I could taste saltwater. It was just for a moment and I thought how bizarre that was.
So anyway, Dr. Griffiths said, “okay, now, so I want you to go now to the life you lived before you were Bob Snow, go to your very most previous past life.” I was glad to get out of this life because I could still feel this terrible, terrible pressing guilt this person felt about abandoning her daughter. So I was in a hurry this time to go into the light. So I’m in the light and about, another four or five seconds, I come out and I realized I knew I was back in the artist’s body. I’m in my studio what I described earlier, but I’m painting a portrait. Interesting enough, it’s a portrait of a hunchback woman. I thought how bizarre that was. I thought where could this have come from? Where did this memory come from. ? the painting was just about done. I could see. And again, the vision was so clear, I could see every brushstroke. I thought, why would he be painting a hunchback woman? I thought how really strange that was.
So anyway, I described it all to Dr. Griffiths, and she said,” okay, go five years forward.” So I went five years forward. I’m having this vigorous argument with someone about the lighting for my paintings. So we went to talk about that for a while. She said,” okay, go five years again”. So I went five years, and I’m in a small garden and there was a house close by and I hear piano music up at the house and Dr. Griffith says, “where are you at? You know where you’re at?” And again, I didn’t know what I was going to say it, but this I just blurted out” we’re in France, I’m in France.” and I had no idea why I said that. So anyway, I see myself walking into the house and my wife is playing the piano with a lot of people standing around. So I described this for a while. The doctor said, “okay, go five years forward.”
So again, I get the kind of gray, brown fog that comes in. But before the next scene comes up. All of a sudden, I said, “she died of a blood clot. The doctor said she died of a blood clot.” Now I had no idea who I was talking about, and I felt this terrible grief and sadness that whoever this woman was obviously extremely important to this person. At that moment before I went to the next scene, the recorder I’d brought along, snapped off, and I opened my eyes and that regression was over. So now I feel kind of foolish because I had gone there with these ideas of how this wouldn’t happen, how I was so strong and he wouldn’t hypnotize me, and it would all be goofiness. And I was kind of flustered and I didn’t really know what to do. And Dr. Griffith was asking me, “did you do see how this stuff relates to your present life?” And all these kinds of things. I don’t remember what I mumbled something to her and got out of there.
And I went to sit in my car for a while and I’m trying to figure, where could this have come from? I didn’t recognize any of these things as memories that I recall. The thing that really disturbed me more than anything was the clarity of it. How vividly clear everything was. It wasn’t like imagination or even regular dreams that are all blurry, this was just vivid. as could be. I could see every detail, I could see every brush stroke. So finally, I tell myself, Bob, this is just hypnosis. You brought up some old memories and reordered them into stories. they are not really memories. They’re just things you reordered. That’s all it is. Just forget about it. Well, that’s easy to say, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I would think about it 50, 60 times a day. For the first couple of years after the regression, if I closed my eyes, I could still see the scenes clear as can be.
Johnny Burke: You’re still skeptical though, even after the session?
Bob Snow: Oh yeah. I don’t believe this was anything,but just my subconscious mind, responding to Dr. Griffith’s instructions, I’m thinking that bits and pieces from a subconscious mind I reordered them into some kind of story for her,
Johnny Burke: Even the memory of you in a woman’s body?
Bob Snow: I remember, Tom Hanks did a TV program where he was masquerading as a woman. and I think this is all this is. You’ve seen these movies or TV programs. I’m trying to find some logical explanation for all these things, but I just basically told myself, just forget about it, Bob. But I couldn’t, and it started to worry me because I was a police officer for 38 years. And I’ve seen people who are obsessed with things and very seldom does it turn out really good for you if you have a really bad obsession with something.
So I told myself, Bob, what you need to do. You need to find one of the two paintings;either the still life or the hunchback woman. I said you need to find the paintings, then you will remember” oh yeah I saw that at an exhibition somewhere.” so I made a plan and I would go down to the public library and I would go through their art section till I found the paintings. It didn’t turn out as well as I thought. The library had hundreds of art books, and I went through every single one and didn’t find a still life or didn’t find the hunchback woman. Now I’m really confused about something. I can’t figure it out. So I started going to bookstores, Barnes and noble, B Dalton, looking through art books. I didn’t find anything. Didn’t find the painting. I thought this won’t be hard to solve. I’ll see it. Then I’ll remember. So then I started calling art galleries around Indianapolis and asking them. Now, these were pre-internet days. In those days, if you wanted a painting, you had to know where it was. Who had it? Before the internet, there was no central listing of them anywhere. I wasn’t ready to give up yet.
So what I did, was I went to a newsagent store and bought a couple of books on past life regression. I thought, maybe if you read up on it, you could understand what happened. And I read the books and I was surprised at how many people had very similar experiences to me, but there was also one book I had that had a script for self-hypnosis. I thought, well, I’ll try that. I thought maybe I could go back and find something out. Believe me, that’s a lot harder than you think. I probably did a dozen times and only twice I could feel myself going to this state I was in, in Dr. Griffith’s office. But it only lasts for just a couple seconds. I would go into it. I could see the number 1 9 1 7, then it’d be like a balloon pop.
So finally, I went back to Dr. Griffith for a second session and went over to hypnosis again, it was very similar to this experience. Except for every time she told me to go to the artist’s life, nothing had happened. She told me, ” go back there. “Nothing happened. She said, “well, apparently you got everything need to know. There’s no other avenue I can approach on this.” So I said, I’m just going to forget about it. , but I didn’t forget about it.
A couple of months later, close to my wife and I’s anniversary in April, we thought we’d go somewhere and neither one had ever been. . And so one day she called my office. “What do you think about New Orleans? “I thought, boy, that sounds like a good idea. . So we went down to New Orleans and we spent a week there and my wife’s a real history buff. So we visited the battlefield of 18 12, we visited all kinds of plantations and all that. And at nighttime, we’d go down to the French quarter and have some drinks, listen to the bands and all that . There are lots of neat stores in the French quarter, memorabilia stores, antique stores, things like that.
So in our last day in New Orleans, our plane didn’t leave till the evening. So I told my wife, we can go window shopping in the French quarter. We finally get down the end of Royal street and there’s a little small gallery at the end. It’s a two-story gallery and it said “Modern Art upstairs. My wife’s a fan. I’m never had been a fan of modern art, but she is. So she went upstairs. I’m walking along the first floor. I’m looking at the paintings. I don’t recognize any of the paintings. I’m walking along and I get to the corner, and there’s a portrait on the easel and I just glance at it and then I stopped. I turned around, it was the portrait of the hunchback woman. And I think, no, no, no, no, no. This doesn’t happen. It happens in movies and TV, doesn’t happen in real life. So I told myself first, okay, Bob, this looks like but it’s not the painting, but I closed my eyes and I could see the painting and I could see it was exactly the same painting. So now I’m thinking maybe I’m not here. Maybe I’m in a hospital or nursing home with wires and tubes.
These things do not happen to people. I was trying just desperately to think of some logical rational explanation for this. How could this happen? And a salesman apparently sees me and I told him, I don’t recognize the artist, who painted this? So he went to his desk and said, the artist’s name was Jay Carol Beckwith. He had a little short paragraph and I’ll suddenly see five different confirmations to what I’d seen there. Number one, that there was a painting of a hunchback woman, and that interesting enough, Beckwith was born in 1852. He died in 1917. Now remember my two self-hypnosis things of seeing number 1 9 1 7. And also I found that he had lived during the late 19th century, which I told doc Griffith I thought that’s when it was when I was in the city. I also had found that he had spent some time in France. And I had told Dr. Griffin, she asked where we’re at. I said we were in France. Also, he had won some awards for his painting during his life. And I remembered the party I was at.
But again, these are little small things, that don’t mean anything. But now I knew this case was going to be reopened, I may have put it on the shelf, but now I had a name and I had a birth date and death date. I knew there had to be a rational, logical explanation. And I would go back to Indianapolis I would remember where I ran into paintings by Mr. Beckwith. And it would explain everything. So I go back to the public library. They had nothing on Beckwith. It turns out he was mainly a portrait painter during his time. He never painted any masterpiece that you’d recognize, made most of his living painting portraits, and he wasn’t a great portrait painter. So anyway, the librarian told me, he says, why don’t you go up to the art museum library? They have a much more extensive library of artists than we do. So I went to their library and they did, the lady was able to find me some more information about Beckwith. But unfortunately the information she got me kept confirming everything I’d seen in a regression.
When I went to my death in the Beckwith life, I thought it was the fall of the year. Well, he died in October. I thought he had been in a large city. Well, he died in New York City. It also said that he painted portraits, but didn’t like doing it. I remember telling Dr. Griffith, I don’t like painting portraits, but I need money. And they also said he was in need of money most of his life. And also it said that his paintings were full of sun and bright colors. And I remembered the painting over the fireplace had a sun in it. And it was a bright color. But again, I’m telling myself, okay Bob., all these are lucky guesses. The librarian said, “I have a pamphlet from an exhibition of Beckwith’s work that was held here in Indianapolis.” At that moment. It felt like there was the greatest relief in the world. Unfortunately, the exhibition had been in 1911. There’s been none since, but anyway, I had noticed one of the little things, she found me a little reference this information had come from the diaries of J Carol Beckwith that will be on file at the National Academy of Design in New York City. I had already found 10 things that confirmed what I’d seen. Now. I’m still not accepting this as anything, but just old memories of my mind. Maybe the diaries would explain how I knew some things about him.
So I went to the library and I asked for I interlibrary loan, I went home and I listened to the tape again. I wrote down everything I had said about Beckwith that could be confirmed or denied. So anyway, two weeks later they called me and said, your microfilm is here. I found out that Beckwith was a very avid diary keeper. He started at age 19 and made his last entry the night before he died.
.So I read them and again, I kept finding a confirmation, for example, he actually attended art school in Paris for five years. . He was roommates with John singer Sargent, who was a very famous American painter. They were roommates in Paris for five years, went to art school. And again, it’s another confirmation. And also he talked about not having any children, he said he and his wife really would have loved children but didn’t have any children. I kept finding these things one after another, after another.
I don’t know what to do now. So I thought what I need to do, I need to get somebody else outside to look at this stuff. My wife was a detective also, she didn’t know what I was doing. So I sit down and told her. She thought I was nuts. I said,” no, wait a minute now, looking at everything I’ve gathered, and you tell me an explanation.” so she looked at everything. She says,” Bob, you just saw a movie by him or read a book about him a long time ago. That’s all this is, this is not true. I tell you what I’ll do. I’ll find that information that you forgot about. ”
Johnny Burke: At what point did you reach out to Walter Semkiw at reincarnation research.com. What gave you the idea to do that?
Bob Snow: That was long after writing the book. What happened , my wife says, “shut up about it. Police captains don’t talk about this. Just shut up.”And I agreed with her. That’s why I sent them the tapes back. But then I ran into some officers who told me some stories about paranormal experiences. police officers have found. I figured, Hey if they can talk about it, I can. I ordered the tapes again and I read every single page of the diary, looking for the one denying thing, the one thing that would say, well, this isn’t true ,but I didn’t. I kept finding one point after another point after another point.
What really turned me was I got to December 5th, 1886. I knew there were only two women, in Beckwith’s life who were important to him; his wife and his mother, his mother, more than anybody, because she’s the only one in his family who encouraged him to be an artist. On December 5th, 1886, his mother was in church and she died from a stroke caused by a blood clot. I think that was the one that pushed me over. I told you I’d found 28 facts. I ended up proving all 28. Didn’t find one single thing. I’d seen that wasn’t true about Beckwith. You can guess a lot of things about a person’s life. You’re not going to guess what his mother died of- that’s not possible. You can make maybe half a dozen or a dozen lucky guesses. You can not make 28 correct guesses by the person without those being real memories.
Johnny Burke: And speaking of real memories, you also mentioned in the book that the perception of the past life events were actually were more clear than waking consciousness.
Bob Snow: It was just amazing. If you have a vision it’s like dreams are always kind of blurry and your imagination is kind of blurry. This was not, this was clear, and not only could I see and hear things, but I could also taste. I can taste the saltwater. I could smell the cave. I thought that was just part of the hypnosis, but I thought that was kind of remarkable. It was so vivid, and that’s what really disturbed me about the things and not the fact of what I saw, but how vividly clear it all was.
Fighting this thing and realizing, yes, these are true memories of Jay Carol Beckwith. These are memories. I carry in my mind of him. That’s not the hard part. I can accept what I’ve found.
The hard part is thinking, how does that affect my life? Everything I had thought, all my belief systems were wrong. The world didn’t work the way I thought it did. And all the people I thought were goofy people were right. I was wrong. And they were right! That was the hardest part to accept. You have to change your whole belief system of how the world, the universe operates.
Johnny Burke: You’re definitely not alone because I’ve heard that quite a few times, it does turn your world upside down in some cases. This type of thing really runs counter to what a lot of us were brought up to believe. So you basically verified 28 different facts about Carroll Beckwith? 28 and, you didn’t strike out on one, you nailed every single one of them?
Bob Snow: Not a single one. If I have had a homicide case that had this much proof, it’d be a slam dunk. you don’t have this kind of evidence murder case. Every single thing I saw proved to be true.
Johnny Burke: And when you and the wife went to New Orleans, and you happened to stumble onto a gallery that had the painting of a hunchback woman, there are those of us who might think that there was some kind of spiritual guidance- it wasn’t a coincidence. I know what your feelings were then, but what are your feelings about that now?
Bob Snow: That’s kind of a scary thought because you realize that it takes a higher power to do this. That scared me for a while just because the odds of that thing happening are just millions and millions to one, the odds of just actually stumbling onto a painting you saw in the regression, come on. That’d be hard to believe it was just a coincidence. It really would. It wasn’t the only time in this investigation that I had information get dumped in my lap. Several times where information when I was trying to find on Beckwith, I couldn’t find, was suddenly just dumped in my lap. For example, in his diary, he talks a number of times about working on his scrapbooks. I couldn’t find out where they were. And I was talking to an expert on American art. And we were just talking, all of a sudden she says, “you know, don’t you, his scrapbook is at the New York Historical Society, just out of the blue. I hadn’t asked him about him or anything.
This was one of the reasons I wrote the book because this really did some real serious damage to my career at the police department. I had warnings, my wife had warnings, my agent that this could damage my writing career also, but I still felt it had to be done. It simply had to be published. There’s too much of a push from somewhere to get this done.
Johnny Burke: It’s almost as if whatever you want to call it; source, or the divine basically used you as an example. An interesting parallel to that, speaking of near-death experiences, which you mentioned briefly. There have been several neurosurgeons who are atheists, who’ve written books about that. I can’t help but get the feeling they are actually chosen to be an example because they were skeptics like you are -like you were.
Bob Snow: if I had to do the whole thing over again, I would do it . Even though it took me six years after I wrote this book before I could get a book published. My agent told me, he said, “Bob, if you publish the book, publishers are not going to take you seriously as a factual police procedural writer. It took me six years, but like anything, time passes and people forget.
The police department wasn’t as nice. I was in homicide and I was very successful – the murder rate was down, clearances were up. They moved me out and put me in a place that’s called the central desk. It’s a place where people come to get police records or get fingerprints. It’s a place where they put captains when they are planning to retire. That was supposed to be the message I was supposed to get -is that you’re done here. But again, I would do it again. It was too important to message not to publish.
Johnny Burke: Your case is featured on the reincarnation research.com website, which is run by Walter Semkiw- very interesting, man. I know that you’ve had some discussions with him. What were his thoughts on your case?
Bob Snow: Walter and I are old friends, Walter and I have done a number of presentations together. Walter has a different take on reincarnation. He believes that you’d bring physical, certain physical characteristics from one life to another. That’s my problem with this whole thing is people always ask me, what does this mean? What is the significance of this? , I’m a police officer. My job was an investigation. I’m not a theologian or a philosopher. And I really can’t answer these questions.
Johnny Burke: Okay. Yeah, that’s fair. But after your experience, you’ve pretty much accepted it. That it’s not a hoax. It’s not your imagination. That these were past lives.
Bob Snow: There’s actually no other explanation -there simply isn’t.
Johnny Burke: I will mention this about Walter because what he did, he took the work of Ian Stephenson, basically put those accounts into story form so people can actually read them. Stevenson wrote for the academics, he wrote a book on, birthmarks in reincarnation cases that was 2000 pages long. Anyone who’s familiar with Stevenson’s work knows that he validated about 1500 cases of children with past life memories. this goes all the way back to the sixties.
Bob Snow: Basically in a lot of countries this is part of their belief system if you’re a Buddhist or Hindu. It happens a lot in the Western civilization to that, that little kid will say something that sounds like a past life, but parents just brush it off. Whereas in other countries where it’s a part of your belief system, they take it much more seriously. That’s why Stevenson was able to find a lot of accounts. But again, like you said, he was a professor at the University of Virginia, I read his books. It’s very academic, very dry academic stuff. Yes, it is. He wasn’t trying to be a popular writer.
Johnny Burke: He would not be trying to sell books on Amazon, I know that. I just thought it’s interesting that I found your case on Walter’s website because I really got a kick out of interviewing him and talking about this whole thing and what he did with Stevenson’s work.
What would your advice be to someone who has had memories as you did, and maybe they did a past life regression and they still didn’t know what to think- what would you tell them?
Bob Snow: You can investigate them. Anybody can do it but you got to have a lot of patience and you have to have a lot of facts. I had an idea for our book- I thought it might do a book investigating other people’s regressions, but I found in a lot of the regressions, there were not a lot of facts to it. I had one that was really kind of interesting about a brother and sister who were at a lake, and the sister fell in, was drowning, her brother jumped in to save her, he drowned too. But there was no location, no time, no date. And so there was basically nothing to really investigate unless you had a place or a time. You probably could have found an account of this, but the problem is in most of these regressions don’t have the dates and times and facts. I was very fortunate in mine, that I was able to find all these things, to be able to record them, and I made my own tape and be able to prove them.
Now people might have asked if he was an unimportant mediocre painter, why would they save his diary? There’s a really good reason. Beckwith was a social butterfly. He knew everybody. He was friends with Theodore Roosevelt. He and Mark Twain owned summer homes together up in the Catskills. He knew mark Twain. When Oscar Wilde came to America, he stayed with Beckwith; he stayed in Beckwith’s apartment. He knew Claude Monet. He knew everybody. And so his diary is full of little tidbits of interactions with these people.
Johnny Burke: Okay. Interesting. Really interesting- that I did not know about Beckwith. Speaking, which, you visited his grave, there’s a picture of you literally standing over his grave. What did that feel like?
Bob Snow: When I was writing the book, I went to New York. I wanted to see if I could find any of the places Beckwith had been. This is where the studio was and various things he mentioned about New York. Well, everything’s gone, he died in 1917. And so during that time, everything has been demolished. And actually, he died. He was walking in Central Park and had a heart attack. He managed to get to a cab and get back to his apartment where he was living and he died in his wife’s arms. The buildings are no longer there, there’s a little park there. He was buried at Kensico Cemetery, which is in Valhalla New York, a suburb of New York City.
So while I was in New York doing my research, trying to find it, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to visit your own grave. ? How many people get a chance in our life to visit your own grave? So, I took a train to Valhalla and I went to the office at the cemetery. It’s a beautiful cemetery, it had a lot of famous people buried there. If you were anybody of money or importance in New York City, you got buried at Kensico Cemetery. But anyway, they drew a map of how to get to Beckwith’s grave. So when I got within maybe 10 feet of his grave, I started having a panic attack.
Now, when I was first coming to the police department as a new officer, you ran into a lot of scary situations, and I’d often have panic attacks. You’d feel your heartbeat and you start sweating. You feel the electricity in your hands. And always my left knee would shake. And I felt the same thing. I’m approaching the grave and I’m telling myself to time,Bob, this is silly. There can’t be any spirit or any ghost- that spirit was in him is in you. So there’s nothing in this grave, there’s nothing. And I kept telling myself that this is silly, but I could not stop it. I had a terrible panic attack.
So anyway, there’s some workmen working on some hedges about a hundred feet away. So I walked over to them, and once I left the grave, once I would get about 10 feet away it would stop. And I wanted to get my picture taken. I want to prove I wasn’t scared. So I went back to the grave to have them take my picture. And again the minute I got within about 10 feet of the grave I could just panic attack again. And it continued till the guy took the picture and I could get out of there.
Now I have no idea what this means, but apparently, you’re not supposed to do this. I had different people to explain why that would happen. I don’t know. Can’t figure out why would I have that kind of reaction to visiting the grave?
Johnny Burke: You were told that one should not visit, the body of someone that you had occupied at one point.?
Bob Snow: I have no idea why, but apparently you’re not supposed to do this. Once I left the grave I was fine.
Johnny Burke: I’ve never heard that, but I’m not going to doubt it. I’ll make a mental note if that ever happens to me and listeners, I recommend you do the same, Bob. Excellent, excellent info. Thanks for coming onto the show today. the show today. How can listeners learn more about you online?
Bob Snow: I’ve written 20 books and they are all on Amazon. I have an author’s page on Amazon and it also has all my books.
Robert L Snow Amazon Author Page