Tuesday

My appearance on the show Friday


Here's my appearance on the show Friday, while it's still available...

Thursday

A Shot of Martini

I look like I had too much coffee. I did.
Talking with my old pal George Noory on Friday.





As a way of prep, for me and for you dear reader, let's recap.  Who is this guy Rich Martini?



Just a filmmaker.  Grew up in Chicago (Northbrook), home of John Hughes, who went to my high school. Came out to California on a coin flip, went to USC film school, where I met my pal Luana Anders, who was a spiritual person, who got me a job working for her pal Robert Towne, one of the greatest writers of all time.

I wrote and or directed 8 theatrical films, most of them you haven't seen, I know you haven't seen them, because no one has.  But they're all children of mine, and I'm proud to say I can sit and watch any of them today, this very moment and be amused, laugh out loud, or get emotional over something I was trying to convey.
"Dialog coach" on "Movers & Shakers"
Walter Matthau and Charles Grodin pointing to
where all the donuts have gone.

I went to work for Charles Grodin in the 90's, helping produce segments for his show, and later, worked for Phillip Noyce on a couple of films, including "Salt."  I also started writing and researching what happened to Amelia Earhart after she disappeared, thanks to a prompt from an old pal from Northbrook, Abbie Adams Yaffe.

That's turned into a 25 year story - continuing to dig so to speak, last year I went to Saipan and uncovered 15 new eyewitnesses.  People who claim their mom or dad, uncle, or they themselves saw the tall aviator dressed in men's clothes on their island before the war began, which resulted in her passing.


But of course, if you've read any of Flipside, or Its A Wonderful Afterlife, you know that she's not dead. She's just not here. 


And how did I come to that conclusion?  Well, I had a visit from my old friend Luana, and from there I began researching the field.  I found the work of Dr. Michael Newton, a psychologist, and his books that detail the 7000 cases he's had over his career. I interviewed him and other therapists trained in his method of deep hypnosis, called "life between life hypnotherapy."  Turns out all the clients said pretty much the same things about the afterlife.  I detailed that journey in the documentary "Flipside" and the book of the same name.

But as I was talking about the research, I spoke to scientists who were on the cutting edge of consciousness research.  And the stories from people under hypnosis seemed remarkably similar to those who've had near death experiences.  

I spoke to a number of scientists about their work and research, and then continued to film people under deep hypnosis, and then found people who'd had both an NDE and a between life session (LBL). I found remarkable similarities in all their accounts.




Dr. Bruce Greyson UVA is in the book, talking about NDEs.

And like the Earhart research, I tried to stay true to a simple concept.  "What did you see? " "What did you feel or experience?" "What did your family or loved ones say?"  And then sought to corroborate their stories by finding whether or not they lived where they said they did, or spoke to their relatives about their experience, or any other evidence that shows people are likely telling the truth.

For example, when I interviewed Dr. Newton I also got the opportunity to interview his wife, and she was able to corroborate much of what he said.  But what was key to her interview was her saying "He allowed me to listen to the tapes."  And when she heard these accounts of the afterlife, so remarkably similar, knowing the backgrounds of who these people were, how there was little or no ability to find these this information in public - she knew her husband was onto something.

Just found this online - 9 Minutes of Dr. Newton talking about his work.


So I've been filming people during these 6 hour sessions. So far I've filmed 25. (Many with Scott De Tamble, lightbetweenlives.com) Most of them I've chosen, because I know they're skeptics, or they're not aware of this research, or have no property to sell. Then I make sure that no one could guess who these subjects are - so I take out the possibility of gaining something from the experience.  I eliminate the problem inherent in hypnosis - a patient wants to cure something, they go to a person who wants to cure them.  

In this case, they're not looking for any cures, and the hypnotherapist has no idea who they are or why they're there (other than a phone conversation that loosely goes over what they might want to explore to maximize the benefits of the session).

And then I transcribe the session, edit them for content, and present them as they were filmed.  So anyone can see the same thing that I've seen. Here's the trailer for the film "Flipside": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK7vndjaUJg





Last year I asked people to donate whatever they could for the creation of the last book on a gofundme site.  It meant that I was able to finish the book and research and do those things that take time to compile this information.  So THANK YOU for all your support. My family appreciates it!!

It allowed me to present this work in the most unadulterated way that I can, without hype or bravado - because the content of what people say during these sessions is literally mind blowing.

So George and I are going to be talking about how Near Death Experiences closely resemble between life sessions.  How the hallmarks of NDEs which have been studied scientifically under scientific protocol, are remarkably similar to LBLs which have never been studied under scientific protocols.  How the cutting edge ideas of consciousness as told by Dr. Greyson, Neuroscientist Mario Beauregard and Gary Schwartz PhD in the book, can be linked up with what people are saying during a near death experience or while under deep hypnosis.  There you go. We don't die. And "Bob's your uncle."

If George Noory's recognition of this research as something worthy to examine encourages you to examine it, I think that's fantastic.  I've posted at least a dozen book talks, so if you want to hear any of it explored further, for free, check out my youtube page MartiniProds - and subscribe if you care to, as I'm told once I hit 5,000 followers I can get youtube to sponsor a channel.  Wouldn't that be fun?  All Flipside all the time.  The film "Flipside" is available at Gaiam TV (and DVD at Amazon).

Also, I didn't plan to talk about Earhart research, but George asked me to stick around for an extra hour.  Some folks have questioned my sanity about this topic - I've posted excerpts of my interviews with people on Saipan at www.earhartonsaipan.com - where you can see for yourself what these people have said on camera.  And finally, here's three US veterans who spoke to me about what they saw.

At some point, you have to wonder - why are people so skeptical about this information? Is it uncomfortable?  Why?  As I've said - Amelia is not dead. She's just not here.  So if the quest to find out what happened to her and her plane, why not just ask the people who claim they saw her or saw the plane? In this case US MARINES WHO ARE NOT PRONE TO LYING:



Feel free to leave any questions you might have - my email is like the youtube account - martiniprods at the place that owns youtube - gmail.  

Thanks for tuning in.

Monday

Coast to Coast AM This Friday!!!


Set your alarm clocks!

This Friday, December 12th, yours truly will be talking FLIPSIDE and ITS A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE and perhaps some other stuff, depending on time allowed on COAST TO COAST AM WITH GEORGE NOORY.

If I forget to mention something, it's the THANK YOUs for all the folks that helped me put together this latest edition - it's MASSIVE - two volumes of research into the afterlife, interviews with scientists, interviews with hypnotherapists, interviews with people who've had NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES, discussions about the latest research into consciousness, talking to people about the afterlife and showing HOW THE REPORTS ARE RELATIVELY THE SAME.

Relatively?  Yes, it appears that my experience in the afterlife is going to be different than yours.

Your experience in the afterlife is going to be different than mine.

However, there are some hallmarks we are both going to experience, including "reconnecting with your loved ones, and the people who've been incarnating with you for millenia."  We are going to experience (at some point) a feeling of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. We are going to meet with our "spirit guide" or "guardians" who help us through each lifetime.  We are going to visit the library of souls, or the akashic records and see where we've been and contemplate where we might be going.


IT'S NOT SET IN STONE.  We have free will.  We can adjust to the circumstances.

We might want to hang around on the planet to take care of our loved ones.  It's allowed, we have free will.  We might want to go to some isolated place to be away from everyone else to contemplate on all the negative actions of this lifetime.  It's allowed, we have free will.  We might want to rejoin our friends and loved ones "back home" because they've been watching and waiting for us.  We might want to spread love and help others.  We might want to just play with our pals, and not worry about anyone or anything else.  It's allowed we have free will.

IT'S ALLOWED.  WE HAVE FREE WILL.

We choose our parents, we choose our lifetime.  We choose the stones in our path that we learn to go through or around, so we can turn the stones into gold.  We turn adversity into victory.  Not everyone, not all of us. But that's what the stones are there for.  Not to annoy you. But to ennoble you.


So tune in if you can, this Friday Dec 12th at 10 PM Pacific Coast time.  Here's a link to Coast to Coast AM.



Thursday

Sister Cities - Windy City White City

Here's a documentary I created about the Sister City program: Chicago (Windy) and Casablanca (White). 

Layalina Prods presents, written and directed by Richard Martini; "White City, Windy City." In the Eisenhower era, the Sister City program began pairing cities from across the globe with cities in the U.S. Two of the oldest members are Casablanca (White City) and Chicago (Windy City). 

This is the pilot episode for a series that would focus on the similarities of cultures, rather than their differences. For example, Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, yet was the first country to recognize the United States as a country. The head of the Jewish museum in Casablanca is interviewed, and he talks about the history of Moroccan tolerance. 

Casablanca considers itself a "melting pot" for all religions as does Chicago In this documentary, the Imam of the largest Mosque outside of Mecca is interviewed and his sentiments echo the same words that the Mayor of Chicago has when asked about the Sister City program. There are many females working in positions of power in Moroccan society there are interviews with a female Judge, Member of Parliament, and a Doctor who detail what it's like for a woman in their country. 

There are interviews with Casablancans living in Chicago and Chicagoans who live in Casablanca. The former Mayor Richard M Daley is interviewed, and the documentary looks at the long cultural history between both cities.  Enjoy!



This program is available through Layalina TV. For more information please contact President of Layalina, Leon Shahabian. (Layalina Productions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public diplomacy initiative based in Washington, D.C., that develops, produces and distributes television programming throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Inaugurated in March 2002, Layalina aims to dispel negative stereotypes of the other and help increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and Arab-speaking countries. The organization's following has been notably bipartisan, with leading foreign policy veterans and media experts from both Republican and Democratic backgrounds making up the organization’s Board of Directors and Board of Counselors including Henry A. Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Sam Nunn, and former President George H. W. Bush.)

Sunday

Audio reviews for "Flipside" on Audible

Perusing the reviews for the audio version of "Flipside" - yes, it was me reading the book, yes, I do have a cat that meows from time to time, and yes, occassionally I do "P" or pop the sound.



But it's like the "Nechung Monks" CD I made in India.  You can hear birds chirping and people pouring tea. The floor boards creak.  The clock cuckoos - but you hear them in their temple, in their unvarnished truth... I have tried to eliminate all the clicks and pops, but at the end of the day you're going to hear me.  My voice.  Occasionally I choke up while reading these stories. But it's real.  Which, like the accounts in the book, are also real.

I made the cd "Nechung Monks" in this man's monastery - the State Oracle of Tibet


By the way, there is a film George, that you won't want to see - it's called "Flipside: A Journey into the Afterlife" and it's on Amazon and Gaiam TV.  And it also contains glitches, pops and what not.  I'm sorry Christopher that you feel I "pissed away" the opportunity for greatness... but hey, it's my path, I chose it.

Name dropping in Kashmir


I have a sneaking suspicion that people who make a living reading books might be writing these reviews... but if not, I apologize for not following the normal rules.  And now there are two new books to listen to my cat meow and me choke up over - "It's a Wonderful Afterlife: Further Adventures in the Flipside" volume one and two!!!!

Of course - there's always a refund.  I know that audible offers that option.  Either way, thanks for tuning in!!!
Here are some excerpts for the reviews from "Flipside" the audio book:


from "Johnny Ringworm" and "George"
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The story was great the book itself was well done, just the reader shouldn't read a 2 year old a bedtime story let alone an actual book. Guy really need to learn to read to people, he can read just not to anyone else. It takes a special type of actor to do books...that dude was terrible

(ha!  a special kind of actor! love that).

How could the performance have been better?
He should have hired a professional story teller. I don't mind hearing his cat meowing in the background, but I felt like he was cutting corners to save a buck.

(aw, I will mention this to our cat Bonnie).

I hear dead people.


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Flipside?
People in the film business are always dropping names to bolster their credibility. For me, it does just the opposite. A solid script doesn't need to be over stuffed.

(I only drop names that I've worked with.  Even then when I drop the name I say "I'm going to drop the name now!"  But wait till the next book - more names are dropped than bombs over ... fill in the blank)

Any additional comments?
Aside from the reader being horrible? not really...People don't waste your money or credits on this version, buy it for your kindle or whatever you read on and do it yourself...You will be able to actually enjoy the story...You could tell between lip smackings the reader was board and didn't like the story. Seriously Audible if you guys put out another book that is read this bad I will drop this app...total waste of money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(They missed this one, as they just published my next one. Sorry)

from "Christopher Corry"
Would you try another book from Richard Martini and/or Richard Martini?
I would recommend reading this book to ANYONE, but the manner in which it was read was very disheartening. I want to listen over and over, but it comes off as breathy, rushed and unprofessional. I'm wondering if it was done in a home studio and in one or two sessions. The words written required patience and flow and they come off like he was late for dinner or needed to do something else that was more important at the time.Overall, I would STILL suggest it, but damn... Just damn. I hate half-ass work.

What did you like best about this story?
The message.

How could the performance have been better?
It could have been professionally done, with patience and aptitude.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?
No.

Any additional comments?
Damn... You were "this close" to greatness and pissed it away. Sorry, but Richard Martini also knows it's true. He has to.

(Dude, have you been talking to my spirit guide?  If you read "Flipside" there's actually an account of me saying the same thing to my spirit guide.. on camera and in the book!  "I just wish I had picked a soul with more talent." )

Meanwhile, so I don't have to wring my hands....

Diana:
"Enjoyable, Expanding, Human, & heartfelt delivery"
This book can stand on it's own as a book examining and sharing after life and in-between lives experiences.

Beautifully narrated by the author, I really enjoyed his descriptions of the photographs or illustrations that must be at the beginning of his chapters.

John Steele: 
"Interesting and well done w/only a minor complaint"
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend this book to friends. The stories are interesting and give a person hope for what awaits all of us.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I could listen to this book all in one sitting. Richard Martini is an excellent story teller. Very natural style that I enjoy. Listening to his book is like sitting with a good friend and listening to him tell you stories. Well done.

Paul in San Antonio:
"Great materials, unbiased, factual, grounded."
Would you consider the audio edition of Flipside to be better than the print version?
I did not read the print version.

What did you like best about this story?
Throughout the book he references to numerous situations that are substantiated with objective facts, and same facts from different therapists, authors, patients. I read Michael Newton's 3 books some 15 years ago, and respect his approach:- question and answer format, that requires tremendous work; detailed, comprehensive, unbiased, acute observation, with the benefit of doubt at hand.

Have you listened to any of Richard Martini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No. I have not listened to his other performances.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Defending your Life.

Any additional comments?
Reading subjects like this, life after death, (including bible), requires our outmost Critical Thinking skills, Intuition, inner sense, insights and Mindfulness, keen observational skills; to separate the wheat from the chaff. And in my view, both Michael Newton's and Martini's work stand on solid ground. I give 5 stars. Thank you Richard Martini for your great work, and putting yourself through this ordeal.

Friday

Coast to Coast Radio Appearance 12-12

This just in....

Appearing on George Noory's "Coast to Coast" AM radio on Dec 12th, from 10 PM to Midnight.

Set your radio dials!!!

Are there any more radio dials?

I'll be talking FLIPSIDE.


cool cat, great radio host George with this double chinned fellow.


The topic?

The new tome(s) - It's a Wonderful Afterlife volumes one and two: More Adventures in the Flipside.




We'll be talking about the science behind consciousness studies... (Dr. Greyson, Gary Schwartz PhD and Mario Beauregard PhD)... we'll be talking Near Death Experiences (Dr. Eben Alexander, Colton Burpo, David Bennett and others) and comparing them to LBL sessions (hypnotherapy as pioneered by Michael Newton) which report nearly identical experiences.


With Kutenla, The Medium of the State Oracle of Tibet.  Cool cat.


What the hell is going on here?

We'll be talking about that as well.

Do we live after death?

Apparently so, based on the research, thousands of cases, and simple logic.  What's unusual about this research is the entire process - that we're always alive - including while we're here on Earth.  According to these reports, about 2/3rds of our "energy" is back in the home realm at all times.

Excuuuuse me?

According to these reports, we choose our lifetimes.  We choose our parents, choose our circumstances, because we believe that it's the best possible way for us to learn the lessons we've signed up to learn.




Come again?

That we don't die - we just move to another realm.  We can access this realm, where we used to be - some of us are more connected than others - but there's plenty of stuff to do in this other realm, including schools, classes, libraries playing cosmic tags and other reports that are frankly... mind blowing.

So if you want your mind blown, pick up a copy of "It's A Wonderful Afterlife: Further Adventures in the Flipside" volumes one or two, or "Flipside: A Tourist's Guide on how to Navigate the Afterlife" or the film that goes with it: "Flipside; My Journey into the the Afterlife."  Follow the links on either side of this page, or go to Amazon, or createspace or Gaiam TV to find the links.


Book features an interview with Robert Thurman on "the Death of Death"

And to Coast to Coast... where I'll see you on the radio!!!


Best,

Rich

Wednesday

Life after death? What about life before death?


Life after death.

We all have opinions about it.  "Do you believe in it?"  I always answer "I don't believe in anything."  Belief implies something unknowable, something hard to pin down.  I prefer "not to believe."  Belief implies a leap of faith, like "since you can't see it, or understand it, your brain has to go on hold and then you have to accept that you can't know it - so therefore, you just gotta believe."
Charles Grodin wrote the Foreword to Volume One of "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" Chuck believes I'm from another planet, so in fact, I may be right about everything else.

I do believe the sun will set and rise tomorrow.  That's generally the rule of things.  I can't rule out that it won't, as we know.  It's possible that the Earth could stop spinning, and we just stop spinning in space altogether.  Not likely.  But possible.

I feel the same way about death.  Based on the research I've been doing and have done, I think it's a joke that was foisted on people for a long time.  "Hey look, Larry's not moving. We'd better bury him because the animals are going to come and eat him, and if those vultures look at me for lunch, I'm outta here."
Pretending to be Picasso with a long sparkler

But hang on. Even Plato reported a near death experience. Talked about the time one of his pals died - was considered dead - for ten days, then came back and talked about it.  And he saw all kinds of battles he was involved in in previous lifetimes.  The first case of NDE.  Somehow it didn't take.

So now we have scientists studying NDE's - the Aware project just released its results and Dr. Sam Parnia says "Yes, when we have an NDE - without any blood to the brain, no oxygen to the brain - we still have consciousness."  Bruce Greyson at UVA has studied thousands of near death experiences.  And people generally say the same things about them.

I interviewed Bruce Greyson for my latest book. I interviewed neuroscientist Mario Beauregard about it - said the same thing. Interviewed Gary Schwartz PhD, and he says the same... damn... thing.  Science can prove evidence that consciousness exists beyond our lifetime.

But no one seems to be listening.

I've been filming people under deep hypnosis for the past five years - over 25 sessions in all, I chose the subjects, some friends, many skeptics - but all of them had the same damned experience.  They saw and experienced a previous lifetime and then saw themselves in the life between lives realm where they discovered other amazing - unbelievably amazing things - in these sessions.

What did they find?

Well, start with everyone has a guardian angel.  Everyone.  Call him or her a spirit guide - or "higher self" - but we all have one.  Some of us have more than one.

One of my guardian angels. No really. And I took the pic.


We all have a soul group, or classroom of souls that we incarnate with.  We were all formed at the same time (after or before the big bang, it doesn't matter, they claim this process is outside of time, and they haven't even seen "interstellar") - there's a gaggle of people we hang out with between lives, that we interact with during lives.  Look around the room, you're probably sitting with one of them right now.  Maybe you're avoiding them.  Maybe you're loving them or hating them.  But they've always been familiar to you.

We all have a council that guides us.  Bunch of older wiser souls who gives us a heads up between lives.  They don't judge us - that's for us to do during our past life review - but they help us look over what we learned from our previous lifetime.
A parking lot of bodies in Paris


And we've been doing that for time immemorial.  Or a long time.  Some are new - but most of us are old.

So what about population boom? Where'd the new souls come from?

I can only answer with what they claim; this ain't the only merry go round.  People can incarnate here or elsewhere, and it appears a lot of folks "want" to be here on earth at this particular time.  They say why, but it's not apocraphal.  Suffice to say, it's a good time to be here.  Like a good party.

I've seen people with severe illnesses lose their illness during these sessions.  One, an acclaimed writer, who teaches at a famous film school, who has severe parkinsons - lost it during her session.  I filmed it.  It was gone.  Her finger twitched for the full 6 hours - and that was about it. When she came back to consciousness, it came back with her.  I filmed a woman with agorophobia who examined the reasons for that, and then I filmed her swimming.  I filmed a guy with a life long kidney problem, and it virtually disappeared during his session (but has come back to a lesser degree now).  That fellow is in the film "Flipside."

I hear dead people.


I've been gathering these reports about the afterlife for a couple of reasons.

One is to wake people up.  If we're going to want to come back here - and we don't have to if we don't choose to, there's not power in the universe forcing us to do anything, including "karma" - we reportedly choose each lifetime for a reason - to understand the energies behind it.

We choose lifetimes with stones in our path so we can learn what it's like to step around over or through those stones.  This ain't me talking - this is the thousands of cases that Michael Newton has done, and the 25 I've filmed - they all say the same things.
Am I inside looking out? Or outside looking in?  Still can't decide.

Relatively.

They don't say the EXACT same things.  When they talk about going to a "library of souls" they describe a library they know - always different.  Sometimes with stacks, sometimes with screens, sometimes with scrolls - I've yet to hear two similar libraries.  So that either means there's a billion libraries up there - out there - or it means that our experience in the afterlife is somewhat similar to our experience here.  Our consciousness helps create what we experience in the afterlife - so think about that for a moment.  Live in fear, you're going to find some fear back there (that is, until your soul group shows up and says "Hey, dude, enough with the brimstone.")  I've actually seen that happen twice in a session.  Therapist asks "Do you want to stay here or go somewhere else?"  "Let me out of here" and it dissolves behind them.

So the good news is we don't die.
Me in a past life with Robert Towne and Caleb Deschanel on the set of "Personal Best." I told Robert I was born to play the track meet manager.  He said "with a goatee."  So I shaved my beard, which is what my hands are looking for.

The bad news is we don't die.  We get to come back here, or go somewhere else, or hang out with our loved ones - but to work hard on the next incarnation.. and we may have lots of them.  It's a lot of learning, a lot of study (a lot of classrooms as I've reported in all three books) where we learn about the transference of energy, or the energy of transference.

All I can say definitively is this:

If you can find a Michael Newton trained hypnotherapist that is highly recommended by others (they have a website at newtoninstitute.com) there is no other modality I'm aware of that can give you the same experience of a near death experience without the death part.
Would you take this guy seriously?  You're not alone. Most don't.

So if you want to know why you're on the planet, why you're going through what you're going through, or even to connect to loved ones who appear to no longer be here - it's the single most powerful thing you can do for your soul.

I don't do these sessions.  I'm not trained to do them.  (although I've dabbled with a few, but warn my friends they may no longer speak to me afterwards).

I can recommend a number of them and do so in my books "Flipside" and "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" volumes one and two.  For a list, check out the end of the book, or look online for a book talk. Here's one:


I post this with love and light and praise for the courage of choosing the difficult path you've chosen in this lifetime.  And for the courage to figure out what the hell that's all about.

Did your kids choose you? Or did you choose them? Just ask.


Rich

Tuesday

Dr. Bruce Greyson on "Consciousness without brain activity."

Evidence that life goes on.



Dr. Greyson presents some of the scientific evidence for consciousness without a functioning brain.

I would call this "Proof that life exists after death from a scientific perspective" but of course that would be putting words into his mouth.

But listen carefully to what he's saying.

He also graciously allowed me to interview him for the book "IT'S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE" which is now available on kindle and in print.

It's only a few minutes, and will change the way you view consciousness.

Then there's this, from Mario Beauregard PhD - who is also in the same volume as Dr. Greyson.

Thank you both for granting me interviews!!!!


Friday

A perfect Flipside story with a different headline...


Perfect "Flipside" story. Its pretty common, more common than the reporter is aware of. Headline should be "man proves we don't die with loving gesture" 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/23/living/crisis-apparitions/index.html?c=&page=0

Do loved ones bid farewell from beyond the grave?

By John Blake, CNN
updated 3:41 PM EDT, Fri September 23, 2011
Death doesn't sever the connection between loved ones, say people who've experienced so-called crisis apparitions.
Death doesn't sever the connection between loved ones, say people who've experienced so-called crisis apparitions.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some people claim that loved ones have contacted them after death
  • Paranormal investigators call these events "crisis apparitions" and say they take many forms
  • Some witnesses say apparitions appear lifelike, and that the images are reassuring
  • Woman who encountered apparition: "He needed to say goodbye"
(CNN) -- Nina De Santo was about to close her New Jersey hair salon one winter's night when she saw him standing outside the shop's glass front door.
It was Michael. He was a soft-spoken customer who'd been going through a brutal patch in his life. His wife had divorced him after having an affair with his stepbrother, and he had lost custody of his boy and girl in the ensuing battle.
He was emotionally shattered, but De Santo had tried to help. She'd listened to his problems, given him pep talks, taken him out for drinks.
When De Santo opened the door that Saturday night, Michael was smiling.
"Nina, I can't stay long," he said, pausing in the doorway. "I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for everything."
They chatted a bit more before Michael left and De Santo went home. On Sunday she received a strange call from a salon employee. Michael's body had been found the previous morning -- at least nine hours before she talked to him at her shop. He had committed suicide.
If Michael was dead, who, or what, did she talk to that night?
"It was very bizarre," she said of the 2001 encounter. "I went through a period of disbelief. How can you tell someone that you saw this man, solid as ever, walk in and talk to you, but he's dead?"
Today, De Santo has a name for what happened that night: "crisis apparition." She stumbled onto the term while reading about paranormal activities after the incident. According to paranormal investigators, a crisis apparition is the spirit of a recently deceased person who visits someone they had a close emotional connection with, usually to say goodbye.
Reports of these eerie encounters are materializing in online discussion groups, books such as "Messages" -- which features stories of people making contact with loved ones lost on September 11 -- and local ghost hunting groups that have sprung up across the country amid a surge of interest in the paranormal.
Although such encounters are chilling, they can also be comforting, witnesses and paranormal investigators say. These encounters suggest the bond that exists between loved ones is not erased by death.
"We don't know what to do with these stories. Some people say that they are proof that there's life after death," said Steve Volk, author of "Fringe-ology," a book on paranormal experiences such as telepathy, psychics and house hauntings.
Scientific research on crisis apparitions is scant, but theories abound.
One theory: A person in crisis -- someone who is critically ill or dying -- telepathically transmits an image of themselves to someone they have a close relationship with, but they're usually unaware they're sending a message.
Sometimes you just sense the presence of someone close to you, and it seemingly comes out of nowhere.
Steve Volk, author of "Fringe-ology," on "crisis apparitions"
Others suggest crisis apparitions are guardian angels sent to comfort the grieving. Another theory says it's all a trick of the brain -- that people in mourning unconsciously produce apparitions to console themselves after losing a loved one.
A telepathic link between loved ones
Whatever the source for these apparitions, they often leave people shaken.
Nor are apparitions limited to visions. The spirit of a dead person can communicate with a loved one through something as subtle as the sudden whiff of a favorite perfume, Volk says.
"Sometimes you just sense the presence of someone close to you, and it seemingly comes out of nowhere," Volk said. "And afterward, you find out that person was in some kind of crisis at the time of the vision."
Many people who don't even believe in ghosts still experience a mini-version of a crisis-apparition encounter, paranormal investigators say.
Did you ever hear a story of a mother who somehow knows before anyone told her that something awful has happened to her child? Have you ever met a set of twins who seem to be able to read each other's minds?
People who are extremely close develop a virtual telepathic link that exists in, and beyond, this world, said Jeff Belanger, a journalist who collected ghost stories for his book, "Our Haunted Lives: True Life Ghost Encounters."
"People have these experiences all the time," Belanger said. "There's an interconnectedness between people. Do you know how you're close to someone, and you just know they're sick or something is wrong?"
An eerie phone call at night
Simma Lieberman said she's experienced that ominous feeling and has never forgotten it -- though it took place more than 40 years ago.
Today, Lieberman is a workplace diversity consultant based in Albany, California. In the late 1960s though, she was a young woman in love.
Her boyfriend, Johnny, was a mellow hippie "who loved everybody," a guy so nice that friends called him a pushover, she said. She loved Johnny, and they purchased an apartment together and decided to marry.
Then one night, while Lieberman was at her mother's home in the Bronx, the phone rang and she answered. Johnny was on the line, sounding rushed and far away. Static crackled.
"I just want you to know that I love you, and I'll never be mean to anybody again," he said.
There was more static, and then the line went dead. Lieberman was left with just a dial tone.
She tried to call him back to no avail. When she awoke the next morning, an unsettled feeling came over her. She said it's hard to put into words, but she could no longer feel Johnny's presence.
Nina De Santo says one of her friends stopped by her salon to thank her -- a day after his death.
Nina De Santo says one of her friends stopped by her salon to thank her -- a day after his death.
Then she found out why.
"Several hours later, I got a call from his mother that he had been murdered the night before," she said.
Johnny was shot in the head as he sat in a car that night. Lieberman thinks Johnny somehow contacted her after his death -- a crisis apparition reaching out not through a vision or a whiff of perfume, but across telephone lines.
She's sorted through the alternatives over the years. Could he have called before or during his murder? Lieberman doesn't think so.
This was the era before cell phones. She said the murderer wasn't likely to let him use a pay phone, and he couldn't have called after he was shot because he died instantly.
Only years later, when she read an article about other static-filled calls people claimed to have received from beyond the grave, did it make sense, she said.
Johnny was calling to say goodbye.
"The whole thing was so bizarre," she said. "I could never understand it."
He had a 'whitish glow'
Josh Harris' experience baffled him as well. It involved his grandfather, Raymond Harris.
Josh was Raymond's first grandchild. They spent countless hours together fishing and doing yardwork in their hometown of Hackleburg, Alabama. You saw one, you saw the other.
Those days came to an end in 1997 when Raymond Harris was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctors gave him weeks to live. Josh, 12 at the time, visited his grandfather's house one night to keep vigil as his "pa-pa" weakened, but his family ordered him to return home, about two miles away.
Josh said he was asleep on the couch in his home around 2 a.m. when he snapped awake. He looked up. His grandfather was standing over him.
"At first, it kind of took me by surprise," said Harris, a maintenance worker with a gravelly Southern accent. "I wondered why he was standing in the hallway and not in his house with everyone else."
His grandfather then spoke, Harris said.
"He just looked at me, smiled and said, 'Everything will be OK.' "
His grandfather then turned around and started walking toward the kitchen. Harris rose to follow but spun around when the phone rang. An aunt who was in another room answered.
"When I turned back around to look, he was gone," Harris said.
As if on cue, his aunt came out of the room crying, "Josh, your pa-pa is gone."
"No, he was just here," Harris told his aunt, insisting that his grandfather had just stopped by to say everything was OK. He said it took him a day to accept that his grandfather had died.
"Honestly, before that, I never believed in the paranormal," he said. "I thought it was all fake and made up. But I just woke up and I saw him. It couldn't be my mind playing a trick. He looked solid."
Fourteen years after his grandfather's death, there's another detail from that night that's still lodged in Harris' memory.
As he watched his grandfather walk to the kitchen, he said he noticed something unusual.
"It looked like there was a whitish glow around him."
I never believed in the paranormal ... but I just woke up and saw him.
Josh Harris on his grandfather's appearance
'Can you come out and play?'
Childhood is supposed to be a time of innocence, a time when thoughts of death are far away. But crisis apparition stories aren't confined to adults and teens.
Donna Stewart was 6 years old and growing up in Coos Bay, Oregon. One of her best friends was Danny. One day, Danny had to go to the hospital to have his tonsils removed. Stewart played with him on the morning of the surgery before saying goodbye.
She said she was in her bedroom the next day when she looked up and saw Danny standing there. He wanted to know if she wanted to go out and play.
Stewart trotted to her mother's bedroom to ask her if she could play with Danny. Her mother froze.
"She went white," Stewart said. "She told me that wasn't possible."
Her mother broke the news. Danny had an allergic reaction during surgery and died, Stewart said.
"When I went back to my room, he was gone," she said.
Stewart, now an Oregon homemaker and a member of PSI of Oregon, a paranormal investigative team, said the encounter changed the way she looked at death.
"These experiences have made me believe that those we love are really not that far away at all and know when we are not doing as well as we could," she said. "Just as they did in life, they offer comfort during crisis.''
Still, Stewart often replays the encounter in her mind. She asks the same questions others who've had such encounters ask: Did my mind play tricks on me? Could he have been alive? Did it all really happen after he died?
Josh Harris says his grandfather, Raymond, pictured with his wife, Barbara, appeared to him in an apparition.
Josh Harris says his grandfather, Raymond, pictured with his wife, Barbara, appeared to him in an apparition.
De Santo, the former New Jersey hair salon owner, has taken the same self-inventory. The experience affected her so much she later joined the Eastern Pennsylvania Paranormal Society, which investigates the paranormal.
She said she checked with Michael's relatives and poured through a coroner's report to confirm the time of his death, which was put at Friday night -- almost 24 hours before she saw him at her salon on Saturday night.
She said Michael's body had been discovered by his cousin around 11 Saturday morning. Michael was slumped over his kitchen table, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot.
De Santo was baffled at first, but now she has a theory.
Michael started off as a customer, but she became his confidant. Once, after one of her pep talks, Michael told her, "You make me feel as if I can conquer the world."
Maybe Michael had to settle affairs in this world before he could move on to the next, De Santo said.
"A lot of times when a person dies tragically, there's a certain amount of guilt or turmoil," she said. "I don't think they leave this Earth. They stay here. I think he kind of felt he had unfinished business. He needed to say goodbye."
And so he did, she said. This is how she described their last conversation:
As they chatted face to face in the doorway of her shop, De Santo said they never touched, never even shook hands. But she didn't remember anything unusual about him -- no disembodied voice, no translucent body, no "I see dead people" vibe as in the movie "The Sixth Sense."
"I'm in a really good place now," she recalled him saying.
There were, however, two odd details she noticed at the time but couldn't put together until later, she said.
When she first opened the door to greet Michael, she said she felt an unsettling chill. Then she noticed his face -- it was grayish and pale.
And when she held the door open for him, he refused to come in. He just chatted before finally saying, "Thanks again, Nina."
Michael then smiled at her, turned and walked away into the winter's night.

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