Robert Snow | Carroll Beckwith

Beckwith1This case involves Robert Snow, who is a Captain in the Indianapolis Police Department, in charge of the Homicide Division. Based on a dare made by a fellow police officer, Captain Snow went to a past life regression therapist. Captain Snow, in his book, Looking for Carroll Beckwith, relates that he only went to the therapist so that it didn't look like he had "welshed on the dare." Captain Snow did not believe in reincarnation and did not expect to have a meaningful experience during the session.

A delightful aspect of Captain Snow's book is the high level of skepticism and a mischievous sense of humor that infuses the narrative. Let us share in Captain Snow's experiences through passages from Looking for Carroll Beckwith. We start with the regression therapist, Dr. Mariellen Griffith, guiding the regression. Dr. Griffith begins by instructing Captain Snow to imagine that he is relaxing comfortably in his den at home. Dr. Griffith continues: "Now, picture your higher self coming into the room to greet you," Dr. Griffith said. I did that, too, though as I sat on the couch with my eyes closed, I couldn't help but wonder what the hell I was doing there, particularly when she asked me what my higher self was wearing. How the hell would I know? This was her daydream. But I decided to give it a try. "White," I answered, "A long white gown." Wasn't that what all spirits wore? "Your higher self is standing there and asking if you're ready to go on a trip. It is telling you that it will guide you and protect you on your trip." Oh Lord, I thought, as I tried to maintain a facial expression of seriousness, I can't believe I'm doing this.

Eventually and much to his surprise, Captain Snow experienced past life memories during the regression that were powerful and clear. He recalled several different lifetimes, but the one that was most prominent was as a portrait painter in what seemed to be the 19th century. Captain Snow remembered 28 specific details regarding this lifetime as an artist. One of the specific memories involved painting the portrait of a hunchback woman. Captain Snow vividly remembered the experience, including his questioning why someone so unattractive would want a portrait painted.

The regression had such a profound effect on Captain Snow that he became obsessed with trying to determine whether it was authentic. Captain Snow himself still did not believe in reincarnation and operated under the assumption that he had learned about the portrait painter in the past, through a book, in school or at a museum, and that the regression experience represented a forgotten memory that had surfaced. Snow treated the past life regression experience as he would a detective case. He methodically examined art books, visited art galleries and contacted art dealers, searching for the portrait of the hunchback woman or some other clue. Captain Snow, though, was unable to identify any historical artist consistent with the regression persona. After a yearlong period of research, Snow came to a dead end. He concluded that it was unlikely that he would be able to identify the artist experienced during his regression. At that point in time, Captain Snow's wife, Melanie, suggested that they take a vacation trip to New Orleans. The arrangements were made.

In the setting of an art gallery in the French Quarter, Captain Snow had another profound experience. This incident demonstrates how people can be guided, apparently by spiritual sources, in endeavors such as reincarnation research. In an art gallery that Captain Snow wandered into by apparent chance, he viewed the portrait of the hunchbacked woman, which was identical to the one he vividly saw in his past life regression. Let us share this harden police veteran's reaction.

"Whirling around, I stared open-mouthed at the portrait, reliving an experience I'd had once when I grabbed onto a live wire without knowing it, the current freezing me in my tracks as huge voltage surged up and down my arms and legs... For the next several minutes, I didn't move from in front of the portrait, but instead continued closing my eyes to see again and again the scene of me painting this very portrait in my studio, and then opening my eyes to see the actual finished portrait. The situation began to feel surreal, more like a very vivid dream that you wake up sweating from, a dream that you have to keep telling yourself over and over again was only a dream. It wasn't real.

"Finally, even though I knew with absolute certainty that this was the same painting I had seen while under hypnosis, I convinced myself that stumbling onto it by accident like this was simply too bizarre to be true. I toyed with the idea for a few moments that perhaps I'd had some kind of stroke and just thought I stood in front of this portrait, when in actuality I was in a hospital bed somewhere or maybe even in a nursing home. After giving this possibility a few moment's consideration, I realized how very desperate I had become to find a rational answer for what was happening. But desperate or not, things like this just didn't happen in real life. What were the chances, after all the months of systematic searching, that I would just happen onto the painting like this? What were the chances that Melanie would just happen to want to go to New Orleans, and that we would just happen to visit this gallery, just when they happened to have this painting for sale?.

" During my 30 years as a police officer, I have always searched for the truth. Sometimes the truth didn't turn out to be what I expected, but still, the truth was what I had always searched for. And now, here I was seeming to be facing the truth I had been looking for, but at the same time trying to deny it, trying to find any way to deny the truth of what I had found. Supernatural things didn't happen to real people. Maybe they did in the movies, but not in real life."

This wonderful excerpt from Captain Snow's book demonstrates that supernatural things do happen in people's lives. From the portrait of the hunchback woman, Captain Snow learned that the name of the artist was Carroll Beckwith. Captain Snow researched Beckwith's life by studying an extensive diary that Beckwith had left behind, as well as other resources. Of the 28 specific memories that Snow had documented from the regression, such as the painting of the hunchback woman, 26 were verified through this research. Though initially reluctant to accept reincarnation as the basis for his regression experience, Captain Snow finally came to the conclusion that he was Carroll Beckwith in a prior lifetime. Snow states that the evidence he compiled would stand up in a court case and that no plea-bargaining would be offered. Interestingly, Captain Snow was not aware of a physical resemblance between himself and Carroll Beckwith. When I met Captain Snow at a meeting of the International Association of Regression Research and Therapies ( in September 2000, I offered to take his picture and compare it with Beckwith's. I knew from past experience that these comparisons are best done by lining up facial views side by side. Let us look at these graphics:


Captain Snow's case demonstrates a common reaction that occurs when one first becomes concretely aware of a past lifetime. Knowledge of a past life triggers a traumatic period of integration. When one faces the reality of reincarnation, a reevaluation of how one views the world is required. We all develop a way of understanding the world over decades of time. That belief system may involve a spiritual aspect to life or an atheistic view may be held. Regardless of what one's belief system is, concrete evidence of reincarnation demands an alteration in one' s understanding of how the world works. Even if one believes in reincarnation, the shift from a belief in past lives to observing objective evidence of reincarnation can be a bit of a shock.

Recall that Captain Snow did not believe in reincarnation at the time of his regression and that following his past life experience, he tried to find a logical explanation for the memories. Even after stumbling into the portrait of the hunchback woman in New Orleans, Captain Snow explored the possibility that Beckwith's work had been displayed in a museum and that at some point in his lifetime, Captain Snow had viewed it. This would make the whole episode a repressed or forgotten memory. Let us rejoin Captain Snow and the New Orleans gallery worker, who was still trying to sell the painting to Snow, and share in Captain Snow's reaction to the turn of events.

"No," the man said, giving his head a slight shake, "you haven't seen this work before. This portrait's been in a private collection for years. And besides, let me be honest with you, I don't think there has been an exhibition of Beckwith's work in the last seventy-five years. He wasn't that famous. So I can let this go very reasonably." As the gallery worker's answer dashed my seemingly logical explanation for what had happened, the vertigo returned. My whole belief system was not only teetering. It was falling. Everything around me had such a surrealistic feeling to it that I could have been in a Kafka novel. And so I simply stood there open-mouthed, feeling numb and detached from reality. As I discovered in 1978, when things that can't happen do happen, when the impossible becomes reality, your mind seems to detach itself from your body.

Just as Captain Snow went through a period of shock and disbelief when confronted with evidence of reincarnation, society as a whole will undergo the same reaction. We will collectively need to adjust our belief systems as objective evidence of reincarnation comes into the world. The news overall is good, but it takes some getting used to.

There is a consistent pattern found in the life of a past life explorer. In the beginning, as a person becomes aware of evidence of reincarnation, one starts to question his or her own sanity. Later, others tend to question his or her sanity. As these stages pass, the past life researcher becomes acutely concerned with whether society will accept the reincarnation information offered. In the end, I believe that people such as Robert Snow, Jeff Keene and Bill Barnes will be recognized for their courage in coming forward. In time, an understanding of the reality of reincarnation and its mechanics will reinvent the world.

  • Physical Appearance: Yes
  • Personality Traits: Undetermined
  • Writing Style: Documents available, analysis pending
  • Karmic Group: Undetermined
  • Past Life Symbols: Undetermined
  • Past Life Memories: Yes (26 out of 28 verified by research)

In closing, I highly recommend Captain Snow's book,
Click Here To Purchase.

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