Mar 14, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Man Visits His Own Gravesite From Past Life as WWI Pilot

Reincarnation is the concept that a non-physical essence of a human being or an animal can begin a new life after the death of the body it resided in. Belief in reincarnation for humans generally requires belief in an immortal essence or soul and is common in Buddhism, Hinduism and other Indian religions. It’s also common in people who wake up one day with memories of a completely different person in a completely different place in time. That’s what Steve Mulligan claims happened to him … and he recently visited a cemetery and saw the name of his old body which was once a World War I pilot. How creepy is that?

“Since my childhood I've always been drawn to Llandudno, even when I came here as a child I knew my way around and my mum used to be amazed at how I knew where to go. When we'd be walking round it was like I was having deja vu, like I'd been there before.”

Steve Mulligan, born in 1961, now lives in Manchester, England, but his unexplained interest in Llandudno, Wales, prompted his mother to take him there. He told North Wales Live his feelings were more than déjà vu – which can often be explained by a medical condition such as epilepsy, stress, drugs or memories getting mixed up for those who travel frequently or watch a lot of movies.

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World War I trenches

"When I did the hypnosis session with Paul I'd never done anything like it before but I had all these memories that I could see in black and white. I remember being in the aircraft and looking down on the ground below and thinking I was glad I wasn't down there. I can remember thinking, I'm like a bird."

Mulligan says he never acted on his strange feelings until 2021 when he was 60. He contacted hypnotist Paul Goddard who conducted an online past life regression session – a controversial practice which is said to take a person back to their past lives. In the session, Mulligan claims he remembers being Sydney Sutcliffe, an early wartime pilot from Llandudno who was killed in WWI at the age of 24. The “down there” he says he saw was the trenches of the Western Front, and he claims he now remembers being Flight Lieutenant Sydney Sutcliffe and being shot down over France in 1917. Going back further, Mulligan says he remembers Sutcilffe’s father, Abraham "Arthur" Sutcliffe, who was an entertainer at Llandudno’s Pavilion Theatre – a place where a young Sydney performed with his father.

"I remember I would help him on stage sometimes, kind of like a Stavros Flatley father-and-son routine."

For non-Brits, Stavros Flatley are the father-son dance duo Demetrios and Michalakis 'Lagi' Andreas, who finished fourth on Britain's Got Talent in 2009 – the season when Susan Boyle finished second.

Having been introduced to his past life as Sydney Sutcliffe, Mulligan went back to Llandudno, where he claims walking the familiar streets now triggered memories of his childhood home, his parents and three sisters. At the Llandudno Cenotaph, a memorial to the 45 local soldiers killed during WWI, he found the name 'Sidney Sutcliffe'. At the Llanrhos cemetery, he found a headstone for Sydney's parents, Abraham ‘Arthur’ Sutcliffe and Rhoda Sutcliffe. The stone was also carved with the inscription “LIEUT SYDNEY SUTCLIFFE .R.F.C, SON OF THE ABOVE, KILLED IN ACTION OCT' 2ND 1917, AGED 24 YEARS.” (Photos here.) However, Mulligan believes Sutcliffe’s remains are in a war cemetery in France.

Is this proof that Steve Mulligan is the reincarnation of Sydney Sutcliffe? Past life regression is doubted by the medical field because memories are not always factual – they can be a combination of experiences, knowledge, imagination and suggestions. One example in this case is Mulligan's statement that “I had all these memories that I could see in black and white.” Why would his memories be in black-and-white when he sees and dreams in color – as does everyone else, including Sydney Sutcliffe? Is he ‘remembering’ black-and-white films of World War I?

“If science can disprove reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism would abandon reincarnation…but it's going to be mighty hard to disprove reincarnation."

When asked by the late Carl Sagan what he would do if science disproved reincarnation, that was his answer. Steve Mulligan most likely agrees.

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Who are you going to believe?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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