[source: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2002/01/15/the-uncanny-case-of-carl-eden-84229-11540818 in Yorkshire, England, land of my maternal ancestors.]
Jan 15 2002 Mike Blackburn
For years before he was brutally murdered Carl Edon tried to convince his family that he was reincarnated. Today his astonished parents believe they have been given extraordinary photographic evidence.
(SEE PHOTOS BELOW.)
Young Middlesbrough dad Carl had spoken since he was just three years old of vivid flashbacks to a former life as a Nazi airman killed when his plane was shot down in 1942.
Now startling new photos, unearthed after dogged detective work by a local historian, reveal a chilling resemblance between Carl and a German airman, Heinrich Richter, buried in a Thornaby cemetery.
Richter, a turret gunner, perished when his Dornier bomber crashed onto a South Bank railway during a raid exactly 60 years ago today… January 15, 1942.
============ON THE DORNIER
It was a thin, fast, maneuverable light bomber meant to take out specific military-industrial targets, not “carpet-bomb” civilian cities like Allied bombers (which thus were committing a war crime under the Hague rules of land warfare.)
The wreckage of the Dornier, damaged by anti-aircraft fire before hitting a barrage balloon, was discovered in 1997 buried off Tilbury Road – only a few hundred yards from the spot where Carl was stabbed to death two years earlier.
When the bomber was dug up with Richter’s remains inside, Carl’s parents, Jim and Val, shuddered as they recalled their son’s eerie tales of reincarnation.
But only now – as the Gazette reveals for the first time what the airman looked like – are the Coulby Newham couple looking at their son’s claims in a new light.
“It’s got to be him,” said a stunned Val, when shown a photo of the German in full uniform shortly before the crash over Teesside.
“The resemblance across the eyes and the nose is uncanny.
“Maybe this is the final piece of the jigsaw,” she said.
The striking picture was obtained after Guisborough historian and author Bill Norman tracked down Richter’s relatives in Germany for a new book.
An uncanny likeness between the two young men and the fact that they share the same scene of death more than 50 years apart are just two of the strange coincidences which have spooked Carl’s parents.
During the excavation of the German bomber it was discovered that Richter’s leg, still inside a flying boot, had been severed in the wreckage, explained Val.
“Carl used to say he lost his right leg in the crash,” she said. “And he had a birth mark at the top of that leg.”
On the day her rail worker son was murdered – by Gary Vinter, later jailed for life – he had been to Skinningrove to collect train carriages.
====link to Vinter story
Carl Edon and (black-and-white photo) double Iron-Cross winner, Luftwaffe pilot Heinrich Richter
“The day the Dornier crashed it had bombed Skinningrove first and flew on to Middlesbrough following the railway line,” said Val.
Carl and Richter had made the same journey the day they died.
“There are just too many strange coincidences, and I think if Carl was here he’d be saying ‘Do you believe me now’?”
One of the country’s leading researchers into psychic phenomena admitted he was amazed at the details surrounding the two deaths.
“We research a lot of reincarnation cases, but not many as remarkable as this one sounds,” said David Christie-Murray, member of the Society for Psychical Research, founded in 1882 and now based in London.
“It seems to me to be a fascinating case, and one I’m sure the SPR would certainly be interested in investigating if the family wanted to.”
Carl’s experiences are already detailed in a book called The Children That Time Forgot by Peter and Mary Harrison, and on a US TV show. They’ve also been well documented in British and German newspapers, including the Gazette when Carl was just nine years old.
But his parents said he suffered taunts at school as a result of his ‘past life’ claims.
“When that started happening Carl didn’t like talking about it any more,” said his mum.
“But he always believed it.”
His dad told the Gazette he was cynical at first. “I was sick of Carl going on about it,” he said. “But I probably believe more in reincarnation now.”
The Dornier’s three other crew were buried in Thornaby after the crash in 1942, but Richter was not laid to rest alongside his colleagues until the plane was ‘rediscovered’ 55 years later by water board workers.
Val and Jim joined nearly 300 mourners at a moving funeral service for the fourth German airman.
Standing at Richter’s grave afterwards felt “eerie”, said Jim. “It was like we were re-burying Carl again. Maybe now this will be the end of it.”
Richter, who won the Iron Cross medal twice and had been wounded in action, was 24 when he was shot down and killed. Carl was just 22 when he was murdered, leaving behind heartbroken fiancee Michelle, and their two young daughters Carla and Sophie.
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