Reality is stranger than fiction. These stories are so astonishing, it’s hard to believe they’re all true!
Reality is stranger than fiction, as the following incredible true stories will show. The world is full of cases that hint at the paranormal and the spiritual, but we’re not always open to seeing to them. And then there are situations like these that make it hard to ignore the supernatural elements.
“Truth is stranger than fiction.” Mark Twain
Read on to learn more about the stories that show reality is stranger than fiction:
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An Extraordinary Birthmark as Evidence of Reincarnation - Reality Is Stranger than Fiction Part I
There is no shortage of children who claim to remember past lives, and many of them have convincing evidence. (If this comes as a surprise to you, check out these books.) What makes the case of Jacinta Agbo particularly intriguing is the physical evidence.
Born in Nigeria in 1980, Jacinta has a large, very noticeable birthmark that encircles her entire head. (See the photo below.) In his book Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect, Dr. Ian Stevenson says it is the most extraordinary birthmark he has ever seen. It is 2-3.5 centimeters in thickness and has an uneven, scar-like appearance and texture. No hair grows in the area. When she was 2 years old, Jacinta said the “scar” was from a previous life.
Death by Manslaughter
At 7 years old, Jacinta expounded on her previous life memories. She claimed she was her father’s brother. Her father Edward had 6 sisters but only 1 brother. That brother, Nsude, had been killed 10 years before Jacinta was born.
And how had Nsude died? You guessed it — a head injury. After a riot broke out regarding a dispute on land rights between 2 villages, Nsude was clubbed in the head. He was taken to the hospital and operated on but died the next day. He was buried with a bandage still wrapped around the top of his skull.
Here are a few other interesting details that demonstrate reality is stranger than fiction. Jacinta had marked masculine traits, preferring activities and time spent with boys her age instead of girls. Eerily, she had a distinct phobia of sticks. This would seem peculiar to anyone who didn’t know that her previous personality had died after being hit in the head with one.
On a somewhat humorous note (to me, at least), Nsude had frequently expressed a desire to be reborn as a woman. Resenting the idea that he had to work hard to “support ungrateful women” he believed his life would be easier if he was born female. If Nsude got his wish and was indeed reincarnated as Jacinta, one can only wonder if he new life was as easy as he’d predicted it would be.
A Surgeon's Wrong Turns Take Him to the Right Place - Reality Is Stranger than Fiction Part II
If I wrote this next story for a novel or a movie, I would be criticized for allowing things to go too perfectly — too unrealistically. Once again, this shows that reality is stranger than fiction. (If you want to see the full story or read others like it, check out the book Physician's Untold Stories by Scott J. Kolbaba, MD)
It was early on a Saturday morning, after a night spent in the operating room, when orthopedic surgeon Dr. John P. Mendenhall found himself repeatedly making wrong turns. Wrong turns that ended up landing him at the right place at exactly the right time.
Before he left the hospital, Dr. Mendenhall meant to stop by the doctor’s lounge for a drink but he got distracted. No big deal, he knew there was a convenience store about halfway between the hospital and his house. As he was nearing the appropriate exit, he became preoccupied thinking about one of his patients from that morning and he missed his turn.
No doubt he was a bit frustrated at this point, but he knew he had a fridge full of soda at his house. He figured he could wait until he got home, soothing himself with the knowledge that not only would he get a nice cold drink, he’d get to take a nap and enjoy a whole weekend break from work.
And then... he missed the off ramp that led to his house. Baffled but assuming he was merely more tired than he had realized, he took the next exit. The silver lining was that that exit had another community hospital. He rarely operated at that location because they didn’t have the orthopedic equipment he needed, but he was on staff there and would have access to their doctor’s lounge.
Everything Falls into Place
Intending to finally get himself a cold drink, Dr. Mendenhall parked and started walking toward the building. He abruptly realized that he was going into the main entrance instead of using the doctor’s entrance at the back of the building. He never did that. What was going on with him today?
A voice cut through his thoughts as a frantic woman rushed over to him, calling him by name. He recognized her as Kathy, the daughter of an acquaintance. The woman launched into a story about how her young daughter had been in an accident, shattering both of her arms. The girl was a gifted musician with plans to be a concert pianist.
Not wanting just anyone to operate on her and risk that her future goals be stripped away, Kathy had specifically requested Dr. Mendenhall. (She had found out through her father that he was the best orthopedic surgeon in the area.) The mother thought the doctor had shown up on purpose to operate on her daughter!
Dr. Mendenhall was trying to process the information and figure out how to explain to the woman that he rarely operated at that hospital. Even though he was willing to do the surgery, he literally wouldn’t have the tools he’d need to do such a complicated procedure.
It Gets Weirder
Suddenly another woman approached Dr. Mendenhall. This lady was a surgical nurse and greeted him happily. She informed him that the operating committee had recently decided to update their equipment for orthopedic surgeries, specifically purchasing the state-of-the-art plates and screws and drill bits that Dr. Mendenhall preferred to use for his cases.
They had arrived that morning. That morning! And the nurse had personally just picked them up. It meant the operating room would now have everything that he would need for the young girl’s surgery. It was staggering information.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the procedure itself went remarkably well. It should’ve taken at least 4 hours to work on both arms properly. He was done with both arms within an hour and a half — 92 minutes, to be exact. Dr. Mendenhall states, “I have never had surgery proceed so quickly. Her separated bones almost fell into place.”
Post-op X-rays showed that the girl’s bones were positioned perfectly, proving it wasn’t just a rushed, sloppy job by any means. She healed from the surgery and went through extensive physical therapy. About 2 years later, Dr. Mendenhall was sitting in the audience at the girl’s piano concert.
Surviving Underwater for Nearly 3 Days - Reality Is Stranger than Fiction Part III
This is a well-documented, astonishing case you can find published in numerous places, including National Geographic and the book True Miracles by Adam House. (Be advised, that particular book is written with strong religious overtones.)
After their tugboat the Jascon-4 capsized, the ship's cook Harrison Okene witnessed the raging water kill 3 of his crew members in an instant. But his troubles - and his miracle - were just beginning.
He’d been sloshed toward an officer's cabin where he eventually found a 4-foot-high bubble of air. He used upside-down furniture to keep his face above the freezing water. Despite his exhaustion, he was afraid to sleep because of the risk of drowning. After nearly 3 days, he was fatigued from hunger and thirst, and he was getting sick from the carbon dioxide. Parts of his skin were literally peeling away because of the saltwater.
One version of the story says that within 24 hours of the boat sinking, divers had been sent down. Okene saw them, but despite beating on the metal frame, he could not make his presence known.
All of the 11 other members of the crew had died. Okene had the horrific experience of sitting in the pitch black darkness, smelling the decay, and listening to fish eat at their lifeless bodies. At one point, a shark showed up. It is believed that this is the reason one of the bodies was never recovered.
Divers returned to the scene with the sole intent of retrieving the bodies. They arrived just in time to be heroes. If they’d been a mere couple of hours later, they would have been extracting a 12th corpse.
Okene should have died from any number of causes — drowning, carbon dioxide poisoning, hypothermia from the freezing water, nitrogen narcosis, or even predators in the ocean. Somehow, despite all the odds against him, Okene survived.
If you’re a fan of these kinds of stories and would like to learn more about how reality is stranger than fiction, I recommend the following list of books. FYI, these are affiliate links. That just means that I get a tiny percentage if you happen to purchase any of the books while using my links. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra.) Even if you don’t purchase, you can still click the links just to read more information about the books. You also may be able to find them in other book stores or at your local library.
Physician's Untold Stories by Scott J. Kolbaba, MD
Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality by Michael Talbot
The Children that Time Forgot by Peter and Mary Harrison
Children Who Remember Previous Lives by Ian Stevenson, MD
The Seth Material by Jane Roberts
Psychic Detectives by Jenny Randles and Peter Hough
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