Extraordinary People: The Boy Who Lived Before

Ever since he could talk, Cameron has been telling stories of his life on Barra, a remote island in the Outer Hebrides, some 220 miles from his current home in Glasgow. He describes in detail his childhood on the island: the white house he lived in, the black-and-white dog he walked on the beach. He talks about his mother, seven siblings and his father, Shane Robertson, who died when he was run over by a car.

Nothing strange about all that. Except the fact that Cameron is only five years old now; his memories seem to be of a former life. Cameron’s stories have become increasingly more detailed since he first started telling them, and the shock of him insisting “I’m a Barra boy, I’m a Barra boy” has worn off a little. But his emotional attachment to his ‘Barra mum’ concerns his mother, and there’s clearly something going on in the poor kid’s head when he says, “My real barra dad doesn’t look left and right.” Intrigued by her enigmatic son, Cameron’s mother Norma has decided to investigate his claims.

Everyone who comes across Cameron is sceptical, but his stories are just so consistent. In her search to find a rational explanation for Cameron’s tales of his Barra childhood, Norma first visits psychologist Dr Chris French, editor of The Skeptic magazine. French suggests that Cameron might simply have acquired knowledge about Barra through TV or a family friend, and thus invented the stories himself.

Norma isn’t satisfied by this. Her next port of call is educational psychologist Karen Majors, who tells her that the way that Cameron describes his Barra world is similar to the way in which some children speak about imaginary places and people, except that Cameron really seems to believe that he has seen the things he describes first-hand; he also doesn’t seem to be able to control his ‘fantasy’ as other children do. Norma decides to investigate the possibility of reincarnation, contacting leading expert Dr Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia.

Tucker has investigated countless statements of reincarnation from children across the world. One of the cases he refers to comes from the American mid-West. Gus Taylor was 18 months old when he first began claiming to be his own grandfather returned to his family, saying “I used to be big and now I’m a kid again.” At four he was given a photograph album in which he identified his grandfather as a young boy in a group school photo as well as his first car. He startled his parents with knowledge they couldn’t comprehend him having about an aunt who had been murdered. Gus talks about falling through a porthole. Cameron also frequently alludes to falling through a hole from Barra; he is very calm about death because he believes we come back.

Norma always promised Cameron they could go back to Barra and with Dr Tucker’s encouragement, she takes her son to the island to see if any of his ‘previous life’ tales of the island can be verified. She hopes it will give him some perspective. Cameron has often described watching aeroplanes land on the beach from the family house – true to his memory, the beach does double as a runway. “Mummy, I recognise every single bit,” he whispers.

They set off to try to find the house Cameron has talked about, which must be located at the north end of the island to provide the view of the beach he has described. They fail to find it. A local historian calls them to say that he has information about the Robertsons, a mainland family, and the address of the house where they used to spend the summer during the 1960s and 1970s. The usual talkative and animated Cameron is suddenly nervous, and when they visit the house he’s strangely subdued. The house and its environs have a lot in common with Cameron’s descriptions over the last three years.

Initially, the trip seems to be a success, but Norma and Dr Tucker’s research into the Robertson family comes to nothing; the trail is running cold. On returning to the mainland, Norma visits a geneaologist to find out more about the Robertson family and discovers a lady called Gilly, who as a child would have frequented the summer house at the same time that Cameron claims he did in his former life. Will their meeting confirm a connection? And, crucially, will Norma and her son learn anything about the identity of Shane Robertson, the man Cameron claims was once his father?

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  1. Dear GOD/GODS and/or anyone else who can HELP ME (e.g. TIME TRAVELERS or MEMBERS OF SUPER-INTELLIGENT ALIEN CIVILIZATIONS): The next time I wake up, please change my physical form to that of FINN MCMILLAN formerly of SOUTH NEW BRIGHTON at 8 YEARS OLD and keep it that way FOREVER. I am so sick of this chubby Asian man body! Thank you! – CHAUL JHIN KIM (a.k.a. A DESPERATE SOUL)

  2. I don’t know why, but every time I hear this story I can’t help feeling bad for Cameron and wondering if they ever really figured out anything about his past life!

  3. Idk what I believe to be honest, but ever since seeing this documentary over 7 years ago I can’t stop thinking about what and how Cameron thinks about his “memories” now.

  4. I have seen this by on the TV, it’s really scary, I have been similar as a child, I have recognised faces of ppl I didn’t know, personally, I have had elders of my family go ”she’s been here before”….I have a great fear of falling from a great height and I had recurring dream where I DO fall and die. I used to say as a child such things as ”when I was a boy, I used to..etc.” (I’m a woman)

    Those sceptical must be Bible thumping Americans, or ppl who claim that ”science has the answers”……..don’t mean to offend but you sceptics offend me by being so…dismissive,,,,,!!

  5. If everybody got reincarnated then wouldn’t the death and birth rate have been the same all through evolution. And how does evolution even fit into this…if it was god sending people back, why would we be reincarnated as sea creatures and eventually grow feet in marshes and then venture onto the land. The population in creatures has been rising since the origin of life…that’s the reason modern humans left africa – too many communities and they needed to go in search of food elsewhere. Global population has increased tremendously in the last few decades to a point where we won’t be sustainable any more…there are many reasons why a “god” can’t be behind this (along with just pure logic of life).

    If it is reincarnation then the multiple universe theory is more probable. Quantum mechanics tells us that we are all experiencing many different realities at the same time..from Young’s double split experiment. Also because the universe is “infinite” – i’m talking about the whole universe i.e. the space which contains this universe. Because it’s infinite we have the multiple universe theory – exactly what it says it is..since there is an infinite amount of space in the whole universe, there is an infinite amount of possibilities and therefore an infinite amount of universes with exactly you and me on an earth exactly like this. So physics gives us a lot of peculiar ideas about reality…but nevertheless it still is reality. I think they should be looking for the answers in science, not religion. There’s is proof behind science, some reason we come to this conclusion. Religion and therefore god all together – a creator makes no sense at all.

    Btw everyone thinks this is comforting to believe in reincarnation. Quite frankly its depressing what’s the point of even working hard in this life if you have to do it all over and be stressed. There’s nothing special about life to make eternally enjoyable. I’d rather die and let that be it…even if the multiverse theory says i should be living now, in the future or in the past as me in an invite number of lives…in this individual universe i’d rather just die.

    • exactly bro 👌🏻 in this univers everything is possible in one reality or another diffrent timelines wich are infinity diffrent demension and diffrent realitys but relion has nothing to do with this bisides blinding people and have em asleep like sheeple

    • Oh wouldn’t life be so simple. We live one life in ignorant bliss and that is that!! I see you do not believe you have lived before or believe in Awesome Almighty God who has given you what? £7,000,000,000,000 and wonders why you are not taking it! Because you do not believe it exists!! Dream on fella. You have only one life left to claim it else it shall be lost for ever.

    • Referring to your last line, you won’t die permanently. Every action of yours will create reactive momenta and that’s why one will be reincarnated according to their actions in the past. This is Law of Karma.

    • If you had actually watched the documentary you’d realise that not everyone gets a second chance to come back. Your views are depressing and if you’re that depressed maybe just end it now!

  6. My daughter used to (and still does) say things like “You rocked me when I was a baby and I rocked you when you were a baby” but I never gave any merit to it.  I think she was just confused about the order of things.  If I would have nurtured it and planted a seed in her mind I’m sure she’d be convinced that she was the reincarnation of my grandmother.

  7. “Could it be that his amazing story is just a fantasy………?”


  8. “Could it be that his amazing story is just a fantasy………?”


  9. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  10. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  11. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  12. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  13. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  14. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  15. That kid knows how to pick a good hockey team, the toronto maple leafs, good for you sunny

  16. if this is real..i think it almost offers a certain level of comfort, maybe death isnt so scary after all 

  17. total bullshit

  18. this is certainly interesting, but i have to say: the second kid “august” wasn’t particularly remarkable. he didn’t seem to “remember” anything that would be outside the scope of any child exposed to books and tv’s imagination. anything that matches could easily be due to coincidence or people shoehorning information to make it fit.

    although i cartainly can’t explain most of it, i think that it’s likely cameron occasionally got detains wrong but these details were discarded immediately when it appeared obvious that they weren’t true. in fact, i bet he even changed his story once or twice–but when the adults around him expressed confusion at the changed story, he learned to stick with the one that made people the happiest.

    in any case, this is a lovely story, and cam’ has such a nice, loving mom 🙂 .

    • I agree anny. I think that the adults hanging on his every word, special doctors coming to visit etc doesn’t do him any favours. I’m sure I made up stories about all sorts of things as a boy but soon forgot them when nobody paid any interest. He does have a strange look in his eyes though doesn’t he?

      • if you listen to the interviews, its not like they believed him right from the get go!, but if hes talking about the same details, the same people, the same events, for 3 years, its hard to dismiss them as mere story’s made up for attention, 

      • if you listen to the interviews, its not like they believed him right from the get go!, but if hes talking about the same details, the same people, the same events, for 3 years, its hard to dismiss them as mere story’s made up for attention, 

        • It’s a good point, however if he’s telling a story repeatedly it may well be a situation where Cameron genuinely believes himself, whereas it may be a simple case of outside influence. 

          It’s a nice story but it seems like a lot of the evidence can be explained away without too much difficulty. 

  19. Time in not linear; there are multiple dimensions (of the same location and same time-zone).

    Just as there may be multiple (or perhaps infinite versions of this space and time).

    Perhaps in another dimension to this I am writing this comment but with a spelling mistake in it.

  20. The mothers support of her son, must be so difficult, but so brave and commendable, put yourself in her shoes, she is amazing how she handles things. Great and eyeopening documentary, I’m not a believer in re-carnation, but this is unique.

  21. this is absolutely unbelievable.

    wow, life is sooooo interesting.