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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.  [January 11, 2005]




[]  When I was a child, I may have had a vision of a past life.

As my vision occurred while my family was living in Elmhurst, Queens, I would have been anywhere from six to eight years old. I was sick at the time, lying in bed with a fever.  It was night and I lay in darkness, sweating and feeling quite ill. But I was not asleep, for I felt too sick to sleep.

And as I was tossing and turning, lying feverish in bed, I had a vision of myself as a wounded, dying soldier, lying in a ditch amid other dead and dying soldiers. A battle was being fought around me, a tumult of smoke and canon and musket fire.

I had this vision for perhaps a half hour, maybe several hours. It was not a dream, for I was not asleep. On the contrary, I was aware of being sick in bed, even as I lay dying on the battlefield. Sometimes I was more "here," sometimes more "there," and often in both places at once.

My uniform consisted of a burgundy (or maroon) tunic and pants, black boots, and a round kepi-like cap. The tunic had a high collar, and white cross straps carrying pouches or bandoliers. My musket had a bayonet. The enemy wore similar uniforms, except in blue rather than burgundy.

I knew the nations fighting this battle were Franconia and Prussionia. I was a Prussionian. Names that sound similar to France and Prussia, which in 1870 fought  the Franco-Prussian War. Perhaps my memory of the names had been blurred across lives?

It might have been a fantasy or feverish half-dream -- except that I can't explain where I, being six-to-eight years old, would have heard of the Franco-Prussian War, or of anything that would have put the words Prussionia and Franconia into my head. Not from my parents, who spoke Hungarian at home. Nor from radio, or TV (this was before cable and The History Channel), or school.

Curiously, I didn't find this vision odd at the time, it was just something I accepted and recalled every now and then.

For several years afterward, I doodled battle scenes with combatants wearing similar uniforms (much like Richard Dreyfuss drawing the mountain in Close Encounters of the Third Kind?), except that I drew Prussionians as foxes and Franconians as rabbits.

As a child, I was attracted to Stratego and RISK, though at the time it didn't occur to me that some of their uniforms seemed similar (not identical) to those in my vision. I didn't own the games before my vision, but I may have already seen Stratego's TV commercials.

It wasn't until I was 19, a student at NYU, that I reflected on this vision and for the first time wondered: How at that early age would I have heard of the Franco-Prussian War? It was then, over a decade after my vision, that it first occurred to me that I may have had a past-life vision.

I recalled seeing a cartoon at an early age featuring flying ace dogs in a World War One type setting. I didn't know the title of that cartoon, but for many years I wondered if those cartoon dogs had fought for Franconia and Prussionia. I eventually tracked down that obscure film -- The Red Baron -- and no, those names do not appear in the film.

I also came to realize that I'd always assumed that my vision was from the Franco- Prussian War. But upon researching the uniforms of that era, I discovered that in some ways, the uniforms in my vision were more similar to those of the Napoleonic era. Though not in other ways.

I have yet to identify the nations or war in my vision, not having found any photos or drawings of uniforms that are identical to those in my vision. But unless I can explain how the words Franconia and Prussionia came into my mind at such an early age, I'm forced to consider the possibility that they are a memory, however jumbled, of a past life.

And if I've lived past lives -- so have YOU!

Thoms M. Sipos is managing editor of the Weekly Universe. This article is the first to describe one of his three paranormal experiences.

Copyright 2005 by

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