|Jeffrey Keene||John B. Gordon|
New: Visit a mirror of the 2003 edition of Jeff Keene's website here.
From "The Writer's Voice,"
The National Writer's Voice Project, Fairfield, CT
Mr. Keene grew up in Westport and attended Staples High School; he went on to join the Westport Fire Department in the seventies, and moved up through the ranks to his current position as Assistant Chief. Keen is convinced that he is the reincarnation of Confederate Major General John B. Gordon. While in the sunken road called "Bloody Lane," Keene said "A wave of grief, sadness and anger came over me. Burning tears ran down my cheeks. It was difficult to even breathe." On September 17, 1862, General John Gordon was seriously wounded at the battle of Antietam, on the "Bloody Lane".
A year later at a Halloween party in Monroe, Keene recounted his experiences to palm-reader Barbara Calmwell. According to Writer's Voice Director Gina Russell Tracey, 'I have known Jeff for quite some time, and not only is he credible but the intensity of his convictions is unshakable. I knew Jeff was writing a book about his personal experiences, and I asked to see the first few chapters. He offered to show me some pictures of General Gordon, and I couldn't quite believe my own eyes..."
Help from psychic Jean Loomis
Subsequent to this experience with Ms Calmwell, Jeff was referred to psychic Jean Loomis, who helped him make sense of his experience. In this audio clip, Keene asks about the apparent discrepancy, that Ms Calmwell saw a vision of him dying on the battlefield, whereas Gordon survived his severe wounding. Ms Loomis suggested that he may have left his body, stayed near the site, and then returned to it.
Birthmarks corresponding to John Gordon's battle scars
Dr. Ian Stevenson has researched the apparent correspondence between birth marks and past-life physical traumas. Jeff Keene bears on his face three marks, not related to any physical trauma in this life that he can recall, which correspond in character and position to battle scars John Gordon carried. The position and shape is not an exact "overlay" match, but they are quite close. Both men had a star-shaped mark on their foreheads above the left eye, tilted slightly to the right side of the head. I attempted to capture these marks as video stills, and the results are presented below.
According to one account, John Gordon received a grazing blow from musket fire on his forehead, which was not serious but bled profusely. Mr. Keene suggests that this mark on Gordon's forehead (image right) may have come from this incident. (Note the smaller star-shaped mark on Mr. Keene's forehead, image left, upper-left, has a known history).
The most serious wound that Gordon received, at Antietam in the "Sunken Road" (where Keene had his spontaneous flashback experience), was a bullet that entered the left side of Gordon's face under the eye, and came out at his right cheek, tearing up that side of his face as it slowed down and emerged. Surgery repaired most of the damage, but scars remained on the right cheek (image bottom-right) and there was a pronounced hollow under Gordon's left eye (image top-right). In most photographs, he is turned so this side doesn't show, and in many photographs the scars on the right cheek are retouched. Mr. Keen bears marks, one of which looks like a long scar, on his right cheek (image bottom-left) for which he can remember no physical cause, more readily visible under certain lighting conditions. He also has a clearly visible flat or slightly sunken area under his left eye only (not his right) in exactly the same spot as Gordon's hollow (image top-left).
Note that I have manipulated these images only to the extent of increasing contrast and converting Keene's video stills to black and white. While shooting them I also adjusted lighting (i.e., side-lighting) to make the marks as visible as possible.
Mr. Keene's case contains a number of fascinating coincidences. One of them is described in his book, "Someone Else's Yesterday," as follows:
"One night many years ago, after a union meeting at Fire Headquarters, my brother Jack, a co-worker Joe Valiante and myself went to the local V.F.W. We had a few drinks and left shortly after midnight. In the parking lot I started getting a pain in the right side of my jaw down my neck and out to my shoulder. The pain grew steadily worse; so much so that I told my brother to drive me to the hospital. Having been a medic, I knew the pain might be a sign of heart attack, even though I was not having chest pains. At the Norwalk Hospital emergency room they ran some tests, E.K.G.s and such and could find no cause. I remained there for an hour or so and the pain slowly subsided and then vanished altogether. I remember the date that this all happened...at the stroke of midnight it was September 9, 1977, my 30th birthday.
"With Gordon's fifth wound at Sharpsburg, the bullet entered just below his left eye, traveling through his face and exiting the right side almost severing the jugular vein. This is the same area where I had the pain. At the time Gordon was wounded at the Sunken Road, September 17, 1862, he was 30 years old."
Producer, "In Another Life"