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The death of a loved one can feel unfair or even unnatural. We say things like gone too soon or they'll always be with us because it's so hard to believe we'll never see them again, especially when the deceased person is a child. In 1957, a couple named John and Florence Pollack lost both their daughters in a tragic accident. It was their worst nightmare come true, and the Pollocks would have done anything to have their girls back. But then, just one year later, Florence gave birth to twins and the similarities between them and their older sisters were uncanny, suggesting that perhaps the dead aren't really gone.
Maybe they're reincarnated.
This is Supernatural, a Spotify original from podcast, I'm your host, Ashleigh Flowers.
Every Wednesday, I'll be taking a deep dive into a real unexplained occurrence to try and figure out the truth. You can find all episodes of Supernatural and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free. On Spotify this week, we're looking at two cases the polic twins and an Alaskan boy named Corless Shatkin Jr..
In each instance, a matching birthmark might be the key to proving that reincarnation really does exist and that death is actually only the beginning. We'll have more on the twins coming up. Stay with us. This episode is brought to you by Ford of 150, the all new F1 50 is available with seven point two kilowatts of best in class on board power. That's enough to power a big screen TV loudspeakers, refrigerator, massage chair, electric heater and even your beloved nacho cheese wormer all at once introducing the all new twenty twenty one for an app.
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If you're tuning in, it's safe to assume you like stories that send chills down your spine, but only when the stories are, well, just stories for peace of mind. Consider ADT as the leader in home security. ADT provides 24/7 rapid response monitoring from their nine owned and operated call centers. So the only thing you have to worry about is the Wi-Fi connection to keep listening. Learn more at ADT Dotcom. In 1940s England, a woman named Florence meets a man named John Pollock.
The two fell in love, get married and they run a grocery business and on Sundays, they attend church. Now, John was raised in the Church of England, but he converts to Roman Catholicism with Florence. And presumably they both believe in the tenets of Christianity, like original sin, baptism and heaven. And Hell believes they plan on passing down to their children. In 1946, Florence gives birth to their first daughter, Joanna, and five years later, Jacqueline is born.
Joanna and Jacqueline are both healthy and happy girls, and like many sisters, they rarely leave each other's sides. They love to play dolls and comb each other's hair. But just six years later, tragedy strikes. By now, the family is living in the small British town of Hexham. Joanna is 11 and Jacqueline is six. The two of them are walking to Sunday school one day when suddenly a car spins into the sidewalk and crushes them both against a wall.
Joanna and Jacqueline are killed almost instantly. To make matters worse, the driver that hit them was suicidal. She didn't die, but she was later sent to a psychiatric institute. Apparently, it came out that she just lost her own two children in a custody dispute. And according to John, she specifically singled out Joanna and Jaclyn on the sidewalk, thinking she'd killed them as some sort of karmic retaliation. Now, the Pollak's obviously are devastated, despite everything his church believes about the finality of death and heaven and hell.
John insists that his daughters will be reincarnated. It's not clear exactly when he begins believing this, but apparently he tells it to Florence and continues to insist like he knows he's pushing her buttons. And it's honestly probably weird to him to but he can't help it. He just has this feeling Fawn's is a bit more practical. Of course, she would do anything to have her little girls back, but at a certain point they need to let go. So she packs up the clothes and toys and begins to move on.
And in early 1958, less than a year after Joanna and Jaclyn's death, she becomes pregnant. This riles up John even more. He's convinced that Florence is pregnant with their reincarnated daughters and that she's going to have twins vaunt. And her doctor are like, yeah, right. Twins are medically impossible. But given her and John's genetic histories, it's really, really unlikely. Then on October 4th, 1958, a year and a half after the accident, Florence gives birth and sure enough, one baby comes out and then a second to twin girls, the Pollocks name them Jillian and Jennifer.
So already Florence is like a little freaked out. Like, how on earth did Jon predict this? At the very least, it feels like some sort of answer to prayer. And not long after birth, they notice something peculiar about the youngest twin, Jennifer. She's got a birthmark just above her nose, which wouldn't be strange on its own, except that Jacklin, the younger of the two dead sisters, had a scar in that exact same spot.
You see, at age three, she'd fallen on a bucket and gotten three stitches and the leftover scar looked exactly like Jennifer's birthmark. The Pollak's also noticed something on Jennifer's left waist. This one's a tiny birthmark, basically a mole. But it's strange because you guessed it, Jaclyn had one in the exact same spot. Now, John probably sees this and goes, yes, there's proof the twins have to be Joanna and Jaclyn, but Florence isn't convinced.
For one, the birthmarks are only on Jennifer. It's not really evidence of anything. And also, it's got to be painful to just keep bringing up their deceased daughters in this way. So around the time the twins are born, Fauns and John agree not to talk about Joanna and Jacqueline in front of the twins. Now, the conversation is probably something like here we have two beautiful daughters, let's just be grateful and start over. And as far as I know, John does shut up about the whole reincarnation thing.
When the twins are infants, the Pollocks move out of Hexham to a seaside town called Whitley Bay. It's probably just the change of scenery. They need to make a fresh start. But as the girls get older, John and Fawn's noticed some odd characteristics. First, it's their physical dispositions. Jillian, the elder twin, is fairly thin, just like Joanna, the older of the deceased sisters and the younger twin, Jennifer is bigger and stockier, as was Jacklin.
When the girls begin walking, their similarities only intensify. The older girl, Jillian, walks with her feet turned outward, just like Joanna did, which again could just be a coincidence. But by the time they're three years old and talking, it's not just the physical stuff anymore. The twins actually start having memories about things only Joanna and Jacqueline would have known. First, it's an old box of toys. Inside of it are two different dolls, one that belonged to Joanna and one that belonged to Jaclyn.
And sure enough, Gillian claims the older sisters doll and Jennifer takes the younger one. Then the twins comment that the dolls were given to them by Santa Claus, which isn't true for them, but it was true for Joanna and Jaclyn.
This is just the first of the strange things that they remember later. When the twins are four years old, the family takes a trip back to Hexham. They're strolling through their town on their way to a park when Julian and Jennifer start talking about a swing set that's inside the park and also a nearby school. And this is before they can even see them. Now, the twins did live in Hexham until they were nine months old. So technically, they had visited the park before and they probably passed the school multiple times.
But like, no four year old remembers things from when they were nine months old. That's just unheard of to John. It's further proof that the twins aren't remembering this stuff from their own lives. He thinks the memories belonged to Joanna and Jaclyn before they died. As the twins get older, even their behavior mirrors their older sisters when they learn how to write. Jennifer holds her pencil incorrectly in her fist, just like Jacqueline had. And of course, there's the power dynamics.
Jennifer is really dependent on her older twin, Jillian. She basically follows her around, similar to how Jacqueline had been with Joanna. And again, like all of this could just be coincidence. A lot of kids hold their pencils in their fist when they're learning how to write. And taking orders from your older sister is pretty normal sibling behavior.
Like none of this is proof of reincarnation until one day when Florence sees Jennifer resting her head and Jillian's hands, the girls are talking.
And as Florence listens, she realizes it's about something that they couldn't possibly have known because it was never discussed with the girls. They're talking about the accident that killed them.
Coming up, the polic twins remember their accident, you discover their practices, seek their advice and let yourself become more vulnerable than ever before, they have the ability to heal what the doctors can't or so they say. Hi, listeners, it's Vanessa from the podcast series Cults.
Be sure to check out our four part special on Myracle Healer's airing right now. Meet figures from around the world who claimed powers and pushed remedies. But Harbord, more sinister intentions. You don't want to miss it. And if you're looking for more episodes on the most radical and deadly groups in history, tune into cults every Tuesday from Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple to Charles Manson and the Manson family. To Keith Ranieri and Nexium, you'll uncover the unscrupulous methods used to turn bright eyed recruits into diehard believers.
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GBW are the owner's manual for important operating instructions. Now back to the story when Florence overhears the twins, they're talking about the accident as if they actually lived through it, I'm not sure what exact words they used, but Jennifer's head is laying in Gillian's hands. And as Gillian looks down, she says she can see blood trickling down her face from where the car hit her.
This matches up with how Joanna and Jaclyn's accident happened. Even though she was pronounced dead at the scene, paramedics had put a bandage right above Jaclyn's eyes.
Now, obviously, this wouldn't be quite so strange had John and Florence been talking about the accident all these years. But remember, they supposedly decided not to discuss the crash or their two older daughters in front of the twins. So there's no way Gillian and Jennifer should know about it. But the memory of the crash seems to play out even in their day to day lives. When the twins encounter a car on the street. They aren't just cautious, they're terrified.
And if they unexpectedly hear a car start up, they will literally grab on to each other and shake with fear. Sometimes the girls even cry out when they see a car thinking that it's coming for them. Specifically at this point, Florence is just as convinced as John.
The twins have to be the reincarnation of Joanna and Jacqueline. There's just no other way to explain it.
In the early 1960s, a local newspaper gets wind of the polic twins and runs a story on them. For John in Florence, it's probably validating, but it doesn't help their credibility at church. Around the time the story is published, they start receiving nasty letters from other parishioners. I'm not sure what these letters say or how John and Florence respond, but it gets so bad that they decide to leave their church. Meanwhile, their story attracts attention from a doctor named Ian Stevenson.
Now, I've mentioned Dr Stevenson before. In a previous episode, this guy was like the king of reincarnation studies. He spent nearly 50 years at the University of Virginia Psychiatry Department as both a professor and department chair. And when it comes to reincarnation research, he is one of the most highly respected people in his field, even for skeptics.
In fact, most of Stephenson's work was spent on separating exaggerated cases from believable ones. So if anyone can determine if the twins are actually reincarnated versions of their older sisters, it's this guy. Stevenson gets in touch with the Pollak's in 1964 when the twins are six years old. And he acknowledges that John's desire to see his dead daughters again might have clouded his judgment. Like this could all be John reading into things and getting foreigns to do it, too.
Besides, even with John and Florence's rule, it's possible that the twins overheard them talking at some point about the accident. But when Stevenson watches the girl's behavior, he isn't able to absorb their memories himself because at this point they've pretty much disappeared. Now, this is pretty normal in cases of possible reincarnation. According to Dr. Stephensen, children almost always completely forget about their past lives at some point between ages five and eight. It's all part of a broader phenomenon called childhood amnesia.
Basically, the older a child gets, the more they lose their memories from just a few years before. In fact, it's not until about age seven that they're able to store and retrieve memories like adults. So it stands to reason that at a certain age, their memory of a past life will just slip away altogether. Fortunately, there's one thing of the twins that Stevenson is able to test, and that's their genetics now, Stevenson doesn't run this test until 1978 when the twins are about 20 years old.
At this point, Jillian and Jennifer know the whole story themselves. And while they can't remember that part of their childhood, they also don't discredit their parents. And apparently they're curious because Dr. Stevenson arranges for them to come in for lab test to determine whether they're identical or fraternal twins. Now, if you're like me, it's easy to forget which is which. So basically, if a pair of twins is fraternal, it means that they have different sets of DNA from each other.
So their differences, both physical and behavioral, can all be explained by genetics the same way any pair of siblings can look and act very similar. But if the twins are identical, it means they share virtually, if not the exact same DNA. So the Pollock family and Dr. Stevenson all wait for the results. And sure enough, Jillian and Jennifer are identical. They have the same DNA, so they should look exactly the same, but they don't.
Not only is there the birthmark thing, there's the different body types. Now, you're probably wondering, like, what does this have to do with Joanna and Jaclyn and obviously doesn't prove that the twins are the reincarnations of their older sisters, but it does mean that the difference in their birth marks the fact that Jennifer has two birthmarks, whereas Jillian has none, defies the basic laws of genetics. Like, according to Dr. Stephensen, Jillian should have the same birthmarks as her identical twin, Jennifer.
And yet she doesn't. It turns out that people sharing matching birthmarks or scars, the chances of that are really low, about one in one hundred sixty. The chances that two birthmarks occur in the same locations, one in twenty five thousand. In other words, Jennifer and Jaclyn's matching birthmarks are an incredible coincidence.
But in the hundreds of cases that Dr. Stephensons investigated, matching birth marks like the match to Jacqueline Scarr are present in roughly 35 percent of them. So there's got to be some sort of connection. And like I said before, the polic twins aren't the only case involving birth marks and possible reincarnation. And they definitely aren't the only case where a child seems to be an exact replica of a deceased family member. This takes us now to Anggun, Alaska, in nineteen forty five, about a year before the first polic daughter, Joanna, was born.
There's an elderly fisherman in Anggun by the name of Victor Vincent. All his life, he's spoken with a pronounced stutter and in his old age he has fairly advanced tuberculosis. He doesn't have long to live. Now, Victor is a member of the Tlingit people and they have one of the most intense beliefs in reincarnation out of any other indigenous group in North America. So it makes sense that he not only assumes he'll be reincarnated someday, but he has a belief about who he'll be reincarnated as about a year before he dies, Victor decides to visit his niece, Irene, at her home in Sitka, Alaska.
They're talking and he tells her a little secret. He says, quote, I'm coming back as your next son. I hope I don't stutter then as much as I do now. Your son will have these scars and quote. Then Victor lifts up his shirt and shows her two very specific marks on his body. One is on the upper right side of his back. It's probably from a biopsy or draining of a lung abscess. The other is near the bridge of his nose, underneath his right eye from an operation he had to remove a tear sac.
He says that when he reincarnates Irene will recognize him because of these two marks. In the spring of nineteen forty six, Victor passes away. A year and a half later, Irene gives birth to a baby boy. His name is Coreless Jackson Jr., after his father, Irene's husband. And just as Victor predicted, the boy is born with two distinct birth marks in the exact same location as his great uncle. Victor's even more incredible. The one on coreless upper back doesn't look like the kind of mark a baby should have at all, like its elongated and has these peripheral kind of crisscrossing marks that look like faded stitches.
Just like Victus. You could say that the coincidence must somehow be attributed to genetics, but guerrilla's is only Victor's grandnephew, so the chance of them sharing similar DNA isn't impossible. But it's pretty low. And remember, Victor's own marks weren't even genetic. They were the result of two different surgeries. There's no way he could have passed them down through DNA with the marks on coreless body aren't the only things Victor seems to have handed down, because later when he starts talking, Coreless tells his mom that his real name isn't actually Carolus.
Instead, he insists that his name is actually Kokoity. And Irene is stunned because Cocodrie isn't just some random name her toddler made up. It was Victor's official Tillinghast name.
Coming up, Karalis becomes more and more like Victor. This episode has brought to you by Blue Apron dinnertime should help you unwind, not cause more stress as we head into Stress Awareness Month. Remember to keep your body, mind and spirit engaged. That's why Blue Apron lets you choose how you want to end the day, especially if that means low maintenance recipes that are big on flavor, not on prep.
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And last up to 48 hours in just one dose. NorTech Audette is a prescription medication for the acute, not preventive, treatment of migraine and adults don't take. If allergic to NorTech Audette, the most common side effect was nausea. For more information, including important safety information, patient information and prescribing information, visit NorTech Dotcom. That's and you are tech dotcom. Talk to your doctor about NorTech today. Now back to the story. When Corless says his real name is Cacchioli, Irene can't believe it, she hadn't given Karalis a Tillinghast name before this and it's unlikely he would have known his uncle's later.
She brings it up to one of her aunts, presumably Victor's sister. And the aunt responds that just before Karalis birth, she had a dream that Victor was on his way back to live with that. Now, this part could just be coincidence, like it's possible that Victor's sister was influenced by the Tollinger belief in reincarnation and that she had been thinking about her brother coming back, which is why she had the dream. But when Collarless is two years old, he and his mom are walking to the docks in CEQA when he points to a woman in the distance.
Now she's pretty far away. So at first Irene doesn't recognize her, but Coreless does. He gets really excited, like bouncing up and down and he starts saying things like, There's my Susie. And sure enough, the woman is Susie. Victor's stepdaughter. Guerrilla's gives her a big hug and he continues repeating, My Susie, my Susie. He even refers to Susie by her Tillinghast name, which just weirds everyone out. But sometime later, the same thing happens again.
Guerrilla's spots a man on the street in Sitka and says, There is William, my son. And sure enough, it is Victor's son, William. These kinds of sightings continue over the next few years with a total of seven people Victor would have known once. It's Victor's widow. Another time it's his friends. Karalis recognizes them all. He even uses the pet names that Victor had called them, despite the fact that supposedly he'd never even met them before.
A few of these incidents happened without Irene present, so we can't even say she was feeding him information on the spot. Like gorillas actually knows this stuff. As Corales grows up, he combs his hair the same style as Vincent. He's left handed like Vincent, and he teaches himself the ins and outs of boat engines, a skill neither his father or mother have an interest in. But Victor, who was a fisherman, did. But to me, the weirdest and most convincing part is that Kuryla speaks with his uncle's exact stutter.
Remember, Victor had said, quote, I hope I don't stutter then as much as I do now, end quote. And just as Victor had wished for Carolus, his stutter fades as he gets older. It mainly shows up when he gets excited. Like the Pollock twins. Coreless memories of the people and nicknames from Victor's life pretty much disappear by the time he's nine. Dr. Stevenson is able to interview Coreless as a teenager, but by then he doesn't remember what it was like to recognize Victor's family and friends or thinking his name was Cocodrie.
And Dr. Stevenson can only track down one of the relatives Coreless spotted as a little boy. The others have either passed away or declined to comment, which that's like a little suspicious, but there's still the birthmarks. The one on his back has gotten darker and the one on his nose shifts down a little bit with age. But other than that, they're the same. Now, I said this before, out of the hundreds of possible reincarnation cases, Dr.
Stevenson's studies over a third involve birthmarks in some way. Unfortunately, there's no proof that matching birthmarks exist because of reincarnation. But there are other theories it has to do with an ancient belief called maternal impressions. Basically, this is the idea that a mother's emotions during pregnancy can imprint on her baby causing birthmarks and other physical abnormalities. The ancient Greeks went so far as to believe that if a mother looked at a figure like a painting or a statue for long enough, her child would grow up to look like it.
So like if Irene Shatkin spent enough time looking at or even thinking about her Uncle Victor, his scars would imprint on her fetus. Of course, his idea has been used in misogynistic and ablest ways as a way to blame mothers for their children's disabilities. And obviously there's zero science behind it, like there's even an old superstition that birth marks are the result of ignoring your pregnancy cravings. So, like, if you're really hungry for pizza and you don't eat any pizza, your child could come out with a birthmark in the shape of a New York slice.
What we do know about birthmarks is that they usually come from an overgrowth of cells or blood vessels in the womb. But we really aren't sure about much else making reincarnation just as good of an explanation as any. And if popular opinion is any indicator, it's totally possible. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Over one billion people believe in it, and reincarnation is a central belief. Basically, the goal in life is to create good karma in order to advance to a higher, more elevated stage in the next life.
If you have good enough karma and you keep advancing, then eventually you'll die once and for all achieving ultimate blissful union with God. The process takes many cycles, some estimate up to one hundred. So until then, whatever you don't achieve or accomplish in one life, you'll bring to the next. In other words, you get a second chance. That may sound almost too ideal, especially in cases like the Pollack twins and collarless chalk and where supposedly they return to their own families.
But according to psychiatrist Dr. Walter Simko, this is how it's supposed to happen, Dr. Simca is basically the follow up to Ian Stevenson in terms of well-respected reincarnation researchers. He believes that when our souls reincarnate, we do so intentionally with members of our so-called social group in between their last life and the next social group, members will actually meet up and coordinate the location of their future reincarnations so they're sure to cross paths on Earth. So like you and a loved one could actually be members of the same social group who planned to reincarnate as like best friends or even siblings.
In other words, death isn't the end of our families or relationships. And think of how comforting that must be, especially if you're a parent like John Pollack. Your young daughters have died in a tragic accident, but you can picture them together deciding that they'll be reborn back into your family. Who knows if that's true, but if you think about it that way, maybe death isn't as unfair or unnatural as it feels. It's literally just our loved ones going on before us as planned.
And when we say they'll always be with us, we're right. Thanks for listening.
I'll be back next week with another episode for more information on the Pollack Twins and Coreless Shatkin Jr., we found Dr. Ian Stevenson's book, Children Who Remember Previous Lives extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of Supernatural and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify.
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Supernatural stars Ashley Flowers and is a Spotify original from podcast. It's executive produced by Max Cutler, Sound Design by Carrie Murphy with production assistance by Ron Shapiro and Carly Madden.
This episode of Supernatural was written by Stacy Lee Nemec with Writing Assistants by Allie Whicker, fact checking by Annibale and research by Mikki Taylor. To hear more stories hosted by me, check out Crime Junkie and all audio Chuck Originals.