"...And all the pumps workin', maybe we got an hour, maybe two. And then she's gonna break, right here by the engine compartment -- by the reciprocatin' engines. That's where she's gonna break. How do I know that? Because I built the bloody ship! I know how she lives and I know how she's gonna die!"
"At the age of four, I drew a ship with four smokestacks and told my parents: 'This was my ship, but she died.' I insisted my mother call me 'Tommie' and spoke of two brothers, a sister, aunts and uncles, none of whom my parents knew....
My mission, my destiny is to clear the name of Thomas Andrews, to share my truth and to help those who have not yet come to terms with memoories they cannot explain..."
I have been writing about reincarnation cases for over twenty years now, and believe me, I'm not easily impressed by those who claim to be famous people returned. But this case is different. From the moment I began to listen to the voice of Thomas Andrews speaking on the past-life regression tapes, I was absolutely spellbound. This case is so real, it sends chills up my spine.
Not only does William Barnes have detailed knowledge of an Edwardian shipbuilder's techniques (which differ from those of today), he also gives a specific theory about the construction of Titanic that sheds new light on why she sank so quickly on that night to remember.
If Barnes/Andrews is right, a major factor in the sinking of the great ship was her single hull construction, which vibrated like a huge bell when she hit the iceberg. Building ships with steel was a new technology back then, and the single-hull design used for wooden ships had not yet been revised to account for acoustical stress in metal. Hitting the iceberg apparently set Titanic ringing from bow to stern. The brittle steel used by the British in those days simply could not take the increased stress and cracked like glass. It wasn't one big gash in her side that sent Titanic to the bottom of the sea. It was lots of little cracks and holes all over, where rivets popped and weakened steel plates shattered.
Amazingly, William Barnes knew this when he was still a small child -- long before expeditions to the wreck confirmed it! Thomas Andrews apparently knew it, too, and tried to incorporate a newer, better design for the hulls of the huge steel ships, but nobody listened...
According to the voice on the regression tapes, it was not Thomas Andrews who was responsible for the single hull and other now-infamous flaws in Titanic's design. Andrews had originally designed a ship with a double hull, in order to dampen the bell effect. He also calculated that she would need 64 lifeboats to accommodate all the passengers, instead of the paltry 20 that she finally got. Had these and other plans originally submitted by Andrews been followed, Titanic may well have survived the iceberg and limped into port.
"...I took a forty-pound sledgehammer... and beat on the plates twice, as hard as I could. I got down from the scaffolding and walked astern to where my uncle waited. You should have seen the look on my uncle's face! He says to me:'My God, Tommie! You were almost eight hundred feet away, and it sounded like you were hittin' the plates from where I stood!' I then told my uncle to put his head to the hull. 'You'll probably still hear the plates ringin', Uncle. that's why we need double hulls on these ships!'" (Bill Barnes speaking as Andrews under hypnosis.)
According to the past-life material, Andrews also spent considerable time trying to track down an elusive ringing sound in her hull, which he described as a " crying woman" or a "banshee." Was this a psychic premonition about the coming disaster? Maybe. But it could also have been some sort of vibrational resonance, set up from the constant rhythm of her engines inside the metal hull. (Even before launch, her engines had been running to generate power for the workers.)
It was Bruce Ismay, in charge of the White Star Line at the time, who insisted on a single hull construction with fewer lifeboats, in order to cut costs and allow more room for passengers and cargo. It was also Ismay who insisted -- over Andrews' vehement objections -- that the bulkheads should only extend up to "E" deck, which was scarcely above the waterline -- a serious error that allowed the water in the sinking ship to pour from one flooded compartment into the next, quickly filling the whole ship.
The Andrews family has a long proud tradition of honor, integrity, and fine craftsmanship. Tommie was no exception. In his last moments aboard Titanic, he was filled with anger as he saw the cowardly Ismay save himself in a lifeboat. Tommie feared -- and rightly so, it turned out -- that Ismay would cover up his own cheapness about the ship's construction and put the blame on Tommie Andrews. Dead men tell no tales... or do they?
William "Bill" Barnes, as the reincarnation of Thomas Andrews, says that his mission is to clear the Andrews name, and place the blame where it belongs -- squarely on the shoulders of the money men who put profit before safety. I have talked with Bill Barnes on numerous occasions, and am convinced that he is not a fraud. Nor is he doing this for sensationalism or self-aggrandizement. He simply wants to set the historical record straight.
The story of Andrews' reincarnation as Bill Barnes was first released by Edinbooks as an audiobook, I built the Titanic, in January 1999. This four-hour presentation uses the innovative technique of interspersing historical background material with excerpts from the actual regression sessions. The result is a dramatic narrative that makes the listener feel as if s/he is right there, eavesdropping on history in the making. Plus, the background material about shipbuilding is so skillfully woven into the story, that even a landlubber like me can easily follow the reasons for Tommie's original design, and his objections to the structural changes made by Ismay and the White Star Line.
I Built the Titanic was followed, a few months later, by a second audiobook entitled A Past-Life Interview with Titanic's Designer. Not just a re-hash of the first set of tapes, in A Past-Life Interview the regression sessions with therapist Frank Baranowski are smoothly edited into chronological order. It was like listening to an in-depth interview with Tommie Andrews in person, complete with his Scottish-Irish brogue. What listener could fail to be moved by the sheer drama of hearing Tommie describe Titanic's last hours?
Especially moving -- and not included on the first tape -- were the moments immediately after Andrews' death, as he tried in vain to hold up the ship and keep it from sinking. But he was in the spirit now, and couldn't grip anything corporeal...
"...Donna let 'er sink with all these people! I canna keep her from sinkin'. I'm pullin' as hard as I can... There's a light, and it's warm. Someone's callin' me to this light... It's Uncle John. Uncle John is callin' me. He's been dead for years. I must be dead... I donna wanna go, I want to save the ship... "
Tommie Andrews spirit hovered over the Titanic for a while before leaving the scene for the other world. If what he describes is true -- and I believe it is -- then he had a unique view of the sinking ship from above, and was able to get a much bigger picture of the overall scene than anybody on the decks or in the lifeboats below. He could see the damage already done, and hear the rumblings from the depths of her bowels as Titanic began to break up.
"Oh, me ship, me beautiful ship! I was right -- I knew she'd die like this..."
At the end of A Past-Life Interview there is a waking-state discussion between Bill Barnes and his publisher, Linda Nathanson. Gone is the Scottish-Irish brogue on the Andrews part of the tape (which, by the way, has been verified as authentic.) William Barnes in the waking state is quite a different personality. He shares anecdotes about his life, his struggles to come to grips with the memories, the healing which has come from telling his story, and the lessons that can be learned from it. We also learn in this interview that the regression sessions happened before the release of the Cameron film Titanic -- which Barnes found very difficult to watch because it was so authentic. The tape also includes a brief interview with his wife Mary Anne (from this life), and a statement by Frank Baranowski, the therapist who conducted the regressions.
As can be expected when somebody claims to be the reincarnation of an historical figure, Barnes has met with considerable ridicule. But not everyone is a skeptic. Research scientist John Wilcox, Ph.D., a mathematician and physicist at the University of Pennsylvania's Johnson Research Foundation, heard Barnes describe the bell effect of Titanic's single hull and wondered if the theory could be tested by computer simulation. Based on the physical properties of the steel (now known from samples brought up from the wreck), the exact dimensions of the ship, and Barnes' memories of the speed at which she hit the iceberg, Wilcox created a computer-generated model that mathematically reproduced the acoustic energies in Titanic's hull before and after the collision. The findings lend support to Barnes' past-life memory of the ringing hull as a major factor, and can be seen, complete with full-color diagrams, on Dr. Wilcox's website.
Dr.Wilcox's findings, along with many other factual verifications of details in the regressions, are included in Barnes' latest book (this one in printed format), called Thomas Andrews: Voyage Into History. The first part of the book is a slightly longer version of the material from the first audiobook, I built the Titanic. Although very little new past-life material is added, I am glad to finally have a print version I can pull off the shelf for quick reference. The second part of the book consists of various historical and scientific findings -- including the Wilcox computer simulation results described above -- that confirm the accuracy of Barnes' memories as Andrews. Dr. Wilcox himself was quite impressed, stating that Barnes "possesses an engineering approach that is not current today," and discusses specific examples.
I was especially impressed with Barnes' ability to remember seemingly minor details, such as the name of the ship's cat, Jenny. According to the past-life material, Jenny sensed the impending disaster and tried to save her kittens (which are mentioned in the historical record) by moving them from the crew quarters in the hold to an upper deck -- and right into Tommie's stateroom. Later, the cat is seen trying desperately to move her kittens yet again, as the ship beings to list and sink.
Other data in the book include verification of the brittle composition of the steel, notes from eyewitness accounts, and results of sonar scannings of Titanic's wreck by the Discovery Communications Expedition, all of which support what Bill remembers from his life as Tommie.
Since publication of his books and the resulting publicity, Bill Barnes has met a number of other individuals who also have memories of dying on the Titanic. He now runs an email discussion group called titanicmemories on ONElist.com.
A Past-Life Interview with Titanic's Designer, the 3-hour audiobook
presentation of the Barnes regression sessions with therapist Frank
Baranowski, edited into chronological order. 2 audiotapes, 3 hours.
Of related interest:
I died on the Titanic The odyssey of Monica O'Hara-Keeton,
a medical journalist, who faced her own past-life memories of being a
young woman who also perished aboard Titanic.
Together, these Barnes/Andrews Titanic materials combine
to make for one of the best cases for reincarnation I have seen!
to order your copies in association with Amazon.com,
just click on the title(s) below:
I built the Titanic, the original 4-hour audiobook presentation,
intergrating historical narrative with excerpts from the past-life
regression sessions. Spellbinding! 4 audiotapes, 4 hours.
Thomas Andrews: Voyage into History, the book which brings
all the findings together. Compelling biography of Andrews, based
on the regression tapes, plus the corroborating results of modern
research. Softcover, 186 pages.
Bookstore Menu ---
more reincarnation books ---
A Past-Life Interview with Titanic's Designer, the 3-hour audiobook presentation of the Barnes regression sessions with therapist Frank Baranowski, edited into chronological order. 2 audiotapes, 3 hours.
Of related interest: I died on the Titanic The odyssey of Monica O'Hara-Keeton, a medical journalist, who faced her own past-life memories of being a young woman who also perished aboard Titanic.