An Atheist in Heaven: The Ultimate Evidence for Life After Death?
Forrest J Ackerman was a Hollywood science fiction writer and editor who coined the term “sci fi,” and was renowned for his collection of sci fi, fantasy, and horror film memorabilia that filled his home, dubbed “the Ackermansion.” He was also known for his quirky sense of humor. Forry expressed a complete disbelief in the afterlife. Before he died on December 4, 2008, at age 92, he told one of his long-time fans and friends, Paul J. Davids, an author, artist, and award-winning Hollywood film director, that if he discovered that the afterlife exists, he would “drop a line” from the Other Side.
An Atheist in Heaven is the fascinating and convincing story of how Forry, as he was known, dropped more than a hundred lines to dozens of people alerting them to his post-death survival.
The event that set forces in motion occurred on March 18, 2009. It was, said Davids, “one of the most inexplicable events of my life.” Davids was alone at his vacation Santa Fe home. He sent a document to his office printer, and went off to a casino for dinner. He locked the house. When he returned, Davids took the document to his bedroom for review, set it down, and went into the bathroom for a few minutes. When he came out, he discovered that four words on the top page were mysteriously blotted out with what appeared to be a line of black ink, still fresh and wet. The inkblot was carefully executed in two strokes from left to right.
The four words blotted out proved to be a Forry-style coded message. What unfolded at a rapid rate were synchronicities, all pointing to apparent communications from Forry, that became increasingly difficult to explain away. They spread beyond Davids (photo right) and his wife, Hollace, to friends and professional colleagues and contacts. Not all of the individuals had personally known Forry, but once involved in the case, they, too, experienced anomalies.
Many of the anomalies involved plays on words and puns—Forry favorites—as well as poltergeist phenomena, apports, and cell phone and computer phenomena. Davids kept meticulous written, photographic, and video records. He documents more than 140 anomalies in the book.
The riddle of the inkblot was examined by Dr. John Allison, a chemistry professor and Director of Forensic Chemistry at The College of New Jersey. An acknowledged skeptic, Allison began experiencing odd phenomena. He conducted a thorough battery of tests and was unable to find a traditional explanation for the inkblot.
Davids’ search led him to afterlife researcher Dr. Gary E. Schwartz, professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery, and Director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health at the University of Arizona. Schwartz was initially skeptical, but concluded on the totality of observations and evidence that “Forry was likely doing his best to prove that he is still here.”
In late May 2015 Davids and Schwartz organized an investigation at the Ackermansion; participants include myself and my husband. The group experienced a variety of phenomena, such as shadow figures, apports, and a vibrating bed and sofa. The final séance drew the presences of Forry, Houdini, Lovecraft, and Tesla.
An Atheist in Heaven reads like a detective novel. We follow Davids in his quest for answers, and every chapter reveals yet a new track in the mystery. Allison contributes a detailed description of his inkblot forensics, and Schwartz discusses the scientific case for survival, and afterlife research, including the validity of mediumship and instrumental transcommunication (ITC) devices and methods. He describes his experiments to communicate directly with Forry via equipment, and his positive results.
Davids includes the views of Dr. Michael Shermer, executive director of the Skeptics Society and publisher of Skeptic magazine, who rejected the evidence for the survival of Ackerman, but offered no counter explanation. He did commend Davids for his “honest search and integrity.”
Schwartz’s comment was, “There isn’t one chance in a Godzillion that this isn’t true.”
Besides the evidence for afterlife communication, the book offers a rare glimpse into the personality and life of Ackerman. Davids includes many personal anecdotes, and provides more than 160 photographs from Ackerman’s life and career, and of the research and the individuals who became involved in this amazing journey.
Davids comments, “…I am prepared to accept that those on the Other Side have essentially given me an assignment… to complete the task of getting this message out and completing both the video and written documentation of what really happened since Forry died.”
Davids featured Ackerman in his documentaries, The Life After Death Project and The Life After Death Project 2 – Personal Encounters.
Rosemary Ellen Guiley, a frequent guest on Higher Journeys Radio, is one of the leading experts on the paranormal with more than 50 books published by major houses on a wide range of paranormal, spiritual, and mystical topics, including nine single-volume encyclopedias. Her work is translated into 15 languages. She has worked full-time in the paranormal since 1983, researching, investigating, writing, and presenting, and teaching. Her present work focuses interdimensional entity contact experiences of all kinds, technological and mediumistic spirit communications, spiritual growth and development, and problem hauntings. She spends a great deal of her time out in the field conducting investigations and research. She has done ground-breaking research on Shadow People and the Djinn.
Rosemary is a consulting editor of FATE magazine, and a board director of the National Museum of Mysteries and Research, a nonprofit educational organization in Columbia, Pennsylvania. She is a past board of director of International Association for the Study of Dreams, and a past member of the board of trustees of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research (now the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies). She lives in Connecticut.
Visit Rosemary’s website at: www.visionaryliving.com