The Principal Reincarnation Researchers

Hernani Andrade


Hernani Guimarães Andrade (1913-2003) was a civil engineer, Spiritist, and co-founder of the Brazilian Institute for Psychobiophysical Research (IBPP). He investigated some 75 cases of children with past-life memories but because he wrote in Portuguese, his work is not as well known as it ought to be.

Andrade was born on May 31, 1913, in Araguari, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He graduated from the University of São Paulo in civil engineering in 1941 and made a career in state and federal government service. He became involved in Spiritism as a teenager and upon his retirement, he and some friends formed the IBPP, the first Latin American organization of its kind. Andrade believed strongly that the phenomena of Spiritism could and should be appraised in a scientific manner. At first he concentrated on mediumistic communications and poltergeist phenomena, the latter unusually common in his part of Brazil. He learned about children’s reincarnation claims in the early 1960s from Ian Stevenson, who visited São Paulo to investigate cases for Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. He began a search for similar cases, investigating them with Stevenson's methods.

In 1988, Andrade published Reencarnação no Brasil: Oito casos que sugerem renascimento (Reincarnation in Brazil: Eight Cases that Suggest Rebirth). The book has not been translated into in English, although one of its best cases, a same-family case involving suicide and a change of sex, was issued as an IBPP monograph in 1980 under the title A Case Suggestive of Reincarnation: Jacira and Ronaldo and has been reprinted in Science & Spirit, a collection of three case reports edited by Guy Lyon Playfair. Another book-length report has been translated as Reborn for Love: A Case Suggestive of Reincarnation. In addition, Playfair has summarized several of Andrade’s cases in his books New Clothes for Old Souls: Worldwide Evidence for Reincarnation and The Flying Cow: Exploring the Psychic World of Brazil.

Although Andrade was unable to identify the previous person in many instances, his cases are noteworthy for including a large number of “international cases” with previous lives apparently spent in Europe. These international cases typically feature xenoglossy, foreign languages the children had no normal opportunity to learn.

Andrade wrote 17 books altogether, some describing case investigations, others theoretical. The latter built on the ideas of Alan Kardec, the founder of Spiritism, in exploring the relation of the spirit to the physical body. Andrade also authored the first Brazilian textbook on experimental parapsychology, Parapsicologia Experimental, in 1967. He died in April, 2003, in Bauru, Brazil, just short of his 90th birthday.


Playfair, G. L. (2011). The Flying Cow: Exploring the Psychic World of Brazil. Guildford, Surrey: White Crow Books.

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