Afterlife Encounters with Martin Caidin

Author Martin Caidin was fascinated with psychokinesis—the ability to move objects with his mind. We’ve previously written about how met him at a bookstore in Gainesville, Florida where Marty and I (Rob) and others were doing a collective book signing in support of the bookstore which was under seige for selling X-rated comic books. Afterwards, Marty invited everyone to his house to see his ongoing experiment in psychokinesis involving an assortment of small paper vanes that looked like six-inch windmills.

Marty, who was also an aviation expert and pilot was brash and outspoken, a cigar-smoking macho guy. Maybe his brash behavior was part of the reason that Trish and I were the only ones who accepted his offer. Alternately, the other authors, all science fiction writers, might’ve thought it was a bogus claim.

But why would this accomplished writer—author of the novel that became a popular TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man—boast that he could move objects with his mind if it wasn’t true? What did he have to gain by faking it? Marty mentioned that parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach and a researcher from the University of Florida were studying abilities.

His experiment involved an assortment of small paper vanes that looked like six-inch windmills that were on a table inside a small room about the size of a walk-in closet. Trish and I observered the vanes through a window. The overhead AC vent was blocked.  As we wrote earlier, the vanes did indeed start moving when Marty approached the window to the sealed room. Some appeared to move clockwise, others counter-clockwise.

In the aftermath, I experienced a strange synchronicity related to Marty. I had recently completed my seventh Indiana Jones novel and had told my editors at LucasFilm and Bantam books that I needed a break from the series to write an unrelated novel. Two week later, and just a week or so after I’d met Marty, I got a call from him. He told me he’d been asked to take over the series. He would go on to write two Indy novels.

I was a bit annoyed that the powers that be had so quickly turned to another author, and of course was surprised that it was Martin Caidin. A friend who heard this story suggested that maybe Caidin contacted his agent and told him he wanted to write Indiana Jones novels after meeting me. But that’s unlikely, and even if he had tried that, there’s very little chance anything would’ve resulted, and definitely not in a few days after meeting me.  The more likely explanation was synchronicity. Marty was at the right place in his career at the right time and the offer came about independent of any scheming on his part.

Marty died in 1997, but apparently he didn’t go away. Some of his friends, including Auerbach, reported that Marty visited them in the weeks after his death. I never knew about these encounters until recently when I read about them in Leslie Kean’s excellent book, Surviving Death. To paraphrase Kean:

Nine days after Marty’s death, Loyd Auerbach was driving along a California freeway in his new car when suddenly it filled with the strong odor of cigar smoke. “There was no way to explain this, but Loyd knew what it was. He recognized the distinct smell of the type of cigar that Marty had often smoked in his presence, which lingered in the car for about five minutes. Loyd felt that his friend had come to say goodbye.”

Later that morning, Loyd called a friend who knew Marty to tell him about the cigar smoke. Before he had a chance to explain, the man told him he was surprised to hear from him, because that morning while piloting his airplane at about 10 AM, he felt as if someone was in the cockpit with him, and then smelled cigar smoke. Like Loyd, he was certain it was Marty making his presence known. Making the matter even more astonishing, another pilot and friend of Marty’s reported that he too smelled cigar smoke in his cockpit a few minutes after ten that same morning.

One such incident is an interesting anecdote about spirit contact. Two could be called a meaningful coincidence or synchronicity. And three, well, that sounds like proof to me, providing one or more of the men weren’t making up their version of the encounter from beyond.  Call me gullible, but I take them at their word.

Life continues on it seems.  Keep on smoking those spirit cheroots, Marty! As above, so below.

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6 Responses to Afterlife Encounters with Martin Caidin

  1. Rob MacGregor says:

    Yeah, Marty didn’t blow any smoke my way! Or did he?

  2. Dale Dassel says:

    Caidin’s novels were published in 1993 / 94 respectively, to maintain Bantam’s annual Indy book release schedule after Interior World. The series was continued undisrupted by Max McCoy, who writes predominantly in the historical Western genre. I believe that Caidin’s abrupt illness prevented him from fulfilling his 4 novel contract with Lucasfilm, hence the change in writers. McCoy’s fourth (and final) Indy novel concluded with an afterword that said: “I now pass the hat and whip to another”, an optimistic message indicating that the series would continue, but it never did until the Indy 4 movie novelization and the unpublished Staff of Kings novel which Rob wrote.

    Interestingly, Caidin picked up the narrative thread from Rob by using Jack Shannon – Indy’s best friend (created by Rob) – in Sky Pirates, the adventure following Interior World. Caidin’s writing style is somewhat different from Rob’s, featuring airplanes more prominently since Caidin was a world-class aviator. One Indy fan humorously commented that Sky Pirates reads like a Ford TriMotor flight manual hosted by Indiana Jones! LOL

  3. Adele says:

    Fascinating story – I should say, stories, because the part about him taking over what had been your book series is of a different caliber than the cigar smoke ones. All interesting.