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Elvis After Life

Reprinted with permission from Brown’s Guide to Georgia

Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr., came to prominence in the 1970s by relating life after death reports gleamed from patients who described their experiences after brief periods of death. The book, Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon–Survival of Bodily Death, and the field of near death experiences are still controversial, but Moody was not dissuaded and has written other books on this and related topics.

In 1987 Dr. Moody wrote another provocative book, titled Elvis After Life: Unusual Psychic Experiences Surrounding the Death of a Superstar. It is an interesting little tome, particularly Chapter VI, “In Search of a Son with Elvis.”

By 1982 Harold Welch had served as a policeman in a small Georgia city for 15 years. Welch, “a large, tough-looking man,” was “surprisingly gentle and soft spoken,” the doctor wrote. Moody found it difficult to think of him “having an uncanny psychic experience”, but he “had the distinct impression that he was describing events just as he remembered them.”

Welch raised four sons but only Tony gave him trouble. The teenager joined the wrong crowd, drank and took drugs, and shoplifted. When his grades dropped arguments occurred regularly. In early February Welch “said some things I shouldn’t have,” and Tony stayed in his room playing records. Tony “liked Elvis Presley,” Welch stated, “always Elvis. His room was full of Elvis posters” and he “knew everything there was to know about Elvis.”

Tony, who had saved over $2,000, left for California without saying a word, hoping to make it in the movie business. As a policeman, Welch knew what happened to runaways in Los Angeles and feared the worst. Tony left February 11 and Welch and his oldest son, Harold, Jr., an Atlanta policeman, planned to fly to California on March 3.

On the night of March 1 Welch had a dream in which Elvis appeared with “information about Tony.” Elvis said, “I’m worried about Tony, sir. Tony is a fan of mine. He’s out there in Los Angeles and I can’t get through to him.”

Elvis wore regular clothes and displayed a policeman’s badge. In life Elvis wanted to be an undercover agent and received an honorary FBI badge from President Richard Nixon. Welch had pinned a map of L.A. on the wall and Elvis pointed at it and “tried to show me some streets in a certain area of Los Angeles.” Dreams are strange things and Welch could not focus on the map or read street names.

Elvis gave up on the map and started talking: “Look, Tony is staying in a rooming house.” He conjured a scene of “a short street with a drugstore on the corner and a short-order diner across from it.”

Instantly, Welch and Elvis were on that street, Elvis pointing out landmarks. Again, Welch had difficulty seeing details, and Elvis said, “Look man, you gotta look at this. This is important man.”

Welch saw an older, rundown two story house, but could not see the street’s name.

“Man, your son is on drugs,” Elvis persisted. “You gotta get him some help.” Elvis “impressed me as a concerned man,” Welch said. He thanked Elvis and woke up “with a headache…but I woke up knowing that I would find Tony.”

In L.A. Welch and his son contacted local police and learned of places where runaways hung out. They passed out photographs of Tony, but no one recognized him. The Welch’s rented a car and cruised the recommended neighborhoods. Welch was driving on March 9 when he saw the short street, drug store, and diner Elvis had showed him.

“I knew this was the street I walked down with Elvis,” Welch thought. He told Harold, Jr., “Son, this is where we’ll find him.” Welch feared Harold thought he was insane.

Welch knocked on the door of a house that he recognized, and when an old woman answered the door, he asked if Tony Welch was there. He was, and when Welch explained that he was Tony’s father, she directed him to a room upstairs, where he knocked on the door and was invited inside.

“The boy was sprawled out on the bed reading a magazine. I looked right into his face and grinned. He turned white as a sheet. He said, ‘Dad, how did you fine me?’ He burst out crying and jumped up and came over to me.”

They hugged for a minute, then Tony said, “Dad, I want to go back home.”

Tony packed and they returned to the hotel. Both sons were curious about how Welch located Tony, but their father never revealed his source. “I would have been too embarrassed to tell my sons Elvis showed me the street in a dream.”

In their room that night Tony said, “Dad, it’s the funniest thing. Two times since I’ve been out here I’ve had dreams about Elvis Presley. In both dreams he told me you would be coming to get me. He said he was worried about me. He said he would work it out.”

At home Tony received treatment for his addiction and recovered.

“It seems to me that Elvis Presley was worried about my son,” Harold concluded, “and came in a dream to help.”

Dr. Moody considered Welch “a reliable, sincere and rational person, not prone to fantasizing.”

Reprinted with permission from Brown’s Guide to Georgia

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