On October 28 1976, I, my brother, his wife and daughter went down to the lake with our kayak. We put the kayak in the water. He, his 4-year-old daughter, and I got into it. While in the water for about 20 minutes, the weather changed for the worst. The lake became very rough and choppy with white caps. The waves went from about 18 inches to 4 foot high within a few minutes. The change in conditions caught us off guard. With my niece in the kayak, we decided to return to shore. The maneuver for turning around in these conditions would be very tricky and we knew it. We decided to reverse our positions in the kayak by turning around one at a time, instead of turning the kayak itself.
First, my brother turned around as I controlled the kayak. By this time, the waves were very close together and at least 4 foot high. Now he was in place and it was my turn. As I got into place to do this maneuver, I had to sit half way up in the kayak. Just as I did, a wave hit. I went overboard and landed in the freezing waters of Lake Tahoe. The water was so cold I froze. My body cramped and I couldn't move. Neither my arms nor legs would move. I must have sucked in water. I did panic and came up a third time, only to see the kayak more than 50 feet away from me and the panic in my brother’s eyes. I sank down.
It felt like I sank for hundreds of feet, as if I was into the abyss. Time just stopped: I had no more fear or panic. I was as calm as if I were asleep. All of a sudden, a light appeared. It was a light as bright as the sun, brighter than anything I have ever seen. Yet all around me was total darkness. The light just kept getting bigger, brighter, and closer to me. I became happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I was drawn to the light like a child to his mother, but more so.
All of a sudden, I stopped as if someone or something was not allowing me to get closer. Yet the light was right in front of me within arm's reach, and there, in the light, was a dark shadowy figure along with two more. I ask, ‘Why can't I come in?’ I wanted in because I had never felt so much peace, love, and understanding. The feeling was so much more, such that I cannot explain it.
I knew the voice that came from within the light. He was a friend of mine who had passed away earlier that year. He said, ‘Andy, it is so beautiful here; it's beyond anything you can image or know.’ I asked Tim, ‘Why can't I come in?’ Tim replied, ‘It's not your time, it's not your time.’ I remember feeling so happy, so very happy. Just then, a voice so powerful said to me, ‘It is not yet your time to go my son, there is yet something left on earth for you to do my son,’ the voice was so loving and so great. I felt so much love and so much more, it was the most incredible voice and yet so much more than a voice. In a flash, I was back on top of the water, right next to the kayak with one of my hands hanging onto it.
We got back to the shore and I asked what happened. My sister-in-law told me a lifeguard jumped into the water to save me; I looked up and asked him, ‘Did you save me?’ He said, ‘No. By the time I got there, you were already up and hanging onto the kayak.’ I asked him, 'Are you sure?' He replied, 'Yes.' Then I asked him, 'Did you see it?' He asked, ‘What?’
I then realized what happened to me, and said to him, ‘Oh nothing, forget it.' The funny thing is that he told us it was his last day as a lifeguard, because summer season was over. He was leaving the beach, when he heard a voice telling him to walk the beach one more time. So, he did.
Since this happened to me, a few other things have happened. In 1990, I had surgery for a kidney stone removal. While under sedation, I was given morphine and my heart stopped. That is how I found out that I am deathly allergic to morphine. Then in 2010, I had a heart attack and had to be brought back by paddles. I am still alive and kicking.
Date NDE Occurred: Oct 28 1976
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning.
I fell overboard into a lake.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal More than I have ever experienced before or after.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When the light was at its biggest and closest to me and through the voice; I like to call the Lord’s voice.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
How can you or I explain this, it just stopped as if the was no such thing as time and no meaning to it.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. How does one explain it? It is too hard to do so. A light brighter than the sun, warmer than anything you have known. Figures of people you know, yet they look nothing like you remember them. The other two figures said nothing to me and still I felt I knew them, I felt they were my grandparents from my mother's side, I have never met them, nor have I ever seen a picture of them. My vision was perfect as if my eyesight was the best it has ever been.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was like my hearing was solely fixed on the voices and nothing else. My hearing was perfect, no other sounds.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes A friend who had died in June of that same year, and two figures I felt were my paternal grandparents.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes A light which was brighter than the sun and full of warmth and love.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place Before the light came to me, or I to it, I felt I was surrounded by pure darkness, but not like I was in a tunnel, more like being in space with no stars around you.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt love and understanding, peace and oneness with all.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It was more like nothing else had meaning, like it didn't have to: As if I completely got it. Got what? Got everything.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Other Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Sorry again something I can't explain .
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin A voice of all-knowing and all-love so powerful and yet so soothing, like nothing I have ever heard.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes the voice of God and you know it is him , not just a feeling it is his voice and you know it .
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I cannot explain this, I just can't.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes As I said before , the voice of God told me , I had something left on earth to do .
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes It is an knowing and just a feeling , it came from the light as well as the voices . It leaves you knowing there is a life after death and you know there is something so much better .
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I do not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I greatly feared death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The most pure love and yes it is all feelings .
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown Unknown... My wife calls me a seer now, and yes I have seen things happen before they do, sometimes by weeks or years and other times by hours or days, I can tell when something is going to happen, to others as well as myself.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No Because it is something so incredible, so far removed from anything you have ever known or heard. How do you explain a love so strong so pure, with an absolute feeling of pure peace? Even here I can't find the words to be able to tell you how it feels.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I'd rather not say at this time.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The voice of my friend and the voice of God telling me: ‘there is yet something for you to do on earth my son.’
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was years before I could tell anyone, to my wife who has only been my wife for a year, I told her because I knew I could, and it took me two other marriages and 33 years to find her.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I just know it happen and it was real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I am getting tired of having to explain the same thing over and over.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? NO