During basic training in the army I became sick which was later diagnosed as a pneumonia. It was a holiday, but not for us trainees I spent eight hours cleaning pots and pans in a kitchen, the hottest job of all. Having suffered from asthma all my life, I felt I was having an asthma attack.
That night all I wanted to do was go to bed hoping to recover overnight. Going on sick call was discouraged, to do so you had to pack up all your gear and belongings and report to the infirmary at roll call. Worst of all if you missed enough training you ran the risk of being recycled and delaying your leave home.
That night while sleeping I became delirious, babbling in my sleep and moaning enough to wake up my bunkmate and the half of the barracks. Being a holiday there weren't many people around so I was taken to the Drill Sergeant on duty in the day room.
He took one look at me and immediately put me in a jeep and drove me to the base hospital. On the way there, I was in and out of consciousness, he literally was holding on to my shirt to keep me upright. This is where it happened.
The base hospital had a huge waiting room / auditorium where he sat me on a folding chair and said, 'Stay here, I'll get help.' All I could see was a small office with a light up-ahead.
I closed my eyes again and the next thing I knew I was laying on wet ground that was rather cold. The ground sloped upward; I used all my strength to stand up. When I did, I realized I was in a tunnel. Up ahead I saw numerous people. As I started walking toward them an old lady came toward me. This thirty years later I figured out was my mother's aunt Mary. She led me through the tunnel past some people, to a soldier in a formal uniform with decorations etc. But the uniform seemed strange it was not like mine and he wore spats or leggings. After that, Aunt Mary took me to the right towards a bright light that got brighter as we approached it. There through an arch or gate I saw many people smiling. Then I returned to the soldier. He asked me if I wanted to stay or go back. I said, 'I want to go back.' He then turned around and beckoned to another soldier. When this soldier came forward. He appeared to be an officer. He had on a trench coat, hat, and leggings. He asked me if I was sure, I wanted to go back and I said yes.
The next thing I knew a Second Lieutenant female nurse was shaking me telling me to get up. I was taken to a ward, ordered to strip down, and get in a cold shower. After that, I was put in a bed and told to drink as much fluids as I could. I recovered and returned to training in five days.
For years I thought about this experience. Who was that soldier, who was the old lady? One time driving a cab through central park in New York City I got stuck in a tunnel in traffic it all started to come back to me. This was 1973. I started questioning my mother about an uncle who I thought resembled the soldier, but he was never in the service. At first, I thought the soldier was my father who was still alive and a WWII vet.
Thirty years later, I went to a cousin's wedding, another cousin and I started talking about our ancestors. We remembered that my grandfather's brother had been killed in World War I. Later she sent me a picture of him. I looked at the picture a long time and noticed the leggings.
One night I was driving home listening to a talk show (the guy that did the supernatural stuff) they were talking about NDEs, all of a sudden it started to come home.
The old Lady was aunt Mary, The soldier was her brother who died in France. The soldier was my grandfather's brother my mother's uncle. The officer was General John O'Ryan Commander of the 27th Division formally the New York National Guard. I have pictures to prove it!
Date NDE Occurred: 'May,1968'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Temperature of 108 F. In and out of consciousness. Delusional.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness While waking up.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While waking up.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Not spoken, telepathic.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Uphill, rainy, cold, damp.
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 Aunt Mary, Uncle John - General John Francis O'Ryan.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: 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 Very bright hard to look at.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Heaven
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear happiness.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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 was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, I eventually travelled to France to visit uncle John's grave and felt like I had been there before. Without much info I walked around the battlefield like I knew where I was.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Thirty years, some believe others curious.
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 probably not real Didn't really think about it too much was too worried about other things moving on etc. People looked and acted like I was a ghost.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real Have read your website, maybe it was a dream?
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain