While boating on a river in deep water with my father and his friend, the boat turned over. I could not swim and there were no life jackets. I had no contact with the other two people while I struggled in the water and was terrified of drowning. When I opened my eyes, I saw a large white fish, which somehow calmed me down a bit. My lungs began to hurt a lot and I was forced to release some air. As they continued to hurt more, I gulped in some water. Shortly after that, I remember passing out.
The next thing I knew I was floating above the river and the overturned boat. I saw the two other people franticly looking for me. I thought this was rather strange and unnecessary, as I was fine and in no pain or danger, just floating comfortably. It did seem a little strange that I was floating, but it was so much better than being in the water I was OK with it. I also saw two women on the shore who had not been there before, but I did not know who they were. I then entered a void. It was total blackness and total silence. I became afraid of the void. I did not know what it was and did not like it at all.
In a short time, I found myself moving through a tunnel. I was scared at first but it was better than the void and I became comfortable there, especially as I approached a light. I was wondering where I was going. I found myself in a space that was very calm and comforting. The lighting was a little unusual. I could not see a particular source of the light, but it was there and was warm and welcoming.
Two beings were there, both males. I felt like I knew them, as if they were distant relatives, but I could not identify either one. They were dressed in clothes that we would wear on earth. We talked for a short time. I can't remember the exact details. I was asking them who they were and where I was. I remember having the feeling that they were not answering my questions in a clear and direct manner. I believe I was beginning to understand I had crossed over to the other side.
All talking was telepathic. No words were spoken. At that point, I reviewed/experienced a whole lot of information. I don't remember any of the specifics, and never did, even while the NDE was still going on. What I understood was a decision had been made during that review/experience. One of the beings asked me if I was ready to go with them. I said, ‘no’. I actually said ‘I want my mama, I want my mama,’ which meant ‘no, I want to go back’. The being that asked me the question looked a little disappointed. The other being turned to him and said, ‘He wants to go back, he has more work to do.’ I did not know what he was talking about in regards to this ‘work’. As I wondered what he meant about ‘having more work to do,’ I suddenly found that there was a very bright light in my eyes.
I could not understand what it was. I then realized my eyes were closed. When I opened them, I discovered I was looking directly at the sun. I blinked and looked around and immediately knew I was back in the water. My response was, and I said this to myself, ‘I don't want to be back here, in the water.’ My desire was to return to wherever I had just been a very safe and comfortable place. I knew I could not go back. I had made a decision and I could not change it. I found that my fear was mostly gone and I felt perfectly healthy as someone behind me held me above the water and I was breathing again. That made it easier to be ‘back’ because the big fear was to be under the water, not above it. Somehow, we got to shore. I never had any ill effects from the drowning.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1955
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Drowning. Other: Doctor was not called.
I was in a boat on a river in deep water. The boat capsized.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I floated above the scene of the accident and observed my father and his friend looking for me around the upturned boat.
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at the same level during the whole experience. There was a time of higher consciousness, I believe, when I reviewed/experienced a lot of information, but I don't remember the details. During the period of review/experience I have the impression I was at a very high level of consciousness: remembering and understanding much more than ever before and since then.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Do not remember any difference.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Do not remember any difference.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I felt like I was going upward. There was a kind of darkness around me, like dark clouds. I felt movement and at some point I realized I was headed toward a light at the end of the tunnel.
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 It felt like the two male beings I encountered were distant relatives that had passed on, but I could not identify them.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It’s hard to describe: it sort of spread out all around with no clear source. It was relaxing, safe and calm.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It felt unearthly. Not inside, not outside as on earth. I could see very little though: only the beings in front of me and the lighting behind them.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt fear and love.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I think this is what I experience during my period of remembering/experiencing, but since I cannot remember that experience I don't know the details.
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 The only thing I am sure of is this decision was made during the period of remembering/experiencing. There was more to do, more work for me to do back on earth.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I tried to be an atheist much of my adult life, but it just wouldn't take. I knew too much. Eventually because of my experience I was able to take a look at my spiritual side.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age I am not religious, do not have a "faith". I am spiritual.
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 I was taught to fear death and fear God. There was no fear with the beings I encountered.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No It helped me to get started on my spiritual path.
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 I encountered two male beings dressed in pants and shirts. They seemed like someone I knew or perhaps was related to, but I did not know who they were. We talked telepathically.
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 probably exists┬
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
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? Uncertain During my period of remembering/experiencing I feel I had a knowing of knowledge and purpose, but I cannot remember the details.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists┬
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes It was clear to me that I could go with the two beings if I chose to. I did not know where we would go exactly, but there was never a possibility that my existence would end.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately 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? Unknown
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? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? No changes in my life No changes in my life. I do not feel there were any direct changes in my life at the time. Later in life as an adult, it helped me make some good decisions about what I wanted to do with my life. It helped me to get started on my spiritual path.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I was told not to talk about it, and I did not fully understand what happened to me anyway, so it was difficult to talk about.
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About 35 years later I shared my experience with my children. This was the first time I shared it with anyone. They enjoyed the story. I don't know what influence it did or did not have on them.
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 Even though as a young child I was told to forget about it, I knew I never would. It became my secret and I knew it was real, but it took many years to understand it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I never forgot it. There is a knowing in me that tells me it was real, it is real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No