I was swimming in cold, ocean water off La Jolla 'Bird Rock' beach. My swim buddies were returning to shore as it was way too cold for comfort. Only one friend, Ted, had had the good sense to wear a wetsuit. As I attempted to follow, I was caught in a severe rip-tide. It pulled me both out to sea and north, rapidly. My swim buddies were already climbing up on shore as I tried and tried to swim toward them. Soon, I was completely exhausted, more than two hundred yards from where I had started to struggle and found I was unable to swim, paddle or even stay afloat. My friends were much too far away now to help me. I managed to yell 'help' once and then realized I was done. I could not be sure they could even see me from where they were, much less hear my pathetic call.
I began to ponder the discomfort of drowning in the cold water. At first, it hurt to swallow the water. In short order, it became tolerable and then I began to sink, the waves breaking over my head. As I resigned myself to my fate, I found myself suddenly in this brightly lit tunnel.
I remained in a watery environment. The water was no longer freezing and uncomfortable but, warm and natural. I was gently deposited on the edge of a smooth, cement-like, pool-side-like decking.
It was very bright, very warm, tropical but, also very foggy. I could not see beyond a few feet, but I recognized this place as home and knew home was just to the left of me, somewhere beyond the fog. I was aware that being on Earth was a mission, not the end-all reason for being. I was so relieved to be home. I anxiously waited to be contacted and knew my friends/family would soon appear.
As I relaxed on the edge of the deck, I was aware of a small voice, behind me, calling my name. I did not want to turn around and acknowledge it for fear that I might not be able to remain. The voice became more and more incessant. I knew somehow if I did not turn around, I would not have to go back. I also suspected that if I did, I would.
For some reason the voice finally compelled me to turn and face it. Wham! I was suddenly back in the cold, ocean water struggling for my life.
My friend Ted swam to where I was. For him to have reached me several hundred yards from the shore he had been on would have taken him many minutes under the conditions. That means I was underwater for over ten minutes. I was so angry with him for pulling me back from home.
I had no reason to have regenerated the strength to swim again, so it made no sense to me that I was suddenly able to swim back to shore. Still, with Ted encouraging me, I somehow swam back and collapsed on the shore.
Since then, I have no fear of death. I have faced many dangerous situations as a police officer both before and after without fear. But, knowing there is really no such thing as death does make a huge difference.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1982
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Cold-water drowning Other Cold-water drowning. Drowning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Throughout. The only time I wasn't really focused was when I was actually drowning.
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
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 Like floating in a drain pipe toward a bright, white light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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 It was bright, warm and alluring.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Warm, tropical familiar place shrouded in fog, however. I knew it was home and felt that the dwelling structures were to my left, nearby.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Great happiness and relief that, 'That Earth experience' was over.
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
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? 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 was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate
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? Yes The knowledge that Earth was a classroom and that the mission was just an unpleasant assignment.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Reincarnation suddenly made a lot of sense.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately afterward. We were all police officers and all emergency medical technicians. They attributed it to shock and or cold-water delusions.
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 was in no position to argue with my experience.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. No reason to not rely on my experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No