The picture is my father, Colonel Pilot Fahad Al Sadoon in Baghdad, speaking to his neighbor. Date December 22, 2007.
One: My father’s name is Fahad Al Sadoon. He was Colonel Pilot in the Iraqi's army. He retired in 1974, because he was independent from the Al Baa'th party.
Two: To my knowledge, I don't hear about such experiences in Iraq. Sometimes we hear rumors, but not a real story. As you know, the society and the regime does not allowed such stories. I remember when I was with my father in 2002 at the Al Orphaly conference, many people tried to make jokes, and only some of those present believed the stories.
Three: The near death experience of my father happened in 1966, but he spoke about it in public the first time in 2002 at the Al Orphaly Conference Hall, in Al Nusour, Baghdad-Iraq, 2002.
Four: In 2005 his story was published in media. A channel named Baghdad Iraqi TV, Satellite Chanel, interviewed him. The channel asked the help of Doctor Al Qurashy, who is a well-known Iraqi psychologist, to comment this near death experience. Doctor Al Qurashy approved it and mentioned that such experiences had happened since the Age of Grace. And all this is in a media video.
An officer political detainee, Colonel Fahad wrote about his near death experience while in detention:
I was detained in the military police cell in the Ministry of Defense. It was a very small room with no facilities except a bed and a pit as a lavatory. There was a small window.
Two guards were assigned to me; one of them lived in a small far away village and was always on duty. With time, he began to sympathize with me. I used to send him to bring me my meals from a nearby restaurant.
There was a drug called ‘antibar,’ which was a light tranquilizer. I asked the guardsman to bring me a packet of these tablets and he did. So, I repeatedly asked him to bring the tablets until I had around three hundred of them.
I would like to draw attention to what had taken place later, which I could not find any explanation to until now and was beyond my comprehension as a human being. I am stating what happened without any comment.
One day I started to take the tablets, emptying the packets one by one and swallowing their contents. It was around three hundred tablets. I started to experience dizziness, pain in the stomach, and my vision was distorted. I glanced at the cell door and looked at the veins in my arm. They were turning dark blue.
Realizing that, I tried to lie down on my bed but lost balance and fell to the floor. I lost consciousness. When I came back, I saw my body on the floor so I stood up. To my surprise, my body was still on the floor. I, in my ‘new’ body, was standing by it. My attempt to understand what had happened ended when I felt I was ascending upward, leaving my body on the floor. On reaching the ceiling of the cell, I tried to stretch my arm to avoid to hitting the fan, but nothing happened. The fan kept rotating. My body kept ascending upward passed the ceiling, and was climbing up in the sky vertically. Looking down, I saw the ministry of defense buildings. Then I passed through the layers of clouds over the city of Baghdad and was in the clear blue sky.
All of a sudden, I saw two men in bright white robes. One man was taller than the other was. One of the men raised his hand and my ascending stopped. The man made a gesture to me to go nearer to him. Without thinking, I moved towards the beings until he signaled with his hand for me to stop.
I was neither afraid nor disturbed. I did not feel cold or hot, I had only had a feeling of tranquility. One of the men asked me, ‘Why did you do what you did? Don’t you know that getting rid of your life is not your right?’ I replied, ‘I am very sorry. I was tired, and couldn’t take any more in my solitary confinement.’ While I was answering, I tried to see who they were but couldn’t.
The same man said, ‘We are satisfied with you now, we are going to forgive you of what you did and return you to earth. Do not do what you did again.’
He went on to say, ‘Look, do you know any one of these?’ I understood that he wanted me to turn around and look, which I did. I saw eleven men standing near me with their backs towards me. I said, ‘I do not know any of them because I don’t see their faces.’ The man signaled and three heads turned to face me. I recognized President Abdulsalam Aref and the one standing beside him was his bodyguard Abdullah Majid, and the third was Abdul Latif Al-Darraji. The man told me, ‘You were supposed to be with them but we forgave you. Now we are sending you to your world, the earth. As for these eleven they will leave your world and come to us in two days' time.’ Once again, he gestured with his hands and the three heads turned.
He asked me, ‘Do you know why we have forgiven you?’ I replied, ‘No.’ Then he said, ’Look toward earth.’ I saw a MIG-l7 jet fighter flying low in the Barzan region and heading toward the rocks on the road where Kurdish rebels were. The rebels were forcibly gathering women and children threatening them with their weapons to stay close to them. When the MIG fighter flew low towards them, the women and children were screaming with horror. Mothers were hugging their babies and children were trying to hide under women’s clothes terrified. It was a very horrifying scene of the fear from death. The MIG passed over them without firing at them. The plane returned and then I realized it was my aircraft. It was me, defying orders to attack.
The man said, ‘We want you to see with your own eyes the humane deed you did. Do not panic.’ The plane did another pass over them without attacking and headed towards its base in Kirkuk. I saw the faces of the women and children wondering what had happened and the same on the face of the rebels.
Then the man said, ‘This is the deed for which we have forgiven you for. You will descend to the earthly world. That was a great humane deed. Now before you return. Do you want to inquire about anything before you are sent back?’ I replied, ’Yes, I have some questions to ask. What is time to you? Is it like what scientists like Einstein say it is?’ He replied, ‘We here have no time like you have. It does not exist. How old are you?’ My answer was, ‘30 years.’ He then said, ‘Again, look down.’ I saw my mother putting her newly born baby, me, to bed and standing by her an Indian doctor. All that was in Basra city in 1934 on March 13. Then I saw my entire life passing before my eyes. He said, ‘You just saw your own life in less than a fraction of a second, which for you was 30 years. Do you have anything else to inquire about?’
I asked, ‘Will there be war between us and the Jews and what will the result be?’ He told me, ‘Yes, shortly it will take place and you will lose.’ He pointed his finger down for me to look. I saw Isr'li aircraft taking off from their bases and heading for the Sinai desert and the Suez Canal flying very low. Then they were bombing Egyptian bases destroying the aircraft on the ground. It was the 1967 war. I was horrified and asked the man, ‘Why don’t you help us to avoid such catastrophe?’ He replied, ‘No, because you were a great nation and you were fragmented. You were people killing each other while scattered in ninety different locations with no unified language. They got together, unified themselves against you. They had one cause and they succeeded. If you want our cooperation, you have to unify your nation and go back to the time when you were a great nation. Unify under God and pray to him as much as you can.’
I asked, ‘Can I tell my folks of what I saw so they can be careful?’ He told me, ‘Yes, but nobody will believe you, because you only saw a small part of the future and you are living in the past. They will not comprehend the future. You and your people are living in the past and cannot comprehend the future.’ Then he said something. I couldn’t quite understand or realize what it meant. ‘We saw your world being created from the beginning. Then we saw it going into transformation, and then we saw it ending. Now you live in periods that had passed. We saw these periods and they ended. That is why they will never believe you.’
He then said, ‘Now we take you back to the past world.’ Before he raised his hand he asked, ‘Why don’t you do your prayers?’ I could not answer and remained silent. He raised his hand and I started my descent towards earth. Then I passed through the layers of clouds and saw Baghdad. I recognized the buildings of the ministry of defense and the cell I was detained in. On reaching the top of the building, I did not feel any fear and passed through the roof into my cell. I saw my body lying on the floor and was joined with it. I started screaming from pain and began to vomit blood.
On hearing my screaming, guardsmen rushed into the cell and tried to tell me that I had fallen from it. On seeing the blood I vomited and that I was shaking like a leaf, they hastened to call their commander, Colonel Bahget Said, with whom I had a very close relation. He tried to help, but feared the people from the intelligence service and in particular, the assistant head of the intelligence, Major Abdul Razzaq al-Nayf.
Later, I was transferred to the military hospital and was admitted to the mental and nervous disease wing to rest for a while. I don’t remember how long I was there. One day the doctor who was treating me came and told me that I was unconscious for days and now I was recovering.
A person one day came with a cat and introduced himself as ‘Abu Layla,’ and said that he was asked to look after me. Because I was a detainee, he told me that he will stay outside near the guards. Days later, my friend Doctor Nezar Al-N'b visited me from the Air Force Hospital. We chatted about various things, and then I told him of what I had experienced. I told him of the eleven people I saw with president Aref. He couldn’t believe what I was telling him. He thought that I was hallucinating. Then he stood up and said, ‘Don’t talk to anyone about that or else they will think you are hallucinating.’ He then left the room muttering, ‘Illusions and hallucinations.’
On my third day at the hospital, Abu Layla came in to have a chat. He said, ‘I am very cautious about befriending the talking beings (meaning humans).’ He said that he preferred animal friendship. Then he told me about a helicopter crash that killed president Aref and his entourage. I received the news with bewilderment, remembering the man with white robe who told me that no one would believe what I had experienced. On the day following the helicopter crash, Doctor Nezar dropped in to see me. While he was with me, Abu Layla came in carrying my breakfast tray, with his cat following behind him. Doctor Nezar asked who he was and how come he was taking care of me while I was still a detainee. My reply was, ‘I don’t know. At first I thought he was from the security service and then thought he was civilian hospital employee assigned to help me.’
Doctor Nezar said, ‘Please tell me frankly and in detail what you told me two days ago. I want to listen to all the details.’ I responded telling him, ‘If you intend to harm me, I had suffered more than enough of that in torture and abuse. In our previous meeting you were disturbed, annoyed, and thought that I was hallucinating and had illusions. Now what are you going to accuse me of, conspiring? I shall not repeat what I told you before. I cannot tolerate imprisonment or torture or any other punishment.’ He started swearing by mighty Allah that he came with honest intentions saying, ‘Please, tell me once more what you told me before.’ ‘As I said, I will never repeat what I said before and that is final. Maybe I was imagining all that.’ He was silent and left.
The prison authorities demanded that I be returned to my cell now that I had fully recovered. Orders came to that effect. Before leaving the hospital, I went to thank Abu Layla and bid him farewell. He was sitting by a fountain with his cat. I bade him farewell and told him that I was going to visit him after my release from prison. He replied, ‘You will be released shortly, but you will not find us,’ pointing to his cat. In August 1966, I was released from prison after many people intervened and pleaded with the president. I took a taxi to the military hospital to see Abu Layla, my faithful friend, but did not find him. I inquired everywhere in the hospital about him. I was told they knew nothing of him or his whereabouts. They said they thought he was sent by the security service to take care of me. I never saw that good man again.