At the time of this event, I was employed by a large regional FM rock-formatted radio station as an air personality. To promote the station and earn extra money, I regularly accepted paid appearances, which were promoted on-air to raise awareness of an event and raise money for the organization. This happened at one of those events and I would guess a couple of hundred people were in attendance. My fellow air personalities had been giving me a hard time, prior to the event, because, despite the radio station's location at the beach, I could not swim and the event was being held to raise funds to improve the community's swimming pool. The idea was raised on-air that it would be hilarious if somehow I 'ended up' in the pool.
When I arrived on scene, I gathered the lifeguards and told them that if they had any ideas in this regard they should know that I actually could not swim. Although they might see me voluntarily get in the pool, I would be staying in the shallow end. In the event they threw me in, they should be prepared to immediately get me out as because I could not swim.
Toward the end of the day, I was grabbed by about four large lifeguards, thrown in the pool, and proceeded to lose all sense of direction. It seemed that the pool was built with a ledge, which protruded over the water, and somehow, in flailing about, I was stuck in that area. In addition, my eyes are very sensitive and I could not clearly see. I thrashed about trying to surface, which was impossible given my position. My muscles lost all strength, my lungs filled with water and I stopped breathing. It was extremely painful and I realized my life was finished.
Meantime, the lifeguards who threw me in thought I was playing a joke on them and could really swim. Boy were they wrong!
Date NDE Occurred: 6/1978
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I drowned and my lungs filled with chlorinated water and I stopped breathing.
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 saw the lifeguards finally dive in to save me and I saw the ambulance arrive and the paramedics giving me CPR. When I took my first breath I 'popped back' into my body and the terrible pain resumed.
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 this point my body had floated out of the overhang and I could see it as I looked down on the scene from about 40 feet overhead. Although I realized this was my body, I was unconcerned as I had a deep sense of well-being. Whether this was due to relief from the pain or being in an alternate place, I don't know. I could sense the thoughts/emotions of those below. Some were concerned with my body's well-being and were very upset, some were concerned they would be in deep trouble for causing my demise, some were thinking about totally unrelated things, such as a date later that night. I found this new ability to be engaging and all I had to do was focus in on a person and could read their emotions and thoughts. It was like their emotion was a gateway to their thoughts. I had an overwhelming sense of calmness and well-being, much more than before when I was in my body. I was floating above the scene and while interested in what was happening below; wanted to try flying about. The thought crossed my consciousness that I could fly around the Moon if I wished.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the peak of my pain and at the realization I could do no more to save myself, I somehow exited my body and the pain ended. This is when I started reaching a higher state of awareness.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
It seemed like I was out of body for quite some time, but in that realm time doesn't seem to exist.
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. I could see 360 degrees and could 'be' where ever my thoughts focused.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't recall any sound during the experience.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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? Uncertain I didn't see a point of light but it seemed the sun's light was somehow different; as if I was seeing a wide range of light frequencies. It seemed to me that there is a broader range and in this state I was able to 'tune' it in.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I decided to try out my new found ability to think and go where ever my attention directed. My intent was to fly around the Moon, but I only made it to just above Earth's atmosphere. I remember looking down and seeing continents and that was when I was called back down to Earth. It was pretty awesome.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Before I separated from my body, I felt the most intense panic, terror, and hopelessness imaginable. This immediately stopped when I popped out of my body. Apart my new-found ability to read the emotions and thoughts of those below, I felt an overwhelming love, as if I was bathed in love. It was all around.
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? No I felt this is what the 'spirit' was there to give me. My take away from the experience is that we are put on Earth in Human form in order to learn to love, and that the 'me' I recognize as 'self' has always existed and will always continue to exist. The Human lifetime is one page from the book, which is never-ending.
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 I sensed my experience had to end so I could 'come back', but I don't recall a conscious decision to return to life.
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? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I seek to learn more about spirituality and creation. I'm currently reading (or trying to read) the Urantia book.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated I am quite spiritual but do not follow any particular religion. I believe in a Supreme Being and seek out different ideas regarding spirituality.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I've always believed in a supreme being but dislike "religion" as being manipulative and causing much Human suffering. My experience reinforced the idea that we are spiritual beings and religion is NOT a requirement to be close to the "maker/creator". And now I really know love is what we're here to learn.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No I have more empathy and compassion and no fear of death.
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 did not see a being but felt a wonderful presence and it was there to comfort me and give me enlightenment.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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? Yes Yes the message I received was very clearly my spirit has always existed and will continue to exist no matter what occurs here on Earth.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I felt a strong "oneness" with the universe, supreme being, fellow Humans, etc. I still have this feeling expressed as empathy.
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 Yes indeed, there is definitely a supreme being, a "master plan" and it's possible to know "the truth". This was revealed to me but my puny Human faculties were unable to capture it all, as if a computer runs out of memory. I recall "knowing" everything while in this state, but lost most of it when I came back.
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? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Yes, it's love.
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 Yes, absolutely. That's what the "spirit" was there to tell me; it's all about love, you've always been and will always be, there is no reason to fear, you're here for a purpose and the main purpose is to learn to love.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately 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? Are possibly 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? Yes I was told our "soul/spirit" whatever you want to call it, is the "inner voice" that is what we identify as "you/me". It's sort of like a parasite to the Human body itself, which of course is basically animal. We're sort of like hybrid entities.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Yes, we are here on Earth to learn to love despite everything we must encounter in our existence as Humans.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Yes, love is what life is all about, no doubt.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Right after the experience, I was angry due to the pain, discomfort, and recuperation required to get back to normal. Over the years, I've mellowed and am grateful for the experience. I guess it was one of those 'meant to be' events that have changed how I look at the world and others. Now I am much more compassionate and have no fear of death. I have a yearning to share this with others to give them comfort, which is why I'm posting here.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes No I'm more open and loving than I could be before and I don't look at death the same way.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No I found it very difficult to explain to friends later what I had experienced.
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 Oh yes, although this happened many years ago this is the event that stands out among all others in my memory.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I've always been intuitive but since this experience I can more accurately read people; not as precisely as I could while out-of-body but sometimes I get very strong feelings from people I don't socially know and these have proven accurate in many cases.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being exposed to the 'answers to everything' was meaningful even if I can't remember it all. Discovering that we are here on Earth to learn love and that our Earthly experience is but a page from the book has been very enlightening.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told a few people a couple of weeks later and they thought I was hallucinating. My wife and I have been together now ten years and she treasures my experience and is always very open when I feel like talking about it. She is very spiritual and I feel it enhances our love bond.
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 knew something unusual had happened but was still in a lot of pain and could barely breathe. When the physical effects had subsided much of the experience came back to me. I still recall new facets of it from time to time. It's been repressed due to the terror and pain. I don't recommend drowning!
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I can still recall what occurred in vivid detail, but other events from that time period are very murky. The event had a definite impact on my psyche.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I've had a couple of OBEs and lucid dreams. I would like to have more.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I think this experience is very real and very unique and I salute your organization for trying to do research to the point where the medical profession recognizes that crossing over to the other side happens. I feel they should be aware of this in helping their patients in whatever way they can, because it's very real.