I was sitting in the backseat of an auto that ran a stop sign with an obstructed view and crossed a major highway. I was sitting in the rear seat behind the driver and the car was struck broadside by an auto traveling seventy-five miles per hour. At the time, I was not wearing a seatbelt, which allowed me to react as I saw the impending impact by the other car. As I dove away from the point of impact, the crash crushed the car where I sat and I was ejected from the vehicle.
As I was thrown across the highway and sustained head trauma and other injuries, in my mind I was floating above the accident scene watching the events unfold. The scene was moving in extreme slow motion and most likely took place over less than a minute. But to me it was unfolding over an extended period. I also experienced my life flashing by with numerous scenes and memories of my childhood and vivid memories of loved ones who had died previously as well as current friends and relatives. I also experienced traveling down a tunnel seeing many of my deceased relatives who seemed to be welcoming me. All these experiences were calming and I felt at peace with the world and myself. Only when my reality returned as I became conscious at the scene did I realize that I had not died.
Later, while in the hospital and during the next few weeks I asked my parents and wife about the scenes that I was able to describe. For example, I described two dogs owned by my grandmother that my brother and I had played with when I must have been two or three years old. Many of the scenes that I was able to describe were from early in my life that I can't remember today.
Date NDE Occurred: November 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was a passenger in an automobile that was struck broadside by another auto traveling at seventy-five miles per hour.
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
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 While 'floating' above the scene.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While 'floating' above the scene.
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
As stated, the events seemed to occur in a slow motion time frame.
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 recall that everything seemed to be clearer to me.
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 remember.
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 As described, I was passing through a long 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 I don't recall communication but passed by numerous deceased loved ones who were smiling and welcoming me.
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 don't remember a bright light but a feeling of welcoming coming from within the tunnel.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was somewhere that I had never been before but I am unable to further describe.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calmness, soothing, acceptance, peace.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control As stated, most of the events and memories seemed to provide a pleasant experience.
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 Unity Methodist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Although I was a Christian before the accident, I believe that I may have been given a view of the afterlife that most do not experience.
What is your religion now? Moderate United Methodist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Although I was a Christian before the accident, I believe that I may have been given a view of the afterlife that most do not experience.
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? Yes Life and personal relationships are a gift from God; make the best effort to sustain them.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes At the time, I had not heard of out of body experiences that others may have experienced.
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? Seeing deceased loved ones who seemed to be welcoming me to somewhere.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared some of the experiences with my wife and mother early, but waited several years to truly open up to others about my experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No In 1972 prior to my auto accident, I had not heard of anyone else experiencing near death experiences similar to mine. It was only when I began to read about other similar experiences described by others that I acknowledged that I was not alone.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real Since I could not explain the experience either to myself and to others adequately, I tended not to share the experience with anyone who was not close to me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is still not totally clear to me. Today I believe God gave me additional time on earth for some unknown reason, and I need to praise Him and let me live hopefully as a role model to others.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Other than bringing into this life two sons, this has been the most moving experience I ever experienced and I feel that I am still trying to fully understand it and what it means.