Fall weather 1979, a friend and I decided to ride the high creek water out to the lake in my canoe. I was in the back. We rounded a corner and saw a huge tree had fallen over. It was blocking our path. We tried to paddle to shore to carry around. The current was too strong. We hit the downed tree head on and went sideways. My friend and I tried to grab branches to hang onto. Canoe filled with water and went under. My friend grabbed a strong branch and was able to climb over the tree. My branch broke; I was pulled under the tree by the strong current. My friend later said he saw my hand come up grabbing branches but they kept breaking. I was stuck under the tree, under the water. Dark rushing water was pushing me against the large branches. I could not see or know which way was up. I kept trying to get through the other side and out, but I could not find a hole to get through. I could no longer hold my breath.
Finally, my fear said, 'Get this over with quickly.' I opened my mouth and started swallowing as much water as I could as fast as I could. I was trying to drown myself. I was not thinking of anything but getting out of there. As I was frantically swallowing I found myself peacefully and quietly floating horizontally in a winding tunnel. The tunnel was about eight to ten feet across. As I floated, I was looking to my right and I could see the end of my arm and hand stretched out from my side. It was like a plane wing. I could see that the walls of the tunnel had dark, dirty rings going around it with little round dark spots on the tunnel wall. Ahead, it seemed to wind, there was a light noticed ahead at certain turns in the tunnel. I was moving forward horizontally, slowly. It was very peaceful with no noise. I remember briefly thinking about the walls of the tunnel, no thought as to where I was or what was happening. I was having a nice floating experience. Suddenly, I was whooshed forward in the tunnel with light speed. Next thing I knew, I was out or at the end of the tunnel kneeling in front of a large unexplainable stage. Lower than the floor level of the stage looking up. I wasn't praying, just kneeling.
There in front of me was a very large body of yellow and white bright light. I remember the colors and the distinction of the two colors, like clouds. In the middle of the light was my mother smiling. My mother has a beautiful smile and this was her finest smile. It was from her waist up; she looked younger, about thirty. Her head was moving slightly and she was looking at me. This image was about thirty to forty feet in front of me angled up. The image was about ten to fifteen feet tall. I was not afraid - virtually no thought except thinking how beautiful and loving my mother was.
Next thing I know, I'm pushed through the branches (still underwater) by a force at the base of my spine - I could feel the push from a hand. I busted through, nearly straight up. I came out the top, other side of the tree as if I had springs on my feet.
My eyes opened as I came through and I was looking into the sky to see a beautiful blue sky and billowy white clouds kind of moving oddly. I immediately began to throw up lots of dirty creek water and I could hear my friend yelling for me from the shore. At that point, I was back to wet and cold and my canoe was gone. I briefly described what happened to my friend, but his thoughts were on finding the canoe. Many years have gone by - none of which has not gone back in my memories of that day. (Note: my mother is still alive today, eight-three.) I have always thought that the tunnel was possibly the inside of the umbilical cord at my birth. You go out the same way you come in - the tunnel.
Date NDE Occurred: 10-20-1979
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident Other 'Not sure, I was drowning'
Don't know what you are asking.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 All through it was equal.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? All through it was equal.
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
Time was irrelevant.
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. The colors seemed softer.
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 Described above.
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 Described above - nothing communicated.
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 Described above.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Described above....a stage and light
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace and Quiet. No hurry, little thoughts.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
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 Methodist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain This experience has brought me closer to God. It has also brought many questions. I have always felt very close to God since being young. As I age, I see the world and seem to question things more in my mind. My faith is there, but I have questioned it at times. I am a very deep person.
What is your religion now? Moderate Methodist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain This experience has brought me closer to God. It has also brought many questions. I have always felt very close to God since being young. As I age, I see the world and seem to question things more in my mind. My faith is there, but I have questioned it at times. I am a very deep person.
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? Uncertain Don't know if this experience has anything to do with my personal experience.
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? Yes Very wild dreams, floods, people on roofs, hurricanes (with twin babies inside). Large planes dropping bombs, bombs skidding along the ground towards me. Tidal waves with myself surviving by covering myself with a silver blanket.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Seeing my mother. She was and is still alive. I believe there is a sign or meaning to this. I have thought many years trying to figure it out. I have come to believe that I did not die because it would have hurt my mother terribly. She does not deserve that; I will live as long as she is alive. She will be spared from that grief.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I simply cannot explain what I see to someone else.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Very little thought about it - heard about a tunnel probably.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Kept shaking my head asking what happened that day - over time I began to question why.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Nothing has changed - it happened. No doubt. My memory seems to get better about it.
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? I consider myself lucky to have experienced this. It has probably altered my thoughts over time. At some point after I used to have a sense of being very high (in the clouds) and looking down and seeing all the confused people and the confused world. Not putting anybody down - simply observing it. I still believe I know something deep inside that (most) others don't know or feel. Twice, I have heard God speak. What he said has come true. I want to help people while I'm still alive. I don't know what he wants of me. There is definitely something going on that I don't believe happens to many people. I consider myself sane, a family man, and a trusted friend - growing old and seeing life unfold. Every day I become a little wiser.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Be always aware in this field of discussion - GOD - there will always be an invisible force trying to alter your outcome to their benefit.