Between ages five and six my uncle would babysit me from time to time for my parents. He was in his last years of high school. In the late spring of 1958, he and several of his friends went swimming and took me along. I could not swim, at the time, and played by the edge while the older boys played in the water.
I noticed a rock ledge on the other side of the creek that I wanted to play on. About fifteen feet above the pool area the stream was narrow and looked as if I might be able to cross over to the rock ledge. I preceded to inch my way across the stream and with every step, my confidence increased until I took a giant step and went under. As soon as I went under the water, I was separated from my body by about fifteen feet. I saw no lights, tunnels or beings. I was watching myself under and through the muddy creek water struggling with no fear whatsoever. I could see the outline of the creek where I went under and even below that, although it was black. I could clearly hear one of the boys tell my uncle that his nephew was drowning. As soon as my uncle picked me up I was back again in my body coughing, screaming and scared to death at what had just happened. I was never unconscious at any time during this event and did not know what had happened at that early age.
Ten years later, I picked up a book on Out of Body Experiences by Susan Smith and recalled the above event as a child. I have since asked my uncle about the incident several time to verify that it did happen. I went back to that spot in August 2004 for the first time in forty-six years and it hasn't changed at all, the only difference is that it's a lot smaller than I remembered it being.
During the separation, I had no feeling or sensation of my body at all. Everything was peaceful and calm. I could see and hear through the muddy creek water what I normally couldn't with my own eyes and ears. It was as if I were watching someone else drown on a big screen TV. It is still as clear and vivid as it was all those years ago.
Date NDE Occurred: May 1958
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death Drowning.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness Did not appear to be any different.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I couldn't tell any difference in the level of consciousness during the event.
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 your vision differ in any way from normal? I could see perfectly clearly through muddy creek water even though I had no mask on during the event.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I could hear clearly, although I was under water drowning, what my uncle's friend was saying about me.
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? No
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
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was about to see below the earth and stream at the time of!
the event and through dirty muddy creek water.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? None.
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
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Roman Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Yes in the existence of a soul and possible reincarnation.
What is your religion now? Liberal Roman Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Yes in the existence of a soul and possible reincarnation.
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? 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? Yes, it proves to me the existence of a soul or energy that lives beyond the body.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Ten years. Most were skeptical and unbelieving. I don't know how they were influenced in any way.
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 too young to know what had happened to me. It was ten years after the event that I was old enough and able to understand the relevance of the event.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. As mentioned before it proves to me the existence of a soul and that life goes on after death and of the possibility of reincarnation.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No