It was my first visit to Maui, Hawaii in the summer of 1995. I was on vacation with my wife. We were carefree, yet still cautious as we drove the 39 plus cliff side curves on our way to Hana. We were on our way to visit the Seven Sacred Pools State Park. This is where you could walk in the rainforest and dip your toes or swim in the cool rain waters cascading down from the mountains in Hawaii.
My body was hot while enjoying the hot Maui summer. I was wearing heavy hiking type boots, heavy clutch cargo-type shorts, a Ride for the Wild 1994 charity biking t-shirt, and a heavy fanny pack loaded with sunscreen, bug spray and my camera and car keys, wallet and money.
I remember this event and details so much, that if I think about it and relax, I can go back to this event and relive it. I have several times.
Time slowed down as soon as my wife and I walked out of the car in the state park parking lot. There was one sign I saw, ‘Dangerous rain waters make swimming or crossing in streams very deadly.’ The sign was written in marker, not printed up professionally.
My wife and I walked along a green, jungle like trail, the streams were very low and you could cross them rather easily. I was surprised at how many older people there were walking around, and jumping and swimming in some of the Seven Sacred Pools waters. I used extreme caution, due to that handwritten sign.
My wife and I were not there long, maybe 15 minutes, when I, all the sudden, felt very nervous, out of it, and wanted to go. My wife had her shoes off and she was putting them back on from dipping her toes in the cool rainwater streams when I took a step.
I felt time stop. I felt forward momentum and the sensation that I was moving. This is the point where I slipped on some alg' rocks in one of the drier streams and literally cart-wheeled forward. I fell over the edge of one of the waterfalls at Seven Sacred Pools. Something happened.
Time stopped. Yet on either side of my head, I could see something like a movie strip playing from my infancy until where I was now. It seemed to stop on certain events, like the birth of my sister, the death of one of my younger friends, the huge blizzard of 1979, or other events comprised of my mother, father and my wife. I also saw an older man. I assumed and felt that he was my grandfather. The filmstrip vision stopped right at the point where I saw myself tumbling over the waterfall, falling about 35 feet into the Pacific Ocean. This was the last stream that led and fell into the Pacific Ocean below.
I felt my eyes closed, my breathing stopped. I could not hear anything. The bright lightness surrounded me and I felt immediately at peace, but still scared because I knew that I had died or was very near death. My eyes were closed and yet they were burning. I felt the sensation of coldness and wetness and feeling uncomfortable-ness. Slowly the waters drained out of my ears and I heard the thundering of the water falling down the waterfalls. I gave myself into the light and soon felt that I had blacked-out or went unconscious.
I then slowly recall feeling my eyes burning; the lightness was getting darker and darker. I felt my heartbeat slowing down - thump, thump, thump. Stopping.
All of the sudden, I felt comforted and saw, briefly, an older man about 50 years old, wearing farmer type coveralls and a white shirt, he was smiling at me and had his hands out to reach or grab for me. I tried to grab him and then all the sudden, he disappeared. A dark tunnel was forming somehow. I could see it above my head, I thrust my arms up, barely moving and then I moved closer and closer to the dark swirling light/darkness that seemed to pull me towards it. My hands broke the water’s surface at the bottom of the waterfall.
I seemed to fly out of the waters. I grabbed onto some sort of black, cold and wet rocks, I could not hear, but I looked into the water that I had just come out of and saw this man waving goodbye to me, feeling him disappear. I grasped and clutched onto the slippery waterfall rocks grabbing on and gasping for a breath. I felt being pulled back hard and felt a great rage or anger trying to pull me down back into the waters below. A huge ocean wave roared over my head.
I felt like I was blacking-out again, but I held onto those black, slippery rocks so hard with all of my might and strength. I felt someone pushing me closer and closer to the inside, underneath the waterfall above me. I could not hear. I felt peaceful. I clutched onto the rocks and looked around slowly. All around me were sharp volcanic-looking black oceanic rocks and wave after wave would slam hard against me. I felt like letting go and just surrendering, but I immediately thought of only one person, my wife. I could not die, ‘Was I dead, where was I?’ Shock must have set in here, for how long I do not know.
I felt I was here alone, unable to hear, but seeing the pouring of heavy waterfalls waters smashing into part of me, and ocean waves hitting me as I clutched onto these wet rocks. I faced the inside of the waterfall and looked at my hands, little tiny black water ants crawled onto them and seemingly felt like they were holding or trying to help me hold onto this wet rock. I felt I was slipping and slowly I felt a presence nearby.
I turned around and saw the older man, pointing upwards to the one side of the waterfall, what? He was mouthing something, I could not hear it. I wanted to hear him, who was he? He kept pointing upwards on one side of the waterfalls and I then felt something swim or brush along my entire leg. It immediately brought me some fear, for all this time, I felt calm and peace. The fish or shark or whatever had just swum by me.
Then to the left and there moving towards me was a person: it was my wife, climbing down the side of the waterfall that the man had just pointed out to me. She got down to the bottom and swam across the bottom of this waterfall, maybe 30 feet across, with ocean waters seemingly stopping for her to swim to me. Water was pouring out of my ears. She screamed, 'Are you all right? What happened?', and she tried to get me off the rocks and swim with her. I could not swim and I had not ever learned to swim until maybe 10 years later after this event. I told her I loved her and she said she loved me too. I am afraid of pulling her down into the deep dark waters below me; she was so brave and told me to hold on to her. I told her a fish or shark had swum across my leg and she swam back to the shore-side so fast, like in 5 swim strokes.
I felt my heartbeat slowing; I felt coldness coming over me. I held onto the rocks and my grip felt weaker as the ocean waters began coming back over my head, three in a row and then they stopped.
I felt like I was falling backwards and someone was there to catch me. I turned around slowly and felt comforted. I saw, pink, green and blue and very vivid colors out in the distance, maybe 200 feet away or more from me. I could not figure out what they were or what it meant, but the colors comforted me and I held onto the rocks harder. The ants tried to keep my fingers and hands warm by running and moving across them, back and forth, to warm up my hands, hundreds of black ants.
I heard, 'Dude, bro, what are you doing here?' 'Huh?' I turned around slightly to see three surfers on their bright surfboards of fluorescent pink, green and ocean blue colored surfboards.
I could not speak. One surfer floated into the waterfall pool with me. He tried to grab me. I heard voices, many voices. As he got off his surfboard, he wrapped his body around me, protecting me. 'I won't let you die friend,' I remember him saying. He held onto me so tightly.
'Can you get onto my surfboard?' I could not move. But, I felt comforted by his presence and strength and felt his warm body protecting me. 'Can you move?' I think I heard him say. I think I was in deep shock.
I had fallen over a waterfall, fell nearly into huge rocks below the waterfall but what had happened was as I fell into the ocean, the exposed rocks below the waterfall, were covered by the ocean waves rising to cover them as I fell from the waterfall into the Pacific Ocean waters. I felt like crying and I think I did. I tried to speak. Words did not come. I leaned back, knowing that this surfer had saved my life and he was not going to let me die here. I heard the other surfers say, 'OMG! He fell off the waterfall cliff up there and landed down here. How did he survive the fall into the rocks?' I had one or two scratches but otherwise no injuries.
The surfer had to pry my hands off the black waterfall rocks, the ants moved quickly away. He used his strength and pulled me off the rocks and into his chest holding onto me, telling me I was in his arms and he would save my life today. I was put onto a surfboard. I fell into unconsciousness on and off. I felt the heat of the sun drying my clothes. I was saved this day by that brave surfer, a surfer who saw me there somehow all alone and saved my life. I got into an ambulance. Someone grabbed my car keys, my wife I think.
Off I went, fast, yet slowly into the emergency room of the Medical Center. I blacked in and out of consciousness. My breathing became fast and I hyperventilated. The ambulance technician kept saying a prayer and 'OMG, bro you survived Seven Sacred Pools, nobody EVER survives that fall and comes back alive,' he kept saying, 'Right on.' It seemed like time stopped.
I awoke in the small, emergency room. I had calmed my breathing down so much that the emergency room doctor thought I was dying. Then I felt my body slowly awaken and the next thing I knew, I was leaving the emergency room. My wife had made peanut butter and jelly sourdough sandwiches to eat on the long drive home from Hana. I had no real injuries.
I think I was in shock for the next few days. All I can remember was people coming up to me and asking me to touch their babies’ forehead or hold their children's hands or touch them, most spoke in native Hawaiian. It seems I was the guy who survived falling into the Seven Sacred Pools. These pools had killed and taken so many Maui and Hawaiian men and women and children throughout the years and nobody survived, but me. They wanted to meet and see me. I do not recall much after this event other than coming home and feeling super-human; like I could take a bullet or I was super-charged and could do anything. I had no fear and life was great.
A few weeks later I fell into a deep pit of depression. Why did I survive the fall and so many others died? Why? I felt guilt and high stress. I felt like why did I survive and how did I live? For years my persona changed from happy go lucky to darker, more quiet and reserved person, sitting back watching life go by me, rather than embracing it and helping others. I feel rage and anger somehow all the time now, and guilt and sadness and depression. I feel it will go away once I die.
My 20th anniversary of this accident is coming up, and every year I still feel afraid of the water and oceans and swimming. But I learned how to swim, learned that my voyage or journey gave me new insights into the world, and that I had new powers such as knowing who was going to die soon or next, or other psychic visions.
I saw the towers on fire in 1998 in vivid dreams and images. The twin towers of the world trade center fell on 9/11/2001. I can read people and know in their hearts if they are black and evil or if they are kind and soulful. I have many other gifts that I have not shared with anyone, even my wife. I feel a man should not know when he is about to die. That is God's choice and decision, not mine to tell people their lives are about to end, or when a woman is pregnant even if they do not know yet. Yes, I have told a few women and their looks of terror and panic was great. I don't like knowing things. But who knows how long I will be here? How long that I will live? This near death experience was not a blessing, but a curse.
I feel its power every day of my life and when I hear of others seeing God and the white light tunnel, I call them out. No, I know who has gone and who has not gone into the near-death life. I have met two people only since who had died but came back and I knew that they had died and came back even before they ever confided in me.
Who or what am I now? What is my role in life? What do I do now? The Medical Center was so shocked and scared that I survived I now recall people peeking in at me during the battery of tests, no water in my lungs, the eyes stinging was the salt ocean waters, the fish brushing up against my back leg, has left its mark still to this day as I have raised salty type pimples appearing there all the time. Emergency doctors say it was a small shark. I had no other bruises or cuts, just two small abrasions. It was on the Maui news and TV, newspapers. But this was before the internet. My wife said people were video-taping my rescue: I never saw any of that.
I went back to Maui in summer of 2004 and went back to Hana, Seven Sacred Pools now furnished with printed official warning signs and boards everywhere saying, 'If you swim or come here, you COULD DROWN OR DIE.' I tossed a flowered lei into the stream on the edge of the water. As I tossed it, I swear I felt complete peace and calmness come over me for this short time. Then I was back on vacation and on with my life. Although I feel this event destroyed my life, gave me new insights and visions and now what do I do with this knowledge? The End?
Date NDE Occurred: 06/01/1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning. Direct head injury. Slipped and Fell off a Waterfall in Seven Sacred Pools in Hana, Hawaii Life threatening event, but not clinical death
I slipped, fell, and nearly drowned in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hana, Hawaii
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No The older man, I feel still that he was my dad's father, my grandfather, I felt this immediately and I felt comforted by his presence and trying to save me. The light tunnel and the darkness tunnel. This was me probably falling into the ocean waters, then nearly drowning and then falling deep into the ocean waters below and then darkness as I fell deeper and deeper into the ocean, the lightness up above was me swimming up from the depths and coming up out of the ocean waters. I clearly left my body and existed outside it.
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 I heard my heartbeat. I felt my blacking-out. I did not feel the fall into the water. It is so hard to explain I felt more aware seeing the older man and watching my life pass me by on the filmstrip sequence.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I feel like when I was giving up, blacking out, and snapping back into my body. I don't know how to explain it, probably when I saw the movie film strip playing back and forth and stopping on key life's events, like I remember a birthday sheet cake with little plastic trucks on it.
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 seemed to stop. I felt like is this heaven? ‘Am I alive’, water draining out of my ears, I then heard the thundering of the waterfall above me.
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 saw and experienced things that I had never seen before. The light and the darkness, the older man, seeing my life pass by me in the filmstrip sequence. I have never ever seen or experienced anything like this in my entire life, until this event.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear anything. I felt the older man was comforting me, offering me assistance. Slowly the waters drained out of my ears and I heard the thundering of the water falling down the waterfall.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Seemingly falling into darkness, and then coming out from the water into the air and breathing. It is still so hard to explain this. Seeing the filmstrip flashing past me, it seemed to stop and start and rewind, zip forward then backwards. If I could ever draw it, it might explain what we see and feel when we die or nearly die.
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 See above
The experience included: Void
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes So hard to describe the lightness, it could have been the salt water burning my eyes and the hard sunlight reflecting off the ocean and waterfall waters. Or I feel it was something else. I went someplace or left my body. My wife told me later on, that I had fallen and she thought I had died and it took her like 20 minutes to climb down to see where I might have fallen. Time seemed to stop, I felt like 4 hours or more had gone by, I still experience this time loss to this day, my wife calls it ‘my zoning-out’. She says I slip out of life here and there, mostly reading sometimes watching TV and hours go by and I feel like to me, it was only seconds or minutes. I am not conscious of time going faster or slower either, it is very weird.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place I did not know where I was. I did not know that I fell over a waterfall.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Terror, Anger, Peace, Calmness: so many emotions. It was the thought of my wife and leaving her alone with unfinished business in life that I think brought me back super-fast.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
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 myself or others I felt as though the water, rocks, ocean, ants and I were all connected or maybe it was deep shock.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No I saw my infancy and childhood fly by my field of vision in a filmstrip sort of way, I could stop and start and rewind and go forward. I saw my later life as an older guy, fatter and less hair, drier skin I recall, but only briefly.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I saw things so fast far ahead. I saw myself older in a tall building overlooking Lake Michigan and it was dried up, boats stranded in the once deep Lake Michigan. I saw burning buildings, people falling. It would be in 9/11/2001 that I realized what I was seeing. I fell into a deep depression and despair for many years from this event.
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 felt like I was going to reach out and grab onto my grandfather (the older man), and then slowly began being pulled back slowly and then faster and faster.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? No comment
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes See above
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Not important to me
What is your religion now? No comment
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I feel if we die that is it, no memories no thoughts or feelings or what so ever we die and that is it.....now I feel differently...My dreams are more vivid. I observe the world more differently, I feel I know things and how people are without ever saying hello to them.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes There is no God. Sorry, no God. I do see what I call angels from time to time or lighted spirits that float around: unseen by most.
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 felt my grandfather's presence even though, to this day I have never seen his photo. All my folk's family photos were destroyed in a fire in the 1970s. My grandfather died in 1964, rather young actually, he was only 50. I have seen glimpses of relatives past and dead, mostly farmer type 1800s and early 1900s people mostly. I never met him, but I have felt his presence and knowing all of my life, well since this incident happened in Maui.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
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 The older man was not God, I don't believe in religion or God. I felt it was my grandfather.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain I don't know....I would have to say that I felt I was leaving my life. Forever.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No I saw or felt nothing other than knowing my grandfather was there to help or welcome me. After he welcomed me I felt I would hug him, be comforted by him, end my time on Earth and end up floating in space in the glassbox above the Earth, not being scared, but feeling sad still that my wife was gone and my family was gone.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God does not exist
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Uncertain Why didn't I die or pass over or whatever?
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 I feel we are on Earth a short time, some shorter than others, and there is no one choosing who dies or lives, life just exists and it is like chances things may or may not happen. I felt that once we end our life, we pass over, the body begins rotting and decaying and it is an empty shell and we end up floating in space, in this glass coffin type box aware that we are dead, or gone from out earthly plane/life.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Yes, I feel and felt that had I grabbed the older mans hands that I would be lying down inside a type of box that was dark and sealed, but I could see out of it, like I was inside a glass box floating in space over the Earth.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly 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 not meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Uncertain I feel we are so high and mighty and feel we are the masters of our domain. We are just a little itty bitty microscopic slimy thing on the foothill of a huge mountain and nothing, but we think we are everything in this world.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes I felt life is chances and things just happen, people get sick and die, others get rich or live a life of being poor.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Felt love from the older man my grandfather.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Not compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I hold rage and deep anger and depression close to my daily life. I don't feel anything or anyone is really important, like heroes or celebrities, they are just occupying a space to which people are attracted. I sense or know people who are liars, deceitful, have committed crimes or done some very, very bad things in their lives and try to hide it, but I know their secrets. I can tell women who are pregnant, or if someone lost a loved one very recently, I usually can hear a message from them (dead one) and gently pass it on to them. Some, I feel, who die are in a bad, bad dark evil place, others are light and free now. Is this heaven or hell that I experience? Large changes in my life. I hold rage and deep anger and depression close to my daily life. I don't feel anything or anyone is really important, like heroes or celebrities, they are just occupying a space to which people are attracted. I sense or know people who are liars, deceitful, have committed crimes or done some very, very bad things in their lives and try to hide it, but I know their secrets. I can tell women who are pregnant, or if someone lost a loved one very recently, I usually can hear a message from them (dead one) and gently pass it on to them. Some, I feel, who die are in a bad, bad dark evil place, others are light and free now. Is this heaven or hell that I experience?
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I only trust my wife and a few family members. I do not trust most people and I feel that I can see right through the good ones and the evil/bad ones.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I felt like I had died: the fall, the water in my ears, the bright lightness, the feeling of being pulled back into the deep waters below.
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 I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes See my notes above and info related in other questions.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I don't know what happened to me or why or why I am back or why I came back and did not pass over, getting splattered on the ocean rocks below or how I did not drown, since I could not swim. So many things, why am I here?
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My wife. My mom and dad. I think that is all. Really, nobody needs to know my troubles, my past life. I have a huge disregard of others feelings and don't trust or have many friends. Why I have this rage or anger, I do not know.
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 As it happened and I revisited the accident over and over every day anytime that I could or wanted too. I tried to get or talk to a professional: they did not understand me and wanted me on depression drugs. I wish I could find someone to share and listen to my story and how to deal with it. There are so few of us who have ever experienced this near death experience. I am one of the returned. My return is not a happy one for me, but I try to live my life and try to find happiness. Maybe if I ever die again I will re-experience this feeling and further embrace it and cross over or enter the white tunnel.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Hard to explain, I feel I am above so many people, not with being smarter or more experienced, but coming back into this life and not sharing it with anyone, but experiencing new experiences and feelings.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I nearly drowned when I fell into a deep swimming pool as a small child. I was clinically dead, dead by drowning it was a stupid lifeguard that someone finally found me floating in the bottom of the dark cold swimming pool, yanked me out and gave me CPR and brought me back. I felt anger ever since this first near drowning, but forgot about it until this Maui waterfall accident.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? There is something out there. When we leave these bodies or shells we go someplace and some of us will be burdened or haunted by our crimes and evils in life and others will just float in these glass coffins or cases, viewing the Earth from above, remembering their entire lives in seconds and not being able to do anything about it or go back to their lives.