My two friends and I had been camping for about five or six days. The weather was very bad with the rain, wind, and drizzle. We call that ' Brittany' weather.
On the day of the experience, the sun was shining and the wind had calmed down. So we decided to take the boat out. I already was familiar with boating using a 420, 407, small catamaran, laser, caravelle, and small sailing dinghies. I had sailed on the Mediterranean sea, but not with my friends, and never in Brittany. The boat belonged to one of my friends who had been sailing several times in Brittany, especially during his studies at Lannion. We left from Trégastel with the trailer and the boat.
We were such a hurry and impatient to get out on the boat that we didn't take time to consult the weather forecast. A warning of a 'gust of wind' had been announced, but we didn't know anything about this.
My friend and I did some trials in the bay, to see how we were fitting together. We were then 'sailing' quietly by proceeding through a few maneuvers such as different speeds, close, crossings, cast off, jibing and other manuevers. As we had fun, we decided to leave the bay and go to tack off the coast.
Everything went well until the sea started to unsettle. Suddenly, the sky darkened and waves mounted with incredible speed. The sea became very choppy. Quickly we were taken between waves of several meters height. Our 420 boat literally surfed on the waves. My friend was at the helm, we couldn't hold the boat steady anymore. On the top of a wave, we were hit by an enormous second wave from the side. It dragged the boat along like a cork. The my friend who was inside at the helm could stay on the boat, but since I was sitting outside, I was ejected from the boat. Very fast, we found ourselves several hundred meters away from each other. He was on the hull of the boat that had capsized. I, like a cork, was being 'buffeted' by the waves. My friend was wearing a wet suit, while I only was wearing jeans, baskets and a pullover. I had been able to grab a life jacket shortly before being ejected, but had not been wearing it. It was impossible for me to swim to my friend. I tried to keep my head out of the water, but the waves were ceaselessly crashing down on me. I didn't see anything else but the sea. I didn't know which way was north or south, or to the coast. Sometimes, when we both happened to be on top of the waves that separated us, I could see the boat and my friend. He was unable to right the boat.
I remained in freezing water, around 10°to 12°C, for more than an hour. I remember seeing pieces of the boat that went floating past me like a piece of the keel, rudder blade, and bailer. I tried to hold onto the pieces, but they hindered me staying afloat so I ended up letting them go. I remember having swallowed cups and cups of very salty water and then blackness.
My past was scrolling backwards, going from the present and back in time towards childhood. I saw the good and bad moments. They were very precise facts, a kind of sorting of the good and the bad, of good people and bad people, good and bad memories. I saw parents, friends, teachers, and memories of childhood.
I had a feeling of plenitude where I didn't sense anything anymore. I was neither cold nor warm. I felt peaceful and quiet.
Then I saw a long, black tunnel with a luminous point at the very end. The light was growing bit by bit, while I advanced in this tunnel. The light turned into an intense light, radiating but not blinding. I felt good. Nothing happens. The light is beautiful, good, and soft.
I was saved by crab fishermen, who came along to secure us. I think that I came back to consciousness, when they reached me. I was unable to mount aboard their boat and to lift myself on the end piece they had been throwing to me. They passed a slip knot around my body to pull me aboard.
There I experienced a lot of fear. They were 3 sailors on the boat and yelled orders between themselves. Even on their fishing boat and with large motors, the swells were enormous. They were afraid of capsizing too. The waves were passing over the boat and it's perilous maneuvers. Their goal was to save my friend. One of them said that it was too dangerous and that they should head towards the port to get back to Trégastel. The other two wanted to get my friend, no matter what. In the meantime the National Navy had been alerted and a helicopter was heading towards us, as well as a frigate of the National Navy.
The fishermen were able to make it to the capsized 410 with my exhausted friend clinging as hard as possible to the hull of the boat.
They were sending him a rope with a buoy and told him to mount aboard. He refused as he didn't want to abandon his boat.
I remember about hearing the sailors tell him 'The boat we don't care about. First men before material. You now let go of this and you come up immediately. This is an order!' My friend complied, and the boat continued it's perilous course towards the port. Even the boat of the fishermen was 'surfing' such was the height and the strength of the waves.
Then while approaching port, a boat called the Zodiac stopped us. The boys came aboard and the fishermen informed them about the situation. We disembarked on the Zodiac and made it to the coast where I was taken care of by the emergency services.
The Zodiac went away with my friend on board, heading towards the frigate of the National Navy, in order to file a report. We had been out of the zone of navigation for dinghies. The abandoned boat was a 'capture of the sea' for the Government.
I was 'blue' and in a state of hypothermia. They took care of me and I was 'defrosted' with survival blankets.
The father of a girlfriend was on vacation with her family at Tréburden. I was finally able to reach him to come pick me up. Since that time, he nicknamed me 'The Captain.'
We had given all our money to the fishermen to thank them. It was only a few hundred Francs, as we were students and with little money. Yet, I never could thank them enough. I don't know if they are still alive, since I was 21 at the time, but if they are reading this, they will remember, I'm sure.
Except for what I felt, I never talked to anybody about the experience until the beginning of 2016. It was during a casual discussion with a friend, that he questioned me and then told me, 'You experienced an NDE!' I replied, 'So I'm not crazy? This isn't an isolated case?' The rare people to whom I told my experience since then, are all doubting and even in denial. They tell me that this was normal since I was in shock. They tell me that I don't remember well anymore.
For me this is different. I have a feeling of extra-natural and extra-terrestrial, as the landscape does not exist except in science fiction movies. What comes closest to what I experienced would be the north lights. I will have to go see them, but the color was white so it's not the northern lights that I saw. There was no wind; there was nothing.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Drowning. Other: The boat capsized and I was in very cold water.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain I don't know. I lost awareness of my body. There was nothing. It was total silence. Then I heard voices, a noise of roar, the voices of the fishermen, the noise of the motors of the boat, and the noise of the sea.
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. Yes. The countdown of my life scrolling backwards was extremely clear and precise in details. I remember that. This sensation of lucidity was unbelievable. Since then, I lost the sensation, and I notice that there's a lack of discernment. Could there be a cause and effect relationship?
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't know.
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.
I had no notion of time, except I had a past that was scrolling past 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. The immensity of the sea was replaced by the immensity of the void.
Before the experience, I was in the open sea, lost in the middle of nowhere and trying to avoid drowning. The sky was torn apart, the sea was torn apart, and there was storm. During the experience, I was in the middle of nothing except the long tunnel. At the end of the tunnel there was only the light and the void. I didn't do anything and I felt good.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Before the experience there was the crashing noise of the waves and the wild sea.
During the experience there was nothing but total silenc. It was no burden, nothing hostile, and nothing scary.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes A long black tunnel with a luminous point at the very end. The light is growing slowly as I advanced in this tunnel. The tunnel is immense. I could barely see the upper side and the sides. I could only see the luminous point that was very far away. As I get closer to the end of the tunnel, the point of light is growing bit by bit. As the light grows it fills more and more space.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
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? Yes An intense, white light that was radiating but not blinding. It occupies all space endlessly and in all directions. I was in the middle of the light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm. A 'tunnel' that had no real contours, but nevertheless it was a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a luminous point. As I advanced in the 'tunnel', the luminous point was growing until the light was everywhere and then I was in the middle of nothing. I was in the intense light that was immense and radiating, but not aggressive nor blinding.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I had a feeling of plenitude, appeasement, and a state of well-being. I didn't feel anything like cold or warm. I was peaceful, quiet, and feeling well. Nothing is going on, it's beautiful, it's good, and it's soft.
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 myself or others. Yes, I knew which situations were good and which were bad. The good was pleasant, agreeable and kind while the bad was mean, made me feel uneasy, and malevolent.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control. I saw my past scrolling by me, starting at the present with the houses and the people with whom I was on vacation with and what I was doing. Then the scense were going back in time and before the vacation. I saw events at the beginning of the year, last year and then extremely precise facts with people perfectly identified. There was a sorting of events into 'good, nice, positive' and 'evil, bad, nasty, negative.'
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. The boundary seemed to be at the end of the tunnel and in the middle of the light.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated. No belief; at the time having been baptized and had communion, I had been reading the Gospel, the Bible, a part of the Koran and works about Buddhism. So no affiliation, not even agnostic.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic voir ci-dessus
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. Before the experience I had no conformity and no belief.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? Uncertain The memories were parading in a retroactive way from present to the most distant past. What I remember today is that I saw myself being born, then swimming quietly in the soft waters that were doubtless the womb of my mother.
I was struggling to pass through the tunnel and get out of the cave. I was taken with forceps, unconscious as I was born blue from the umbilical cord was wound twice around my neck. I was reanimated and taking in an enormous breath of air 'arrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhh' in order not to suffocate.
Do these images correspond with, 'Did you exist before your actual life?' Some would say that embryonic life, then fetal life is the origin of our actual life and consequently cannot be dissociated from it.
In that case I don't know what to answer.
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
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 I do think that I have a mission to accomplish good. I'm not sure how to comply since my life is made of a string of sufferings. My friends also think so, but they refuse to associate the word 'failure' with it. As they say that despite the difficulties and the suffering, I did big things around myself. I am successful in my professional life and the education of my children. It's difficult to describe.
The words that could come close to a description are those that a friend uses when he is speaking about me, 'benevolent, good, pure, and whole.'
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? Uncertain A feeling that there is a mission to do good on earth and to discard and reject evil or protect yourself against it.
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 probably exists. Uncertain. I don't know or at least it is difficult to describe.
Let's say that the feeling of the void, the well-being and the plenitude could be similar to the image 'of paradise' in certain religions. The experience was positive. I felt like I was in paradise. For a person that would have been terrorized and if the experience would have been terrifying for me I would use the word 'hell'. Would I have been in hell? I don't know because my experience is positive. I was at a place, of which I have no knowledge that it exists on earth and I felt good; alone, but good.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Uncertain. It seems to me that plenitude, as I recently had an experience 'while alive', would be something like a state or a feeling. This feeling can be attained in some circumstances where all thinking is 'abandoned'.
It's especially rare and difficult, in the way that I have the feeling to always be thinking, and not knowing how to put the 'brain' machine at rest.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Uncertain A feeling that there is a mission to do good on earth and to discard and reject evil or protect yourself against it.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes.
I love people, I love love and I'm extremely sensitive.
I'm regularly unhappy by the behavior of people. Rare are people who allowed me to attain a state of plenitude or nirvana. I only met one recently and she left me. I love this person deeply and she appeases me. The rest of time, I feel like I am in 'combat against' injustice, the wicked, the bad, and evil.
I am in combat against what is diametrically opposed to my values of kindness and goodness. I think that these values are universal, but far from being such on earth.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I don't know. I cannot say yes or no.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It's difficult to describe with words because it is hard to describe sensations and what I was feeling. It is also difficult to describe the state of lucidity on one side, and of well-being and plenitude on the other.
In two words: clairvoyance and plenitude. I was extra-lucid.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. Only some very difficult events experienced at that time, are today as clear and precise in my mind. For the remaining experiences of my life, I think loss of memory or leakage of the memories has occurred because for the most part they are few or not precise.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain. I have sharp 'psychic capacities'
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being aware that plenitude can exist.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared after 32 years. The person with whom I shared it told me that this was an NDE. He advised me to read the book of Philippe Labro, La Traversée (The crossing), and to see the movie 'Beyond' with Clint Eastwood.
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 definately not real. I had the impression of having experienced something unreal, like an hallucination.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Today I am certain that the experience is real.
Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Uncertain. Religious questions seem to me inappropriate and oriented and what tends to bother me in this questionnaire. But I imagine that some, having experienced the experience, have the need to associate a connection with God (positive experience) or Satan (negative experience).
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain Nothing like the tunnel or the light, but I have felt the state of plenitude and being in the middle of nothing. I felt this with the only person of which I had 'love at first sight'.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Let yourself get known. It took me 32 years to liberate myself from this and of thinking that I was some kind of extra-terrestrial being.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience?To collect and record secondary effects following the NDEs for people having had the experience.