My family was on a trip to visit friends in Carolina. I was nine at the time and my kid sister was four. Our friends lived in an older house that was being remodeled. Being the sort of child who loved to go exploring, I found an upstairs closet with a large hole in the floor that seemingly led to a secret room. I tried to climb down through the hole, slipped, and became stuck. My weight was pressing down on my diaphragm and my arms were pinned.
I felt only a brief moment of panic and then very calmly and matter-of-factly passed out. As I passed out, I exited my body and found myself floating in the center of the room. I was aware of the entire room, my stuck body, and the surroundings within and without the house. I was also aware of a sort of shimmering fog that surrounded the area and that was growing more distinct and substantial by the moment.
While I felt very calm and very peaceful, I was also aware of a sense of very real urgency in that, if I did not get help soon I would not be able to get back.
I was aware of my sister playing outside in the yard with our friends and I moved out through the second story window and down into yard. I positioned myself just inches from my sister's face. I knew that I could not make any sound, and though I could hear my sister's thoughts, I could feel a resistance like a heavy wool blanket between us preventing me from communicating with her.
Somehow, I knew to focus my attention in the mental equivalent of a shout in the hope that it would pierce that resistance. I directed all of my thought toward her in a yell for help. She suddenly ran toward the house.
I returned to body and found my sister leading the adults into the room. They pulled me from the hole and I started breathing again.
Date NDE Occurred: summer 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was suffocating.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I was aware of my sister playing outside the house and went to her to get help.
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 was fully aware of everything in my surroundings. I knew the location of everyone and everything inside and outside of the building. The experience panoramic and gestalt-like.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the time I was out of my body.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
There seemed to be two frames of reference for time. The earthly frame which seemed to be almost stopped, and the spiritual or out of body frame that moved normally. The spiritual frame was more than just the passage of time though. It was more like a physical sense of moving over ground, being aware of past and future events as if they were physical locations. There was definitely a sense that I could alter my path along the course of time and choose a different arrival location.
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. There's really no comparison. Vision during the experience was multidimensional, panoramic. It was a different sense than sight. I could see the walls while at the same time seeing the interior framing, and the outside walls at the same time. It wasn't that the walls were transparent, they appeared normal. It’s just that I could see the exterior and interior at the same time.
The same sense that produced vision also detected thoughts in others, making it seem that I could ‘see’ what others were thinking.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I wasn't directly aware of sounds. In many ways time seemed to be frozen or greatly slowed. Sound seemed uninteresting and I didn't focus on it.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I was aware of the location, activities, and thoughts of every living person in the vicinity.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I was aware of a shimmering fog or mist that was slowly growing more distinct and solid over time. It was lightly glowing and seemed to be flowing into and around solid objects.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calmness, clarity of thought, and a sense of limited time to solve a problem.
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? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I seemed to have the full experience available of anything on which I focused my attention. If I wanted to know everything about a wall, then I could experience being the wall in a rushing gestalt. Remembering the experience I can still experience that gestalt retroactively, even for things I did not focus on at the time.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 I knew that I could choose to take no action and would leave the earth, or I could try to get help and have the possibility of remaining on earth. Either outcome seemed equally fine. Choosing to stay was more matter of just seeing if I could succeed at the task.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I keep searching for a religious/spiritual belief system that incorporates these experiences as a fundamental element.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? No comment
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience The content was consistent with my earliest memories. It was not consistent withy religious beliefs at the time.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No Not after this specific experience as I was born with memories of life before birth.
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 My earliest memories are of confirmed events that occurred several years beforey birth.y experience on this day was identical to those experiences with the exception of my will or intention. Also during those earlier events there was no fog.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I felt I could know everything about any object or person that I focused on because in the big scheme of things all things were directly connected.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists┬
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 probably exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Only to the extent of having a gestalt knowledge of everything around me.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I knew that if I waiting until the fog filled everything that I would transform and continueto exist. It felt as if I could become my "true self".
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? No changes in my life The greatest challenge I have is reconciling organized religious dogma with personal experiences.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes Prior to this experience I assumed everyone could move in and out of their bodies when the need arose. Afterwards I became more guarded and cautious about sharing these experiences with others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes This description captures only the barest, one dimensional aspect of the experience. The actual experience was so intense, so detailed, so complete that each small part of it would require its own large book to fully capture it.
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 Other events of that time are generally blended together and indistinct. This event and my memories of similar prior life events are startlingly clear. Recalling them is equivalent to reliving them. What is odd is that they are not like other memories. When I recall these experiences I can explore different parts of them that I have not explored before. The closest analogy I have would be like revisiting a level of a video game where you can explore different parts of that level each time you play it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have always seemed to have some prescient ability, prophetic dreams, and some knowledge of events at a distance.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it immediately with family members who pulled me from danger. It was dismissed as imagination. I felt hurt and confused at not being believed about something that had just happened and that they had participated in.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I was unaware of the term near death experience. As a child, I thought everyone remembered events from before their birth and knew that they had and could exist outside of their bodies. This event introduced me to the idea that not everyone had that experience. That knowledge caused some feelings of differentness and isolation.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real This experience was completely real, as without it I would almost certainly have died of suffocation.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I have never had any question at all as to the reality of this experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No