I was working on an F-111 aircraft at Cannon Air force Base, walking on the aircraft's 'backbone'; outside and on top of the aircraft. I was going back to the engine section to do repairs. It was very cold that night and we had icy conditions. I took a bad fall and nearly died from my injuries. The last thing I remember is my feet slipping out from under me. My crewmen said they saw me fall about 15 feet onto the tarmac and that I landed on my toolbox, which I had left sitting on the ground under the plane. The back of my head hit the tarmac and my skull was fractured in three places. Thank God, I was wearing a stocking cap, which they said kept my head from splitting open. The other injuries I sustained were two broken legs (my legs landed across my toolbox,) two broken arms and nine broken ribs. I was aware of my feet sipping and then, suddenly, I found myself landing in the sand on an ocean shore. I got up and saw this long bridge in front of me. It looked like it was miles long but it only took me a few steps to cross it. When I got to the end, a man, who seemed to be my grandfather, was standing there. He told me, 'You just need to finish what's started, so get busy.'The doctors spent 17 hours bringing me back. During that time, I did what I call 'walking the bridge.' When I woke up, I found out I had been in a coma for nearly two weeks. It took nearly a year for me to get well enough to walk. All these years, this experience and its after-effects have haunted me. Sometimes I feel that someone is near me. I don't hear voices, or actually see anyone, but I feel someone's there and it annoys me. We live close to two cemeteries now, and recently there have been burials at both of them. I sometimes sense that the departed need more closeness from those they love. Families in this area where I live are not very close. And death seems to be a convenience for most of them. When I have these 'feelings,' I'm overcome by this sense of sadness and love. I feel the presence of the departed in their wanting to be closer to their loved ones as they move on. By that, I mean that they want to know they will always be in the minds and memories of the loved ones they are leaving. A few years after my fall, my father shot himself in front of me but that has never haunted me. My dad and I did not get along. But sometimes I feel he's there near me, wanting to make amends. I sense those who are able to come to me. Sometimes I sense those who are wanting to pass, but don't know how to let go; and they just walk the bridge, as I did. This is driving me nuts. I can't talk to my wife, my family, my friends, not anyone about it. It's been something I've hidden for nearly 30 yrs. I can't go on with writing this; it's just too hard to relate my feelings.
Date NDE Occurred: 8-1974
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury 15 ft fall from aircraft while doing repiars was a jet engine mechanic Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
My skull was fractured in three places from a fall.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness See above
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? See above
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
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Just very strong feelings.
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 I crossed a bridge.
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 I met a man I thought was my grandfather.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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? Uncertain Not really, just the sense of someone there.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? A great sense of love and sadness.
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? 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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal am basically catholic but have have always kept an open mind to people of all faiths
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes
What is your religion now? Liberal same as above
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes
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? Yes
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 See above.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The death of my grandfather and his always wise advice.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real For over 35 years this has haunted me. I want it to stop!
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It's real enough to me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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