My Uncle Carl (who had just returned from the Korean War) was living with us and offered to take us children swimming at Percy Quinn State Park, Pike County, Mississippi. I was just learning to swim and we were at a beach on the west side of the lake. My brother Mike (two years younger than me) could not swim and he stepped in a hole under the water. He started yelling for help and I was close by and did not realize there was a hole. I went to him and as I approached, I stepped in the hole. Mike had panicked and as I went down, he climbed on top of me. I tried to fight him off but he was pushing me down and I could not get free. At first, I saw the bubbles float before my eyes that must have been wide open. Shortly, I realized that I was going to die. With that thought and acceptance, everything changed: all the pain of coughing water went away, and I was floating up to a light that seemed to be pulling me; then I seemed to turn and I could see the beach where we had been swimming. There were people there and one was sitting down and I realized it was me; I was pulled back toward my body but it was like I was but a wisp of smoke drawn to my physical body. As I approached my body, I turned to slide into the body and the pain came back.
Uncle Carl had pulled us both from the water and I don't think he did anything to revive us other than a slap on the back to expel water. He told us to not tell our parents for fear that they would be angry with him. I never talked about the experience with brother Mike and we tried to forget the incident.
I did not think of or talk about the experience and did not know of anything like near death experiences until there was a book published on the subject.
And I did not experience a tunnel or other people (deceased) so wasn't sure if I had a true NDE.
Date NDE Occurred: 1954
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Accident Other Drowning. Drowning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Frightening
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? My mind seemed to be racing to the point that I knew I was going to die.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
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 stand still and I was watching.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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? Uncertain I did not feel confined to a tunnel but was being drawn to a light.
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 At his point in my life, I had not had any close person deceased.
The experience included: 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
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace and no pain.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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? Moderate 11 Years Old
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate Non Practicing Catholic
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? 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? Uncertain
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No But I did not talk to anyone about it at the time.
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? I do not have a fear of death.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My brother and I never talked about what happened. Years later, 1980's, my wife was reading a book on NDE and related part of a story to me. I said that is similar to what happened to me as a child and I related the story to her. My story was a bit different in that there was no tunnel and no people.
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 My uncle told us to not tell our parents what had happened and we didn't and never talked about it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I look back with the eyes of an adult and not an eleven year old child.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No