I was like in a huge void, with spots of light like stars around. Somehow, I felt like I was between the Earth and the Moon. I felt this overwhelming presence next to me on my right side, like the Moon, but it was an intelligence. It radiated love, far beyond anything I had dreamed or heard of before, sort of like a father. There was no image. He made me feel sad that I had ended up in that condition, like a scolded child, but in a loving way. I felt other beings nearby, but no shapes or faces. There was an overwhelming sense of peace and contentment all around me. Like the doctor said on the program tonight (02/25/2003), it was like being home. The being next to me had me look at myself lying on the hospital bed through this 'tube of light' (now it's a cliché). He asked me if I wanted to return to that body again and it took me a while to decide. He told me I would have to come up with three reasons why I should be allowed to return. This is what opened my eyes on the radio show tonight.
Nobody had ever mentioned having to come up with reasons before. At the time, I was realizing how pitiful people's goals were who surrounded themselves with material things and people to adore them. They really didn't know that it won't make any difference. I can remember the first reason I gave had something to do with showing love for my mother. The second reason was I had not truly loved anybody yet (I was only fourteen). I forgot the third, but I think it had something to do with showing love to fellow human beings. Again, the reason I was allowed to return was I had not learned the love experience. This is the second thing that opened my eyes about the radio show that made the show more than a sensationalist hoax.
Once the third reason was out there was a dazzling flash and I was lying on the bed. At the time, I was surrounded by ice packs to keep my body temperature down. I knew there were people nearby tending to me. I reached out to the nurse and told her the person at the end of my bed had a dress just like my mother's, and of course, it was my mother.
Expanded Version Submitted 04/11/2003
At the time, I wasn't really a child. I was fourteen, but being six feet three inches tall, I was hanging around with much older kids. We were drinking beer and hanging around these woods at the end of Lido Beach in Sarasota, Florida. When it was time to leave, about 1:00 a.m. or so, we all piled into this car except for me and one other who sat on the trunk. I fell off and hit my head on the pavement, which knocked me out. The other guy on the trunk thought I was faking, so he lifted me up by the hair and let me drop. This second bash to the head caused a skull fracture and blood started pouring out of my left ear. The other kids thought I was going to die, so they took off in the car and left me there. They drove to my best friend's house, woke him up and told him I was dead.
Luckily, a nearby hotel owner had called the police over noisy kids in the woods (us) and the officer arrived just after the kids left (miracle number one). He called an ambulance and they took me to the emergency room, where the top neurosurgeon just happened to be, for another emergency surgery (miracle number two). They had to shave my head and drill holes in my skull to relieve the pressure on the brain. They called my parents, and told them there was a slim chance I would live and if I did, the chances were I would be a vegetable at best, and most likely suffer from epileptic fits. I am the oldest of eight children, so this was not good news. I was unconscious for the next eight days. My mother was a nurse when younger so she stayed there the whole time. I remember the doctor telling me all I had to do was sneeze and I would die. I thought he was nuts for packing all that ice around me. I was in the hospital seven weeks, including an extra week for a staphylococcus infection on my back discovered on my first release day.
I rarely tell anyone about what happened during that NDE. It scares the hell out of people. I want to tell them that it's okay to die. I didn't even tell my wife about it until last night after seeing it on the web. One thing I remember, which is really difficult to describe, is that while looking at myself on the table and weighing the option to return, the being I was talking to made it seem that returning to Earth was one of *many* options. I had to admit to him, and myself, that the reason I was in that predicament was my own doing. I had taken an above-average intelligence, good healthy body, and wonderful environment, and thrown it away. Essentially, I got the feeling that God did not have his hand in everything the way we were taught in Church. I felt (understood) that we are pretty much here on our own for the experience. My approach to other living things changed after that. I feel now that every being here has a divine right to exist without having to be subjugated by other people (governments, abusive spouses, etc.). People and dogs especially can sense that. You might find the analogy strange, but something like Crocodile Dundee, the power he had over animals and acquaintances. I seem to be able to communicate on a much lower level. I know I have been to a place very few people have been able to return from, and that is because of those two extremely fortunate circumstances labeled miracles numbers one and two. I have never met another person who has had a NDE. I wonder what kind of electricity would flow. I think about all the otherwise healthy people who were not plucked from the grip of death. Some parts of the movie 'Jacob's Ladder' scared the hell out of me.
Overall though, I don't dwell on how lucky I am to be here. I do, however, think about people barreling through life foolishly and not appreciating its gift. John Lennon had the right idea and so did Duane Allman. That's my big question in life. Why do the people who preach love and peace die so soon?
Date NDE Occurred: October, 1966
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Fell off a car while it was moving and got knocked out. A friend thought I was faking and lifted me up by the hair and let it go. My head smacked the pavement, causing a skull fracture and hemorrhaging through my ear. I was unconscious for the next 8 days Clinical death already explained above
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I knew I was apart because I could see myself lying on the table. I felt like my appearance was just round light.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I seemed perfectly conscious at the time.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning It felt like there was no time, just existence.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No I went from looking at myself lying on the table to looking out my eyes with a tremendous shock of cold.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I saw light-forms that I understood to be souls.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Already described
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt like I was in space, near the moon.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I learned that we are put here to experience loving other people. Everything else is irrelevant. Not meant in a nasty way, but it felt like we are pools of light and are given the gift of a human body to love another being.
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? 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 He asked me if I wanted to return to that body again and it took me a while to decide. He told me I would have to come up with three reasons why I should be allowed to return. At the time, I was realizing how pitiful people's goals were who surrounded themselves with material things and people to adore them. They really didn't know that it won't make any difference. I can remember the first reason I gave had something to do with showing love for my mother. The second reason was I had not truly loved anybody yet (I was only fourteen). I forgot the third, but I think it had something to do with showing love to fellow human beings.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist I was an Acolyte in the Episcopal church. What I experienced had no reference to the church at all.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist I go to church occasionally, for the benefit of the family and to show respect for friends who invite me to funerals, etc.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes already explained
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes At the time I still had to recover from severe head trauma and a prolonged stay in the hospital. I didn't really think about the experience until about a year later, but then (1967) nobody had really published or spoken about such things. I thought of it more as a personal experience between God and me. I didn't talk about it with my priest because what I experienced didn't seem to have anything in common with what we were taught at church.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I seem to be able to look in people's eyes and tell if they are bullshitting me.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Best part is knowing there is a place like heaven. The worst part was getting nearly killed to find it out.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes They didn't believe me when I told them about the choices part.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No I tried psychedelics after that and there is nothing even remotely close.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I don't think people who haven't had an NDE can fathom the immensity of love that is out there. I had a realization at the time that even though the being next to me was PROBABLY God, He had no control over what we did down here. It was like if we don't follow the lessons of love and understanding to fellow humans and decide to dominate and kill others HE won't be able to stop us. Likewise, trying to blame Him for natural disasters was pointless.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It seems there is a possibility of people making things up. I feel like I've betrayed a trust somehow with some of this info.