Joel L NDE

Experience Description

We were building a raft down at one end of the lake. The idea was that we would cut down trees, walk them down to a small dam, then sluff them off into the lake where they would be lashed together. then certain scouts would be chosen to pilot the raft across the lake to where the main camp proper was.

At the time, I felt a kind of physical and mental malaise - a tiredness, almost like a fog on the brain, but also affecting my ability to do things. I felt tired, weary. I have never felt like that before or since.

I was carrying a tree with other of the scouts who were involved in this task. One particular log I was assisting in carrying was probably at least 12-15 feet long with, I would say about an 8-9 inch diameter. Fairly heavy piece of timber.

We walked down to the dam and when we got in position, the order was given to "sluff" off of our shoulders and into the lake - on "3".

The count began: "1" - "2" - "3"!

I began to sluff the log, but immediately realized that there was a problem. The log would fall to the right. All the other scouts were carrying the log on their right shoulder, whereas I had been carrying my part of it on my left shoulder. As soon as the log began to move, I realized that I had to raise the log off my left shoulder and over my head in order to get it into the lake; but the movement of that heavy a piece of timber was too much for my strength. I made the attempt, but failed to get the log over my head in time and the log crashed into the left side of my head.

IMMEDIATELY, I found myself standing at a distance of approximately 4 to 5 feet away from where I had been (and, for that brief moment, where my body still was) not even so much as a second before. I was standing to the left of my body, at approximately and equal level (in other words, I was situated neither higher, nor lower, from where I had been standing before - only now, I was watching myself at a distance of, as I say, about 4 or 5 feet) watching what was happening. If I had been aware, at that moment, of what was going on (which, there was ZERO chance of happening) I would have realized that I was literally standing on water, or slightly above water, because that side of the dam was a kind of a watery swampy area. There was no footing.

As I watched, I saw me let go of the log. It crashed onto the top of my head and I immediately fell off the dam and into the water.

Exactly after watching these events, with no delay, the next thing I knew was, that I had somehow assumed a position approximately 30 feet above what was happening below, watching what was going on below me.

I saw EVERYTHING, except my body, which was now under water. I saw several people dive into the lake to search for my body. I saw them eventually find it. I saw them pull my body up onto the dam and begin to attempt to rescusitate me.

And IMMEDIATELY, I was back in my body.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: August, 1962

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Clinical death no diagnostic evaluation was made or perhaps could not have been made, under the circumstances I died

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain Not sure what you're getting at here. I continued to experience myself as an entity, but I never saw myself in that situation. If you had asked me, I would have answered that it was self evident that I existed, still, and so far as I was concerned, was very much alive, as if nothing had happened.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Completely alert. Completely aware.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Other than the sounds associated with what was going on below me, no.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No I had ZERO sense of what was going on. As far as I was concerned, nothing in particular had happened, altho obviously this clearly was not true. At every moment, I stayed in the exact geographical location where the incident occurred. I did not travel to any other location. I remained exactly where I was, except for what I described, above.

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

Did you see an unearthly light? No Nothing other than the light that was available from the sun at that time of day.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Sight, obviously. hearing, obviously. Both unimpaired. Don't recall touching, smelling, or tasting anything.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? NONE. The transition was SO SMOOTH, and so completely UNREMARKABLE, that I had no sense of how remarkable it actually was. It never occurred to me that there was anything unusual in the experience. If anything, I would have said (and I tried to, after I returned to my body)that it was really cool. 12 year olds - am I right?

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No

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? No

God, Spiritual and Religion:


Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Only MUCH later, when literature began to be available on OBEs and NDEs. In 1962, there was ZERO information on this, and certainly much less so for a 12 year old. In those days, there was just no baseline for discussion of this type of thing.

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 Seems like from that time onward I was more psychically aware in several ways, altho, to this day, I would describe myself as a BLUNT INSTRUMENT. I don't work to develop it, I have never had any particular desire to. But I know that something is there.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best part would be that having had it makes me realize that life continues after death. I consider myself blessed to have had an experience like that SO YOUNG.

the worst part was that I was tremendously concussed. IMO, I was treated negligently by the adults in the aftermath of the incident. I doubt that today such treatment would be considered acceptable. I was gotten to my feet. I was going in and out of consciousness. I could not keep conscious for more than perhaps 30 seconds at a time. I kept trying to explain this but I could not seem to make them understand. They chose a strong scout, and told him to walk me back to the nurse's station, which, as I say , was all the way on the other side of the lake, I think, about 2 miles I would say. I walked the whole way, with this boy holding onto me. I kept trying to talk to him, because I thought it would be a good idea and that by so doing I might remain conscious for longer periods, but I did not. I warned him that I was going in and out. I'm not sure he understood. It was WEIRD.

When I got to the nurse's station I kept trying to make them understand. I received no particular treatment that I recall - I'm not sure I even received aspirin.

After the nurse looked at me (I wonder if it was even a nurse, frankly) I was again walked back to my campsite. By that time, I THINK I was able to keep consciousness a little better. I even think I might have made it back on my own, but I'm not sure about that. I can't exactly recall that.

What I DO recall is, that that incident literally took me out of all activities for the next five days. I could not really arise from my bunk. I slept a lot. I had a TREMENDOUS headache, not unlike a migraine, which I have experienced just one time. The headache began to abate after 5 days, but it was impossible to really rise out of my bunk for any length of time so as to do any sort of activity other than the most necessary of activities. I probably missed some meals. So that was pretty crappy.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Other than being interested in my description, not influenced in any way that I am aware.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Upon reflection, I find it really interesting that the experience SEEMED so UNREMARKABLE. I was not aware that anything was wrong. If someone had appeared at my side as I was floating in the air and apprised me of what was happening, I'm not sure it would've impacted me. I looked upon what was going on with some sense of interest (again, cool!) but the reality of what I was experiencing at that moment - the absolute singular remarkable nature of it - was completely lost on me. Everything seemed just exceedingly normal, with no disorientation, no pain, no nothing. There was ZERO time lapsed that I could tell from the time the incident began and the time I left my body. What transitions that DID occur,happened with blazing speed, virtually instantaneously, so far as I can tell.

From this, I came - much later - to understand how, at least for a certain indeterminate period of time, people would not think that anything had happened to them - that they were not dead, and that everything was somehow continuing as before with no discernible lapses.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No observations at this time.