I was on vacation with my mother, father, a friend of mine and her mother in Kentucky. We went to Dewy Dam, which I believe is not far from Van Lear, Kentucky. We rented a small boat and when we got to a shallow spot at the lake my dad, my friend and I went swimming. I couldn't swim so my dad went in the water first to make sure it was a shallow spot, so the water wouldn't be above my shoulders.
We were in the water, playing, screwing around and laughing when suddenly I stepped backwards and stepped off a ledge into very deep water. I couldn't swim so I was sinking under the water. My dad and friend thought I was still screwing around and was laughing at me. In the beginning I remember struggling when I breached the top of the water, but after going down a couple of times, I wasn't struggling anymore when I went under. I was at peace and had no fear. Everything became extremely beautiful. The lights and colors in the water were so beautiful that I was captivated and mesmerized by them.
I saw colors that don't exist. The lights were sparkling and bright and yet soft and inviting, they were comforting; it was like I was a part of the lights and colors. The peace was so calming and desirable that I felt a part of something very much larger, like I was one with the universe. During this experience I felt what it feels like to have no time, it was timeless, no boundaries of time. It was an amazing feeling, the freedom of no time and the connection with 'the universe' (I use that word simply because the universe is vast but I felt it was more than the universe as we know it).
Then, suddenly, I was floating above the area and looking down and saw my mother and my friend's mother still in the boat, I saw my dad and friend in the water. My mother was scared and yelling at my dad to pull me out of the water. My dad was laughing and said, 'Oh Helen, she's just playing, we're all just fooling around.' And then I saw myself pop up above the water again, and it looked like I was panicked, frightened, and struggling for my life. My mother became desperate and mad at my father, and as I again went underwater, I heard her insist that he drag me out of the water.
But, when I went under again, I was puzzled, I didn't understand why I briefly struggled and panicked when I resurfaced because in reality, I wanted to go back under because everything was so beautiful and amazing under the water, it was tranquil, and the feeling of oneness and timelessness was what I wanted to go back to. I didn't understand why my body struggled and showed fear because that isn't the way I felt at all. I didn't want to resurface, I wanted to stay below the water, and I was happy there, happier than I can ever remember being before or since the experience.
The next thing that happened is that I felt my dad pull me up from the water and pull me to the boat trying to resuscitate me. I felt very heavy in weight, so heavy that it amazed me that my body could be so heavy. It felt so heavy that it was laborious to adjust to being in my body again. I was coughing and sputtering, water was stinging my eyes and I felt a panic also return to my body that didn't exist when I was under the water, but, the strange thing was that those signs of panic and fear were only in my body, not my mind. I didn't feel those things in my mind. What I was feeling was disappointment about being taken out of such a beautiful, amazing, wonderful place.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1964
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death
I was drowning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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 When I was under the water.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was under the water.
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
There was no time, saying it was timeless doesn't really describe what it was like. I can still feel what it feels like (time does not exist) but no words can really describe it. Regarding space, there was no space either, everything was one, connected, again, there is really no word that fully describes this knowledge.
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. As I said before, I saw colors that don't exist. And even though the light was brighter than I had ever seen it didn't hurt the eyes, in fact, it soothed the eyes and appeared soft and bright at the same time. I can't say that there was depth perception as we know it - it was greater than that - again, like a oneness and all things perceived in its entirety. I learned from that experience that there is such a thing as 'the mind's eye'.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. 'Hearing' as we know it, isn't the same. 'Hearing' as we know it is just one part of our other senses, it is separate. During this experience there was no separation of senses, they were all connected, they were one, and being one made everything super remarkable and amazing.
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? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I didn't meet or see other beings, but I could 'feel' and 'sense' mystical entities around me, as if they were waiting. I didn't get the impression that I knew them.
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 As described above.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm My experience felt like I was in another dimension.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Wonder, amazement, pleasantness, peace, lightness, happiness, freeing, longing to stay, feeling of being 'home'.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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? Yes I'm not sure you would call it 'special knowledge', I wasn't given any revelation or anything, but, I just simply knew, for a fact, without question, that everything is connected, that our reality 'here' is only a fleeting and cumbersome short period of time. Only a blink of an eye perhaps. But, I did learn that there IS a reason, a purpose for our life here - but, I wasn't told what that reason/purpose is. The only strange thing I can remember is the thought that stuck in my mind after this is experience was 'The important thing is to make it shine, everything else is folly.' Those are not the exact 'words in my thoughts' but it was something like that.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Our vocabulary doesn't have the capacity to express much of the experience.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I developed an ability to 'read' people, to become one with them and understand many things about them without them having to tell me. Even until today, most of the time I could not tell you the color of friends and relatives eyes (unless I deliberately commit it to memory) because when I converse with them I do not see their eyes, I see through them, past the eyes. It is difficult to explain, but if I want to see the person's eyes I have to deliberately focus on them because otherwise my natural instinct now is that my mind doesn't see them.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Every part of the experience was meaningful and significant to me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared this story for many years with family and selected friends. I didn't start sharing it until a few years after the incident. There have been mixed reactions, of course, to it, some people believe you and some don't. Some find it fascinating some view it as imagination. I don't have a desire or urgency to make people believe it. I tell it and then it's up to them how or what they want to think about it.
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 definitely real There is no doubt in my mind it was real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real There is no doubt in my mind it was real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Several years after the drowning incident I did have one other experience. I will use another form to tell you about that.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Only that there is another reality, another realm, another dimension.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I'll give this question some thought but as for the present I think the questionnaire is very good.