Background: I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at age sixteen with my parents' permission and went in after my seventeenth birthday but had to wait until I was eighteen to go to Vietnam. Of course, I had to drop out of High School to go into the USMC but I got my High School General Education Diploma (HS GED) right after boot camp and then was trained as a Jet Engine Mechanic. I never really worked on jet engines after graduating jet school. My jet training was in Medford, Tennessee (near Memphis, Tennessee). I got there two weeks after Martin Luther King was assassinated there thus it was a very turbulent time. Then at age seventeen, I flew as a backseat pilot RIO (radio instrument operator) in F4 Phantom jets which was a special program for specially trained enlisted Marines.
I was on my twenty-day leave before going to California for staging before being sent to Vietnam. During that twenty days I was in the back seat of a car that was totaled out on a bridge during a rain storm, when another car sideswiped us, but I did not get hurt other than banging my head on the window which did not even break. Then the NDE and OBE with the bull happened after that which was the only time in my life this has ever happened to me.
I went to see the farmer I worked for before entering the USMC. When I drove up, I noticed his 1,800 lb young bull was on the wrong side of the one strand electric barbwire fence. I walked over to him and put one foot on the wire to hold it down as I tried to coax him to cross over it and back where he belonged. He hit me with his head in the chest, which was like a telephone pole striking at lighting speed. I was knocked about twenty feet out into the field on the other side of the barbwire fence, which my other leg broke because of the force I hit it with.
As I lay on my back and saw the bull coming at me repeatedly, hitting me in the chest my last thought was to put a fence post between the bull and me. My heart must have stopped because the next thing I knew was I was totally conscious and coming out of my body. I felt and took note of how heavy my arms were as I left my body and noticed all of the small aches and pains I never really noticed before because I guess you are accustomed to them. I was happy to be out of my heavy and achy body as it felt better than being in it but I did not think or know I was or might be dead at that time as it happened somewhat fast and unexpectedly. I felt like I was spirit, not physical, thus more like smoke than a body as I sort of whisked up into the air from my stomach area (so it seemed). I only took note of how heavy my arms were as I left them. Perhaps I was trying to use them to get up, as one would normally do when I left them. This only took perhaps a second or two to do.
Next (without knowing it yet or even thinking I was dead but more in a state of wonder like, what is happening here, mixed with seeing what comes next thus not much time to think about all of this yet) I moved forward in time and was about twenty feet in the air looking down at the ground. I saw people dressed in black at what looked like a cemetery. Mostly I felt their sadness and at that time, knew it was my funeral that they were at. It was at that point it dawned on me that I was dead but because I felt fine, it was not at all distressing to me to know I was dead. After all, when you are dead there is not much you can do other than see what comes next.
The second I realized I was dead and felt their overwhelming sadness my first thoughts were compassion for them, 'Don't feel sad about me. You will all be dead soon enough so live your life and enjoy it.' I did not want in any way to be the cause of distress to anyone much less people I loved and who loved me. The second I had that thought, I felt the presence of someone high above me who heard my first thoughts.
NOTE: Perhaps if my first thoughts when I realized I was dead were something selfish things would have worked out differently but here is what happened next.
Instantly after I felt the presence of someone above me hearing my first thoughts of compassion and thus knew I was not alone at that time, I instantly was back in my body waking up. Somehow I had moved about twenty feet and made it to the fence post which I had my right hand on the top of as I was trying to pull myself up and the bull was on the other side of it several feet away. I remember looking straight into the bull's eyes to see if he was still angry but he had a look of minor shock and wonder in his eyes (that is the best way I can explain his look). I no longer felt threatened by him but had a healthy respect for him, in other words kept my eye on him. At the same time, the farmer whose home I was at had driven his car near me in the field next to the house so I could get into it. He did not get out but I made it several feet to the car and got in.
We drove to his house where I sat on the couch. He asked me if I was okay, I nodded my head yes and then passed out and fell over on the couch where I guess I rested for a while. When I came to, he and his family were there, and the farmer told me he had to shoot and kill the bull. This is hard for farmers to do because prized bulls are used in breading and can cost $10,000 or more (back then, you could buy a new home in town for that much money). I remember once my uncle shot a farmer's bull that was trampling him to death and the farmer sued my uncle for killing his prize bull. Odd back then because people did not sue much and my uncle saved his life but that is life I guess.
Side note: The last nine days of my twenty day leave was spent in jail for driving without a license because I was with a guy who got drunk and was driving real bad so I got behind the wheel to drive him home but got arrested before I ever left the parking lot we drove into. Then on my very first day in California for staging, which was a Friday, I and another Marine were hit in a pedestrian walk crossing a street at night. The police told me I flew fifty feet through the air and my friend slid about forty feet up the road. We were hurt (my left leg and right shoulder and he was scrapped up bad) but we had no broken bones or real bad cuts. After all of that in only twenty days before going to Vietnam I thought that perhaps I will not be coming back from Vietnam (since my luck or lack thereof seemed to suck) so I bought a real nice big Bible for my mom to remember me by just in case and shipped it to her. In Vietnam I only had one prayer, which was not to protect my friends or me or self-serving in any way, my only prayer was, 'Please God do not let me kill anyone unjustifiably.' I would have found hurting or killing another person (who was innocent) because of an error in judgment on my part would be harder for me to live with than perhaps even dying myself. I was med-evaced out of Vietnam in 1969. War should always be the last course of action and then only taken when all other options are gone and never entered into as an aggressor or instigator. THAT'S MY STORY AND MY TWO CENTS.
Date NDE Occurred: about 1/11/1968
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident see above answer Other 'I was trampled by a 1,800 lb bull. I guess his hitting me in the chest several times made my heart stop. I am sure I was dead for a while because I came out of my body etc...'
I was attacked and trampled by a 1,800 lb bull out in a farmer's field.
NOTE: (You should have a SAVE as Draft button so we can take a break without the possibility of losing all of this typing. Just a thought as I am going to take a break before going on). Need coffee - and a pit stop.
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Instantly at the beginning. I went from black, being knocked out and I guess dead with a stopped heartbeat because of my experience, to being totally aware and thinking, assessing my situation and rapid experiences as they unfolded. I thought after that even if you were drunk or on drugs that the effects of that would be gone the second you leave your body and you would be aware and return to a normal thought process in the spirit form (as I call it).
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
After I came out of my body I instantly went forward in time to my funeral and realized that I went forward in time.
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 it was like I was smoke but things were clear but I could see more, hummm harder to explain than I thought. Things were clear but looked different in some way and because I could feel other people's pain etc. my attention to my eyes were only part of the experience I was assessing as it happened. Hard to describe other than I could see clearly but differently.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear anything but everything was more like when you think in your head, telepathy sort of, not hearing anything with ears.
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 As I said before in the description. I saw my family at my funeral and after my first thought of compassion for them I knew there was someone above me that heard my first thought as I realized I was dead and what was going on and poof I felt like they sent me back to my body. I was very aware of them like a telepathy thing even though I did not have to look at them or him (as I felt it was a man).
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I moved forward in time to my own funeral.
NOTE: The question and answers below are confusing. I entered a spirit world thus unearthly as I knew it. Not normal so I answered the center choice.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The experience seemed short even though I went forward into time to be at my own funeral but things were happening so fast (a lot of new data / new experiences coming at me) and I was absorbing and trying to analyze or figure out what was going on so much that I did not have time to think about my emotions. I did not know I was dead for a while even. But, from the beginning I felt great as I felt myself leave the pains and weight of my body so I was not in distress. I felt great being away from my body. Overall, great not distressed but somewhat confused and in awe in the beginning.
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
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 Born Christian and I believe in God but did not attend church or think about it much at all.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Even as a child I believed in God and still do but I think having that experience confirms to me that something after death does indeed exist and is not frightening and that gets one over the hurdle of that question.
What is your religion now? Moderate 'Lutheran, again I am Christian and still believe in God but do not attend any church etc... My beliefs are a very personal thing with me not a group thing.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Even as a child I believed in God and still do but I think having that experience confirms to me that something after death does indeed exist and is not frightening and that gets one over the hurdle of that question.
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 Part of it was now knowing for sure about other planes of existence and the feeling of connection to everything, the telepathy thing but with feelings as well as communications. I was personally at peace the whole time and even when I realized I was dead, I was not bothered too much since there was little I could do about it except to accept it and move on. I had less fear of dying as I know what happens yet I do not wish for death but simply can accept it without fear when it comes again as it surely will for all of us. My other (but not NDE) spiritual experience gave me more special insight but that is not what this is about here.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain As I said before, it was a part of my entire life and it is hard to dissect which thing resulted from which experience when it comes to this NDE.
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? As I said, it was a great experience. I fear death less and understand more about why we are here, enjoy life, do no harm, make it a better world, we are all connected, etc. but I do not know how much is from the NDE versus my entire life's experiences, the 'who I am' thing. I find it hard to separate the experience from my entire life's experiences. It is more just a part of it, a part that let me know what the other side is like. My other experience gave me more of that experience but again one's total life I think should be taken into consideration. My NDE enhanced what I knew or the 'who I am' thing.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes A very few times over the years as it is not something I talk about a lot. Only one person stands out who I guess studies these things and was very interested in my experience and how it affected my life. Sadly people like him seem to center on just the experience versus one's entire life or at least the important parts thereof that perhaps play greatly into the equation of how it changed your life and others lives, etc. My entire life is very different and it can be hard to know what part the NDE played in the total equation. Sorry for the odd or bad answer but that is the best I can do here.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I do not think I did at all, but perhaps I did. It was 1968 and I was only eighteen so that thing was not so well known to me I think.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew it was totally real because of the total state of alertness I had when I came out of my body. I was totally awake and thinking and even knew that if someone was drunk they would be sober as they leave their physical body. A hundred percent real experience and reality. The second that confirmed it most was when I realized the being heard my first thoughts and sent me back to my body which was instant, very fast.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real More reasons than ever as now it seems that science knows there are unlimited other realities out there and remember, energy cannot be created or destroyed so it makes sense that our energy goes on somewhere. In other words, this is far less difficult to believe today than it was then. No stigma today and science backs up this possibility as I now understand it.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes One time only where I went into the spirit world (without an NDE I think) for a bit longer time and got to have questions answered. It only happened once and I asked for it via a prayer one night only. I simply asked and it happened. It answered a lot of my personal questions about the world we live in and life after death etc. PS: This is the first time I ever wrote about that experience so it too is not something I talk about a lot but I do think about it from time to time as it is a very good memory.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Nope. I have to hit the head again. Fifty-eight feels old at times but when I was only twenty and got out of the USMC I honestly felt like I was eighty years old mentally and not far behind physically :-) Hummm, I guess I am eighty plus fifty-eight or something now. LOL :-)
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Have a 'Save as Draft' button so we can attend to other things and then come back to this.