My experience was alone, in the river, 60 feet below the roadway. I was traveling at 130 mph on my motorcycle when I hit the guardrail. By the time I came to a stop in the river, time had stopped. I was in that river, which had stopped moving, there was n I was racing on the freeway at 130 mph, and as I banked into an off ramp, I lost control. It was more of a transition than an off ramp, because I did not slow at all, although I was going faster than I thought. The seconds leading up to the event were very slow. Each second seemed like a minute, like the shutters in a camera were going, and each moment the shutters opened and closed, there was a picture of what was happening. I tried to break, but it stood the motorcycle straight up, when I should have been at a forty-five degree angle for the curve. The next second I saw the concrete guardrail with the metal rounded poles that went along horizontally along the top of the concrete barrier. The next second I saw the trees on the other side of the river, and I thought that they would cut me in half as I sailed through the air towards them. The next second was a thought. Do I lift myself up off my bike and sail through space towards the trees, which will certainly cut me in half, or do I stay on the bike and die from a head injury and road rash? I decided to lift myself up off my motorcycle, and once that happened, time sped up again. I noticed the impact and then all I saw was black and yellow, black and yellow, and black and yellow. The doctors who were at the country club saw the accident, and described me as somersaulting through the air. They arrived about five minutes after the accident, and they were the first people to get to me. It was difficult for them because they had to get down a steep ravine, get over a freeway fence, and get across the river. For me, the black and yellow made sense as the g-forces I was pulling must have been intense. I do remember just letting go, letting my body just go limp after I hit. Then I noticed my body skipping across the top of the water, or something like that. It felt like when you lost control on water skis or a Sea doo watercraft, that sensation of wrecking and wiping out. That is the sensation that I had. Then suddenly I came to a stop. This is where I would go to the description of my experience (below), because this is now the start of my experience. I did not know the extent of my injuries, because I was not medically oriented at the time. My left leg was completely severed from about the knee, which means that my artery in my leg was pumping out a lot of blood. Since my vein was also severed, I was pulling in river water at the same time, which helped me in the moment, but a week later caused me sepsis, and I spent two months in the sepsis intensive care unit at the hospital. The only thing that held on my leg was the hamstring muscle. The top of the tibia had broken off, and the bottom of the femur had broken off, so there was no 'knee' left. My left arm as a mess and in about twenty minutes would have no pulse. My left lung was punctured, and three of my ribs were broken. My gall bladder was also perforated, but they did not find this until one and a half months later, when I was again at death's door. As I was sitting in the middle of the river, there was no sound, no movement, nothing but silence.
There was no sound. No movement. I was frozen in time, in the moment. I had no pain, just a feeling of astonishment. It felt as if someone was holding me up in that river, keeping me afloat. I felt love, and friendship. Then there was this booming, loud voice. It said, 'You can sit up and fight to live, or you can lay back and die.' There was no judgment in the voice, no right or wrong answer. For me, I know what the answer was immediately, because I was young, and there were things left for me to do in life. I chose to live, and at that moment, I was thrown back forcibly into life, violently. I had no breath in my lung, for the other one was punctured. I struggled to breathe. I struggled for well over a minute to get air into my lungs, and when I was about to pass out, breath came flowing into my lung. Then I knew that I had a fighting chance to live. My leg was floating at the wrong angle, my right leg I could not move, and I thought that my legs were paralyzed. I could not move my left arm, and only my right arm was working. So with my right arm I slowing made my way bobbing through the river over to the bank. As best I could, I dragged myself up onto the bank, but my lower half of my body was still in the water, and I was very cold. My doctor later told me that I had lost over half of my blood, but that my severed vein had pulled in some river water to compensate for the lost blood.
Date NDE Occurred: 'July 23, 1991'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
I lost awareness of my body
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? I felt that after I had landed in the water, that I had never lost consciousness after that point. The experience and life were intertwined in the experience, and while separate, they seemed to be one. It was like everything I went through I was watching, and at the same time I was experiencing that as well. I felt that when God was talking to me, that was the time in my life when I felt love like I had never felt it before, like everything was going to be alright. It was very hard to leave that moment.
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
Time stopped, stood still, and I'm not sure how long it lasted. Looking back on it, it seemed to last for quite a while. Once I had answered the question posed to me on whether to sit up and fight to live, or lye back and die, once answered, everything sped up extremely fast, as if time had not stopped at all. I see in the next question that it is asking if time sped up. For me it stopped. Now that could be described as what happened to me happened extremely fast, or very slow. I know for me, it happened slowly, in the moment, but once out of the moment, everything came crashing back down.
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. Things were much brighter, but in a way in which I was seeing with sound. Seeing with sonar vision, everything was bright, and I was caught up into this, but at the same time, I recognized the things around the trees, the river water, the rocks, and me. I was not just seeing them, it's like I was a part of them. In a way that your arm is a part of your body, but you don't always notice that it's there. It was that type of experience. I did not have the whole tunnel vision white light thing going on, it was somehow deeper, and it was the most moving thing that has ever happened to me. Things were transparent. They are there, but you don't notice them, it's like you see through them.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was no sound from the environment, just the booming voice giving me the choice to 'sit up and fight to live, or lay back and die.' The voice was very loud, but very calming. I was very focused on it, and it on me. I felt like I was the only person in the world, and it was talking directly to me. How insignificant am I, yet here is God talking only to me. It was incredibly moving. It was a voice that if I hear it, I shall know it again.
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? Uncertain A being was speaking to me, and I believe it was God. He told me that I could 'sit up, fight to live, or lay back, and die.' There was no judgment, no right or wrong answer. It was what it was.
The experience included: Void
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? Uncertain Things were brighter, auras.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love, compassion, friendliness. I felt as if there were no problems, including the accident.
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
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 'I am a Christian, and my Christianity has been reinforced since my experience. I believe that all religions are pointing people in the right direction, to a supreme being (God), no matter what he is called. He is real, he is full of love, and when my experience happened, there was no judgment, no right or wrong answer to the question. Since my accident, I have been baptized again, and have gone deeper into Christianity, finding and learning all I can, trying to get the experiences that I need to finally cross over, to learn what it is that I am on this planet to learn.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes At first, yes. I was stronger and more alive, and knew that God saved my life. Then I entered a period of college where I did not go to church, and then after I had a job for several years, I started back to church, and my experience has been mostly positive since then, except for this pain. Even through this pain, I have felt close to God, like this was a test of sorts. I feel that the closer that I get to God and Jesus, the more trials that I will face.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'I was a Christian at the time of my accident, although a non-practicing one. What I mean by that is: I did not go to church on a regular basis, however; I did get down on my knees every night, and prayed to God. I have done this since I was a child, but stopped doing that when I was in the Marine Corps. When I got out, I restarted that. I do believe to love thy neighbor as thy self. This is very important; to help those in need, no matter what. This experience has also taught me that. Because of my ongoing pain that has slowly crept back into my life since the accident, I only go to church when my pain is not so severe. I do read the bible every day, and I do pray every day. I wish I could do more, and it kills me that I cannot do more, and maybe I am this way now to learn something that I did not learn during my rehabilitation before. Maybe it's something I missed. I'm not sure, but there is a reason for everything. I am sure of that.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes At first, yes. I was stronger and more alive, and knew that God saved my life. Then I entered a period of college where I did not go to church, and then after I had a job for several years, I started back to church, and my experience has been mostly positive since then, except for this pain. Even through this pain, I have felt close to God, like this was a test of sorts. I feel that the closer that I get to God and Jesus, the more trials that I will face.
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 It confirmed that God does exists, and that death is nothing to be feared, as long as your ducks are all in a row. We are on earth for a purpose, and that purpose is a learning purpose, to prepare us for the life to come. We must make it completely through this life, and experience everything to ensure that we make it through to the next life, and are prepared for it.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have become a stronger Christian, and it may have put off my parents, and most of my friends vanished after that, which relates to my relating my experience to them, and their inability to grasp what that was. My life did not change significantly in what I did. I still rode motorcycles and did things like that. Spiritually I was stronger. There have been highs and some low lows since then, even thoughts of suicide, but I know that is not really an option, but the pain that I have is driving me to desperation. I know that I would never do that, but I'm running out of coping mechanisms of dealing with my pain.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was the feeling of friendliness, of love. There was no right or wrong answer, no judgment. I felt enveloped, like something was holding me. It is hard to express what I saw. What I heard was as clear as a bell.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I was never any good at school, but when I went to college, I did very well. The reason I had never gone to college is because I thought that I would not do well at college.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When God talked to me, and the feeling that he imparted to me that was extremely significant, it reinforced my beliefs.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Some as soon after I got out of the hospital, others spread out over time.
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 In the short term, I was able to relate it to my grandmother, who is the strongest Christian that I know, and she helped organize prayer chains around the country for me. She was the only one I confided in at first, because after that I was fighting for my life, and then everything went wrong with the sepsis.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I had an experience that was definitely real, but that people will have a hard time believing in this day and age. I know that God is real, and I know the difference between your conscious talking to you and someone else. The voice I heard was not my own, and it happened in the middle of that river, where there was no one else. I can't explain why I was so conscious, and I can't explain my feeling that I had at the time other than the fact that an other-worldly experience happened to me, and that is the only explanation that I have for what happened to me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No