In early 1969 I had an out of body experience. At least this is what I think; it is hard to tell. I was on the Aircraft Carrier USS Hancock during a recovery. I was on the flight deck to de-arm the ordinance of one of our planes when it landed during night flight ops. An F-8 crashed on the fantail (round down) exploding on impact. The airplane broke in half; the cockpit with the pilot went forward off the ship. The debris came flying at us at 110 mph the burning fuel following. I have lived that moment a million times.
After all these years, I can still see the nose of the plane rise up at an awkward angle. At that point, I got a sick feeling. I knew this was going to be bad. The sound was unreal as the fuel burst and ignited. I was staring at a wall of burning jet fuel coming right at me. It was all in slow motion almost frame by frame. I find this hard to put on paper.
I felt myself looking at myself I was high and to the right of where I was standing. Then the word 'move' came to me loud, very loud and clear. I moved and so did the guy next to me. After the initial blast, I got up and manned a fire hose. Thirty years later, I found that guy on a website and e-mailed him. He said he pulled me from the fire. I don't remember that. It all happened very fast as you could imagine.
I remember seeing the ship from high up at least a hundred feet or more as the ship seemed small. I remember feeling as if I really didn't want to go back. The voice I heard left no doubt that I was to go back.
Date NDE Occurred: 1969
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Aircraft crash and explosion.
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 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? It only lasted a few seconds so I was at a high level of consciousness the whole time.
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
What was happening on the flight deck was happening at about 110 mph. But I saw it all in slow motion. I knew someone was with me - high above me.
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. I couldn't understand how I could see myself or see the ship from so far up. It just didn't make any sense.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Not able to explain.
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 Obviously someone was there because I heard the word 'move'. I was on a flight deck with jets turning and an explosion. I had ear protection on. The word move was in my head. I'm not sure if I could have heard anything at that time because of what was happening. The word move was not from me. It wasn't a thought. It was someone. I was aware of a presence but didn't see anyone. They seemed large and above me.
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? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Terror.
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 Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes When I got out of the service I hooked up with a cult. I call it that but it was the World Wide Church of God. I learned a lot but left after over twenty-five years. Now I don't go to church but I feel closer to God than ever.
What is your religion now? Moderate Not religious but spiritual
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes When I got out of the service I hooked up with a cult. I call it that but it was the World Wide Church of God. I learned a lot but left after over twenty-five years. Now I don't go to church but I feel closer to God than ever.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes In the last three years I have grown and changed so much I can hardly believe it.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Unlike anything I've ever experienced.
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? I became clear I had more life to live and learn.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I never talked about it until the last few years and then only to my wife and son.
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 I tried not to think about it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I wonder about it all the time. I would love to know more and who it was that commanded me to go back to 'move'. Was it an Angel? Guide? Whoever it was meant business.
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? After my shipmate told me he pulled me from the fire I believe had I not come back I would have been dead.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Unsure.