Experience Description

It was a hot summer's day and I was on a family outing at a park in Idaho where there was a popular swimming area. Out in the deeper water there were anchored rafts that you could swim out to and sunbathe on. My cousin Ronnie and I ran ahead of the rest of the family and jumped into the water. The beach and the bottom of the swimming area were rocky and rough so I thought it best to keep my tennis shoes on so I would not hurt my feet. We started swimming out to one of the rafts. I got to maybe 50 feet from the raft when I realized that my tennis shoes were so full of water that I could not move my legs enough to keep on swimming. I tried to turn around to swim the shore, which was further away from me than the raft. It was all I could think about doing in my state of panic. I was screaming for help. My cousin jumped in to save me but I was fighting too much so he took off for shore to get help. I was going under the water, over and over again, swallowing water and crying. Then, I finally went under the water and just gave up.

The last thing I remember noticing was how the sunlight slanted through the water. Suddenly I was high up in the air and could see myself floating face down. I could see my cousin waving his arms and yelling for help and my dad running toward the water. I also saw another man jump up and run toward the water. At that point, I remember thinking that I really wanted to tell my dad not to be so scared, because I was in a safe place. Then my favorite grandma, who had died several years before, was next to me. I did not see her; I just knew she was there. She said ‘You have to go back Mitchell, you cannot be here yet’. The next thing I knew, I was being carried up the beach by the man I had seen jump up and run toward the water to help rescue me.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 'August, 1959'

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' I nearly drowned.

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? As I floated above. It was so peaceful and so SAFE!

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

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. It is hard to explain other than to say that I was seeing and feeling everything as if I were a part of everything.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My Grandma's voice was her gentle, loving voice. The voices of the people on the beach below seemed to be coming from far away but they were still audible.

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

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

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 My Grandma who told me I had to go back and I did not want to.

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 Not really a light, more that everything seemed to have a golden glow.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Happiness, safety, love and a kind of sadness for my loved ones because they could not be in this beautiful place with me.

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 Baptist

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I enjoy a much deeper feeling of peace in my daily life because I know what awaits us when we die.

What is your religion now? Moderate Buddhist

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I enjoy a much deeper feeling of peace in my daily life because I know what awaits us when we die.

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 As above.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was not until I was in my late 20s that I told anyone what I had experienced. That experience has been the inspirational bedrock of my life. I am looking forward to going back there again.

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? Knowing that there is a heaven and that I will be with my loved ones again. This has been the safety net for me through the rough patches in my life.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was probably 15 years before I told my dad about it. He believed me. So did my mom. I have not really been met with skepticism from anyone I have told.

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 just knew, deep in my heart, from the outset that what happened to me was real.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know what I experienced and over the years I have heard of others who have had similar experiences. Those people are unknown to me and that makes me feel even surer that what I experienced was real.

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