In spring 1975, I was attending my junior high-school year in Greece at a public school. At that time High-School education was not co-ed in my country, so this was a high-school for females only. That sunny day we were taken for a walk to the parks surrounding the sea promenade of our city. Thessaloniki is built around the horseshoe of Thermaikos Gulf and that's the most favorite place to spend time on a sunny day. My best friend and school mate had got secretly married that summer (she'd be expelled if teachers were to find out) so we considered ourselves a couple of 'sophisticated' teenagers; too sophisticated to spend time in the park by the sea. She called her young husband to pick us up with his car and drive us to a cafeteria until the end of the school excursion, but things didn't work out that well for both of us!
Five minutes after he picked us up, less than a mile down the Bay Boulevard, we were caught in a severe accident. A taxi coming out one of the side exits lost control and hit us with high speed right in the middle of our car side. I was sitting at the back, right behind the driver. Last thing I recall was shouting out 'Watch Out!' while the taxi was coming right on us and then...
I found myself speeding fast up in the air inside a tunnel, light as a feather. A tunnel full of holes all around that bright light beams were coming through. I could hear the sweet sound of hundreds of chimes in the wind and I've never felt happier or more ecstatic in my whole life while swirling around and around. I was listening to the chimes and enjoying the gorgeous feeling not being able to get enough of it. This place was so gorgeous that I couldn't get enough of it and I just had to see it all! I looked up and I saw the end of the tunnel far away. A very bright, beautiful light that was not hurting my eyes at all. A destination I felt eager to reach.
Yet something inside me forced me to look downwards too. I'm not certain if it was a voice or curiosity - yet I knew that I had to return.
I realized that I was hundreds of meters above in the air. What caught my eye was the roof of the highest and most expensive hotel in that area, built by the sea. I recall watching the summer bar stationed up there and the tables with yellow-white striped sun umbrellas all around. That hotel was at our starting point where we had got into the car! Immediately I came to realization that I had no body but only eyes. The tunnel disappeared, the swirling stopped and now I was floating in slow motion loosing height slowly but steadily, I drifted down the Boulevard area by the wind, closing more and more upon the accident point.
The incredible happiness feeling was faded out, now I was just a curious and cool observer of what I was seeing in this unexpected trip on the air. Reaching the accident, I was only a couple of meters above in the air. I saw our car almost twisted around an electricity pole at the side of the street. A white Mercedes was parked next to it and my best friend, safe and sound outside the car - yet in panic - was asking the men who came out of it to help her get the rest of us out. The driver's seat wouldn't open, yet they knew her husband was alive as he was moaning with pain - his ribs were broken.
One of them was tall with a white shirt while the other was stockier with a green sweatshirt and a small bald at the back of his head. I could tell as my view of them was straight from above and I couldn't see their faces. They debated over the fact that he'd be safer with the ambulance that was on its way so they opened the back door to help the other passenger. There was my body, lying on the back seat unconscious. I was completely aware of that body belonging to me yet, no feelings, no emotion, no compassion at all, just a cool spectator hovering at the time at one meter above the scene, slightly sideways.
The men grabbed my body by one foot each and slowly pulled me out of the back seat. I heard my best friend asking if I was alive - the man in the white shirt reassured her I was still breathing and that they would take me to the closest hospital. She helped them to put me in the back seat of the Mercedes and all that time I was getting lower and lower myself. By the time the Mercedes took off, I felt I'm passing through its roof towards the interior, closer to my body.
Next thing I recall is myself waking up on a wheelchair with a nurse by my side, pushing me down the hospital corridor towards the emergency room.
Date NDE Occurred: Spring 1975
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Other Car accident with deep cut on my throat caused by shattered glass - during the experience my body was unconscious
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At all times but mostly when I looked downwards in the tunnel, that's when I realized what was happening to me.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? My eyes were not at all hurt by the extreme brightness of the light inside the tunnel and when I went through the roof of the Mercedes I felt it like Jell-O instead of metal.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? The clarity of those chimes I can still recall after all those years. It was the most soothing sound I've ever heard and despite the distance I had on the air when I reached the accident area, I could hear the voices underneath loud and clear!
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? Yes
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 Up to this day I can't recall if after looking downwards the decision to return was completely mine or forced to me by an inside voice that didn't belong to myself.
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Incredible happiness, ecstasy, peace, a unique feeling that can't be described with words. Other than that no other emotion at all.
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 I learnt with certainty that we DO have a soul. A soul that's capable to exist outside our body in a world much better than our own. This realization has marked my life ever since. I'm not afraid to die, but most important - my entire attitude and behavior towards life and other human beings has changed for the better.
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? Liberal Although an Orthodox Christian I was not close to the church with complete denial to the conservatism taught and quite a dislike towards Priesthood in general, yet I believed in the existence of a superior being we use to call "God" in all sort of religions. I consider "God" a very personal business for each individual and I don't accept the need of any sort of intermediates in our communication if I feel the need to pray.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal same as above - nothing's changed
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 The experience changed my attitude towards people completely. Somehow I got mature at sixteen, learnt how to be patient and good-willing, reason, accept and forgive people a lot easier. My sense of fairness and justice expanded - in a few words I became a better person.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain The only part of my experience that I could never express accurately with words was the feeling of complete indifference towards my body although I was aware of the fact that it belonged to me. All emotional ties were completely cut off - something impossible to experience in a normal condition. That feeling was so odd afterwards although at the time I was not at all puzzled by it, we see a stranger hurt and we feel pity for him, watching your own body hurt and yet feeling absolutely nothing as this being was the most normal thing in the world, well, it's not at all easy to describe!
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? All of it - I consider it the most important event of my entire life - the turning point when I realized the person I should be. I was just a wild teenager at the time so it definitely affected me a lot and for the better!
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my father about my experience the very next day in the hospital. We were very close and I knew he was always a man of open mind. He heard me skeptically but I could sense he believed me. He took me to the hotel roof a month later to verify that what I had seen was real. We talked about it lots and lots of times in the years after, last time a few months before he passed away - seven years ago. He was eager to visit that unlimited happiness I had described and get free of his illness. My own experience had comforted his own departure and helped me to accept his loss with calmness although we were always very close.
I've shared my experience years later with a few of my friends and relatives too but their reactions varied. Others wanted to believe me, others laughed, a couple asked me again to tell them my story over and over again.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I was too young at the time.
But after the experience, along with the help of my father, I managed to locate articles and books on the subject and realize that I was not the only one - it made me feel a lot better despite the fact I had no doubts myself that my experience was real!
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. The next day that I woke up in the hospital a policeman had come to inquire about the accident. I faked 'amnesia' and I told him that I had no recollection at all after the taxi hit us. I was too afraid I might be considered a lunatic if I'd speak the truth. For the very same reason I didn't say a word to my doctors but spoke only to my father whom I trusted completely.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It's been thirty years ever since yet every detail is vivid in my mind. I recall it often and I consider it my personal treasure, my guidance through life as I've completely lost fear of death. I'm not looking forward to it but I know it's not the end and what comes next is definitely better!
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? I wish every single person had had a NDE experience in his lifetime - this world we live in would be completely different!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I don't think so - you've covered it all