We were unloading some crates onto a barge several hundred yards off the coast near the mouth of the Mekong river (we called it the Saigon river at the time). The ship was loaded with 500lb. bombs with napalm canisters stacked fifteen or twenty feet high on the deck. They were empty as the tanker transported napalm and the delivery containers were shipped separately. We were taking sniper fire from shore. The Viet Cong were trying to ignite the empty containers and all the crew including me was terrified they would shoot through the side of the ship and set off a bomb in a hold and the explosion would vaporize the ship any second.
I felt a concentrated desire to get off that ship and suddenly an explosion lifted me off my feet and threw me backwards into a bulkhead. (I was later told that some gas bottles lashed beneath the gun platforms exploded, possibly from gunfire.) My next conscious awareness was that I was shooting straight up in the air watching the ship shrink down to three or four inches long below me. I was overwhelmed by the desire to get to shore and suddenly was floating gently down onto a beach bounded by a beautiful green hillside with a path curving up the hill to a ramshackle looking bar. (It had a sign that said 'BAR' in red letters in English.) Next to the path was an empty guard shack that I passed as I walked up to and into the bar. (I remember checking my back pocket to make sure I had my Buck Knife just in case.) I carefully scanned the bar room for threats as I entered, being conscious not to make any aggressive eye contact and saw the usual ruff looking crowd of seaman, dockworkers and B-girls. Suddenly it hit me that it was quiet and that everyone was looking at me instead of minding their own business.
Then I realized that everyone was smiling, just a little Buddha-like smile and fear swept over me and I tensed and looked around for an attack from behind. Then I began to feel waves of love and peace flowing through everything. I felt I wanted to relax and flow with the Waves! Then the fear of the unknown seemed to fill me and I got scared! I ran to the bar and asked the man and women in charge, 'Where is the Willamette Victory? Do you know where she is docked?!' They were smiling, calm and the Great Waves of Love and Peace suddenly terrified me. 'Where are the docks!?' I asked and they pointed back down toward the path. Still smiling and quiet they beamed, 'It's alright,' but I was out the door and heading down the path.
Now I had an overpowering desire to get back to the ship. I had forgotten the snipers, bombs and explosion. I wanted the security of being back on my ship before I was carried away by the Love and Peace. Suddenly I came to the Guard House. Now there was a big tall guard (I remember thinking he must have just come back from taking a leak). He turned and looked at me and 'said' 'You're not supposed to be here!' I put my hand on my knife, kept walking, and said authoritatively, 'Do you know where the Willamette Victory is docked?' He turned and with a long arm pointed down the beach and I got the impression of a port with several ships just down the way. I was feeling glad to have gotten past him and walked in the direction he pointed.
The next conscious moment I woke up lying on a mess table in the ship's crew galley and realized a bed sheet covered me. I jerked, felt my neck crack with pain and was overwhelmed with the stench of shit. I sat up and realized with profound embarrassment that my jeans were full of shit!!! I felt I would never live down having shit my pants on the crew's mess table! I looked around and no one was there so I pulled my socks over my pants cuffs and hobbled to the showers and washed my body and clothes and passed out in the shower. Next time I woke up, I was in my bunk and the First Engineer was arguing with the cook as to whether I was a Jonah and when they saw I was awake, they were all afraid of me. I know because I could FEEL them thinking. After that, I felt like I was twenty feet tall and could look right through anybody. Everyone gave me lots of space and was afraid to talk to me or be alone with me. We unloaded our 'eggs' for the B52's at Sadaheip Thailand but my best experience was on the trip back.
Date NDE Occurred: 1966
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Blown into bulkhead, apparent serious neck injury-crew thought my neck was broken.' Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) No Dr. available. Medic and other crew thought I was dead. Apparently not breathing for 10-15+ min.
Explosion on the ship.
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 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? On the trip home we were empty and caught the tail of a typhoon as we passed the Philippines. The foremast collapsed and we took water, everyone was terrified that we would sink. I thought it was so funny!! I tried to tell them we are immortal! I had no fear! An upwelling of 'I' enveloped me. I wrapped myself in rope on deck and screamed I am Immortal to the storm! I was ENVELOPED in PEACE!! Went back to my bunk went to sleep and when I awoke the Coast Guard had us in tow and escorted us to Hawaii for repairs. Now they were All sure I was a Jonah and they wanted me off that ship as soon as we returned to San Francisco.
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 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 above.
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
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Above
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Explained above.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes
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 Methodist Church
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes The Omnipresence of Consciousness. At death, we are where we are. There will be no drastic transition. We will be made at home for the revelation of Omnipresence. The more we live as if all is ourselves, the more harmonious will be the transition. Love your neighbor as yourself because - Omnipresence.
What is your religion now? Moderate 7th day Adventist but cannot accept the death doctrine
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes The Omnipresence of Consciousness. At death, we are where we are. There will be no drastic transition. We will be made at home for the revelation of Omnipresence. The more we live as if all is ourselves, the more harmonious will be the transition. Love your neighbor as yourself because - Omnipresence.
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
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The overwhelming sense of immortality, the illusionary nature of this 'mortal world' we live in.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? As above.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes
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
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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? Read the Bible as if Jesus is speaking as from and to the 'I' within you. Be still and KNOW that 'I' within you is 'Mighty'. When Jesus speaks - realize that the 'I' within is speaking to the 'me' that you think you are. 'I' is the door; no one comes to the father but through 'I', 'I' Come when you think not - are not thinking - 'I am' is with you always. Accept HIM in I - I dissolves 'I' appears.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Thanks for the opportunity to write this down. Warm Regards!!!