Experience Description

After a summer monsoon rain event my friend and I were throwing rocks into a flooded river bed or wash. I was standing pretty close to the bank when it caved in and I was swept under. I was swept into the mouth of a large culvert, which went under a busy street. I remember looking down and seeing the buttons on my shirt being ripped open and my eyeglasses ripped off. When I tried to look up all I could see was dirty water and debris passing by. Then everything went blank as if there was nothing.

Then I saw, as in a dream, a copy of the local newspaper's front page. I realized it was held by the neighbor lady across the street from our house. A hand turned the first page and I was drawn to an article in the lower left corner of the next page. The title of the story was 'Young Tucson boy drowns in flooded wash'. As I started to read the article, everything went brilliant white and I felt a presence and a hand on my left shoulder. I also remember hearing a faint, gentle voice saying 'It's not your time.'

Instantly I was sitting on the edge of the roadway, with cars passing by, looking down into the rushing water. I looked over at my friend and called his name. He looked back at me; turned white and screamed then got on his bike and rode home. I rode home behind him and told my mom what happened. The next day my dad and I went back to look for my glasses. When we looked into the culvert, we saw that the opposite end had a welded grate in place and my glasses were stuck in the grate. Needless to say, if I had gone into the culvert I would have died. I have a three inch scar on my left leg where I was cut by the culvert. This scar reminds me daily of what happened.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: summer of 1968

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 almost drowned.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

The experience included: Out of body experience

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? When I was looking at the newspaper article.

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. My vision was extremely heightened in clarity.

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? Uncertain The brilliant light seemed endless, but the actual distance moved was minimal.

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 I felt the presence and sensed being touched.

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 The brilliant light was everywhere as if I was part of it.

The experience included: A landscape or city

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The brilliant light seemed beyond anywhere.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Surprise, fear, wonder, peace and then a questioning feeling.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness

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? Conservative/fundamentalist

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No

What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No

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? Uncertain Perhaps the world is more than we see in our daily walk.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

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? The brilliant light.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It took me a long time to tell anyone except my parents.

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 On one level: Don't get close to flooded washes! On another level: There is more to life than what I had thought.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I look at as an experience that I value because it has made me more open to the multitudes of experiences possible.

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 really don't know if this is what you folks would consider a NDE but I have always had the desire to share it with people of your discipline. It was truly a phenomenal experience and I think about it most every day.