The last thing I remember about the accident was seeing the patch of gravel and losing the rear end of the car. I remember thinking 'This is going to hurt,' and that's all. I flipped the car end-over-end seven times totaling it and I was thrown through the roof (it was a hardtop) headfirst.
There was no pain. The next thing I remember, vividly, is a scene of the ambulance and three people working on me. It was a real scene viewed abnormally and I remember hearing voices, but not really caring very much. I heard the people restoring my vital signs and one of them said, 'He's paralyzed.' What was strange is that I observed this whole thing from a perspective of looking down onto my body and the back of the ambulance from behind and above, about twelve feet or so above and twenty feet or so behind the ambulance. It was very vivid, I could see and hear everything, but felt detached.
Next thing I 'remember' is that I am somehow plastered to the ceiling and corner of a hospital room looking down at two or three people working on someone (me) in a hospital bed. It was very weird and again vividly real. Next, I remember moving, flying very fast, like through a tunnel. I saw a small light in the distance that quickly became big and enveloping. I felt a sense of peace and love and still no pain. I felt I was enveloped or sitting with something wonderful and it must have been God I guessed. I felt there was another entity, another creature of light nearby who communicated with me through something like wordless telepathy. It asked me if I wanted to go back, I didn't really, not feeling like this. The being let me know that I could return, but there would be pain all my life. I recall that he asked me again, a second time, and I made the bargain. Immediately I returned to regular consciousness in the hospital bed and was hit by unbelievable pain for the first time. I woke in my body looking up and felt for the first time, pieces of broken teeth in my mouth. Pain was back.
This 'bargain' was so clear to me that I believe it was real, and even though I have tested and tried to deny these events, I cannot. I heard my wife's voice in the emergency room and called out to her. I told her I had been paralyzed. I could not have possibly known this, except that I had somehow 'heard' it when I was barely revived or clearly unconscious. I am a trained observer and scientist, and I have struggled all my life to try to understand these events.
It is interesting that I awoke not paralyzed. Except for my experience, I could not have known that I was considered paralyzed, and so when I discussed this with my doctor some time later he was surprised. When I asked him how this could have happened he said, 'It is the body's natural defense mechanism to shut down.' Well maybe. Similarly, the very few people I ever talked to this about would also dismiss my experiences as neural last-minute misfires and hallucinations.
The post-accident doctor that I spent several years working with (I had crushed the first and third lumbar vertebr', broken several ribs, and crushed most of my teeth) told me he could not really understand why I was not paralyzed and warned me never to go to a chiropractor as any manipulation of my spine could cause damage.
When I think that I may have actually been held in the arms of a loving and real 'God' it overwhelms me even now. Was I 'cured' too? Sure is nice not to be paralyzed.
Date NDE Occurred: 'April 15, 5:30PM 1983'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I wrecked my car and was thrown through the roof of my hardtop '67 Corvette.
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 During the 'deal' and encounter with the beings in the light.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the 'deal' and encounter with the beings in the light.
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
I wasn't sure how much time had passed, could have been seconds or days to me. Real time elapsed - about a day from the accident to reawakening.
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 seemed like I could see through walls if I wanted to and pass through the roof of the hospital room as if they were not even there.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Sounds were real and I could hear most if not all of what was being said abnormally. Sounds were not really significant.
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 It was a tunnel yet not. It was a little like the acceleration on Star Trek where they slip into warp drive, only there is only one star. The movement toward it is immediate and fast.
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 One was the main light, the other a light creature that made the 'deal' and seemed to do all the talking.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 It was white, small at first, and then became enveloping. It was bright yet not like regular light that makes you squint or close your eyes a little. The light seemed to convey emotion and peace.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm There was the light place, there may have been something beyond that but I was made to understand that I was not ready to go there.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love and Peace, no pain even though my injuries were quite severe.
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 I did not have a clear life review, I just don't think I got to that point. Nor did I see or sense other deceased people or relatives. I know this is different from others, but it just didn't happen with me.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Since the event I have had or kind of developed a sort of empathy that lets me understand other's thoughts. The bond is especially strong with my wife as one might expect. I seem to have a sense of predicting some things.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes Once I flew through the roof in the second OBE in the hospital room, I was in a different reality.
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 None- bad catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I go to church occasionally and think that religions are okay and do offer a sincere path to understanding and spirituality. In my opinion, each one is a little corrupt and no religion in my view really gets it right. I strongly believe all wars and killings are hideously wrong. I have a sense of Gaia. My views don't get much play these days.
What is your religion now? Liberal a searcher
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I go to church occasionally and think that religions are okay and do offer a sincere path to understanding and spirituality. In my opinion, each one is a little corrupt and no religion in my view really gets it right. I strongly believe all wars and killings are hideously wrong. I have a sense of Gaia. My views don't get much play these days.
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? Yes Absolutely. There was a very clear deal; you could return but there would be pain.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have definitely become more loving and accepting of others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It seemed so real, yet I have had difficulty in talking to people about it or describing what I felt.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I was able to move something once without touching it by will alone. Unbelievable, but my wife saw it.
A few years after the event, my son was trapped in a crushed canoe in the Platte River. Somehow using incredible strength that seemed to come from somewhere, I was able to lift the canoe out of the raging water where it was wrapped around a tree and retrieve my son. The event is unexplainable to me.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The 'deal' stayed with me as a specific and very clear understanding.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes With my wife and also my friend John immediately after I woke. They both listened and seemed sympathetic, but also tried to dismiss the event or tell me why it wasn't real. I have never been able to discuss this meaningfully with anyone, it's like saying you believe in ghosts or the like.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I had no knowledge of NDEs until I read your book recently and discovered I was not alone. I had heard of colloquialisms like moving toward the light, etc. Imagine my surprise when it happened, it seemed all very supernormal at the time.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real I didn't know what to think. Most of it seemed incredulous but undeniable. Those around me were quick to deny these events as 'brain sparks' and like the doctor, the body's natural defense mechanism. I had severe physical problems to deal with (but thankfully, not paralysis!) and my immediate job was to try to recover so I could care for my family.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Since the experience I have sought some kind of meaning in spirituality, but I am a scientist too. I have thought about the experience a lot and it is amazing that it remains so clear to me even more than thirty years later.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No Tried 'em all (drugs) at one time. Nothing at all even comes close to reproducing this experience.
Since the experience, I seem to work harder at life. I enjoy outdoor 'adventures' and seek risk and adventure. I ski, learned to rock climb right after the experience, and find a lot of solace in the simple observation of nature.