It was a warm summer day around 3:00 PM. My cousin Troy and I were goofing off as kids usually do. We took our grandmother's four-wheeler out for a ride on her farm. For a couple hours we were having fun, but it took a turn for the worse when we became reckless. At the time, Troy was driving the vehicle and I was on the back. We were performing high speed maneuvers on the sides of hills for a bit of fun. We were accelerating on the side of a hill. Here in Kentucky you'd be hard pressed to find a flat stretch of land. I remember telling Troy to go faster so I could soothe the burns on my legs with the wind. I burned them on the engine due to wearing shorts. As we topped our speed around 40mph we reached a point where we encountered a barbed wire fence. We weren't paying much attention at the time. By the time we realized it, it was too late to slow down. The only option was to make a hard turn. Troy did just that, and the next second felt like the longest second of my entire life.
When we did a hard turn, the vehicle flipped and we were thrown off. I felt a split second of fear until I was suspended in midair. While in midair I felt a sudden serenity, and emptiness. It felt so empty, that I felt like I could float in the air like a balloon. That's when a sudden burst of pure thought flowed through my mind. The thought contained an immense amount of information. It contained pretty much every single thing I'd done in my short amount of life and flashed into my head; the good times, the bad times, and everything in between. There were even memories that were seemingly insignificant. One such thought was the very first time I made eggs and bacon for my parents at the age of 5. The entire time, I felt both happiness and some guilt over the people I wronged. Fortunately as a 12 year old I didn't encounter too many people I had wronged yet, so the guilt was on the light side.
Then the most significant part happened. I saw my death. I was within my body and landed hard on the ground. I saw my cousin land a few feet next to me. I felt a sharp pain in my arm, it felt like it was broken. I barely had time to register before the four wheeler landed right on me. I was crushed under its weight and speed of impact. It was all so suddenthat I couldn't really register what happened. Right before the impact, I thought in the back of my head, 'Is this it? Am I supposed to die now?'
Then I was engulfed in darkness for what felt like a few minutes. It wasn't a terrifying darkness, it was comforting. It was like the feeling I get when I'm in a waiting room at a clinic and reading a magazine. I felt like I was waiting for something in relative comfort before I was called in by a nurse to see the doctor. Then all of a sudden, a flash of light happened and I snapped back into reality.
When I came to, I was still in midair and everything was going on in slow motion. I could look around and see what was going on in vivid-detail like someone slowed time down to 20%. After a couple seconds of that, it's like someone pressed the resume button. Everything went full speed ahead. I landed hard on the ground just like I did when I witnessed my death. On the very same side, I busted my left arm on the landing. I didn't have time to register the four-wheeler landing 2 inches away from my right side and continuing to flip down the hill after me. My cousin again landed a few feet away from where I was. He seemed to take less damage due to the way he tumbled on impact. After a few seconds we both got up in confusion.
Troy slowly got up and limped after the four-wheeler that was now about 50 feet away from us. I got up, clutching my arm, and wondering what happened. I asked my cousin if he felt or saw anything strange but he said nothing happened. I stood there for a couple of minutes clutching my left arm, wondering if I actually died, or didn't die and this was all a dream. Then after collecting my thoughts and calming down, Troy drove up next to me. He fetched the four-wheeler and it was still operational. We drove back to our grandmother's house and explained what happened. She took us inside and inspected my arm, luckily it was only a sprain. She made a makeshift sling, put my arm in it, and didn't worry about taking us to the doctor. We were bruised, cut and shaky, but we didn't seem to have anything wrong with us. Neither of us landed on our heads - thankfully.
To this day, I wonder if I was destined to die that day or if by some divine intervention, I was saved from death. When I got older and learned about the pseudoscience of parallel universes, I had a distinct thought that maybe the 'me' that died was another me in another Universe. I thought that somehow, in that moment, we were linked together through thought. I'm still not sure what to make of it, it was a close call that I don't think I'll ever forget.
Date NDE Occurred: 07/23/2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
An accident that involved my cousin and I. We were driving a four wheeler in a hilly field when we turned too fast on the side of a hill and it flipped.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 I could feel my own heart beat, I was very in tune with my body.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While I was suspended in midair.
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
Time slowed down significantly enough that I had time to examine my surroundings in a mere second of being suspended in midair.
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. There was no change of hue or lighting, just a sharp contrast to everything. Everything was so sharp in my mind, like I could count the number of blade in a tuft of grass sharp.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Dulled, I didn't really hear much besides my own thoughts.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The flash of light when I was brought out of the darkness was so intense I felt blinded.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place The darkness, it's hard to describe. It was like being in a pitch black room where the only thing I could see was my own body.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Emptiness at first, then happiness, then guilt, then a distinct calmness.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control See other input.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I saw my own death.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated I'm a Christian Deist at the moment.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience. Surprisingly, despite being a devout follower at the time, I did not encounter spiritual feelings. I felt no God or other presence with me in any of the moments it happened. It honestly bugs me to this day that there was none of that.
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? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain It's funny you mention that. In that moment I felt like I've always existed. As in I've always been around in some form or another. While I felt this emotion I did not see any past lives, to prove it. But in a way I saw a parallel me.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I had a realization that all my life choices matter, no matter how insignificant. A choice branches my life into different paths, which will lead to different outcomes.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Uncertain From this experience, I'm a firm believer that anything that can happen does happen in one way or another. In one instance I'm alive, in another instance I'm dead. The only minute difference is where that four wheeler landed that can make both realities happen.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Uncertain The darkness sure felt like purgatory.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes. When I felt like I was dead I realized how fragile life can be.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain How can I tell?
After the NDE:
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
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 felt it was real for years. I think about it from a more rational standpoint now.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably rea.l While I could rationally explain that the whole experience was induced by chemicals caused from extreme duress that sparked the hallucinations and time dilation, I still feel there's some truth to what I witnessed.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No