Age Five: I remember our family living in Bartow, Fla. on a piece of property belonging to my Grandfather. I remember being sick with some childhood illness and my mother putting me to bed. My sleeping arrangement was a small cot by a south-facing window with sunlight streaming through the glass and casting a brilliant glow on the floor.
I felt very weak and tired and was lying there watching the dust particles dance in the light. I was paying particular attention to the color of the suspended dust particles. I noted that they appeared a silvery color eventually turning to a golden hue. The golden glow begins to fill the room with its radiance. Within an instant, I am outside standing in our backyard at the edge of the orange grove. I had no clue that my body was still in bed within the confines of the house. I looked at myself and I had my natural five-year-old body. From my perspective nothing appeared unusual I had been in our back yard many times and there was nothing unusual about this moment.
As I began to look about, I noticed something out in the middle of the orange grove that was out of place. Growing up out of the grove was a great mountain with beautiful inlayed steps ascending to the heavens. This stunning sight captured my attention and I had to explore this fascinating feature.
Within an instant, I am standing at the base of the mountain finding myself starting to ascend the stairs. As I climbed upward, I looked to the top of the peak and saw a most remarkable sight. Flowing from the top was an array of light beams. They were filling the starry heavens with the most beautiful light. I was so caught up by this sight that all I wanted to do was to ascend to the top and join the light.
As I made my way upward, I noticed that people were positioned on each of the steps. They were dressed in beautiful flowing garments that constantly changed color. The people were beautiful to look at but paled in compassion to the radiant light above. I felt I had a mission to make it to that light. As I reached mid-point on my way up, the people formed a V-shaped wedge, which blocked my progress.
At the apex of this configuration, a man stepped from the formation toward me. He looked at me and told me that I had to turn around and go back where I came from. I told him I did not want to go back. I wanted to go to the top of the mountain and into the light. Again, he remarked that I must return to where I came from. I became frustrated and attempted to run through his legs. He knew my intentions and blocked my passage. Very firmly, the man remarked that I did not belong there yet, that I had to go back where I came from. With a deep sadness, I descended the stairs. At the base of the stairs, I again looked up toward the light. I so longed to be with that light.
Age Ten: Saturday October 19, 1957 my family along with the Gresham family decided to have a belated birthday party in my honor at Lake Jackson State Park. This park is located outside of the city limits of Lake Jackson, Texas.
The weather was beautiful and all the children were having a great time running free in the park. Previously our parents had warned us to stay away from the main road that cut through the park. We all promised our parents that we would not go near the road. We went out through the park exploring all that caught our attention. After a while, we found ourselves near the road we had been warned about. One of our group suggested that we should crawl through a large drainage culvert that ran under the roadway. We agreed on this approach and began to crawl through.
We all made the trip through the culvert without incident. However, on my way through I caught sight of a spider, which frightens me. I had a dread of spiders as my mother often told us children of the time she was bitten by a black widow spider. We stayed on the other side of the road for a few minutes and decided to return through the culvert. The other children did not share my concerns about the spider and effortlessly made the trip back through.
I knew if I ran across the road, I could make it to the other side before the others. I thought it the correct plan of action since I was afraid of crawling through a spider-infested culvert. I took off across the road without looking for traffic. Bam! I was hit on the left side of my body by a force so powerful that in an instant I was knocked out of this world. The instant I was hit, my field of vision went from one of trees and sky with beautiful clouds to that of solid white light. My world went from natural to divine in an instant.
After the accident, I came to, to the crying voices of my friends and family. And en-route to the hospital I came to in the ambulance to the worried look on my mother's face. The several times I came to, I was provided my consciousness with a sequential series of events that stayed with me even while I was in the world of white light. The series of events left the impression in my mind that my family did love me. Up until the accident, my brothers were mean and cruel to me and I felt that they did not want me in the family.
Later I learned I was in a coma for eleven days and during this time I remained in the place of light. I felt complete and at home there. It was not a static place, there was much activity. I knew I was loved and cared for. Some may think that my childhood description of the place of light would represent the final resting place of the soul. It is not! I eventually moved on to my life and family, knowing someday I will return to the splendor of light.
Age Forty-four: I had been living and working in the Fort Worth, Texas area for just about a year. I entertain myself on the weekend by going down to the local airfield to practice flying. With over a hundred flying hours, I felt fairly confident in my ability to handle a Cessna 152. It had been the plane of choice for practice.
It was late march and the weather was still cool and pleasant for north Texas. I prefer to fly in the cooler air because it is denser and supports flying better. My job was a 4-10 arrangement. This meant we had off on Friday and I liked having more time for flying. I went down to the airfield around 9:00 am and rented one of the Cessna 152 for flight practice. My flight practice schedule for the day consisted of doing departure stalls at altitude (usually conducted at 4,500 feet).
I took off and departed the field for the practice area. I had climbed to 2,500 feet and decided I would slow the plane from one hundred to about sixty mph. This speed was to be the rotation speed to use when making a departure stall. To achieve this speed I had to use ten degrees of flaps to increase drag to slow the plane from its original speed.
Pilots practice departure stalls as a rehearsal for the actual event. I am using the term rotation very loosely in this narrative I believe it is a word reserved strictly for the rotation that occurs when the pilot is traveling down the runway for takeoff. Rotation occurs when the pilot reaches the design speed, which allows the plane to overcome drag and achieve liftoff. For the Cessna 152 this speed is fifty-four knots. When this speed is reached, the pilot pulls back on the yoke and the plane lifts off.
The definition of departure stall is when on takeoff the plane leaves the runway and on climb out the angle of attack on the wing is so great as to lose the air flow over the wing. When this occurs, the plane is said to stall. Quite simply if you don't take immediate corrective action you are about to fall from the sky. The corrective procedure is to push the yoke forward causing the nose of the plane to point earthward. If you have enough altitude for recovery, the increased airflow over the wing will put your back in control of the aircraft. With God's blessing hopefully you will live to fly another day.
For this reason, that is why pilots always practice departure stalls at safe altitudes. As I was saying, I had slowed the plane to the rotation speed of sixty mph. Once I was at this speed, I pulled back on the yoke to spill the airflow from the wing producing an immediate shudder of the wing and then the stall. Instead of the planned stall, the plane snapped hard to the right with the nose falling earthward in a corkscrew spin. Without hesitation, I employed counter rotation as the corrective action to recover from the spin. However, my procedure did not work and the earth was racing toward me at a hundred and twenty knots.
Instantly I developed the most intense headache centered in my forehead. The pain and pressure felt the size of a quarter and in that instant the pain exploded and I heard the following words, 'Let go you don't have enough reaction time for that.' Upon hearing the words, I concluded my subconscious was informing me I had bought the farm. For a nanosecond, I resisted the notion to let go of the controls. In the following instant, I let go of the controls, and laid my hands in my lap and waited for the impact.
In the few microseconds, I had left on the earth I realized I had for the first time truly surrendered to forces beyond my control. The only recognizable regret I had in that moment was for the wellbeing of the plane. I thought what a shame to damage such a wonderful machine.
My thoughts were moving faster than the speed of light and at this incredible speed, I knew with certainty that my life was over. As I gazed at the earth rushing up at me, I could see the birds flying around in the tops of the trees that I was about to impact. As I continued to gaze upon the unfolding drama, I noticed the rotation of the plane slowing. Eventually the spin gave way to a slowly increasing arc, which eventually reached a straight-line geometry.
Immediately after the plane entered straight and level flight it began to climb to an altitude of eight hundred and fifty feet. It was at this altitude that I again put my hands and feet back on the controls. Once I was back under the control of the plane, I looked around and realized for the first time what had caused the snap roll. I looked down between the seats and noticed that I still had ten degrees of flaps on the wing. Immediately I cleared this error and regained control of the operational surfaces of the plane.
I continued to practice stalls for an additional thirty minutes. Tiring of this I decided to return to the airfield to land and secure the plane. Additionally, the second mistake was to be at the unsafe altitude of 2,500 feet instead of the required 4,500 feet.
I walked into the flight office, talked with the chief flight instructor, and explained what had just happened. The chief instructor remarked that I am luck to be alive. He said because of the low altitude of 2,500 feet that I am fortunate that the plane was able to fly out of the spin. The Federal Aviation Agency requires pilots to be at an altitude of 4,500 feet before practicing stalls.
Walking to my car, I noticed my legs trembling. Opening the car door and easing into the driver's seat, I turned on the ignition to the car to let it warm before taking off. As I sat there, I realized my legs were incredibly weak. I was concerned about my ability to drive the car. I felt alert like being on caffeine. I realized I needed to relax; maybe a few cold beers would calm me down. After about ten minutes, I drove out of the parking lot and headed for the expressway.
I stopped at a convenience store and picked up a pack of beer. I drove on to my apartment in Fort Worth and parked my car. With my purchase of cold beer in hand I walked to my residence unlocked the door, entered, and locked the door behind me. I put up all but one beer, walked over to the sofa, and sat down. Opening the beer, I turned it up and took a long drink then another and another. Finishing the first, I returned to the fridge for another cool brew and returned to the sofa.
After several beers, I felt calmer, but still very alert. My mind was racing back and forth pondering the events from earlier in the day. I began to see the events in a different light more of a philosophical reflection. I viewed the events from the point of view of control - how we humans go about our lives thinking we have control and that in an instant our control is gone and nothing we can do will provide us the certainty of our actions we desire.
I thought about how people do lip service to the word surrender. Religious people are always taking about surrender to friends, neighbor, and the ultimate surrender to God. No man can surrender until our Creator is ready for us to surrender. If a man thinks he surrenders, he is mistaken because it is not God's view of surrender. Only God can bring about the surrender that is required for a soul to be humble before its Creator.
In the plane when I had no control over my life, I was brought to surrender by the circumstances of the moment. In that moment I surrendered to the idea of my death and in that special moment, God granted me a new continuation of life. In a way, I felt as if I had actually died and was resurrected.
Never in my life have I been so alert. It took three days for me to calm enough to get restful sleep.
Date NDE Occurred: '1952, 1957, Mar.1992'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' . At age five I was very ill. Age 10 was a life threatening accident. Age forty-four was a life threatening experience.
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 each of the experiences. You cannot enter that realm without being altered.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During each of the experiences. You cannot enter that realm without being altered.
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 At age five you don't have a strong sense of space and time. Everything that happens to you is more in the here and now.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Normally our senses are filtered down to accept the frequencies of this life and when we cross over our senses are most acute.
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 While in the light you cannot generally see other people because of the intensity of the light. You however feel the presence of people all around.
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 At age five I saw the light from a distance and at age ten I went into the light for eleven days. At age forty-four I did not see the light but I heard a very powerful voice talking to me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm AT AGE 5 I WENT TO THE GREAT MOUNTAIN WITH THE INLAID STEPS ACCENDING TO THE HEAVENLY LIGHTS.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Completeness.
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
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal
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 Not a requirement for a five year old child. Only adults want to know! Children only want to have fun!!
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am more thoughtful to those in my life.
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? What was most important to me was to join the light on a permanent basis.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes One or two close friends and family members.
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. We come into this life and pretend it is real only to die and leave it behind. Our spiritual life is permanent and real, it is our substance our essence.
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? Not at this time.