Experience Description

I listened to the show Dr. Long had recently on Near Death Experiences on Art Bell's radio show.

I never thought about it much but after listening to your show, I wanted to share something with you that just seemed to suddenly click and make sense now that it might have been an NDE. I was a mercenary in my youth and had been shot in the lower left jaw during a 'situation.'

I was not immobilized as it was a small caliber and after about three days when the swelling in my face went down enough I asked my fellow soldier to try to take the bullet out, as I was worried about lead poisoning as well as other infection. You have to understand that we were not in the situation where medical help was close or even an option.

Well, in order to take this thing out, I had him choke me out from behind with his bicep and forearm. He wanted to put me out long enough to get the task done so he held me down until I passed out and then held on for about another half a minute. This cut the supply to and from my brain off as he used his arm to constrict the flow via the corroded arteries. We had practiced this in training and we used it as a last resort for such field surgeries and amputations. I guess technically my brain had stopped as your guest mentioned after ten seconds of no blood to the brain it stopped making brain-waves.

When I was out, I had a real strange experience. I had for the lack of a better term a slide show. Maybe it was a movie but slide show seems to better describe it, as it was just one image after another in a very, very rapid succession.

I cannot remember exactly what the images were but it was both interesting, and in viewing these flashes, I knew I had seen these before. I would say my life was flashing before me but it seemed almost to much to take in at the time. I felt comfortable though - well, until the blood began to flow back in my brain. I woke to the echo of a scraping sound, which was my partner Rusty scraping the cartilage or whatever it was that had formed around the bullet. I woke up and he had still not even gotten the bullet out. He said I was out for nearly a minute.

I asked him to stop as the pain was rather acute and then took some deep breaths and asked him to put me out again and this time get the dammed bullet out. The same thing happened to me again. This time when I awoke, he had some forceps on the round and was tugging at it. It had cracked my jaw a little but had become lodged just forward of the part of the jaw that is rearmost and begins to curve upward toward the ear.

Rusty asked if I wanted to be put out again and I said no I think I was getting brain damaged from the lack of oxygen. He continued to tug and cut a little and then finally yanked out the round. Afterward I found that he could not go through the entrance of the round but had to make a new incision under the jaw.

Well afterward, I rested a bit and the next day we were back at it hot and heavy as we had not completed the mission. Once I got back I was checked and the wound had not been infected and there was little to do but I never mentioned the 'slide show' I saw. It was not until I heard the radio show that I thought of what it might be.

Now I realize I was not physically dead but I was brain dead for the most part as no oxygen was going to the brain for a bit. I wonder if that would be an NDE under a somewhat controlled condition as the brain was oxygen deprived.

Well, when it was all said and done, I never thought of it much as any kind of religious experience as I continued to wage war on my fellowman for another five years or so before I figured out I might want to step back and try something else in life.

Just a twist on the NDE experience. I do know that after this, whenever I encountered anything dying, I would make a point of getting right down next to the body, man or beast, and wait for the last breath and then stare hard to see if I could see the soul leaving the body.

I never did but I often wondered if that had something to do with that one time or if maybe I was just having post-traumatic stress disorder over all the situations I had been in.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 1984

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Direct head injury Small caliber round to the lower left jaw Other Gun shot wound - Was choked out on purpose to cut flow of blood to brain so i would pass out so my partner could take out the bullet

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

Did you feel separated from your body? No

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

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I would think the moments I had no blood left in my brain until it began to flow back again. As soon as it flowed again I knew it and came right back to consciousness - VERY QUICKLY!

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 Yes, Like I said it was quick flashes but it happened in only a minute or so I was without oxygen for only about a half a minute but I think the whole thing took five minutes in my visual time line. Does that make sense?

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Hmm, maybe a bit more crisp but not a real WOW effect just maybe a bit more clear.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I heard nothing.

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? No

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

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Simple - WOW! - that was cool!

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

The experience included: Life review

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I saw an abundant number of images fly by. I think I saw my dead grandfather but it was a flash of an image and there were so many going by I was overwhelmed by them, I did not have time to focus on his image if it was him.

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? Yes Again I became 'Religious' (I hate that word) I prefer spiritual. I am very much more spiritual after this. I noticed on one mission I was playing with some village kids on the Honduran/Nicaraguan Border and was having fun. That was totally against my grain at the time.

What is your religion now? Moderate

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Again I became 'Religious' (I hate that word) I prefer spiritual. I am very much more spiritual after this. I noticed on one mission I was playing with some village kids on the Honduran/Nicaraguan Border and was having fun. That was totally against my grain at the time.

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

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? Uncertain Okay I don't talk about this except with my sister. Not even my wife knows this about me. I feel very connected with I guess you would say a spiritual world. After this, I had been in some rough times when I fought with the Contras in 1985. (I am able to talk about that.) I never ever felt like I would be killed. I had a strange feeling I was supposed to be there and see what was going on. Kind of like a tourist. I am now a very spiritual man but I never had that transformation for many years afterward. I feel no guilt or regret over anything I ever did to anyone when I was out fighting for money. I just look on life as here I am and I am going through the motions until it's over.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Hum. Not really. I guess the fact that I had such a cool show was a neat thing but that's about it.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My sister and now you.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I think I saw a movie about it once when I was a kid but I was never really 'Aware' of it. I am sure I knew of it though, to be honest.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I don't think I understand this question. I had something happen and I figure I know reality from a dream.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I still can look back on this in detail and know it happened.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I had almost died one time after that in a motorcycle accident and suffered a broken vertebr' and a bad head injury. When that happened I felt at peace that I was dying and felt no pain and was looking forward to the end, as it seemed quite peaceful. Then I woke up in massive pain and wished I had died outright. I had a dream come to me twice. It was nothing like the event but it was a bright light, peaceful and I knew I was in the presence of God. I say it was a dream but I have an overwhelming feeling it was not a dream as it was just too real. I even knew my sister was knocking at the door during the event and knew I needed to come back (for lack of a better word) to go let her in. (She forgot her key - we shared an apartment at the time.)

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? While I now believe in God and Jesus. I had turned my back on religion and God on purpose to be more focused on my profession. I did not want morals or feelings getting in the way of a mission and shunned this. Now I am forty-two and while I still have a problem with the way I view life and death and all as I really think that it is just a thing that happens and not a 'Tragic' event. I feel I am here for a reason but my time has not yet come. I went through what I did for some reason and I feel very spiritual now in a way I never really did before. Though, I would like to state I have always been a bit spiritual I just suppressed this when I was a mercenary. I feel spirits around me often. I know that may sound nuts but I do. I think we are not alone here there is something bigger than this.