It was late. December 21, 1999 around 11:45pm. I worked late at a department store, for the Christmas rush. Outside it was an ice storm. I was nineteen, seemingly unaware of how dangerous it could be and was ultimately careless, as I was not driving cautiously on the slick roadways. I was four houses down from my house, almost home, when I turned the corner and my car spun out of control. It gained speed and ultimately flung itself over a steep cliff.I wasn't wearing my seatbelt, and I remember while mid-air, everything slowed down. I felt like I was moving in super slow motion. I could see the trees move past and was able to recognize my state and current position. I didn't feel panicked at all. And inside my head, no word of exaggeration, I heard, ‘Ok, in a second you're going to hit that tree. The air will be knocked out of you. As soon as you hit, it’s important that you breathe right away.’ The back end of my car hit another tree. I was thrown to the back of the car and then bounced from the back as the car slammed into the big pine tree. My head hit the passenger side dash. I remember it being very black, and then I heard ‘breathe and get out.’I managed to get out of my car that was nose down in the ditch and stumble up the hill. I started screaming for someone to help me. My car was on fire and I was covered in gasoline. Ultimately, nearby people heard me and called 911. I had a severe concussion. I lacerated my liver almost in half, broke a rib and punctured my lung. If I had not taken that deep breathe immediately, I could have passed out, as my head already had trauma and my car would have blown up, as I was all the way down an embankment and no one could see me. Here it's all woods and lots of places where people are scarce. I remember it vividly, the slow motion and the voice that told me to breathe. It was a woman. I'm an atheist, so for me to say anything like this is rare. Perhaps I just hit my head too hard, or perhaps I did indeed get a little help. It wasn't my time.
Date NDE Occurred: 12/21/1999
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
A severe car accident. My car flipped twice. I had no seat belt and my liver was completely severed.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
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 It's almost like I could see what was going to happen next. I knew what was going to happen and what I needed to do. I could hear a woman's voice instructing me. It was very strange.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Before I hit the tree.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
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. This accident happened in a matter of seconds, but I felt like I had mentally been given minutes because I was able to figure everything out.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Silent. I couldn't hear anything, except this woman's voice in my head.
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? No
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? I was nervous, but amazingly calm.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I was able to visually construct my escape plan before I hit the tree, while everything moved in slow motion. It was the most amazing experience of my life.
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Atheist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Atheist
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 I don't believe in anything religious or angels or afterlife etc. I was mind blown.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify A woman's voice instructing me on what was about to happen and what I needed to do to survive.
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain
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? Yes I was being instructed. Doctors said had I not immediately taken that breath I could have died having passed out from lack of oxygen after my head injury. My car was smoking and I was covered in gas.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not 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 does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? I am uncertain if an afterlife exists Uncertain
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately 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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I have changed from an atheist to someone who is closer to changing. I am able to change my thoughts with new Information.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 When I think back to the accident, that voice and knowledge and slow vision is what I first think of.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The voice literally saved my life. Something in my head took over my vision and hearing. All I could see was slowness and a calm woman's voice. I can't explain it.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I've told two or three people. Most people would think I'm crazy if I said it.
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
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
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