It was December 24, 1968. I am flying back to Pennsylvania from Detroit, Michigan with my father. We are approaching the airport around 8:40 p.m. We're getting ready for landing. There is no warning of trouble. The plane hits trees and crashes onto a mountainside. Its wings break off and the plane flips over and lands into a marsh where snow and mud cover all from the velocity of the impact and through the torn holes in the fuselage.

I am conscious. Yet immediately my mind is putting it all together. I thought I went through the window because I am packed in snow. I think I am on the runway outside and hear ambulance sirens. I am thinking, great help is on the way! Truth is, I am not on the runway nor did I go through the window. There were no sirens either. It’s funny what the mind will do to protect it when making sense isn't possible.

My next thought, "God damn it, I broke my nose!” I felt blood trickling down my face and I thought I had broken my nose. My nose wasn't broken but I had a huge abrasion on the right side of my face from the impact. I couldn't see anything. It was pitch dark and my right arm was pinned under me with my hand in a fist in the middle of my breastbone. I was able to move my left arm and hand. I was trying to reach to dig the snow off to free myself. The pile seemed never ending and the more I tried to reach and see if I could dig out, the more snow I felt. I then began to try and move, pushing my legs and feet to free myself. I was laying on my stomach with my legs and feet extended behind me, and flat on the right side of my face. I could only kick my feet a few inches. I was trapped. At the time, I did not know that the plane had flipped and I was trapped in my seat with the seat belt. I was also pinned against the window trapped by the man next to me. My nose and mouth had sucked in the muck from the marsh. Just this past December, 40 years later, the rescuer told me about my condition. He located me on an Internet site where I wrote a comment after the report posted about my air disaster. The rescuer said he dug the muck out of my mouth and nose so I could breath, which was approximately four hours after the crash. I was the last one they got out alive.

When I couldn't move myself, I began to hear the sounds of screaming around me. I heard my dad screaming over and over, "God help us.” I became aware of pressure as if people were walking on top of me. I yelled, "Stop walking on me." I began to get very frightened of the screams and sounds and I started to feel that I couldn't breath. I was losing air. I grabbed for my dad's hand or thought it was my dad's hand. I said to him, "Daddy, I'm dying." His hand was shaking like a leaf, uncontrollable shaking. I was so frightened by this. I couldn't see. I couldn't breath. I pulled my hand away. I was 17 and I was aware that I was going to die. I was raised Catholic and I started thinking who and what am I sorry for that I need to confess before I die. I started trying to think about the things I was sorry for and in the middle of it, I just thought, "! it, what I've done, I've done." Those were my exact words. Looking back on this experience, I still find it funny that this is what I said. I had given up. I figured, it's too late now. It's over.

The next experience is a profound feeling of calm and peace. I felt like someone had taken a black velvet blanket and wrapped me in it. The feeling was so comforting. I have never felt that kind of peace as strongly. Suddenly, I am outside up in the air, observing just a near distance from the plane. I see my body and my dad's body. I see this bluish, gray light/energy come out of my dad's body. I think, without any emotion, "Oh, daddy died" very matter of fact. I see my body and I see a bluish, gray light go into my body. I just watch. I have no clue nor do I question it. I just observe. The next thought, "Oh, the plane crashed on an Indian burial ground." I sense this rather than see it, but I know it is true, another observation. I then find myself in a place that reminds me of Grand Central Station in New York City. It is kind of a gray place, not dark and not light. There’s a lot of commotion. People are everywhere. The acoustics were loud.

I am watching between two groups of things happening. On my left side, I view people walking two by two in a very calm way. One is a person who crossed; the other is their guide. I sensed peace and support and they were okay. When I looked to my right, I saw people huddled together in circles. Their heads were all down and I sensed this foreboding feeling, sad and forlorn. I sensed confusion and dread. It wasn't comfortable. I realized that both groups were from the crash. Guides came for the ones on the left and those on the right were having difficulty. I don't know why. I then started moving really fast, past the people on the left with their guides. I questioned, "Why am I moving so fast and they are moving so slow?” I found myself going warp speed through this tunnel place. It was bright and light, but I could see past this a dark blackness. I knew it was infinity out there. As fast as I was moving, suddenly I stopped.

I stood on what felt like the edge of a lakeshore. It wasn't a bright place; it was dim and I could hear the sound of water, like a lakeshore. It was as if little laps of water were hitting the shoreline, peaceful and rhythmic. I was alone and it was very quiet except for the sound of what seemed like water, a river, or a lake.

All of a sudden, I heard giggling and laughing. I looked up and across this lake, river, divide, or whatever and saw these three spheres on my far left. They looked like big cotton balls but ethereal, not dense like cotton. They were so excited to see me. I knew it. I sensed it. Everything said was all telepathic as if energy thoughts coming across. Communication was fast. I didn't have to wait or think about it. I just knew. Their laughter and excitement felt so contagious. I just wanted to go over there. It was so drawing. (For example, when you’re sitting in a restaurant and the table near you is having such a good time laughing hysterically, you want to find out what's so funny and laugh too.) I was ready to go over and find out what was so funny. They immediately stopped me and said, "No! We'll come to you." In the next immediate second, they were there on my side. They just came in me, all three. They melded into me and I realized how great communication is without words. Mouthing words is so slow. That is the last thing that happened.

The next moment I am in the plane and I hear a voice say, Oh my God there is someone else in there. I yelled my name. The plane crashed around 8:40 p.m. From what I was told, my rescue occurred around 1 a.m. It was negative five degrees that night with snow blowing and a wind-chill factor. This is according to the rescuer who made a recording of the account the next day, which was 40 years ago. I have the recording; the rescuer sent a copy to me.

Regarding changes that occurred after this experience, that's another story. I'm writing a book navigating trauma and coming out the other side. Thank you to the person who created this place to break the silence about NDEs. Namaste/Peace.