I was born in October, 1926 in Oklahoma. I am, by education, a civil engineer. I am retired from the U.S. Army in which I served for 27 years. I have two college degrees, a bachelor’s of science in mathematics and another in civil engineering. I am in good health and have been throughout my life…with the exception of dying and that occurred only once. I have no mental derangement or nervous disorders. At least of which I am aware.
One morning in February, 1999, I was awakened by early symptoms of a heart centered problem. That determination was instantly made by my wife, an experienced nurse. She gave me an aspirin tablet and telephoned the nearest hospital, some 14 miles distant, alerting them that she was driving me directly to their emergency facility and that we would arrive in 20 minutes or less. We arrived at the hospital and the night duty physician arrived only minutes thereafter. I’m not aware of the procedure(s) the physician and his team performed or were attempting to perform, but several minutes after the beginning my heart ceased functioning and I lost all sense of contact with the hospital environment.
I found myself in an up-market executive office or in the surrounds which I took to be an office. I was confronted by a friendly man who appeared to be around 60 years of age, tall and in top physical condition, an athletic build, thick silver-gray hair. He wore a white shirt, neck tie and gray trousers. He gave me the impression of being immaculately dress but to give this “office” a more casual atmosphere he had removed his suit coat. I guess I can describe him as the kind of guy from whom you would buy a used car. One other feature of the office’s surroundings was that of a number of wall shelves to my left front. Each shelf was lined with what appeared to be small figures made of pewter or ceramics. These were perhaps three to six inches tall and for some unknown reason I assumed that each figure represented a person or, strangely enough, an event.
That man soon began to address me in the manner of delivering a corporate orientation lecture as if to a new employee. Although I do not remember any audible exchange between us nor am I sure that my guide ever spoke aloud, yet I was able to understand all the ideas he presented. I can’t remember that I ever had any idea of the length of time required to cover his subject(s). Obviously time was compressed within this new setting. My wife said that I was gone for some 90 to 120 seconds… as reckoned in “Earth time” but yet there was enough time for my greeter to explain to me some very important facts peculiar to the new venue. He seems to have also informed me of errors that I had committed: like “…and get it right this time.” Although I was being corrected I was not being chastised. I felt that I understood every word and those words were said for my own enlightenment without a hint of reprimand or reproach. Furthermore, I intuitively understood what I was being told and intuitively recognized that what I was told was undeniably correct. Stranger still was that as he spoke the words formed in the air like white chalk on a blackboard. Later, as I was coming back I briefly saw that display change into a shapeless form looking like thick cigarette smoke.
At a certain point the lecture was at an end and instantly I found myself walking up to a seemingly familiar flight of stairs to a landing at their head. Opposite the stairway on this landing was a red colored door which was probably 3.5’x7’ and in the door there was a translucent window approximately 1.5’x 2’. These surroundings were strongly suggestive of a scene inside a building that housed our family physician when I was a boy, except for the color of the door. It was unfinished metal in my memory but red in my NDE. It would be a most significant factor to learn what color the door was painted in Feb, 1999. I remember that the door was mounted as a fire door and was held open with a chain and a fusible chain link. Because of its planned utility, fire retardation, it is possible that the door had been given a coat of red paint in the years following my last visit in the early 1940s. If that was to be the case there would be proof that I was actually transported from WA to OK.
I was reluctant to open the door before I knew what lay on the opposite side of the door and I tried, for several seconds to see through the glass window. Not being able to observe the other side I made a conscious decision to withdraw from my position at the door. I turned and began my descent of the stairway. I’m aware of walking down some ¾ of the length to the stair’s foot when the entire universe abruptly changed and I was floating, very fast, through a night sky on my back, feet forward. This sensation was of seconds in duration. These seconds were probably the most restful that I can remember. That sensation could also be from medication given me before the experience. It was very similar to having been injected with morphine after the pain of having been wounded. But regardless of the cause it didn’t last long because someone kicked me from behind (the paddles) and I was suddenly back where the odyssey began and I shouted, “What in hell did you do that for?” With that the Physician stepped away from me. He was still holding the paddles and wearing a very satisfied grin.
Perhaps the most significant “spin-off” of this experience was not recognized until 10 years after its occurrence. For a long period of time I had been interested in exploring the Book of Mormon (BOM) so I vowed to read it in its entirety. I am not a fast reader so I purchased a set of DVDs containing the BOM in its entirety and begun my study of it with the aid of my Sony Walkman DVD player. Late spring 2011 I was listening to a particular portion of the text* wherein Alma (a great figure of the BOM) is instructing his son concerning mortal death and subsequent resurrection. I was suddenly shocked when I realized that it was this very subject and presentation that had been given me earlier by the orientation lecturer in my NDE 10 years before.
As I indicated above, my own NDE was pretty dull and drab when compared to others of which I’ve read. Mine included no tunnels, no bright lights, no heavenly beings, nor euphoria** unless we consider the peace and tranquility for the short interval that I was floating, and medication could account for that feeling. There’s simply no easy biological explanation, of which I’m aware, that I can assign to the incident.