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Near-Death and UFO Encounters as Shamanic Initiations

Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut and past president of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS). He is the author of Life At Death (1980), Heading Toward Omega (1984), The Omega Project (1992), Mindsight (1999), Lessons from the Light (2000), Waiting to Die (2019), and over forty articles in the fields of social psychology, transpersonal psychology, and near-death studies. Dr. Ring received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Minnesota. This article is reprinted from ReVision, Vol. 11, No. 3, Winter 1989.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Prototypic NDEs and UFOEs
  3. NDEs and UFOEs as Shamanic Initiations
  4. Shamanic Initiations: Doorway to the Mundus Imaginalis
  5. Some Evolutionary Speculations
  6. Notes
  7. References

1. Introduction

In recent years, there has been an effort, particularly by American folkloric scholars (e.g., Hufford 1982; Rojcewicz 1986), to bring some conceptual order to a disparate array of paranormal and transcendental experiences whose academic study has heretofore tended to be associated with distinct and somewhat insular disciplines.

Included in this set of non-ordinary occurrences are such phenomena as out-of-body experiences (traditionally the province of parapsychology), near-death experiences (near-death studies, medicine), shamanic experiences (anthropology), psychedelic experiences (transpersonal psychology), night terrors (folklore), and UFO encounters (ufology). That there are significant similarities among subsets of these experiences, both in terms of phenomenology and aftereffects, has long been recognized, but so far there has been no sustained scholarly effort to build conceptual bridges between these experiential domains or to foster their comparative study, despite some expressions of interest in such undertakings (e.g., Ring and Agar 1986). In the spirit of this kind of endeavor, the need for which has been persuasively set forth by Rojcewicz (1986), I would like to present here a framework for a partial conceptual integration of two non-ordinary experiences previously held to be quite separate and unrelated. I am referring to near-death experiences (NDEs) and alleged UFO encounters (UFOEs),[1] between which I believe there are some hitherto unsuspected links.

This paper has second purpose as well. After delineating certain commonalities between these types of experiences, I intend to explore their possible joint significance for the evolution of human consciousness. This will involve an attempt to embed these and other types of non-ordinary experiences in a second kind of conceptual matrix that will provide a still more encompassing perspective in terms of which to view the implicit connections among the variety of experiences we will be concerned with.

Before setting out on the first of these conceptual journeys, I need to enter a couple of caveats. First, in stressing certain linkages between NDEs and UFOEs, I make no claim that all varieties of these two phenomena are thus entwined. UFOEs especially cover an extraordinary range, and therefore no one model is likely to do even nominal justice to them all. In this instance, however, I will be dealing with a particular and nowadays increasingly well-known type of UFOE, the nature of which I will specify shortly.

Second, the kind of integrative model I will offer here attempts to join these experiences only in terms of their archetypal patterning and functional significance. At the phenomenological level, NDEs and UFOEs are of course quite dissimilar, but it is in their deep structure, as it were, rather than in their surface contentual manifestations that important commonalities can be discerned.

2. Prototypic NDEs and UFOEs

Research on modern NDEs has been carried on for more than a decade; thus the prototypic pattern for this type of non-ordinary experience will be quite familiar to most readers of this journal. This pattern is made up of such elements as (1) a psychological sense of separation from the physical body; (2) a feeling of overwhelming peace and well-being; (3) a sense of movement through a dark but not frightening space, sometimes described as a tunnel; (4) the perception of a brilliant white or golden light by which one is (5) gradually encompassed and from which one (6) feels a sense of total love and unconditional acceptance; (7) an encounter with a being of light or other spiritual entities who (8) may afford the occasion for a panoramic life review following which (if it occurs) one (9) may decide or be told to return to one’s body, thereby (10) terminating the NDE. Such experiences tend to cohere in a highly meaningful way for the individual, are almost always said to be hyper-real (i.e., not like a dream or hallucination), and usually have a profound transformative effect on the survivor (e.g., Ring 1980, 1984; Sabom 1982; Grey 1985; Flynn 1986; Atwater 1988). In any event, this is the kind of NDE that will be of focal relevance here.

Another type of experience that, owing to the popularity of such books as Communion (Strieber 1987) and Intruders (Hopkins 1987a), is likewise coming to be increasingly well known to a broad segment of the American public is the so-called UFO abduction experience.[2] This is an encounter for which the prototypic pattern can be, for our purposes at least, reduced to the following four elements: (1) a sense of being taken away, usually against one’s will, by one or more humanoid beings, and (2) brought into a strange, alien environment where (3) one is subjected to an invasive physical examination that in some instances seems to have to do with one’s reproductive organs, following which (4) one is returned to the physical world, though not necessarily to exactly the same location where the abduction apparently originated. These experiences often lack the coherence of NDEs, are not infrequently temporarily repressed or forgotten but when recalled are re-experienced as traumatic, and often entail a period of time for which one cannot account (e.g., Lorenzen and Lorenzen 1977; Fowler 1979; Rogo 1980; Hopkins 1981, 1987a; Strieber 1987, Bullard 1987). Again, it is this kind of UFO encounter with which we will be especially concerned in this paper.

Now, when one reads accounts of these two types of prototypic experiences or, better yet, has a chance to talk directly to persons who report having undergone them, one cannot fail to be impressed with the obvious differences between them. The typical NDE, for example, is usually recounted in such a way as to impress the reader or listener with its ineffable beauty, transcendental influx or knowledge, and spiritual profundity. In my own work with NDErs, I confess to having often been struck and indeed deeply affected by the radiant glow and strong positive emotions that emanate from NDErs while in the throes of describing their experiences to me. With UFO abductees, on the other hand, both the content and tone are radically different. Here, for instance, one senses one is reading about or listening to people who may feel especially in the immediate aftermath of their experience that they have been the victims of a form of psychological rape. Their reactions afterward are indicative in any case of some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder (Spiegel, Hunt, and Dondershine 1988; Laibow 1988), and their difficulties in dealing with their experience are only compounded by the knowledge of others’ likely reactions to learning about the incredible (in the literal sense) circumstances and bizarre events associated with the abduction.

Nevertheless, when one begins to probe beneath the divergent phenomenological surfaces of these two types of experiences, one sees that for all their dissimilarities there does appear to be a common structural basis for them both a shared archetypal patterning that binds them. And if I were to try to encapsulate this common element in a single phrase, the one I’d choose is the shamanic journey. To see this more clearly now, we need to examine these prototypic experiences from an explicit shamanic perspective. When we do so, it will become apparent that most of the defining features of NDEs and UFOEs can be coordinated to a model of shamanic initiation.

3. NDEs and UFOEs as Shamanic Initiations

To begin, we need a template of sorts for shamanic initiations in order to appreciate the extent to which such a template might indeed overlap with the underlying form of NDEs and UFOEs. Needless to say, given the enormous wealth of anthropological literature on shamanic initiation, any one model will be a patent oversimplification.

Nevertheless, even a crude and over-generalized outline of some of the main features of this kind of initiation will prove workable for our purposes. In any case, the following account is based chiefly on Eliade (1958, 1964), Nicholson (1987), and Kalweit (1988).

Typically, an individual who may be somewhat unusual because of his (or her) sensitivities or exceptional giftedness or because he has survived a serious illness, accident, or other ordeal is selected for shamanic training. He is then separated from his community and put into the hands of his shamanic trainer. The apprentice is required to undergo various ordeals, both physical and psychological, as his training progresses. Often, as is well known, these rites involve powerful dismemberment (and reconstitutive) motifs as the candidate undergoes a death-and-rebirth ordeal a necessary component for all true initiations, of course, as well as the experiential foundations for a new sense of identity as a shaman. Sacred mysteries are disclosed to the individual as he learns to enter into otherworldly realms and acquires his particular shamanic skills, his power animals, sacred songs, secret language, and so forth. After his initiation is complete, he returns to his community as a healer, a psychopomp, a master of ecstasy, a mystic and visionary as a man (or woman), in short, who now knows how to live in two worlds: the world of the soul as well as that of the body. And though indispensable to the welfare of his community, he often remains somewhat apart from it precisely because of his special knowledge and his unusual and sometimes disturbing presence.

Now, taking this sketch of shamanic initiation as our template, let us see how well it maps onto the underlying form of the prototypical experiences of interest to us. We begin with the NDE. Here, we find ourselves with an individual who has by whatever means been brought to the threshold of apparent imminent biological death, a condition that, as we have seen, is often preludic to a shamanic career. This state of affairs means that at least psychologically and in some cases physically (as when he is removed to a hospital), the individual is separated from his community of peers. Inwardly, he, too, embarks on a journey of initiation, and he is not long into it before he meets the equivalent of his shamanic trainer. A luminous figure a true psychopomp will appear to guide the individual in his journey. This figure represents what I call the archetype of the cosmic shaman. For in this role he is not merely a guide in the passive sense of escort but is, rather, a man (or woman) of knowledge. He is a being who appears to know all about the life of the individual undergoing this experience and all about the realm into which the individual has entered. And while in this realm, the NDEr will receive instantaneously and telepathically the answers to all of his questions from this being, this cosmic shaman. Knowledge will simply flood into his soul as the mysteries of life and death are finally and fully illuminated.

The NDE literature is, of course, replete with such testimonies, and I myself have published quite a few of them (Ring 1984), 19. Here, however, I will simply use one illustrative case to indicate the extraordinary clarity and emotional depth of these encounters. Jayne Smith was in the process of giving birth to her second child when she had her NDE. Hers was a very deep experience of ecstatic gratitude and cosmic knowledge during which she almost immediately lost all body awareness and says she existed, while cradled in the light, as pure consciousness. When she later came back to her sense of individualized identity as Jayne, she found herself at the top of a hill where she encountered a group of men. She then said (mentally) to one of them.

I know what has happened to me. I know that I’ve died. And [she says] one man in the group did all the talking to me. He was taller than the rest and he had an absolutely marvelous face. It was very noble, very kind. He also had about him a great deal of authority In order to talk, we didn’t have to move our mouths. I only know that I only had to have the impulse of what I wanted to say and he immediately would get that and answer it. I could hear the sound of his voice in my inner ear.

I said, Everything [here] is so beautiful, everything is so perfect. What about my sins?

And he said, There are not sins, not the way you think of them on Earth. The only thing that has any meaning here is what you think. And then he asked me a question: What is in your heart?

And in some incredible way I was enabled to look deeply inside myself, really into the core of me, into my essence, and I saw what was there was love and nothing else. My core was perfect love, loving perfection. I had complete love and acceptance for everything.

And I said to him, Of course! And I had the feeling that I was connecting with knowledge that I had known before. And I wondered how on Earth I had ever forgotten anything that important

And then I said, Can you tell me what everything is all about?

And he said, Yes. And he told me and it took maybe three sentences at the most. It was so simple. I understood that immediately. I had total comprehension of what he was saying to me.

And I remember again saying to him, Of course!

And then I said to him, Since I’m not going to be able to stay may I take this all back with me?

And he said, You may take the answer to the first question back that was the one about sin but the answer to the second one you are not going to be able to remember.

At that point, Jayne heard a sudden bang, like an electronic click in her ear, and her experience ended. Reflecting on it years afterward, she said:

I have never been able to remember those specific two or three sentences that I was told and I have tried and tried and I never could. But I think that I do know what he was telling me, even though I can’t recall the actual [words]. I know that it has to do with love and I believe it has to do with what I was enabled to see when he said, What is in your heart? and I looked inside myself and saw that I was perfect love.

Now, you know, that doesn’t apply just to me that applies to all human beings. That is what we are. That is our core this perfect love. And I believe that what it’s all about is [that] as we learn to bring that into our consciousness and have it remain there all the time our connection with God our consciousness of who we really are, I think that’s what the journey is. (Jayne Smith 1987)

In any event, following this kind of revelatory encounter, the individual is sent back or in some cases chooses to return to his physical body. And how does his otherworldly initiation change him? Anyone familiar with the now extensive NDE literature on this subject (e.g., Ring 1984; Grey 1985; Flynn 1986; Atwater 1988) will know that many NDErs return with apparently enhanced psychic sensitivities. Furthermore, quite a few (including Jayne) claim to have acquired healing gifts as a result of their NDE (as the NDE-based film, Resurrection, depicts), and most of them report an increased concern with the welfare of others and indeed with the welfare of all life on this planet.

Finally, I should note that though NDErs as a rule are more concerned with others, others may shy away from them. Many NDErs soon learn to their sorrow that a person who lives in two worlds however one is initiated into a second world tends to make one-worlders a trifle, if not distinctly, uncomfortable.

All in all, then, there seems to be a pretty good fit here between the shamanic initiation model and the structure of the NDE. These parallels, of course, are evident not just from the perspective of NDE research. Students of shamanism such as Harner (1987) and Kalweit (1988) have also drawn explicit connections between these two domains, and Kalweit’s book even gives pride of place to the NDE as a modern empirical exemplification of the timeless truths of the shamanic journey.

Nevertheless, a note of caution about these parallels is in order here. Specifically, by claiming that NDErs undergo a kind of shamanic initiation, I do not mean to imply that they are therefore fully accomplished shamans.

On the contrary, they have simply received their first initiation; they have not completed the course, which for a shaman-to-be in a traditional society often takes years of effort. Therefore, while NDErs may return with some shamanic skills and something of a shamanic orientation, it would be best to view them as shamans-in-training, still learning their craft.

Turning now to UFO encounters, we need to discover how well our model fits the case of the typical abductee.

Let’s review, then, in somewhat greater detail than before the usual progression of events in these experiences in an attempt to test the utility of this model here.

In UFO abductions, the individual is taken (and I don’t mean this in a physical sense, though abductees themselves sometimes do) when he is usually in some kind of an altered state of consciousness asleep, in a state of helpless paralysis, or otherwise somehow entranced. Here, however, the figure of the cosmic shaman this time in the form of a space-age E.T., as it were, but playing the selfsame role albeit in new garb may make his appearance early on, or the abductee may be brought into his presence by a set of clone-like assistants. The next stage of the journey is the examination in which the individual, already usually highly uneasy if not frightened to the core, is forced to endure a variety of intrusive procedures apparently the UFO equivalent of the initiatory ordeal or dismemberment ceremony. It’s noteworthy, by the way, how often the abductee will say that this examination took place in a round or curved chamber. We know of course that a round hut or circular enclosure of some kind is a staple in traditional initiations, as Kannenberg (1986), herself a UFO abductee, has pointed out.

Rotunda-like structures can be taken to symbolize a womb or a place of new beginnings. In any event, following this ordeal, certain specific I suppose one might say classified information may be imparted telepathically as part of another act in the initiatory drama. Eventually, however, the abductee is somehow returned to his ordinary space/time world, though, as I have said, he may not have any immediate conscious recall of his traumatic adventure.

Yet he, too, like the NDEr, may come back shaken from his experience but with the seeds of transformation already sown in his psyche. While there are, to my knowledge, no careful long-term studies of the aftereffects of these UFO encounters,[3] preliminary work by Sprinkle (1981, 1983), Davis (1985), and others (e.g., Decker 1986) suggests that despite the grueling nature of these experiences, the after-effects, though variable, often show striking resemblances to the characteristics of NDEs.

And once more in common with NDErs, the UFO abductee may learn that his experience, though it has conferred upon him certain new skills, insights, and understandings, has also served to isolate him somewhat from his community. Like the NDEr, he, too, has had his passport stamped with an extramundane imprint and returns from his strange sojourn with divided and complicated allegiances to that world. As a result, he may find that he is inwardly conflicted and frequently estranged from his family and fellows, something of an alien himself.

Before looking more closely at what precisely one is initiated into during these NDEs and UFOEs, I want to add a couple of comments about the characteristics of the cosmic shaman himself. First, it is clear from the literature of abduction cases that the appearance and behavior of the cosmic shaman in UFOEs tend to be disturbing and indeed frightening to most of those who encounter him. This is in marked contrast, of course, to the loving and benign qualities of the cosmic shaman in NDEs. Once more, it seems, we have an antipodal relationship between these two categories of experience at the phenomenological level but one that again obscures an important functional similarity. The point here is this: It doesn’t matter what the cosmic shaman looks like or how he behaves. His function is simply to educate the soul. Whether he does this by acting out the role of the trickster, the masked demon, or the sage is irrelevant. His ways are protean, but his objective is the same through a thousand disguises.Second, as I’ve just implied, appearances may be deceiving, especially in the exotic mindscape of UFOEs. What I am alluding to here I will shortly tell.

4. Shamanic Initiations: Doorway to the Mundus Imaginalis

Given that NDEs and UFOEs may be forms of shamanic initiation, we must now take this inquiry one step further and ask: What is it that those who have these experiences are being initiated into when they pass through these otherworldly domains?

In my view, whenever an individual undergoes a shamanic journey whether through nearly dying, UFO abduction, or by other means he is vaulted into the world of the imagination or, to use Henri Corbin’s (1976) equivalent phrase, a mundus imaginalis. Let me be clear at the outset what I understand by this expression, whether it be the English or the Latin. James Hillman (1975) has insisted, and NDErs and shamans everywhere would quickly concur, that in the world of imagination, persons and places are fully real; they are as real in that domain as our physical world is to our senses.[4] So in using this expression, I am not implying that such experiences are imaginary, but rather that they are imaginal (again to use Corbin’s helpful term). Imagination in this sense is, as Coleridge argued, a creative power, and the world that it reveals is, as Blake knew, a supersensible reality that can be directly apprehended.

Shamans, who see with the eyes of their soul, have also penetrated into this world and have given us peerless descriptions of its fabulous and infinitely varied regions and denizens. Indeed, the idea that shamanic experiences thrust individuals into this realm has lately started to serve as a unifying formulation for a number of writers. For instance, in Shirley Nicholson’s excellent anthology on shamanism (1987), there are quite a few articles that articulate this notion admirably (see, for example, the pieces by Harner, Houston, Achterberg, and Noll). Likewise, in Carol Zaleski’s brilliant book, Otherworld Journey (1987), she follows a similar interpretative line for NDEs.

Finally, Terrence McKenna (1982, 1984), another student of shamanism, has also argued for the primacy of the imagination in understanding UFO phenomena. These collective efforts, centered on the imaginal world and the power of the imagination to shape human experience, may eventually spawn a conceptual net of sufficient breadth to capture and order meaningfully the variety of non-ordinary experiences we considered at the beginning of this paper.

At any rate, this approach appears to be a most promising direction for conceptual work in this area, and deserves even more attention.

All this notwithstanding, what is important for us at this point in our inquiry is not just the recent popularity of this kind of formulation but rather the fact that through it we are led all the way back to Heraclitus the father of psychology and the seeming priority of the soul. From this perspective, of course, NDEs, UFOEs, and shamanic journeys in general are all explorations in the domain of soul, which, as Heraclitus seems to have been the first to assert, is infinite.[5] And, as Roberts Avens (1980) has pointed out, soul is not only inseparable from imagination, soul is imagination (p. 103).

Therefore, if shamanic experiences are to educate the soul, as I have claimed, they must necessarily do this by propelling us into the infinitude of the human imagination. The mundus imaginalis is our true home, which we are once more beginning to see and to experience directly. Again, as Avens has said: Only soul (the imaginal realm) is not reducible to anything else and so constitutes our true, ontological reality (p. 102).

5. Some Evolutionary Speculations

In my book Heading Toward Omega (Ring 1984), I argued that NDEs and other transcendental experiences may be serving as an evolutionary catalyst for humanity’s collective psychospiritual development. I still adhere to that view, but here I’d like to extend this thesis in a new direction. That direction has already been suggested in Michael Grosso’s The Final Choice (1985), where, in speaking of out-of-body experiences, he indicates that they may represent the matrix for the next environment in the psychosocial evolution of man (p. 102, his emphasis). I embrace that position, too, but would like to elaborate on it briefly.[6]

We now know that millions of persons have already had out-of-body experiences, NDEs, and other similar experiences (see, e.g., Rogo 1983; Gallup 1982; Hay 1982), and there are various reasons to suppose that their numbers have increased dramatically in recent years (e.g., Ferguson 1980; Russell 1983; Ring 1984). Likewise, the number of UFOEs not just sightings seems to be growing exponentially, too. Budd Hopkins (1987b), for example, estimates that there may be hundreds of thousands of such cases hidden among us. And shamanic journeys of one sort or another also seem to be increasingly common and commonly sought after in our contemporary world.

Altogether, we seem to be undergoing a period of mushrooming growth in the occurrence of what Carol Zaleski has called the otherworld journey for which the traditional shaman has long been the prototype.

If this is actually so, might it be that what we are witnessing is the beginning stages in the shamanizing of modern humanity? And what that would mean is precisely this: that humanity would be finding its way back to its true home in the realm of the imagination, where it would be liberated to live in mythic time and would no longer be strictly bound to the prison of historical time. In short, I am suggesting that in this period of apparently accelerated psychospiritual evolution these two worlds may be drawing nearer to each other so that we, too, like the shaman, will be able easily to cross over and live in both worlds.

These are, to be sure, fairly extravagant extrapolations; indeed, I am acutely aware of how wildly inflated they may appear. At the same time, I take some measure of comfort from the fact that I am very far from being the first or only researcher to advance such evolutionary possibilities. Indeed, for investigators who have concerned themselves in recent years with NDEs, UFOEs, and similar phenomena, there have already been several who have put forward very similar ideas. Whitley Strieber, for example, whose implicit sympathy with shamanic interpretations of UFOEs is obvious in his book Communion (Strieber 1987), speculates toward its end that the veil between matter and mind is now growing thin (p. 289) and that the universe of the visitors and our own are spinning each other together (p. 295) in an act of cosmic communion. Keith Thompson, who has also recently articulated an initiation model for UFO encounters based on some of the ideas of Joseph Campbell and Arnold Von Gennep (Thompson 1988), has likewise found himself wondering whether it’s possible that UFO’s, the near-death experience, apparitions of the Virgin Mary, and other shamanic visionary encounters are as much of a prod to our next level of consciousness as rapidly blooming sexual urges are a prod to a teenager’s move from childhood to adolescence. (p. 14)

Interestingly, Thompson’s ideas mirror almost exactly those expressed in Grosso’s The Final Choice, which considers in depth the collective evolutionary significance of precisely the phenomena that Thompson is concerned with. Similarly, Terence McKenna, who is certainly one of our most original and provocative visionary thinkers with a long-standing interest in the relationship between psychedelic shamanism and the UFO, has been eloquent in his insistence that we are coming to the end of historical time when, as he puts it, we will live in hyperspace, having interiorized the body and exteriorized the soul, and dwell in the realm of full imaginative possibility (McKenna 1982). Finally, English NDE researcher Margot Grey has also concluded from her studies that the ever-increasing frequency of NDEs is a direct reflection of an evolutionary trend that is propelling humanity toward higher consciousness (Grey 1985), a hypothesis that is virtually identical to the one I offered in Heading Toward Omega, thus completing the circle (or should I say, the Ring?).

Of course, having company along the road doesn’t necessarily mean one is walking in the right direction. None of us can see that far ahead in any case, but to me it is at least noteworthy that a number of thinkers and I have listed only a small sample of them here who have had occasion to ponder the implications of NDEs and UFOEs have felt that they point to some profound transformative possibilities for modern humanity and planetary culture.

While we are still in this speculative mode, however, let us just consider for a moment what we would experience as part of our soul’s education if this evolutionary perspective does have any merit. In this context, I’d like to refer to a couple of experiences that were shared with me by friends experiences that may contain some hints as to what our common realization might be.

Earlier I mentioned in connection with the role of the cosmic shaman in UFOEs that appearances may be deceiving. Here’s the story that prompted that remark. A friend of mine, who has had an NDE, recently sent me a cassette tape in which she recounted a UFOE that had just happened to her. The circumstances were typical: she had awakened at 3:30 one morning and distinctly perceived an alien form by her bed. It had the appearance that is commonly described in the literature on abduction: small body, large head in relation to the torso, huge black eyes, and so forth. My friend then became aware that she was receiving a telepathic communication from this being, but what she heard served to reassure her.

She was told that the ugly, bug-like eyes (that so many abductees have reported) are not eyes at all they are shields. The shields, she was further informed, are necessary to protect human beings from what they would otherwise be exposed to. This would overwhelm them. But just what is this dangerous force to which they would be exposed?

The being then allowed some of it leak out. My friend felt an influx of universal knowledge and infinite love pour into her. She was then told that as we grow and as we raise in our level of understanding of what we truly are, more and more will be shown to us and we will receive all this knowledge and be able to be one with them.

Following this message, she felt another wave of that unconditional love NDErs so often speak of and fell peacefully asleep.

Such a story even if it is only a story makes us wonder what we would actually experience if we could look into the infinitude of those eyes. A possible answer comes from another NDEr friend of mine. This is a woman who, in 1975, while in her twenties, had three cardiac arrests within a period of four hours as a result of anaphylactic shock. During this time, she knew with certitude that she was dying. Her experiences during this life-threatening episode were extremely profound and revelatory, but here I have to confine myself just to one phase of her NDE that occurred toward its end.

At this point, she felt that she was rocketing through layers upon layers of realities, seemingly to the heart of the universe itself, and she was terrified. She thought she had gone too far and would be lost forever. Then: Oh my God. I was picked up as if by an ENORMOUS pair of hands, and as I looked up I found myself looking into a gigantic EYE, out of which flowed a tear of all consuming, profound ineffable love and compassion, and I KNEW without a doubt, that I was looking into the heart of my self, who is all selves, whatever it is that God is. And I was brought into the EYE, and was home.

Let us hope that, lifted by the wings of a planet-wide initiation into the realm of transcendental experience, we will all be carried home to live again in the land of the soul the Imagination.

6. Notes

[1]  Bowing to the widespread use of the phrase UFO encounter, I will defer to it here, but I do want to state at the outset that I myself find this expression both misleading and unhelpful. In my judgment, what is encountered in these experiences has nothing to do with unidentified flying objects as we commonly understand this designation. Perhaps one benefit of attempting to bring some conceptual coherence to the set of phenomena of which UFO encounters are one important category will be to rid ourselves of this unfortunate and somewhat embarrassing term, UFO.

[2]  This is the most frequently used designation for this experience both in the popular literature on UFOEs and in scholarly treatments of the phenomenon (e.g., Bullard 1987). It is, however, not favored by some of those who have had this kind of traumatic encounter. Strieber (1987), for example, prefers the expression visitor experience and has been emphatic in this rejection of any label for it that implies a sense of victimization (e.g., Strieber 1988).

[3]  I have recently inaugurated a research project designed to provide data on this matter that will also afford a direct comparison between NDErs and UFOErs on a variety of different measures.

[4]  Thus Corbin: It must be stressed that the world [of imagination] is perfectly real. Its reality is more irrefutable and more coherent than that of the empirical world, where reality is perceived by the senses (p. 17, his emphasis).

[5]  Fragment 42 in Wheelwright’s (1962) version reads: You could not discover the limits of the soul, even if you traveled every road to do so; such is the depth of its meaning (quoted in Avens 1980, 21).

[6]  Since NDEs represent a specific form of OBE, Grosso‘s argument can easily be extended to NDEs and to other similar transcendental experiences.

7. References

— Achterberg, J. 1987. The shaman: Master healer in the imaginary realm. In Shamanism, ed. S. Nicholson, 103104. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House.

— Atwater, PMH 1988. Coming Back to Life. New York: Dodd Mead.

— Avens, R. 1980. Imagination is Reality. Dallas: Spring Publications.

— Bullard, T. E. 1987. Comparative Analysis of UFO Abduction Reports. Mt. Rainier, Md.: Fund for UFO Research.

— Corbin, H. 1976. Mundus Imaginalis or the Imaginal and the Imaginary. Ipswich, England: Golgonooza Press. (Originally published in Spring, 1972.)

— Davis, L.. 1985. How the Unidentified Flying Object Experience Compares with the Near-Death Experience as a Vehicle for the Evolution of Consciousness. M.A. thesis, John F. Kennedy University.

— Decker, R. M. 1986. Long-Term Effects of Close Encounters. MUFON UFO Journal 229:811.

— Eliade, M. 1958. Rites and Symbols of Initiation. New York: Harper and Row.

— Ferguson, M. 1980. The Aquarian Conspiracy. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher.

— Flynn, Charles P. 1986. After the Beyond. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

— Gallup, George, Jr. 1982. Adventures in Immortality. New York: McGraw-Hill.

— Grey, Margot 1985. Return From Death. London: Arkana.

— Grosso, Michael 1985. The Final Choice. Walpole, N.H.: Stillpoint.

— Harner, M. 1987. The Ancient Wisdom in Shamanic Cultures. In Shamanism, ed. S. Nicholson, 316. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House.

— Hay, D. 1982. Exploring Inner Space. New York: Penguin.

— Hillman, J. 1975. Re-Visioning Psychology. New York: Harper and Row.

— Hopkins, Budd 1981. Missing Time. New York: Berkeley Books.

— Hopkins, Budd 1987a. Intruders. New York: Random House.

— Hopkins, Budd 1987b. Personal communication. November.

— Houston, J. 1987. The Mind and Soul of Shamanism. In Shamanism, ed. S. Nicholson, vii-xiii. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House.

— Hufford, D. J. 1982. The Terror That Comes in the Night. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

— Kalweit, H. 1988. Dreamtime and Inner Space. Boston: Shambhala.

— Kannenberg, I. 1986. How to Come to Terms with Your UFO/Alien Encounter. Unpublished manuscript.

— Laibow, R. 1988. “UFO Abduction Scenarios in Patients Exhibiting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.” Privately circulated manuscript.

— Lorenzen, J., and Lorenzen, C. 1977. Abducted! New York: Berkeley Books.

— McKenna, Terrence 1982. New and Old Maps of Hyperspace (audio cassette). Big Sur, Calif.: Dolphin Tapes.

— McKenna, Terrence. 1984. True Hallucinations (audio cassette). Berkeley, Calif.: Lux Natura.

— Nicholson, S. ed. 1987. Shamanism. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House.

— Noll, R. 1987. The Presence of Spirits in Magic and Madness. In Shamanism, ed. S. Nicholson, 4761. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House.

— Ring, Kenneth 1980. Life at Death. New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghehan.

— Ring, Kenneth 1984. Heading Toward Omega. New York: William Morrow.

— Ring, Kenneth and A. Agar 1986. The Omega Project. ReVision 8:8788.

— Rojcewicz, P. M. 1986. The Extraordinary Encounter Continuum Hypothesis and Its Implications for the Study of Belief Materials. Folklore Forum 19:13152.

— Rogo, D. Scott 1980. Alien Abductions. New York: Signet.

— Rogo, D. Scott 1983. Leaving the Body. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

— Russell, P. 1983. The Global Brain Awakens. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher.

— Sabom, Michael 1982. Recollections of Death. New York: Harper and Row.

— Smith, Jayne 1987. Moment of Truth (video). Springdale, Ark.: Ozark Video.

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— Sprinkle, R. L. ed. 1982. Proceedings, Rocky Mountain Conference on UFO Investigation. Laramie, Wyoming.

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— Strieber, Whitley 1987. Communion. New York: Beech Tree Books.

— Strieber, Whitley. 1988. Address delivered at Rocky Mountain Conference on UFO Investigation, Laramie, Wyoming, 1 July.

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Exceptional Experiences

Lou Famoso’s Near-Death Experience

Lou Famoso ( is a Vietnam veteran having served two tours of duty there. Before he was to be discharged from the Navy in October of 1964, he returned to the U.S. from Vietnam and was going to attend a huge party for a friend of his. It was 1963 and he had just bought a brand new model of the up and coming 1964 Mustang. He was running late for the party so he was doing 100+ mph on an open stretch of road. With his radio blasting, he had nothing but a good night of partying on his mind. Suddenly, the front end of his car went nose down and dug into the asphalt. In less then a second, his Mustang flipped head-over-heals. So as not to slip into unconsciousness, he managed to count everyone of those flips, thinking the last flip would be the last one he’d have to count. It took nine flips to finally cause his car to lose all the momentum necessary to bring it to a screeching halt. He managed to crawl out of what was left of the back window of his car and fell to the ground. What followed was an NDE so transcendental, Lou prefers to call it a “Life After Death” (LAD) experience. Indeed, according to his doctor, it was a miracle that Lou survived. His encounter with the Being of Light and the archangels Michael and Gabriel, and his visions of the future concerning the constellation of Orion makes his experience one of the most exceptional NDEs I have ever read.

Table of Contents

  1. Hearing the Voices of the Angels
  2. Out-of-Body and On the Way To the Hospital
  3. Walking Through the Emergency Room Door
  4. Through the Tunnel Towards the Light
  5. His Life Review and Encounter With the Being of Light
  6. Meeting the Archangels Michael and Gabriel
  7. The Orbs of Light and the Crystal Platter
  8. The Signs of the Time of The Gathering
  9. Becoming a Part of the Universe
  10. Orion and Prophecies of the Future
  11. The Message of Love For the World
  12. Returning To Life
  13. Other Prophecies of the Future and the Orion Constellation
    a. Orion as a Sign of the Times for Earth Changes
    b. Orion, More Than a Constellation
    c. The Giza Pyramids and the Constellation of Orion
    d. The Orion Key: Unlocking the “Clock of the Ages”
    e. Jesus and the Giza Pyramids According To Edgar Cayce
    f. The Bible, the Giza Pyramids and the Coming of the Messiah
  14. More Information on “The Gathering”
    a. Lou Famoso’s NDE Information About the Gathering
    b. Pioneer of Out-Of-Body Experiences, Robert Monroe, and “The Gathering”
    c. Natalie Sudman’s NDE Encounter With “The Gathering”
  15. Lou Famoso Links

1. Hearing the Voices of the Angels

I no sooner got to my feet when I heard an explosion and the shock blew me for what I figured was another 20-30 feet through the air. I started to get up again while wiping my face so that I could see where I was in relation to the car and the flames but no matter how hard or how fast I wiped I just couldn’t get what I now knew was blood covering my eyes.

I hear these angelic voices way off in the distance, they’re calling out my name and seem to be getting louder and louder. “Lou”, “Lou baby, come over here”, “Come to us.”

And I’m thinking, “No thank you, I’ve gone through enough tonight and I didn’t need any more surprises.”

I felt these hands reaching me and pulling me. I realized that those that were pulling me were actually holding me up, and, they were five of the girls from the party I was going to.

2. Out-of-Body and On the Way To the Hospital

When they noticed I hadn’t shown up yet, they decided to come to the base to hurry me up so that I wouldn’t miss out on that going away party. It was their headlights I saw headed my way just prior to the crash, and they were hysterical watching this car flipping and careening down the road right before their eyes, bursting into flames. But the real horror was when they found out it was my car. All I remember them saying was, “You better not die on us”, and I wanted to do them that little favor so I flipped them a “thumbs up” sign. It was about all the strength I could muster by then.

They were trying to whisk me into the backseat of it, and rush me back to the base hospital so I could keep my promise. Three of the girls got into the back seat and the remaining two girls laid me across their laps. Then the two jumped into the front seat and gunned that Ford toward the base as fast as they dared; and believe me, they dared.

As I lay across their laps I heard one of them say through her tears, “Look, Lou saved Tigger.” And when she reached for the stuffed animal she was horrified to see the blood start gushing from my head again and immediately replaced Tigger to it’s lifesaving duties. Another one noticed my hand bleeding from all the glass and tore up her skirt to make a bandage. I was thinking how great these girls were for not worrying about the mess I was making on them and their car.

I suddenly found myself, sort of sitting up right, looking out the back window of the speeding car, amazed at watching the burning and smoking blob that once was my “Stang” as it faded in the distance.

I looked down to see the three girls crying and shouting hysterically to the driver to hurry up, when it hit me, “WOW, that’s me on their laps and there’s nobody home!”

I’m looking at what was left of my poor, crumpled Mustang from out the window. The other me is just laying there without a care. I tried to tell the girls I was alright and they could stop the crying and slow down a bit. I reached for the driver to get her attention and she turned her head slightly toward me. She seemed to be talking to the girl holding my other head and not to me. She was saying that she was going as fast as this eight-banger would go.

I felt no pain, no fear and I was with five girls speeding down the highway, me and me. What a night so far!

3. Walking Through the Emergency Room Door

When we pulled up to the hospital, both girls in the front ran out like it was a relay race and they hit the doors running. I started to get out and headed for the swinging doors when they were back already with two corpsman and a gurney. I stepped aside to watch them load that other me on it and as they whisked him away, I watched the other three girls compose themselves. All five headed toward the emergency room.

I decided to follow since no one seemed to notice me and I wanted to see what all the commotion was about.

There were nurses and corpsmen and a doctor all fussing about and a couple of the girls were at the front desk giving information about me to the desk clerk while the rest of them were pressing their noses against the operating room windows. I walked down the corridor and looked at some of the people sitting on the benches and chairs, apparently waiting their turn to be attended to, but there was the other me at the head of the line, so I excused myself and headed there also.

I walked straight through the doors and walked around the doctor and nurses who were tearing off my clothes and swabbing me down. The doctor noticed the large hole in the side of my head and was cleaning it up when the corpsman, that was standing toward my side, asked if he could stitch up the gash on my hand. The doctor said it would be OK since he [the doctor] didn’t think I would make it anyway.

He said something about having to put a “plate” in my head but that I had lost a tremendous amount of blood and didn’t know if I would survive much longer. The nurse asked if she should have the base Chaplin standby, so the doctor lifted my dog tags.

When he read “Agnostic” and Blood type “O neg,” he said ” I don’t think this kid would care but you can call him if you want!”

I thought that was a bit insensitive, and I wasn’t happy about a corpsman practicing on my hand either. I thought to myself, “I should lodge a complaint,” but just as those thoughts flickered past, I started to float up toward the ceiling.

It finally hit me that I could see myself on the table being operated on desperately and I could now see the me that was mostly translucent floating above it all.

I looked around as I floated higher and higher and noticed the dirt and dust on the florescent lights in the operating room and thought, “Somebody’s going to hear about this too.”

I heard the doctor say, “Tagnbag him. We’re not going to need that plate nurse. Corpsman, are you done on that hand?”

“Yes sir,” he replied.

The doctor said, “Fine, sheet him for now son.”

I knew what was going on, just then, to the me I knew. But I wasn’t ready for what was about to happen to the “me” I now was.

I was about to attempt to reach the girls that were now crying and hugging each other but instead of going forward, I was being pulled backward and upward. I had no sense of fear, none of loss. Actually, all I felt was wonderment and curiosity and an anticipation of what was to come.

4. Through the Tunnel Towards the Light

I entered what I thought looked like the Holland tunnel without the cars and traffic and the ability to see what looked like light at its end. It was dark but not black. The path was slightly illuminated from what I thought to be the sunlight shining from the other end.

As I was being drawn toward the lighted end of the Tunnel, I carefully looked around, even squinting to see into the darker recesses.

I passed what I thought to be very religious men doing what they would do when praying to their GODS. They were all dressed in their finest garbs, robes, togas, head dresses, loin cloths and the like. Most of them were off to the sides of the tunnel, but one of them, that I seemed to float right over, looked oriental with a long grayish Fu Man Chu, sitting there in the middle of the tunnel with his hands clasped and his feet crossed.

Since I had just completed two tours “in country,” I figured he must represent the last of the religions I sought to make my own. I was raised Catholic but withdrew from that faith at an early age and delved into many others from the Mian to Koran to Hopi as well as all North and South American Native beliefs. It looked like they were all represented here.

When I floated past the monk just below me, I thought he could actually see me because it appeared like he began to smile a smile of passage. All the other religious men were mumbling sounds of prayer and were moving their arms about as if making gestures of a blessing. I wasn’t sure if they were blessing me or the Tunnel. I noticed none of them were actually standing or sitting in the Tunnel but appeared to be levitated. I wanted to stop and speak with some of them, maybe ask a few questions like who they were and how long have they been here, but I was being whisked away toward the light.

I saw wisps of smoke I believed to be incense. It came from all portions of the great Tunnel from one end to the other. I could see and smell, but I had yet to have the sensation of touch since my feet were never touching the Tunnel’s floor. I seemed to be traveling squarely in the center as I drifted toward the end. The closer I got to the end of the Tunnel, the brighter things got, and as I neared the end, it was like coming face to face with a huge canvas that was just recently blazed in the brightest white of whites. An empty canvas, ready to be painted upon and I awaited that painting.

5. His Life Review and Encounter With the Being of Light

Then in an instant, my entire life, starting from birth through the present was flashing before my eyes like a strobe light at half speed. Frame after frame, some parts in freeze frame, if only for a second, then on to the next. I felt as if I was being subjected to a test to see if this was in fact the “me” that was supposed to be here. Then it ended as fast as it had begun. The last scene was that of a rolling mass of metal finally bursting into flames, and I was looking at the canvas again.

While staring into the vast whiteness, I glanced down to look at my body and use it for a reference, only to find the translucent outline I once had was no longer there.

I thought, “How could this be? Am I now part of this empty white canvas, but if I were, then where are my thoughts coming from to be asking these questions?”

Instantly I recognized a brilliant glowing ball of gold headed my way. It grew larger as it grew nearer and when it reached about the size of a beach ball, just above and in front of me, it radiated brilliantly and transformed into an indescribable Being of pure LIGHT, now levitated right in front of me.

It was larger then the tallest person I had ever seen, wider then two of me but so evenly proportioned as to be of Magnificent Stature. It’s features were outlined as if made with a fine ink quill. hair, face, robe, all golden and flowing as would an electric charge perhaps even a nuclear charge. This was energy personified. As its form took on a more solid shape, all that was behind it did as well.

It was as if the entire Canvas of white, I had come to at the end of the Tunnel, was now alive and I was part of it.

Other figures appeared in front and behind the Being and myself – some winged, most not – some fully formed, others not – yet even others appeared only as glowing Orbs of light and color, bouncing as would bubbles in a glass of carbonated water.

6. Meeting the Archangels Michael and Gabriel

I could stand it no longer, every emotion I had ever known was welling up in me ten-fold. Just when I thought to speak, to question, The Being spoke to me. It’s voice was as a chorus of voices, not male not female, not loud not soft, not deep but perfect and all encompassing.

As I looked at the two gigantic, magnificent beings dressed in Brilliant capes just off to It’s side, IT said, “That is Michael and Gabriel. Michael has chosen you as his and Gabriel shall teach you the ways.”

I looked past them to another Large Being, so beautiful but darker in contrast, as was the sprawling robe it wore. This being had eyes that pleased but pierced with it’s gaze, and the Light Being said, “That is He who has been cast out. You who I have given choice may go with any of these of your choosing.”

I thought as I had a choice, and Michael had already chosen me then I would chose Him. He appeared so strong and mighty, as did the others, but in his eyes seemed a fire that was drawing and captivating to me. Gabriel’s eyes were softer and gave more in an understanding manner and I thought, “Oh how absolutely Beautiful are these Beings”.

I then looked to The Being before me and It’s eyes were full of Love and warmth, authority and compelling. He seemed to have approved of my choice, then said to me, “You will be my soldier and you will go with Michael for a while. Gabriel will come to you at times. I will send others to you and your fruit shall not fall far from the tree in the time of the Gathering.”

7. The Orbs of Light and the Crystal Platter

Just then I saw five Orbs of Light. They seemed to be playing, swirling round and about The Being and myself.

They had appeared from the outlying landscape and I noticed they were all the same size and shape but of different hues as subtle as shades of rose petals, save one which had a bluish hue.

Two of the pinkish ones seemed exactly alike, the other two were yet deeper in shades of red and orange, and before I could ask, IT spoke and said, “They, like all here are of you, who are of me, but these will come to you and you will care for them more. They will fly apart but come together at the time of the Gathering.”

I thought The Being might be telling me these were my children but I was only 21 and not only had never been married but had no plans to.

[Learn the identity of these five Orbs here:]

I didn’t understand how all this was of me, and me of HE, when a magnificent crystal serving platter appeared; and it shimmered the colors of many rainbows.

In an instant it shattered into thousands of pieces, each piece brilliant in its own right.

Ever so slowly now, all the pieces began to rejoin themselves to once again form the original serving platter once again; and I now knew what this Being of Light was showing me: we pieces are the platter. I was just one of those thousands of pieces, as were all those I was seeing here and those back in the “World.”

8. The Signs of the Time of The Gathering

Now my mind was still trying to ponder The Gathering. As I thought what could this mean, The Being answered, “Here you will see the signs that bring forth the Gathering.”

And with that, I saw frames appear like screens on a TV set. When I looked into the screens, the visions would gather up, pop off in an image, and enter my mind. I felt as if I was being pushed back with it’s impact. They were only glimpses but they were so realistic, as if happening right there in front of me in the now. I could not turn away and then it seemed that I had become a part of each of these visions.

There were scenes of men in uniform killing other men in uniforms, I recognized some of the insignias and some were from the USA. There were also thousands of them not in uniforms killing even more thousands not in uniform. It was like looking at toy figures moving on their own, mowing down other figures, different countries, different Nations, different Religions, different weapons, different Decades, but always resulting in hundreds of thousands dead and dying. I wanted out of there, I could feel the pain these people were suffering.

I asked the Being why was this, and how long was this to go on, and The Being said “Man will prey on man, Until Man will pray for man”.

The next vision was of floods, many of them spilling across the Earth on different continents in different seasons and I am again walking among it, feeling the force and taking in the smell of Death. Hundreds of Lives and acres upon acres of crops were lost as well as hundreds of stock and wild animals floating away into the abyss.

Then I was watching volcanoes from around the world erupting, first one then another. The molten Lava burying whole towns and villages and the people and animals within them. I gazed among the ruins and saw little left of what once stood there.

The last vision I saw in the screen were of earthquakes destroying sections of almost every continent. One was a massive one in America. Most others were in Europe and the Orient. Again thousands are killed, structures are crumpled, the landscape leveled and I turned again to the Being and He said, “There will not only be more of what you have seen but there will come a time when it will all happen at the same time and it will come the same time of mans’ greatest sins.”

I didn’t have time to ask, when HE said, “They will turn from ME and claim themselves like Gods.”

9. Becoming a Part of the Universe

With that Michael beckoned me to go with him and I now became part of the Universe. Novas, suns, planets, all that I looked at from the Earth, not so long ago, or was it?

We traveled toward the beginning of it all, the inner portions of the Universe. Kazillions of planets around kazillions of suns and the closer to the center we approached the more concentrated the number of galaxies. It is like the Plate you saw, the largest part, after it shattered was at the center and those parts that shattered first were sent the farthest from the center, So is everything in the Universe. All is but a circle within a circle wrapped in a circle. Each level, each dimension is but a layer of the original which is without end.

I watched as millions of Orbs systematically entered the many planets before me. They appeared as Bees flitting from flower to flower, pollinating each, one after another. Michael took me closer and I could now see that so many of these planets had life on them and the Orbs were joining with the creatures of these planets. Not every creature was the same on every planet but they all had some commonalities, a head, a body, extremities and the Light Beings would animate them for a time.

We headed away from the center now and Michael said that Gabriel would have more to explain to me and that He, Michael, wanted me to know that He was pleased with the many times He had called on me to do His bidding and that I performed my duties well. His parting words were “You will never again be made to forget!”

I was journeying back to where I knew Earth would be and watched as comets and asteroids casually passed by me or I passed them. The colors of the gaseous cloud formations were striking. I started looking at these infant galaxies as one would cloud formations back on Earth, imagining what shape they were taking on: this one a boat, this a bird with wings, this a scarf floating in the breeze, till I recognized what was the Constellation ORION and I knew I was getting close to my destination.

10. Orion and Prophecies of the Future

While drifting through ORION, I noticed two blazing celestial bodies racing parallel to its center, looking as Twin Arrows exiting from an Archers Bow and headed straight for the “Blue Marble” of home. Immediately a vision of millions of people crying because of the devastation of portions of New York City came to me. I became aware of a strange feeling I had not known previously, and I thought that might be because this was the city I had grown up in.

I saw a huge earthquake, a magnitude of 8.6 in someplace named EUREKA. A ham operator or radio announcer was directing thousands of people migrating from areas of frequent disasters to places of safety.

A space station appeared to be falling from the heavens because of an internal explosion.

Missiles were being simultaneously fired into space from several nations.

I thought the Light Being had shown me all there was to see but these were different, stronger, and there was no pre-screening as before. Gabriel appeared beside me, I thought because I had felt shaky; but he was to explain the now sprawling Galactic View of my Galaxy.

The sun was expanding and spewing off huge ecto-plasma balls, more then it has ever done in it’s past, and in the very direction the planets would orbit through. I could not take my eyes from the Earth and as I watched what effect these eruptions would have on the Earth.

A large mass passed me, larger then any of the planets known to me; and as it passes, I see the Earth wobble wildly as would a top toward the end of its spin. The rotation stopped and slowly started again but it was tilted now and I was drawn in closer like the zoom of a lens.

The ash clouds that had engulfed the Earth thinned, and like a tack welded piece of metal being dismantled.

I could see the ocean bodies starting to rise: first the Pacific along the “Ring of Fire”, then the others, synchronistical. As the waters shifted upon the landmasses, the landmasses started to sink under the waters added pressure upon it. When the pressures equaled out to the spin of the changing axis, the Earth no longer looked as it did moments before. It was newer, cleaner, more beautiful with darker greens and lighter blues. Some of the new landmasses looked similar to a few of the other planets I had recently visited with Michael.

People were upon this Earth and appeared happier and more content although seemingly living like the Native populations of old. Cities, built by the Ancient Ones, that were buried beneath the oceans were now being populated by the surviving people in this new world.

I saw tribes joining tribes and small nations forming, but it was what I didn’t see that made my heart burst. There were no more wars. True peace and happiness had finally befallen on mankind.

Gabriel now tells me that this is His message that I must take back: to let others know that there is little to fear, for the Earth will go on forever, as did all the planets I had visited.

I am to tell the world to look to ORION, and they will know when the new world will come upon them.

I asked Him, “What of the others there on Earth, during the change?” Gabriel told me that all will be lifted. Some will be lifted higher then others and no longer enjoy the physical plane, while some will be left on the Earth to replenish and rebuild the physical. They too will be of a higher elevation then any that are living there now!

11. The Message of Love For the World

I was now before the Light Being of Gold again. Those five orbs were still darting about. I wanted to stay and explore this realm with all the other Light Beings but I was told I could not.

I was brought here to go back to tell the others who would be coming after me, that if they would spread the Love they brought with them to the physical world they would know their Creator eagerly awaits them.

The Being told me that should I ever have questions of the heart or mind, that He will answer them, if I only look within myself, for that is where He will dwell. From this time forward I need only think it to be so, and it will be so, for I would forever know the truth.

I was told there was much work left undone and that He had set a road of rocks before me that I must sweep away for passage. Many will be set before me that I may help in my presence. And more I will not; but that I must not set aside wrongly – for a soul should not be lost within my heart.

I asked how I would know; and before I received an answer, I was being whisked away through that darkened tunnel like a dust bunny in a vacuum with about as much control as a runaway freight train.

12. Returning To Life

I awoke to a nurse scrubbing the encrusted blood off of the right side of my head. My body was racked with pain. I screamed at the nurse for what I felt was her lack of compassion and she had a shocked look on her face.

“Oh my God, welcome back sailor. We thought you were a goner for sure.”

I asked her where was I and how long had I been here and she answered, “You’ve been in a coma for seven days now. They thought you died on the operating table and was going to ship you to the morgue when the assisting corpsman noticed some movement under your sheet and rushed you back to the OR. The doctor checked you out and he was amazed to find your vitals were returning to normal but what really floored him was the hardened crust that had formed over the hole in your head seemed to have sealed most of the damage. He decided he didn’t even have to put a steel plate in your head any more as it had healed sufficiently on it’s own in the time you were gone.”

I said, “You mean that practicing corpsman that was sewing my hand in the operating room saved my life?”

She said, “Yes, but how did you know he was sewing your hand? You were unconscious the entire time you were in OR and never came to until just now.”

If she had only known all the things I knew from that time she would have surely gone in to shock.

I took the brush and towel from her hands and said I would finish the job for her; and she thanked me and said she was going to notify the doctors that I was alive and conscious!

I looked across the dorm and saw several sailors and a Marine lying in their perspective beds. The Marine looked familiar and was situated closest to me. He smiled and said “Hey, Mr. Chuck [a handle I picked up overseas], you missed a hellava party last week.”

I replied, “So I am told; but you should have seen the one I went to. It was a real mindblower.”

He told me I made the local papers and a picture of what was left of my car was photographed and on the second page of the news. Then he said, “I bet you’re glad they are going to sign your discharge papers and not your Death Certificate like they almost did.”

I joked and said, “Yeah, you know those Navy doctors, in and out, they’d sign anything to get their Liberty passes.”

The doctor finally arrived and started to check me out. He seemed genuinely interested yet amazed at my seemingly miraculous recovery. He checked the side of my head first, then ran his hands over my arms and legs. He asked if I could stand after giving me the “follow my fingers and how many are there” doctor thing.

I jumped out of bed and he stood aghast. He asked if I could raise my arms over my head [thinking I could not] and when I did he asked if I could slowly reach my toes [which I did] and then he sat me on the bed and started to talk to me.

He told me I was a medical miracle. Not only was I not supposed to still be alive after the massive blood loss; but the mental trauma of my head injury would at the least make me a vegetable. He also said that the injuries to my legs and arms alone should have kept me in the infirmary for another two to three weeks. Yet there I was, everything working fine, actually as good as new, not even any black and blue marks to show what my body had been through.

He said he had to admit it was truly a marvel; and when I asked if I could be returned to Active Duty, he said he really couldn’t see why not. He signed my hospital discharge papers and I was returned to my Squad the next day.

It was good to be among the living but I knew it was a far, far, better place I had been, than any place here on Earth will ever be again. I remembered everything that happened to me in that other place but spoke none of it to anyone because just the mention of having been dead was enough to make people twirl their fingers near their brain when they thought I wasn’t looking; and sometimes I wasn’t looking, but I knew.

[Lou Famoso’s testimony ends here.]

More NDE prophecies can be found at the NDE and the Future Research Conclusions.

13. Other Prophecies of the Future and the Orion Constellation

a. Orion as a Sign of the Times for Earth Changes

The late John Jay Harper (1951-2010) (, author of “Tranceformers: Shamans of the 21st Century,” had this to say about Orion and the coming Earth changes:

“Our scientists are musing over the meaning of global warming and the melting of the Arctic ice cap with a subsequent catastrophic change in climate worldwide. What they don’t realize yet is that earlier civilizations that have come and gone; for example, Egyptian and Mayan, experienced this cataclysm and warned us about it. They coded this critical cycle of change symbolically as the revolving “circle of animals” in the Zodiac. These pictorial “signs of the times” were documenting the cause and effect relationship between the alignment of star constellations, specifically Orion, with Earth. That is, ancients knew that our Sun – our source of consciousness – would be entering into a new megacycle of solar power output within the Milky Way Galaxy at the turn of the 21st century – and beyond until the entire planet and its people were restored to celestial beings of light. Likewise, they forewarned us in myths portraying an apocalypse that this new cycle of consciousness evolution would trigger massive Earth Changes: surface and undersea volcanism that melts glaciers and alters coastal landscapes, earthquakes in unheard of places, and overall wind-rain-snow-ice superstorms of increasing severity and longevity that destroy crops and marketplaces. In a sentence, the poles are preparing to flip but that is what will open the third eye of mankind. This shift of the electromagnetic fields of the planet will bring a new heaven and a new Earth, a “telepathic society” capable of creative solutions to problems almost spontaneously as they arise; indeed we will be manifesting miracles beyond our wildest imagination. In no uncertain terms, the communication channel we had to God in the Garden of Eden is opening up within us, again. We are going back to the future.” (John Jay Harper)

b. Orion, More Than a Constellation

Ivan P. at wrote:

“It’s a global phenomenon. The Orion constellation is a pattern of stars that is repeated in monuments throughout the ancient world, from Egypt to Mexico, this constellation has been the center of the skies for our ancestors, but why was Orion so important to the ancient civilizations?… According to Egyptian mythology, the gods descended from the belt of Orion and Sirius — the brightest star in the sky. The people of ancient Egypt believed that beings from Sirius and Orion came to Earth to begin the human race.

“Sirius and Orion are critically important because they represent Isis and Osiris, the god and goddess from which all of Egyptian civilization and, ultimately, all of human civilization, supposedly sprang. The ancient Egyptians were very clear and we find evidence in writings that Orion was linked with creation, Orion and Osiris are the same in ancient Egypt and the Egyptians believed that Osiris will return from Orion one day, and not only in Egypt we find tales of “Gods” promising to return and we can find this practically in every culture in antiquity which had the knowledge of somebody who would return one day. The concept that the three pyramids at Giza are in a special alignment of Orion’s Belt is amazing…

“Just 35 miles northeast of Mexico City lie the ruins of Teotihuacán, an ancient city once inhabited by more than 150,000 people. Researchers believe the impressive structures here including two large pyramids and a temple were built in the second century B.C. and like the Egyptian pyramids of Giza, the monuments point directly to the three stars of Orion’s Belt.” (Ivan P.)

c. The Giza Pyramids and the Constellation of Orion

According to

Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert uncovered the key to the plan that governed the construction of the pyramids. They reveal in their book, “The Orion Mystery,” that the pyramids were much more than just tombs: they were nothing less than a replica of Heaven on Earth. The constellation of Orion was known to the Egyptians as “Osiris”. The air shafts in the pyramids point directly towards Orion with the aim of projecting the soul of the deceased king out towards the constellation … The King was very important because he was the link between the gods and men, and was accorded enormous respect in life and in death … From the moment of his birth he was groomed and trained for his return to the “First Time” (or “Zep Tepi”, a time ancient to the ancient Egyptians themselves.) All his life, every aspect of it, was associated with his journey. He was taught spells and incantations to secure a safe passage, many of which are collected in the Book of the Dead and the Pyramid Texts. His sole aim in life was his successful return to the First Time, and the pyramids, far from being a memorial or commemorative tomb, were the starting point of this greatest of journeys. The geometry of the pyramids has been a source of confusion for many years, as was the seemingly imperfect way in which they were laid out on the Necropolis site. The chain of command in Egypt was unbroken — each King, though a living, breathing being, was a renewal of the covenant which the gods made with man. The dead King, though dead to this world, lived on in spirit as he made his way back to the beginning, to the First Time. His son, the new Horus King, took over his place as surely as the dead King has taken his own, and ensured the continuation of the Great House, the Pr Aa.” (

d. The Orion Key: Unlocking the “Clock of the Ages”

According to Scott Creighton at

“Through the arrangement and dimensions of the various structures at Giza we are presented with multiple pieces of quite diverse evidence all pointing to a clear connection of the Giza pyramids with the belt stars of the Orion constellation. With this mathematical and astronomical evidence – together with the mass of cultural evidence previously cited by Bauval, Gilbert and Hancock supporting such a correlation – for Egyptologists to continue to reject that such an association was fully intended by the ancient designers surely now must be considered an untenable position. A sufficient body of evidence now exists to allow us to conclude safely that the structures at Giza were constructed with reference to a pre-defined, master plan. The evidence presented here in support of this view may not conclusively prove an Orion-Giza association but it is probably fair to say that if it is weight of evidence that counts then we must consider that the Orion-Giza association now has sufficient evidence to allow us to consider the hypothesis as proven beyond reasonable doubt.

“In acceptance of the Orion association with the Giza pyramids, what remains now is to consider the “why” question; why did the ancient designers expend so much blood, sweat and tears to create this great astronomical clock, indicating the past date of 10,500 B.C. and the future date of 2,500 A.D.? Is it significant that around 10,500 B.C. was when the last Ice Age came to an abrupt end with all manner of animal and plant species becoming extinct at that time? What event could have occurred on the Earth to bring about such dire global consequences? Whatever the reason, it seems clear that the reason must have been one of vital importance. Our civilization ignores these dates — these Orion ‘signs’ — at our peril.” (Scott Creighton)

e. Jesus and the Giza Pyramids According To Edgar Cayce

According to Edgar Cayce scholar David Wilcock at

Cayce scholars know that the Logos is of central importance in directing human civilization on Earth. The original incarnation of the Logos was known as “Amilius” from Atlantis who became the prototype for “Adam” in the Book of Genesis. Before the Earth’s poles shifted that caused the civilization of Atlantis to be lost, Amilius directed the people of Atlantis to go to Egypt which be the safest place to go for weathering out these Earth changes since it was situated at the center of the Earth’s Grid. This has now been scientifically verified through studies of the Becker-Hagens grid. Cayce identified another human incarnation of the Logos known as Hermes, who later was honorably referred to as “Thothermes Trismestigus,” meaning “Thrice Greatest Hermes.” The Egyptians lauded him as “the scribe of the Gods” or “lord of divine words”. Hermes of the Cayce readings is the one who designed and build the Giza Pyramids in Egypt through some esoteric means by which the stones were levitated and set in place. The Atlanteans wished to create a storehouse of their accumulated knowledge and wisdom so that it would not perish. They placed their records somewhere within the vicinity of the Giza pyramids which Cayce identified as the “Hall of Records” which has yet to be discovered. According to Cayce, as the time approaches when future Earth changes occur, these records will be discovered [Cayce reading 5750-1]. Some sources claim the Hall of Records have already been discovered.

Hermes is also the sage who began the Hermetic tradition. Hermes is also referred to in the Poimandres, as the “shepherd of men” who teaches that “the Word which came forth from the Light is the Son of God.” Accordingly, Hermes also taught that human nature consists of such divine elements as Nature, Light, Mind, and Life; and that by recognizing them we may return to the invisible, immaterial world of Truth. The Cayce readings say Hermes incorporated into the design of the Giza Pyramid “the position of the stars about which this particular solar system circles in its activity” [Cayce reading 294-151] and “As the changes came about in the Earth, the rise and fall of nations were to be depicted in this same temple, that was to act as an interpreter for that which had been, that which is, and that which is to be in the material plane” [Cayce reading 294-151]. These words from the Cayce readings agree with scientific measurements some of which had not even been discovered at the time of the reading! After many very historic spiritual incarnations including Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph, and David, the final incarnation of the Logos on Earth came about in the life of Jesus, who called himself “the last Adam” (see Romans 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:45). Once Jesus completed his personal initiation, he began saying “I am the Logos,” which again is now translated to “I am the Word.” The Cayce readings also say that Jesus was the first person to complete this process of self-transformation, and that others would follow a similar path at the end of the cycle.

f. The Bible, the Giza Pyramids and the Coming of the Messiah

According to John Zajac, a scientist and pyramid expert at, the correlation between the Book of Isaiah in the Bible and the Great Pyramid is as follows:

“In that day there shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the Land of Egypt, and a monument at the border thereof to the Lord, and it shall be for a sign, and for a witness unto the Lord of Hosts in the Land of Egypt” (Isaiah 19:19-24).

In the Hebrew language, each of the original thirty words has a numerical value because each Hebrew letter is also a number. When the thirty words are added up, the total is 5,449, which is one of the most significant and dominant numbers utilized in the construction of the Pyramid. It is the exact height of the Pyramid in sacred Jewish inches. Although the first books of the Bible were written after the Pyramid was built, the height of the Pyramid could not have been measured when the book of Isaiah was written, because the geometry required to make such a measurement had not yet been developed. Of course, being located both “in the midst” of Egypt and at the same time “at the border” seems to be a logical impossibility. However, in ancient times before the unification of the country, there was lower Egypt (north) and upper Egypt (south). The borderline between the two Egypts goes right through the Pyramid, thus placing the Pyramid both in the center and at the border of Egypt.

David, Jesus and Paul mentioned the Messiah to be “the capstone which the builders rejected” (Psalm 118:22-23, Matthew 21:41-43, Acts 4:11) with the “capstone” being an obvious reference to the top stone at the highest point of the pyramid. Jesus also mentioned how “signs in the sun, moon and stars” and events around Jerusalem and Earth changes will herald his return to Earth:

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (This occurred in 1948 when Israel became a nation once again after nearly two thousand years). There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the Earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:20-28).

14. More Information on “The Gathering”

a. Lou Famoso’s NDE Information About the Gathering

The Being of Light and the archangel Gabriel revealed to Lou Famoso the following signs which would bring forth the Gathering and which would happen all at the same time. Apparently, before the major earth catastrophe and changes occur, “The Gathering” will yank the souls out of the bodies of those about to be killed — a mass out-of-body experience to the afterlife. The Gathering is an event similar to what fundamentalist Christians refer to as “The Rapture” (also Matthew 24:37-40, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) except that it occurs as a phenomenon not as a respecter of a persons religious belief.

(1) Men in uniforms from the USA will be killing men in other uniforms.

(2) Thousands of men not in uniforms will be killing even more thousands not in uniform from different countries and different religions.

(3) Many floods will spill across the Earth on different continents in different seasons causing hundreds of lives, animals, and acres of crops to be lost.

(4) Portions of New York City will be devastated.

(5) Volcanoes from around the world would erupt, first one then another, with the molten lava burying whole towns and the people and animals within them. Ash clouds will envelope the earth.

(6) Earthquakes will destroy sections of almost every continent with a massive one in America. A huge earthquake, a magnitude of 8.6, will occur in someplace named “Eureka.”

(7) A space station will fall from space because of an internal explosion.

(8) Solar coronal mass ejections will become more frequent and will hit the Earth.

(9) Missiles will be fired simultaneously into space from several nations.

(10) The Earth will wobble wildly as would a top toward the end of its spin.

(11) The ocean level will rise: first along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, then the others, synchronistical, causing landmasses to sink under the waters.

(12) The archangel Gabriel tells humanity through Lou Famoso to look to the constellation of Orion as a “sign” to know when the new world will come upon them.

(13) During the Gathering, all the people affected “will be lifted” – some people will be lifted higher then others and no longer enjoy the physical plane, while some will be left on the Earth to replenish and rebuild the physical. They too will be of a higher elevation then any that are living there now.

(14) There is little to fear because the Earth will go on forever.

(15) After The Gathering, the people upon the Earth will be happier and more content although seemingly to live like the native populations of old.

(16) Cities built by the ancient ones which were buried beneath the oceans will be populated by the surviving people in this new world.

(17) Tribes will join tribes and form small nations, and there will be no more wars, causing true peace and happiness to come to humanity.

b. Pioneer of Out-Of-Body Experiences, Robert Monroe, and “The Gathering”

The late Robert Monroe (1915-1995) was the pioneer in investigating out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and was the author of ground-breaking books entitled, Journeys Out Of The Body, Far Journeys, and Ultimate Journey. Unpredictably and spontaneously, Monroe would find himself leaving his physical body and traveling by means of a second body to locations within the physical realm as well as the spirit realms. Monroe and his associates began working on a method to induce and control OBEs and other forms of consciousness in their laboratory. Because Monroe and his associates were specialists in creating effective sound patterns, they began their research using sound patterns. Their research ultimately yielded significant results. In 1974, he founded the Monroe Institute ( and began conducting seminars in self-control of human consciousness. Three patents were issued to Monroe for the methods and techniques so generated, and the trademark, HEMI-SYNC, also became broad public knowledge. In his book, Far Journeys, Monroe described his OBE travels to various spirit/afterlife locations including a location labeled “The Gathering” (also known as “The Big Show”) which is a level of consciousness where intelligences from other areas of universe (extraterrestrials) and dimensions gather to observe the upcoming Earth changes. According to Monroe:

“Somewhere between the Earth and the Moon” a host of countless numbers of forms glowing in various degrees of expectancy have come together to witness “a very rare event — the conflux of several different and intense energy fields arriving at the same point in your time-space.” The gathering is to observe the possible birth of a new energy that will “offer human consciousness a rare potential to emerge rapidly into a unified intelligent energy system that will range far beyond your time-space illusion, creating, constructing, teaching as only a human-trained graduate energy is able to do.”

For more information about Robert Monroe and “the Gathering” see also [1] [2] [3] [4].

c. Natalie Sudman’s NDE Encounter With “The Gathering”

The following is Natalie Sudman‘s ( description of her NDE encounter with “The Gathering” from excerpts of her book at, “Application of Impossible Things.”

“In this new environment, I stood on an oval dais… addressing thousands of white-robed beings or personalities. They were arrayed up and all around me as if I stood in the center of a huge stadium… The personalities were non-physical in essence, taking on form if they intended to do that for a particular purpose. I perceived the way they looked according to what I preferred for my purposes. At the time, since I had been abruptly transferred from the physical plane, it was simpler to perceive them in a human form, wearing glowing white robes… I knew the Gathering to be a meeting of many groups representing a wide variety of interests and responsibilities pertaining not only directly to Earth and physical universe energies but to dimensions and issues beyond… I presented what seems from my current physical body/conscious mind perception to be a transfer of information in the form of an inexplicably complex matrix… It included events, thoughts, incidents, individuals, and groups in all their relationship complexities: stories, concepts, connections, nuances, layers, judgments, and projections… Rather than being a classic ‘life flashing before the eyes’ scene, this download was a collection that emphasized what might be very broadly understood as cultural and political information. I was aware that I deliberately offered the condensed data in fulfillment of a request that had been made by this Gathering of personalities prior to my taking on this body for this physical lifetime… When the thought form or matrix had been absorbed by everyone, which took but seconds, discussions proceeded among the various groups and within the whole of the Gathering… All communication was accomplished through thought. They then requested that I return to my physical body to accomplish some further work. I was given to understand that my particular skills with energy were needed at this time and would be effective only were I actually present in a body within the Earth vibration… We agreed upon specific tasks that I would accomplish and specific things that they would assist me with once I was back in the physical… We discussed mechanical details of what I’d agreed to do for the Gathering, as well as some personal issues. Then I simply took a deep breath and popped back into the body… I hesitate to outline or specifically discuss the skills that were highlighted as useful to the Gathering. I consider them unique and interesting to me because they’re mine, but I don’t want a description of some of them to be interpreted as grandiose or ‘special’ in anyone’s value hierarchy” (Natalie Sudman).

15. Lou Famoso Links

Website: “A Journey from Faith to Knowing!

Videos: Prophetic Visions and Messages

YouTube: Lou Famoso’s Channel

Facebook: Life After Death Visions & Messages

Mailing List: Yahoo Groups: Life After Death/NDEs

Music: Digital Music by “Big Lou Famoso & Sha Stimuli”

Photos: Black Bart’s Bucket

Exceptional Experiences

Brian Krebs’ Near-Death Experience

Some people have reported having an NDE while experiencing an alien abduction. Other experiencers have seen alien-type beings during their NDE. There appears to be a connection between these aliens and the beings of light reported in so many NDEs. Brian Krebs’ NDE describes just such an encounter. Brian’s NDE appears in Kevin Williams’ NDE book entitled Nothing Better Than Death. It is reprinted below in Brian Krebs’ own words.

I had my first near-death experience when I was a child, perhaps two or three. This would be about 1953. It involved me drowning. My memories of it were of seeing my body below me. I remember seeing a bright, warm, loving orb above me. I panicked Dad and Mom below. I didn’t know it was anything to talk about and no one would have believed me. It never was a thing I felt I had to relate.

Then in 1971… I had been knifed with a stiletto that severed an artery above my liver. I remember looking up and seeing a light. I then looked down at my body and then I was confronted by at least two beings. They were human in appearance and they seemed to float in midair. I realized I was far above my body and not in any earthly space. The beings tried to keep me from going to the light. I don’t know why, they just seemed terrified and didn’t want me to go. But I did. I shot up like an arrow through what can only be described as a tunnel.

I saw the tunnel as a peripheral blur of stars and I saw a loving light before me. Then I stopped. I was there with this orb of glowing love and understanding. It didn’t seem foreign to me. It was not frightening. It was totally assuring and there was no feeling of anything but my awe and the love and knowledge and wisdom this orb projected. In size, it would be not like looking at the sun, but looking at the earth when you are on it. It was immense and total, and its power was love.

I felt a presence next to me, a man, and he asked if I was ready for my life review. I said yes. All of this not a verbal thing, but just a knowledge. Then I saw something like an HO scale train set below, a city. I went to this city and I went through my life. I went through every moment and every feeling. I was not afraid as I was still in the light. I talked with the man about my life. But I do not remember any specifics.

I then remember standing, as it where, in the light of the Orb of love. I felt the goodness and love and knowledge of it. My mind was in a state of deep, deep, concentration of thought.

I then went to twelve beings of greater knowledge. They were in front of me and stood in a row. They were not human. They had no feelings of anything like judgment or authority, but seemed strong in themselves. They seemed taller than I did and they wore silver white robes. They had white skin, large heads and large eyes. I do not remember them having a mouth. Above them was a spirit. It was like a star as we see one from earth, but in size it appeared the same size as the heads of the beings. The spirit went to my left and hovered above the first being. I remember it was like a video of knowledge springing from the being’s hands, which were held in front of them.

Each being had something to relate. They opened the knowledge they had when the spirit moved above them. The last told me what I could do if I came back and the significance of it. I only remember seeing young man with his head back in pain as if his neck was injured. I said, “Oh! Aaron! My son!” They said, “No, not that son.” And I realized whom they meant. (In 1978, my only other child was born a son).

Then I made the decision to come back to earth. And I remember it was such a hard decision. It was so difficult because everything there was so beautiful and there was so, so, much love. I had the feeling of freewill, yet a feeling of duty was present – of obligation. And the second I realized that I shot back into my body.

After two near-death experiences and having studied many NDEs, I am convinced there is order to the experience.

I do get angry when people come to conclusions about the near-death experience because they think it is not orderly and therefore find it to be a part of our imaginative minds. For the ones that have not heard this, here goes:

Rule 1: At any given microsecond, you may return to your body. You have a trauma of some kind making you leave your body. You might feel a vibration. You might feel nothing, except that you are suddenly out of your body.

Rule 2: Nobody remembers every single detail and the meaning to it while having an NDE.

So, now you are out of your body you may look down and see your body. You may take off for another room or zip back into your body. You may go into the void. This is the home of many a grim story. See, after death you may end up quite stuck in this void. It lacks one thing: love. It is the hell the Pope just figured out. It is not being of love, not recognizing it. Those who are stuck there may frighten you by just being or by intentional gestures to frighten you. They are stuck and they are confused and they will put the “HELL” in hell.

Rule 3: Beyond this point your soul must be convinced your body is dead.

See, sometimes things happen which doesn’t cause death. I mean we all ultimately live to tell of NDEs, but we must be convinced the body business is behind us to go further.

So, there you are outside the body. Now those who love you might show up. They do so for a couple reasons. One, they may want you to stay, that is, go back to your body. Or they may want you to think of love. I just love the way George Rodonaia said it. While describing the void, he said that he thought, “I am, and if I am, why for not can I be happy?” And he was. Then he thought, “If I am, and I can be happy, why for not then can I feel love?” And he did. You see, the way out of the void is simple. You must think of love.

Now if you are a Christian and you think of Jesus and you see Jesus as love, then you will be thinking of love and to think of love. To recognize it as a reality, that is the key to getting out of the void. Now, you are in the void and you think of love and you are love and you will see love, just a speck, but you will concentrate on it and then you will connect with it. This connection is called the tunnel. It is a pathway to the Creator.

I recently heard someone talking about taking some sugar and some water and mixing them together. The sugar would disappear and the water would become sugar water. But in time the water would evaporate and the sugar would remain as sugar and the water would turn to vapor. The point was that the sugar had the memory of the water and the water the memory of the sugar. As I thought this out, I tried to think how to explain it better. Being of a scientific background, I thought, “Okay, let’s put the sugar and water together in a test tube. Let’s mix them. Then to speed things up, let’s add heat, which makes vibrations and causes the water to turn to vapor. But wait. Let’s put a rubber stopper in the test tube and a glass tube leading to another test tube. That would allow the water to reestablish itself as water in the other tube.” You see, then you have water with a memory of the sugar and the sugar with the memory of the water. You also have a very good model to explain how to get out of the void. As the tube concentrates the water, so the tunnel concentrates the spirit.

Now, many things can happen in the tunnel. Say for instance you get depressed and you gobble down too many pills. You would choke if not for the washing of booze you gave them. You might end up in the tunnel off to the side where you are requested to think. So you sit there thinking. Some other soul would pass right on by that, not notice, or may notice. Things, earthy problems can be worked out there, out of the void and in the tunnel. Ultimately though, if you don’t return to your body, you zip right past all this and end up at a point that you may refer later to the end of the tunnel. It may be though that you are in one of the rooms of the tunnel or zones. There you see a garden, a river, a gate, and someone will appear to help you decide whether you should go on or think a while or talk or be reassured enough to return to your body. But, go through the gate or over the river past the decision to go back or stay and think, and you end up at the end of the tunnel. There at the end of the tunnel is the Creator.

Rule 4: If you make it to the end of the tunnel you will feel more love and acceptance and wisdom and knowledge and understanding than you ever have. And you will remember it. And you will not leave it out of your description of your experience. There you are and there is love – overwhelming, pure, beautiful love. Now let’s not forget Rule 1, that you may at any time zip right back into your body! You should begin now to see why there are so may “different” descriptions of the NDE: because a person may go only to a given point and the description of what they saw will be limited to that level.

So, now you are there in front of the Creator, and you might well see your Higher Self. You will then go through a life review. You do this in the light of the love of the Creator. In this love, you see all you have done wrong and right and the effects of it and you are unafraid because the Creator’s love is there. There is nothing but the truth. That accomplished, you may (Rule 1) zip back into your body. You may then do whatever you think you need to and those descriptions vary. One consistent theme is that you have spirits to help you. I, as Dannion Brinkley did, had twelve “spirits” giving forth information about the past, the present and the future. They may help you decide to stay or go back to earth. Once the decision is made, zipppppp, you’re back.