Patrick's Experience

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Experience description:   

          Christmas Day, 2000, dawned with the usual blue sky and cool temperature that has made winter the favorite season of most Southern Californians . It promised to be a perfect day for moving and I was going to make the most of it. We were finally moving into our own house and besides, we had to be out of our rental by Dec.31st.

          Around 6 a.m. , I started loading the 14-foot truck that I had rented on Christmas Eve. While my wife continued to pack boxes inside, I carted them and anything else I could lift outside. Everything was moving along nicely until 11:30 a.m. when I suddenly became tired and told my wife that I needed to rest for a few minutes. I can’t emphasize enough how quickly this tiredness came over me. It was only about five minutes between feeling normal and having a great need to lie down.

          I remember lying down on the bed fully dressed. My boots were still on and so, with every intention of going back to work within a few minutes, I put something under them to protect the bed and I placed my gloves and hat beside me.

          I closed my eyes and almost immediately found myself in a state that was neither a dream nor a hallucination.     I found myself enveloped within the lining of a slowly revolving vertical pipe-like affair. One might even call it a tunnel except that it was revolving. By looking across the “pipe,” I could that the diameter was only about eight feet. The lining or wall was just thick enough for my body and was made of a light-brown, smoke-like substance that seemed to swirl but extremely slowly. The inside of the tunnel was smooth but the outside seemed fuzzy. In fact, the outside seemed to transition from the light brown smoke to a progressively dark gray, which gradually gave way to solid black. 

The interior of the tunnel was vacant of anything whatsoever.  I soon realized that I was capable of moving only my eyes. Neither my head nor fingers would budge. I remember desperately trying to move even a toe to no avail. It was as if I was enclosed in a transparent plastic but I knew this was not so because I could see the slow moving swirls of  “smoke” in the lining of the opposite side of the tunnel.

          Also, by looking beyond the other side, I could see that the “pipe” was surrounded by blackness. Nevertheless, as I continued to revolve around and around, I had the distinct knowledge that something scary and unchangeable would happen if I should somehow manage to turn around.

          I was not scared but rather, I was preoccupied with trying to move different parts of my body. I was also wondering why there was no one else in either the lining or the tunnel and why I was neither going up nor down. There were absolutely no sounds and no smells whatsoever.

          I came out of this with my wife calling me and saying that I had been resting long enough and that there were many things to take out to the truck. I agreed and said I would be right there. I put my head back down to consider what I had just experienced and before I could even question whether it had been a dream or whatever, I was right back in the same place. Nothing had changed.

          This scenario repeated itself at least five more times until finally the sun disappeared around 5 p.m. and my wife decided it was a lost day and decided to ask some friends to come and help in the morning. I kept trying to tell her what was happening but I was becoming weaker. Finally around 6 p.m. , I arose to visit the toilet and shamefully went to apologize. I tried to explain but I could hardly find the words because I was still trying to understand it myself. Months passed before my wife realized how this Christmas Day experience had impacted me.

          The next morning I woke up with the flu and had only the strength to help supervise where the stuff should go in the moving truck. I did end up driving the truck and unloading it but not until another day had passed. The flu was the worst I had ever experienced and lasted for weeks.

          One night a month or two later, I awoke and could not return to sleep. My wife was out of town and so I decided to listen to the radio. It was Art Bell interviewing Sarah about her near-death experience. What made me take notice was her description of the colors of the smoke in the hellish regions. I caught the web address for “” and looked it up the next day.

          After reading everything on the site, I discerned that I must have had an obe. After devouring the NDERF site, I went on to the IANDS web pages and only recently got through everything there. Meanwhile I have read half dozen books on the near-death experience as well as “Destiny of Souls” by Michael Newton and “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. I find myself drawn to Buddhism now because it seems that these teachings are the only map we have of a terrain we all must eventually traverse. I still, however, read everything I find on the near-death experience.

          I am writing this on Christmas Day, 2001, exactly two years later. My life has been affected immeasurably in a positive way by my obe and then hearing Sarah on the radio. Thank you for this and for creating “” My main reason for waiting two years to send this in has been because I realized it lacked sensation when compared to the other stories on your site. That said, I would like you to know that it was definitely sensational enough for me. I have evolved from a stalwart agnostic to an earnest researcher in the continuity of life after death.