Tom L's Experience
One day I was taking care of my friend's gas station while he was running some errands. Outside the station, perhaps 50 feet from the building, was an old abandoned cistern. The top of the cistern had a mouth approximately two feet in diameter. The body of the cistern underground was approximately seven to eight feet in diameter. It had a large slab of concrete covering the opening at the top. This concrete slab was about five feet long by three feet wide, and perhaps three inches thick. In the center of the concrete slab was a rectangular opening of perhaps five by eighteen inches. Through this opening my friend would routinely deposit used oil cans, oily rags and other trash from the station. When there was a small pile in the cistern someone would go and pour a little kerosene in the hole and drop in a lit match. The pile would usually burn until the small pile was consumed.
This day, while my friend was gone and business was slack, I decided to clean up the station a bit and burn the trash in the cistern. When I went to get some kerosene I realized we were out. I thought this time I could use a little gasoline to start the fire if I would light it quickly before it had a chance to vaporize very much. I poured in a small can of gasoline through the opening in the concrete cover, but my match went out. I quickly tossed in another match but it too went out. Before I could light another match the local Priest drove up to the gas pumps for gas. I started to go and help him and forget the cistern, for eventually the gas would completely evaporate, and there would be no problem. As I walked toward Father F, he motioned that he would fill his own car. I then decided that it would be safe for me to try another match. I squatted down close to the whole and lit another match. Just as I dropped the match through the hole in the concrete slab, the world suddenly changed for me.
Suddenly everything but my mind slowed down. I felt as though I was thinking at a normal speed, but everything else was suddenly slowed down drastically. I could see the fire on the bottom of the cistern slowly get bigger and bigger as the flames slowly climbed toward the hole I was hovering over. As the flames came out of the hole I was moved backward a bit from them. In very slow motion I watched the concrete slab break in half, the concrete and brick shoulders of the cistern at the top of the ground breaking apart, and the roots of a nearby tree being slowly ripped out of the ground. I was being lifted slowly up into the air as I still stood on half of the concrete slab. All these events were happening in slow motion, but my thoughts were normal. It was like watching a movie in slow motion.
The Priest filling up his gas tank, and the local town Marshal who came by just as the cistern blew, later said it all happened very quickly. The Priest said with all the junk the explosion blew out of the cistern he wasn't sure if he had died and gone to the wrong place.
The significance of this event was tied to another event a few years earlier when I had a gun blow up with me. This time I simply had a gun blow up in my hands as I pulled the trigger. One second I was pulling the trigger, and the next second I was standing there holding in one hand a sliver of wood that had just recently been the forearm of the gun, and a trigger guard in the other hand. I never found all of the gun. Soon I discovered I was bleeding from several places on my body, nothing serious.
Two explosions of equal speed, yet with one time was slowed down greatly. I should have been killed with either of these events, but that is not why I am writing this. I was brought up as a protestant, believing in traditional God, heaven and hell. When I was ten years old a good Christian man my mother worked for committed suicide. I had been taught if someone committed suicide they would automatically go to Hell because they did not have time to repent. This disturbed many people, especially me. What I learned from the two separate explosions was that what we call reality is not reality. Time can be altered, and if time can be altered probably can other aspects of this dimension. In this case time either slowed down greatly in the explosion of the cistern, or my mind was accelerated to such a speed that it could perceive the speed of an explosion in slow motion. Either way, after this experience I saw that my friend who shot himself in the head had had ample time after he pulled the trigger to not only ask God to forgive him, but to have a conversation before the bullet actually reached his brain. I have shared this with many people who have lost loved ones by suicide.
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain The mechanics of the event itself are not difficult
to communicate, but what I saw, thought and felt sometimes are.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Uncertain This experience was itself life threatening. There were no other current life threatening experience associated with it.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? All through it I was very alert.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: All through it I was very alert.
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)? Uncertain No transparency of objects, but there was great clarity and somewhat enhanced depth perception I guess you would say.
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)?
Yes I was acutely aware of the explosion, but there was no sound I was aware of or can remember. There was only silence concerning the explosion, but as soon as it was over I was talking to and hearing the Priest and Marshal. The explosion and shock were felt over a mile away.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The only thing I was aware of was curiosity. I have always been curious. As I was watching the events going on around me, such as the tree roots being ripped out of the ground, I was very curious.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? No
Did you see a light? No Only the natural light of the fire.
Did you meet or see any other beings? No
Did you experience a review of past events in your life? No
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? No
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Time was drastically slowed down. The explosion probably took no more than half a second, but my awareness during it seemed to be in minutes.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I was not harmed physically in the event even though I was thrown several feet (10?) into the air but came easily down. The concrete slab covering the hole was broken in an unusual way that prevented the half I was on from harming me. I would call it divine intervention of some kind.
Did you become aware of future events? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Yes As I said, I have ever since been at peace about death.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes It was a pretty public experience at the time. Since then I have shared it with many people, some of whom were glad to hear about the time distortion and the ability for God to give people a last chance, so to speak, no matter the way they die.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real I saw the whole event as enlightenment to me, and more much needed comfort to those who have lost loved ones to suicide. I was clearly shown time can be altered so no one lacks an opportunity to clear things up here in this realm before they go to another realm.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? One was the feeling of being connected with everything around me simultaneously. The other was the slowing down of time. It was so drastic that I will never doubt it. It showed me that there is either another universe, or there is a way this universe can be temporarily altered.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real I now KNOW time in this realm can be altered so no one lacks an opportunity to clear things up here in this realm before they go to another realm. This was 45 years ago, but it is still picture clear in my mind. I already believed in God, but I had been taught a vengeful God. This event showed me God is truly love, and he is quite capable of showing that love in any circumstances.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I used to question people who said they had weird experiences. I was taught that these people were good people, but they were a bit off in the head. This got me to thinking possibly I had been taught wrong. This experience opened my mind, and over the years I have learned a lot because of it.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes This started me to studying and talking with other people, until now I see with more clarity that this universe is probably one of many, and we can if we like learn to experience them.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Since then I have had several other non-near death experiences, and one near death experience in which I have experienced out of this realm events. I might not have paid as much attention to them if I had not first had this experience.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? The fact I was not killed or blinded by the explosion tells me there was some supernatural intervention. I was not even scratched. Also I normally would have been full of adrenalin after such an event, But I was as calm as I have ever been.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes I have described the physical part of my experience pretty accurately, but the effect it had on me is not so easy to put into words.
Are there any other questions we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Perhaps you covered this and I missed it. I think it would be good sometimes to ask if the event being spoken of tied in with other previous or post experiences in the person's life.