Let me count the ways


Is it possible to find evidence for survival after death? Just let me count the ways!

Note: I say ‘evidence’, not ‘proof’. As any lawyer will confirm, evidence does not necessarily mean proof … unless, of course, sufficient evidence is gathered to make a case difficult to dismiss.

One area of compelling evidence is the veridical perception which often occurs during a near-death experience.

What is veridical? According to the Concise Oxford dictionary, veridical means ‘truthful of visions, and coinciding with realities.’

Yes folks, we actually have a word for visions which prove to be factual!

The “shoe on the ledge” account is considered veridical. For those who don’t know the story, here’s a brief summary: Maria – a Mexican crop-picker visiting Seattle in 1976 – suffered a heart attack and was rushed to hospital. While there, she had a cardiac arrest. Maria was successfully resuscitated, but then became very excited, insisting she had observed a shoe sitting on a high ledge outside one of the hospital windows … while she was flat-lining! She desperately wanted someone to verify this.

To humor and calm her, social worker Kim Clark Sharp peered through windows on every floor. Eventually – and to her amazement – she found the shoe just as Maria had described it.

This veridical NDE is one of many, but it is often brought out and dusted off when debating the validity of NDE’s. However, I recently came across a similar one which occurred almost half a century earlier – in February, 1930.

This account was carefully investigated, and many years later was included in the peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Exploration (vol.12, no.3, 1998) with the catchy title: ‘Do Any Near-Death Experiences Provide Evidence for the survival of Human Personality After Death?’ by Emily Williams Cook, Bruce Greyson and Ian Stevenson.

Linda McKnight was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation, but died shortly after admittance. She left her body and wandered over to the window.

Her distraught husband leant over her body. “Linda, why do you leave us?” he asked. Linda later recalled thinking how odd it was that he spoke to a figure on the bed instead of looking at her.

The doctor quickly administered heart stimulants by hypodermic, but Linda had no interest in this procedure. She remained by the window watching activities in the street four stories below.

On returning to her body, Linda was intrigued. She needed to prove – if only to herself – that it had really occurred, but she was too weak to leave her bed. She asked the nurse to describe the view out the window, then quickly added: “Don’t tell me. Let me tell you!”

Linda told the nurse there were sheets flapping in the wind, and a Christmas tree on the balcony below.

A Christmas tree? In February?

The nurse needed to open the window and lean out to see these, but was able to confirm both tree and drying sheets, just as Linda had described.

“Then I knew I had died and came back again.” Linda said.

Veridical accounts by children too young to understand death, let alone NDE’s, offer another source of compelling evidence.

Dr. Melvin Morse begins his book, Closer to the Light (1990), with the 1982 account by ‘Katie’ (real name: Kristle Merzlock).

Kristle was 7 when she was pulled from a public swimming pool and rushed to hospital. The report by ambulance personnel indicated she had been clinically dead for at least fifteen minutes, probably more.

With no gag reflex and an artificial lung machine to breathe for her, no-one expected Kristle to survive, least of all attending paediatrician Dr. Morse. Remarkably, she made a full recovery within 3 days and was able to recall a number of events that occurred while she was ‘dead’.

On meeting Dr. Morse for the first time after the incident, she told her mother: “That’s the one with the beard. First there was this tall doctor who didn’t have a beard, and then he came in.”

Morse confirmed this. Subsequent statements made by Kristle were also uncannily accurate.

“First I was in the big room, then they moved me to a smaller room where they did x-rays on me,” Kristle said, adding that there was “a tube down my nose”. Morse was amazed. Intubations were normally done orally, but Kristle had, indeed, been given a nasal intubation.

Veridical accounts gathered by scientifically-trained researchers have used a variety of methods to validate out-of-body states during flat-lining.

For example:

  • Highly esteemed thanatologist, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross, collected numerous veridical accounts of people who, shortly before death, were surprised to be greeted by loved ones they believed were still alive, yet it was later confirmed that these ‘greeters’ had since died.
  • Dr. Kenneth Ring’s book – Mindsight (2008) – details veridical NDE’s by people born blind or severely sight-impaired, yet who have later accurately described doctors, procedures, equipment – and even their own bodies – while they were clinically dead.
  • Dr. Ian Stevenson traveled the world collecting past-life memories of children, then carefully researched them to prove their validity. Since his death in 2007, others have continued this remarkable research. Dr. Stevenson’s book – Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation – is well worth a read if you can find a copy.
  • Dr. Michael Newton devoted many years regressing people to the time between lives, before training accredited therapists to carry out his unique method. His first two books – Journey of Souls (1994) and Destiny of Souls (2006) – are highly recommended.
  • Dr. Gary Schwartz – Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery at the University of Arizona – spends endless hours in his laboratory scientifically testing mediums using double-blind and triple-blind techniques, and reports outstanding results. His procedures and findings are revealed in his book, The Afterlife Experiments (2002).
  • Dr. Alan Botkin has helped countless battle-weary soldiers overcome post-traumatic stress with the help of a hypnotic procedure which allows them to communicate with those left behind on the battlefield. This remarkable technique invariably provides rapid recovery when years of counselling failed to do so. Dr. Botkin’s book, Induced After Death Communication (2005) makes fascinating reading.

I could go on, but if I don’t stop now this will become another book instead of a brief blog! I’ll provide more details about these and other evidence-producing techniques in future blogs.

Cheers, SandyC


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