From the batch of files that Markus Hesse uploaded to the Web, here are two near-death experiences of interest. Unfortunately the files have now been removed from the upload site, so unless you downloaded them already, you won't be able to read them.
The first NDE is recounted in an article titled "A Near-Death Experience Followed by the Visitation of an 'Angel-Like' Being," by Richard J. Bonenfant. The title kind of gives away the plot.
In 1981 a woman had an NDE during an accident in which she nearly drowned. She "found herself slowly drifting upwards in a dark environment. Although still disoriented and confused, she no longer felt the fear, distress, and panic of drowning. She was now comfortable and fully alert in her new surroundings. The subject reported that she felt herself gently rising at an oblique angle, as if she were riding an invisible escalator. As she became accustomed to the darkness, she was able to perceive depth within that darkness."
After that, she vividly perceived a couple of scenes from her childhood, though unlike the standard life review, these scenes held no special significance for her.
The subject then became aware of a distant light located slightly above and ahead of her. The light appeared small and distant at first but grew in brightness and size as she progressed toward it. While moving towards the light, the subject felt that she was passing through a dark tunnel, slowly at first, but later with great acceleration. As she moved within the light she was filled with awe, peace, and love.
The subject discerned, framed within the light, the figure of “a beautiful woman” with hands outstretched to receive her. This woman was described as being clothed in a white dress, and having long, dark-blonde hair and blue eyes. The angelic being radiated a sense of “motherly love” to the subject. The subject remarked that her only desire was to reach the safety of those outstretched hands. But when she was nearly within reach, the figure withdrew her hands and told the subject, through her eyes, that is was not yet her time and that she would have to return.
Almost immediately, the subject found herself back in her physical body gasping for breath on the deck of the swimming pool.
Note the small detail of telepathic communication with the spirit, a common feature of NDEs.
Fifteen years later, there was an intriguing sequel to this event. By then the woman had an 11-year-old daughter, who had been severely bitten and disfigured in a dog attack. The girl was undergoing a series of skin grafts to repair the damage. Naturally this was a stressful time for both mother and daughter.
After one such operation, the subject was comforting her daughter while they both rested in the mother’s bed. The subject recalled that her daughter had been having nightmares and was thrashing about. To protect the newly grafted area, she cradled her daughter’s face in her arms as they lay together. It was late at night and the room was dark. Then, suddenly, a subdued light appeared behind the subject’s left shoulder. She immediately turned her head about to determine the source of the illumination. There was no evident explanation for the light, but when she returned her gaze toward her daughter, she saw the identical “beautiful woman” who had appeared to her during her NDE. The angel-like figure was only a couple of feet away. Her head was resting on her arms at the edge of the bed. Gazing at both mother and daughter, the angel communicated telepathically to the mother that she was not to worry because her daughter would be all right. The subject was awestruck by the encounter and briefly closed her eyes to refocus them upon the being, but when she reopened her eyes the figure was gone.
When questioned about the identity of this female entity, the subject was absolutely sure that it was the same angel-like being that she had observed during her earlier NDE. There was only one minor difference. In the visitation, the angel’s hair was “up” about her head rather than falling down below her shoulders. The second appearance was very brief, lasting only several seconds, and the subject observed only the head, shoulders and arms of the angelic figure. As a result of the visitation, the subject was not only comforted that her daughter would recover, but became convinced that “a personal relationship” existed between herself and the lady-in-white. To the subject, this being was her own special “guardian angel.”
Of course both appearances of the angel could be dismissed as hallucinations, but if we accept the woman's testimony at face value, it does give credence to the idea that we are blessed with guardian angels or spirit guides.
The second NDE is from an article titled "Near-death experience in a boy undergoing uneventful elective surgery under general anesthesia," by Ursula Lopez, Alain Forster, et al. Its interest lies in the fact that the subject experienced both an NDE under anesthesia and, on a separate occasion, so-called anesthesia awareness. The two experiences were quite different.
Within the context of a prospective study that was designed to evaluate the incidence of awareness with intraoperative recall in children undergoing general anesthesia, a 15-year-old French-speaking boy was interviewed after general anesthesia for elective orthopedic lower limb surgery. He reported on a state of awareness during that anesthetic. In fact, he remembered hearing music (which was confirmed by the surgeon) and the voice of the doctor, seeing three big lamps above him and having tactile sensations. He felt as if someone was moving him on the operating table and putting him on his left side (his position was changed after induction of anesthesia to a left lateral position). He also felt an injection in his hip (probably the puncture in the L4–L5 intervertebral space).
However, the patient also spontaneously described an experience that occurred 3 years earlier during a similar orthopedic operation. This earlier experience strongly suggested a NDE; however, the boy specified not having experienced awareness during this earlier operation.
What is meant by this last remark is that the boy regarded his NDE as a dream. This is unusual, since most NDErs are adamant that the experience was real, or even "realer than real." The NDE itself was fairly conventional in its other aspects.
The boy reported his experience this way:
I was sleeping and suddenly I felt awake and had the impression that I was leaving my body through my head.... I could see from above my whole body lying on the back on the operating table, and surrounded by many doctors.I felt as being above my physical body... and I was lying face down....I was like a spirit ... without my own arms and legs ...and I was floating under the ceiling of the room. Initially, while feeling detached from my real body, I felt a little bit scared and weird ... but then I had a sensation of lightness ... and I felt relaxed and comfortable.... I had the impression that everything was real.... I distinguished the operating room and the surgeons.... I then saw a dark tunnel in front of me ... and I felt attracted to it.... I passed through the tunnel very fast and at its end I saw ... a bright light ... that did not hurt my eyes.... As I was passing through the tunnel ..., I heard noises ... which sounded like when you are watching TV without a program ..., then these noises became voices.... Suddenly I felt again attracted to my body, in which I went again through my head. At this time point, the experience was over and I was asleep.
The article notes that upon waking up, the boy "felt disappointed as he did not have enough time to see what was going on at the end of the tunnel." He said he hadn't discussed the episode with anyone, "because he thought it was just a strange dream." While many NDErs find their experience life-changing, the boy, according to the researchers, "had never thought about it until this interview took place."
Perhaps the relatively young age of the experience accounts for his indifference to the event. In any case, what I find interesting is that we have the very rare example of someone who has unquestionably experienced anesthesia awareness, and who also appears to have had an NDE while under anesthesia. Note how different the two events were. In the episode of anesthesia awareness, he remained in the body, so to speak. He felt his body being moved and poked, saw lamps above him, heard music playing in the OR. In other words, he was solidly anchored to his physical body and obviously relying on physical sensations.
In the NDE, on the other hand, he had an out-of-body experience and found himself leaving his body through his head and looking down on his physical form. He was "like a spirit" and floated to the ceiling, feeling "relaxed and comfortable." He passed through a tunnel toward a bright light, and heard static that resolved into voices. But before he could reach the end of the tunnel, he was "again attracted" to his body, and went back in via the head. The experience was clearly not unpleasant, and the boy regretted not seeing what was at the end of the tunnel.
Now, perhaps it's possible for anesthesia awareness to take many different forms. Still, this case does suggest that what is ordinarily described as anesthesia awareness bears little if any resemblance to an NDE.