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P.S. I should add that Woerlee makes the point that bone conduction could explain Pam Reynolds' ability to hear the surgical tools that were cutting open her skull. Occlusion of the ears would not affect sounds transmitted by bone conduction.

Of course bone conduction does not explain how she overheard voices and music; these sounds had to come through the ear(s) if they were heard by normal, physical means.

Here is a test that Woerlee said would vindicate his arguments about the beeping sound heard by Pam. He argued if you did this you would not hear the beeps and you would perfectly hear conversations. This was from his article in IANDS

You be the judge folks

Here is Dr Woerlee's test for the Reynold's case. Just follow his instructions:
Go to
Select in the software menu left: Test Tone Generator
Select in the software menu left: Download
Select either an EXE-file or ZIP-file from one of the four download servers. If you have a windows machine, my advice is to use the EXE-file option. It is quicker, and you avoid the intermediate step of unpacking a zip-file
Ignore the windows complaints about this being an unknown file and program, accept the program.
Run the installation program
You will get a 30 day trial of a program called " test tone generator"
Emulating Audio Parameters Used in Pam Reynold's Operation
What are the stimulus parameters to emulate the program?
1.) One ear: white noise at 40 db
2.) Other ear: square wave at a volume of 95 db
3.) Square wave pulse duration of 0.1 msc

This is going from left to right
OUTPUT DEVICE: Windows default or communications headphone
PERIOD: this can be any preferred length of time in seconds
UNDER WHITE NOISE select crest factor of 1:42:1
Under frequency on right side select: 11 Hz with constant
Under amplitude for the left ear ( white noise) select -60dPFS, this will make a white noise of 40 dB in the left ear
Under amplitude for the right ear ( square waves) select -5Dpfs. This will provide 95dB square waves in the right ear.

On your computer set the volume to max
Use a good quality earplugs with soft rubber ear inserts

She saw things in the operating room that could not have been seen unless she was able to observe them during the time of her unconsciousness. That should weigh in as a factor in determining whether or not it was possible for her to simply overhear the noise and sounds in the room.

Chipping away at isolated parts of the experience doesn't fairly analyze the totality of the circumstances, which I think clearly indicates something else is going on beyond the physical senses. Unless everyone is lying, I don't see how we get around the entirety of her 7 hour experience. Its possible the skeptics are right on this one, anything always is, but the more reasonable inference is pretty sound.

If an eyewitness described the identity of a murderer with the precision that she described that bone saw, I'd convict him.

Off-Topic (slightly) - Interesting article I just read, modern day ghost problems. They mention Shakespeare, so I only thought posting it to this blog would be the next most appropriate course of action:

Oh yeah, aside from hearing stuff in the operating room, Pam also had a near death experience that involves expanded consciousness at a time when the opposite should be happening.

If Pam heard nothing in the operating room, it would still be an impressive NDE.

These debates seem to be more like some type of culture war. If people like Woerlee, or Keith Augustine, really believed the NDE is irrelevant and inconsequential, they wouldn't dedicate so much time and passion to arguing against a supernatural explanation, and exploding apart minor details of NDE cases.

Every year some new article appears in a magazine like New Scientist where a self-promoting scientist declares the NDE is finally 'debunked'. And, just like clockwork, the same fundamental arguments about the NDE continue, with many basic elements--like the Pam Reynolds case--having not been explained by the skeptical opposition to any satisfactory level.

Ah, Woerlee. Quite the charmer.

So, do the skeptics concede that, if Pam could not have heard anything, then her NDE was genuine? Of course not. If it could be conclusively proved that she could not hear anything, then they would just shift to some other specious argument.

Their reasoning as regards her level of hearing, however, shows how desperate their cause was, since it's so desperate. Everything they say defies common sense.

Let's consider a noisy environment where many of us have fallen asleep: an airplane. I've flown many times back and forth from Japan, and I've slept on the plan just about every time. I've never remembered a single conversation going on around me. I've had an airplane-themed dream once or twice, but I've never had a veridical or even realistic dream about something going on in the plane.

Now imagine being anesthetized. I've never been under general anesthesia, but I've seen people go into the ER many times and seen them wake up the recovery room (in my role as Japanese interpreter at the hospital). Simply put, you go out like a light and wake up very groggy and out of it in recovery. I've not interviewed them on their experience, but my impression is certainly that they do not remember a thing about the procedure and have enough trouble just waking up.

OK, so now, in our thought experiment. We're on an airplane, and we're put under general anesthesia. Are we going to pick up snippets of conversations and put them into a veridical dream that seems, to us, as clear as a bell and as real as anything that's ever happened to us?

OK, now let's put in molded headphones and put tape over them. My guess is that, if we did that, it would be hard to hear conversations even while not asleep. Let's not even worry about the clicking and white noise.

So, let's say we put people on an airplane, put them under general anesthetic, and put on headphones like those Pam wore, and didn't even both with the clicking. How many test subjects would it take to produce even one that had a veridical dream of something happening on the airplane? A million? Ten million? Assuming that no one went into cardiac arrest and actually had what we would consider a "real NDE," my guess is that the effect could not be reproduced at all. You would get 10 million people waking up probably with the vast majority remembering nothing and maybe a small percent saying they had dreams or something.

Of course, the skeptics don't care about such common sense reasoning. To them, if it was *possible* in some distorted sense of the word "possible" for Pam to have heard conversations, etc., while she was totally out, then that's what happened.

And you can't really argue with people like that, since, as we know, they argue only to preserve their worldview.

The article "Near Death Experiences: A New Algorithmic Approach to Verifying Consciousness Outside the Brain" shows many flaws in Reynolds' case.

"We suggest our algorithm below will allow cases to be reported more accurately (...)"

NO – DISCARD. Any procedure, however critically important for survival, which was elective and the patient prewarned about, could involve the patient being given information about the procedures, equipment, personnel, location etc, or having the chance to look them up online, which could crop up in their reported OBE/NDE, either through fraud, wish for notoriety or publicity, wishful thinking, or subconscious memory producing a construct of the brain.

NO – DISCARD. The patient could have taken in some physical details of the room and surroundings and personnel, even if drowsy, very ill etc, which they might recall as part of an NDE/OBE.

DID THE PATIENT REPORT AN OBE WHICH COMPRISED OF OR INCLUDED, FEATURES WHICH COULD POSSIBLY BE VERIFIED BY OTHER PERSON(S) PRESENT? E.g., physical features of the room, personnel, equipment, events, which someone also present, but conscious, could also perceive. Preferably more than one.
NO – DISCARD. Features such as life review, seeing and speaking to deceased loved ones, tunnels and bright lights, etc, or individual experiences, could be, even if a genuine experience, a construct of the brain trying to understand its own near demise. No way of verifying (except in some very unlikely event) whether someone ‘really’ saw
their dead mother, or if she was ‘really’ there.

We need to pin down the events observed to coincide with an apparently totally unconscious brain by our measurement standards. Sounds heard, voices, remarks, etc, and possible sensations of touch, have been reported by patients who are abnormally resistant to anaesthesia and are not as deeply unconscious as medical staff think they are. Ideally we are looking for timeable SIGHTS in the operating room, seen while the patient is unconscious, in which case;



NO: DISCARD. Taped eyes make a further safeguard against accidentally seeing something, perhaps while almost unconscious, later reported as part of NDE/OBE.

NOTING THE TIME LAPSE. Some leeway here! It’s desirable that the patient reported their experience asap, to a detached observer eg medical staff rather than emotionally involved relatives, and preferably before any relative who was present during the procedure has a chance to speak about it to them, information which might be taken in by a person regaining consciousness without being aware of it and then incorporated into their report. In fact while still drowsy they might hear staff talk about problems or events to their relatives or each other: it’s desirable for staff to be aware of this. NDEs may take place as the subject is waking up, rather than while flatlining.


"The Pam Reynolds case would not get through the algorithm. It would not get beyond the first question as she was having elective surgery. Even if starting at Question 2, she was awake entering the operating room, so the case fails there too. She was interviewed by Sabom more than a year after her operation, by some accounts, three years."

Hi Vitor,

Whose algorithm is this? Link?

I don't know who concocted this, and I promise I have not just used google to research it, so I'll give you my unbiased opinion of it: hogwash.

It *does* seem to come from a skeptic eager to "discard" as many cases as possible. That's understandable. If it's from someone who is convinced that NDEs are the real deal, all the more the pity.

Veridical details in NDE cases are so numerous that they should convince anyone who is truly open to the idea. So the only point of such an algorithm will all its "discards" is to ensure a case is watertight and will convince even a hardened skeptic!--who of course won't be convinced anyway.

Hi, Matt
the authors are Valerie Laws and Elaine Perry. They published their article in the journal Neuroquantology. The authors are not denying there are veridical details in NDEs. The problem is to know if these details could only have a paranormal explanation.

I agree with Matt. That's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Most of those "discards" are arbitrary. Even if the surgery was elective, it wouldn't explain observing events that were unexpected or unpredictable. For instance, in one NDE the experiencer saw a nurse drop a tray of instruments. In other NDEs, the patient has observed events happening outside the OR - even miles away.

The only purpose of this foolishness is to ensure that as few NDEs as possible are reported, thus reducing the cognitive dissonance of materialists who don't want to deal with the issue in the first place.

Well said, Michael.

No. 7 is particularly egregious. How many patients have their eyes taped shut when they are wheeled into the ER? I've never even heard of such a thing. I won't pretend to be an expert in emergency medicine, but is taping the eyes ever even necessary? That's a great filter with which to "discard" approximately 100% of all reported NDEs.

Hey Everyone

Just take Gerry's test it only takes a few minutes. Remember according to Gerry this test of his vindicates his views because you will not hear ( or at least neuro filter) the beeping and will be able to completely hear conversations around you.


It sounds like kind of a pain to do all that. Did you do it, and what were the results? Thanks!

It is really easy and I don't want to poison the result. Fairness to Gerry and all.

There are two aspects in Pam Reynold´s NDE that I think are problematic, though I generally believe many NDEs are indeed genuine: Pam explained that she heard a female voice and that she THOUGHT it might have been Dr. ...`s. When she was actually outside the body why couldn´t she be absolutely sure that it was Dr. (I forgot the name) who spoke? And then she saw the bone saw but she says she "doesn´t think that she saw it used on her head." How could this be? She heard the sound of the saw (which indicates that it was just being used) and she saw the bone saw but not how it was in action? I would love to hear other peoples`opinion about this!

Could you direct me to the page(s) this is on.

Tonight's show on Coast to Coast radio is on this topic:

Tonight's show
1am - 5am ET
10pm - 2am PT

Messages from the Dead
Mon 05-07

Ph.D. researcher at the University of Northampton, Cal Cooper, will discuss his work on paranormal activity at the time of death including telephone calls from the dead, as well as sightings of ghosts and apparitions in ancient and modern Egypt.

Woerlee's test proved him wrong

Helloh all of you!

Goodness, Pam Reynolds again!
Yes, all of it in the Journal of Near-Death Studies. And what Kris does not tell that he and I and a few others such as Tim from the UK, had a long battle with Woerlee about the Reynolds case, on And all caused by Woerlee's terrible review of Carter's book on Science and the NDE.

Perhaps we have established a world record as for the number of comments - it exceeded 750! (and it is still running). If you want to have a look:

Now, the limit for me, and others, was Woerlee's assertion that Pam Reynolds could have heard by normal means. He even recommended a piece of software, that would enable a simulation of the clicks that were emitted into Pam's ears. He asserts that Pam simply ignored those 100 decibels clicks.

Okay, I did the test. See here my findings with the Tone Test Generator as proposed by Dr Woerlee.

This (Windows) software itself is fairly easy to use. So no problems here.

But first let me quote from Woerlee's article in JNDS.

"Nowhere in the chapter devoted to the unique Pam Reynolds near-death experience in Light & Death do we read that she heard the 95-decibel [sic] clicking sounds presented to one of her ears (Sabom, 1998, Chapter 3). Yet she undoubtedly heard these sounds, because BAEPs (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential) were measured continuously using the auditory parameters described in the article above. Presumably she did not mention hearing these clicking sounds because of the well-known phenomenon of neural filtering. Most of us experience this every day when we ignore the sounds of traffic outside or the sounds of an automobile as we drive. We adapt to the noise, and ignore it ... Pam Reynolds undoubtedly unconsciously filtered irrelevant extraneous noises from her consciousness, concentrating upon the emotionally and personally relevant noises in her surroundings."

I have to admit: the above statement stunned me for a while, because although W is right to some extent when he says that everyone of us will adapt to noise and ignore it, that goes only to a certain point. There are limits beyond which noise can no longer be filtered out and thus ignored, but instead becomes irritating. And very much so when the noise is very loud, which is the case with 95-100 decibels.

Well now, I did the test, and guess what: the clicking sounds of 95-100 decibels, 11 times per second, drove me crazy within a few seconds. These sounds even hurt me due to the heavy pressure on my eardrums! Hence, very very irritating and thus impossible to filter out and ignore. I also asked my wife to listen. Result: the same! Virtually impossible to hold on for more than a few seconds.

So how Dr Woerlee dares to suggest that Pam Reynolds ignored these horrible sounds, is beyond me! Remember! Pam Reynolds was a MUSICIAN, a singer/songwriter whose life was devoted to harmonious music - not to bloody awful noise! She would have gone mad on the operating table, if indeed she had heard those horrible sounds! And undoubtedly she would have reported it back to her doctors afterwards. (Mind you, the clicking sounds have the form of square waves, hence not sinusiodal waves. Square waves are by definition unpleasant to listen to).

This alone makes W's assertion untenable that she "filtered out" these noises and next listened quietly to what was being said in the operating room. In addition, here is Chris Carter's initial response to Woerlee's explanation:

"The alternative explanation is, of course, that Reynolds did not mention hearing the loud clicks because she was unconscious due to the heavy anesthetic and was therefore unable to hear through normal sensory channels. There is no defensible basis to claim that Reynolds "undoubtedly heard these sounds" simply because brainstem auditory evoked potentials were being monitored. The conscious perception of sound is a function of the cortex, but the response to the clicks being monitored was in the brainstem. Brainstem responses - whether BAEPs or pupil constriction in response to light shone into the eyes - do not require that the patient be conscious."

Apart from all that - yes, it is true: with a good-quality headphone that covers the entire ears, it was possible to hear ambient sounds through those banging clicks. However, when I pressed the phones closer to my skull, the ambient music and voices became much harder to hear. Also: the voices became "garbled", and thus it was hard to figure out what was said.

But, once again it should be emphasized that the situation at the actual operation was quite different. The speakers in Pam's ears were molded into place, so as to make sure that no ambient sounds would seep through. As a matter of fact - as I am a light sleeper who wakes up very easily during the night, I use "Oropax", i.e. wax earplugs, which I "mold" into position before I commence sleep. If properly done, they reduce sound up to 40 decibels! But even so, if not properly done, that is not precisely fitted, then sounds from beyond will not easily seep through. Rather, in such a case I hear my own breathing better than ever.

Anyway, the molded earspeakers that were fitted into Pam's ears will have the same effect: they reduce seeping through of ambient sounds with quite a few decibels. That alone makes it very very unlikely that Pam could hear by normal means, given the low possibility that she experienced anesthetic awareness. If so, how about the fact that such awareness is most often experienced as highly unpleasant, as Carter has made abundantly clear in his responding article to Woerlee? Another point: Coming to during and after an operation is often accompanied by grogginess, hardly comparable to being lucidly conscious I would think - as I can testify myself when I came to after I was operated upon in February 1980).

So sorry for Dr Woerlee, his contention that Pam Reynolds was fully awake and could hear by normal means, does not hold. Whatever you may think and will go on thinking.


The above is a copy of one of my comments on that Amazon blog. I did say much and much more though, Kris knows that, because he was heavily involved too.

Error: The line, "Whatever you may think and will go on thinkingh" was directed at Woerlee! Not to all of you, dear respondents!

sorry - I overlooked Kris statement: "It is really easy and I don't want to poison the result. Fairness to Gerry and all."

So sorry, Kris, I did "poison" the result for all the people here. Once again, sorry.

But I consider myself an independent researcher of NDE and OBE, as former posts of mine on MP's blogs can testify.
So perhaps my opinion still has some validity.

Ok seeing the cat is out of the bag, yeah you can at times barely hear the conversation and the beeps are very annoying, the exact opposite of what Gerry said would happen. I encourage everyone to do the test still.

Woerlee is a desperate man. That's okay but it's necessary to realise that he is arguing over a tiny part of this case because he has lost the argument.

There were already plenty of barbiturates in place in her brain when the remarks about the difficult canulation of her legs were overheard. Spetzler has stated this and so has Karl Greene. They have to get the barbuturates into place quickly or else there is danger of brain damage. She was in the deepest state of anesthesia possible (without killing her).

Her brainwaves were monitered and no spikes indicating waking consciousness were detected during the operation. If she had heard that conversation with her physical ears the technicians would have informed the anesthetist. It would be disasterous at that stage of the operation. But there was none reported and no evidence of such.

Remember, anesthesia awareness is very unpleasant in the majority of cases and when you are having your head sawn open and your groin sliced into, it's totally unreasonable to say the least that she would not have been absolutely terrified. She reported being calm and happy.

Note. In Alan Hamilton's book the Scalpel and the Soul the Sarah Gideon case is an amalgam of three, one being the Reynolds case. Hamilton talks about the EEG read outs being examined for signs of consciousness and they found nothing untoward. I believe he is referring to the Reynolds case.

So she was not conscious whatever Dr Woerlee says.

I would also add...Is it reasonable to propose that merely hearing a conversation (about your veins and arteries being too small for canulation) is enough to produce a life changing transcendental NDE ? How is that supposed to work ?

It would be shocking to think that she was not fully out of it during the operation.And as pointed out, the case does not rest entirely on auditory perception,visual perception too on what was going on around her.

"It would be shocking to think that she was not fully out of it during the operation"

Imagine the horror of being securely pinned down (by the head) having your skull sawn open (dear God the thought is appalling) and the feeling of your groin (both sides) sliced open.

It is pertinent to point out that her NDE continued through cardiac standstill because no breaks in it were reported by her.
Apart from the observations of the bone saw and socket wrench case there was also the extraordinary recollections of being shocked twice and hearing Hotel California being played. She was in cardiac arrest and under general anesthesia whilst this was occuring and she still had the evoked potentials functioning in her ears.

I suppose one can try to argue for anything if one is inclined to do so but Reynolds herself was totally convinced that what she experienced was real. It also changed her dramatically, she claimed to know what people were thinking in advance and had many strange experiences subsequently.

I intend to try the software test, as soon as I can tear myself away from my beloved MacBook and activate my despised Windows PC. (The software requires Windows.)

Some of the objections raised by "." are fielded by Woerlee in the JNDS article. I'd suggest buying a copy of the issue; my blog post covers only a small fraction of what was discussed. In particular, Woerlee disputes the idea that the majority of anesthetic awareness episodes are unpleasant. Carter responds to this argument in his online essay (linked in the main post). Woerlee, an experienced anesthesiologist, also insists that it was possible for Pam to be conscious during parts of the procedure without the surgical team's knowledge; he talks about the limitations of the monitoring procedures that were used. Etc.

I agree with Smithy (Rudolf Smit, known to us from the "dentures man" case) that it's hard to understand how Pam could simply ignore such loud, incessant sounds. But until I try the test for myself, I'll withhold judgment.

Things are getting pretty heated over there on Amazon. The way Woerlee rebuts arguments is so condescending. Seems like a Professor Moriarty type. Everything comes off with a sense of "oh, you poor people, so deluded. Let me see if I can make this easy enough for someone like you to understand."

"Woerlee disputes the idea that the majority of anesthetic awareness episodes are unpleasant."

Naturally, but the facts don't back him up. At the very best in his favourite study 70 % of cases were very unpleasant.

"Woerlee, an experienced anesthesiologist, also insists that it was possible for Pam to be conscious during parts of the procedure without the surgical team's knowledge"

Naturally, again but only he thinks so. There is no evidence that she was and anesthetic awareness was never reported.

Vitor's filter shouldn't be used to discard cases, but to assign them lesser weight.


The good doctor has a weblink dedicated to my awfulness :)

Yeah things get heated in there lol

Kris, do you dedicate your life to criticism of Dr Woerlee? Is he worth all that effort you could be using to do something interesting?

Woerlee, an experienced anesthesiologist, also insists that it was possible for Pam to be conscious during parts of the procedure without the surgical team's knowledge; he talks about the limitations of the monitoring procedures that were used

It happens that a patitent becomes consciousness during anaesthetic and yet remains completely paralyzed (caused by a second drug). This is usually experienced as a complete nightmare.

Of course not, but I will admit to thoroughly enjoying chasing Gerry through all around amazon :)

As for interesting I prefer to scuba dive, back pack and travel the world. I am also working on a masters in math education.

Gerry is just a hobby not an obsession :)

Here was my review of the "debate" between Woerlee and Carter.

Here was just a sample of the problems you had in the JNDS article

his is my review of the Journal of Near Death Studies (JNDS) which is the fall of 2011 issue.
I recently received this in the mail which may surprise people but the JNDS was for various reasons behind on publication so it has just come out. In this issue Dr Woerlee defends his normal argument about Pam Reynold's and he was rebutted by Stuart Hameroff, MD and Chris Carter, PPE, MA. It ended with a rejoinder by Dr Woerlee.

I would recommend all people interested in the Pam Reynold's NDE read this issue of JNDS. It will help both parties to understand this case better. Overall I found Dr Woerlee's argument to be unpersuasive and he failed to interact with criticisms directed toward his views.

Dr Woerlee starts his argument on page three. When I make a point toward his points I will make it a point to note what page this comes from.

On page 4 Dr Woerlee ( W) recommends the use of the account provided by Dr Sabom in the book Light & Death. I found this to be interesting because on other occasions he has belittled this account. Continuing on this page W discuss Dr Spetzler but oddly forgets to mention that he disagrees with W views. I was disappointed that W would not discuss such a critical disagreement

The next issue discussed by W was that of how awareness was monitored. He discussed the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials ( BAEPS) which beeped 100 dB clicking sounds in her ears. The purpose of this was the brain would pick up the sound as long as it had any consciousness. He does note that the earplugs were molded for her ears and taped in place, which is an unusual concession as he has argued in the past that they could have been loose. He does not mention that gauze was placed over them.

He also noted that Reynold's would have been monitored for awareness by more traditional means. In conclusion we have two means of her awareness being monitored. So far while not a perfect telling of the events it is certainly adequate. I do like the fact he has now in print conceded that the Sabom account is reliable. I suspect this will be useful down the road. Page 5 is similar to page 4 and nothing on it seems horrid so I have nothing to comment on.

On Page six W lays out the basic issues.
The BAEPS said she was unconscious
Her consciousness was apparently separated from her body on three occasions.

Unfortunately on page six is where things rapidly begin to go downhill.
He first attacks the argument that a disembodied mind could be able to hear etc because according him it would not have the mechanisms to do so. But of course this is begging the question, that is the entire reason we are discussing NDES. He basically has assumed his argument to prove it. An argument based upon a basic logical fallacy is worthless. Dr Hameroff makes a very valid point about this in his rebuttal; he notes that we do now know how consciousness functions period. So this argument has absolutely no merit.

On page 7 W discusses how the brains of people under general anesthesia do register touch, movement, light, sound and pain. This immediately forces the question if Pam Reynold's was truly having anesthesia awareness and was therefore conscious how come she did not recall touching, movement and pain. This is puzzling for the argument he is trying to use and he is silent on this issue. It is hard to believe Pam would not have remembered any of this.

Later on page 7 he begins a more in depth discussion of the beeping noise Reynold's would have heard to discuss if she could have heard through that noise. He notes that it was 100 dB at 11.3 clicks per second.
Oddly enough starting on page 8 he notes many people imagine this like listening to music through earphones at 100 decibels. He then complains they imagine the clicking is like that. However this complaint is passing strange as a certain Gerry made this comment awhile back.

"Neither I, nor you were there at the time, but the facts of the case make it very clear she heard the conversations of those around her despite the earplugs. Not a surprising phenomenon when you look at the youth walking around and conversing with MP3 players in their ears"- Gerry Nov 20, 2010 2:38:03 AM PST

It seems if the reason people use this analogy is cause they are listening to W.

Using the information provided on page 7 W determines that the percent of sound the BEAPS would have provided that would have blocked sound coming into Pam's ears is 12.46%. As W said it would have occupied only 12.46 % of the hearing and brainstem processing capacity. As this point was not contested by any other parties I will not contest it either.

On Page 9 W indicates that human conversation is around 60-70 decibels so this shows that obviously Pam would have heard the beeping noise, even if it was not constant for reasons that should be obvious to all. W simply asserts that Pam would have neuro filtered this sound but provides absolutely no evidence for this argument. None. This is crucial as he must explain why did Pam not hear the beeping. Neuro filtering as an explanation is very improbable because firstly it is a process that takes time, it is not instant so for at least awhile the person would hear and respond to the stimuli and secondly neuro filtering is not the same thing as not hearing a stimuli, it is simply not responding to it in a meaningful way. W never discusses this difficulty and this alone refutes his argument on the Reynold's case.

The beeping problem was noted in Carter's rebuttal by Technologist Michael Christie who works at the CareFusion Corporation. The CareFusion corporation made the earplugs in question.

" 95 db NHL would be heard by an awake person. If this is the sound pressure level then it is very loud and uncomfortable for an awake person of normal hearing. I would personally ask for it to be turned down. This is very loud for a person with normal hearing"

Next on page 9 W argues that the other hear had a 40 db filtering noise in it. If this is true then yes one could logically overhear a conversation through this, however this argument is questionable at best because Steven Cordova a lead IONM practitioner indicated the white noise put out was from 40-60 db.

Another issue to be considered is that Pam had earplugs , tape and gauze over her ears. This certainly would have blocked at least some sound. W does not deal with this issue.

So W has not provided any mechanism by which she could have heard and he certainly does not provide any mechanism for which she would not have heard the beeps. This argument is refuted.

Starting on page 12 W begins to build his argument for Pam having anesthesia awareness. He uses a study that supports rate of anesthesia awareness being from 1-9 per general 1000 surgeries. Other studies have showed the frequency to be far lower, for example 1 in 14000. He next attempts to argue that 40% of people reporting anesthesia awareness consider it to be pleasant, however this is a bit low. Here are a summary of each patient in each case

1. felt helpless

2. Not unpleasant

3. like being in a box couldn't move

4. Real OBE

5. not unpleasant

6. couldn't move or breathe

7. chocking..couldn't breathe

8. terrible experience

9. worst scare ever

10. I'm going to die

11. tied down in panic

12. tried to open eyes but couldn't

13. Not unpleasant

14. felt like she was in a hurricane wanted to get out

15. severe chest pain tried to get help

16. Not unpleasant

17. Intense pain chocking felt bone being cut

18. pain paralysis and stress

19. pain paralysis and stress

20. unable to move..pain

21. not unpleasant

22. heard something being screwed into my head

23. pain

24. not unpleasant

25. This case is not anesthesia awareness

So out of 25 cases 6 reported it was not unpleasant. So in fact only 24% of people made did not consider it to be unpleasant which is lower than W's 40 %.

So what evidence did W offer for Pam having anesthesia awareness?
None he conceded to the BAEP machine did not register her awareness but tried to argue it malfunctioned, however he never provided any evidence that it did or what the rate of malfunction was for this machine. And he needs it to malfunction the entire surgery.

He notes the traditional method of patient monitoring, such as checking blood pressure , also failed to notice any signs of anesthesia awareness. Dr Hameroff an anesthesiologist made a very good point in arguing that anesthesia awareness at the Barrow Institute is like a pilot error on Air Force one. Very unlikely. He does argue that the last methods of checking for awareness; such as checking for the presence of movements, sweating, lacrimation or widening of the pupils was not available to the anesthesiologist because Pam was draped, but this argument is silly for the simple reason if the anesthesiologist felt she had awareness he could remove the drapes.

In conclusion there is zero evidence for pleasant anesthesia awareness.

But what is the evidence against it.
1.) At best using the numbers for W in this article the odds of it are 1 in 330, at best and this is me being kind. Very low priori odds
2.) The BAEP machine did not register consciousness
3.) Her anesthesiologist did not detect it
4.) Pam did not report it
5.) She did not report being touched or any pain, but she could report hearing, how likely is this?
6.) She had visual details , however as Carter showed on page 42 that patients who are hypnotized who had general anesthesia they can sometimes recall conversations and sounds but not visual aspects
7.) Anesthesia awareness tends to happen in people in which a light amount of anesthesia is used
8.) Pam was not traumatized by the event
9.) It would have happened at the Barrow Institute

As W failed to provide any evidence for anesthesia awareness and the evidence against it is overwhelming this argument can be safely rejected. Thus again W's argument collapses.

I think I have done more than enough to show the tremendous flaws with W's article. I am now going to sum this summary up.

W failed to address how Pam saw the Midas Bone saw. This is a tremendous omission on his part. And as we know from Dr Spetzler Pam could not have seen this before the surgery began ( pg 47)

Despite protests to the contrary Carter fully rebutted W arguments about Reynolds.

Lastly Carter invited W to go to the Barrow institute to test his arguments with him and W as the test subjects. W did not respond to the challenge and on other forums has declined it. This is very telling in my opinion.

Steve Cordova has this to say about W's arguments " there are just too many assumptions that must be made to be equivocal in any statement about Pam's level of consciousness during the procedure without a trial with the exact parameters utilized that day. So, that being said, there is only one way to know, reproduce the exact parameters and monitor the sound level."

Again puzzling on why W refuses to test his arguments.

Overall nothing has changed with the Reynold's case except for more expert testimonial on why W's arguments are simply too implausible


Do you devote your life to defending the indefensible ?

Nice post, Kris.

That's a good summary Chris, but you left out a "not" in:

"9.) It would have happened at the Barrow Institute"

Also, if you intend to repost it in the future, I urge you to have someone "copy edit" it for punctuation, etc. It needs it. (If you want, I'll do so myself and forward the result to MP, who can forward it to you.)

@Barbara: Kris just doesn't want to let W have the last word!

Okay, I tried the software experiment. I didn't get exactly the desired results, however, because I heard both the white noise and the clicking sounds in both ears. Ideally, you want white noise in one ear and clicking in the other, but my computer's sound system apparently won't do that.

At any rate, here are my impressions. First, the clicking is very loud and annoying, like jackhammer in your head. (To get the full effect you need to use earbuds, which I did.) Second, the white noise, even when increased to 60dB, is not prohibitively loud. Third, it is possible to hear room sounds above the white noise and clicking even when both sounds are playing in both ears. I tested this by turning on my TV (normal volume); I could clearly hear the conversation playing on the TV set, but I had to deliberately ignore the distracting clicks.

Pam Reynolds' situation was different from mine, of course. She wore specially molded earplugs which fit into her ear canals much more snugly than the plastic earbuds I used. She also had layers of gauze over the plugs to seal them in place. Most important, she was heavily sedated.

So could she have heard the noises above the clicks and white noise? Probably, though the custom earplugs and gauze would have made it even more difficult. Could she have forgotten the clicks and remembered only the other sounds? It seems doubtful, given the loudness of the clicks. Could she have heard these sounds while under sedation? It seems unlikely, but the possibility can't be totally ruled out.

Those are my impressions, anyway. I'd be curious to know if other people (besides Kris and Rudolf) have tried the experiment and, if so, what their results have been.

Hey Roger

There is no "not" missing from number 9. If you read the article one of the criticisms of Woerlee's arguments is that it required anasthesia awareness to happen at the Barrow Institute. The odds of such an event happening were compared to the odds of having a pilot error on Air Force One.

I wrote that article and posted it on amazon in a bit of a rush cause Gerry was pretending he won his argument so yeah I should fix the grammar a bit.

This bit of the post from Kris needs altering :

Dr Hameroff makes a very valid point about this in his rebuttal; he notes that we do now know how consciousness functions period. So this argument has absolutely no merit.

we do NOT consciousness functions

Someone here was so kind to at least read my comment (I feel that people that don´t comment regularly here are ignored and the discussion is continued between the regular contributors, or maybe my English is too bad), here is the link:

and here is one of the passages that stroke me as really odd:

I heard the saw crank up. I didn't see them use it on my head, but I think I heard it being used on something. It was humming at a relatively high pitch and then all of a sudden it went Brrrrrrrrr! like that.

She claimed to be out of the body, she heard the saw "being used on something" but did not SEE it used on her head?! Hhhmmm...
I do believe that some NDEs are indeed of paranormal nature but I do have my concerns with this one!

I am not quite sure what the problem is, the doctor was probably just hunched over obscuring the saw once he used it.

If this was not vertical though she would not have been able to see the saw period, remember that.

It's amazing that she saw it at all, isn't it ? Don't let Dr Woerlee persuade you that she was shown this implement before or she somehow knew the shape of it because of the sound it makes. She said it sounded like a dentist's drill but dentist's drills are not like electric toothbrushes. She also saw the socket wrench case that went with it.
Furthermore, Mario Beauregard has uncovered three more of these cases and guess what..Dr Woerlee is busy trying to debunk those aswell. So what should that tell you about his motives.

Anyway, Thanks to Michael for putting up with me. That's it for me as I don't want his blog to become a battle ground again.
Our friend is going to very busy when the Aware study is released but slowly the message is getting through.

Have a look at this interview with Dr Eben Alexander. The interview is stunning at the end when he reveals something completely inexplicable by normal means.

Hey Dot

Where are those cases by Dr B?

I am tempted to memorize them just to annoy Gerry. Grind

Neuroscience researcher Dr. Mario Beauregard and colleagues recently reported a 2008 case of veridical (real, verified) perceptions in a patient undergoing a deep hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest or "standstill" operation similar to Pam Reynolds' operation in 1991.

The 31-year-old patient J.S. underwent emergency surgical correction of an aortic dissection. She did not see or talk to members of the surgical team. It was not possible for her to see the machines behind the head section of the operating table as she was wheeled into the operating room. J.S. was given general anesthesia and her eyes were taped shut. In an out-of-body experience (OBE) during the operation, J.S. reported feelings of peace and joy and seeing a bright light. From a vantage point above, she reported seeing a nurse passing surgical instruments to the cardiothoracic surgeon and seeing anesthesia and echography machines located behind her head. Beauregard and his colleagues verified that her descriptions were accurate, confirmed by the surgeon who operated on her.

University of Montreal researchers Mario Beauregard, Évelyne Landry St-Pierre, Gabrielle Rayburn and Philippe Demers recently published a letter to the editor in the journal Resuscitation, reporting a retrospective study at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur, a research hospital affiliated with the university, of cases of deep hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest from 2005-2011. Of 70 possible cases, a total of 33 patients responded with completed questionnaires and three patients (9%) reported conscious mental activity during the hypothermic procedure.

These hypothermic procedures are similar to "standstill" operation used with Pam Reynolds Lowery in 1991, resulting in Reynolds' profound near-death experience with veridical visual and auditory perceptions which has been widely analyzed and debated.

One case is particularly noteworthy. In 2008, 31-year-old patient J.S. underwent emergency surgery to correct an ascending aortic dissection, a very serious condition, using deep hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest. Quoting from the researchers' report:

"J.S. did not see or talk to the members of the surgical team, and it was not possible for her to see the machines behind the head section of the operating table, as she was wheeled into the operating room. J.S. was given general anesthesia and her eyes were taped shut. J.S. claims to have had an out-of-body experience (OBE). From a vantage point outside her physical body, she apparently “saw” a nurse passing surgical instruments to the cardiothoracic surgeon. She also perceived anesthesia and echography machines located behind her head. We were able to verify that the descriptions she provided of the nurse and the machines were accurate (this was confirmed by the cardiothoracic surgeon who operated upon her). Furthermore, in the OBE state J.S. reported feelings of peace and joy, and seeing a bright light."

The researchers caution that it cannot be determined with certainty whether the subjective experience reported by J.S. occurred precisely during the 15-minute cardiocirculatory arrest. "Nonetheless, the tantalizing case of J.S. raises a number of perplexing questions. For this reason, we hope that it will stimulate further research with regard to the possibility of conscious mental activity during cardiocirculatory arrest."

"I feel that people that don´t comment regularly here are ignored and the discussion is continued between the regular contributors, or maybe my English is too bad"

No, your English is fine. Sometimes they ignore me too! :-)

I agree it's a little odd that she heard the saw but wasn't sure what part of her body it was being used on, but I suppose, as Kris said, that her angle of view could have been blocked, especially if she was seeing her body from directly above.

Thank you, I will come back here :-)

I think my view is reasonable, after all this was not a large saw and the work required precision so he probably would have bent over Pam.

So, Michael Prescott, on balance, do you continue to regard this case as more supportive (than not) of postmortem survival?

MP: I agree it's a little odd that she heard the saw but wasn't sure what part of her body it was being used on, but I suppose, as Kris said, that her angle of view could have been blocked, especially if she was seeing her body from directly above.

As far as I am concerned, this is an irrelevant detail.

What amazes me time and again is the obsessive preoccupation of skeptics regarding the accuracy of details. In the case of Pam Reynolds some of those (pseudo-)skeptics have declared her case null and void because in her description of the bone saw she did not mention a groove on top of it. SO WHAT? How silly those supa-dupa skeptics can be.... (sigh).

Don't take me wrong, Michael! I do not consider you to be one of those silly pseudo-skeptics. But what was brought up here reminded me of their awful behavior.

I have more to say on this case - but that has to wait: I am rather busy.

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