Reality Checking with Brent Raynes


Transformational qualities of Near Death Experiences

Transformational qualities of Near Death Experiences

According to James McClenon (FATE magazine, August 1988) visionary and near-death experiences (NDEs) were a significant factor in the transformation of Buddhism in medieval China and Japan. He notes that from around the 7th Century A.D., a Chinese document called the Ching- t’u-lun, contained twenty ancient NDE accounts. The Japanese Ryoiki described NDEs from the years 724 to 796 A.D. Other Japanese documents containing NDEs that parallel our own modern NDE accounts included the Konjaku Monogathari of the 11th Century, the Fuso Ryakki of the 12th Century, and the Uji Shui Monogatari, believed to be dated 1215 A.D.

McClenon stated that NDE researcher Kenneth Ring’s speculations in his 1984 book Heading Toward Omega, could well be valid. After studying a number of modern NDE accounts Ring speculated that these experiences could have a great transformative impact upon our society and bring about a whole new consciousness. Ring arrived at this speculation based on his observation that many NDEers seemed to be profoundly affected and transformed by their experiences. Many were much more selfless, at peace, and reported new psychic and spiritual insights that greatly changed their lives.

Religion and UFOs

UFO researcher Dr. Jacques Vallee stated in his landmark book Dimensions (1988), that many UFO witnesses claim bluntly that their experience has had a religious meaning for them, and he is quite certain that they indeed may be right. In this book, Vallee deals at considerable length with the famous apparitional events of Fatima, Portugal, which were believed by Catholics to have been apparitional events of and connected to appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, Vallee points out that the Fatima events of 1917 contained numerous and classic UFO elements. Briefly these consisted of mysterious glowing spheres, a flying disc, colored lights, buzzing sounds, sensations of “heat waves,” paralysis, and amnesia. A sphere was widely witnessed performing the falling leaf/zig-zagging movement through the sky, very much like that described in many modern UFO reports. Shiny white “petals” reportedly fell from the sky, and when witnesses tried to catch them, they melted away (Vallee suspected this is the same phenomenon as what in ufology is known as “angels hair”). Vallee added that the events at Fatima represented, as in other cases, an important social and political turning point for that period of time.

NDEer given “life assignment” – UFOs?

Back in the 1970s, I met and corresponded with a serious-minded UFO investigator who shared this NDE experience with me in a letter in 1979. She wrote: “...when I had the OOBE I watched (and heard) them working on me in the emergency room, saw things that happened outside that treatment room, visited my father who was a patient on another floor. Then I remember a period of darkness–more like twilight. I came to a place I’d been before in a dream (?) the day my fiancÚ died in 1970. Lots of vividly colored flowers, lawns, trees. My dead fiancÚ met me and told me I couldn’t stay and went into some of the reasons why, though nothing specific, i.e., in about four years I would be involved in my ‘life assignment,’ it would be elsewhere; I’d be out of nursing; the event to begin this assignment would happen to me–I would not be seeking it. Well, in 1974, it happened that I was in college in Pittsburgh when quite by chance (!) I heard a talk show on UFOs. I called in with a question about the predictions of the Lady of Fatima. Turned out the guys knew me because of my 1967 sighting! So I became actively involved in the UFO field again. Since nothing else just happened by chance, except deeper involvement in the study of psi phenomena as UFO related–I tend to assume that was the event.”

Interestingly, the UFOs didn’t seem to be done with her. On March 21, 1981, she wrote me: “In December, I had a CE-I – my third, and my fourth sighting. ...Dr. Hynek will disown me. I’m a repeater, and close at that.”

Back in 1972, Dr. J. Allen Hynek gave the UFO “repeater”(any witness reporting more than one UFO experience) the proverbial kiss of death in his book, The UFO Experience. He made a sharp distinction between the sincere and sane witness who might have a genuine UFO/occupant experience once in their lifetime and the contactee-types who were often “rampant repeaters” as well as “pseudo-religious fanatics.”

Ah yes, those were the days!