Life after death: ‘I entered into the light’ claims man in shock account of near-death

The man, who only shared his name as Paul, said he came close to dying in 1976 after capsizing a canoe in the Delaware River, US. Paul shared his harrowing experience with the Near-Death Research Foundation (NDERF), which collects and catalogues peoples’ supposed experiences of the afterlife. Many people who suffered trauma such as cardiac arrest, recall leaving their bodies or passing into bright lights.

According to Paul, he got trapped by ropes in his canoe when white water rafting in upstate New York.

He said: “I was trapped under the water for over 3.5 minutes.

“As soon as the canoe flipped, I started to cough until there was no air left in my lungs.”

Caught in the dire situation, Paul said he accepted the possibility of his death.


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Then, Paul said a white light appeared and he moved towards it.

As he approached the source of the light, Paul said he felt better.

He said: “It was very strange, I saw no one but felt as if I were surrounded by untold numbers of benevolent entities.

“I could feel their presence and all pleasant. The further I entered into the light, the more pleasant it got.

“The light had an emotional overtone to it.”

Paul said he never experienced anything like it and felt at peace.

The existence of an ‘afterlife’ remains a matter of belief, not scientific proof


However, he then remembered he had a knife tucked away on him and pulled it out to cut himself free.

A rush of adrenaline then overcame him and he used the knife to cut ropes that were tangled around his legs.

Despite the bizarre story, Paul said he is not sure if the afterlife is real.

Most scientists, however, agree there is no evidence to conclusively prove life after death exists.

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  • Life after death: ‘I was surrounded by bright light’ claims woman

Many scientists also believe there are medical explanations behind the bizarre visions experienced by people in moments of trauma.

According to Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, NDEs are typically characterised by profound visions and sounds.

He said during an OZ Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.

“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them.”

The phenomena could be explained by the brain scanning itself as a survival technique or the person retaining consciousness.

Most scientists also do not consider NDEs to be genuine cases of people suffering a clinical death.

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK said: “A more accepted definition of death is when brain stem death occurs, which is when all neural activity in the deepest brain ceases.

“While it is possible to keep the heart functioning using life support systems, a person with brain stem death has permanently lost the potential for consciousness.

“The existence of an ‘afterlife’ remains a matter of belief, not scientific proof.”

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