A man named Andrew says his spirit was lifted out of his body before embarking on a journey down a tunnel of light.
The incident, Andrew says, happened in 1998 when he fell down a flight of stairs. After his tumble, he says he stood up normally, but found he could only breathe out.
On the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) – a website which collects people’s accounts of dying temporarily before being resuscitated – Andrew wrote: “I knew I was dying. I was totally calm and accepting of it, since I knew there was nothing I could do to change the fact that I was dying.
“I thought for a second how strange it was that I was so calm, because I always expected to be panicked if I would be in a life-threatening situation.”
Upon seeing him, his wife called an ambulance, but not before Andrew technically died.
He wrote: “I blacked out for a second or two and then found myself floating above my body. It was face down and lying on the floor.
“I didn’t really think about the fact that I was out of my body. To me, it was just someone’s body lying on the floor. I kind of knew it was mine, but it did not alarm me because I felt totally fine.
“The whole atmosphere around me was bathed in a purplish light. It was like I was floating in an illuminated purple cloud but I could see everything in the house as usual, but through the cloud.
“Then I started moving into a dark tunnel that seemed to just open up behind me. All I saw were hundreds of people along the sides of the tunnel.
“They were staring at me with shocked expressions on their faces. Then some people started shouting at me to go back.
“Then other people were shouting at me that it was not my time and that I had to go back. I did not recognise anyone I saw there.”
Andrew says the next thing he knew, he was back in his body where he was inside the hospital and ”pain flooded back into my awareness.”
Some researchers state this is a normal phenomenon and not necessarily a sign from heaven.
Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, told a recent 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. They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.
“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”
Dr Parnia says there are scientific explanations for the reaction, and says seeing people is not evidence of the afterlife, but more likely the brain just scanning itself as a survival technique.
He said thanks to modern technology and science “death does not have to be limited to philosophy and religion, but it can be explored through science.
“They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.”