Tuesday, August 09, 2011


I am very concerned about claims from near-death experiencers concerning how long they were without vital signs, as if this were the single sign of legitimacy (which it is not).

The average length of time without vital signs in my research (and corresponding with most of the researchers I know) is from five to twenty minutes. The longest in modern history is George Rodania, supposedly a corpse for three days. I say "supposedly" because the only evidence I have for this comes from his wife Nino and their two children, not from the hospital in Tbilisi, Georgia - although their account, especially hers, is not only riveting but evidential. Historically, in the writings of Plato, we do have the case of Er, the soldier, dead for 10 days before he revived on his funeral pyre, but we have no way to validate that story, tantalizing as it may be.

Thanks to my latest book, NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES: THE REST OF THE STORY, we now have the case of Bruna Reyn (62-63). Bruna drowned in the cistern of the convent of The Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross when she was three. At the time, the near-death episode she had was considered a dream, as a raging fever took precedence. In 1994 her mother contacted her to say The Sisters wanted to talk with her. Apparently, The Sisters who had rescued her and the physician who had treated her, had recorded every detail of the event and had submitted their documentation to the Catholic Church for an official investigation of a possible miracle. . . she had been dead for at least six hours. The Church did indeed investigate her case. Because of what they found, she was invited to attend the 1995 Beatification Mass for Sr. Maria Theresia Scherer, had an audience with the Pope, and received a medal, acknowledging the validity of what had happened to her and her miracle survival. Bruna, by the way, throughout her life, has exhibited most of the aftereffects pattern. --PMH

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