With the current success of books about near-death-experiences including Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander and Heaven is Real by Todd Burpo, its worth noting that the NDE phenomena has been gaining ground since the early 1970’s when books such as Life After Life by Raymond Moody and At the Hour of Death by Erlendur Haraldsson & Karlis Osis pioneered the way.
In 2002, a documentary, “The Day I Died” was broadcast by the BBC in the UK. The documentary attempts to demonstrate scientific evidence for near-death-experiences and explores what might be happening to the people who have these life-changing events. The programme features consciousness researchers Peter Fenwick, Pim Van Lommel, Stuart Hammeroff, NDE denier, Susan Blackmore, and others.
Case studies include Vicki Noratuk (below) who had been blind from birth, and during her NDE she found she could see for the first time; for the first time in her life she saw people and light, having never seen light (or anything for that matter) before. She describes people being made out of light.
The programme also documents the now famous Pam Reynolds case. Reynolds (real name Pam Reynolds Lowery) (below) underwent an operation to correct a weak point in the wall of a blood vessel in her brain. For over an hour she was clinically dead; her temperature was lowered to 60 degrees, her heartbeat and brain activity were stopped and her blood was circulated through a machine. There was no way that she could see or hear anything as her eyes were taped shut and her ears plugged.
During her ‘brain dead’ period she reported seeing, hearing and being aware what was going on in the operating theatre as if she had been sitting on the shoulder of the doctor. What she described turned out to remarkably detailed out-of-body observations of her surgery which were later verified.
Blackmore does her usual routine denying that consciousness is anything other than a product of the brain and speaks about the dying brain and memories, but she fails to explain how the Pam and Vicki experiences occurred.
The programme is as relevant 10 years on as it was when it first aired.
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When Skeptics Attack: Skeptical Organizations and Websites by Craig Weiler – If you really want to get to the heart of skepticism, the best way to do that is to look at the organizations that skeptics create and see how they operate. The behavior of these organizations is the behavior of the individuals, writ large. There are two national organizations worth considering: the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).