History of NDEs

The History of Near Death Experiences

Albert von st. Gallen Heim

1892 Albert von st. Gallen Heim published a collection of accounts by mountain climbers who had fallen in the Alps, soldiers wounded in war, workers who had fallen off scaffolds, & individuals who had nearly died in accidents on near drowning. All reported experiencing life after death.

This book “Remarks on Fatal Falls” was translated into English in 1972 & is the precursor to the investigations of modern times.


Dr Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Just before this book was published psychiatrist Dr Elizabeth Kubler Ross published “On Death & Dying” that broke the age old taboo on talking about death. Listening to the stories of her dying patients Elizabeth heard account after account of extraordinary experiences that suggested that there might indeed be life after physical death. Particularly she noted the consistence & similarity of these fascinating experiences.

Her conclusions, after hearing hundreds of these accounts was that no one ever dies alone and that the process is always eased by the presence of a deceased relative, spirit or guide of some sort.

Her second book “On Life After Death” was geared towards families who are in the process of loosing a loved one as well as those who fear death.


Dr George Ritchie

In 1943 while a private in the U.S. Army private George Ritchie died & his body was taken to the morgue. As his body was being wheeled to the morgue an orderly saw his hand move. After his revival his life had been completely transformed and later as a psychiatrist he spoke often about the incredible experiences he had undergone while clinically dead.


Dr Raymond Moody

In 1965 while a philosophy student Dr Raymond Moody heard George Ritchie tell his story and became fascinated by it. During his time as a philosophy lecturer at university he met one of his students who told Dr Moody about his own near death experience. From this point onwards Dr Raymond Moody started to research this phenomenon diligently. Later while training to be a medical doctor he met many patients that had clinically died for a period before being resuscitated. In 1975 after becoming a medical doctor he published an account of 150 stories he gathered. This book “Life After Life” was a landmark and was the first bestseller on the phenomenon of near death experiences. It was Dr Raymond Moody who actually coined the term “Near Death Experience”. Since the publishing of “Life After Life” Dr Raymond Moody has continued his groundbreaking research into the nature of life after death and he has published a number of other important books.


Dr Kenneth Ring

Dr Kenneth Ring, deeply moved by the reports of those who had had near death experiences launched the first scientific study of the phenomenon. After five years of research he was able to verify the research of Dr Raymond Moody and his findings in “Life After Life”. Dr Kenneth Ring’s scientific study established the near death experience as a real event and not a hallucination or the product of a person’s imagination.


Many Other Researchers

Since the 1980s, many other researchers have become involved in the serious study of near death experiences. Their findings are for the most part very similar, with each researcher adding to the body of knowledge. and understanding. Among these researchers are Dr Melvin MorseDr P.M.H. AtwaterDr Peter Fenwick, Dr Bruce Greyson and many others.


Surveys & Polls

In 1982 the Gallup polling organisation discovered that eight million adult Americans have had near death experiences. This is about one person in twenty, which a very large number that cannot be ignored or brushed off lightly.

More recently, in 1997 the U.S. News & World Report survey found that over 15 Million Adult Americans have claimed to have had an NDE.


Recent Scientific Studies

Recently two fascinating scientific studies into Near Death Experiences have been completed in The Netherlands and in the United Kingdom.

The conclusions of both these purely scientific studies suggest that human consciousness can survive physical death and that the mind and brain may actually be two different things.

These two groundbreaking studies may force science to re-evaluate the current scientific model of the mind-brain relationship.

For more information about these two fascinating scientific studies please click on the button “Scientific Research” in the menu bar.


The above information is borrowed from P.M.H. Atwater’s wonderful book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Near Death Experiences