Paranormal Investigation Committee | Near Death Explained?

Charlie Siebert reports:

Scientists reveal the science behind near death experiences.  One fifth of people who survive a cardiac arrest (heart stopping) event describe some sort of unexplainable experience while they are clinically dead.

A recent Gallup poll claim 3% of the US population has had these experiences. They range from lights at the end of a tunnel or seeing departed loved ones to outer body experiences and are known as Near Death Experiences or NDE’s.


A University of Michigan animal research study analyzed the recordings of brain activity called electroencephalograms (EEG’s) from anesthetized rats undergoing experimental cardiac arrest.  Their results have shown that shortly after the heart stops beating and blood no longer flows to the brain, the rats displayed a level of electrical activity that resembled, and in some cases exceeded, that of a conscious brain.  “The prediction that we would find some signs of conscious activity in the brain during cardiac arrest was confirmed with the data, but, we were surprised by the high levels of activity.

In fact, at near-death, many known electrical signatures of consciousness exceeded levels found in the waking state, suggesting that the brain is capable of well-organized electrical activity during the early stage of clinical death.”  This could explain why survivors have described their experiences as “realer than real”.  Up until this study the brain has always been thought to be inactive during and following cardiac arrest.  These findings were reported in the August 12 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While I know we are not rats, it certainly brings attention to an area of research that needs further investigation in humans.

What do you think?


Charlie Siebert is the Committee Chairman of The Society of American Magicians’ Paranormal Investigation Committee (PIC)



  1. Glenn Hester, August 26, 2013:

    I have been interested in this since my dad mentioned his account in the early 1970′s when he had cardiac arrest. I read Dr. Moody’s book on it and have spoken with others who state they went through this.

    It is an interesting concept, especially for those who believe in an afterlife. It is real or a hallucination? Science should reveal that for us later on with more research.

  2. JOHN BOBIK, August 26, 2013:

    The body is amazing. I think several things come in to effect here. First when near death happens or the heart stops, I believe the brain is trying to fire on all cylinders and figure out what it can do. I am sure the brain is flood with signals or lack of signals from all points. Might be a last attempt to restart things. If I recall correctly that hearing is one of the last things to go. If that is true then the brain is still getting signals.

    The signals it hears may just be that the person is passing away. Which means it might be trying to process that information.

    It just like seeing faces in pictures, clouds or hearing words from random noise. I believe it is called Pareidolia. I think this is what most are seeing and hearing with a near death experience.

    Just my two cents.

  3. GARY TAYLOR, August 29, 2013:

    I do recall an event that happened to myself back many years ago as a child in Hawaii. I was beat up pretty bad by several persons and was near death as I was being wheeled into the emergency room I felt like I was floating above me and listening to the people around me and a nurse asking if I was dead and someone said close to it. I remember trying to yell out I was not dead but no one could hear me I was looking at myself and could see my mother crying yet I could do nothing, Then I remember coming back to the doctor working on me. I don’t know what happened so much afterwards But I do recall very vividly that nurse “is he dead?” and floating. it does make you wonder? I never said anything about it but to this day I remember it!

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