It was my first visit to Maui, Hawaii in the summer of 1995. I was on vacation with my wife. We were carefree, yet still cautious as we drove the 39 plus cliff side curves on our way to Hana. We were on our way to visit the Seven Sacred Pools State Park. This is where you could walk in the rainforest and dip your toes or swim in the cool rain waters cascading down from the mountains in Hawaii.
My body was hot while enjoying the hot Maui summer. I was wearing heavy hiking type boots, heavy clutch cargo-type shorts, a Ride for the Wild 1994 charity biking t-shirt, and a heavy fanny pack loaded with sunscreen, bug spray and my camera and car keys, wallet and money.
I remember this event and details so much, that if I think about it and relax, I can go back to this event and relive it. I have several times.
Time slowed down as soon as my wife and I walked out of the car in the state park parking lot. There was one sign I saw, ‘Dangerous rain waters make swimming or crossing in streams very deadly.’ The sign was written in marker, not printed up professionally.
My wife and I walked along a green, jungle like trail, the streams were very low and you could cross them rather easily. I was surprised at how many older people there were walking around, and jumping and swimming in some of the Seven Sacred Pools waters. I used extreme caution, due to that handwritten sign.
My wife and I were not there long, maybe 15 minutes, when I, all the sudden, felt very nervous, out of it, and wanted to go. My wife had her shoes off and she was putting them back on from dipping her toes in the cool rainwater streams when I took a step.
I felt time stop. I felt forward momentum and the sensation that I was moving. This is the point where I slipped on some alg’ rocks in one of the drier streams and literally cart-wheeled forward. I fell over the edge of one of the waterfalls at Seven Sacred Pools. Something happened.
Time stopped. Yet on either side of my head, I could see something like a movie strip playing from my infancy until where I was now. It seemed to stop on certain events, like the birth of my sister, the death of one of my younger friends, the huge blizzard of 1979, or other events comprised of my mother, father and my wife. I also saw an older man. I assumed and felt that he was my grandfather. The filmstrip vision stopped right at the point where I saw myself tumbling over the waterfall, falling about 35 feet into the Pacific Ocean. This was the last stream that led and fell into the Pacific Ocean below.
I felt my eyes closed, my breathing stopped. I could not hear anything. The bright lightness surrounded me and I felt immediately at peace, but still scared because I knew that I had died or was very near death. My eyes were closed and yet they were burning. I felt the sensation of coldness and wetness and feeling uncomfortable-ness. Slowly the waters drained out of my ears and I heard the thundering of the water falling down the waterfalls. I gave myself into the light and soon felt that I had blacked-out or went unconscious.
I then slowly recall feeling my eyes burning; the lightness was getting darker and darker. I felt my heartbeat slowing down – thump, thump, thump. Stopping.
All of the sudden, I felt comforted and saw, briefly, an older man about 50 years old, wearing farmer type coveralls and a white shirt, he was smiling at me and had his hands out to reach or grab for me. I tried to grab him and then all the sudden, he disappeared. A dark tunnel was forming somehow. I could see it above my head, I thrust my arms up, barely moving and then I moved closer and closer to the dark swirling light/darkness that seemed to pull me towards it. My hands broke the water’s surface at the bottom of the waterfall.
I seemed to fly out of the waters. I grabbed onto some sort of black, cold and wet rocks, I could not hear, but I looked into the water that I had just come out of and saw this man waving goodbye to me, feeling him disappear. I grasped and clutched onto the slippery waterfall rocks grabbing on and gasping for a breath. I felt being pulled back hard and felt a great rage or anger trying to pull me down back into the waters below. A huge ocean wave roared over my head.
I felt like I was blacking-out again, but I held onto those black, slippery rocks so hard with all of my might and strength. I felt someone pushing me closer and closer to the inside, underneath the waterfall above me. I could not hear. I felt peaceful. I clutched onto the rocks and looked around slowly. All around me were sharp volcanic-looking black oceanic rocks and wave after wave would slam hard against me. I felt like letting go and just surrendering, but I immediately thought of only one person, my wife. I could not die, ‘Was I dead, where was I?’ Shock must have set in here, for how long I do not know.
I felt I was here alone, unable to hear, but seeing the pouring of heavy waterfalls waters smashing into part of me, and ocean waves hitting me as I clutched onto these wet rocks. I faced the inside of the waterfall and looked at my hands, little tiny black water ants crawled onto them and seemingly felt like they were holding or trying to help me hold onto this wet rock. I felt I was slipping and slowly I felt a presence nearby.
I turned around and saw the older man, pointing upwards to the one side of the waterfall, what? He was mouthing something, I could not hear it. I wanted to hear him, who was he? He kept pointing upwards on one side of the waterfalls and I then felt something swim or brush along my entire leg. It immediately brought me some fear, for all this time, I felt calm and peace. The fish or shark or whatever had just swum by me.
Then to the left and there moving towards me was a person: it was my wife, climbing down the side of the waterfall that the man had just pointed out to me. She got down to the bottom and swam across the bottom of this waterfall, maybe 30 feet across, with ocean waters seemingly stopping for her to swim to me. Water was pouring out of my ears. She screamed, ‘Are you all right? What happened?’, and she tried to get me off the rocks and swim with her. I could not swim and I had not ever learned to swim until maybe 10 years later after this event. I told her I loved her and she said she loved me too. I am afraid of pulling her down into the deep dark waters below me; she was so brave and told me to hold on to her. I told her a fish or shark had swum across my leg and she swam back to the shore-side so fast, like in 5 swim strokes.
I felt my heartbeat slowing; I felt coldness coming over me. I held onto the rocks and my grip felt weaker as the ocean waters began coming back over my head, three in a row and then they stopped.
I felt like I was falling backwards and someone was there to catch me. I turned around slowly and felt comforted. I saw, pink, green and blue and very vivid colors out in the distance, maybe 200 feet away or more from me. I could not figure out what they were or what it meant, but the colors comforted me and I held onto the rocks harder. The ants tried to keep my fingers and hands warm by running and moving across them, back and forth, to warm up my hands, hundreds of black ants.
I heard, ‘Dude, bro, what are you doing here?’ ‘Huh?’ I turned around slightly to see three surfers on their bright surfboards of fluorescent pink, green and ocean blue colored surfboards.
I could not speak. One surfer floated into the waterfall pool with me. He tried to grab me. I heard voices, many voices. As he got off his surfboard, he wrapped his body around me, protecting me. ‘I won’t let you die friend,’ I remember him saying. He held onto me so tightly.
‘Can you get onto my surfboard?’ I could not move. But, I felt comforted by his presence and strength and felt his warm body protecting me. ‘Can you move?’ I think I heard him say. I think I was in deep shock.
I had fallen over a waterfall, fell nearly into huge rocks below the waterfall but what had happened was as I fell into the ocean, the exposed rocks below the waterfall, were covered by the ocean waves rising to cover them as I fell from the waterfall into the Pacific Ocean waters. I felt like crying and I think I did. I tried to speak. Words did not come. I leaned back, knowing that this surfer had saved my life and he was not going to let me die here. I heard the other surfers say, ‘OMG! He fell off the waterfall cliff up there and landed down here. How did he survive the fall into the rocks?’ I had one or two scratches but otherwise no injuries.
The surfer had to pry my hands off the black waterfall rocks, the ants moved quickly away. He used his strength and pulled me off the rocks and into his chest holding onto me, telling me I was in his arms and he would save my life today. I was put onto a surfboard. I fell into unconsciousness on and off. I felt the heat of the sun drying my clothes. I was saved this day by that brave surfer, a surfer who saw me there somehow all alone and saved my life. I got into an ambulance. Someone grabbed my car keys, my wife I think.
Off I went, fast, yet slowly into the emergency room of the Medical Center. I blacked in and out of consciousness. My breathing became fast and I hyperventilated. The ambulance technician kept saying a prayer and ‘OMG, bro you survived Seven Sacred Pools, nobody EVER survives that fall and comes back alive,’ he kept saying, ‘Right on.’ It seemed like time stopped.
I awoke in the small, emergency room. I had calmed my breathing down so much that the emergency room doctor thought I was dying. Then I felt my body slowly awaken and the next thing I knew, I was leaving the emergency room. My wife had made peanut butter and jelly sourdough sandwiches to eat on the long drive home from Hana. I had no real injuries.
I think I was in shock for the next few days. All I can remember was people coming up to me and asking me to touch their babies’ forehead or hold their children’s hands or touch them, most spoke in native Hawaiian. It seems I was the guy who survived falling into the Seven Sacred Pools. These pools had killed and taken so many Maui and Hawaiian men and women and children throughout the years and nobody survived, but me. They wanted to meet and see me. I do not recall much after this event other than coming home and feeling super-human; like I could take a bullet or I was super-charged and could do anything. I had no fear and life was great.
A few weeks later I fell into a deep pit of depression. Why did I survive the fall and so many others died? Why? I felt guilt and high stress. I felt like why did I survive and how did I live? For years my persona changed from happy go lucky to darker, more quiet and reserved person, sitting back watching life go by me, rather than embracing it and helping others. I feel rage and anger somehow all the time now, and guilt and sadness and depression. I feel it will go away once I die.
My 20th anniversary of this accident is coming up, and every year I still feel afraid of the water and oceans and swimming. But I learned how to swim, learned that my voyage or journey gave me new insights into the world, and that I had new powers such as knowing who was going to die soon or next, or other psychic visions.
I saw the towers on fire in 1998 in vivid dreams and images. The twin towers of the world trade center fell on 9/11/2001. I can read people and know in their hearts if they are black and evil or if they are kind and soulful. I have many other gifts that I have not shared with anyone, even my wife. I feel a man should not know when he is about to die. That is God’s choice and decision, not mine to tell people their lives are about to end, or when a woman is pregnant even if they do not know yet. Yes, I have told a few women and their looks of terror and panic was great. I don’t like knowing things. But who knows how long I will be here? How long that I will live? This near death experience was not a blessing, but a curse.
I feel its power every day of my life and when I hear of others seeing God and the white light tunnel, I call them out. No, I know who has gone and who has not gone into the near-death life. I have met two people only since who had died but came back and I knew that they had died and came back even before they ever confided in me.
Who or what am I now? What is my role in life? What do I do now? The Medical Center was so shocked and scared that I survived I now recall people peeking in at me during the battery of tests, no water in my lungs, the eyes stinging was the salt ocean waters, the fish brushing up against my back leg, has left its mark still to this day as I have raised salty type pimples appearing there all the time. Emergency doctors say it was a small shark. I had no other bruises or cuts, just two small abrasions. It was on the Maui news and TV, newspapers. But this was before the internet. My wife said people were video-taping my rescue: I never saw any of that.
I went back to Maui in summer of 2004 and went back to Hana, Seven Sacred Pools now furnished with printed official warning signs and boards everywhere saying, ‘If you swim or come here, you COULD DROWN OR DIE.’ I tossed a flowered lei into the stream on the edge of the water. As I tossed it, I swear I felt complete peace and calmness come over me for this short time. Then I was back on vacation and on with my life. Although I feel this event destroyed my life, gave me new insights and visions and now what do I do with this knowledge? The End?