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Observations placeholder

Ritchie, Dr George – The NDE 01



Type of Spiritual Experience


There is reason to believe it was the pharmaceuticals and the overdose that had this effect rather than the pneumonia and temperature, but we have left it at fever and pneumonia

A description of the experience

The night was getting stranger and stranger, I thought. Here I was sitting on the side of the bed; I felt like I just woke up but I did not remember sitting up. What was going on? The last thing I could remember was standing in front of the x-ray machine. What was I doing in this little room?

Had I missed my train? What time was it? Where was the watch I usually wore on my left arm? I knew it must be night because it was still dark.

The only light in the room was the little bulb in the stalk of the lamp and it was not putting out much light. In fact, it put out so little I could not see my uniform anywhere in the room.  I knew I had to get out of this place and go to Richmond or I would be AWOL, and if I was, that would be a heck of a way to start medical school. I had to leave immediately. I didn't have any more time to waste.

With that thought, I walked to the ward hall. The room that I had left was a middle room, for there were rooms on each side. There were three rooms across the hall, the first the doctor's office, next the nurse's office with a wall of filing cabinets. Next to the nurse's office, before you entered the double doors into the big ward, was a ward attendant's office and storage room. I could see out through the glass windows of the double doors. Facing into the connecting corridor was a door, opposite the ward doors, going outside.

As I passed through the ward door a ward man, carrying a covered tray, came toward me.

"Watch where you are going," I said. He acted as though he could neither see nor hear me.

He walked right through me!

This surprised and confused me but I did not have time to stop and mull over it. I had to get to Richmond.

I passed through the outside door and as soon as I did, to my amazement, I found myself approximately five hundred feet above the ground, traveling at a terrific speed. It was a clear night. I was sure, from the position of the North Star, that I was headed in an easterly direction. I could also see the little hills covered with mesquite trees. As I continued to speed eastward they gave way to more pine trees and trees like we had in Virginia. The ground did not seem so desert-like as it had in the western part of Texas.

From the appearance of the crystal-clear sky and from seeing some ice on the smaller rivers I was crossing, I realized that I should be cold but for some strange reason I did not feel cold. My flying through the night well above the earth without knowing how I was accomplishing this was even more startling, but I decided I would take the Scarlett O'Hara approach. I would think about that tomorrow, after I reached Richmond.

Quite a bit of distance later, I saw a large river with a big bridge crossing over it. There was a city located on the eastern banks. I thought I had better slow down, land there, and find if I was going in the right direction to reach Richmond.

I came down closer to the ground when I noticed bright blue color coming from a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer neon sign in front of a white cafe. It was on the corner of the street ahead of me.

[Ten months later, while driving through Vicksburg, Mississippi, on the way from Cincinnati, Ohio to New Orleans, Louisiana, I recognized this same building. The color of the building and the neon sign were the same. The topographical location on the land as it related to the Mississippi River was the same. This removed any possibility of my experience being a delusion or a dream ].

I saw a tall, thin man, bundled in a dark overcoat coming up the side-walk, heading toward the door of this cafe.

I lit down about twelve feet in front of him to ask directions. I had no idea where I was or how far I had traveled.

"What is the name of this city? Do you know where Richmond, Virginia, is and in what direction I should go to get there?"

For the second time that night, here was another man who acted as though he could neither see nor hear me.

ln fact he also walked right through me.

This was too much.

I went over to lean against the guy wire, the cable coming from the telephone pole, and my hand went through it.

I suddenly thought, "What has happened to me? No one can see or hear me. Is this a coincidence that I have bumped into two men with this trouble? If the ward man and this man cannot hear or see me, will Mother be able to see or hear me? Will the commandant or any of the professors or students be able to know I am there? What is the use of going on if they cannot?

"I have never had to face any problem like this. If I don't continue going where I'm going, wherever that may be, then do I go back? If I do, why and to what? The hospital wardman couldn't see me either.

"What was that covered mound I left in the bed after I stood up back in the room in Texas? Could that have been a body? I don't like this line of thought: A human isn't separated from his body unless...he is dead.

“If I am, then what is this thing that I am in now? It can go through doors without opening them. It can fly. It does not feel cold. As remarkable as these qualities are, they are no good to me if I cannot be seen. I have to go back to that hospital in Camp Barkeley and get my other body !

"I am too young to die. I'm only twenty years old. I have too many things to do with my life. I have to get back to that hospital. "

I had no sooner thought about returning to the hospital when I found myself up in the air and traveling, this time rapidly, in a westerly direction. Before I could adequately take in what was happening to me, I found myself standing in front of the Barkeley Station Hospital.

I had made two other discoveries about this strange out-of-body realm. First, one goes wherever his/her soul's sincere desire leads him/her. Secondly, time in this realm, if it exists at all, is much shorter than in our normal human realm, or the capacity to cover great distances in a regular period of time is vastly increased, for the distance I knew I had traveled could not be covered in our fastest airplanes.

I was in trouble now, for when I left the hospital, I was in such a great rush that I had not taken the trouble to look and see which ward I had left. What had happened with the human beings before was still true. These people, the doctors and nurses now, also could not see or hear me and there was no way I could ask them for information about where my room was located. This was a much larger hospital than I had realized since I had been in only two wards and the movie theater.

Now I found myself wandering from ward to ward, room to room, trying to find that little room that I had been in before I left.

I could see the nurses, doctors, and ward attendants, but as I have said, they could not see me. I could see the soldiers lying in the beds because I was trying to find my body. I saw several who looked like me but the ones that had their left hand out from under the cover did not have my Phi Gamma Delta fraternity ring on their ring finger. I was becoming increasingly discouraged and frightened and feeling alone and separated from the rest of the human race.

I continued to search from ward to ward and room to room.

I had begun to believe I was going to be condemned to spending an eternity doing this when I came into a poorly lit room. It had only a night light on in the stalk of the lamp.

Lying in the bed with a sheet pulled up over the head was this body. When they pulled up the sheet to cover the body, they left the left arm and hand uncovered. There on the left ring finger was my Phi Gamma Delta and University of Richmond ring with " 19" on one side and “45" on the other side of the oval black onyx with the silver owl on the front of it. The onyx even had the chip on the side that had happened when I knocked my hand against some-thing going through the obstacle course.

I did not like the color of the hand because it had the same appearance my grandfather's hand had had three years before when I saw it right after he died. Now my massive denial was breaking down and I was going to have to accept the fact that I was dead.

I could not believe this had happened to me. I was supposed to become the outstanding young doctor. I was going to have a wonderful Christmas with my family after being away so long. I was the one whom my good friends back in college were going to be so glad to see and I was going to be so excited to see them.

Now I would not be able to see any of them again. No, not even my family, whom I now missed so deeply. I could not even communicate with the staff and soldiers I could see in the ward. I have never felt so alone, discouraged and frightened.

" Oh God, where are you when I am so lost and discouraged? "

I could walk through the bed and walls. I could not pick up the sheet when I wanted to pull back the covers to look at the face to make sure it was my body. I could, by a manner of thinking, manage to sit on the bed beside the body.

I had discovered it was impossible to get the spiritual or soul body into or through any of the small openings in the human body.

I was fini, at the end, giving up……………….

I still carried the concept that when one died, he/she slept until judgment day when he/she would be judged and then sent to heaven or hell. The experience I was having now had never been mentioned.

The source of the experience

Ritchie, Dr George

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Fever and hyperthermia