Over the past few decades, there has been a growing body of research surrounding near-death experiences and what it means for our souls. One of the most avid researchers has been Arvin Gibson, a retired nuclear engineer.
In 1996, he interviewed a firefighter named Jake who was a member of the “Hotshots” fire-fighting squad. This particular group of firefighters are called into some of the most dangerous forest fires on the planet and continually risk death.
According to Jake, in 1989 his squad was working on a steep mountain and the wind instantly changed direction. All of a sudden a bunch of trees caught on fire and there was a massive explosion.
The group didn’t have time to prepare and each of them were forced to the ground. As the trees exploded and fire engulfed the area, the oxygen was sucked out of the air.
“This is it. I am going to die,” Jake thought to himself.
Before he knew it, he found himself looking down at his body from above the ground. It was lying lifeless in a trench. While out of his body, he says he was completely at peace and painless. He then looked around and saw that some of his other teammates were hovering above their bodies as well. They could see and communicate with each other.
Things got even more surreal when he noticed something about of his crew members who had been born with a defective foot. “Look, Jose, your foot is straight,” he told his buddy. When Jose exited his body, his foot was healed.
Following his discovery, Jake said that a bright light appeared. “The light – the fantastic light. It was brighter than the sun shining on a field of snow. Yet I could look at it and it didn’t hurt my eyes.”
He then saw that his great-grandfather was standing in the light. His great-grandfather became Jake’s guide throughout the experience. According to Jake, he met several of his deceased relatives and learned all sorts of interesting things about life and death.
At one point, Jake said that he pled with his great-grandfather not to be sent back into his body. He explains it this way:
When I was there, everything was so perfect, and my spirit body, it … it was so free. It felt like everything was limitless. When I came back, well you know, there’s always something plaguing you, like arthritis, or sore muscles, or … but not there. Getting back into my physical body felt cramped – held back. For example, when I used to play football for a few days after a game or hard practice I was always sore. The same thing was true after coming back into my physical body. I hurt and felt constrained, and it was hard to get used to for some time.
Once Jake was back inside his body, he noticed that some of the crew’s metal tools had been melted and the fire was still raging. Wildly enough, the other crew members were alive and gathered at the top of the hill.
After the incident, other members of Jake’s crew reported similar near-death experiences. Jake was amazed to hear that some of his other crew members had experienced near-death experiences. They, too, had come in contact with deceased members of their families and given a choice to return to their bodies.