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The sight of the physical body from the outside may terminate the experience, ... because of the emotional response (fear, contempt, revulsion) this sight evokes, but also perhaps because attention is diverted back to the body. Another factor commonly bringing an end to the OBE is the physical body's being touched by someone (Irwin, "Introduction" 222).
Veridical Paranormal Perception During OBEs?
I was in a tunnel and sensed I was travelling towards a brightish light hidden behind a bend in the cave.... I felt I was simply floating—I did not have the use of my arms or legs at all....
As I passed round the bend in the cave I saw a giant Dracula-type of mouth opening. I say 'Dracula' because there were two monstrous fangs with blood dribbling off them.... I gained the instant impression that if I proceeded towards the mouth, it would shut and the teeth would slice me in two and kill me (Fenwick and Fenwick 190-191).
The next thing I remember, there was a cloud and a male, related to Jesus, 'cause he looked like the pictures of Jesus. He was in this chariot type [thing]... the torso was a horse, everything above the torso was a man with wings; sort of like a Pegasus except instead of a horse's head it was a man... and he was beckoning to me... and I kept backing up... I remember telling him no, I had too many things to do and there was no way I could go now. Then the clouds sort of filled over and as it filled over I hear Him say, "O.K.!" [ellipses original] (Lindley, Bryan, and Conley 116).
Is the Temporal Lobe Implicated in NDEs?
The Fenwicks concede that in this case it is "quite clear" that this NDEr was not actually observing the physical world when he saw his body from above. Obviously this NDE must have been a brain-generated hallucination. Despite their sympathy for the survival hypothesis, the Fenwicks are explicit about the hallucinatory nature of this NDE: "He was unaware of the cook, who had been lying beside him—and was now not simply lying beside him but spread all over his back, where he could hardly have failed to be seen" (Fenwick and Fenwick 44).
Ultimately, even the Fenwicks concede this:
(2) The Fenwicks also mention the case of a woman who had 3 spontaneous out-of-body experiences during her second pregnancy (Fenwick and Fenwick 40-41). In her third OBE, she found it difficult to 'return to her body.' The Fenwicks write: "Mrs Davey adds that although she was up on the ceiling, she did see her body" (Fenwick and Fenwick 41).
Who Makes the Decision to Return?
(3) In a case from "the Evergreen Study" (conducted at Evergreen State College in Washington), a woman had a ruptured Fallopian tube due to an ectopic pregnancy (where a fertilized egg implants and grows in one of the tubes rather than the uterus) and reported seeing things in the room while 'out-of-body' which didn't exist:
Groth-Marnat, Gary. "." . No. 19 (1994): 7-11.
I saw this little table over the operating table. You know, those little round trays like in a dental office where they have their instruments and all? I saw a little tray like that with a letter on it addressed (from a relative by marriage she had not met) (Lindley, Bryan, and Conley 109).
Abanes, Richard. . Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996.
The authors report that this woman told her sister-in-law about her NDE, who happened to be a nurse who was called into the operating room at the time of the NDE. But the nurse was adamant that there was neither a letter nor a round table in the operating room.