Anthony Chipoletti (real name) graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 with a BS degree that included training in Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. He was employed for a time in Pittsburgh in 1968 as a medical research technician in hematology and hemophilia research with Jessica Lewis, who discovered Factor VIII. Financial and family needs kept him from further graduate education and he is now employed as a researcher in the media industry. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond the Light
Early in 1995, about one year before my mother’s death, December 14, 1995, I saw a copy of the book Beyond the Light, written by P. M. H. Atwater. I seemed to have many of the personal attributes of the people she described as near death survivors. I could not clearly recall any NDE event except for a brief childhood episode after tonsil surgery under ether;
I wrote to her, and she sent seminar details;
I also realized that the medical community and other folks around Pittsburgh PA were interested or involved in NDE research. For example, one of the local hospitals was severing brain stems, cooling bodies of the patients, and repairing their blood vessels near the brain stem. Patients who survived lost all awareness of who they were, and any other personal identity, including other skills such as reading and writing.
Dr. Atwater’s research seemed to me to include reputable sources in the scientific and medical communities.
In May of 1996, six months after my mother’s death on December 14, 1995, and very near my mother’s birthday on May 9, I was preparing for a visit to the city of Pittsburgh by P. M. H. Atwater.
Atwater had given me three names and phone numbers to call for background information on her near death research, which she was scheduled to speak about in June 1996 at my invitation.
My first call was to a gentleman who hosted near death seminars in his home for many years. He was a dedicated skeptic and did not believe the experience was real.
The second person was the mother of young son. She and her son experienced an unusual event, and had been featured on a television show. However, she felt that people would inflate their experiences to get attention, as she did.
The third call lasted about 30 minutes. I do not recall any of the conversation. The woman had experienced a profound near death event, however, she sought no publicity and received none.
As soon as I hung up the phone after the third call, my room, which is about 9 feet high and 12 feet square, lit up with a wonderful, pale light. I had risen from my chair, just after the call, and immediately sat back down. The light lasted about 20 minutes, then went away.
About one year after my Light experience, I asked P. M. H. Atwater if she had informed her friend about it. She stated that the Light experience had happened to many others after speaking with her friend, so she had not mentioned mine!
Contributor’s Comments on the Experience
Editor: Were there any psychological effects of the light?
My psychological interpretation of the light was that it consisted of, or included, the spiritual presence of my mother, who had died about six months before the light appeared;
Editor: As described, it just sounds like a curiosity. Perhaps that’s all it was, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but perhaps there were other effects?
There were no other effects;
Editor: And did the light seem to have a source, interact with whatever illumination was already in the room (what was that?), be sourceless, or what?
The light did not seem to me to have a physical source, nor interact with any physical aspect; The room was lit with a bare 100 watt bulb in a mid ceiling fixture; The home is probably built around 1930 or 1940 and has been renovated.
The light fixture is not modern and dates probably from the 1950s or even the original building; it has no adjustments nor shades, simply 120 volts and a ceramic bulb receptor;
When we moved into the home, around 1990, I cleaned the dust from the ceiling fixture and reconnected the house wires to the electrical connections at the base of the fixture, which is metal.