Peter Stoddard (real name) has a Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Entomology and Invertebrate Pathology. He has worked as a Senior Scientist for the state of California and the Environmental Protection Agency. This puzzling experience occurred in 1975 when he was 35 and lasted for about two weeks.
This experience occurred over a two-week period in approximately 1975. I was preparing for the Ph.D. qualifying exam at the time. I had a dream that I was in a small boat when a submarine surfaced near me, hitting me in the chest with some sort of projectile. When I awoke the next morning, I sensed the presence of a sphere in my chest. The sphere remained for about two weeks, with the clarity of the experience diminishing over that time until it was only a memory.
Metaphysical Nature of the Sphere
The sphere was not real in the sense that it made a lump in my chest, or had any weight to it. And I noticed as I moved around, although the sphere moved with me, its movement was very smooth compared to the relatively coarse and jerky nature of my physical movements. So it wasn’t physically there, but as I sensed it, it was as real as anything I have ever experienced.
My Reaction to the Sphere
Throughout the experience, I continued on with my normal activities. I did not seem to be tired or groggy. I ran errands, went to campus every day and continued to do my research and prepare for the qualifying exam. The sphere was with me all the time. It was like a part of my body.
I didn’t know what this thing was, but it was definitely there and it had a compelling quality which made it impossible to ignore. I decided the only thing I could do was to make some observations, which I will describe in the following section.
Throughout the two week period of my observations, the sphere was always exactly the same, in the same place, and possessing the same qualities. After awhile, the repeatability of the observations made it obvious that further observations were not necessary, and that I knew as much as I was going to find out about it. However I kept examining it because it was interesting.
Size, Color and Contents of the Sphere
The sphere appeared to be about six inches in diameter, although there was no way to measure it, and somehow the actual size didn’t seem to matter to me. The sphere was bright white in color, and could be easily penetrated, so that I could “look” inside, reach my hand inside, or even climb inside it. It is very difficult to describe what I found there, although it was simple to understand, and has remained with me my whole life. I will just use the words that occurred to me as I investigated it.
At first I saw that the sphere consisted of white light, which I understood to be a mixture of all colors of light. Then I began to understand that the sphere actually contained everything, including every thought that had ever been thought or ever would be thought, every physical object that had ever been or ever would exist, and every person, including me. It contained all music, past present and future. I could go on naming everything I can think of, but I hope you get the idea. The clarity and force of this observation remains undiminished to this day.
My Life Since the Experience
I don’t feel that my life has been altered by my experience. The memory has never left me, but in the years immediately after the experience I didn’t think about it much. Now that I am older, I think about it more frequently, and wonder what it was all about.
Editor’s notes: I asked Dr. Stoddard about certain aspects of this puzzling experience. With respect to the compelling quality of the experience, I asked “What was the quality or qualities? Tactual sensation? Warmth? Cold? Etc.?,” and he responded:
The compelling quality wasn’t any of these. By compelling quality I mean something about it made me convinced that it was important.
What was that something that convinced me of its importance? It must have been a feeling that was below my consciousness, and that one might describe by saying “I knew in my heart that it was important.” or “I just felt it was important.”
I told Dr. Stoddard I was a little confused by the idea of looking or climbing inside the sphere:
I was confused by the whole experience. The best way I can describe it is that it was like a waking dream. In my normal sleeping dreams I can do odd things that don’t seem possible in waking life. This experience was of that quality, except that I experienced the sphere during waking hours, and it lasted several weeks. So when I say that I could observe the sphere and crawl inside of it at the same time, I can’t explain this apparent contradiction except to say it was like a dream. At night I would go to sleep and dream, but I didn’t dream about this. This was something I experienced only while awake.