Real Name: Thomas Sawyer
Case: Near-Death Experiences
Location: New York
Details: Tom Sawyer lives in upstate New York and works as a snow plow operator. For years, he was an agnostic and did not believe in the afterlife. Then, one day in 1978, he was repairing his pickup truck in his garage when it moved and fell on top of him. His son immediately called for help. Somehow, he was able to hear not only this conversation, but that of the paramedics over three miles away.
Tom's wife and neighbors worked desperately to lift the truck off of him. During this time, he claimed to have a "near-death experience". He first remembers waking up and seeing darkness. Then he saw a tunnel with a beautiful white light coming from it. All of his pain was gone and he felt comfortable. He then arrived at the light and saw Heaven. He was able to ask any question possible and receive the correct answer. He then had a complete and total review of his life, reliving his marriage, schooling, and other events. Then he was given a choice: to return to his life or join the light. He chose to the do the latter, but all of a sudden, he felt a reversal through the tunnel and ended up back in his body on the floor of his garage.
Paramedics rushed Tom to the hospital. Surprisingly, he had no broken bones, although he did suffer from internal bleeding. Later that same day, he was released. According to medical reports, he had been deprived of oxygen for fifteen minutes.
While riding home from the hospital, Tom blurted out "Oh it was so beautiful" but did not explain anything until later. At first, he did not believe he actually had a "near-death experience". A few days later, however, he was watching TV with his family when he randomly said the name "Max Planck". His wife encouraged him to write down his thoughts. He began to write out complex equations and advanced symbols that he had never known about before. He went to the library to learn more about these thoughts. He found a book about Max Planck, which had those same equations and symbols in it.
Since the experience, Tom and his family have noted that his personality and life has changed for the better. Psychologists have looked into his case, with some believing that there is a physical, rational explanation, which others believe is spiritual and metaphysical.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 22, 1989 episode, along with that of Kristle Merzlock.
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, Tom passed away in 2007, but his near-death experience remains a mystery.