At 2.00 am GMT on 9 February 2003 I had been asleep and I opened my eyes as something caught my attention. At the side of my bed was a real life-size tiger that was looking at me. I thought I was dreaming and turned the other way. There was someone laid in my bed. He was facing me and was wearing a black helmet which looked like something someone in a helicopter would wear. The man had a huge mouth and it looked as though he was dead as he wasn't moving but he was looking directly at me. A moment later I'm moving beside a small group of people wearing desert army clothing. There was a sand coloured building that we were walking past.
A voice telepathically communicated with me at this point and it said something that sounded like head or leg. I questioned the voice as I wasn't sure whether it said head or leg. I asked a number of times and each time it responded. It showed me a red cross on a white background and a medical bag as symbols that could help me determine what was happening. At this point I knew it was a medevac. I saw a child of around 10 years old with a makeshift bandage around its leg. A few moments later the child was put into a black hawk helicopter which then took off.
Four men got into the second helicopter, two at the back facing the front, and the pilot and another got into the front. I was in the helicopter at the back facing the front at the rear right. I wondered if I was one of the men at this point and witnessing the scene through their eyes, or if I was just myself and viewing. As we took off, I could see one of the men at the front, in between a gap as there appeared to be a partial divider between where I was sat and the person directly in front of me. The next thing I saw was a thick wire outside the helicopter. The helicopter blade/windshield then caught on the wire that ran across the river. The helicopter flipped and crashed into the water.
I saw that two men were dead - the one at the front who was visible and the one who had been sat to my left with the big mouth. I couldn't see the one who was at the front on the right hand side. The one with the big mouth who I'd seen in my bed was staring at me despite him being dead. He was to my left hand side. I focussed on the one who was still alive. He was trying to get the door open to escape. He was pulling for quite a long time, but then he appeared to lose consciousness. At that moment, I heard banging and that was the first time I'd heard a noise, other than the telepathic voice. He had come round and managed to free himself from the helicopter wreckage. My vision then completely disappeared as I knew he was going to be ok.
The following day (10 February) I told my friend Mark Harrison about what had happened. On 10th or 11th May 2003, Mark contacted me to tell me that there had been a black hawk medevac helicopter that had crashed into the River Tigris on 9 May. It had caught on a wire that crossed the river. 3 died and one survived.
When the obituaries were released, the man with the huge mouth was Richard P. Carl. The two in the front were Hans Guerlan and Brian. The one who I had been with as he was escaping was James Sides.The military were saying that it was enemy fire and that the first helicopter couldn't land as there wasn't space on the riverbank, but the truth was that both helicopters did land to collect the injured Iraqi child and the child was taken by the first helicopter that took off safely. The second helicopter did snag the wire and flip into the water.
I am still to this day confused about how I saw this three months before it happened. I'm also wondering if James could feel or see my presence too. I think Richard did as on both times I saw him, he was looking at me. I am also confused about why someone who is still alive would have been present in spirit form at the passing of three people and the near-death of one other who survived. I didn't feel any heat or hear the voices of people, nor could I smell or taste anything. I felt like I was drifting through the scene.
Throughout the whole experience I didn't feel afraid and it was as though I was in my room and viewing the scene and being physically present at the scene all at the same time. As I have tried to make sense of it, I wondered if I was just there to observe, to comfort, or to help get James out. Whatever it was, the film reel is still as vivid in my mind as it was 20 years ago. If it was as ultra real as it felt, everything must be pre-determined.
It wasn't my near-death, but I believe I was part of someone else's.