Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s Near-Death Experience: True or Hoax?

Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s Near-Death Experience: True or Hoax?

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

For those not familiar with Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s famous (or infamous) claim of his near death experience, please allow me to preface this story by acknowledging there are quite a few skeptics, along with an equal number of true believers, that Benedict’s journey to the other side did in fact happen, regardless of the fact that he’s made a handsome living from his claim.

Benedict was a talented artist, author, musician, and inventor; in short, a true renaissance man. He was born on March 2, 1949, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and passed away on March 31st, 2017.

His claim of surviving a near-death experience in 1982 has been widely publicized on TV and within dozens of articles and books by both acclaimed physicians and scientists, along with self-aggrandized ghost hunters and paranormal investigators, all looking to cash in on his incredible tale of dying for over an hour and a half, during that time rising up out of his body and going into the light. Curious about the universe, he was taken far into the remote depths of existence, and even beyond into the energetic void of nothingness behind the universe.


Benedict chronicled, in vivid detail, his near death experience. In one passage, he wrote;

A Light shone. I turned toward it, and was aware of its similarity to what others have described in near-death experiences. It was magnificent and tangible, alluring. I wanted to go towards that Light like I might want to go into my ideal mother’s or father’s arms. As I moved towards the Light, I knew that if I went into the Light, I would be dead. So I said/felt, ‘Please wait. I would like to talk to you before I go’.

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The entire experience halted. I discovered that I was in control of the experience. My request was honored. I had conversations with the Light. That’s the best way I can describe it. The Light changed into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, archetypal images and signs. I asked in a kind of telepathy, ‘What is going on here?’

The information transmitted was that our beliefs shape the kind of feedback we receive. If you are a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own images. I became aware of a Higher Self matrix, a conduit to the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being, a conduit. All Higher Selves are connected as one being. All humans are connected as one being.”

Benedict continued detailing his experience with, perhaps, his most controversial claim that he was given special insight into the future, claiming that the Light (God) gave him a list of names of individuals that would change the course of humankind through their research, inventions, etc.

It’s noteworthy to point out that Benedict suffered from inoperable terminal brain cancer in 1982 and was given less than 6 months to live. When he returned back from his near-death experience, his brain cancer went immediately into remission, where it continued until his death in 2017.

Kenneth Rings, Professor Emeritus of psychology at the University of Connecticut and a highly regarded researcher within the field of near-death studies, at the time wrote, “Mellen-Thomas has the big picture. His story is one of the most remarkable I have encountered in extensive research on near-death experiences. It is very rare that those who have died and returned have seen into the future to the extent that Mellen has. His vision of the future is one of hope. He has participated in studies of a major university where he contributed to understanding the structure of genes and chromosome coding for a genetic disease, while researchers puzzled over how he could have access to this information.”

Once again, was Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s near-death experience and his ability to see into the future true or a hoax…only you can judge.