Fortean Times


An earthquake miracle and a trip to musical Hell


Gerald Johnson, a priest from Michigan, made a TikTok video to publicise his experience­s following a heart attack during which he says he died before being revived by medics. In the brief period that he was dead, he had an unusual near-death experience (NDE) in which he visited Hell, seeing things that shocked and horrified him. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” Johnson says. “I don’t care what he did to me. No one deserves that.” He entered Hell through “the very centre of the Earth” and says that “the things I saw there are indescriba­ble,” but still goes on to describe them. He claims to have seen a man walking on all fours like a dog, burning from head to toe: “His eyes were bulging and worse than that: He was wearing chains on his neck. He was like a hellhound. There was a demon holding the chains.” He also says he heard demons singing Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” to torture people. Johnson feels the experience made him a better man, realising that he should forgive people who had wronged him instead of wishing for their punishment. popularmec­, 30 Jan 2023.

• In Thailand, on 16 January, Raklae Kaewkrunor­k, 56, developed breathing difficulti­es, despite always having been in good health. Taken to the Mukdahan Hospital, he was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and his relatives were told that he was likely to die in the near future, and that they should prepare for the worst. He was fitted with a respirator and sent home to spend his final days with his family. Shortly afterwards, when Kaewkrunor­k had returned home and the respirator was removed, he was found to be unresponsi­ve and to have no pulse, so his family began to prepare him for his funeral. Six hours later, though, he sat up and started breathing normally; and although he had a reputation for being a man of few words, he talked constantly for a day and a night, recounting his experience­s while dead, which involved the slaughter of pigs, chickens and buffaloes in another village. While his family were delighted by his surprising return, his neighbours queued outside the house to see if he had seen anything on the other side that might help them with their lottery numbers., 20 Jan 2023.

• Shortly after three-year-old Camila Paralta was taken to hospital in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, suffering from a high fever and severe vomiting, she was pronounced dead from dehydratio­n, despite being given intravenou­s fluids on arrival and although no ECG was carried out to confirm this. A day later, during her funeral service, Camila’s mother Mary noticed that her daughter was breathing inside the coffin and found she still had a pulse. An ambulance was called, which rushed the girl to hospital. She was given CPR, but was pronounced dead again shortly after her arrival, this time from swelling of the brain, and unfortunat­ely remained so this time. independen­, 2 Sept 2022.

• A 66-year-old woman, who has not been named, admitted to the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale, Iowa, at the end of December with “senile degenerati­on of the brain”, was reported to have died at 6am on 3 January by a nurse at the hospice. She had found that the woman’s “mouth was open, her eyes were fixed, and there were no breath sounds” and had been unable to locate any pulse with a stethoscop­e. The nurse also put her hand on the woman’s abdomen and “noted no movement”. She informed the duty manager, who notified the

family, and then called a funeral home. An hour and 40 minutes later, the funeral director arrived, put the woman “inside a cloth bag and zipped it shut” then took her to the Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory. There, shortly before 8.30am, “funeral home staff unzipped the bag and observed [the woman’s] chest was moving, and she was gasping for air”. They called emergency services who found that while the woman had a pulse, she had no eye movement or verbal, vocal or motor response. After taking her to the emergency room she was returned to the hospice, where she died with her family at her side two days later. A state investigat­ion found that the Care Center had failed to ensure the woman received “dignified treatment and care at end of life” and fined them $10,000, the maximum allowed under Iowa law., 3 Feb 2023.

• A month later, a similar incident took place in New York. There, an 82-year-old woman, who has not been named, was declared dead at Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Centre at Port Jefferson in Long Island at 11.15am on 4 February. She was taken to the OB Davis Funeral Homes, arriving at 1.30pm, but was found still to be alive at 2.09pm and taken to hospital. What her ultimate fate was remains unclear; the funeral home said, “Out of respect for the privacy and confidenti­ality of the families we are honoured to serve, we are not in a position to comment further on this matter,” while the state health department is carrying out an investigat­ion of the care home, which had just won a Best Nursing Homes for 2022-2023 award. irishmirro­, 7 Feb 2023.

• Police searching for 36-yearold Deepak Balakrishn­an Kandi, who went missing from Meppayur, in Kerala, India, last June, believed they had found him when a body washed up on a nearby beach was identified as his by family members, after which they held a funeral and cremated the remains.

However, a DNA test showed that the corpse was in fact that of a man named Irshad from Panthirkka­ra, also in Kerala, prompting police to resume the search for Deepak. He was discovered by officers eight months later in a hotel in the town of Margao in Goa, during a routine sweep, unaware that he was supposed to be dead., 3 Feb 2023.

• Following the devastatin­g earthquake­s in Turkey and Syria there have been numerous stories of people miraculous­ly rescued after spending hours trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings, but one report described what sounds like a genuine, Lazarus-like miracle. An unresponsi­ve Ahmed al-Maghribi was found and pulled from rubble in the town of Atarib in Syria. He was declared dead by doctors, who apparently put his body in a refrigerat­or for two days until he could be identified by family members, who then took the body bag to the cemetery for a funeral procession. At this point, the dead man started to move, and Ahmed was removed from the body bag alive and well. His stunned family rushed him back to hospital, where he was said to be recovering., 22 Feb 2023.

A body washed up on a beach was identified by family members

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 ?? ?? LEFT: Pastor Gerald Johnson, whose unusual near-death experience took him to Hell, where Rihanna (below) provided the musical soundtrack.
LEFT: Pastor Gerald Johnson, whose unusual near-death experience took him to Hell, where Rihanna (below) provided the musical soundtrack.
 ?? ?? ABOVE: Chatty man Raklae Kaewkrunor­k, back from the dead.
LEFT: Deepak Balakrishn­an was found alive and well in a hotel, blissfully ignorant of his supposed death.
ABOVE: Chatty man Raklae Kaewkrunor­k, back from the dead. LEFT: Deepak Balakrishn­an was found alive and well in a hotel, blissfully ignorant of his supposed death.
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