Real Name: Dannion Brinkley
Place of Birth:
Date Of Birth: 1949
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Background: On September 17, 1975, twenty-five-year-old Dannion Brinkley was on the phone with his friend Tom in his Aiken, South Carolina home, when he was struck by lightning and literally thrown across the room. Over 180,000 volts of electricity was shot through his body. Within seconds, he saw his wife Sandy trying to resuscitate him. He also saw his friend Tom arrive and try and help. He realized that he was actually floating above himself, watching these events unfold. During this time, he was clinically dead.
He soon embarked on a near-death experience. He walked down a tunnel and saw a form come out of a misty blue cloud. He then began to experience everything that had happened to him during his life. He also was put in the place of every person he had encountered. He admits that during his childhood and young adult life, he was self-centered, mean, and a bully. During his experience, he was confronted by all of the people he had victimized over the years. He felt everything that they had gone through.
Meanwhile, Dannion was rushed by an ambulance to the hospital. In the emergency room, his breathing faltered and then stopped. Minutes later, his friend Tom was told that he was dead. Tom had difficulty accepting this. He went to the room where Dannion's body was placed. Suddenly, he saw the sheet over the body moving. Dannion said that at that point, he went from a spiritual place back to the physical world. Miraculously, he returned to life after being declared dead for twenty minutes.
Dannion, however, was still in a grave condition. A week later, he was released but was unable to walk or talk. His eyes were so light-sensitive that he had to wear welder's glasses at all times. For seven months, he remained partially paralyzed. It would take another two years for him to learn how to walk and eat again.
When he was finally able to describe his near-death experience, he recalled being in a cathedral, a "place of learning", with thirteen beings. The beings approached him, one at a time, showing him a box. Inside each box was an image of an event that would happen in the future. Altogether, he claimed to have witnessed 113 future occurrences, including the election of Ronald Reagan, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Gulf War in 1991. He shared his visions with several of his friends, who verified that these predictions were made prior to the events unfolding.
Dannion is convinced that his near-death experience brought about his psychic abilities. A year after the accident, he attended a lecture by Dr. Raymond Moody who has studied near-death experiences. Moody has worked with him for several years since. He claims that in 1976, Dannion told him that the Soviet Union would fall in 1990.
In the years since his experience, Dannion has used his psychic abilities to help others. One of these abilities is helping police investigators solve crimes. Dannion was able to help solve the 1993 murders of a Montana couple, John and Nancy Bosco. He accurately described the murderer, who was identified as Shadow Clark.
In order to verify his psychic powers, Dr. William Roll observed Dannion in a series of tests. He gave readings for eight people that he had never met before. He picked out certain details about the people that he would have not known. Dr. Roll was convinced that he was legitimate.
Today, Dannion spends most of his time volunteering at hospices and nursing homes throughout the country. He believes that his experience has allowed him to be qualified to counsel others. Dannion, who was once a bully as a child, has completely changed his life to help people, all because of the lightning strike and his new psychic ability.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the October 21, 1994 episode. Dannion was also featured on Unexplained Mysteries.