Surprisingly, his study found memories of the NDEs were still reliable nearly 40 years later, meaning the stories did not change over time.
The psychiatrist did, however, notice experiences of an afterlife were influenced by cultural norms.
He said: “For example, near-death experiences of third world countries do not talk about entering a tunnel the way Americans do. They would talk about entering a cave or a well.
“One truck driver I interviewed, talked about entering a tailpipe. So you have to use whatever cultural metaphors at your disposal to describe the phenomenon.
“So our NDErs are just reporting what they expect to happen when they come close to death.”