'Miracle boy' now age 73, recalls visit to paradise part 1
|Updates 1. *See/view photo of James’ birthplace 1938, James when he was a little boy and James with his Mom. This was the home James wrote about in his book Eyewitness to Heaven. 2. June 21, 2012 - Read/view story titled "Protestant who had prophetic near-death brush also had encounters with Mary. 3. *June 7. 2012 - Read/view story titled "Georgia Man says he held silence for decades om massive events looming for mankind." 4. Listen to a June 2012 radio podcast mp3 interview here and here. 5. Listen to a August, 8 2012 radio podcast mp3 interview here
. 6. Also see a March 28, 2014 video interview.7. November 1, 2014 -*Listen to a new interview with James about his
near death experience.
'Miracle boy' now age 73, recalls visit to paradise part 1 (part 2 below)
*November 6, 2011 - Reported in timesfreepress.com and printer friendly version here. - First of two parts. James Wilburn Chauncey does not think of himself as a prophet. In fact, he doesn't even consider himself deeply religious. Chauncey, a 73-year-old Fayetteville, Ga., retiree, does believe, however, he has been to paradise and back and has come face-to-face with Jesus Christ.
A native of Walden's Ridge, Chauncey has written a book, "Eyewitness to Heaven" (Tate Publishing), which includes his vivid account of a near-death experience when he was 7 years old. Chauncey writes that he was transported to paradise by angels through a phalanx of fearsome demons after being pronounced dead from bacterial meningitis at what is now Children's Hospital at Erlanger here in the mid-1940s.
He was dubbed the "Miracle Boy" in local news reports for his miraculous overnight recovery from one of the era's most lethal illnesses, he said. At that time, more than 99 percent of bacterial meningitis patents died within 12 hours, Chauncey said. His book is one of a growing collection of titles to treat the subject of heavenly visions. "Heaven Is For Real," the story of a 4-year-old Nebraska boy's journey into the afterlife, is the No. 1 best-seller on the New York Times paperback list, and "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven," is another popular book with a similar theme.
Chauncey said he has not read the other books, and, in fact, he said he has fought a lifelong urge to bury his childhood experience so as not to invite derision from skeptics. "The titles have been brought to my attention," he said in a telephone interview last week. "I have intentionally stayed away from material on this subject. I'm afraid if I read something like that it might alter my memory." Chauncey said his recollections of his near-death experience in the summer of 1946 are as crystal clear as the day they happened.
This is his story, as told in his book:
As a child growing up on Walden's Ridge, he remembers being hounded by an older sister who considered it her duty to make sure he "got saved." Young Wilburn -- he went by his middle name -- resisted her invitations to attend worship services, but one night he felt inexplicably drawn to a tent revival on Taft Highway. He remembers being prayed over by a local evangelist and feeling a spiritual awakening before finding his way home by starlight.
His parents were frantic he had wandered away from home that night but greatly relieved at his return, he recalls. He would come to learn they had already lost three children, one boy who was hit by a car as an infant and a pair of twins who both died shortly after their births. Young Wilburn's case of meningitis started as an angry headache one day in the summer of 1946 and soon became excruciating. A doctor was summoned and broke the news the boy would almost surely die within hours.
Horrified they might lose another child, the family insisted on transporting Wilburn to Children's Hospital, where he was quarantined (as was his family). Doctors and nurses did what they could but were soon also resigned the boy would die. Eventually, his breathing stopped, and a doctor signed his death certificate. A bed sheet was pulled over his face.
Chauncey still remembers the sensation of his soul leaving his body and watching in horror as his parents reacted to the news of his passing. Two angels came to escort him to paradise, he remembers, although he begged them to let him stay to comfort his mother and father.
Eventually, the angels calmed him, and the journey began.
He writes: "I could see light ahead. All around me was darkness and stars. ... One angel told me to hold on to him and not to turn loose no matter what I saw or what happened." Chauncey said he began to see "strange and terrible looking creatures. They were the most horrible things I have ever seen. They were trying to grab me and were screaming for me to go with them. They told me that I could have all that I ever wanted if I would come with them."
Chauncey recounts that the angels fought with the demons before eventually delivering him to paradise. There, he writes, he was met by his brother Ralph, who had died as an infant. He also met a boy and girl in white robes, referred to as the "no-name twins," who Ralph introduced as his two other siblings who died as babies.
Soon, Chauncey said, he was surrounded by hundreds of dead forebears, who all looked sad. The angels explained the sadness as a reaction to the news that Chauncey would be asked to return to Earth. "No, I won't go," Chauncey remembers saying. By then, he was captivated by the wonders of paradise. While in heaven, Chauncey says, he was given a vision of his parents fighting back on Earth, an argument that would turn deadly if he did not return to intercede. He said the archangel Gabriel told him Jesus would extend his years and give him a glimpse of the future of Earth if he would agree to go back.
He even glimpsed Jesus, he said, and to this day has a clear memory of his physical features that do not match the delicate face often depicted in paintings. As his visit unfolded, Chauncey was given a vision of his future wife and daughter. He also believes he saw highlights of a coming world war foretold in the New Testament book of Revelation, a war he now believes will happen within the next generation.
"It was so frightening that I haven't been able to put it out of my mind for more than six decades," he said. "I think about it every day." Again with an angel escort, Chauncey said he came back to Earth and re-entered his body, which was still in the hospital room awaiting cremation. In his book, Chauncey describes what happened next: "Alone, a [hospital] housekeeper walked slowly to the side of a lone bed. She reached out her hand slowly to lift the sheet from my face. "As she did, I gave her a big smile and said, 'Hi!' "
Excerpts from the book -
. All of the sudden, I came out of my body and could see the hospital staff working on me…
. It was amazing; I could see and hear everything they were saying to each other about me…
. My parents donned hospital gowns and masks and entered the room. Seeing the sorrow in them, I couldn’t any longer contain myself, so I began shouting, “I’m here! I’m here,” but they couldn’t hear me. I reached out to hug Mom, but my arms passed right through her. I was screaming and crying as Mom and Dad leaned over my body, as if to kiss me good-bye…
. The angels took me by the arm and we were off, through the hospital wall into the cool night air…
. What I was seeing was what was to come as the end of this generation of man neared on earth. What I saw was so frightening that I haven’t been able to put it out of my mind for more than six decades; I think about it every day. Wars, fires, earthquakes, conflicts, and death were occurring all around the world, and then it was upon the shores of America…
. Animals and people began to appear from places where they hid during the terrible time of destruction…
. A man and woman came out of their hiding place, a cave I think, holding hands and dressed in torn and tattered garments as they looked around and began to search for food and for seeds to plant in a garden. Others followed them, as all around the earth life was being restored…
. Her skin was glowing with a hue that can only be described as a burnt golden color. Her hair was black as coal. Her voice was soothing and musical. She told me to not be afraid. When I asked her who she was, she said her name was Mary…
'Miracle boy' now age 73, recalls visit to paradise part 2
November 14, 2011 Reported in the timesfreepress.com/news
- Second of two parts. For much of his life, James Chauncey said, he tried not to talk about his near-death experience as a 7-year-old boy. Now, at age 73, he has changed course and written a book about his vision of paradise called "Eyewitness to Heaven: A Glimpse Into the Obscure" (Tate Publishing). About 15 years ago, facing an uncertain future with cancer, he agreed to write down his childhood experience for his adult daughters, Chauncey explained in a recent telephone interview.
"I wrote about 20 pages," he recalled. "My daughters wanted to know some of the reasons I am the way I am." Later, he said, he locked his writing away in a box, angry with what he thought were admonishments from God to share his story with more people. "I spent a lot of time in prayer and in agony, asking myself 'Why am I doing this [book]?" he said of his ultimate decision to go public. Chauncey said at points in his life he had grown weary of people thinking his experience is fabricated. "I start telling someone face to face, and I can watch their eyes glaze over," he said.
Chauncey, a retired construction-industry expert living in Fayetteville, Ga., believes he was given the option of returning to his earthly body after "dying" of bacterial meningitis at Children's Hospital at Erlanger here in 1946. He says he was escorted to heaven by two angels and given the option of returning to life on Earth to intervene in a coming confrontation between his mother and father. Chauncey said he was given a vision of the future -- if he remained in heaven -- which included this scene at his family's home on Walden's Ridge: "I looked toward my house to see a sheriff's patrol car and an unmarked car parked near the front steps of our house. Dad was being led down the steps by two deputy sheriffs."
An angel in heaven told him that his mother had died and his father was being blamed, Chauncey wrote in his book. Chauncey believes he was sent back to Earth to intervene and to prevent his parents from having the fateful fight. After being pronounced dead, he was found miraculously alive at the hospital hours later, according to his book. The story was covered by Chattanooga newspapers, and he was dubbed "The Miracle Boy."
As his boyhood unfolded, Chauncey said, his mother and father began to fight one day at Sunday dinner. His mother threw a salt shaker at his father, and things quickly escalated. His mother grabbed a gun, his father an ax, and Chauncey said he rushed between them at the behest of an angel who had arrived on the scene. Having fulfilled his mission, Chauncey believes the remainder of his life has been spent quietly working, raising a family and marking time until he returns to heaven.
As a boy, he faced ridicule at school from teachers and students who didn't believe his account of his journey to paradise, he said. Chauncey said he accepted Christ at a tent revival before his bout of meningitis. In his younger adult years, he was not always a churchgoer, though, he said. Because his religious beliefs are essentially built on eyewitness evidence of an afterlife, he has not taken the traditional path to faith, he said."I have no fear of death," he says flatly. "There's something over there a lot better, and I'd like to get [back] there."
Visit James Wilburn Chauncey's website.