My Flight to Heaven

Captain Dale BlackBy Captain Dale Black17 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Visiting Heaven: Heavenly Keys to a Life Without Limitations by Captain Dale Black


Chapter 11
My Flight to Heaven

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 
—John 11:25

Flash-Forward—1970—Dr. Homer Graham’s Office

Almost a year after the crash, while seeking information from Dr. Graham—the doctor who treated me in the emergency room on the day of the crash—my worst nightmare was confirmed. I pressed him for details about who was in the space next to me in the hospital when I had first arrived. Dr. Graham confided that in fact it was Chuck Burns who died in the adjacent room that day. In the months following the crash, I had often wondered if it could have been Chuck behind the curtain, but I always pushed the thoughts away, unable to face that possibility as fact.

Finally, I knew. It was Chuck who had struggled with the terrifying evil forces that had been present. I believe my friend and aviation mentor was taken to hell by the demonic forces I witnessed that morning in the hospital. But the story doesn’t end there. I also believe that God allowed me to experience that event so I could warn others. That awful experience altered my perspective forever. As I mentioned previously, it was the most horrifying experience of my life. God is real—I know that for sure. But satan is also real. And there is an eternal battle raging for every soul on planet Earth, including yours.

Chuck was a man I had grown to care about, respect, and admire. We had spent a lot of time together—had a lot of conversations while flying. At that time in my life, I already understood the Bible’s teaching that Jesus was the only way to eternal life with God in Heaven. I had accepted Jesus into my life as a youth. Yet I said nothing to Chuck. Not once did I utter a word about God or discuss anything spiritual. I was in no hurry. I thought we had a lifetime ahead of us. I’m not blaming myself for Chuck’s spiritual condition, yet I live with leftover guilt due to my omission in being a witness to the truth.

The horror of what happened to my dear friend caused such deep sorrow that there are not strong enough words to describe it. I think about Chuck every day. While separated from my body, I felt every emotion at a level impossible to experience in the physical dimension. My senses were heightened, unfiltered, and overwhelming. That intensity of the bone-chilling fear isn’t possible to contain in the human experience. I felt pure spiritual destruction and loss, surpassing all the combined terror I had ever felt in my life.

When I recall that event, it still takes my breath away. And the memory of Chuck’s struggle in death causes me to think about eternity and the spiritual conditions of each person in the entire human population. This too, I think about every day.

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14).

 Sudden Life Review

Eventually, the darkness receded from the emergency room as the bone-chilling sounds faded away. I remained hovering over my broken body, watching the medical personnel busy at work. I wondered why they were trying so hard to save me.

There’s something else that happened before I left the hospital that you’ll want to know about. A series of images began flashing through my mind. But these images extended beyond my mind. They were scenes actually playing out, and it was as if I were a part of them—but only as an observer.

An impressionistic collage of moments of my life replayed in fast succession. While it seemed like each scene lasted only a millisecond, in my new state of being, every detail made itself fully known. However, one event stood out—more focused—as if the review remained longer so that I could fully focus on this single event.

Looking back, I realize why it was important for this event to have been shown to me, especially in light of the horror I had witnessed only moments earlier. The scene took place in a mountain chapel at summer church camp when I was eleven. I was kneeling in front of a wooden cross, and a pastor was kneeling at my side. Speaking softly, he said, “God loved the world so much that He sent His one and only Son, and anyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. Dale, God did not send His Son into the world to judge or condemn. Jesus was sent to save all who believe in Him.”

I observed the image play out. There I was, kneeling and nodding, smiling. Following the pastor’s instructions, I watched as the young me bowed my head while the pastor led me in prayer to receive Jesus. While I was watching, a brilliant light grew around the young me as I prayed. I was enveloped by God’s glowing presence. To this day, I still remember the event with clarity.

Following this scene, like an old movie, I saw quick cuts of various experiences throughout my life as I grew older. The light and glow around me became progressively dimmer as I became more selfish and prideful. These images ended with the unmistakable crash of a twin-engine airplane splintering into ten-thousand pieces as it collided with a huge marble mausoleum. This final scene was swallowed up by an immense light.

And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Revelation 20:12).

When the billiant light melded into the bright lights of the emergency room, a stark realization hit me. I was no longer the innocent, tenderhearted boy I had just observed in the chapel. I had become arrogant and self-centered—someone who loved a lot of things about living but barely concerned himself any longer with the things that God cared about.

My life had gradually become all about me. It was about my life. My vocation. My hopes. My dreams. It was also about being wealthy and respected and in control. Immediately, I felt shame wash through me. A heavy sensation of sadness and grief again weighed me down. For a moment, I felt like the weight of those feelings would pull me through the same floor that I was hovering above.

Moments later, the heaviness left. I felt light again, like a helium balloon being released. My speed slowly increased as I moved out of the room, down the hallway, going faster as the walls dissolved into a long, brightly lit corridor. I felt a gentle wind, and I began moving effortlessly into the corridor of light. There was the sense of a gentle pulling. An invisible force was drawing me like a paperclip toward a powerful magnet.

Surprise gave way to anticipation as I began to glide higher and away from my body. Deep down inside, I began to sense something. Anticipation was building—anticipation of something wondrous.

As I try to explain this to you, keep in mind that my physical body was still in the hospital. I was traveling and experiencing all of this with my spirit and soul in a different type of body. Still, I felt complete—like nothing was missing. I had arms and legs, eyes to see and ears to hear. You may wish to know that I felt the same size and as if I had the same reach as my physical body. But in my new state, I clearly had some new and awesome capabilities.

Space Flight

Once free from St. Joseph’s Hospital, my speed rapidly increased as I was pulled upward until the hospital and the city of Burbank itself completely vanished from view. I went from merely moving gently forward, to racing at breakneck speed into what looked like deep outer space. Day turned to night. I had no control of my speed or direction, yet it was clear that I was being guided with some purpose. The emergency room, my broken body, even the terror of what I had experienced were no longer in my thoughts. My entire being was focused on the incredible pinpoint of light ahead that was growing in size and beauty as my unimaginable speed continued to increase.

My course was lit by a beam of light emanating from my chest—like a searchlight directing my journey—stretching out in front of me as far as I could see. I sped through this narrow pathway, surrounded by darkness but safely ensconced within the corridor of brilliant light.

Though I traveled very quickly, I saw millions of small spheres of light constantly zooming past. The speed at which I traveled doesn’t make earthly sense and was beyond anything we can relate to in the physical realm on earth. Even moving at those blinding speeds, I felt no discomfort. In fact, there wasn’t anything to make me feel like I was moving. There was no pain or G-forces. I didn’t feel queasy or have the customary ear-popping like on earth.

Even then, I didn’t feel apprehensive. I had no serious concerns. All I had were simple questions. What is happening? Where am I going? What’s going to happen next?

The beam of light emanating from me was gradually overpowered by a thick pure light that I was moving toward. Growing in size and brilliance as I drew nearer, this intoxicating light expanded upward and outward in such massive proportion that it was difficult to comprehend. The center of the light was the whitest of whites I had ever seen. I didn’t know that white could be so pure and clean and perfect. I had always thought of white as being without color. However, this white contained within it every color imaginable, yet it was still pure white brilliance.

The light beams emanating from this central source that lay ahead gradually became yellow-white and then golden. Eventually, everything was bathed in rich golden hues. The light’s properties were unlike any type of light I had ever seen. It was breathtaking, and I will never think of light the same way again. I was experiencing light in a way I had never imagined. It behaved like a living substance.

In truth, the light of Heaven is alive. It is a living substance brighter than the sun. My eyes should have been burned away by the intensity of it, but instead, I was drawn into the holy brightness like a moth to the flame. I wish I had more ability to describe this glorious light. I have tried often since I returned but have always lacked the words. But here I go, trying again.

Angelic Guides

As I was traveling toward the brilliant light, which was still far in the distance, I became aware that I was being accompanied by two angelic guides. These companions were slightly behind me and one on each side. I could almost see both at the same time, due to my greatly enhanced peripheral vision. With only a slight turn to the left or right, these magnificent angels came into view. Each one was wrapped in a golden, glowing aura that resonated from their bodies. Light radiated from their glorious faces, which expressed great delight at escorting me. I was enthralled with how jubilant they appeared. Love seemed to radiate from angelic beings, and I basked in the sensation of this unifying love. I felt safe and at peace in their presence.

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11).

Both angels were larger than I was and appeared masculine and human-like, yet not male or female. They were clothed in long, seamless white garments with silver threads woven through the fabric and had a golden band circling their waist. Their hair, perfectly trimmed, appeared as shiny brass.

Though the angels had large wings, they didn’t flap like birds on earth. Throughout my time in Heaven, I observed many different angels, some with wings and some apparently without. Yet I noticed that, when the wings were folded against their bodies, they fit so perfectly that they would almost disappear. At other times, they would open and were astonishing.

The angels’ wings seemed to connect to their inner heart. Their wings often seemed to display emotion by their positioning and movement. When they praised God, for example, their wings moved in beautiful gyrations or stretched upward in adoration. It was another one of the beauties of God’s creation.

Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! (Psalm 148:2).

Order your copy of Visiting Heaven: Heavenly Keys to a Life Without Limitations by Captain Dale Black