2001 — retrieving a hijacker

The news about the killing of bin Laden (if that’s what happened) reminded me that I, like many of my friends,  had  gone retrieving lost souls in those dark days of mid-September, 2011. But mine came complete with an unexpected twist.

Good thing I wrote about it then, because I found, trying to recount the story to a friend, that I couldn’t remember any of the detail. Here is the story, retrieved (so to speak) from my journal of the time, and edited for clarity.

A friend, very experienced in Monroe work, asked if I would join her in listening to a free-flow tape tonight (Sunday the 16th) so that we could jointly try to do a retrieval. Seems that for the past two days she had been haunted by a particular scene from last Tuesday’s terror and felt she needed to do something about it. She had no closure on any of the whole thing.

The scene that was haunting her had to do with the passengers huddled in the back of one of the planes, waiting to die, and also with the stewardess who had been stabbed and killed.

We agreed beforehand that we would count on “the guys upstairs” to bring us to whatever scenario we could assist at. In other words, we made no attempt to pick the scenario. But of course we were pretty sure what we would be inserted into, or why would she have been haunted by that scene?

I counted us up to focus 27 [Monroe-speak for a neutral jumping-off place to new experiences after a life concludes], and we each took a moment or two to visit our own place there. Then we expressed our willingness to proceed, and we were inside an airplane. (One of the American Airlines planes, she said later.) It was as she had described her vision – all the people huddled in the back of the plane, with brilliant sunlight flooding through the windows. We later agreed that there weren’t nearly the number of people we would have expected. Probably it included only those who had gotten “stuck” in making their transition from the physical. We were seeing those who had died instantly when the plane crashed: Death had come so instantaneously that they were still waiting for it. To them, the plane was still in the air heading toward whatever.

I realized long ago that those non-physical entities who direct these retrievals create roles for us to follow, and we usually do so thinking it’s our own idea. As usual, we knew what to do. We were at about midpoint in the plane. I suggested that she pull open one of the window compartments over the wing – the emergency exit compartments. (Meanwhile I’m arguing with myself: “What sense does that make? They’re way up in the air, wherever the plane hit. What are they going to do on the wing?” But I didn’t let that divert me.) She got the hatch opened and motioned to the people to get out. I don’t know who they took her to be, maybe just someone who knew what they should do and how to do it. They listened and got out onto the wing. She tells me they were met by a great crowd of people.

Meanwhile I’m going up to the four hijackers who I perceived as being between us and the front of the plane. (That is, my friend and I were between the hijackers and the passengers, which is why they felt safe to move, perhaps.) I go up to them and congratulate them! I tell them they were very brave and very successful, and somehow – illogically — they also go out the hatch and I assume they were met as well. My assumption, for reasons that follow, is that they went to a Muslim belief system. That is, they moved to a scenario that would seem real to them, being what they expected.

As soon as the people got out, my friend realized we hadn’t done anything for the stewardess. So we brought a stretcher, put her on it, and I said (so that she could overhear) how badly wounded she was. I’m a terribly fluent liar on other focus levels! Then we got the stretcher out the hatch onto the wing, and  put her into the back of an ambulance! I asked my friend if she wanted to go with the woman or were we finished – fully expecting her to say we were finished. She later told me she started to say were finished, then something made her change her mind, and she accompanied the ambulance to wherever they went. Says it and the stewardess were met by a youngish man in a 40s hat who gave her this big welcoming smile. She has the impression it was the stewardess’s uncle.

Meanwhile – because I was left at odd’s ends — I suddenly thought: We haven’t done anything for the flight crew in the cockpit! I went up there, and found three bodies and a hijacker. I don’t know a thing about the configuration of a commercial airliner’s cockpit, but I had the impression of two seats on the left, front and back, with bodies, and two on the right, with a body in the front.

Now this should have struck me as odd: How often do you find dead bodies during a retrieval?? You find a lot of people sometimes who think they are dead,  and you have to persuade them that it isn’t quite that simple. But I don’t remember ever seeing a really dead body before.

There was a hijacker there and I got into a big argument with him. And I’m sure that the argument with him is why the directors of this show had my friend go with the ambulance. I pointed out that he was dead – he knew that, because unlike those in the back, he had seen the plane about to hit — and now here he was in this strange limbo in which there sort of wasn’t anything outside, and what was most evident were the three dead bodies around him. (Which I think is why they were there: The actual men had gone on, like many of the passengers. They didn’t need retrieving. But they were the dead to the hijacker, and I think their presence disturbed him.)

I told him that what he had expected hadn’t, happened, had it? He wasn’t in paradise and here was an infidel arguing with him. I tried to persuade him that all his purity, all his certainty, all his dedication had allowed him to be used, first to last, by the mullahs, the people who had trained him — by our own secret government, for all I know. Everybody used him, and he had helped kill thousands of people, and everything he had been so certain about had been wrong, as he could see. This finally shook him, and I got him to focus 27, just at the time the tape ended and my friend was asking what I was doing (because I’d been silent during the argument). I didn’t see what happened to him. I assume he was met.

I feel pretty sure that the whole point was to argue him out of going to a belief-system territory. I believe they wanted me to save him from going back to an Islamic fundamental heaven. I suppose some might think I cheated him; others might think I punished him. But he was of a purity that was honest enough that I don’t think he’ll ever make this kind of mistake again. I think I helped give him another chance; rescued him from being prisoner to hatred. I hope so.


4 thoughts on “2001 — retrieving a hijacker

  1. Frank,

    When you did retrievals like this, I’m curious about the nature of your experience. Was it like being in a detailed 3-D movie, comparable to a dream (only clearer and more vivid); or was it more sketchy and impressionistic, and you found yourself filling in the details later as you recalled the experience to mind? Plus, did your friend’s account match or dovetail with your own? Just wondering.


    1. No, not a 3D movie, more like intuition itself — a knowing, rather than a seeing. I’ve never found a way to describe it. Not a matter of filling in detail later, either. The whole thing was there. Sometimes in telling such stories you find yourself adding things you’ve never said before, but I haven’t yet found myself remembering new things. Sometimes I realize connections I hadn’t made before, but that’s a different thing. Yes, my friend and I compared notes immediately, and the shared parts of our experience dovetailed.

  2. A fine piece of work Frank; thanks for digging it our of the archives! It well illustrates the process of retrieval for those who do not know much about it. And great that you recalled so much of the detail. I have a bad habit of forgetting it all unless I write it down instantly. You and others may be interested to hear of the book, “Suicide: What Really Happens In the Afterlife” by Pamela Rae Heath & Jon Klimo, as it includes several contacts with suicide bombers and the like. Quite encyclopaedic in its grasp.

  3. Thanks, Frank. I know what you mean by “a knowing rather than a seeing”–I’ve had them too, and they are hard to put into words in a satisfying or complete way. Maybe Bob Monroe’s ROTE/”thought ball” metaphor comes closest to capturing the experience. We unroll it sequentially and describe it visually, even though it was experientially neither.

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