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The Body



By Earl Foster /

 One of the most astounding events I have ever experienced took place in Sept. of 1994 while serving as a volunteer Firefighter in our borough. It was during this event I experienced some of the strongest sensations and loudest voice that I could remember in many years. This is a documented event and was covered in the media as well. I will now share this event for your consideration. This a true story in my own words. It is verifiable on the internet through news resources although I will not mention names or specifics out of respect to those who suffered a great loss during this tragedy. I would ask readers who may be familiar or remember this event to also keep that in mind if commenting on this article and thank you for that consideration. 

Head3Our Fire Company had been toned out by the county to assist in a search and rescue of a woman who was reportedly lost in an area creek. Enough members had shown up on the initial tone out so not all members responded with the first crew out as we were not needed.  I was among those who did not go initially. I went on about my business and kept my pager on and handy in case help was later needed. I then went along with my wife to pay a visit to my Mother who lived in Lindenwold NJ at the time. It was during this visit at my Mothers that this event began for me. The Fire Company had been out searching for approx 15 hours by this time and it went from being a "rescue" situation, to a "recovery" situation. As we all sat talking in my Mothers kitchen, my pager toned out from the county requesting a second crew to come and relieve the initial search crew who had been at it for quite a while. 

Is was from that moment of the pager going off everything changed within me. I began to feel as if my head was inside of a seashell with a certain and familiar "whooshing" kind of sound in my ears. I looked at my Mother and said "I think I better go, someone needs help". Both my Mother and my wife could see something was happening and asked if I was ok? I said yes I was fine but I needed to go to this location. I remember my Mother asking if I wanted her to pack some sandwhiches and I told her "No, I have to do this on an empty stomach". She looked at me oddly but didn't say anything. On the way back to the firehouse I told my wife, that I would find this woman and be home as soon as I could. I was that sure of it, and of what I was hearing and feeling that I knew prior to going that I would locate her and had told people I would. 

 From the moment the pager had toned that second time, I began to feel very cold. I clearly heard a a complaint of being a cold. Then I only heard a plea of needing to be found. It was almost as if someone else was directing me or guiding my actions. It was such a strong sensation. Was this simply intuition? Was it simply my answering my obligation as a volunteer to go? It certainly felt much stronger than those simple explanations. It was truly as if I was going through motions and someone else guiding me towards a certain end. Now hang on to your seats....because here is where its gets really weird. 

 I arrived at the location of the search along with fellow firefighters, police, and rescue people. We prepared to board the boats and begin. I looked at my then fire chief and said "Give me a few minutes, be right back". (After this event, the chief asked me to pick lottery tickets for him.) I boarded the boat with several others, and we started out. It seems as if we went straight to an exact location on the creek for some unknown reason. We had only been on the water a few moments and I will spare you the details of how our search is conducted but I looked at another fireman who was with me in the boat and said to him "I have her now, I'm bringing her up". He looked at me as if he didn't believe me. Perhaps because I was still a "probie" with much to learn. During this time I must admit in all honesty my head was in a sort  of fog and I was going through motions. It was not until we looked over the side of the boat that we realized we had indeed located her and I had brought her to the surface. This woman was now found and would have peace. 

After all the appropriate measures were taken and all were safely back on shore the full impact of what had happened sank in for me as I am sure it did for others. Reflecting back on this event it has always been my sincere hope that I at least helped bring some closure to the family of this woman and closure to what was deemed a "suspicious incident" for this woman. Realizing the magnitude of it the only hope left was closure in such a tragic event and my heart truly ached for those involved and for the family members on this day. Afterwards at a debriefing session with some people wondering, I had no real answers that I felt comfortable giving. I was shaken by the whole incident of course and while speaking with State Police and even clergy my hands were shaking so badly I was spilling coffee that had been graciously given to me. If anyone had asked how did I do that? How did you know where to go or find her so quickly? What would my answer be? Could I say to them "She told me she was cold and wanted out of the water"? 

Stariway bwAt the end of it all, I sat that evening with fellow fireman and friends who remained close to me. I was shaken. We cried some, we talked a lot, and helped each other get through another bad situation as fireman do. I am thankful for them and the days events. It was a learning experience I will never forget.  My hope is that it helped all concerned in spite of a tragic loss. Was it blind luck? Was it simple intuition? Can it be that sometimes the spirits can truly speak to those who will hear? 


(Earl Foster is a lifelong resident of South Jersey. He resides in a writes from Brooklawn NJ. Earl can be reached at or through his website at