Many people want to live forever, but not everyone can afford it. At the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, AZ, it costs $200,000, plus monthly fees, for a body’s lifeless flesh to be drained of blood and filled with anti-freeze, wrapped and secured upside down in a liquid nitrogen tank called a dewar, and then hung suspended with a few other frozen folks until science discovers a way to warm up the dead and bring them back to life.
For preservation of just the brain’s memories, rather than the whole body, well, that’s only $80,000 plus those monthly maintenance fees. Insurance and annuities with payment to Alcor will work just fine though. Here’s advice on how to make that brain or body choice from transhumanist icon Dr. Max More, the current President and CEO of Alcor.
There are serious believers in cryogenics, in spite of the many scientists who insist that hoping to regenerate a dead frozen body is wishful thinking. The friends and family members of the 146 people in the Arizona Alcor facility whose bodies or brains are cryogenically frozen certainly believe, as do those on the waiting list.
James Bedford, a World War I veteran and psychology professor, was the “first successfully frozen corpse” after dying from kidney cancer in 1966, reports News.com.au. He was 73 years old, and had saved $4,200 for liquid nitrogen and a steel capsule. Bob Nelson, an early pioneer of cryonics, took charge of freezing Bedford’s body, which proved to be a bit tricky.
After his death, Bedford’s whole body was put “on ice in a wooden box and loaded into [a] Ford utility” for storage at a physician’s house. The doctor’s wife wasn’t thrilled and called the police. A tug of war ensued, while the family fought some legal battles. Bedford’s body was hauled a few more times and then finally hung upside down in a liquid nitrogen dewar at Alcor in 1991.
Baseball legend Ted Williams is in the same facility. He died in 2002, at the age of 83.
Alcor made a pretty serious error in 1987 and “deanimated” (which is another word for murdered) a lady named Dora Kent, who was almost dead from pneumonia. Alcor just took her head to cryogenically preserve and wouldn’t allow authorities to use it in an autopsy. Legal issues ensued, but the facility was eventually exonerated.
Alcor is not the only cryogenic facility. There are two others: The Cryonics Institute in Michigan, and KrioRus in Russia. All three facilities were encouraged recently by an experiment completed by Robert McIntyre, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT.) He took the brain of a white rabbit, reports Russian Times, and used a new technique called Aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation. The white rabbit’s brain was cooled to a “negative 211 degrees Fahrenheit (-135 degrees Celsius).” When re-warmed, the brain was perfectly intact and became the first mammalian brain to be reanimated. McIntyre believes the long term memories of that white rabbit were preserved, but they have no way of inquiring if the furry creature remembers eating organic carrots or burrowing into tall grasses.
Jefferson Airplane, anyone?.
The transhumanists and cryogenics crowd truly believe in a future where they resurrect the frozen dead. After all, they’ll just grow new organs for the body or put loose brains into a robot.
Dr. Mehmet Toner has been a cryobiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital for three decades. Here’s his take on the subject. He’s interviewed in the video below:
“The chances you will bring back a frozen head is the same as when you … open the freezer, get out the ground beef and make a cow.” Hint: Don’t worry about being resurrected; live longer by eating clean food, including grass fed beef from an organic farm.