In scenes reminiscent of sci-fi films, 146 humans bodies lie cryogenically frozen in a facility in the Arizona desert. Alcor is the company who does this, and they have quite a history of preserving dead bodies in the hope of having them revived at a later time, when science is more advanced.
The people involved, and their families, have of course consented to this; in fact it was their final wish. The strange service has been paid for and arranged in advance, however, it also takes cooperation of the families (obviously). In some cases only the heads have been frozen, and in other cases the whole bodies. They are held vertically surrounded by liquid nitrogen inside metallic cylinders.
Each cylinder tells a unique story of a life and a death, from baseball players, to TV producer,s to mathematicians. The intention of freezing one’s body is that you will eventually be able to come back to life as science improves. Science has made huge leaps since the process began.
Recently, a rabbit’s brain was frozen and brought back to life with promising signs of activity. There have however also been horror stories of people who have paid to be frozen. Families in the past have discovered the process was not followed properly and have found their deceased relatives to be decomposing within the ice – gross!
One of the most interesting stories involving these bodies is that of Dora Kent. She was a board member of Alcor and in 1987, when she became gravely ill with pneumonia, and they believed her death was certain. The company decided to freeze her before she died. The statement from Alcor was as follows:
“a fateful decision was made to bring her into the facility before she de-animated.”
At first her death was cited as from natural causes. Kent was 83 at the time of death and the coroner insisted on the inspection of her body. He came to the conclusion, that her death was actually murder. Alcor was asked to supply her head, for further autopsy, which they refused. Six Alcor staff were arrested at the time, they were charged, and later cleared. They were later compensated $90,000 for their ordeal.
Watch how freezing yourself after death is becoming a ‘thing’:
Watch Max More, president of Alcor explaining why people are choosing to freeze only their brains:
Featured image via Youtube