Medical Tech

After 50 years, frozen WWI veteran's body awaits reanimation

This "Bigfoot" Dewar is custom-designed to contain four wholebody patients and five neuropatients immersed in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius. The Dewar is an insulated container which consumes no electric power. Liquid nitrogen is added periodically to replace the small amount that evaporates.

This "Bigfoot" Dewar is custom-designed to contain four wholebody patients and five neuropatients immersed in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius. The Dewar is an insulated container which consumes no electric power. Liquid nitrogen is added periodically to replace the small amount that evaporates.  (Alcor)

Since his death, James Bedford’s body has been cryogenically frozen and awaiting reanimation on the edge of the Sonaran Desert in Arizona. This week marks the 50th year of Bedford’s deep freeze, making him the oldest “de-animated” human being on earth.

Bedford’s body is stored in the Alcor Life Extensions Foundation in Scottsdale, where it’s kept alongside 146 other frozen bodies, news.com.au reported.

Along with the Cryonics Institute in Michigan and KrioRus in Russia, Alcor is one of three cryogenic facilities worldwide.

Bedford, a World War 1 veteran who died from kidney cancer in 1966, paid $4,200 for a steel capsule and enough liquid nitrogen to keep his body frozen at around -320° F. In 1991, the company checked on his condition and found “a well-developed, well-nourished male who appears younger than his 73 years” with some skin discoloration on his upper chest and neck, which had two large puncture marks, according to news.com.au.  His condition was deemed good.

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His body, along with the others, will remain frozen indefinitely, with enough ongoing financial support to sustain its current state, news.com.au reported.

Last year, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate successfully froze and reanimated a rabbit brain.