fozen headMaybe you never heard of James Hiram Bedford, but someday you just might. It seems that Jim became the first man to have himself frozen when he died, hoping to get thawed out and cured of what killed him, making today


Bedford was no scientist or visionary, just a guy dying of cancer who answered this advertisement from Ev Cooper’s Life Extension Society: “The Life Extension Society now has primitive facilities for emergency short term freezing and storing our friend the large homeotherm (man). LES offers to freeze free of charge the first person desirous and in need of cryogenic suspension.”

Within hours of his death on January 12, 1967, James Bedford’s body was frozen by Robert Prehoda (author of the 1969 book Suspended Animation), Dr. Dante Brunol (physician and biophysicist) and Robert Nelson (President of the Cryonics Society of California).

Bedford is still suspended in liquid nitrogen, for years under the care of his family (and you thought an urn full of ashes was inconvenient?), and now at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona, where he’s got Ted Williams’ frozen severed head to keep him company, along with other human popsicles.

Odds are he will get thawed out before The Splendid Splinter, since scientists are closer to curing cancer than they are to finding a cure for getting your damned head chopped off. Of course that’s assuming they first find a cure for being frozen like a box of fish sticks for decades. Cutting edge science or flimflammery? Only time will tell.

•Suggested Activities: Cursing Ted Williams Junior for being too cheap to spring for the Tall Guy Box, and wondering who the hell is Ev Cooper.

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