It was fifty years ago today that the first case of 'cyrofreezing' was attempted.
Early in the 1960s, a group of enthusiasts advanced the concept of freezing humans as soon as they die, in hopes of reviving them after the arrival of medical advances able to cure the conditions that killed them. The idea went into practice for the first time 50 years ago.
On Jan. 12, 1967, James Bedford, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, became the first person to be "cyropreserved." A small team of doctors and other enthusiasts froze him a few hours after he died from liver cancer that had spread to his lungs.
A few days later the team placed the body into an insulated container packed with dry ice. Later still, Bedford was immersed in liquid nitrogen in a large Dewar container. Fifteen years on, after a series of moves from one cryopreservation facility to another, his body found a home at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, where it still resides.
Public reaction to the technology reached its nadir in New England in 2002, when court documents revealed that Boston Red Sox baseball icon Ted Williams was frozen in the Alcor facility, with his head severed from his body. (Williams' son John Henry, who arranged the process, was himself frozen after he died of leukemia.)
There are even rumours that Walt Disney had his head preserved when he died, although there are lingering questions over the location of aforementioned head!!