Frozen in time: Fox 8 goes inside the world’s leading cryopreservation facility

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - In the heart of and heat of Grand Canyon country is a non-profit organization with futuristic plans which some consider controversial.

But Max More, President & CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation says his company's efforts are no different than other life-saving treatments and procedures from open heart surgery to CPR.

“This is one of those ideas that takes a while to catch on, but it also took a while for IVF (in vitro fertilization) and anesthesia,” said More, who has advanced degrees in philosophy, politics and economics.

Founded in the mid 1970‘s, Alcor is a leading name in cryopreservation, serving patients and members from around the world.

Those patients and members, upon their death, undergo a special treatment with multiple chemicals and are then immersed indefinitely in a bath of liquid nitrogen and stored in large “dewars,” or special holding tanks.

“They’re essentially thermos flasks - very large, very expensive thermos flasks,” said More. “Cool metal outside but inside is extremely cold at minus 320F.”

Members say science is advancing so quickly, it’s not a matter of “if” patients will be reanimated but “when.”

“I truly believe people will look back on today really puzzled as to why we put our loved ones in the ground when we could’ve cryopreserved them,” said More.

Click here for the ALCOR website

Here are some interesting facts about cryopreservation at ALCOR Life Extension Foundation:

  • The “Godfather” of Cryopreservation - Benjamin Franklin who in 1773 wished he could be “pickled” in a vat of “Madiera” wine so that he could see America in the future
  • Actual "Father” of Cryonics Robert Ettinger- physics & pathematics academic who authored “The Prospect of Immortality” published in 1964
  • First Person ever Cryopreserved: James H. Bedford 1/12/1967
  • First Person cryopreserved at ALCOR Robert Chamberlain, Jr. 7/16/1976
  • 149 number of current “patients” at ALCOR
  • 1100 Members who plan to be cryopreserved
  • 25% are women and 75% are men
  • Oldest “patient” is 102
  • Youngest “patient” is 2
  • 55% Neuropreservation (head/brain only) cost $80,000
  • 45% Whole Body preservation cost $200,00
  • 90% pay with life insurance
  • Average age of deceased “patient” 78
  • Average age of live members 48
  • 20% in computer related fields
  • 45% have advanced degrees
  • 50 children are signed up with their parents
  • 1/4 of board members have family members currently cryopreserved
  • Religions represented Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist
  • Countries: America, Australia, Canada, Columbia, China, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Top Reasons given for doing cryopreservation: 1) Love of life and want more of it                        2) Believe in technology  3) Space travel and just wanting to see the future