Thursday, December 2, 2010
Frozen Dead Guy Days.....Wait What !
There is a good story behind this, one that stretches from
Norway to California to Colorado, involving cryonics, deportation, psychics, celebrations, and a dedicated Ice Man. It’s a tale that has captured international attention and sparked a must-attend annual event called Frozen Dead Guy Days.
So how did all of this begin… and more importantly (particularly for Grandpa Bredo), how long will it last?
Life After Death
Before Grandpa Bredo Morstoel died from a heart condition in 1989, he enjoyed a comfortable life in Norway, where he was born and raised. He loved painting, fishing, skiing, and hiking in the mountains of his homeland. He was also the director of parks and recreation in Norway’s Baerum County for more than 30 years.
After he died, things got really interesting. Instead of a burial, he was packed in dry ice and
prepared for international travel. First, he was shipped to the Trans Time cryonics facility in
Oakland, California, where he was placed in liquid nitrogen for almost four years. Then, he was
moved to Colorado in 1993 to stay with his daughter Aud Morstoel and his grandson Trygve
Bauge, both strong advocates for cryonics who hoped to start a facility of their own.
There he stayed for years under cold cover, in a shed, near his grandson’s home, and about to be
left on his own due to some pesky visa issues.
The Grandfather Clause
If you peruse the laws of Nederland, you’ll discover that it’s illegal to store a frozen human or
animal (or any body part thereof) in your home. We have Grandpa Bredo to thank for this. When
grandson Trygve was deported in the mid-90s because of an expired visa, Bredo’s daughter
stepped in to take care of the household – including keeping her father on ice.
Soon, Aud was evicted for living in a house with no electricity or plumbing and was about to
head back to Norway. This meant that the family’s fledgling cryonics facility was destined to
come to a halt. Worried that her father would thaw out before his time, she spoke to a local
reporter, who spoke to the Nederland city council, who passed Section 7-34 of the municipal
code regarding the "keeping of bodies."
Luckily for Bredo, he was grandfathered in and allowed to stay. Suddenly, he was a worldwide
media sensation. And he has been well cared for by his family and community ever since.
It’s a Dead Man’s Party
For a town like Nederland that thrives on the colorful, the offbeat, and the weird, Frozen Dead
Guy Days is a fitting way to end the short days of winter and head into the melting snows of
spring. Trygve Bauge calls it “Cryonics’ first Mardi Gras.”
The community experiences a new burst of life with the festival’s creative contests, icy events
(including coffin racing, polar plunging, frozen salmon tossing) basically if it is fun and can be
done in the cold, it goes! People come from around the world every March to experience the
legacy of Grandpa Bredo – even representatives of cryonics organizations who want share the
science behind this unique story.
Nowadays, when Grandpa Bredo celebrates, he doesn’t celebrate alone. Every year, loyal souls
go to the Tuff Shed on the hill to have a drink with Colorado’s best-known corpse, marking the
passage of years.