By Karl Puckett | Great Falls Tribune
Laurence Pilgeram, who grew up on a farm south of Great Falls, agreed to pay Alcor Life Extension Foundation $120,000 to preserve his body indefinitely at a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius, in the outside hope that some future technology would restore his life.
It’s called cryonics.
In April 2015, about a month after Pilgeram died in California, a box containing his ashes arrived at the home of his son, Kurt Pilgeram, 1,300 miles away, outside of Dutton, Montana, population 300.
It contained Pilgeram’s body from the shoulders down, but his head had been separated and placed in a vat of liquid nitrogen in Arizona, where it presumably will remain forever, or at least until Mr. Pilgeram is restored.
“They chopped his head off, burned his body, put it in a box and sent it to my house,” Kurt Pilgeram said recently at his Dutton-area home, where the Rocky Mountains were visible in the distance, and a tractor seeding spring wheat in a field kicked up dust.
Kurt Pilgeram was stunned and angry at the way his father’s remains were handled. His father, he said, wanted his entire body preserved. Now Pilgeram is seeking in excess of $1 million in damages and an apology from Alcor — and the return of his father’s head.
“I want people to know what’s going on,” he said.