Happy Deathday, Frozen Dead Guy

November 2009

Twenty years ago, Bredo Morstoel died of heart failure. His body was put into a steel casket, the casket was put into a Tuff Shed in Nederland, and each month Bo Shaffer piles dry ice onto it to make sure Morstoel stays nice and chilly---more than 100 degrees below zero. Morstoel, who is cryonically preserved in his box, is the celebrated "frozen dead guy" of Nederland's annual Frozen Dead Guy Days. And while he does a lot for the local economy, this is about as exciting as Morstoel gets in a story by Longmont's Daily Times-Call. Yet, in some far-off, sci-fi future, the idea is that Morstoel will be defrosted, rub his eyes and rise from his icy tomb. Let's hope a Norwegian translator is on hand when it happens. Morstoel was a public servant from Norway, who was whisked by his grandson, Trygve, to a California cryonics lab before being laid to rest in the Tuff Shed. Trygve had hoped to ride the cryonics wave and start a clinic in Nederland, just west of Boulder, but it never happened. Trygve's visa expired, he was deported, and Shaffer, "The Ice Man," became caretaker, notes 7News. Shaffer, who is working on a book about the experience, says Trygve funds the deep freeze with his mother's pension, sending $800 per month for dry ice and labor. To hear the story put to song, watch the following video, produced by the Nederland Chamber of Commerce.