Colorado "Frozen Dead Guy" festival to go on with or without corpse

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:10pm EDT
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By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - The frozen corpse that has inspired a Colorado town's whimsical "Frozen Dead Guy Days" celebration may soon be put on ice somewhere else, but festival organizers said the body's removal will not have a chilling effect on the annual event.

"We will continue on whether or not Bredo Morstoel is here," festival owner Amanda MacDonald said Wednesday of the man whose body has been packed in dry ice outside Nederland, Colorado, since 1993.

A financial dispute between Morstoel's grandson, Tryve Bauge, and the man hired to replenish the dry ice on a monthly basis, Bo Shaffer, has led to Bauge threatening to move his grandfather's body out of Colorado.

Each month for 18 years, Shaffer has hauled 1,700 pounds (770 kg) of dry ice - carbon dioxide in solid form - to a remote shed above Nederland to keep the corpse of Morstoel at minus-24 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-31 degrees Celsius) and in a state of cryonic suspension.

But Shaffer said he quit after Bauge refused to pay for the rising costs of fuel and ice, which has made the endeavor unprofitable.

"It takes two of us to make the four-hour roundtrip," Shaffer told Reuters. "My quitting is the only way to get his (Bauge's) attention."

Bauge, who lives in Norway, did not immediately return an email message seeking comment about the dispute. But he told the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper that he is exploring the possibility of moving his grandfather to the Cryonics Institute in Michigan.

Cryonics is the process of freezing and storing a corpse to prevent decomposition in anticipation of medical technology that could bring the dead back to life. Liquid nitrogen, which is far colder than dry ice, is typically used for cryonic preservation.   Continued...

The license plate on a hearse in the hearse parade reads "Six Feet Under" during the "Frozen Dead Guy Days" festival in Nederland, Colorado March 10, 2007. "Frozen Dead Guy Days" commemorates Norwegian Bredo Morstoel who died in 1989 and is currently cryogenically frozen in a shed in the mountain town. REUTERS/Rick Wilking