Accusations are flying in a bizarre spat involving stolen cryogenically frozen human remains, according to a report by Russian tech website Rubase.
Valeria Udalova, the CEO of a Russian cryogenics company, allegedly attempted to abscond with several frozen bodies after a disagreement between her and founder Danila Medvedev, Rubase reports.
According to British tabloid The Times, Udalova is Medvedev’s ex-wife.
It’s an unfortunate situation, considering the contraband in question. The company reportedly holds 81 frozen remains of human “cryopatients” and 47 animals. And roughly 500 people have signed contracts with them to be frozen when they die — in hopes, of course, that future medical science will be able to resuscitate them.
Before we get any further, we should note that the story should be taken with a heavy grain of salt. Tabloids were practically swarming over the story when it broke, and we have yet to see any independent confirmation in the English-language media.
Flabbergasting incompetence in the cryogenic preservation industry wouldn’t be unprecedented, though. In the late 1960s, an under-qualified entrepreneur started a cryonics business that ended in disaster when the bodies were mistakenly thawed out.
In the Russian case, Medvedev told Rubase that Udalova tried to pack several giant vacuum-insulated tanks holding the remains onto a truck using a crane, as shown in a video. Police, however, stopped the heist short after being notified of the situation.
The conflict arose years ago when Medvedev started voicing his discontent with the way the company handled cryogenics. Udalova registered a new company in November 2019 called Open Cryonics, according to Rubase, signing herself on as the sole proprietor. That led to Medvedev filing several lawsuits against her new company, arguing that Udalova had been attempting to strongarm her way to power over the operation.
Udalova spoke her mind in a 15-minute video uploaded to CryoRus’ YouTube channel and detailing her side of the story. She also told Rubase that she’s willing to take the fight to court.
She reportedly planned her heist for three months, coming up with special equipment that can hold the bodies in a supine position.
“Mr. Medvedev wrote a false denunciation to the police that the vacuum tanks were stolen,” Udalova told Rubase, as translated by Google. “I want to explain again, we have all the documents of title to the tanks.”
It’s a bizarre incident, in sum, that leaves us with far more questions than answers.
READ MORE: Cryonics tycoon accuses ex-wife of stealing frozen bodies [The Times]
More on cryogenics: Scientists Resurrect Creature That’s Been Frozen for 24,000 Years