X-Message-Number: 7615
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 1997 15:46:46 -0800
From:  (Olaf Henny)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #7606, The Wall Street Journal

>Message #7606
>Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 11:52:27 -0800 (PST)
>From:  (David C. Harris)
>Subject: MEDIA: Cryo article in Jan 31 Wall St. Journal
>  The front page center column (normally odd little stories) of Friday's 
>Wall Street Journal has a report on the cryonics industry, with particular 
>coverage of Paul Wakfer and Dr. Olga Visser.  Mr. Wakfer is president of 
>Cryospan and organizer of the Prometheus Project which would attempt to 
>demonstrate revival of a central nervous system.  

My copy of  the 'Journal' unfortunately did not contain the word 
"Prometheus" nor make any reference to cryopreservation of the central 
nervous system, although knowing Paul from his postings, I am sure he 
mentioned it. ;-)

>Dr. Visser is a South African researcher who claims to have revived a rat's 
>heart after cooling to liquid nitrogen temperatures in a secret preservative 
>  The Journal reports that Dr. Visser's work is going to be examined and 
>possibly replicated by her at this weekend's Alcor festival in Arizona.

Unfortunately, as much as I would wish it otherwise, I see more and more 
evidence, that Dr. Visser is a loose cannon on our little cryonics boat, 
and this came clearly through in the article.

>  The company Biotime (BTIM, NASDAQ small cap stocks) in Berkeley, 
>California,  is said to be "getting back" a "decent percentage" of the 
>hamsters that it plunges into a freezing bath and reheats.  [Remember that 
>hamsters have a stong hibernation reflex, while humans have only a limited 
>hibernation capacity, in cold water for instance.]  Biotime is testing a 
>proprietaty solution to dilute blood in surgery, organ preservation, and 
>other human applications.
>  The general tone of the article is skeptical but factually accurate, in my 

Naturally, Michael Moss, a staff reporter of the Wall Street Journal is quite 
aware, that he is not writing for a supermarket tabloid and accordingly sticks 
to the facts, but he is also human and therefore selects his facts as they 
jibe with his preconceived opinion.  Therefore he did not mention Paul Wafer's 
Prometheus Project or research directed to cryopreserve the central nervous 

system, but mentioned the low level of income derived from his cryopreservation
business.  While we in the cryonics community feel satisfied, that cryonics 
providers cannot be accused by outsiders of getting rich from the moneys of 
'gullible patients', the way it was presented in the 'Journal' it sounded like 
the lament of somebody just about going out of business.

In similar vein: "Every few months someone comes along with a plan to make 
this (cryonics) popular,"   Brian Shock is quoted, "- it never works"  Or:
"Feelings were running pretty high" he (Brian Shock) recalls (as to Olga 
Visser's demonstration)
        "Alcor quickly reported the development on its web page under the 
headline "Press Release: Breakthrough" It termed the experiment a "running 
start" toward proof, that cryonics could work.  And it noted that Ms. Visser's 
research paper was under consideration by Cryobiology,
	Since then however, doubts have surfaced.  It turns out, that 
Cryobiolgy had rejected the manuscript months before Ms. Visser's visit to 

A little later in the article: "There's good reason to believe he's dead" 
Mr. Wakfer says.  There were hairs and skin flakes on the bed sheets. so we 
just rolled up the sheets and froze those."  I am positive, that the natural 
association between 'flakes' and 'flaky' did not escape the reporter, when 
he quoted Paul.

Factual? - Yes
Neutral and unbiased? - Absolutely not!  I have learned enough about the 
quoted individuals during the six or seven months, that I have been a 
subscriber to CryoNet, to have confidence, that they have made positive, 
factual and well reasoned statements, but it is also clear. that the reporter 
was not looking for those.  -- In my opinion --

Olaf Henny

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