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Interview: Wondery's 'Frozen Head' Podcast Hosts Alaina Urquhart & Ash Kelley

By Josh Taylor

“I think it all stems not from science so much as from hope. If I'm gonna die, like we are all gonna die, why not just try this out? If it works, great, and if it doesn't, I'm still dead.” Alaina stated her case for why people believe in cryonics, the subject of Wondery’s new limited-run podcast series FROZEN HEAD. The podcast is being helmed by podcast hosts Alaina and Ash from Wondery’s Morbid. Coming from true crime to cryonics, the aunt & niece duo take their signature approach to something they’d hardly thought to cover. Ash stated, “Wondery brought it to us and we thought it sounded amazing. We completely dove into this world of cryonics and it all just kind of spiraled from there.”

You might be familiar with the rumors of Walt Disney freezing himself to be preserved or the very real story of baseball player Ted Williams going through the procedure. What you may not know is that labs like Alcore exist and there are people signing up to be preserved through cryonics all the time, including Laurence Pilgeram, a 90-year-old man who had spent his whole life believing and putting his faith into cryonics. That’s just the beginning of the story though, as this podcast not only looks into Pilgeram’s choice of what to do with his body, but also who is impacted and why so many people turn themselves into ice hoping to come back when the time is right. On the matter, Ash states “I think it's really scary to think about the fact that we're all gonna die someday and truly none of us really know what's gonna happen because we haven't got there yet. So I definitely think comfort is a huge part of it. Anything you can do to make yourself feel like you're gonna end up somewhere beautiful.”

Alaina and Ash, podcasters for the past 5 years, have grown an audience thanks to their approach to heavy subjects like death. “Whenever we insert a moment of lightheartedness or comedy, if you will, it never wants to be at the expense of, in our case on Morbid, a victim or their family, or in the case of Frozen Head, anyone's personal beliefs.” Moments of lighthearted humor are what make the duo captivating, especially when the subject can be a bit gloomy. It may come from their lifelong bond as relatives, or it might come from the fact that they respect the people and situations they talk about, but one thing is for sure, you’ll get a kick out of FROZEN HEAD. Alaina said in our interview, “It's those little moments of unintentional comedy that I think we are able to find a little bit of levity in and it brings out the absurdity of some of it, or the science fiction of it.” “I think it's going to be really interesting to see where people sit in this moral and ethical argument, and it'll be interesting to see where everybody sits on the spectrum because nothing is black and white,” Alaina states in what she hopes people take away from the show. Whatever your thoughts on cryonics are, you’ve never heard a story like Laurence Pilgeram’s story before and the co-hosts of the show are excited to bring that story to life…or at least unthaw it. “I think it's gonna shock people how they start feeling about certain things. It’s going to change the way you think. I think it definitely changed the way that we think.” You can listen to FROZEN HEAD at this link:


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