Dead British cabbie 1st person in 3,000 years to be mummified

Contributed by
Dec 15, 2012, 11:18 AM EST

Everyone's got a dream, right? Well, this bloke from Devon, England, wanted to, upon the occasion of his death, become the first person in three millennia to be mummified, ancient Egypt-style.

The late Alan Billis, who was a cab driver before he died of lung cancer at 61, decided that he wanted to be a part of history. According to The Daily Mirror, his wife, Jan, said that Billis was the kind of guy to do something like this:

"He said, 'I've just phoned someone up about being mummified.' I said, you've what? 'Yes, I've phoned up someone about being mummified.' ... And I thought here we go again. It's just the sort of thing you'd expect him to do. He said, 'When I'm dead, I'm dead, it doesn't make any difference what they do to me. Besides, what they find out might do someone else some good.'

"If he could come back now and see himself, he'd be in his glory. He always said if he ended up in a glass case in a museum, he wanted to be fitted with an electric arm so he could always wave at me."

This was all done for an experiment conducted out of Sheffield's Medico Legal Centre using many of the same techniques employed by ancient Egyptians in the mummification of pharaohs: Billis' organs were removed and his corpse was sterilized and packed with linen. It was then coated with oil and beeswax and left to soak in a salt bath for a month before being dried out in a humidor set to mimic the conditions of Egypt. The body was then wrapped in traditional linen bandages.

All of this is detailed in Mummifying Alan: Egypt's Last Secret, a documentary special for Britain's Channel 4. Maybe you shouldn't watch while eating dinner.

(Via The Daily What)