Jan 23, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Robert Bigelow Offers Huge Prize to Prove Afterlife

Robert Bigelow is known for many things. In the business world, he’s known for founding and owning the hotel chain Budget Suites of America and Bigelow Aerospace, a space technology company which manufactures and develops expandable space station modules. In the paranormal world, he’s known for buying the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah where UFOs and strange phenomena have been reported, and for his involvement with the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) due to his belief that extraterrestrials exist and have visited Earth. Now it seems he want to be known in the next world too. Through the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS), Bigelow is offering a $500,000 prize to anyone who can provide evidence of an afterlife. Uh-oh … is he OK?

“Despite intriguing evidence, the number of research groups and funding devoted to investigating the survival of human consciousness beyond death is shockingly small in the Western world. Even though all 7.8 billion humans on planet Earth will eventually die, very little high quality research is being conducted on perhaps the most important and fundamental question facing our species.”

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A full-scale mockup of Bigelow Aerospace's Space Station Alpha inside their facility in Nevada.

Bigelow founded BICS in July 2020 to fill what he saw as a big hole in scientific research in the Western world on the afterlife. While more research has been done in the east, it’s often tied to and influenced by religious beliefs. While waiting for the pandemic to end and investigations to ramp up, Bigelow came up with the idea of the BICS Essay Competition. He announced it in a recent interview with George Knapp for Mystery Wire. With a $500,000 prize for the most convincing essay ($300,000 for second and $150,000 for the third), the contest is sure to get a lot of attention, so entrants must be prequalified by BICS. Qualified applicants will have at least five years’ experience investigating the topic of Survival of Human Consciousness after Death. Applicants can be members of religious or parapsychology groups. Once qualified, entrants must submit an essay of no more than 25,000 words answering the following question:

“What is the best available evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness after Permanent Bodily Death?”

Piece of cake, right? Before you start flipping through your favorite religious or parapsychology text to build your case, the rules warn that “faith is not sufficient and does not constitute evidence” beyond a reasonable doubt. BICS defines true or veridical (formal) evidence as “a combination of a wide variety of forms; scientific, experiential, witnessed, repeatable, anecdotal and otherwise persuasive far beyond rules of traditional evidence-based hypothesis tested research paradigms.”

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Not proof.

Still interested? Preliminary applications must be received by BICS between January 26 and February 28, 2021. Essays from those qualified must be received by BICS by 5 pm Pacific time August 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on November 1, 2021, and the judges’ decisions are final. For more info, check out the BICS website.

In the meantime, which of Bigelow’s projects will happen first – proof of extraterrestrials, proof of an afterlife or the launch and occupation of an inflatable space hotel? Smart money says make your hotel reservations and you might see aliens firsthand before you cross over to the afterlife.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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