First Pictures Of Taxi Driver Who Was Mummified For Channel 4 Documentary (Pictures)
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Meet Alan Billis, the taxi driver from Devon who has been mummified for a unusual television documentary.
Dubbed “Tutankhamun of Torquay” Mr Billis achieved his dying wish of being preserved… Egyptian-style.
The 61-year-old, who had terminal lung cancer, had his story told in a documentary entitled Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret.
Father of three, Alan, won the support of his family which resulted in the programme being made.
After answering an advert from a television company looking for someone to be mummified, Alan said: “People have been leaving their bodies to science for years, and if people don’t volunteer for anything nothing gets found out.”
Scientists from York University used the same techniques as ancient Egyptians used on Tutankhamun.
His wife Jan, 68, said: "He just 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. What's going to go on now? It's just the sort of thing you would expect him to do."
Mr Billis' brain remained but other organs were removed and the sterilised cavity was covered with linen.
According to Sky News, which describes the process in great detail: "The scientists then immersed the corpse in a salt bath for more than a month to draw out the water.
"To protect the skin from the harsh salt it was covered in a special protective layer of oils.
"The body was then wrapped in linen - like the classic image of a mummy - protecting it from light and insects, and his wife made a visit, leaving favourite photographs and drawings by his grandchildren.
"After three months of drying, the process was judged to be complete."