MYSTERY WIRE — Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow is once again making headlines around the world. This week he announced the formation of the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS).

Robert Bigelow

Along with BICS he announced a global essay contest. BICS is seeking input from scientists, religious scholars, consciousness researchers, and anyone else who can provide evidence of an afterlife.

As an incentive, BICS will award $500,000 for the top essay, $300,000 for the second best, and $150,000 for third place.

Now, the New York Times is taking an interest in Bigelow’s challenge.

In a new article written by Ralph Blumenthal, Bigelow is quoted as saying he is looking for the best evidence for “the survival of consciousness after permanent bodily death.”

Blumenthal reports this isn’t the first time Bigelow has publicly looked for answers to these questions.

Finding few researchers seriously studying afterlife experiences, the couple in 1997 endowed the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a $3.7 million gift. Charles T. Tart, a spiritually inclined transpersonal psychologist, and Raymond Moody, an author who popularized the study of near-death experiences, became the first two chairs, but Mr. Bigelow shut down the program after several years. “Sadly, we just couldn’t make enough progress in research aspects,” he said.

The New York Times, ralph blumenthal

The Times goes into great detail in this new article about Bigelow’s past as the man behind Bigelow Aerospace and the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), a think tank and research program which investigated UFO issues, as well as survival of consciousness.