Interview with Robert Bigelow

US Billionaire puts up $1.5 million in prize money for the best essay on ‘life after death’

It had been snowing in Las Vegas – something so rare that people were taking photographs of it – and Robert Bigelow had been delayed by the weather. John Waite’s 1984 No. 1 hit ‘Missing You’ played over the phone whilst I waited to talk to the American billionaire about his latest project. I had done my background research, I knew there were people he was missing and his project, an essay competition on life after death, was surely connected to that. And the total amount of prize money he was offering – $1.5 million dollars – for a subject blighted by underfunding was even rarer than snow in Las Vegas.

It’s not often you get to spend an hour talking to a billionaire, especially one who has just put such a huge amount of money for a subject close to your heart. It was a fantastic opportunity to get behind the headlines and find out why.

My full interview with Robert Bigelow has been published in the May 2021 issue of the Fortean Times and in issue 3 of The Magazine of the Society for Psychical Research.

The total prize money was later increased to $1.8 million to include an ‘honorable mentions’ category. For more on this story, see Bigelow Contest Winners Announced and Bigelow Contest Awards in Las Vegas.