Insurance is a strange thing. You pay for it hoping that you’ll never need it, but aren’t you glad you have it when you do? Most people have insurance policies covering all of their most important and valuable possessions like homes, cars, motorcycles or boats. In case of loss, theft or destruction by catastrophes like fire, floods, earthquakes, insurance has us covered. But what about alien abductions?
Paid on Proof of Alien Abduction
Don’t worry – there’s an insurance policy for everything. Area51.org has learned that British insurance mogul Simon Burgess started offering alien abduction policies back in the 1990s, and they sold like hotcakes throughout the United Kingdom. Some sources estimate that as many as 4,400 alien abduction insurance policies were sold!
Alien Abduction Insurance a Laughing Matter?
Alien abduction insurance protected people from abduction events and paid out based on proof of alien abduction. Some policies even had provisions to pay more if the abductee, whether male or female, was impregnated by the aliens during an abduction event.
Who would buy alien abduction insurance, you may ask? The most famous policy holders were the death cult known as Heaven’s Gate. Heaven’s Gate cult members believed that the return of the Hale-Bopp comet in 1997 would be accompanied by an alien mothership that would help them escape from doomed planet Earth. The strange beliefs of Heaven’s Gate were even covered by Art Bell on his popular radio program, Coast to Coast AM.
A Tragic End
Unfortunately, in order to join the mothership, 39 of the cult members committed mass suicide. The deceased were dressed in identical black sweatsuits with “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” armbands. Amongst the deceased was Thomas Nichols, brother of Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura on the original Star Trek.
After the tragic death of the Heaven’s Gate cult, Burgess temporarily halted sales of his alien abduction insurance policy, but later resumed sales after the incident left the news cycle. Burgess was well-known for offering other bizarre insurance policies such as protection against virgin – selling an estimated 15,000 policies worldwide.
Burgess has since distanced himself from what he describes as “PR stunts” and sold the latest incarnation of his insurance company, British Insurance, for £25m in 2007.