"By the time I knew about it, it was too late." - Those are the words of Roger Ford, resident of Tuscaloosa, South Carolina, who recently participated in a study supported by the National Institute of Health about the most common causes of death in the United States. Startling findings revealed that 95% of participants are in fact already dead, and some never lived.
Thomas Callahan, Ford's neighbor for 12 years, was also a participant in the study, and is also dead. "It's the strangest thing because I'd see Roger everyday," remarked Callahan while seated in a rocking chair on his front porch. "We always go out and get the paper at the same time, then just go about our business." He added with a laugh, "And I just became a grandfather again this month," but then more quietly, "I guess life and death do go hand-in-hand."
Though the causes of death are still undetermined, symptoms seem comparable to a form what scientists are now calling "adult still-borns." Dr. Fir Crane, associate professor of gynocology at the University of South Carolina, Greenwood, elaborated on those findings.
"When we examined the brain scans and performed the blood work, the tests revealed our adults have the same activity and biochemical make-up as newborn still-borns. We're still finalizing the tests, but it's possible to reverse the findings to indicate just when most of these people died."
Crane noted that preliminary efforts reveal most people died during adolescence. "At least, that's when I died."
So who are those members of the population who are still alive? An official from the NIH, who requested not to be named since the official announcement has yet to be made, disclosed that they in fact do not know. "We're still focusing on why so many of us have died already," our source shared. "At the moment, the majority of our resources have been focused on the prevention of death. When we've achieved that, then we'll begin researching sources of life."
News of these findings has caused a stir between pro-life and pro-choice supporters alike. "How can I advocate life if I can't recognize once someone has died?" says Harriet Goodman, local resident and outspoken pro-life supporter outside a Planned Parenthood building off of Roe Way in downtown Greenwood. "I sometimes ask myself, 'Why bother?' But I'm here . . . aren't I?"
At the same time, expectant parents are becoming reluctant with each added detail disclosed from the study. "With this epidemic going on, it's like there's no difference between birth and aborting," shared Wanda Sanderson in the Planned Parenthood parking lot. "How do we know our child is truly healthy? My gynocologist said I never lived."
Still, that hasn't stopped Hollywood from taking notice. Joel Silver is presently in the process of developing a film starring Shia LaBeouf and helmed by director Zack Snyder of a movie some are calling "Y: The Last Man" meets "Land of the Dead." It's the story of a man who wakes up one morning and finds he's the only one in the world who has died, but nobody knows it.
Filming is set to start in August of 2010. Rumored film locations already scouted out are Quebec, the Indian Sea, The Vatican, all of Peru, John Malkovich, Tehran, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Angkor Wat, and Kalamazoo.