WHAT happens after you die? We can name you 47 men who have tried to harness the rational horsepower of science to answer this most floaty question. Some were physicians, some physicists, some psychologists. Two were Nobel prizewinners. One is a sheep rancher. They have tackled it in labs, in hospital operating rooms, in barns behind their houses.

Of them, to date only one has landed an irrefutable proof - not a suggestive nugget or an inexplicable anomaly. His name was Thomas Lynn Bradford.