Tag: History

Conspiracy Theory That Rudolf Hess Was Switched for Doppelganger, Debunked By DNA

The British launched four inquires to get to the truth about the doppelganger theory. Credit: AP

Second World War conspiracy theory which suggested Nazi deputy fuhrer Rudolf Hess had escaped justice after being replaced with a doppelganger, has finally been debunked after new DNA evidence came to light.

Hess was arrested in 1941 after parachuting in to Scotland to broker peace with Britain, later tried at Nuremberg and incarcerated in Spandau prison Berlin until his death in 1987.

But British doctor Hugh Thomas who worked at Spandau insisted the prisoner purporting to be Hess did not have the correct scars, prompting four inconclusive investigations by the British government.

Now the mystery has finally been solved after a retired military doctor from the US Army and a forensic scientist from Austria tracked down a blood sample from Hess and compared it to relatives still living in Germany.

The results show there is just a one per cent chance that the blood did not belong to the eminent Nazi.

Dr Sherman McCall was working in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington when he first learned that colleague Rick Wahl had once worked at Spandau and had brought back a smear of Hess’s blood to use as a teaching aid.

Yet it was not until years later that McCall discovered there was doubt over Hess’s identity and asked to use the sample to learn the truth.

Jan Cemper-Kiesslich, a molecular biologist in the DNA Unit at the department of legal medicine, University of Salzburg, Austria, extracted DNA from the dried blood and the pair then hunted down a relative to see if it was a match.

Slides containing Hess’s blood Credit: Heidelberg MEDDAC

Statistical analysis of the results suggests a 99.99 per cent likelihood that the blood sample on the slide comes from a close family member of the living relative of Hess.

The research, published in the journal Forensic Science International Genetics concludes that it is virtually certain “that prisoner ‘Spandau #7’ was indeed was Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Führer of the Third Reich”.

The conspiracy theory claiming that prisoner ‘Spandau #7’ was an impostor is extremely unlikely and therefore disproved,” the authors added.

Soldiers and policemen in Eaglesham inspect the wreckage of the Messerschmitt ME-110 in which Nazi leader Rudolf Hess made his solo flight to Scotland Credit: Hulton Archive

“Due to the lucky event of the presence of a biological trace sample originating from prisoner ‘Spandau #7’ the authors got the unique chance to shed new light on one of the most persistent historical memes of World War II history.”

Dr Turi King, the geneticist at the University of Leicester, UK, who led the forensic examination of the body of Richard III said: “They’ve got a perfect match with the Y chromosome and a living male Hess relative.

“If this person was a doppelgänger, you wouldn’t get that match, so from that point of view it’s a good sign.”

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Strange Jellyfish-Like ‘Blobs’ Found In 600 Million Year Old Rocks In China Are Earliest Animals Ever Found

Strange “blobs” found in China could be evidence of the first animals that ever existed, experts say. Fossil evidence of the ancient creatures, which resemble jelly fish, was discovered in 600 million-year-old rocks.

The previously unknown animal doesn’t have a name yet but microscopic analysis showed similar features to comb jellies – including tentacles and mucous layers.

The carnivorous comb jelly species still exist today, feeding on small marine organisms.

The oldest animal to have ever lived was previously thought to be the Dickinsonia, an organism called an ediacaran, which lived 541 million years ago.

The origin and earliest evolution of animals is a fascinating question that has puzzled scientists for many decades,” said Dr Zhenbing She at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, who led the team behind the discovery.

Dr She’s team found fossils measuring around 0.7 millimetres across in a drill core taken from the Doushantuo Formation in China.

The discovery of the jellyfish – revealed in a report by Graham Lawton in New Scientist – existed more than 40 million years earlier than the Dickinsonia, researchers claim.

If the fossil is an ancient relative of a comb jelly, this would suggest that it was part of of a larger food web and a complex ecosystem.

Microscopic analysis of the rocks revealed what appear to be tentacles, muscle tissue, nerve cells, gonads, mucous layers and clusters of hairlike-structures.

Fossils dating as far back as 631 million years ago have already been found in these beds, but scientists have not been able to determine exactly what they are.

They are only visible through microscopes and may just be cells from algae or developing animal embryos.

Dr She said that the fossils’ features are similar to the comb jelly Ctenophora because the fossil’s hair clusters look like structures called ctenes that comb jellies use to swim.

The fossils most closely resemble the living genus of comb jellies called Pleurobrachia, or sea gooseberries.

If the new fossils are comb jellies, then it opens the door for more discoveries as the majority of comb jellies today feed on small marine species.

If the fossil was also a carnivore, it must have fed on other species which are yet to be revealed.

There are many other creatures in the deposit, but we are not sure what they are,” Dr. She added.

The 558-million-year-old Dickinsonia, which was discovered last year, was described as a combination of a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and a lichen.

The oval-shaped lifeform existed at least 20 million years before the “Cambrian explosion” of animal life, according to the research.

The Cambrian explosion took place about 540 million years ago and saw the emergence of modern-looking animals such as snails, bivalves and arthropods.

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Lost Cities In The Amazon Rainforest Were Home To A Million People Before Europeans Arrived

Aerial photo of archaeological site Mt05, a circular enclosure located in the Amazon rainforest containing evidence of pre-Columbian societies living there ( José Iriarte )

Up to a million people once lived in parts of the Amazon previously thought to have been uninhabited, according to new findings.

Working in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, a team led by archaeologists at the University of Exeter unearthed hundreds of villages hidden in the depths of the rainforest.

These excavations included evidence of fortifications and mysterious earthworks called geoglyphs.

The discovery supports the theory that millions of people lived in the Amazon prior to the arrival of Europeans – who eradicated much of the indigenous population through a combination of disease and warfare.

“The idea of Amazonia as a paradise that has never been touched by humans is not true,” Dr Jonas Gregorio de Souza, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter said.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, Dr Gregorio de Souza and his colleagues describe their exploration of a 1800 km stretch of southern Amazonia that was occupied by pre-Columbian “earth-building cultures” until around 1500.

Researchers have traditionally assumed ancient Amazonian communities stuck close to the region’s river systems.

Early estimates for the population of the Amazon prior to the arrival of Europeans were therefore fairly conservative – around one million for the entire region.

Part of the ditch of archaeological site Mt09 in the southern Amazon (José Iriarte)

However, the new findings suggest the occupation of the Amazon was far more extensive, with settlements spreading far inland.

This gives weight to recent estimates that the population of the region was closer to ten million at the time of European arrival.

As with other parts of the Amazon and South America as a whole, the arrival of Europeans in the form of Portuguese explorers and colonisers likely led to the collapse of these once-flourishing societies.

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Three Ancient Texts That Completely Shatter History As We Know It

There are numerous ‘controversial’ ancient texts that have been found throughout the years around the globe.

Most of them are firmly rejected by mainstream scholars since they oppose nearly everything set forth by mainstream historians.

Some of these ancient texts are said to shatter mainstream beliefs and dogmas that have been considered as firm foundations of modern-day society.

The 3,600-year-ol Kolbrin Bible

The Kolbrin Bible is considered by many as the first Judaic/Christian document which spells out understanding of human evolution, creationism, and intelligent design.

The mathematical principles of the Kolbrin reflect the interest of the ancient Druids in astronomy and mathematics and speak of global cataclysms of the past.

It is an ancient text that according to many scholars dates back at last 3,600 years, but could be much older.

Scholars believe this ancient manuscript was written at the same time as the Old Testament was being composed.

The Book of Enoch

Ever since it was discovered, the Book of Enoch has been considered one of the most controversial ancient texts discovered on the planet.

The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious manuscript which is traced back to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah.

The Book of Enoch is considered by many scholars one of the most influential non-canonical apocryphal writings.

It is believed to have greatly influenced Christian beliefs.

This ancient text describes (the first part) the demise of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim.

The Book of Giants

This ancient text believed to date back over 2000 years proves — according to many authors — that the ancient Nephilim were real beings and described how they were destroyed.

It was discovered several decades ago at the Qumran Caves where researchers came across the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Specifically, the Book of Giants speaks about creatures that inhabited our planet in the distant past and how they were destroyed.

The Book of Giants — which by the way is incomplete — offers a different perspective about the Nephilim.

According to the ancient text, the Giants — The Nephilim — became aware that due to their violent ways, they face an imminent destruction. They asked Enoch to speak on their behalf to God.

The ancient texts detail how the Nephilim lived on Earth and created chaos and destruction.

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5 Most Dangerous Scientific Experiments in History

Science is a force for good in our world, improving lives of people all across Earth in immeasurable ways. But it is also a very powerful tool that can become dangerous in some situations.

Especially when it gets entangled in politics. At other times, science’s inherent ambition to push boundaries of what is known can also lead to some heart-stopping moments.

The following list is in no way exhaustive but gives us a place to start when thinking about the serious responsibility that comes with the march of science.

1. Project MKUltra

The infamous project MKUltra was CIA’s attempt at mastering mind control. The program started in the 1950s and lasted seemingly until 1966.

Under MKUltra, often-unwilling subjects were given drugs, especially hallucinogenics like LSD.

The people tested were also put through sleep and sensory deprivation, hypnosis, sexual abuse, and other kinds of psychological torture, while some tests proved lethal.

The supposed goal of the project was some combination of chemical weapons research and effort to create mind-controlling drugs to combat the Soviets.

2. Weaponizing the Plague

The last time plague roamed around, it killed around half of Europe’s population, reducing the amount of people in the world by nearly a 100 million during the 13th and 14th century.

In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union’s biological warfare research program figured out how to use the plague as a weapon, to be launched at enemies in missile warheads.

What could go wrong? Besides the plague, defectors revealed that the Soviet bio-weapons program also had hundreds of tons of anthrax and tons of smallpox.

3. The Large Hadron Supercollider

A giant magnet used in the Large Hadron Collider, weighing 1920 tonnes. 28 February, 2007 at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, built to study particle physics, is the world’s largest machine and single most sophisticated scientific instrument.

Because of this and the cutting-edge research its involved in, the LHC has prompted more than its share of fears from the general public. It has been blamed for causing earthquakes and pulling asteroids towards Earth.

4. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Doctor drawing blood from a patient as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. 1932.

A government-funded “study” from 1932-1972 denied treatment for syphilis to 399 African American patients in rural Alabama, even as penicillin was found to be effective against the disease in 1947.

The patients were actually not told they had syphilis, with doctors blaming their “bad blood” instead and given placebos.

The goal of the experiment, carried out by the U.S. Public Health Service, was to study the natural progress of syphilis if left untreated. 28 of the people in the study died directly from syphilis while 100 died from related complications.

5. Kola Superdeep Borehole

A Soviet experiment, started in 1970, sought to drill as deeply as possible into the crust of the planet. By 1994, they bore a 12-km-deep hole into the Kola Peninsula in Russia’s far northwest.

The record dig provided much scientific data, like the finding of ancient microscopic plankton fossils from 24 species.

While nothing negative happened, there were concerns at the time that drilling so deep towards the center of Earth might produce unexpected seismic effects. Like cracking the planet open.

The hole’s site is currently closed.

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Early Humans Hooked Up With Neanderthals All The Time

Early humans had mated with Neanderthals and other primitive cousins far more often than thought in a world of debauchery, according to a new study.

Researchers found that interbreeding happened “multiple times” as our ancestors began to pour out of Africa and mingle with more species around 75,000 years ago.

The analysis of Neanderthal DNA in modern East Asians and Europeans found the assumption it was rare is wrong. It happened often — over a period of up to 35,000 years.

Data from the 1,000 Genomes project — which has mapped the DNA of 1,000 people from around the world — suggests an environment of rampant promiscuity.

It was a complex web of relationships in which individuals had intercourse with members of their own group — and different early humans, or hominins.

Co-author Joshua Schraiber said: “I do think there was probably much more interbreeding than we initially suspected. Some of the fantastical aspects come from a lack of a clear definition of ‘species’ in this case.

“It is always very hard to know if an extinct group constituted a different species or not.

“My guess is that any time two different human groups lived in the same place at the same time for a while, they probably had some sort of breeding contact.”

Recent studies have found Denisovans, another extinct relative, had sex with Neanderthals and humans on numerous occasions.

The Denisovan species was only discovered in southern Siberia a decade ago. They were genetically distinct from both Neanderthals and humans.

There were at least three different human forms on Earth only 40,000 years ago — all having an intercourse with each other. And there may have been more.

When anatomically modern humans dispersed from Africa, they encountered Neanderthals in Europe and Asia.

This left a signature in our genomes — with about 2 percent inherited from the Neanderthal. This DNA influences our immune system and the diseases we develop.

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Washington Irving Bishop: The Magician Killed by an Autopsy

Washington Irving Bishop

In Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, on a well-worn headstone, you can barely make out the inscription “The Martyr” above the name Washington Irving Bishop.

The rest of the long epitaph below is too deteriorated to read, but the late Bishop was renowned in his time as one of the great mentalists of the 19th century. Yet it was his curious death that would be his greatest mystery.

Bishop was born in 1855 and although the American started out in the spiritualist world — assisting and then managing the famed medium Anna Eva Fay — he later flipped to the side of contemporary magicians like Houdini in exposing spiritualism as superstition.

His own act was pitched as “thought reading,” and he emphasized that it was not anything supernatural but instead his careful reading of the movement of the human body.

Known as “muscle reading,” he learned his skills from mentalist J. Randall Brown and soon soared to his own fame with a distinctly frenetic performance style, one that had an added drama with his suffering from cataleptic fits.

He kept a note in his pocket that stated his seemingly catatonic state was not death, although the presence of that note on a fateful performance in 1889 would lead to a great debate of what really brought down the mentalist.

It was May 12 and Bishop was at the Lambs Club, a theatrical society that was then at 70 West 36th Street in Manhattan. Bishop was said to have fallen into unconsciousness early in the act, and then recovered to continue.

However, a second attack came from which he did not quickly recover. According to reports, an autopsy took place at 3:45 pm, just a few hours after the supposed death.

This included the removing of Bishop’s brain.

It was May 12 and Bishop was at the Lambs Club, a theatrical society that was then at 70 West 36th Street in Manhattan. Bishop was said to have fallen into unconsciousness early in the act, and then recovered to continue.

Washington Irving Bishop’s grave in Green-Wood Cemetery

However, a second attack came from which he did not quickly recover. According to reports, an autopsy took place at 3:45 pm, just a few hours after the supposed death. This included the removing of Bishop’s brain.

Whether or not that note warning potential physicians of Bishop’s condition was on his body, and why the brain was so quickly removed, were the subject of debate and litigation for years to come.

It’s not clear if the Masons ever came to her aid, although the mason Harry Houdini helped her out later in life by buying what remained of Bishop’s legacy.

The death certificate for the 33-year-old mentalist officially read “hysterocatalepsy”; to his mother it was always murder.

And while Bishop’s legacy in the history of magic may have faded, there remains that worn tombstone in Green-Wood Cemetery that declares him as a “martyr” for eternity, or at least until the marble wears beyond recognition.

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A Fetus Can Turn to Stone in Its Mother’s Body and Go Undiscovered for Decades

A lithopedion extracted 55 years after it formed.

In 1554, in the town of Sens, France, Colombe Charti went into labor. It was her first pregnancy, and she had carried the fetus close to term. But something went wrong. Though her contractions stopped, Charti’s baby was never born.

For three years after that, she lay in bed, recovering, and for the rest of her life she would have strange pains in her abdomen. Her neighbors believed (quite logically) that the baby was still inside her.

After she died 28 years later, her husband enlisted two surgeons to autopsy her body in hope of discovering the truth.

The object that the surgeons found inside Charti was hard and roughly ovoid.

Though at first the surgeons thought it was a tumor of some sort, when they broke through the scaly outer shell, they found shoulders and a head, two arms, knees bent towards the chest, legs and feet, fused together.

It had one tooth, and if it had been born, the fetus would have been a girl with a full head of hair.

The Sens baby is one of the earliest extensively documented cases of a lithopedion—a never-born “stone baby” that calcifies over time.

It’s a very rare condition: There are only 300 or so known cases, going back to prehistory.

Lithopedion most often form after pregnancies in which the fetus grows outside the uterus and is too large to be reabsorbed by the mother’s body. Instead, it dies unborn, and can remain in its mother’s body for the rest of her life.

The oldest known lithopedion, which has been dated to more than 3,100 years ago, was found at an archaeological site in Texas, with its limbs skeletonized and “bound by a thickened, calcified membrane,” the researchers who identified it wrote when they reported the find in 1993.

The first documented case in medical literature dates back to the 10th century, in an influential guide to surgery written by the Andalusian surgeon Al-Zahrawi.

Abdominal pregnancy, in which a fetus grows outside of the uterus or the fallopian tubes, represent only one out of every 10,000 to 30,000 pregnancies. Of those rare occurrences, fewer than 2 percent end up producing lithopedions.

Lithopedions have become even more uncommon as prenatal care has improved. Abdominal pregnancies pose unique risks to both mothers and babies, and they may be terminated early on.

In any case, they are often closely monitored, and a fetus that did not survive would be removed before it could begin to calcify.

Still, there are modern cases, most often the result of pregnancies decades before.

In recent years doctors have treated a 70-year-old woman who carried a lithopedion for 35 years, a 75-year-old with one formed 46 years before, and a 92-year-old woman who had spent 60 years with this condition.

A lithopedion from 1943.

The most famous lithopedion—the one from Sens—eventually disappeared. The surgeon who extracted it eventually sold the specimen to a merchant, and from there it passed through the hands of a goldsmith and of a jewel merchant to King Frederick III of Denmark, who bought it in 1653.

Over the following decades, the lithopedion grew more fragile, and lost an arm and its jaw. In the 19th century, it ended up in the Danish Museum of Natural History, where it was lost or discarded.

Some universities and medical museums still have lithopedions in their collections, though—a macabre reminder of the mysteries the human body can hold and hide during a person’s lifetime.

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