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Stalin’s Ape-Man Super Soldiers — Urban Legend, Or Reality?



The 20th century was a century of big ideas,such as a plot to re-engineer a continent. But geography was not the only thing people believed they could conquer with technology. Science could be used to engineer new and better humans.

This was the premise behind eugenics, a pseudoscience that began in the 19th century and reached its horrifying apex with the Nazi atrocities of World War II.
The idea was that either by encouraging people with desirable traits to mate or by discouraging people with undesirable traits from mating, the human race could be improved over time.
Josef Stalin
But perhaps this methodology was too slow for Joseph Stalin, who as the dictator of the Soviet Union was no stranger to megalomaniacal villainy.
Legend has it that Stalin himself ordered the creation of a race of ape/human hybrids, super soldiers to rebuild his army in the wake of the devastating Bolshevik Revolution. But is there any truth to this?

Illya Ivanov, the Red Frankenstein?

This strange tale begins with an esteemed Russian scientist, Illya Ivanov. He was famed for his work artificial insemination in horses.
He used his pioneering techniques to produce hybrids of various other animals, including a zebra/donkey hyrbrid (zeedonk.) As early as 1910, Ivanov speculated as to whether it was possible for apes and humans to produce hybrid offspring.
In 1926, years after the revolution, Ivanov got his chance to test his hypothesis. The Soviet government gave him the equivalent of $10,000. He was to work with the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and to utilize their facilities in French Guinea. When he arrived in Africa, though, he found the facilities in a shambles.
Illya Ivanov
The only chimps there were juveniles who hadn’t yet reached sexual maturity. Later in the year, he was able to get his hands on three sexually mature chimps which he artificially inseminated with human sperm.
However, when the chimps failed to conceive, Ivanov decided to take a different (and much more horrific) approach.
He hit on a plan to artificially inseminate human females with chimp sperm. He wanted to use subjects from a local hospital, and to inseminate them without their consent. He proposed this plan to doctors at the hospital, but the governor of French Guinea stepped in and put the brakes on the whole thing.
Ivanov’s expedition wasn’t a complete failure, though. He managed to secure 20 apes to establish a Soviet ape nursery. Unfortunately, all but four died before they arrived in the subtropical republic of Abkhazia.
Once Ivanov established the nursery, he set out to find female volunteers to undergo artificial insemination.He managed to find five willing women, but the apes he managed to bring to the nursery all died before he could perform his experiment.
By 1930, the ever shifting political winds of the Soviet Union had changed. Before, positive eugenics was in vogue among the Soviet elites. By selectively breeding the best citizens, the Soviet Union could cultivate a hard working, communal-minded population.
Ivanov’s work fit into this perspective because he believed by breeding humans with apes it would be possible to change humans in big ways, giving a concrete basis for the hypothetical notions of positive eugenics.
It had the added bonus of giving more credence to Darwinian ideas, because if humans and apes were as closely related as Darwin believed they should be able to cross breed with humans.
This could be used as a propaganda tool by the Soviet government to help its effort to stamp out religion (and replace it with what amounted to worship of the state.)
But these views fell out of favor. Stalin found he liked the Lamarckian view of evolution much better. This was the idea that acquired traits were passed on to the next generation.
So, if a person develops big muscles, they will pass on those muscles to their children. It seems Stalin supported the Lamarckian view because the positive eugenics perspective was too close to what the Nazis believed, and since the Bolsheviks and the Fascists hated each other that simply wouldn’t do (a bit like how the Nazis wouldn’t accept the Theory of Relativity because a Jew came up with it.)
So, those who fell on the positive eugenics side of the spectrum were swept in a purge of the Soviet scientific community in 1930.
This included Illya Ivanov, who was accused of being a saboteur by a fellow scientist when his artificial insemination equipment malfunctioned. Ivanov was exiled to Kazakstahn, where he died two years later.
…not so much.
Illya Ivanov was certainly nearing mad scientist territory. His unethical actions in Africa and the nature of his research certainly do a lot to make him a modern day Frankenstein. But the question is whether Ivanov was working on direct orders of Stalin to make super soldiers.
It turns out that wasn’t true. Stalin probably didn’t even know about Ivanov’s work, other than what he might have seen in the papers. The bit about the super soldiers came from an article in the New Scotsman, where they cite recently uncovered documents as a source.
But there are no links to any of the sources, nor any other attribution. After the New Scotsman article, the notion of the ape super soldiers took off when the History Channel show Monster Quest did an episode on the topic.
Creationist websites also widely circulated the story. It fit well with their world view, since in their minds the failure to hybridize apes with humans overturns evolutionary theory. It didn’t hurt that it linked Darwin’s theory with a sociopathic atheist dictator, either.
While the urban legend brought a lot of attention to the case, the real story is about the intersection of ethics, science, and politics.
The question wasn’t whether Ivanov could have hybridized humans and apes, but whether he should even try. These sorts of ethical questions are more pertinent today, with the advances in biotechnology that make things possible that Ivanov couldn’t have dreamed of.
Sources: Johnson, Eric Michael “Scientific Ethics and Stalin’s Ape-Man Superwarriors.”; Grigg, Russel. “Stalin’s Ape-Man Superwarriors.” Creation Ministries International. Accessed: February 10, 2014; Pain, Stephanie. “Blasts from the past: The Soviet ape-man scandal.”
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“Cursed charity shop painting ruined my life”, says British woman




A British woman purchased a portrait of a young girl from a charity shop and now asserts that the picture is cursed, reports

Elliot-Brown, aged 36, spotted an artwork by an unfamiliar artist at
the Hastings Advice Representation Center in St Leonards-on-Sea, East
Sussex, a month ago.

Simultaneously, the seller cautioned Zoe
about the painting possibly being cursed, revealing that a prior
purchaser of the same artwork had returned it to the store with the
statement “it ruined my life.”

Out of curiosity, Zoe captured an
image of the painting on her smartphone and shared the photo with her
68-year-old mother, Jane Elliot-Brown. Her mother seemed to be entranced
by the painting.

she began urging Zoe to acquire the painting. Yielding to her mother’s
persuasion, Zoe paid £20 for the artwork. However, as soon as she
introduced it into her home, strange occurrences commenced taking place.

Zoe entered her home and positioned the painting in the living room,
their dog named Cilla leaped up and started growling at the artwork.
Cilla deliberately kept her distance, refraining from approaching the
picture. Subsequently, Zoe’s mother’s health took a sharp decline. She
began experiencing alternating spells of fever and chills, requiring her
to wear four sweaters to keep warm.

Concurrently, Zoe’s mother
seemed to be captivated by the painting. She continuously gazed at it
and even caressed the painted girl’s cheek. During the night, she heard
peculiar knocks emanating from the room where the picture hung, despite
the room being unoccupied.

Zoe managed to persuade her mother that
the painting held negative energy and was cursed. However, Jane
staunchly defended the painting, reluctant to part with it.

never seen my mother yearn for something so intensely. She was
entranced by it, but not in a positive manner. She guarded it. She
frequently gazed at it. She ran her fingers over the painted girl’s
cheeks and polished the surface, although the painting didn’t require

“Each time I mentioned disposing of the painting, she
became exceedingly irritable. It transformed into a sort of family
heirloom for her, something she began cherishing.”

“My mother
flatly refused to get rid of the painting. I think it’s a bit like the
magic power of the Lord of the Rings ring. It definitely works in an
attractive and charming way, it seems to pull you towards it.

“My mother became a bit like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings,” says Zoe.

herself says that it seems to her that the painted girl is very unhappy
and she stroked her to comfort her. She also does not attribute the
deterioration of her health to the purchase of the painting.

the same time, she admits that there were several cases when someone
seemed to knock on the door, and when she opened it, there was no one on
the threshold.

One day, Jane became so ill that she fainted right
in the bathroom. Zoe called 911, but her mother refused to go to the
hospital and was eventually left at home.

One morning, Zoe entered
the living room and saw her mother standing and stroking the painted
girl on her cheeks. And the mother could not remember how she ended up
in the living room and what she did at night.

was strange behavior, especially for my mom. She couldn’t remember
anything from what happened last night. My mom is still very weird and
distracted and doesn’t want to discuss it.”

And then something
even more frightening happened. Zoe and her friend Ben went for a walk
on a hill during a thunderstorm and suddenly saw a “creepy black figure”
that suddenly appeared in front of them.

They do not know if this
is related to the painting, but they immediately ran back in fear.
Deciding to get rid of the cursed painting, Zoey eventually took it and
took it to the same shop where she bought it.

And when she drove
up to the store, she saw that in one of the tires of the car, brand new,
someone stuck a screw. She gave the painting to the seller, but then
changed her mind and took it back.

didn’t want someone else to buy the painting and get hurt because of
it. Now Zoe wants to give the picture only to someone who understands
damn things.

Now the painting is kept in Zoya’s house in a box filled with sage (it is believed that sage helps against evil spirits).

She also hung sage in every corner of the house, although Zoya’s mother was very unhappy with this.

thought knowing my luck some idiot will go and get it and try and burn
it and I don’t really want to be left with the remainder of whatever the
hell has been going on. Technically I was the last owner. [I want it]
dealt with properly. […]”

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Wild man with a spear in his hand was spotted in the forests of Germany




A mysterious wild man, nicknamed by the locals “the wolf man”, was
photographed in the forested mountains of the Harz, in the center of
Germany. The man was completely naked and held a spear in his hand.

savage was accidentally noticed by two tourists who were walking
through the forest, not far from the city of Blankenburg in
Saxony-Anhalt, and examined the ruins of an old castle.

“When we
reached the caves in the sands, we saw this wolf-man. He stood high in
one of the caves and held in his hand a long wooden stick that looked
like a spear.

“He didn’t take his eyes off us, but he didn’t say
anything. He looked dirty and looked like a prehistoric man from the
Stone Age, like pictures in a history book,” Gina Weiss, 31, told Bild

to Weiss and her friend Toby, they observed this man for about ten
minutes. The naked man appeared to be in his forties and reportedly
these tourists were not the first to have seen him in the area.

It is assumed that he has been living in the forests near Blankenburg for about five years.

Authorities say they have received numerous reports of a person wearing a wolf’s skin or wolf costume over the past five years.

March 2023, a frightened eyewitness even called the police because he
thought that a wolfman running next to him wanted to attack him. In
other cases, people have seen how a savage is trying to make a fire or
building a hut out of branches for himself.

At the same time, it
is quite cold in this area in winter and it is not clear how this person
managed to survive here for several years.

According to Alexander
Beck, head of the local fire brigade, this savage clearly has the
skills to live in the wild and adapt to the changing seasons of the

Where this man came from is unknown. There are many theories, from the hermit to more mystical versions such as time portals.

However, there are those who believe that all this is just some kind of prank to scare tourists or some other purpose.

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