Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Lazarus Colloredo and Joannes Baptista Collerado were conjoined twins from Genoa, Italy. The records are of suggestion that they were born around 1617 and died sometime around or after 1646. They toured Europe exhibiting their condition in order to make a living. Their exact date of death does not appear to have been recorded.

The upper body of Joannes and his left leg stuck out of his mobile brothers torso. Joannes did not speak, his eyes were kept closed and his mouth was always open. An account from an anatomist, later on, said that if his breast was pushed it would make him move his hands, ears and lips. Another visitor noted that Joannes had three fingers on each hand, six toes on one foot and seemed only to survive because of the nourishment from his brother.

It is said that Lazarus was a handsome man and when not exhibiting he would cover up his brother with a cloak. Later accounts have him married, siring several children and none of them experienced any unusual medical conditions.

One account suggests that Joannes made non-verbal noises and often at shows was seen to heavily salivate. It seems that Joannes was mainly considered to be a parasitic twin as he hadn’t got fully developed organs. It seems if he had any cognitive abilities that they were very limited and mostly based on responses to it being touched or prodded.

A letter from Dr Augustin Pincet, of Genoa, stated the brothers were born 20th March 1617 to parents Baptista and Pellegrinna Colloredo. Lazarus ate and had normal bowel movements, but Joannes did not suckle but if her milk hit his lips he would lick them as if he was attempting to swallow it. Their mother apparently died in 1620.

In 1638 they toured France and it was recorded that Lazarus had said Joannes head had been much smaller, now it was twice as large as his own. It seems they had also been unwell on more than one occasion, Lazarus had been subject to 20 bleedings but medics never hazarded purgation. They worried it might be too much for the two men sharing the one digestive system.

Another story is that Lazarus had been so fiercely teased in a pub that he struck the man a fatal blow. The man had been killed but Lazarus said that if he were sentenced to death it would in turn kill his innocent brother.

There doesn’t seem to have been any talks about separating them either, perhaps because from the descriptions they would have shared a liver and other vital organs. The area of joining may well have had several main arterial points too. Today it is highly likely they would have separated them early on to give Lazarus a chance at a normal life, the 17th Century techniques however would not have been capable of dealing with such a complicated matter.

Lazarus and Joannes Baptista Colloredo

An Erdstall seems to be a mystery even to historians, they are a type of tunnel found in various locations around Europe. They are usually low and narrow tunnels with a feature that goes from a tunnel into a lower tunnel called a ‘schlupf’ and is too narrow for the elderly or large to navigate.

They only have one concealed entry point, there is no second exit and they are not often larger than 50 foot in length.

They have no materials to give any archaeological clues as to their use. the nature of the constructions do not suggest them being used a dwellings. Coal fire pits and a few other hints give a date range from 10-12th Century.

There are a fair few but they are not listed in Christian Kingdoms of the time. It is possible however it is due to them being used for Spiritual purposes of a non-Christian cult of belief. They have have been used to crawl through, in order to ritually remove the person from disease or from feelings of guilt.

1280px-Erdstall_Ratgöbluckn_Perg_Eingang

 

Erdstall Ratgöbluckn Perg Eingang” by Pfeifferfranz (talk) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 at via Wikimedia Commons.

The first known report of the ‘abominable snowman’ came from Europe in 1832. A British official in Napal described an unknown hairy creature walking erect on two-legs. In the high and often inaccessible peaks of the Himalaya’s the wild man was now being brought to the attention of the media.

In 1921 the Yeti was given the name ‘abominable snowman’ by Western climbers, they were striving to conquer the mountain peaks when they became enthralled by local tales about the Yeti, also called Minka or Kang-Admi.

In 1948 a Norwegian claimed he had been attacked by two of them in Sikkim. In 1951 a British climber called Eric Shipton was in the Gauri Sankar range, he took photo’s of what he believed to be the Yeti. Many experts conclude that they could have been bear prints, distorted by the thawing snow.

The local Sherpa’s were happy to recount tales, and monks in a Himalayan Monastery, they showed off bones, skins and scalps of the creatures. In 1993 both Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay saw strange footprints in the snow during the first ascent of Everest. In 1960 a further expedition was launched by Hilary but they were unable to find any further evidence of the Yeti.

The search carries on.

No one can be sure why but in 1997 there was a nefarious plot in New Orleans that was circulated by word-of-mouth, fax and e-mail to suggest that an organised crime ring would be druggin visitors and removing their organs to sell on the black market. The viral message was under the heade of “Travelers Beware” and sparked mass fear about the event, despite the lack of substantial evidence to show it was a reality.

The story had already had a history in Houston, Las Vegas where a supposed tourist was drugged in his hotel room by a prostitute and work up the next day, minus a kidney, in a bathtub of ice.

This has become another urban legend and in a lot of versions the facts are fairly similar.

Subject A goes out to the bar, has a drink and is alone whilst away in some hotel etc etc. A then wakes up the next morning with a severe pain in the lower back, A is taken to an emergency room where it is determined that A has undergone major surgery. The surgery A was not aware of has both cleanly and professionally resulted in the removal of a kidney.

This particular tale is an Urban Legend, whilst it’s not impossible that organs have been brought and sold on the black market there is no substantiated evidence of back room operations from dirty alleys or seedy hotel rooms.

It really doesn’t seem plausible because without proper medical facilities the chances of the organ surviving long enough to be usable are practically zero. That’s not to mention all the qualified and trained people it would take too. Oh and no one has ever come forward with a public case of the happenig so like many it appears to be another public hype turned into fear.

Unfortunately this one has put people at risk before, rumours in Guatamala spread that American’s were kidnapping their children so they could use the organs in the states. In 1994 several US Citizens and Europeans were attacked y mobs. An American woman, Jane Weinstock, remains critically impaired because of it.