Friday, January 27, 2012

Progeria & Dwarfs...Summer '47

Contained within the pages of the November 3, 1947 issue of the Biology Division Bulletin of the Clinton National Laboratory at Oak Ridge, is a section titled Current Journal Articles of Interest in the Biology Library.

One of those "articles of interest" happened to be a four-page paper titled Uptake of Radioactive Iodine by the Normal and Disordered Thyroid Gland in Children.

Written by Edith H. Quimby and Donovan McCune, M.D., in August 1947, the paper focused on a series of studies undertaken midway through that year, that involved the administering of radioactive iodine to a particular group of physically and mentally handicapped children in an effort to try and better understand disorders of the thyroid gland.

More specifically, the report focused on the results of a whole range of radiation-related experiments undertaken in 1947 on no less than "fifty-four test subjects," of whom...

"...Fifteen were between one and four years of age; 7 were controls; 2 were classic cretins; 1 showed some features of hypothyroidism which were not modified by treatment; 2 were dwarfs; in 1 the diagnosis was 'gargoylism;' 1 was suspected of Progeria, a disorder associated with some of the features of hypothyroidism; and the last exhibited features of moderate sexual precocity. Twenty-seven were more than four but less than fifteen years of age. Of these 2 had unmistakable hypothyroidism, 2 Graves disease, [and] four were dwarfs."

It is, of course, decidedly interesting that barely a month after a number of sources I cited in Body Snatchers in the Desert stated that bodies displaying evidence of both dwarfism and Progeria (the latter a condition resulting in small stature, a lack of body hair, and an over-sized head; see the old B&W photo at the top of this page) were recovered from the New Mexico desert after a series of nuclear- and high-altitude-based experiments and transferred to Oak Ridge, personnel at Oak Ridge’s Biology Division were - we can now see - officially expressing "interest" in radiation-related experimentation undertaken on dwarfs and those afflicted with Progeria.

But, there's more.

One would expect that the documentation cited above would not be of interest to those outside of the strict confines of the medical community. Not so...

On digging further, I was able to uncover the fact that these same, specific files on individuals with dwarfism and Progeria were shared (for reasons currently unknown) with (A) staff from the Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft program (NEPA); and (B) one William Randolph Lovelace II, who lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico; who, in the 1930s and 40s, worked on high-altitude exposure issues relative to the human body (some in conjunction with staff at Wright Field - now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio); and who, in 1958, was appointed the chairman of the NASA Special Advisory Committee on Life Science.

Significant to the Roswell affair? Irrelevant? To answer those questions, I continue to dig...


ilfakiro said...

hello Nick,
it's possible for you to post this paper (or a link to this paper)?
I would like to read what kind of treatment was given to these kids.
Better not infer "exotic" explanations, when a more mundane one is more likely: thyroid phisiology and diseases were studied very deeply since many many years ago.
It's a matter of fact that today thyroid pathologies (including cancer) are well known, and better treated.
Oh, I was just forgetting to say that back in 1995, when the Santilli footage was aired, progeria was used as an explanation for the bodies showed in the footage. this explanation was discarded because of extreme rarity (wikipedia cites 1 in 8 million of live births).

Nick Redfern said...


It's not so much that I prefer exotic explanations.

Rather, I find it very intriguing that the sources I interviewed told me of summer 1947 events at Oak Ridge in which dwarfs and progeria affected people were somehow connected to Roswell.

And this paper, from Oak Ridge, and an official document, confirms Oak Ridge involvement in the summer of 47 with dwarfs and someone with Progeria.

That in itself - alone - means nothing, and does not infer a Roswell link (although, it does suggest my sources new something of what was afoot at Oka Ridge and provable).

But, as I mentioned in the post, what I found fascinating is who the files were shared with - namely (A) the Nuclear Aircraft people; and (B) Lovelace - who worked on high alititude programs, and in conjunction with NASA, and Wright Field.

That's the big question these files provoke: Why should Oak Ridge-originated radiation experiments on dwarfs (undertaken for ANY reason) be shared with people designing radical and unusual aircraft, and a man living in New Mexico who researched high-altitude exposure issues on the human body?

You can find numerous links to the paper here:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=39d4c75cd492ccc4&biw=1600&bih=665

Nick Redfern said...

Here's the best place to go, as you can download a PDF of the document:

The copy that was CC'd to the nuclear aircraft people in 47 is available - in paper format - at the National Archives.

alanborky said...

Nick I'm always pointing out to people much of the history of science especially medical science was founded on the researches of psychopaths who thought nothing of hiring people to murder hookers etc to provide them with fresh corpses.

Even the ones who didn't stoop that low still still broke the laws of the times when they carved up cadavers and if they were caught doing it now - and a million stories about kids being buried with no brains says they still are - they'd be viewed as monsters.

My point being what you're try'n'o establish amounts to the activities of cold blooded ghouls and if it really took place there're so many people out there who wouldn't like knowledge of it becoming widespread - especially the medical profession with its default position of closing ranks - you're go'n'o have your work cut out making it stick.