The Science Behind Anastasia

kharmon's picture

Anastasia Romanov was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. The Romanov family ruled Russia for nearly 300 years until 1917 when Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheveks overthrew the Romanovs, imprisoning Anastasia and her family in Siberia until 1918 when they were murdered by Bolshevik soldiers. The bodies were buried in a secret location.

In the 1920’s a previously unknown woman in a mental hospital in Germany began claiming that she was Anastasia Romanov. She continued to make these claims up until her death in 1984, and arguably not without reason. There had been rumors that some of the members of the Tsar’s family had escaped the soldiers and as the woman had the same eye color, hair color, height, and body markings as the Romanov princess (including a deformed foot), most of the Russian public was not hesitant to accept the woman known as Anastasia Anderson to be the real Anastasia Romanov.

Then in 1991, the remains of the Romanov family were found and exhumed in Siberia. Portions of skeletons were found and the remains were identified as the Tsarina three of her female children using mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited solely from one’s mother. Once DNA was extracted from the skeletons, it was compared to that of the most recent maternal relative, Prince Philip of England; and as all four DNA samples matched that of the prince, it was confirmed that the nine skeletons that had been found included those of the Tsarina and three of her female children. Similar methods were used to confirm the identities of the other skeletons including that of Tsar Nicholas using mitochondrial DNA from James, Duke of Fife. However, it was concluded that the bodies of Princess Anastasia and Prince Alexei had not been found.

Using this method of analysis, the question of Anna Anderson’s identity should be relatively easy to answer. Should mitochondrial DNA from Anderson match that of the skeletons and/or of Prince Philip, then there would be “proof’ that she was indeed Princess Anastasia. Following a surgery in 1979, doctors had allegedly frozen a section of Anderson’s intestine that was still in tact enough to use for DNA extraction. It was then concluded that Anderson’s DNA did not match that of Prince Philip and finally in 1995, the scientific journal Nature Genetics published a letter written collectively by 11 scientists involved in the DNA testing that supported the conclusion that there was no way Anna Anderson and Anastasia Romanov were the same person.

Despite this strong scientific evidence, there are several people, myself included, who refuse to believe that Anderson was the not the long lost princess. Some cite the “uncanny and non-coincidental” physical resemblance; others still, her knowledge of the royal throne including memories that a non-member of the family would not know. Then there is evidence of the general likeness of the two including Anderson’s fluency in all the languages that Anastasia was fluent in, results of preliminary handwriting analysis, formal recognition and acceptance of Anderson by several members of the royal family, and the infamous deformed foot that “both” women shared. These observations do not simply die at the hands of scientific “fact”.

One could begin to unravel these scientific “facts” with an analysis of what these facts are based on. Firstly, the DNA test that compared Anderson to the royal family was conducted in 1994 using a piece of intestine allegedly belonging to Anderson that had been cataloged and stored anonymously at a Virginia hospital since 1979. Besides the obvious question of whether or not the DNA would have honestly still been in tact some 16 years later, I can not help but wonder why her intestine would have been kept in the first place. Furthermore, it has been published and confirmed that as the tests were conducted in England, the intestine did travel from the United States to Europe via the mail which makes tampering a possibility. Though relevancy may be questioned, I find it important here to note that there is a monetary inheritance that has been split between distant relatives of Tsar Nicholas since 1917 as there was no proven Romanov family survivor at that time. Had Anderson or any other woman claiming to be Anastasia had been proved as such, the dispersal of nearly $80 million rightfully belonging to the Romanov family would have to be recovered from these relatives and provided to Anastasia. Who then can deny the role that money and power play in this situation? Obviously, there were several very important people who were thriving only so long as Anastasia was dead. This is what we call motive.

While something may have occurred in England either affecting the sample or the test itself, this is just one possibility; and those who believe science as undeniable, unarguable fact have the hardest time with its plausibility. However, an article published in January 2004 in the British medical journal Annals of Human Biology sheds light on another possibility which seems to be the most compelling line of conflicting evidence, as it is the most “scientific”. The scientists who wrote this article believe that the skeletons found in Siberia are not those of the Romanov family, which would explain why Anderson’s DNA was not a match. They cite “major violations of standard forensic practices” as well as “factual inconsistencies” and actually replicated the tests that had been done to confirm the skeletons’ identities using DNA instead from Grand Duchess Elizabeth, a sister of Tsarina Alexandra. They repeated their experiment four times and each time observed no match between the sequence that the Siberian scientists had indicated as that of Alexandra and the sequence that they had established for Elizabeth. These conclusions cast reasonable doubt upon the true identity of the remains found in Siberia, and the true identity of Anastasia Anderson.

Since Anderson died and was cremated in 1984, the chunk of intestine which may or may not even belong to her, was the last piece of DNA available to perform scientific tests on. For those that still seek an answer as to who Anastasia Anderson really was, science is no longer a concrete option. Summaries of observations must be formed individually, using logic and simple common sense.

 

References

1. http://www.freewarehof.org/manahans.html 

2. http://www.dnai.org/d/index.html 

3. http://www.royalty.nu/Europe/Russia/Anastasia.html 

4. http://www.snowtao.com/mr/anastasi.htm

Comments

Alexandra's picture

Anastasia's son

First off I believe Anna Anderson was Anastasia. DNA tests can be tampered with, and people do get greedy and there are some willing to sell out their own families.

I read James Blair Lovell's book and Anastasia indicated that she was never married to Alexander Tschaikovsky, that her child's father was a Bolshevik. Some people use the "no marriage records" thing to discredit Anastasia, but you have to look at what people's views were back then--she likely made that up in order to hide her shame, to hide the fact that her son was a child of rape.

Anna Anderson had the same scars Anastasia had. She had the same issue with her feet. I'm thoroughly convinced she was the real deal.

Serendip Visitor's picture

question

Hi there, l do have a question for your article. My grandfather lived and died in canada he claimed to be romanov to the day he died. He could tell things like anna, of wich people would not know. My grandmother wich knew him well even said on her death bed that it was true. Is that even a possibilty he knew where anna was and wanted to visit anna but his health was to deteraited to go unfortunetly. Could that be possible?

look's picture

the romanov family

I am Anastasias great grandson. No one knows the truth but my family. if anyone would like to cosult wit meid be happy to talk. i have rightfully owned there inheritence. i will not say how much money or anything else I've inherited . relax the royal family still grows strong. we are very much alive.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Fake

Are u real?

Kris Grows's picture

Physical Description

I am writing some fiction wherein the grand duchesses appear, but I have been having a devil of a time finding a physical description. Any recommendations?

madelein's picture

Anastasia is dead

OK well i have done plenty of digging and Anastasia is dead. first off Anastasia had an accident when she was young she hit her head near the forehead and as a scar there, Anastasia always had bangs to cover her scar that she received because she was embarrassed by it. if you look up pictures of Anna Anderson she had no bangs and wore her hair back and NO scar on her forehead! If that was Anastasia wheres the scar? sorry if that was the true Anastasia being embarrassed by her scar i think she would keep wearing bangs throughout her life, since she was self conscious of it. anyway they look nothing alike especially you put two pictures in front of them. As for the deformed foot a lot people have it that, heck my aunt was born with a deformed foot too. also if you put a picture of her when she was !7 when she died the one with her being bald next to Ana no comparison at all.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Physical description of Anastasia

There is a perfect picture of on wikipedia.

Also she was 5'2", broad shoulders, muscular, athletic, thick, dry gritty reddish brown hair, green-brown hazel eyes, high forehead, no ear lobes, very small ears, narrow small nose, small mouth with a very skinny upper lip and somewhat fuller lower lips, hearth-shaped face, long fingers with shorter fore-fingers, skinny legs and arms and thin wrists and ankles, narrowish hips with a slightly thick waistline, asian-like slightly-spaced upper legs, long neck, two flat dark eyebrows (not unibrow).

Serendip Visitor's picture

Anastasia

My 19 year old daughter looks more like Anastasia than Anna Anderson ever did. Yes my daughter is half Russian. She has the same ears, eyes, feet, shape face etc. Just saying.

Serendipfdwef Visitor's picture

romanovs has got a noble girl

romanovs has got a noble girl baby.they sent the baby to rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove her.one day she maried and her husband and their 6 suns,2 douthers went in turkey 1953 and she died in turkey. she said again and again “I am gallers princess”all her lifelong may be feodravna may be one of the OTMA members was mother ofthe baby who can belive but god knows

endipVis's picture

romanovs has got a noble girl

romanovs has got a noble girl baby.they sent the baby to rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove her.one day she maried and her husband and their 6 suns,2 douthers went in turkey 1953 and she died in turkey. she said again and again "I am gallers princess"all her lifelong may be feodravna may be one of the OTMA members was mother ofthe baby who can belive but god knows
I bless you

Anonymous's picture

Anastatia mystery

actually i've learnt about it and i realised that actually Anastatia's earlobe looks rather the same as Anna Anderson or vice versa. Their handwriting is too rather alike... There are also other characteristics which are similiar.
Recent research shows that Anna Anderson which is the fake Anastatia is actually a Polish woman named Franziska Schanzowska. She has many characteristics which are similar to that of Anastatia.

polar's picture

olga (or sameone in her famyl) has got a noble girl

olga (or sameone in her famyl) has got a noble girl baby.she sent her rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove her.one day she maried and her husband and their 6 sun,2 douther migration turkey and she died in turkey. she reaplayed again and again "I am gallers princess"all her lifelong
I bless you

polar's picture

olga (or sameone in her famyl) has got a noble girl baby

olga (or sameone in her famyl) has got a noble girl baby.she sent her rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove her.one day she maried and her husband and their 6 sun,2 douther migration turkey and she died in turkey. she reaplayed again and again "I am gallers princess"all her lifelong
I bless you

Anonymous's picture

What if Anna Anderson is the Real Anastatia?

What if she really is Anastatia? If she had been in a mental hospital but the only thing she blutters is that she is the surviving anastatia, then would'nt it be nice if we know if she has a son/daughter which has the line of a Romanov?

Kenneth Wade Wilson's picture

I am, according to the US government and her, her heir.

All my life I have been under the control of the United States Government, apparently a collusion between the US and Soviets and then between the US and the Russian Federation. Control by every method imagineable. Quite nasty. Degrading. Humiliating. Not even the right to go to a city pool or walk down a sidewalk or drive without police harrassers on my tail trying to make me die by accident so they can collect an alleged bounty (regicide the contractor wishes to avoid, so it must be an accident). They can say I'm a nut. They can say I've done things THEY in fact did. It's pretty cruel, but lately I've been left alone in my old age. I don't know if I'm Anna's son, but she said I was, in 1970, even appointed me her heir, saying "it's all yours", whatever that meant. Many before her had all my life said I was and I never believed it; it all sounded strange to me and offensive to my loyalty to my adoptive parents. I was a dead ringer for Alexie my alleged uncle when I was six or seven. That and other pictures freaked out some folks. Maybe Anna thought I was an impostor. I certainly seek no Romano monvey. However, the Kennedies did the Bay of Pigs in 1961 to install me as a puppet like the Shah of Iran, about the time I was repeatedly being abducted from my home as practice for the final abduction. After that, they used cattle prods to erase my memory over several years. When I indicated (during my abduction by Wackenhut guards to Joe Kennedy's house) that I was looking for a pigstye where the kids at the get-together in the mansion kept the pet pigs, they realized I was talking about the Bay of Pigs and that someone knew about it other than they. I was abandoned and they all scattered. The cops who took me back to Auburn, Alabama kept the nice prince shirt I was given to wear in the bubble copter landing on Joe's lawn. Somewhere there is a JFK campaign photo of him holding me by the crotch in Auburn, Alabama. I've been treated like manure (pun=sar) since childhood, but I'm still alive. Robert Macnamara was largely responsible. People live their last names. His last name was Strange Macnamara and he was indeed screwy and abusively so. His book, the Fog of War, is pure psychotic babble justifying his murderousness. He had playmates of mine killed in front of me. I seek no vengeance. Just reconciliation for all the "pretenders", some of whom I suspect were body doubles for the Romanovs and had been electric shocked to make them forget, like I was. Anastasia said she lost a baby in the late forties. That would be me if I was kept small somehow for three to five years, about that time when frozen embryos were a new technique. God save us all from the powermad. If you think all this sounds crazy, well, reality can be crazy. It's also possible the Romanovs faked their own deaths and sent out a swarm of doubles and brainwashed victims. May even have ghosts working them planting accurate memories on some of these people. I was never Aleksei Romanov, but I've got memories as if. Yep, I doubt my sanity, but that's what everyone should do. Doubt their sanity. Be ever aware of their own ignorance and of the mass of questions that every fact begs. "His Imperial Majesty, Tsar Nicholas III, by appointment of the Tsarina Anna Anderson". I've been to Russia. They probably have my blood and DNA samples. God, they're renovating Alexandrovsky Palace. It's scary. I'm getting to old for this. Bunk me in the Children's Cottage and let me live out my days painting pictures. Or maybe just shoot me? Ive been shot. It was a head shot and it failed, deflected by my motorcycle helmet. Jesus be with me.

Natasha Boriskaya's picture

empathy

I believe your story--goverment agents often use mind control techniques to get what they want--keep the status quo. I can easily see the tsar arranging for his children to escape, and rich often used body doubles for security.I hope you can find peace in this strange world of greed.

Anonymous's picture

Edith Seligman of Louisville Was Anastasia

It was all a trick. Edith Seligman's relatives delivered Anastasia's DNA (Edith Seligman's DNA) on clothes, hair, etc; the Russians did not find Anastasia's charred remains now; it is a lie and it is ludicrous; who would ever believe such nonsense; it is just propaganda

Anonymous's picture

Mystery Solved

Anna Anderson and Body Double – Anastasia (mrs. Thaikovsky)calls herself Anna Anderson in Chalottesville, Va. and then Edith Weiss of Petersberg, Va. and then Edith Seligman of Louisville Ky.

Outline of Theory

Czar Nicholas sends hundreds of millions of dollars offshore to British banks this occurs before the revolution; he also fills the girls; under- garments with diamonds

Anastasia and Alexi are not killed in Ekaternberg; Anastasia is saved by diamonds in her undergarments and the body of her sister Maria that falls on her as they are being shot by Bolshevik firing squad; even so Anastasia is stabbed by bayonets and kicked and stomped

Anastasia and Alexi flee to Rumania with the help of one or more soldiers – Thaikovsy is one of them

Alexi dies from his wounds in Rumania or on the way to Rumania

Anastasia has a child with Thaikovsky– she lives in Rumania for awhile with her child and Thaicovsky – Thaicovsky is murdered

Anastasia flees to Germany by herself in hopes of finding her relatives – Aunt Irene, etc. Her child is placed in an orphanage

Anasata is is without money and she is cold and alone. Her beautiful family has been murdered. She has nobody. She has witnessed unspeakable evil. She gets depressed and jumps from a bridge in Germany in suicide attempt

She is fished out and is sent to an asylum

Relatives in German monarchy deny she is Anastasia and keep her in asylums for eight years send her to New York City with a man; she enters New York without going through immigration; there is no record of her entrance

She stays in New York with relatives for awhile – New York City and Long Island

They put her on a boat with a man to take her back to Europe to go back into the asylum

Instead, though, the boat goes to Virginia and a man disembarks with her at a port in Virginia – probably the port is around Virginia Beach, the boat drops off Anastasia in Virginia and goes on to Europe

Theory- she hooks up with Gleb Botkin in Virginia afterwords. Gleb Botkin is the son of the slain Dr. Eugene Botkin, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks along with the royal family in Ekaternberg (Gleb settles in Charlottesville at some point)

Anastasia calls herself Anna Anderson in Charlottesville, Va (U Va) and tells the press that she is Anastasia in late 1920s– a local newspaper picks up the announcement of Anna Anderson, i.e., that she is Anastasia and it carries a photo of Edith Seligman of Louisville Ky. (maiden name Edith Weiss of Louisville, Ky. “Anastasia” -i.e., Anna Anderson is under the custodial care of the Weiss family in Petersberg, Virginia

The determination is made to ship off Anna Adnerson./Edith Weiss to Louisville, Ky. where she marries Daniel Seligman psoing ss a Jewess and has two children, seven grandchildren and over twelve great grandchildren and counting. She is married to Daniel Seligman in an orthodox Jewish ceremony. They find a Polish woman with a close resemblance to Edith to go to the asylum in Europe; The Polish woman suffers from amnesia from an explosion in her factory – only the explosion occurred in March 1920 and Anastasia jumped off the bridge in Germany in February of 1920. Theory: there are two Anna Andersons - Anna Anderson 1 (Edith Seligman). The Polish woman is Anna Anderson 2. Anna Anderson 2 is a body double of Anna Anderson 1 – an imposter; Anna Anderson 2 lives and dies in Charlottesville, Va.She marries jack Manahan

Anna Anderson 2 is part of a scheme to get back the Romonov money being held in the British banks- the group funding the lawsuit is able to get information form Anastasia while at the same time protecting her in Louisville, Ky.

She and Daniel Seligman work together in Seligman Furs

The lawsuit in Europe form the Romonov fortune drags on for thirty years; the lawsuit is dismissed when DNA of Anna Adnerson 2 does not match DNA of Prince Phillip - Gleb Botkin and Edith Selgiman (the real Anastasia) are then killed in the same year - 1969 to 1970; Edith seligman is buriede in Bait Knesset synagogue cemetary in Louisville, Ky.

Anna Anderson 1 and 2 are two different people. The photo in google under the words "anna anderson" is a photo of Edith Seligman (anna anderson 1) - the photo under anna anderson in wikepedia is anna anderson 2 (the Polish worker)

Proved's picture

Actually if you do some

Actually if you do some research it was proven this year that every member was accounted for. They found charred remains in a grave not to far from the burial sight what from there they proved it was anastasia and alexie

risa's picture

That was her

I agree with most of the opinions n this. I don't belive that the remains found were anastasia's family. Anna Anderson was anastasia. physical resemblance; others still, her knowledge of the royal throne including memories that a non-member of the family would not know. She was her, thats just how it is.

Anonymous's picture

Real

If you have any questions whether Anna Anderson was Anastasia - read the book - Anastasia - the Long Lost Princess!

dean's picture

anna

i rekon that this is still alive well ...... not now i think she got a way tho
and lived a nother life bad spelling sorry

Anonymous's picture

because you believe that

because you believe that Anna Anderson was the real Anastasia does not mean its so. it dosnt matter anyway shes dead no disrespect to her but she had one child that is unknown of his where abouts so even if she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia its to late foe her now

Anonymous's picture

it wouldnt be to late because

it wouldnt be to late beacause there is a sum of 80 million dollars that would belong to her amongust other things plus she would famous, but there is a another rumor stateing that the rest of the family that was not kill fleeded to the U.S. to stay with some other family members.

Anonymous's picture

I guess your wrong

Now all of the children have been dna identified so I guess you are wrong about her being Anna Anderson. The original gravesite was the Czar, Czarina, and 3 princesses and now the second site found confirmed the bodies of Alexei and Maria. All have now been accounted for so your theory as grand as can be is way off base. What would be the motive for lying about it? Everything is a grand conspiracy isn't it? Dna should be thrown out the window because one person thinks that "logic" and "common sense" are a more reliable source? I will stick with dna.

Anonymous's picture

YOU'RE wrong.

Actually... There were three older sisters and Anastasia... Anastasia was never found, though Anna Anderson is not Anastasia... Anastasia could be alive or dead, no one knows.

Anonymous's picture

Anastasia

if Anastasia was alive, she'd be over 100 years old

camille vengeance's picture

I loved the disney movie

I loved the disney movie "Anastasia"
and now that im older i love learning facts about the real person.

Anonymous's picture

I studied Anastasia as just

I studied Anastasia as just an easy essay topic but came to learn that she was infact a very interesting girl and a lot like myself i enjoyed reading about her a lot and the Romanov family.

Paul Grobstein's picture

scientific "facts" or ... ?

Nice story about the limitations of scientific observations/"facts". What's the difference between "science" and "summaries of observations ... using logic and simple common sense"?

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