Oliver: Chimp, Humanzee Or Orang Pendek?

A

Anonymous

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Chimp human hybrid

I remember seeing on TV (The fortean TV programme) A bipedal ape that could have been a human chimp hybrid. Anyone have any more info on this?
 

ruffready

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I believe ....

That was 'OLIVER'.. who was kept in a research facility for a long time "after he was on the "carnival rounds" he was mentioned again and looked at (after someone sort of rescued him) and it (he ,the ape, "chimp") was found to be just a chimpanzee-trained to walk upright by the people who travel and showed him in the carnival--after he got old he was given to the research place..
 
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Anonymous

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More details on the testing here.
Link is dead. No archived version found.
 
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A

Anonymous

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Oliver! Humanzee?!

Documentary tonight on Channel 5 (UK)

Remember him from the 80's tabloids no-one else I know seems to remember but he was a hero of mine! What do you reckon?

Strange, bald upright- walking chimp

The docu suggests he wasn't a human-chimp mating -I think the mutation theory is right but would like to think there is an undiscovered breed of chimps in Africa somewhere. It was still a sad tale of media circus to experimental hospital though - John Merrick springs to mind.

Haven't been on this site for ages but thought you'd all have something interesting to say.....


lily XX
 

carole

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On the programme it was stated that they'd done a new genetic test on Oliver and he has 48 chromosomes, like a chimp, as opposed to the human 46. So he's not a hybrid. But it was postulated that he might be one of a new sub-species of ape.

Carole
 

carole

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What struck me about Oliver was that, despite the bad luck he'd experienced in his latter years, he seemed quite a good-natured beast (being??). I understand that mature chimps can be quite unpredictable in temper, even vicious.

Carole
 
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Anonymous

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As it was suggested was found in Africa rather than just turned up, hopefully he wasn't the result of some hideous experiment - although it appears he spent 9 years in a lab in the US, (I'll avoid that rant/ramble right now) I know nothing about primates, but yes, he did seem relatively well adjusted... (I'm glad he's given up the cigars anyway!)

Liliy
 

carole

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What tantalised me was the reconstruction of how a chimp-human hybrid might look . . . has it been done in a lab, does anyone think? Or has it even happened 'naturally'?

Carole
 
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Anonymous

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I know nothing about primates but I thought he was certainly different from other trained chimps etc, the posture was what got me - people admire how well actors in 2001 Space Oddessy did the ape bit - but you could still tell they weren't quite apes..

Lily xx
 

Iamroachford

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Spooky

Even if he/it had 48 chrom's, there seemed something very weird going on behind those eyes.

And the fact that he used to shake hands with people by grabbing their elbow for a "warm welcome".........erie. Very erie.
 

ruffready

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Amazing missing links (includes "Oliver")

paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa022800a.htm
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/2011101...od/humanmysteries/a/Amazing-Missing-Links.htm

Here's the text and photo from the MIA webpage ...

oliver1.jpg

THE STORY OF OLIVER

Oliver was one of the most closely studied chimpanzees in history, in large part because of his odd appearance and behavior. His behavior was so humanlike, in fact, that it was suspected by some that he might actually be a human-chimp hybrid -- the result of some secret genetic experiment. Some called him a "humanzee".

Oliver was born in the African Congo where he was captured in the early 1970s and sold with a dozen other chimps to Frank and Janet Burger, animal trainers from South Africa. Immediately, they recognized that Oliver was quite different than the other chimps they worked with. He looked different, for one thing. Although young, he lacked hair on his chest and head. His ears and jawline were shaped somewhat differently than a normal chimp's. Most astonishingly, Oliver always walked upright with a decidedly human gait. He learned to use a toilet, liked to watch TV with the Burgers, drink coffee and beer with them, and even took on simple household chores like feeding the dog.

Oliver's remarkable intelligence brought him a modicum of fame, touring the world throughout the 1970s and performing before an estimated 26 million people. He even made appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

Oliver preferred the company of humans to that of other chimps. The feeling on the part of other chimps was mutual; they tended to avoid him. Oliver's comfort with humans even crossed the boundaries of social propriety when he made sexual advances toward Janet Burger and other human females.

It was shortly after these incidents that Oliver was sold to a New York attorney and later to West Coast animal trainers who promoted him as "The Missing Link" and showcased him in a traveling act of trained chimps.

Was Oliver a human-chimp hybrid, a kind of mutant chimp or one of some new species?

In the sensationalized publicity that surrounded Oliver, it was reported that he had 47 chromosomes - one less than an ordinary chimpanzee and one more than a human being. These reports were refuted in 1997, however, when genetic testing revealed that he had 48 chromosomes, just like any other chimp. This eliminates the human-chimp hybrid theory, but does not rule out the possibility that Oliver might be a mixture of common and pygmy chimps or part of a new, unknown species.

Oliver has since retired to Primarily Primates, a primate sanctuary in Texas where he settled down with a mate - a chimp mate. Whatever the ultimate findings are about Oliver, his peculiarities remain a mystery.
 
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A

Anonymous

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carole said:
What tantalised me was the reconstruction of how a chimp-human hybrid might look . . . has it been done in a lab, does anyone think? Or has it even happened 'naturally'?

Carole

Chimera?
 

stu neville

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carole said:
What tantalised me was the reconstruction of how a chimp-human hybrid might look . . . has it been done in a lab, does anyone think?

Carole
Apparently it has: well, it's coming close..
Posted Aug 22 2001

Man-Beast Hybrid Created In 1996
[Original headline: Man-beast hybrid beyond talking stage - Human DNA in cow egg]

Melding man and beast may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but it's not.

Amid all the advances in genetic manipulation, the idea of combining the DNA of animals and humans has gone beyond the talking stage -- it's been attempted.

Indeed, many scientists and academics are wondering how far it might go and what the ethical implications would be. If a human were crossed with a chimpanzee, for example, would it still be human? And if not, then what would it be?

The first publicized case of animal-human hybrids took place in 1996 when Jose Cibelli, a scientist at the University of Massachusetts, took DNA from his white blood cells by swabbing the inside of his cheek. He then inserted the DNA sample into a hollowed-out cow egg.

Cibelli's experiment came to an end after a week of growing the cell mass, he told scientists earlier this month at a panel meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

This raised the question of what might have emerged had the cell mass continued to develop.

"As far as we know, it would still look like a human being, but some of the characteristics of individual cells might be slightly different," said James Cross, a molecular biologist at the University of Calgary who attended the meeting.

If such an embryo could develop, he said, the result would resemble a human being but carry bovine mitochondria, the energy-producing component of every cell. This is because the cow's egg shell, or cytoplasm, contains genetic materials known as mitochondrial DNA.

"This suggests that we can create new human-animal species," said Jeremy Rifkin, biotechnology critic and president of the Washington-based Foundation on Economic Trends.

Rifkin called the experiment "the most extraordinary single development in the history of biotechnology."

Such experiments have become public only when the makers of hybrids, who fund their operations through investor capital, apply to patent their inventions.

In partnership with Massachusetts-based Advanced Cell Technology, Cibelli came out from under a shroud of secrecy in 1998 when the firm applied to patent the alleged invention.

Last October, Greenpeace Germany dug up a patent claim for a similar human-animal hybrid, only this time it involved a pig. U.S.-based Biotransplant and Australia-based Stem Cell Sciences grew a pig-human embryo to 32 cells before ending its life.

"If the embryo had lived, it would be 95% human," said Michael Khoo, a genetic engineering campaigner for Greenpeace's Toronto branch. "The possibilities are not only frightening, but it's unknown just how many other similar patent applications are out there."

Meanwhile, critics and futurists are having a field day speculating on the future of biotechnology.

"Chimpanzees share between 95% and 98% of our genes, so the prospect of creating a human-chimpanzee hybrid are highly probable," Rifkin said. "The question becomes: What percentage of human genes will it take before human rights kick in? Would a hybrid have to look and talk like a human before it can get human rights?"
(Original source The Edmonton Journal, widely quoted on the net including here.

There was also a persistent rumour some years back regarding Chinese experiments, and apparently successful births of chimp/human hybrids, which were then halted forcibly by the military: anyone else remember this?
 

Sertile

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There was a special on Oliver titled "Humanzee" on the Discovery Channell a couple nights back. It was a "special presentation" of the new Science Channell or something. It was actually quite gripping, as opposed to the usual "Monster House" "Build me a Crazy Car" Discovery Channell fare.

But anyway, here's what I was thinking: Could Oliver possibly be a captured specimen of this new Chimp subspecies making the scene in central Africa? Is there any reason at all to think that?
 

austen27

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Human Chimps, Orang Padek?

Did anyone else see the Channel 5 documentary about Oliver the "Human Chimp"? There is some information on the web:

parascope.com/en/cryptozoo/missingLinks10.htm
Link and website are dead. The MIA article can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/20040208105316/http://www.parascope.com/en/cryptozoo/missingLinks10.htm

chron.com/content/chronicle/metropolitan/97/01/12/oliver.2-0.html
Link is dead. The MIA article can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/2004020...ronicle/metropolitan/97/01/12/oliver.2-0.html


Oliver was confirmed to be a chimp in the end, but an odd one. Could he be something like an "Orang Padek" - but with Chimp rather than Orang utang ancestors?
 
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Mighty_Emperor

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Austen: This issue has been covered a few times here:

Oliver:

(These threads now merged into this one, so links disabled - Stu)

Orang Pendek:

forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1010
Link is obsolete. The current link is:
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/orang-pendek-orang-dalam-sedapa-south-east-asia.24760/


Ape/human hybrids:

forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3383
Link is obsolete. The current link is:
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/ape-human-hybrids-racism-human-identity.3383/


And Karl Shuker published an article on him in FT - it appears that Oliver is just a chimp but one that has had some nasty things done to him, etc. :(

Emps
 
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stu neville

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Please sir, can I have some more?

Oliver threads merged.
 

Bilderberger

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Emperor said:
And Karl Shuker published an article on him in FT - it appears that Oliver is just a chimp but one that has had some nasty things done to him, etc. :(

Emps

Do you remember the edition? I don't recall this article.

When you say "nasty things" are you (quite fairly) referring to his treatment and 9 years in research laboratory? Or are you suggesting that he was genetically engineered or trained to act the way he did?
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Bilderberger: It was a year or two ago in the forum section - I'll have a nose around (doesn't it say in this thread?).

The nasty things were stuff like having its teeth pulled - its just an ordinary chimp but it has been mistreated a lot on the past to make it more human looking but it is in a good chimp sanctuary now.

Emps
 

Bilderberger

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Did they shrink his head? It is 2/3 the size of a normal chimp.

Not saying that he wasn't mistreated - but he is not an ordinary chimp - his genetics are slightly different.

The onwer of the sanctuary he lives in certainly believes Oliver to be different as well - and I would imagine he has seen more maltreated chimps than most people.

Perhaps I have missed something - but I wasn't aware that the differences in his genetic code were under dispute?
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Bilderberger said:
Perhaps I have missed something - but I wasn't aware that the differences in his genetic code were under dispute?

Neither was I - I didn't think there were any. From one of the links above:

In 1997, a series of genetic tests finally settled the question of what exactly Oliver is made of. Geneticists at the University of Chicago determined that Oliver is simply a chimp, not a missing link, and certainly no human-chimp hybrid. He also possesses the standard chimpanzee chromosome count of 48.

"So the report of 47 chromosomes was either a misinterpretation or purposeful misrepresentation," said Dr. David Ledbetter, who performed the analysis and found to his surprise that the results matched tests done two decades earlier. "The chimp-human question was settled twenty years ago," he said.

http://www.parascope.com/en/cryptozoo/missingLinks10.htm

Emps
 

Mighty_Emperor

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OK the Karl Shuker article is a bit older than I thought but is in FT120:48-9 (1999) and deals with all the gross morphological features as well as the DNA - apart from his jaw (which has changed shape due to his teeth being removed) everything else is within the general range of chimpanzee variation. Most of this is drawn from a study carried out in the 1970s but such conventional expalantions don't make such interesting TV ;)

edit: the article is also online here:
n2.net/prey/bigfoot/creatures/article.htm
edit2: Link broken - its here at:
forteantimes.com/articles/120_oliver.shtml
Links are dead. See later post for the 1999 Fortean Times article.
 
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Bilderberger

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Emperor said:
Neither was I - I didn't think there were any. From one of the links above:
Emps

You are right to say that tests on Oliver confirmed him to be a chimp - 48 chromosones. I have not doubted that he was a chimp - what I said was that he was no ordinary chimp.

The TV programme made it quite explicit that tests on Oliver show a difference in his genetic code as compared to other chimps. (they even showed the differences in the code whilst the geneticist who performed the tests explained them)

I was not aware this was under dispute.

Did you see the programme? Were these tests after the KS article? - it is hard to work out the timeline - although the tests referred to in the programme seemed to be very recent. ARe they the 1996 ones that KS refers to? I am now confused.

Thanks for the link to the KS article:)
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Bilderberger: I'm not sure about the recent tests - I saw the documentary first time around and so I'm not sure of the details.

I'm grouting my bathroom at the moment but as soon as I've finished I'll be looking up these tests and trying to get some order into the sequence of things (no pun intended ;) ).

The AJPA study is the one I'm aware of (I think I have a copy around somewhere) and Shuker sums that up too (so it wasn't just the chromosome tests):

Accordingly, he persuaded DNA analysis expert Dr John fly from Texas's Trinity University and cytogeneticist Dr Charleen Moore from Texas University's Health Science Center to conduct the most extensive genetic studies ever undertaken with Oliver. Their results were published in 1998 by the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and disclosed the following.

Standard chromosomal studies fully supported Ledbetter's findings that Oliver had the diploid chromesome count expected for chimpanzees (i.e. 48 or 24 pairs). They also revealed that his chromosomes possessed banding patterns typical for the common chimpanzee but different from those of humans and bonobos, thereby excluding any possibility of Oliver being a hybrid.

Moreover, when they sequenced a specific portion (312 bp region) of the D-loop region of Oliver's mitochondrial DNA they discovered that its sequence corresponded very closely indeed with that of the Central African subspecies of common chimpanzee; the closest correspondence of all was with a chimp specimen from Gabon in Central-West Africa.

n2.net/prey/bigfoot/creatures/article.htm
Link is dead.


I think the main problem is that people seem to underestimate the amount of morphological and genetic variation within chimps - it makes it a better story but............

So they would need a good wide reference sample and it'd have to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Emps
 
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Mighty_Emperor

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I suspect there has been a more recent DNA study which has featured in both the Channel 5 and the Discovery Channel documentary.

I found a number of people discussing the show and saying things like:

However, the Discovery channel showed the DNA mapping of Oliver alongside those of normal common chimps, and pointed out where the differences were noted, so claims that Oliver was merely a normal common chimp have been publically disproven. He does have 48 chromosomes, but he is NOT genetically a normal common chimp, nor any other known chimp species, at least not unquestionably).

This is a reply to that:

simegen.com/pipermail/simegen-l/Week-of-Mon-20030804/010740.html
Link is dead. No archived version found.


I'm afraid, if thats what they did, that putting them alongside another DNA sequence is inadequate as proof. That would require some serious statistical analysis and the right sets of comparitive samples, etc.

For now I'll have to stick with the 1998 study for the time being ;) :

Abstract
Oliver is an African ape whose species identity has been debated in the popular media and by various scientists since the early 1970s. Although decisive morphological data has never been adduced on Oliver, many reports indicated that Oliver was morphologically unusual for a chimpanzee, particularly in his habitual bipedal posture. In addition, his diploid chromosome number was reported to be inconsistent with either human or chimpanzee, but instead intermediate between those species. We performed standard chromosomal studies which demonstrated that Oliver had the diploid number expected for a chimpanzee (2N = 48) and that the banding patterns of his chromosomes were typical for a chimpanzee and different from both humans and bonobos. We also sequenced a 312 bp region of his mitochondrial DNA D-loop region. Results indicated a high sequence homology to the Central African variety of chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes troglodytes. The highest percent homology was observed with a previously characterized specimen from Gabon, strongly suggesting that Oliver originated from this region. Am J Phys Anthropol 105:395-403, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ely, J.J., Leland, M., Martino, M., Swett, W., and Moore, C.M., 1998.
Technical report: chromosomal and mtDNA analysis of Oliver.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 105 (3). 395 - 403.

Some other good links:

primate.wisc.edu/pin/myths.html
Link is dead. No archived version found.

n2.net/prey/bigfoot/creatures/olivera.htm
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/20040401113946/http://www.n2.net/prey/bigfoot/creatures/olivera.htm

n2.net/prey/bigfoot/creatures/oliveru.htm
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/20010208163702/http://www.n2.net/prey/bigfoot/creatures/oliveru.htm


If anyone has any information - name of scienists invovled, etc. then throw it in as I'm interested in pinning this recent DNA test down.

Emps
 
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A

Anonymous

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Well, there is supposed to be a large genetic diversity between chimps in general. They say in a normal group, you can find more genetic difference than between the different human races. Although that sounds too PC to be true.
 

FilthyleDog

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What would be the point of a human/chimp hybrid?

So you could peel bananas with your feet?
 

Anome

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Xanatic said:
Well, there is supposed to be a large genetic diversity between chimps in general. They say in a normal group, you can find more genetic difference than between the different human races. Although that sounds too PC to be true.
On the other hand, it could well be. There's a group in Africa (of pygmies, I believe) that has the widest genetic range of any other group of people in the world, and who are considered by some (as a result) as being the closest to the early hominids. (Although they are clearly Homo Sapiens Sapiens.)

Chimpanzees have a much narrower range, and haven't done a mass exodus out of Africa (which tends to bottleneck one's genetic variation). So it is possible. Can't swear that it is true, though.

Filthy le Dog said:
What would be the point of a human/chimp hybrid?

So you could peel bananas with your feet?
You mean you can't? How do you eat while you're on the net?
 
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