Warning: This is April Fools’ Day episode 2015, please don’t spoil its contents to your friends if you share this video.
P.S.: Share this video (just because …)
Last year, I delivered a big, nice, April fool, and you were none the wiser.
Therefore, and quite logically, many of you are lying in wait this year.
And the harder you fell for my April fool last year, the more you are trying to catch me this year.
Consequently, this year, I propose something slightly different.
Rather than telling you a story which seems likely but is totally bogus,
I will tell you a story that seems completely bogus but is in fact completely true.
— What? Is that all? — Yeah, maybe it’s not enough.
OK, OK, here’s what I suggest:
I will tell you 7 completely incredible stories, which are nevertheless true.
You can say whatever you like, people won’t trust you.
OK, OK, here’s what I suggest:
7 incredible yet true stories,
and I get help from the best storyteller of incredible stories on the web!
Hello Bruce, and thank you for your invitation.
The stories we are going to tell you are so astonishing
that you would not believe us if the sources weren’t in the description.
I hereby pledge my responsibility and my credibility, on the promise I make to you
that the 7 following stories we’re going to tell you, although totally bewildering,
are entirely true.
And I vouch for their authenticity.
The immortal woman
There’s a woman who, although she died of cancer in 1951, became immortal.
Well, sort of.
Henrietta Lacks did die in 1951, at the age of 31, from a particularly aggressive tumour.
During her treatment with radium, doctors took samples of her tumour without asking for her permission
and they discovered something unheard-of.
Henrietta’s cells have the unique property to proliferate without limit outside of her body.
From then on, her cells have been distributed in labs worldwide.
Under the name HeLa, for Henrietta Lacks,
her cells helped to understand the development of cancer,
to develop a vaccine against polio,
to make progress in areas such as genetics, biochemistry,
long story short, HeLa cells are used worldwide in all the labs needing cells, since the 50’s.
Henrietta Lacks’ cells went into space, they helped win Nobel prizes,
but her family never saw a single penny of the money earned by the labs.
Especially those that simply sell cell cultures.
So, in a way, that makes her the biggest woman in history.
The heaviest, in any case, according to the biographer Rebecca Skloot,
more than 50 millions of tons of HeLa cells might have been produced in labs.Yes, its heavy.
– Like my d*** – Oh no!
– Come on! – I said no!
– Come on, please?
– It’s over! I don’t want to hear that punchline! Ever again!
Not even once at the cha…?
I know one who would have done better to think about it. (hin hin) Shut up!
In the ’50s, a Russian surgeon implanted 2 heads to several dogs.
♪ That’s normal in Ru… ♫
The Soviet Cerberus and the dogs heads
In 1954, the great Soviet surgeon Vladimir Demikhov led hybridisation experiments in a secret research centre.
He created real chimeras by grafting puppies heads on German shepherd dogs.
One of these creatures survived no less than 29 days.
Dogs with 2 heads, yes.
Furthermore, in the ’20s, Sergei Brukhonenko succeeded in keeping alive, for several hours, a few heads of recently beheaded dogs.
Eeew!– But but…
We’re talking about Russian scientists creating 2-headed dogs
and dogs’ heads, without a body, but still living.– But… What for ?
– What do you mean ‘what for’?
Demikhov experiments paved the way for the first heart transplant operation that took place in 1967.
However, during the Cold War, the main interest of the operation was likely to demonstrate the scientific superiority of the Soviet Union.
So yes, congratulations, well, we are stronger than everybody, ’cause we get to create zombies! Great!
For sure, ethically, Demikhov’s experiments were more than questionable
but you’ll see that the US had no reason to be envious of the USSR.
Ladies and gentlemen, Starfish Prime!
On August 30th, 1961, while the world was still in the Cold War,
– It’s just four months after the incident of the Bay of Pigs and the ‘almost’ apocalypse –
Soviets announced that they intended to end a 3-year moratorium on nuclear testing.
Therefore, Americans, as for them, felt justified to go back to testing. Yeah…
For instance, they’ve wondered for a long time, if a nuclear explosion could significantly, or dangerously, affect the magnetosphere
With that, we come back to last year’s April Fool’s episode
in which I talked about what would happen if our magnetosphere disappeared. But no one gives a damn.
So, according to you, how did the Americans answered this question? Did they:
1 – secretly gathered theoreticians to think about it?
2 – never mind, it’s one of those big issues which, hopefully, will remain unanswered forever?
3 – decided to detonate a huge H-bomb above the atmosphere to see if we would all kick the bucket?
…not sure, I don’t feel like it, guys!
I’d say the third one, but I often take my desires for realities.
They brainstormed and decided that bombs are bad?
Oh, for real?
No, indeed, on July 9th, 1962, Americans blew up the Starfish Prime bomb
– which means “the first starfish” –
400 km (250 miles) above the ground. This is the altitude of the International Space Station.
Really in space then.
A hydrogen bomb with a yield of approximately 1.4 megaton. That’s a lot.
To show that they were stronger than the Soviets.
Because, at the time, there was a relentless struggle to determine who, between the USSR and the USA, was the strongest.
’cause… sh*t, let me talk to your father.♪ Oh, modern society! ♫
– Uh, okay…
And weren’t they afraid of the possible consequences for the world of this kind of experiments?
This explosion added, completely artificially, a new belt to those of Van Halen,
and generated an electromagnetic pulse so powerful that, overall,
anything in low orbit around the Earth has been either damaged or fully destroyed.
A bit more and we could have really pulled off a big chunk of the Earth’s magnetosphere.
The Solar winds would have taken away our atmosphereHuh no?
– What are YOU doing here?
My microwave oven!
You didn’t think about it, eh? — Oh you prick! —
This electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, if you’re a Call of Duty or a Battlefield player,
also knocked out almost all the electric installation of the Hawaiian island O’ahu, 1,300 km (800 miles) away from the impact.
And it took almost 40 years for our magnetosphere to recover from it.
“You Maniacs! You blew it up!
Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
Are you all right?
Don’t mind him, he’s just quoting The Planet Of The Apes,
the ’68 version, Schaffner’s one.
An SF movie that was also, at the time, a harsh critique of the arms race between USA and USSR.
An arms race that could have led to nuclear war and, possibly, the end of humanity.
Born in 1870, Ilya Ivanov was a gifted Russian biologist — what a surprise —
specialised in animal hybridisation and artificial insemination.
For instance, he was the first to cross-breed an antelope and a cow — Moo? —
In 1910, at the World Congress of Zoologists in Graz, he talked about taking his ambition to the next level.
The human-ape hybridisation.
This is very dirty biology!
In 1926, he can launch his project with the agreement of the Pasteur Institute, which authorises him to experiment.
In French Guinea.
Ah, the good old days of the colonies!
With the support of the Soviet government, Ivanov inseminated three female chimpanzees with human sperm.
(echoing) Human sperm … Human sperm … Human sperm…
Well, that didn’t work, and it’s just as well, but Ivanov does not stop there…
It occurs to him that maybe the opposite will work
therefore, he decides to inseminate human women with chimpanzee sperm.
The chimpanzee being our closest cousin.
But the colonial authorities flatly refuse to take that step.
Yeah, ’cause THEN, it’s going a bit too far. Yeah…
So, he goes back to Russia but doesn’t drop the project.
In 1929, with the support of the Society of Materialist Biologists, he resumed his hybridisation projects.
He then looked for female volunteers, willing to be inseminated with chimpanzee sperm.
And he found some!
More than one!
Unfortunately — Why am I even saying that? —
Fortunately, the experiment will never been conducted
since the only mature ape available for Ivanov died of a brain haemorrhage before the test could begin.
I don’t know if you realise that we’ve escaped a possible human-ape hybridisation
only because that guy had only one ape!
Several women were available, but only one freaking ape!
In a way, Ivanov was a Doctor Moreau,
as seen interpreted by Marlon Brando in the eponymous film with Val Kilmer.
A film of rare quali- Nope.
At some point, one must set the limits!
It’s normal, you can’t play god. This is what ethics is for.
The morality that goes…
What the f*** is this set? Where are you?
Well, at the beach!
Anyway, during History, scientists’ morality led them
to accept ‘not manipulating human beings’ as an ultimate limit.
Here comes the CIA…
MK Ultra & the Stargate Project
During the ’50s, the Americans
— still during the Cold War —
decided to develop ways to manipulate people.
But mind you, not mere neuromarketing.
Nor suggestions to make you eat this or that burger. Naaaaah!
Nah, we’re talking about true brainwashing based on drugs and electroshock,
to put it in a nutshell.
The project is launched in April 1953 by the then CIA director, Allen Dulles,
as a response to mental control procedures supposedly developed by the USSR.
Ah, those good ol’ days of the Cold War…
The aim of this project was to develop mind control methods,
mainly through substances with highly targeted effects.
Suppression of alcohol toxicity,
increase of alcohol toxicity,
amnesia, euphoria, mental confusion,
increase of the sensitivity to hypnosis, and so on.
And on, and on…
Even if some CIA documents, now declassified,
suggest that the US would have liked
using radiation during their experiments,
it seems that it has not occurred.
They rather fell back on, overwhelmingly, LSD.
The experiments were then conducted on CIA employees,
on soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners,
Including students paid $15 for the experiment.
Usually without warning the subject about the content of the experiment,
or even about the existence of the experiment itself.Excuse me, I was listening to your video on Youtube
[Do you realise you’re seeing here the true, the one and only Mr Eolas (famous French attorney)]
I checked the US law, that’s not legal at all!
Yeah, outright illegal!OK, well, my bad then, carry on.
[Admit it, that’s not a common guest! ]
And remember that in every elderly, there’s a youngster who wonders what happened.
Gottlieb, Head of the project, and huge consumer of LSD,
could give an insane amount of LSD to a subject,
toss him in a sensory deprivation tank,
while blasting the audio recording of mentally ill patients in crisis.
He was far too hiiigh…?
Yeah, that’s over the top…
Or install one-way mirrors in brothels
to observe customers, unwittingly drugged by prostitutes at the request of the CIA.
Who would complain after such a thing?
The top of cynicism was these heroin addicts
to whom LSD was given, during 77 days,
by promising them heroin as a reward.
The CIA dropped LSD in the end, too unpredictable,
and rather used amphetamines and barbiturates.
At the same time!
A mix that was quickly abandoned
due to the subjects’… death.
But all this is peanuts!
Yeah, peanuts compared with the incredible, staggeringly absurd, Stargate Project.
In the ’60s, the US Secret Services
discover that the Soviets lead intensive researches on paranormal.
They want to develop psychic weapons and claim to have results,
as in the case of Nina Kulagina, a Russian psychic,
about whom it’s said she was able to stop the heart of a remote frog.
Is it me or is this episode going down the crapper?
Therefore, at the CIA, they thought
Beware! This is the Cold War, for goodness sake!
We may also have psychics high as a kite
that move logs using their mind
or blast the head of goats just by staring at them
Nah, nah, it’s you, shhh!
You’re going astray.
Yeah, but still, that is the spirit.
The idea was to use the so-called psychic abilities
to detect remote targets.
Submarines, military locations, hostages, etc.
And have they tested that for a long time?
25 years. And the project cost $25 million.
And did they get significant results? – No.
Yet it’s a subject that got people talking, including in movies
Firestarter, Fury, The Manchurian Candidate, The Men Who Stare At Goats, The Killing Room… – Yes.
Well, that’s it for the Stargate psychics and their insignificant powers
which governments were ready to believe.
Now, shall we talk about a great inventor, whose government did not take seriously?
[…ied with children ^^]
Hedy Lamarr […malade] was one of the most legendary actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Era.
Dubbed most beautiful woman in the world at the time,
she is particularly famous for having played the first sex scene of a non pornographic film:
Ecstasy, in 1933.
Maybe you should wait before you google her…
we must say, rightly or not, Hedy Lamarr […tinique] is just as famous for her sexual activity.
That she conceded herself in her autobiography which was considered at that time by Playboy
to be one of the 10 most erotic works in the history of literature.
And as, at the time, outside marriage sex did not seem not very orthodox,
the book has two introductions: a medical and a psychiatric one,
to justify the behaviour of Hedy Lamarr […s Attacks! ]
At that time, she is seen as a totally sultry movie star.
But she is much more than that.
Alongside her acting career,
Hedy Lamarr […oon 5] is also an inventor and science enthusiast.
With her friend, the composer George Antheil,
she develops a communication system for radio-guided torpedoes
whose frequency automatically changes, seemingly randomly,
among over a hundred frequencies available,
not allowing enemies to actually be able to detect the communications.After having patented…
– after they had patented! Are you sure?
– Guy, seriously?
Hm… They patented, on June 10th, 1941,
a torpedo guidance system, impossible to jam,
named frequency-hopping spread spectrum, or just spread-spectrum.
After that, the US government and army
decided to do nothing at all with it. Yup’, nothing.
The army was probably a little bit reluctant to the idea of using an invention
developed by a Hollywood actress,
but Hedy’s technology resurfaced in the ’60s
when engineers realised how brilliant its principle is.
It was used during the incident of Cuba, and the Bay of Pigs
it was used during all the following wars,
and is still today the core technology of GPS, WiFi, and wireless phones.
Imagine if Scarlett Johansson developed teleportation.
Yes, History has taught us about geniuses,
outstanding men and women
whose intelligence enabled them to see things no one else could see.
But History has also introduced us to… less brilliant people.
The Darwin Awards
Since 1993, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who withdrew from the human gene pool
by acting in an extraordinarily stupid manner, thereby improving the gene pool.
They self-sterilised, or they died,
— in general, they died —
only because of their own stupidity.
Although these Awards are often ironic and mocking,
we usually don’t indulge in these sorts of things.
Although here… please forgive us!
We’re going to talk about some cases of Darwin Awards that are related to science,
but only for informational purposes. And not at all for mockery.
So we’re not going to talk about this guy in Louisburgh, in North Carolina,
who, in 1987, jumped with parachutists to take their picture
while forgetting to take his own parachute.
We’re not going to talk about this dude who, in 2012, in Jijel, Algeria,
decided to fill up the tank of his generator while using a candle for lighting.
Nah! Only scientific cases…
On March 19th, 2006, Kennon, a young resident of Belize,
decides to replicate Benjamin Franklin’s experiment,
by flying a kite in a lightning storm.
The string of his kite is lined with a copper wire
to conduct electricity towards a key, attached to the bottom of the string.
But Kennon doesn’t take enough precautions
and when the copper wire makes contact with a high-tension line,
he is instantly electrocuted and dies.
Kennon’s father will later say that his son should have been more careful
…since he was a professional electrician.
On February 2nd, 2008, in Sofia, Bulgaria: Lydia, a chemistry professor, is in a car with her husband and a friend.
And the three of them start to feel a bit dizzy, due to what Lydia stores in her car.
Chemicals such as diethyl ether — commonly called ether —
which is a strong sedative.
In a stroke of genius, Lydia then decides to stop the car
and to pour the three bottles of chemicals in a sewer.
The three highly flammable substances poured… well… ignite
and cause an explosion so powerful that it launched the manhole cover into the air,
as well as Lydia’s head.
The 2 others were badly burned but survived.
And one can guess that they may have stopped practising chemistry.
Finally, and this is one of my favourite by far!
On July 2nd, 1982, Californian truck driver Larry Walters decides to fly away
in a lawn chair tied to helium-filled weather balloons.
45 helium-filled weather balloons.
He took off from San Pedro in Los Angeles, thought he’d be able to control his flying thingy
until he ended up at the altitude of 4,600 m (15,000 feet) in the middle of an air corridor.
By the way, he was spotted by a pilot there.
However, he eventually came down, not without difficulty, in Long Beach, after a 45 minutes flight,
while the hanging tethers of his machine were caught in a power line
causing a black-out in Long Beach.
This one didn’t die, but a few years after, a tribute was paid to him by Father Adelir Antônio.
On April 20th, 2008, this priest tried to break the record of a 19 hours flight.
His goal was to raise funds to build spiritual resting places for truck drivers.
Father Antônio took all necessary precautions, such as a GPS and satellite phone.
But after the take-off, he was carried off by changing winds
When Father Antônio used his satellite phone to call for help,
it was unfortunately impossible to locate him,
as Father Antônio had forgotten to ask how to use his GPS.
His body was found stranded on a Brazilian coast, nearly 3 months later.
We told you about geniuses, we told you about incredibly stupid people,
We told you about this constant struggle between the USSR and the USA during the Cold War
but we haven’t told you yet about this incredible story
which combines a genius, an idiot, and the scientific struggle that raged
at the time of the Nazis, and the American brain gain.
The Nazis “super-soldiers”
Of course, you’ve already heard of “doctor” Mengele (*Psychopath warning*)
who led vile experiments on prisoners in concentration camps during WWII.
You may also have heard about Wernher von Braun
a German engineer who has been at the origin of space conquest
and who was recovered after 1945, with other German scientists,
during Operation Paperclip.
The Operation Paperclip aimed, in the aftermath of WWII, to bring German brains to the US
so that they could avoid lawsuits like crime against humanity,
and to use their intellectual resources in various areas of research.
It’s a little bit like what has been proposed to Fritz Haber after the WWI, remember.
From 1936 and under the leadership of Hitler,
a team of doctors and researchers resumes the work
of Brukhonenko on living dog heads
with the idea to add to these heads a biomechanical autonomous system
allowing them to survive longer, to move, etc.
The operation will be a success but Hitler does not merely want dog-headed cyborgs.
What he wants is to go a step further,
and to create a new species of biomechanical soldiers.
And NOW, we can count on the “doctor” Mengele
to try the same operation but this time with human heads.
And even if the project is a massive failure, causing the death of quite a lot of test subjects,
— mainly political prisoners, it was 1939 back then —
there is, in Mengele’s team, a man who has an idea.
A small parenthetical remark to appropriately introduce Lars Forell,
such an incredible character that if he were in a movie, nobody would believe it.
Lars Forell is a 22-year-old young man at the time, without any particular diploma,
but he is a laboratory assistant in Mengele’s team, despite a well-known incompetence and a questionable intelligence.
Well, he’s a big nice plonker!
The longevity of his work is only due to the fact that he is a cousin of Eva Braun, Hitler’s official mistress.
OK, a big nice plonker, but well-connected. Nothing exceptional until now.
But Forell, after the successive deaths caused by Mengele, has a crazy idea.
Why not use a mechanical system as a vehicle,
rather than a biomechanical system which clearly leads to nothing?
Today we would call this an exoskeleton,
and it is true that Forell, for once, has surprised many a person with this idea.
Forell suggests to Hitler to develop mechanical “trousers” that the German soldiers could wear,
enabling them to move faster and to lift heavy stuff
without getting tired, as the load would be shared on the metallic slacks.
Hitler likes the idea, but dissolves Mengele’s team.
— “dissolves”, metaphorically speaking, right? —
and he entrusts the project to Wernher von Braun,
the brilliant engineer to whom we owe modern rockets and ballistic missiles.
Forell, an unnecessary and well-connected nitwit but “it was he who got the idea”
manages to get promoted in von Braun’s team,
and to work with one of the guy at the origin of space exploration.
At that time, von Braun works on his V2 missiles prototypes.
and he doesn’t really have time to lose with grotesque mechanical trousers.
But what the Führer wants, the Führer gets.
Therefore, and under cover of designing this exoskeleton for the German army,
von Braun is actually working on portable launchers.
Basing his works on very rough drafts by Forell,
von Braun develops a system that not only enables
a soldier to wear extra-corporal legs,
but also enables him to carry small missiles.
Small, small… it’s all relative, I mean,
at the time, a small missile was 4 m (13 ft) high and weighed 700 kg (1,500 lbs)…
Once the first prototype is developed, Forell, who is absolutely convinced of the success of the project,
and who wants to show off in front of Hitler, insists to be the first one to try.
Seriously, can’t you see where this is going?
Before a crowd of amused, as well as astonished, Nazi officials, with Adolf Hitler in the foreground,
Forell moves about a few meters, with difficulty and with a 700 kg missile on his back.
Once at a reasonable distance from his audience, he triggers the mechanism which is supposed to launch the missile.
A *small* design flaw — hard to say who was at fault, but probably von Braun —
causes the missile to launch correctly — against all odds, I’d say —
but without first detaching itself from its carrier.
The missile went straight up, bringing lil’ Forell with it, whose track was lost around an altitude of 16 km [Edit: 6 km (20,000 ft)].
Neither the man nor the missile were ever seen again.
It is likely that the whole managed to rise high enough to be then disintegrated while re-entering the atmosphere.
Damn, this guy would make Guillaume Le Gentil look like Gladstone Gander!
Unfortunately — Damn, why am I saying this? —
Fortunately, this incidental death puts an end to a project
which, had it been pursued, would have given a big lead to the German army.
When von Braun finds himself in the US, after the war,
firstly, he actively takes part in the conquest of space and quickly enables American to have,
but after the Russians, a rocket capable of launching a satellite, then a monkey and human beings into space.
It will be 40 years until Forell’s work on mechanical prostheses reappears,
and with it, the arrival of modern exoskeletons that makes the concept of super-soldiers a reality.
And while Nikola Tesla *April fool!*
Well, I know what you’re thinking,
they promised. Bruce, we promised, didn’t we?
Yes, we promised, but we didn’t lie,
We promised that 7 stories we were going to tell you would be totally true, so, let’s get back to it:
1. Henrietta Lacks
2. The Soviet Cerberus and the dogs heads
3. StarFish Prime
4. The Ape-men army
5. MK Ultra & the Stargate Project
6. Hedy Lamarr […owbone]
7. The Darwin Awards
8. The Nazis “super-soldiers”
We have told you successively 7 totally implausible but yet perfectly true stories.
The eighth story was a pure product of our imagination.
The documents we showed you were made by a graphic designer,
Dmitry Izotov, who altered vintage photos, Russian ones and not German ones,
by integrating steampunk elements like a mecha with a dog head.
Lars Forell is a totally fictional character whose name comes from Lachs Forelle,
which literally translates to Salmon Trout, in German.
To say it once very clearly,
the story about German cyborgs with a dog or a human head,
the mechanical trousers, the portable missiles,
— portable missiles! hu hu hu —
All of this is untrue.
This story is completely untr…
– Excuse-me, excuse-me,
I interrupt you now, but all the guests you have paraded here,
By the way, thank you for the invitation.
– well I, no, I tried to call you but it’s… as I’ve lost my phone… – No, it’s Patrick who didn’t want!
Nah, it’s okay, but all the guests coming and going,
It was a diversion, wasn’t it ?
The idea is that you lose people with that.
That way they don’t realise, they stop counting the stories, and they’re duped.
Is that it?
Hm, well, it was just to be sure, nothing more, I…
Except you can’t fool me.
Er, I… Well, I hear something at the other end of Youtube… BAM!
I… Good night! [Your new wallpaper]
Thank you everyone, since you’re more and more willing to e-penser (e-think)
Thank you Patrick, for accepting to make this episode with me
but it was my pleasure, and if you liked this episode, share it with your friends,
and please, avoid spoiling them the ending.
Thanks to all those giving tips on Tipeee, thank you, it’s way easier for me to make videos than if you weren’t there.
And you can come and see us at the Neocast Convention in Strasbourg, on May 16th and 17th
2015, say 2015, or else, some people watching this in 2173 will lash out on Twitter.
Do you think Twitter will still exist in 2173?
Of course, you can subscribe to this channel on Youtube, if it’s not already done,
to get notified when new videos are available,
you can follow the current events on Twitter, Facebook and Google+!
Thank you very much, all the guests that were willing to take part in this episode.
See you soon for a new episode, and in the meantime, of course, stay curious,
NO! NO! STOP EVERYTHING!
Do not make this episode, or else,
here is what’s going to happen
Florent, it’s… too late, the episode is finished now…– Florent!
– No… what?
– Florent what are you doing here? Florent? – No, it’s not the…
We were all worried sick about you – Raphaël! Hello.
We looked everywhere for you, what did we say?
I… no… I want to stop the disaster!
What did we say about disasters?
It’s time for your show – I like Friends… – Come on, come on, we’re going home Florent.
Excuse me gentlemen huh, you know how it goes…
one day, you’re at the top, the next day you’re…
– And, and you got my chocolate croissant? – Yeah, yeah, Florent, yes…
And hm… Take some time to e-penser (e-think).
#English subtitles by MeliMali, proofread by Cyril Pol and Az’