Author Topic: The Missing Bodies  (Read 92149 times)

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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #480 on: November 14, 2011, 04:25:25 PM »
I understand from something I have read about this, that the recent discovery of remains claimed to be the 'missing pair' were something like 45 miles from the main mass grave site - why on earth such a distance???

"LondonGirl," regretably the source that you read was either a typo or badly (I am strongly resisting the punning "gravely") misinformed!  Regards,  AP.

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #481 on: November 15, 2011, 09:30:55 AM »
I understand from something I have read about this, that the recent discovery of remains claimed to be the 'missing pair' were something like 45 miles from the main mass grave site - why on earth such a distance???

45 METERS. Not miles...

LondonGirl

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #482 on: November 15, 2011, 02:31:42 PM »
45 metres? Even so - why not bury them all together?

Offline TimM

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #483 on: November 15, 2011, 05:07:12 PM »
Because they wanted to confuse whomever found the bodies, that they would find nine, not eleven, and conclude that these were not the remains of the IF and their servants.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #484 on: November 16, 2011, 01:15:52 AM »
Plus the whole business was a complete muddle, done in a great hurry and atmosphere of panic. The Fate of the Romanovs makes that very clear.

Ann

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #485 on: November 16, 2011, 08:50:30 AM »
No they didn't want to "confuse" anybody. They themselves were "confused".  They tried to burn the bodies, they chose the two smallest to try to burn first.  The bodies had already frozen, so they took forever to burn and didn't burn well. They buried the two burned bodies where they were, and took the other ones to a spot nearby. Period.

LondonGirl

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #486 on: November 16, 2011, 04:28:18 PM »
No they didn't want to "confuse" anybody. They themselves were "confused".  They tried to burn the bodies, they chose the two smallest to try to burn first.  The bodies had already frozen, so they took forever to burn and didn't burn well. They buried the two burned bodies where they were, and took the other ones to a spot nearby. Period.


The two 'smallest'? That would suggest Alexei and Anastasia, would it not? Why then is the set of female remains recovered identified as Maria? 

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #487 on: November 16, 2011, 04:58:57 PM »
They weren't sure which one it was, they just know it's one of the Little Pair, since the DNA results proved she was related to the other one (Alexei).
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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #488 on: November 16, 2011, 05:11:21 PM »
No they didn't want to "confuse" anybody. They themselves were "confused".  They tried to burn the bodies, they chose the two smallest to try to burn first.  The bodies had already frozen, so they took forever to burn and didn't burn well. They buried the two burned bodies where they were, and took the other ones to a spot nearby. Period.


The two 'smallest'? That would suggest Alexei and Anastasia, would it not? Why then is the set of female remains recovered identified as Maria?  

  Momentarily setting DNA aside, the body of the Heir would of course be readily indentifiable as to gender (and the sailor undershirt).
  Regarding the females of the family however, IMO, post-mortem bloating (prior to the semi-arresting by freezing) can be very misleading in compariason to the recognized "living" size/shape of others of similiar age.  Then there was the intentional crushing of the facial features at a certain point. Add to this the hurried and ( and the FA has commented) "confused" state/attempt of the disposals.  
  I concur that all are accounted for, thus the identity of to the GD Maria N. versus the GD Anastasia N., IMO, presently is an exercise in futility.                                                                                                            Regards,   AP.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 05:30:30 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline darius

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #489 on: November 16, 2011, 11:27:25 PM »
There is quite a good documentary - youŽll find it on youtube if your search "Romanov" which investigates the finding, the DNA testing etc.  It should answer most questions.

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #490 on: November 17, 2011, 09:01:07 AM »
No they didn't want to "confuse" anybody. They themselves were "confused".  They tried to burn the bodies, they chose the two smallest to try to burn first.  The bodies had already frozen, so they took forever to burn and didn't burn well. They buried the two burned bodies where they were, and took the other ones to a spot nearby. Period.


The two 'smallest'? That would suggest Alexei and Anastasia, would it not? Why then is the set of female remains recovered identified as Maria? 

No one has ever "identified" the female remains specifically as such is in fact impossible.  As stated, all that can be shown is that the female has a 100% sibling relationship to the male, and both have 100% parental relationship to Nicholas and Alexandra.  All children are accounted for, but to specifically identify Anastasia and Maria to one set of remains or the other is simply not possible.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #491 on: November 17, 2011, 09:21:56 AM »
'No one has ever "identified" the female remains specifically as such is in fact impossible.  As stated, all that can be shown is that the female has a 100% sibling relationship to the male, and both have 100% parental relationship to Nicholas and Alexandra.  All children are accounted for, but to specifically identify Anastasia and Maria to one set of remains or the other is simply not possible.'

As I understand it, identifying which of the Grand Duchesses was which from their remains could only be done on the basis of their ages, as established from the development of bones and teeth. As I read 'The Fate of the Romanovs', certain developments normally take place between the ages of 17 and 20. Marie was 19 (just) at the time of the murders and Anastasia 17 (just). In consequence, it's impossible to be certain whether it was Marie or Anastasia whose remains were found with Alexei's. By contrast, it is clear from developments which take place between 20 and 25 that two of the sets of remains found in the main grave were Olga and Tatiana.

Ann

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #492 on: November 17, 2011, 10:47:54 AM »
In "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter", Massie quotes a Yekaterinburg official who said (I am paraphrasing) - we will never know who the daughter missing from the main grave was. These four girls were sisters, born two years apart. We can account for the oldest two, but between the younger two, we don't know. The original burial detail had some knowledge of who was who, but there was a second detail that moved the bodies from the Four Brothers and did the burning and the burying on the old road. The men on the second detail were from the Perm Cheka and had never guarded the Imperial Family. One of the members of the detail, Gregory Sukharukov, said the sister burned was Anastasia, but this was likely speculative.

Offline TimM

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #493 on: November 17, 2011, 04:21:22 PM »
The one thing we do know is that all of them have now been accounted for.
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Offline billmcl2

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Re: The Missing Bodies
« Reply #494 on: November 27, 2011, 12:50:49 AM »
No one has ever "identified" the female remains specifically as such is in fact impossible.  As stated, all that can be shown is that the female has a 100% sibling relationship to the male, and both have 100% parental relationship to Nicholas and Alexandra.  All children are accounted for, but to specifically identify Anastasia and Maria to one set of remains or the other is simply not possible.
[/quote]

This is contradicted by the insistence of the Russians that Maria's remains were missing from the mass grave and by the insistence of the Americans that it was Anastasia's remains that were missing. Apparently both groups of scientists believed that they could conclusively identify the skeletal remains.

Chapters 18-20 of FOTR extensively discuss the unearthing, examination, and identification of the remains. According to K&W, Falsetti and France immediately recognized that the remains designated by the Russians as Anastasia's (based solely on the imperfect technique of photographic superimposition) in fact belonged to an older female, based on the following factors (quoted from p. 455, FOTR):

1)  height (later photographs clearly show that Anastasia was shorter than her sisters)
2)  lack of signs of immaturity in the vertebrae and bones
3)  age and development of the pelvic rim
4)  age and development of the clavicles
5)  age and development of the dental roots

After measuring these parameters in each skeleton, the Americans established that the remains of Maria (skeleton #5), Tatiana (#6), and Olga (#3) were all present in the mass grave because the bones displayed a clear developmental progression from 19 years to 21 years to 22 years of age. This confirmed Maples' conclusions from an earlier examination.

Contrary to assertions made in this thread, Forensic Anthropologists can actually determine the age of a skeleton fairly precisely - especially the skeleton of a child or adolescent who was still growing. In addition to the 5 factors listed above, modern FAs would also examine the closure of cranial sutures, the development of molars and wisdom teeth, and the extent of epiphysial fusion - the closing of the "growth plates" at the ends of the long bones and clavicles. All of these factors exhibit clearly identifiable progressions within limited age ranges. FAs can cross-reference the age ranges for each factor to narrow down the age of the skeleton quite precisely. It would be relatively simple to put a group of skeletons like those in the mass grave in chronological order by age once these factors had been measured. (The age of older skeletons is determined by the degree of deterioration in the bones rather than by growth and development, and is somewhat less precise.)

The essential point is that there are clear developmental differences between the bones, skull, and teeth of a 17-year old and those of a 19-year old. This is how France and Falsetti recognized immediately that skeleton #6 could NOT be Anastasia. There may not have been enough bones in the second grave to clearly determine the age of the female skeleton but it is virtually certain that Anastasia's bones were NOT found in the first (mass) grave. Therefore, the female remains in the second grave had to belong to her since the DNA tests confirmed the presence of two siblings. The following website is a good place to start if you're interested in this topic:

http://www.anthro4n6.net/forensics/#Age

I respect the opinion expressed by AP, Tim, and others that it doesn't matter which remains are in which grave since they are all accounted for. What fascinates me is the determination of the Russian scientists to "prove" that Anastasia's remains were present in the mass grave, despite the insistence of the more qualified American scientists that they were missing. I wonder if it was simply a case of US/Soviet rivalry that the Russians would not back down from or whether they were following the dictates of their political masters to make sure that no living "Anastasia" could ever claim a Romanov inheritance. It's one of the remaining unsolved mysteries of the Romanov executions. I also find it interesting that Falsetti's world-class expertise earned him an invitation back to Siberia to examine the remains found in the second grave (see the National Geographic documentary Finding Anastasia), even though many of his conclusions about the skeletons in the mass grave were flatly rejected by most of the Russian scientists.