Author Topic: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal  (Read 54366 times)

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Offline Alexandra

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2004, 07:07:33 AM »
Yes, I have read it; I do not think it can be said to have stated anything conclusively, although it raises interesting possibilities. Until the documents which she uses are themselves more available to genuine scholarship, including those to be declassified in 2005, I do not think the book amounts to much more than an attempt at another Romanov 'scoop.'

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2004, 09:40:03 AM »
Alexandra, could you tell us what documents are yet to be declassified? I am curious!

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2005, 06:41:03 PM »
This was posted on one of the DNA theads.  I thought it should be here and maybe someone would like to make some remarks about what donaldrynolds tells us:

Quote
Hello to all on this thread,

At the end of this email I will pose a question. Let me start by saying, I heard McNeal, the author of The Secret Plot to Save the Tsar, speak last fall.  She was even handed and articulate.  Yet here in this forum she is alluded to by one posting as "not a favorite here."  

I sense from most of what I read that, except a few, not many have even read her book. Her reviews in the Times in London were very good and many academics appreciate her work. It seems that there is a bias here driven by a few - for what reason I don't yet grasp - that has tainted her book to some here who should read it.

I have read her book now several times.  It lead me to some fascinating findings.  In the Q and A period, I did ask her about the DNA - about which she subsequently spoke at length.  At the time the Stanford story was not known to me.  If it had been I would have asked.  But it seems to me that if she had been a part of it she might have wanted to have a few bragging rights.  But she never mentioned it.  

Not long ago I decided to email her on her site.  She responsed quickly and pleasantly. She stated once again, as she did in the lecture, that she was not interested in anyone claiming to be a Romanov.  She said she has been contacted countless times by those claiming to be a Romanov.  She said her interest in writing the book was only to enlighten her reader about the geo-political situation in Russia at the time.  She also said and I quote, "I wanted to examine the allied position regarding Nicholas and his family and therefore I focused mainly on the allied records. and its sercret agents and disinformation efforts.  Moreover, I came to believe that after examing all the efforts at disinformation,  which were widespread, that the Soviets were the masters of the game. They made it an art form, in most cases surpassing the British, for whom Wallsingham, in the reign of Elizabeth, had cultivated the most remarkable methods.  Hence, the Soviet version had to be examined and much of what they alluded in on the night of July 17/18, 1918 simply did not stand up."

When she addressed my question about DNA and Stanford she did say she had high regard for Dr. Lev Zhivotovsky and Dr. Knight and did not believe they had an agenda other than science.  As to the Litwin angle she was at a loss. She said Dr. Zhivotosky was the first to raise questions in the Duma about the Romanovs' demise.  According to McNeal he is a widely respected scientist in Russia.  He was also the first to raise the chain of custody issue. She said that she was not a part of the team nor was she a "consultant."

I have since emailed her again after reading on this site that she was a consultant to the Stanford study even though she had told me she was not.  I thought someone knew something new. She emailed back that as she had already told me, she was not.  But she attempted to enlighten me as to how this notion might have come about.

She said she originally came into contact with a woman who she found very interesting. They actually were in  contact initially regarding a man who McNeal was featuring in her next book.  She said she is working on the untold story of the American Revolution through the eyes of a presumed Tory.  Apparently, this woman also had an interest in this Tory's family.  At the time McNeal came into contact with her she had as a house guest this Litwin.  

According to McNeal that is how the Litwin person came to her attention.  (Now I  am seeing that the Daskova must be the woman McNeal stated was the person who had a common interest in the Revolutionary character's history. I emailed back to ask about this realtionship between the woman and Litwin but according to McNeal it would be indiscrete to elaborate further on the relationship of his woman (Doskova ?) and Litwin.  She suggested if I was really interested I should contact the two of them.  Sorry no gossip here.

I also asked her if she was aware of how this site cast her name around as being involved.  Again she promptly replied.  She stated that her work is often quoted.  But the fact that she is quoted as a source or that she has politely responded to emails or had "conversations with people who have contacted me to argue their case does not mean I support them or believe their assertions.  You may be assured when I sign my name then I am involved.  Short of that, much of what I read and hear amounts to speculation of those who do not know me or contact me for my position. And you may quote me on that."

All told she did say that ocassionally she has viewed this site but time is important to her and her focus is her next two books on other eras of history.

My question - sent to her today and now to you.  Why do so many people here on this forum seem to accept the Soviet point of view without truly submitting it to a critical analysis?  That is the one thing I took away from her book.  Not the same old story.  So much of what I have read seems fixated on who sleep with whom etc. It seems like anytime someone attempts to encourage a discussion, without this subtext, the discussion breaks down to "liberal v conservative" political views of the world and plain old personal assults and gossip.  If this is supposed to be a site for learning then should it seek a different tone?

Why not a search for the truth incorporating all points of view?  I welcome all responses to my question.  

Donald


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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2005, 07:07:04 PM »
I wrote the following on a different thread and pulled it over here to continue the conversation which Donald has brought up in his post:

Quote

....[in part]....

It is obvious to me that most of the "majority" have never written a novel [a book which has fictional characters placed in real events].  Sometimes,  a novel can be closer to the truth than a book under the listing of "non-fiction".

The rescue of the IF in Rescuing of the Czar was fictional, however, the people who wrote it were not.  A lot of the information in the book was not fictional.  The authors were in touch with real people who may have been a part of the "inner circles" of those who had hoped to rescue Nicholas II and the others.  They, may, in fact, had heard a rescue had occured....  So, they quickly made up a "possible escape" and hoped to make big bucks quickly.... Trouble was,  the IF and the others didn't appear... The CHEKA reported execution of Nicholas II on the night of 16/17 July 1918....  Something had gone terrible wrong.  ???

The information which surrounded the "rescue" [the presumed fictional part] of RTC,  I believe, is what Shay McNeal tried to discover as either being "truth" or "fiction".

Elisabeth is the expert on the people who took part in writing and printing the book, I am just speculating.  And,  I respect what she has to say.

However,  let me, again,  repeat what Shay McNeal wrote in THE PLOTS TO RESCUE THE TSAR, THE TRUTH BEHIND THE DISAPPERANCES OF THE ROMANOVS, the first few sentences on page 1:
"Of all the victims of the Russian Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra and their five children are perhaps the most famous and certainly among the most controversial.  Their presumed deaths on 17 July 1918 have been the subject of several investigations and numberous books.  Although the standard account of their execution by a Bolshevik firing squad was questioned from the very beginning, it has never been disproven."

Let me repeat this last part: "...Although the standard account of their execution by a Bolshevik firing squad was questioned from the beginning, it has never been disproven."

"NEVER BEEN DISPROVEN"

THEN  she goes on to say, what I've been saying, long before she ever wrote her first few sentences, that the CHEKA's  story of what happen the night of 16/ 17 July 1918 in the Impatiev House may have  "...differed vastly from the offical story of the last days of the Romanovs.".

Yes, she used RTC....

 I have never read but bites and pieces of it that were on the internet...

Back on page 267 Shay writes:

"But did the family survive?  Did one of the factions suceed in taking control of the family and were they taken to Lysva....?  Did they subsequently meet their fate in Perm....?  We know practically nothing about this....therefore cannot adequately weigh it, as the event quickly and with little investigation disappeared from the pages of history."

"Or did the family actually disappear by being evacuated through the tunnel and escape for a time via the route in Rescuing the Czar?"

"If they did, one thing is certain, the sightings all but dry up by the 1930s.  The long arm of the communist red terror, as we have seen, very effectively hunted down and destroyed its enemies..."


Through all my years of research,  I read just about everything connected.  As I have said on another thread,  I would not recommend Shay's book as a first read, however,  I would not eliminate it just because it doesn't follow the views of the majority.  It's up to each of us to make up our own opinions after collecting as much data as we can.

A dispointed old bear searching for the truth.

AGRBear


 

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2005, 12:19:37 AM »
Hi donaldrynolds,

Why do you think it is, with the Russian archives now open to the West for scrutiny, that there has not been one single document presented for public scrutiny, that clearly states that any member of the I.F. had actually survived the massacre?

_____________________________________________

Today at 12:56pm, donaldreynolds wrote:

"My question - sent to her today and now to you.  Why do so many people here on this forum seem to accept the Soviet point of view without truly submitting it to a critical analysis?"

_____________________________________________

Perhaps you could clarify your view? I respectfully invite you to present your contentions here so that we can all analyze what it is that you refute.

Thank you.
 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2005, 10:26:32 AM »
I can not answer for Donald, however, I will give my opinion.

Let me see, the only eye witnesses we have are the ones who have written the testimonies of wha happen on the night of 16/17 July in the Impatiev House.  Each one has told their story with some important differences.   The doctuments found which surround the event are few.  The bodies in the mass grave are missing far too many bones for this to have been their first or second buriel place.  Part of the bones have been removed [skulls and others bones] at different times then replaced.  Two bodies are missing and all witnesses tell us that the female missing is someone other than one of Nicholas II's daughters.  The Russians and the Americans do no agree as to who is missing.

The annouced death was first just Nicholas II and maybe Alexei.  There are eye wittnesses which tell us the Reds were sent to find the IF on trains and in the woods.  Anastasia and Alexei are mentioned by several of those eye wittnesses who talk about searches on trains near Ekaterinburg.   Even in AA's trial there was a man who claimed he had treated GD Anastasia after she was said to have beene executed.  The Moscow Soviets claimed Alexandra and the children had been taken from Ekaterinburg to somewhere safe.  Maybe somehwere to the north....  And, so the lies were piled upon lies.

The CHEKA, the Ural Soviets, the Moscow Soviets, the GPU, the KGB , Lenin and so many others from that time  to the fall of the Berlin wall have had access to records, letters, diaries, etc. etc.   and have had full opportunity to make sure any evidence which they so wish not to be found has been destroyed since July 1918 to the present.

Apparently, the thought that the CHEKA to the KGB destroying and fabicating evidence doesn't seem to have much weight with many of the posters.  Well, that's understandable.  The Lenninites, the Stalinites and the other communists "old boy group" did an excellent job in erasing the truth so many times that their "red herrings" and their lies which have been repeated so often appear, now, to be the truth.

I have talked to people and have read books, letters, newspapers which have told true stories of how ruthless these Bolshevik and communist were.

McNeal's book pulled out many facts which I've found interesting.
Facts which other authors / reporters haven't thought necessary to reveal.  But, in the case of the execution, buriel and the two missing bodies, ALL  facts are needed.  And, I for one, appreciated McNeal's book for this reason.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2005, 02:14:30 PM »
Bear, I have not read McNeal's book (because my local libraries don't carry it) and therefore I don't know what her main points are. Perhaps you or someone else here could summarize them for the rest of us?

Quote
The bodies in the mass grave are missing far too many bones for this to have been their first or second buriel place.  Part of the bones have been removed [skulls and others bones] at different times then replaced.


This brings up an interesting point. Apparently there were a number of bones in the mass grave that did simply disappear - they were not removed and later replaced - they just plain vanished. I distinctly remember reading in Greg and Penny's book that the number of bones in the mass grave in Pig's Meadow did not add up to anything near 9 skeletons; that a lot of bones were actually missing and had seemingly vanished into thin air. I am wondering if there is a scientific explanation for this that someone like Helen Azar could address (decomposition due to acidic conditions, for example). Or perhaps it is a genuine mystery, - frankly I don't know because I don't have the scientific background. At this point I would start another thread myself - called "The Missing Bones" - in the "Final Chapter" section - but as it happens I cannot find the specific pages in FOTR where this subject was addressed, even though I know they are there somewhere... help!

Quote
The annouced death was first just Nicholas II and maybe Alexei.  There are eye wittnesses which tell us the Reds were sent to find the IF on trains and in the woods.


I think this was just a search for a missing grand duchess, reportedly Anastasia, and not for the IF.

Quote
Anastasia and Alexei are mentioned by several of those eye wittnesses who talk about searches on trains near Ekaterinburg.


Where is it mentioned that Alexei was searched for? I haven't read about these reports. Is this in McNeal?

Quote
Apparently, the thought that the CHEKA to the KGB destroying and fabicating evidence doesn't seem to have much weight with many of the posters.  Well, that's understandable.  The Lenninites, the Stalinites and the other communists "old boy group" did an excellent job in erasing the truth so many times that their "red herrings" and their lies which have been repeated so often appear, now, to be the truth.


No, I fully believe that the Soviets were buried in lies up to their eyeballs, and the disinformation campaign about the mysterious "train to Perm," carrying the empress and her daughters, is proof of that.

Quote
McNeal's book pulled out many facts which I've found interesting.
Facts which other authors / reporters haven't thought necessary to reveal.  But, in the case of the execution, buriel and the two missing bodies, ALL  facts are needed.  And, I for one, appreciated McNeal's book for this reason.

AGRBear


This is why I wish someone here would summarize the main points of McNeal's book for those of us who haven't been able to read it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2005, 02:50:40 PM »
Quote
I am wondering if there is a scientific explanation for this that someone like Helen Azar could address (decomposition due to acidic conditions, for example).  


I think this may be more of Margarita's forte as she is our resident pathologist  ;) Any ideas, Belochka?

Offline Belochka

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2005, 07:57:05 AM »
Quote
I think this may be more of Margarita's forte as she is our resident pathologist  ;) Any ideas, Belochka?


Thanks for your recommendation Helen!

Sulfuric acid is an extremely corrosive substance.

In my pathology laboratory facility, diluted to a 10% concentration, sulfuric acid was used to soften forensic bones samples to enable ease of cutting sections embedded in paraffin for histologic examination. The bone integrity remains. This process takes several days to complete in a closed glass container.

Sulfuric acid decalcifies bone, by leaching out the calcium. When soft tissue is attached, maceration will occur, resulting in its dissolution, due to a process called hydrolysis (splitting up the molecules). Both proteins and fats are broken down in this fashion.

Approximately 15 gallons of industrial strength sulfuric acid was purchased at the local pharmacy in Ekaterinburg (King in FOTR @ p 325) and the naked bodies were doused with the acid (King @ p 330).

In the field, the sulfuric acid would have burned the skin and underlying tissue. However its penetration would depend on:

1. the quantity applied,

2. the concentration used,

3. length of time in contact with the victim.

We can assume that they did not bother diluting the acid prior to its use. Therefore it should have been more than effective to cause severe burning of the naked skin and underlying soft tissues reaching down to the bone framework.

Initially, Yurovsky described that on first application of the acid, the faces (except two bodies previously burnt by gasoline) were "doused" with acid.

Then, all the remaining bodies were thrown into the pit, and a second unknown quantity of sulfuric acid was this time poured into the pit.  

The efficacy of the second application of the acid would have been minimized somewhat for a number of reasons:

1. The muddy pit contained an unknown quantity of water, which would have diluted the effect of the acid,

2. The bodies were thrown in "haphazardly" into that pit, therefore not all the bodies would be affected by the acid to the same extent, nor extend "top to toe" over the entire body surface, front and back,

3. The overlayered earth used to conceal the bodies would have helped minimize the "burning" effect of the acid spilled over the uppermost body (or bodies).

From these brief hypotheses it can be demonstrated that not all the bones would have been affected equally by the sulfuric acid. Many bones would have remained intact.





« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2005, 08:16:36 AM »
Thanks, Belochka.

So going back to Elisabeth's original question, does this mean  that some of the bones in the grave could have completely disintergrated due to greater exposure to sulfuric acid, which would then explain why bones seemed to be missing? While other bones would have remained intact because of lesser exposure to sulfuric acid? I just want to make sure that I am understanding this correctly.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2005, 01:00:12 PM »
Quote
does this mean  that some of the bones in the grave could have completely disintergrated due to greater exposure to sulfuric acid, which would then explain why bones seemed to be missing? While other bones would have remained intact because of lesser exposure to sulfuric acid?


It does sound as if this is what Margarita is saying. That clears up the mystery to my satisfaction!

Many, many thanks to you both, Helen and Margarita, for sharing with us such fascinating information - not only here but in your excellent piece about the Dr. Knight/DNA controversy over in the "Anastasia"/DNA Papers thread.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »
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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2005, 01:35:58 PM »
As a point of information, one of the main reasons that bones "go missing" is often because bodies are moved or (as in neolithic burial practices) the bodies are exposed and then the bones collected & buried later.  This means that smaller bones such as fingers & toes tend to drop off at the original site & get overlooked in the move.  I know all about this as my wife is doing a course on prehistoric ritual practices & I hear about it regularly.

On the general subject of Shay's book (& I have to point out that I receive a mention in the credits) I wish she'd give up on her obsession with "Rescuing the Czar" (the only book to make me laugh out loud in the Reading Room of the British Library) but work on some of the other threads.  Certainly there does appear to have been a British rescue plan in 1917/early 1918 involving the "Tsar's House" at Murmansk, built by the Hudson Bay Company and paid for by British Naval Intelligence and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

Phil Tomaselli

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2005, 03:16:01 PM »
You may want to take this part [the bones] of the conversation over to the Questions about the graves in Pig's Meadow since this is not part of McNeal's book.

There I have a list, which I know,  which was found in the grave .  It's under Final Chapater.

The page mentioned about the missing bones is page 408 in Wilson and King's Fate of the Romanovs.

The last known count of bones or framents of bones is 800.

One human skelenton is composed of 206 bones, of so Wilson and King mention in their book.

There were nine skeletons so there should have been 1,836 bones.

And, yes, many of the missing bones appear to be missing and not the results of the acid spread over them.

Elisabeth, I don't have time today, but I will try to answer your questions about McNeal's book sometime this week.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline griffin

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2005, 11:32:15 AM »
Quote
On the general subject of Shay's book (& I have to point out that I receive a mention in the credits) I wish she'd give up on her obsession with "Rescuing the Czar" (the only book to make me laugh out loud in the Reading Room of the British Library) but work on some of the other threads.


I agree she raised a lot of interesting points,but I felt lost credibility everytime she went back to this.

Offline donaldreynolds

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Re: Secret Plot to Save the Tsar-by Shay Mcneal
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2005, 08:28:00 PM »
Hello,

Yes, I think she wrote a really interesting book.  I was less concerned about the Rescuing the Czar part.  I pulled that book off the internet and I compared it to other books of its period.  Guess what? Most are laughable.  Big print and outsized notions.  

The full page review in the Times of London spends about two thirds of the page talking about her analysis of the book Rescuing the Czar.  I checked with some of my friends and the chap, John Crossland, who wrote the article is an intelligence expert.  You can check that out.  He has often reviewed for the Times and rumour has it he was former MI5 or MI6. He was complimentary of her work relating to the book.  Doesn't anyone think he might know more than we do?  

Donald