Oliver was different from all other apes, very different.
During his initial run in the freak shows of the 1970’s Oliver was billed as a missing link, as a hybrid of man and chimpanzee, a ‘humanzee’. This claim was substantiated with a bold medical statement claiming that Oliver possessed 47 chromosomes, one more than man and one less than a typical chimpanzee.
Forgoing the medical claims, the sheer appearance and demeanor of Oliver set him apart from other primates. His peculiar human-like facial features, light eye color, pattern baldness and soft voice were often enough to convince spectators of his unusual pedigree. His mannerisms were extremely human and the fact that Oliver was bipedal, that he walked upright unlike other chimps and apes, certainly furthered all claims. He was not trained to walk upright; it was simply his natural and favored means of movement.
When he was first brought over from the Congo by Frank and Janet Burger, famous animal trainers often featured on the Ed Sullivan Show, his uniqueness was quickly identified. The Burger family claimed that their other chimps wanted nothing to do with Oliver, that he was shunned by their society. Surprisingly, Oliver was fine with the arrangement as he preferred the company of his human handlers. He proved to be a great asset to them as he spontaneously began doing their chores. He would often feed the animals and even used tools, like a wheelbarrow, when loads were too much to handle. His intelligence and ability to learn was astounding. As he grew older, Oliver acquired the human habits of morning coffee drinking and evening cocktails, often mixing his own drinks. His behavior was not just mimicry either as Oliver demonstrated on numerous occasions his ability to overcome obstacles and extrapolate solutions using his logic or previously learned behavior and concepts.
Oliver was sexually attracted to human females as well and, due to his strength, was considered a danger to handlers and spectators. He was passed around between various promoters and animal handlers for a number of years, all of them unable to cope with his unusual habits and personality. In 1986 Oliver was sold to a lab. Amazingly, Oliver was spared from typically torturous and fatal laboratory experimentation due to his unique characteristics. He was simply not considered a viable specimen because there were too many variables in his genetics when compared to other chimps in the lab. Any experimentation performed on him would have been tainted in the eyes of researchers. Instead, Oliver spent seven years in a tiny five by seven cage.
In 1996 Oliver was rescued and lived the remainder of his days in a chimpanzee retirement villa. While there formal tests performed by the University of Chicago revealed that Oliver had the same number of chromosomes as all other chimps. It was noted during testing, however, that something in his genetic code was indeed different.
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The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday.
USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training:
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A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.
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Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says.
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Tom Sunic’s letter to the US Ambassador to Hungary 2014 10 14 October 11, 2014
Mr. André Goodfriend
Embassy of the United States of America
Szabadság tér 12
Dear Mr. Goodfriend,
As an American citizen I would hereby like to express my concern over the recent decision by the Hungarian government to ban the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference which had been scheduled to take place in Budapest from October 3 to October 5, 2014. ...
"Vampire grave" found in Bulgaria 2014 10 14
A "vampire grave" containing a skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed by a man known as "Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones".
Professor Nikolai Ovcharov – a crusading archaeologist who has dedicated his life to unearthing mysteries of ancient civilisations – said that he had made the discovery while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city ...