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Author Topic: 2-headed Frenchman
Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Two-headed man, Pascal Pinon, born in 1887, Lyon, France. Photographed in 1927, aged 40.

I've seen this photo several times before from different sources and I've never seen its authenticity questioned. I don't doubt the photo itself is real and undoctored, but to my untrained eyes the extra head looks laughably fake, but then a two-headed man is not something I see everyday, so I'd be quite prepared to eat my words if this is real.

It's just that, to me, it looks about as convincing as the BBC's version of Zaphod Beeblebrox, i.e.

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but then, I'm no expert. Anyone care to comment?

A google for "Pascal Pinon" brought up lots of French sites, which I can't make much sense of, and isn't helped by the fact that there's another Pascal Pinon who's a French film director.

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Joostik
The First USA Noel


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According to this:

Oscarfish [scroll down a bit]

it's fake, but it doesn't give any source either. Could not find anything else myself, but I guess it's fake. Two-headed siamese twins do exist (two heads, one body) but from what I have seen (I remember an article about such a twin in National Geographic years ago) look very different from this.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
According to the talkers pitch at the Sells-Floto sideshow in 1917, Pasqual Pinon was a Mexican refugee who followed General Pershing out of the country when Pancho Villa’s raiders forced his family off their farm. Pasqual’s upper head could, the talkers said, could see, talk and hear, until the age of twenty, when it unexpectedly atrophied.

However, anyone who studies teratology can see that Pasqual Pinon was a fake. A craniopagus parasite like this would be upside down against the host’s head, like in the two-headed boy of Bengal. A theory concerning Mr.Pinon is that he had a large tumour growing from his forehead, and the extra face was a make-up trick, much like Bill Durks’ third eye, but more likely he was outfitted with a well-made fake head.



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Cervus
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There are a very famous pair of twin girls who are joined in a way that they appear to be a two-headed person. (Two heads, one body - however, they are separate people.) They have been in Life magazine, on numerous science documentaries, etc.

Here is a site with many photos: Abigail and Brittany Hensel

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CandE
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That is a interesting site..I didn't realize that there were so many deformities..

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Game60 Minutes
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I recall reading somewhere the story of a two-headed man in 17th or 18th century England. His other "head" was on the back of his normal head, and was said to be that of a woman's. Supposedly, the man became so depressed that no surgeon would attempt to remove it that he killed himself.

Anyone else out there heard this story?

ETA: Hey CandE, would you mind adding a NFBSK warning, please?

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mastershake
I Saw Three Shipments


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The picture that the first post refers to looks a lot like the guy in "The Big Book of Freaks" that had a tumor on his head, and a carnival barker put a mask on it to create a "two-headed man". I don't have that book with me currently so I can't tell for sure if its the same guy.

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Joostik
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Game60 Minutes:
I recall reading somewhere the story of a two-headed man in 17th or 18th century England. His other "head" was on the back of his normal head, and was said to be that of a woman's. Supposedly, the man became so depressed that no surgeon would attempt to remove it that he killed himself.

Anyone else out there heard this story?


Sounds like the "Edward Mordake" mentioned on the page I linked to above.
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Game60 Minutes
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Joostik:
quote:
Originally posted by Game60 Minutes:
I recall reading somewhere the story of a two-headed man in 17th or 18th century England. His other "head" was on the back of his normal head, and was said to be that of a woman's. Supposedly, the man became so depressed that no surgeon would attempt to remove it that he killed himself.

Anyone else out there heard this story?


Sounds like the "Edward Mordake" mentioned on the page I linked to above.
Note to self: Do not be afraid to click on the red text!
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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Ah-ha! Thanks everyone - very informative!

I remember the Edward Mordake tale too:

quote:
from: Gould, George M. & Walter L. Pyle, Anomolies and Curiosities of Medicine, New York: 1896, p.188.

The following well-known story of Edward Mordake, though taken from lay sources, is of sufficient notoriety and interest to be mentioned here:--

One of the weirdest as well as most melancholy stories of human deformity is that of Edward Mordake, said to have been heir to one of the noblest peerages in England. He never claimed the title, however, and committed suicide in his twenty-third year. He lived in complete seclusion refusing the visits even of the members of his own family. He was a young man of fine attainments, a profound scholar, and a musician of rare ability. His figure was remarkable for its grace, and his face--that is to say, his natural face--was that of an Antinous. But upon the back of his head was another face, that of a beautiful girl, 'lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil.' The female face was a mere mask, 'occupying only a small portion of the posterior part of the skull, yet exhibiting every sign of intelligence, of a malignant sort, however.' It would be seen to smile and sneer while Mordake was weeping. The eyes would follow the movements of the spectator, and the lips would 'gibber without ceasing.' No voice was audible, but Mordake avers that he was kept from his rest at night by the hateful whispers of his 'devil twin,' as he called it, 'which never sleeps, but talks to me forever of such things as they only speak of in hell. No imagination can conceive the dreadful temptations it sets before me. For some unforgiven wickedness of my forefathers I am knit to this fiend--for a fiend it surely is. I beg and beseech you to crush it out of human semblance, even if I die for it.' Such were the words of the hapless Mordake to Manvers and Treadwell, his physicians. In spite of careful watching he managed to procure poison, whereof he died, leaving a letter requesting that the 'demon face' might be destroyed before his burial, 'lest it continues its dreadful whisperings in my grave.' At his own request he was interred in a waste place, without stone or legend to mark his grave.

Doesn't sound true at all, though - it has a ring of ghost-story about it.

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NotoriousFAT
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The photo in question is a production still from the BBC series "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaky" based upon the books by Douglas Adams. The extra head is a fake and a bad fake at that. the stories told might be true but the picture in question is in fact from the TV Series. [dunce]
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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
posted by NotoriousFAT:

The photo in question is a production still from the BBC series "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaky" based upon the books by Douglas Adams.

That isn't the photo in question. [dunce]

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Martha Washington
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Doesn't sound true at all, though - it has a ring of ghost-story about it.


It sure doesn't.
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rinoz
The Red and the Green Stamps


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1. Isn't the fortean times, like UK's equivilant to the weekly world news?

2. I heard a story where a man and a woman where conjoined at the head. The woman wasc ut off somwhere at the chest, and they basically had to carry her around on a plate.

3. I must resist making French jokes.

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by rinoz:
2. I heard a story where a man and a woman where conjoined at the head. The woman was cut off somwhere at the chest, and they basically had to carry her around on a plate.

This sounds similar to a real pair of conjoined twins, who are joined at the head. The one woman can walk but is very hunched over; she often carries her sister around or wheels her on a cart that looks like a raised table. Their names are Lori and Reba. They have also been on numerous television documentaries; Reba was originally named Dori (They were Lori and Dori), but wants to be a country singer and changed her name to be like Reba McEntire. Read about them, and see photos here:

Lori and Reba Schappell

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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Being a twin myself, I've always mused over what would happen if, with a set of conjoined twins that only have one body, were (was?) raised as one person with two heads.

Of course, you couldn't test the theory out, but I think it's interesting to think about anyway.

As for photos appearing fake, that doesn't always mean they aren't real. I saw a picture of two people once that to me looked like cardboard cutouts. This was in the Guinness Book of World Records, so I'm assuming the photo was real, but at the time (I was about nine then) it looked fake.

Sister "not conjoined, thank god" Ray

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kjbrasda
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I'm not sure, but I think conjoined twins have to be identical.

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Yup, that's my understanding too - being that they come from the same embryo, but didn't separate properly?? - identical twins, are, of course, are the same gender.

EDIT TO ADD: apparently not...

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
posted by rinoz:
Isn't the fortean times, like UK's equivilant to the weekly world news?

The Fortean Times is a monthly magazine that has articles and essays on all things Fortean, i.e., UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, general weird stuff, which are typically well-written, and by academics/professional writer-types.

That's not to say that every story is certainly true, but they're generally prepared to keep an open mind and have well-reasoned articles - their approach is often similar to that of Snopes.com, and in fact, they have a regular monthly column where they debunk urban myths.

The Weekly World News however just completely makes things up and presents itself as a trashy tabloid. It's often very funny though.

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Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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rinoz
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by A Very Special Danvers Carew:
The Fortean Times is a monthly magazine that has articles and essays on all things Fortean, i.e., UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, general weird stuff, which are typically well-written, and by academics/professional writer-types.

That's not to say that every story is certainly true, but they're generally prepared to keep an open mind and have well-reasoned articles - their approach is often similar to that of Snopes.com, and in fact, they have a regular monthly column where they debunk urban myths. [/QB]

I have a book of Amazing Stories from the Fortean Times, though. But I went to the site, and it seemed WWN-ish to me.
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Llewtrah
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quote:
from: Gould, George M. & Walter L. Pyle, Anomolies and Curiosities of Medicine, New York: 1896, p.188.
Another Gould & Pyle reader! One of my favourite historical text books [Smile] Some of their explanations for why things happened are, by modern standards, quite daft (maternal impression etc) and utterly fascinating.

I think the Pinon tumour might be a meningocele. A similar very large tumour was recently removed from a Chinese gentleman's face (growing close to his eye socket). My "Most Fantastic Freaks" book only has a photo of it, doesn't mention it being a fake.

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kelliehyphen
Squall of Me


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quote:
Originally posted by Game60 Minutes:
I recall reading somewhere the story of a two-headed man in 17th or 18th century England. His other "head" was on the back of his normal head, and was said to be that of a woman's. Supposedly, the man became so depressed that no surgeon would attempt to remove it that he killed himself.

Anyone else out there heard this story?


I've read this as true somewhere before - not to say that I believe it. The man himself was kind, handsome and generally a very good fellow, but the face on the back of his head wasn't altogether too nice, supposedly. Apparently, the lips would gibber unintelligibly, the face would drool while Ed was eating, make faces at other's in the room, and at night, Ed confessed, it would whisper horrible words and personal comments to him. He requested that, when he died, that he would be buried in a wasteland, in an unmarked grave.

I'll try to dig up the book for more details.

- Scarlett "Creepy..." O'Hara

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I'm a fan of The Fortean Times. It's a fool who believes everything they read in there, but they do strive for high academic standards, while trying to keep an open mind.

Certainly, if they cover a story, it's worth seeing what else they've had to say about it before or since. I've seen a couple of times where someone would have one article published one month, have someone else attack it the next month, reply to it the next month, and so on for months. Not entirely unlike these boards, in fact, except with both participants being experts in the feild for many years, writing very long posts, and heavily citing sources. Actually, not that unlike some of the debates here, then.

One thing they certainly encourage, just like snopes, is for readers to use thier own standards of assessment, and contribute if they feel they have something to add. The letters page itself is usually well worth a read; a mixed bag of people correcting factual errors (with cites), adding anecdotal tales or simply pointing out a humerous coincidence or turn of phrase. Again, not so very unlike these very boards.

It's well worth reading on a regular basis.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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MrUrbanLegend
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The other head has got to be a prop because if it was real, it wouldn't have that look on it's face.
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