(Works Cited for All Essays will be loaded last)

(Works Cited for All Essays will be loaded last)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tupac Shakur by Jose Sosa

              


               Tupac is an artist who sold millions of records and become one of the top selling artists of all time (“Tupac Shakur Biography” 1). “2Pacalypse Now” album sold “923,455” copies in the U.S. (Statistic Brain). “Me Against the World” album sold “3,524,567” copies in the U.S. (1). and other albums sold “500,000” up to “4,000,000” in the U.S.(1). Tupac sold “29,325,000” albums in the U.S. and sold “75,000,000” albums worldwide (1). Tupac collaborated with Artists such as Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, The Notorious B.I.G. and Scarface. Featuring on records like “Smile” or “Gotta Get Mine” Tupac made a name for himself. He appeared in movies such as “Juice” or “Poetic Justice”. Tupac showed his acting ability while still promoting his music which helped his record sales grow. Tupac wasn’t known for music only but from his ability to do a wide variety of things. He was a gangster, a man, and a dreamer. Tupac became a huge selling artist because of his fans around the world. They enjoyed him as a being and an artist.
Tupac Shakur’s life had many battles. But his battle with music was the biggest one of all. Having conflicts with Biggie Smalls and other Hip-Hop artists, Tupac had troubles in the music industry. He wasn’t afraid of saying what he felt, so he recorded a record where he is calling shots at The Notorious B.I.G. and others (1). Before the record was made, Biggie Small’s wife had told them about Tupac’s record, which made Biggie record the song “Get Money” with Puff Daddy (1). They hurried and brought this record out to the streets (1). Tupac later heard it and told Suge Knight about why did they jump the gun and take his idea (1). Tupac went on and changed everything about the song and named it “Hit Em Up” out of rage (1). The record was known to make a grown man cry according to Suge Knight: “You claim to be a player but I f****d your wife/We bust on Bad Boys, n****s f****d for life/Plus Puffy tryna see me, weak hearts I rip/Biggie Smalls and Junior M.A.F.I.A. some mark-a** b*****s (1). He described the song as a “knife sticking into somebody’s wound and twisting it” (Danielle Harling). Suge Knight explained that the record will always be around because it was that serious (1). Tupac wasn’t afraid to say what he felt (1). He wasn’t afraid to die fighting for what he believed in (1). Sadly, all great legends must come to an end (1). On September 7th, 1996, Tupac was shot (1). He died six days later; or so they say (1). It is believed that Tupac may have faked his own death (1).
Tupac Shakur was a huge fanatic of “Niccolo Machiavelli”.  Machiavelli encouraged “the end justifies the means” behavior among politicians (2).  Niccolo was Italian Renaissance political philosopher and statesman, secretary of the Florentine republic, whose most famous work, The Prince (Il Principe), brought him a reputation as an atheist and an immoral cynic (2). Niccolo once said, “To fool ones’ enemies, fake’s ones’ death” (2). Many people believe that Tupac might’ve acquired the advice from Machiavelli into his own life, which made him call himself “Makavelli” (2). Makavelli is an anagram of “AM ALIVE K” (2).

Tupac made an album titled “The Don Killuminati”, expressing his 7-day theory (Apple). The Don Killuminati album artwork is consisted of Tupac Shakur on the cross, behind him is a red and black atmosphere (1). The artwork for his album The Don Killuminati reads ‘Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli’ (1). With songs like “Hail Mary”, “Shot It Up”, “To Live & Die In L.A” It portrays as Tupac knew what he was doing (1). The Don Killuminati has an emotional urgency and directness that makes it one of Tupac’s most arresting works (1). Explosions of anger segue into pleas for peace, and celebrations of the street lifestyle (1). Amidst all the paranoia and aggression, Pac has premonitions of his own death (1). “I'm a ghost in these killin’ fields,” he says on “Hail Mary (1).” No one can be certain that Tupac intended this to be his last will and testament, but there is that aura about this album (1). The final two songs epitomize the conflict that burned in Pac’s soul (1). “I hope for better days,” he says in “Hold Ya Head (1).” Then, in “Against All Odds,” he turns around to blast all of his peers, like a kamikaze pilot on a final suicide mission (1). The album’s final words linger like an uncanny echo: “Now I want war (1).” A theory came arise from the album and people were expressing valid points like “Killuminati to the body with the impact of a twelve gauge shotty” (War John). The Killuminati is the seven-day theory (1). So 3 and 4 equal 7 as in the seven-day theory (1). And 3 and 9 equal 12 as in twelve gauge shotty?” (1). The number 616 gives you 3 numbers that equal to the singular 4 in mathematical terms. (1) On the other hand 666 gives you three numbers that equal to the singular 9 (1). God’s rescue code is 616 and God’s code for retaliation is 666 (1). That gives you March 4 and March 9. Biggies death was on March 9th, it was a sign before the time that the retaliation of God and Goddess against the foes in perdition will be on a March 9th (1). The “7 Day Theory” is the sexual time God spends with Goddess after his rescue from perdition, but the twelve gauge shotty is the metaphor for retaliation by God and Goddess (1). March 4th is the day the sex between God and Goddess starts back up in paradise (1). March 9th is the day the retaliation happens in perdition (1).
A second theory that came about was that in the evening of September 7th, 1996, Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight, the then-CEO of Death Row Records, attended a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (Joyce Chen). In the casino lobby, Shakur had a run-in with alleged Crip gang member Orlando Anderson (1). There was a brief fight – Shakur and Knight's entourage got involved – but it was eventually broken up, and the men went their separate ways (1). Shakur and Knight headed out towards Club 662, a nightclub owned by Knight (1). While Shakur and Knight were on their way to the club, around 11 p.m., a white Cadillac pulled up next to them on the passenger side while they were at a stoplight (1). An unidentified gunman then fired 14 shots into their car (1). Shakur was hit four times – twice in the chest, once in the arm and once in the thigh – with one bullet puncturing his right lung (1). Knight was hit by a bullet fragment that hit him in the head, but otherwise walked away unscathed (1). The rapper was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors kept him alive for six days before his mother finally made the decision to stop treatment on September 13th, 1996, at 4:03 p.m (1). His official cause of death was cardiac arrest (1). Following Tupac's death, investigators looked into a number of suspects, including Anderson. Anderson's affiliation with the Crips would have made the shooting a gang-related retaliation hit (1). Members of a 10-car entourage following Knight and Shakur told officers that it was Anderson who fired the shots (1). But Anderson was later killed in an unrelated gang shooting, and the cops lost their lead (1). The media was quick to jump on a different narrative that placed the blame on Shakur's former friend and east coast rival, The Notorious B.I.G (1). The pair had come up together in the early 1990s, with Shakur even acting as Biggie's mentor of sorts (1). Things eventually went south in the middle of the decade when the two rappers got embroiled in an epic East Coast-West-Coast rap rivalry (1). The feud was believed to have been sparked by Biggie's 1994 song "Who Shot Ya?" The possible diss track is said to be about Shakur getting shot and robbed in New York City (1). Two years later, in 1996, Shakur released "Hit 'Em Up," in which he alludes to having an affair with Biggie's wife, Faith Evans (1). Evans later told MTV News that Biggie was afraid that people would believe he was responsible for Shakur's death, and feared retaliation (1). Biggie denied claims. Six months later, on March 9, 1997, Biggie was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting while leaving a party in Los Angeles after the Soul Train Awards (1). His death also remains unsolved (1).
A third theory put the blame on Suge Knight (1). Fans have pointed to a possibly frosty relationship between the Death Row Records CEO and his rising star (1). Theorists believe Shakur was ready to leave the label to start his own, and so Knight orchestrated his murder that night in Las Vegas, a claim that he has strongly denied (1).
In fact, in 2017, Knight stood behind a new documentary about Shakur's death that pointed to yet another possibility (1). The documentary claims that Knight's ex-wife, Sharitha Golden, and Reggie Willis Jr., the former head of security for Death Row Records, had actually plotted a hit on him in order to gain control of the label (1). Golden has publicly denied the accusation (1).
But perhaps the most popular theory out there, is that Shakur didn't die at all that fall (1). That just maybe he's still alive and living in Cuba after having faking his own death (1). Supposed evidence includes his seven posthumous records, a supposedly "fake" autopsy photo, and his mother's choice of words when she told the world that her son Tupac "chose to leave quietly (1).”
                                                             Works Cited
Apple. “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory by Makaveli.” Apple Music, Apple Inc, 5 Nov. 1996, itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-don-killuminati-the-7-day-theory/146901846.
Biography. “Tupac Shakur.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 19 Jan. 2018, www.biography.com/people/tupac-shakur-206528.
John, War. “The Meaning behind MAKAVELI the Don: Killuminati: the 7 Day Theory, Page 1.”AboveTopSecret.com, 23 Jan. 2013, 10:40a.m, www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread920599/pg1.
Kelly, Emma. “Is Tupac Shakur Alive? Here's All the 'Proof' That Rapper Faked His Own Death.” Metro, Emma Kelly, 23 Sept. 2017, metro.co.uk/2017/09/23/is-tupac-shakur-alive-heres-all-the-proof-that-rapper-faked-his-own-death-6950910/.
Rolling Stone, Person. “Tupac Shakur: Music's Most WTF Conspiracy Theories, Explained.”Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 13 Nov. 2017, www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/tupac-shakur-musics-most-wtf-conspiracy-theories-explained-w511018.
staff, Entertain This! “5 Enduring Conspiracy Theories about Tupac.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 13 Sept. 2016, www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/09/13/5-enduring-conspiracy-theories-tupac/90309840/.




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Area 51 by Jorge Garcia

          Do they really have aliens in Area 51? What is the government hiding from us? Area 51, located in Groom Lake, Nevada. A Military base known for having top secret information that not even the President has knowledge about. According to research we only know, “5% about the ocean, 8% of the Universe, and 0% of Area 51” ("How much of the ocean have we explored?" 1). Aliens are real, it’s only a matter of time and evidence.


          There is one person who does lots of research over Area 51, Jeffery T. Richelson. In the middle of the Barren Nevada desert, there's a dusty unmarked road that leads to the front gate of Area 51 (Blitz 1). It's protected by a little more than a chain link fence, a boom gate, and intimidating trespassing signs (1). One would think that America's much mythicized top secret military base would be under closer guard, but make no mistake; They are watching. Beyond the gate, cameras see every angle (1). On the distant hilltop, there's a white pickup truck with a tinted windshield peering down on everything below (1). “Jeff's posting of this CIA map of Area 51, obtained through the FOIA in Summer 2013, went viral, bringing a record spike in traffic to our web site”, and locals say the base knows every desert tortoise and jackrabbit that hops the fence (1). Others claim there are embedded sensors in the approaching road (1). Jeffery T. Richelson knows all about this conspiracy theory. 
          In the middle of the Barren Nevada desert, there's a dusty unmarked road that leads to the front gate of Area 51 (Blitz 1) It's protected by a little more than a chain link fence, a boom gate, and intimidating trespassing signs (1). One would think that America's much mythicized top secret military base would be under closer guard, but make no mistake; They are watching. 2 Beyond the gate, cameras see every angle (1). On the distant hilltop, there's a white pickup truck with a tinted windshield peering down on everything below (1). Locals say the base knows every desert tortoise and jackrabbit that hops the fence (1). Others claim there are embedded sensors in the approaching road (Blitz).
        A mystery that has not yet been solved, everyone wonders what is so important that is being held in area 51? Jeffery T. Richelson, was an American author, he wrote The U.S intelligence community, The Wizards of Langley, and Spying on the Bomb. He was an academic researcher who studied the process of gathering intelligence and national security (Blitz). Richelson was the reason Area 51 became public to the world in 2005 (1). He published at least thirteen books and many articles about intelligence, and directed the publication of several of the National Security Archive's collections of source documents (1). After his long fight with cancer, Richelson passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at his home in Los Angeles, according to his brother, Charles, he was 67 (1).
        Aliens, some believe they are living in outer space, some say they don’t exist, and others think they have aliens in Area 51 (Blitz). That might sound like a question that conspiracy theorists mull over in obscure chatrooms and internet forums, but it’s also a question that the US government apparently also wanted to answer in 2007 (1). The US Defense Department spent $26 million in an effort to find an answer for unexplained flying objects which have been documented by both civilians and military personnel (1).
       Other evidence came in the form of video recorded by military personnel during operations in various parts of the world. One particularly stunning video clip was shot by US fighter pilots in the cockpit. The video shows a bizarre object flying at incredible speed against the wind and moving in a way that shocks the seasoned military pilots. Many people claim they have seen these undefined object on several occasions. Area 51 comes with several conspiracy theories, such as mermaids. The Little Mermaid, first published in 1837 (Benson). In the original story, a young mermaid falls in love with a human prince whom she saves from drowning when his ship is wrecked in a storm (1). Although her grandmother tells her not to envy humans, who live much shorter lives than mermaids, and whose only consolation is an immortal soul, the mermaid chooses to risk her life in order to be with the prince (1). She trades her tongue and her voice to the sea witch in exchange for a draught that will make her human and allow her to live on land (1). She will have to rely on her beauty and charm to win the prince's love as she will be entirely mute (1). 
         There are two conspiracies about Area 51, one being they have aliens and the other one is mermaids. The only solution would be Area 51 becomes public and show us what they have been hiding for all these years. Can you believe that the president of the United States cannot even see what’s inside? Area 51 remains an unsolved mystery.

Works Cited
Benson, Julio. "Area 51". 1
Blitz, Matt. "The Real Story Behind Area 51".
"How much of the ocean have we explored?". National Ocean Service. 1.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Brother Behind It All by Sasha Liles



“JonBenét Ramsey was a 6-year-old beauty queen who was found murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996” (Worthen 1). Did the brother commit this crime and his parents covered it up to not loose both of their children? Or is it true John Mark Karr staged the crime scene and covered up the real killer’s identity? The most likely theory is the brother committed the crime.
 It all started when Patsy Ramsey was a child. Patsy was a pageant queen herself. She wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps. JohBenét Ramsey was a beautiful six-year-old pageant princess who always caught everyone’s attention. According to Jon Bénet Ramsey Biography:
The youngest of two children, she was a true southern girl who enjoyed the spotlight. She had already garnered five pageantry titles: Little Miss Colorado, Little Miss Charlevoix, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl, America's Royale Miss, and National Tiny Miss Beauty. This kindergartener’s sparkling smile, glowing blonde hair, and countless glittery costumes made her the center of attention. (1)
Miss Benét was always very caring and loving. Some people would say she didn’t obtain one ugly bone in her body. Shed had quite a few friends in the pageant industry. “My mom didn't see me for twenty to thirty minutes. I was playing Barbie’s with JonBenet,” she said. The girls who once shared the pageant stage with JonBenet Ramsey may be all grown up, but still think about the tragic beauty queen, even 20 years after her death. “She had a bright light about her,” the current history teacher told Inside Edition. “She was just a really nice fun-loving kid” (20 Years After JonBenet Ramsey's Death, Her Pageant Friends Remember 'Fun-Loving Kid' 1). This caring and loving nature manifested through the generosity she showed to her friends. I between contest break Gosney and Ramsey would be in the back-playing Barbie’s with one another. 
            Her mother would dress her in flashy clothing. She bought some used pageant clothes for the pageant from Rhiannon in 1996 (JonBenet's Burial Dress (Ramsey Friend's Interview). It may have seemed flashy to us but in the pageant industry, it was part of the look. Her father on the other hand does not remember his little girl dressed up.  Her father remembered her to always play outside getting dirty. “John Bennet Ramsey said he and his wife were "so naive" and that he believes with all his heart that "it's not a good idea to put your children on public display (Emily lee).”
            The unsolved case of Joh Bénet Ramsey is a well-known case across America. There are many theories about this particular case on the internet and media. There are two theories: The brother Burke killed the sister and the family helped cover it up and, John Mark says he committed the crime.
The first conspiracy theory points to the brother Burke being Jon Bénet Ramsey’s killer and the family covering it up. At the time Burke was only nine years old, he claimed to be asleep in his room. “Police and evidence state he was indeed in the living room with the family” (Bradley).  The actual evidence is not the same as what Burke claimed and what his family supported.  Why would the family lie that Burke was in the room? At the time Burke was only nine years old; he was a confused little boy who did not like at all having a sister who was the center of attention. This lie was a way of getting attention.

Burke has always been aggressive towards JohBénet. According to Bradley; “believe JonBenét was killed by blunt force, a flashlight to the head (1). A former friend of the Ramsey family also told the team that Burke had seemed jealous of all the attention his little sister was receiving—he had a “chip on his shoulder”—and that he had hit JonBenét with a golf club about a year and a half before the murder (Bradley). The friend said Patsy Ramsey told her he had had a temper tantrum, although on-screen text quotes John Ramsey as saying the incident was an accident (“Bradley” 1). If he done it once he could do it again.
The pineapple evidence supports both the idea he lied and that he was overly aggressive towards his sister.
And then, there’s the smoking pineapple gun. A piece of pineapple was found in Jon Benet’s stomach during her autopsy. The night of the murder, the experts believe, Burke made himself a snack of pineapple with milk, and tea. His fingerprints were found on a bowl, and the teacup next to it. JonBenét, the experts believed, snatched a piece of the fruit (reportedly one of her favorite desserts) directly from the bowl with her fingers, leaving no prints. This, the experts believe, catalyzed the grisly events that followed. Their best hypothesis: Burke hit JonBenét on the head with the flashlight, just as he had with the golf club a year before—but this time, he accidentally killed her. John and Patsy, the experts believe, then covered for Burke. (Bradley 1)
Obviously, he must have lied because he was in the living room eating the pineapple where they found his prints on the bowl.
The evidence further points to Burke hitting JohBénet over the head. According to the autopsy report, JohBénet was hit on the head and strangled (1). From many studies everyone thought Burke had a tantrum over the snack his mother served him. With the gold club incident this was just another tantrum that resulted in Burke being abusive towards JohBénet.  
There was a two-page ransom note stating they want exactly one hundered and eighteen thousand dollars, exactly what the father was receiving for a Christmas bonus. Pelisek concluded it was Patsy’s hand writing (1).          
 “It is highly probable she wrote the ransom note,” Wong tells ABC News’ Amy Robach.Wong spent three weeks examining the handwriting on the note and comparing it to 100 samples of Patsy’s handwriting, finding more than 200 similarities between the two. You will see that just with the A’s, the ransom note writer has four different variations of the letter A, and then Patsy Ramsey uses the same variation of the four different types of As,” Wong said (Pelisek 1)”.
When the cops came to the home nobody said anything about the basement until hours later. It appeared that they led the cops on a wild goose chase. It looked like there was an intruder but from documentation it shows the damage from the window was from the inside. 
Who was it who helped frame the crime scene? This is where my second conspiracy falls into place. John Mark Karr claims he committed this crime.
Karr "confessed" to killing Ramsey ten years after the child beauty pageant star was found dead in her parents' home. But authorities quickly found reason to doubt his storyKarr claimed to have drugged Ramsey, for example, but an autopsy found no drugs in her system. He refused to explain how he'd gained entry to the family's house and provided no details to police that weren't publicly available. Most compellingly, DNA evidence taken from Ramsey's clothes did not implicate Karr, and in fact contradicted Karr's story. Ultimately, he wasn't charged (Millstein 1).
But his statement was contradicted by the evidence there were no drugs, and he stated details that were already made public.
The question of the hour is why would lie about this, for this is a very serious matter. Was he just trying to give the family closure or was he paid off by the family? Mr. Kar gave a statement to tell-all to investigation discovery as stated by the Sun (Nauman 1).
He insists her death was an accident, and that he tried to save her on the night of December 26th, 1996.Speaking out, Karr, 51, said: “Nobody wanted that little girl to die that night— nobody. Her death was an accident. I was with her when she died. But I was not the person who caused it.” He explained there was a "panic" after the little girl died and added she was not discovered in the place she lost her life. “How she was found, that’s not how she died. Where she was found in that basement is not where she died."
Karr added her lifeless body was “tampered” in a bid to cover up who the killer was. “Something happened to her [and I] had to take care of it,” Karr said. “I have always been able to fix things. Nobody came in there and did a paedo-erotic thing to that little girl, but it was made to look as though it was done that way.” He went on to claim the kidnap letter which was found was fake. He said it was a prop to make her death look like a “botched kidnapping (Nauman 1).  
Contrary to Karr’s statement there was documented proof of sexual assault and she had bodily fluid that wasn’t identified as Karr’s. These contradictions eliminate him as the possible killer. However, they do not eliminate him as a suspect in the cover up, but the only indication of him being there is his statement.
After reviewing the theories and evidence I’ve came to a conclusion that both of my conspiracy’s tie together. The family and John Mark Karr are protecting one person. That person is Burke. Sometimes parents do crazy things to protect their children. It took over twenty years for burke to do an interview with anyone or even speak about the case. His family wouldn’t allow him to speak to anyone.  Burke had an interview with Dr. Phil:
He is smiling. People are going to see this throughout the entire interview, [a] really unusual affect, either smiling or laughing,” Dr. Phil explained Monday morning. “This is a very socially awkward young man — but understand, from the time this happened, his parents, depending on your interpretation, either protected him or hid him. “He has not had the social contact that most kids have growing up.” He revealed Burke “knew his anonymity was gone” and he “wanted to control the narrative.” (Nauman 1)
From Dr. Phil assessment we can conclude that Burke is the one behind the murder, and the family and John Karr are protecting him.
            We can conclude that Burke committed this crime. A survey at College of the Mainland, indicated that 9 of 15 people questioned said yes. The brother Burke committed the crime and the family helped cover it up.






Work cited

Bradley, Laura. “The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey Thinks It Found Her Killer.” Vanity Fair , Cbs, 20 Sept. 2016, www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/09/who-killed-jonbenet-ramsey-the-case-of-cbs.
JonBenet Ramsey's Pageant Friend Had Many Dreams About Her Being Grown Up.” Youtube, Inside Edition, 12 Sept. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AZhI-hMsNk.

Lee, Emily. “What Pageants Was JonBenet Ramsey In? She Made A Name For Herself.” Romper, Romper, 20 Mar. 2018, www.romper.com/p/what-pageants-was-jonbenet-ramsey-in-she-made-a-name-for-herself-17101.
Millstein, Seth. “John Mark Karr Made This Bizarre False Confession.” Bustle, Bustle, 19 Apr. 2018, www.bustle.com/articles/182309-why-did-john-mark-karr-confess-to-killing-jonbenet-ramsey-his-false-confession-was-a-strange.
Nauman, Zoe. “Jailed Paedo Claims He Knows Who Killed JonBenét Ramsey and He Set up FAKE 'Murder Scene' to Fool Cops.” The Sun, The Sun, 13 Sept. 2016, www.thesun.co.uk/news/1771796/twisted-pedophile-claims-he-knows-jonbenet-ramseys-killer-and-changed-murder-scene/.
Norsworthy, Cameron. “Did The JonBenet Ransom Note Handwriting Match Patsy Ramsey's? It Was Never Proven.” Romper, Romper, 19 Apr. 2018, www.romper.com/p/did-the-jonbenet-ransom-note-handwriting-match-patsy-ramseys-it-was-never-proven-17866.

Worthen, Meredith. “JonBenét Ramsey.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 22 May 2017, www.biography.com/people/jonbenet-ramsey-12986606.
20 Years After JonBenet Ramsey's Death, Her Pageant Friends Remember 'Fun-Loving Kid'.” Inside Edition, Inside Edition, 12 Sept. 2016, www.insideedition.com/headlines/18595-20-years-after-jonbenet-ramseys-death-her-pageant-friends-remember-fun-loving-kid.









Anastasia Romanov by Maricarmen Salmeron

Anastasia Romanov was the youngest Grand Duchess of Russia. She was born in Petrodvorets, Russia. She was fun, carefree, and would always play pranks on her family. Not quite the characteristics of a royal; but underneath her title, she was simply a seventeen-year-old girl. Sadly, this princess did not have a happy ending. Anastasia was brutally murdered, along with her entire family. There are theories that she escaped, given the fact that her body was not found until almost a hundred years after her murder. Even then, could that have really been her body? Or could she have escaped and lived her life to the fullest after the Romanov’s murder?
            As a young child, Anastasia was vivacious and energetic, described as short and inclined to be chubby, with blue eyes, and strawberry blonde hair (Massie). Anastasia began her academic schooling as soon as her mother saw her fit of understanding. She taught Anastasia spelling and would read her poems. As Anastasia got older, her mother assigned her prestige tutors to teach her more advanced subjects. Her tutors taught her subjects such as the French and English language, history, geography, natural sciences, mathematics, grammar, art and even the Bible studies. Anastasia was not what you would call an eager learner; she particularly enjoyed climbing trees to not have to deal with her schooling. Anastasia did not enjoy science or math, numbers and figures confused her; languages and reading bored her (“History and Women”). Anastasia’s least favorite subject was grammar. She would often try to bribe her tutor to let her leave and avoid that particular class. Her ladies in waiting and tutors often described Anastasia as lively, mischievous, and a gifted actress (Vyrubova). She possessed a strong competitive spirit to the point where she would not hesitate to do anything to win, even if it meant cheating or harming an opponent.  She would cheat at games while playing with her classmates, and would also play pranks on her tutors (“History and Women”). Anastasia had a charm about her and was loved by many, despite her childish mischiefs.

Although The Grand Duchess Anastasia was born into great wealth and privilege, she grew up pretty common to normal people in her day. She cleaned her own room, slept in a cot, took cold baths and even did needlework for charity. People in the household, even the servants, called Anastasia by her first name and not her title. Sometimes they called her by the French version of her name, "Anastasie", or by the Russian nicknames "Nastya", "Nastas", or "Nastenka". Other family nicknames for Anastasia were "Malenkaya," meaning "little one", or "shvibzik," the Russian word for "imp" (Kurth).
Anastasia was loved her family. She without a doubt enjoyed playing pranks on them. Anastasia sometimes went too far, but her family loved her nonetheless. She was close to her loved ones; particularly her father, her younger brother, and her sister Maria. Anastasia and her sister shared a bedroom together; the two were said to be inseparable. They were given the nickname “Little Pair” since Anastasia was the youngest of four girls and Maria was the youngest of the older three. Anastasia loved her younger brother Alexei. They would often be mischievous together; although they had to be careful for Alexei was a hemophiliac. He had a genetic disorder that prevented blood clotting properly and can mean that even relatively small cuts can be life-threatening (“Alexei Romanov”).
Anastasia and her dearly beloved family were murdered in a brutal way. Late at night on July 16, Anastasia, her siblings, parents, and four servants were ordered to dress quickly and go down to the cellar of the house in which they were being held. There, the family and servants were arranged in two rows for a photograph they were told was being taken to prove to Russia they had not disappeared. Sadly, it was all a horrible lie. They were brought down to the cellar to be massacred. While they were adjusting themselves for the photograph, a dozen armed men burst into the room and gunned down the royal family in a hail of gunfire. Those who were still breathing when the smoked cleared were stabbed to death (“Romanov Family Executed”). It is believed that the girls still had their nightgowns on in the time of the photograph. The nightgowns had many precious stones and jewels sowed onto them. So many in fact, that when they were shot, they did not die immediately; therefore, they had to be stabbed. 

 Afterward, acid was thrown on them to speed up the decomposition process. They were buried in a grave but weren’t found until the 1980’s. There is a conspiracy theory that The Grand Duchess Anastasia somehow escaped the execution. The legend persisted for nearly a century, inspiring numerous books and films.  Over the years, dozens of women came forward, claiming to be the Romanov princess. The most believable supposed “princess” was Anna Anderson.
Anna Anderson was the most famous imposter of The Grand Duchess. She had many similarities to Anastasia. She was the same height, had the same hair color and eye color, and was also the same shoe size as the Grand Duchess. Anna Anderson even had the same foot deformation as Anastasia (bunions). She had scars on the same fingers that Anastasia had injured by slamming a door on hers.  She also had the scar on her back where Anastasia had a mole removed.  She knew inside family jokes and answered correctly to questions asked of her by The Tzar's brother.  She knew many secrets that only the princess would know. Anna Anderson even knew passageways of the palace. (“Just stuff from a Baby Boomer”). She understood Russian but refused to speak the language of those who had murdered her entire family.

Anna Anderson was found as a suicidal young woman rescued from her distress. She was admitted to a mental hospital because of her vulnerable state. No one there knew her name nor where she came from. The staff at the hospital said she looked like the Grand Duchess but at the time no one knew for sure. Eventually, she spoke and had a strange accent. Although she did not speak of the past for some time she eventually described how she had escaped the massacre. She admitted that she had been stabbed, but said that the wound had not killed her because the sword was blunt. She claimed that a soldier named Tschaikovsky saw that she was still alive, took sympathy upon her and helped her escape. He took her to Romania where she stayed with him until he was killed in a fight. She gave birth to his son who she placed in an orphanage. She claimed that she had walked from Romania to Berlin to find her relatives. However, when she reached Berlin she thought that no one would recognize her and decided to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge (“Anna Anderson—Mystery of Anastasia”). With the accent and all the similarities, the theory began to expand within the asylum and the town. Soon enough, almost everyone believed she was the lost Princess.  
Anna Anderson convinced many. She convinced many locals and even convinced a handful of important people. Those such as the Duke of Leuchtenberg, the Kaiser’s aging daughter-in-law Crown Princess Cecilia, the children of the doctor who had died alongside the royals in 1918, Anastasia’s childhood playmate who was now a wealthy American socialite called Xenia Leeds, the famous composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, the real Anastasia’s cousin Grand Duke Andrei, and, later, several prominent historians (Russel).
Anna Anderson was soon enough released from the mental hospital she was in, and ended up living with wealthy advocates, one after another, all over the world. In 1968 she married one of her supporters, John Manahan of Virginia, who was 20 years younger than her. She was in and out of asylums throughout the remainder of her life because she suffered from mental illnesses. She claimed to suffer from mental illnesses because she watched her entire family get murdered. She didn’t have any children, and on June 18, 1984, she died of pneumonia. Anna Anderson claimed to be the Grand Duchess until her last breath.
The story of Anastasia inspired many books, movies, and plays. The loveliest story of Anastasia is an animated movie named “Anastasia”.

 In the movie, the family is having a royal ball. Then suddenly, an entire mob is coming into the palace to kill them all. Anastasia and her grandmother are led through a secret passageway in the palace by a young servant boy. After they are on their way to escape, Anastasia and her grandmother are running from the danger in the palace; running through town, Anastasia’s grandmother jumps on a moving train. While Anastasia is desperately trying to jump aboard too, she trips on the tracks and hits her head. Anastasia’s grandmother tries to stop for her, but the train is moving too fast and there are too many people around her and she can’t get off.
Anastasia is about twelve in the movie, while in real life she was seventeen. In the movie, because Anastasia fell and hit her head on a train track, she loses her memory. She grows up in an orphanage and when she is eighteen she is forced to go by on her own. She is kicked out into the cold. Anastasia decides to find her family. She has no idea who she is, or where she came from but she’s determined to find out.
Anastasia is traveling on her own until she runs into a man named Demetri (He’s actually the servant boy that helped Anastasia escape). Demetri is a scammer trying to find girls that look like the princess so that he can turn her into the desperate grandmother and get some money. He looks at Anastasia and thinks she is the perfect candidate. While trying to reach her grandmother, Demetri realizes he is falling in love with her and does not want to harm her by using her. Not only that, he realizes that she is indeed the real princess!
The animated movie “Anastasia” is a beautiful what if. Sadly, that was not the case with the true story of The Grand Duchess Anastasia. Anastasia either did die brutally along with her family or somehow got lucky enough to get away from that fate.
The question still asked today is—Was Anna Anderson really the lost princess of Russia? When Anna Anderson died, DNA results proved that she indeed was not the Princess. The real body was found in 2007. The government ran some test and proved the body to be Anastasia’s. The theory is that the Russian government wanted the conspiracies to cease. Perhaps they created a dead body to end the rumors once and for all.
If Anna Anderson was not The Grand Duchess, then who was she? How did she know so much about the royal family, their family secrets, and ways of the palace? Anna Anderson even carried herself as a royal; knew how to act and live like a royal. She had the birthmarks of Anastasia. The mystery of Anna Anderson is yet to be solved. Anything is possible, and the more you dig into it, the more questions you ask yourself.


Works Cited

 “Anna Anderson—The mystery of Anastasia” https://www.historyonthenet.com/anna-anderson/
Gareth Russel “Missing Royals and Murder Mysteries: Anastasia and the allure of romance” January 1st 1970 http://garethrussellcidevant.blogspot.com/2012/09/missing-royals-and-murder-mysteries.html
History.com “Romanov Family Executed” A&E Television Networks https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/romanov-family-executed
 History of Russia “Alexie Romanov” https://historyofrussia.org/alexei-romanov/
King and Wilson (2003), p. 250
Kurth (1983), p. 309
Massie (1967), p. 134
Mysteries and Conspiracy Theories “Just Stuff from a Baby Boomer” http://juststufffromaboomer.blogspot.com/2011/09/mysteries-and-conspiracy-theories




Moon Landing by Kathleen Devoll

“We choose to go to the moon, we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” (Wall). On July 20th, 1969, the first man, Neil Armstrong, landed on the moon (Dunbar). Neil Armstrong was accompanied by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (Dunbar). Since the broadcast of the moon landing, several conspiracy theories have surfaced.
  • Was the Moon Landing faked or real?
  • Was the moon landing faked to install the belief that the earth is round (Schadewald 1)?
  • Is it possible that the moon landing was faked to deceive the world the U.S was ahead in the space race?
Let’s explore Neil Armstrong and the conspiracy theories surrounding the moon landing.


Neil Armstrong was determined but quiet. Kehoe reported high school friends remember     Neil being “a person of few words.” He “thought before he spoke” (“Neil Armstrong: A Man Out of Time” 1). His determination enabled him to achieve many things throughout his life. Dunbar noted that “He served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test piolet, and an astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia and became a community leader in Cincinnati (“Family Statement       Regarding the Death of Neil Armstrong” 1).” The several career fields that he pursued and excelled in would not have been possible without determination.
He always had a humble demeanor. Although he was determined in everything he pursued he wasn’t arrogant. Dunbar reported, “Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all (“Neil Armstrong: “We have lost a humble giant, but his legacy is forever”” 1).” Dunbar stated, “Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job” (“Family Statement Regarding the Death of Neil Armstrong” 1). A humble person doesn’t boast about themselves. The fact that he showed grace and humility indicated he wasn’t arrogant but humble.
        Neil was an intelligent man. His intelligence can be recognized through his education and accomplishments. Kehoe states Neil attended Purdue University on two occasions (“Neil Armstrong: A Man Out of Time” 1). The first was in 1947, but because he couldn’t afford the tuition he had to enlist in the navy causing his time there to fall short (1). Once he had returned from his duty in the Korean war in 1952 he returned to the university to finish his bachelors in aeronautical engineering (1). He later continued his education at Southern California University for a Master of Aerospace Engineering (“Biographical Data” 1). Dunbar said, Neil then studied and designed airplanes with a group of people just before becoming an astronaut for NASA (“Who was Neil Armstrong?” 1). That same study group also became a part of NASA (1). In the United States obtaining a master’s degree is seen as a prestigious accomplishment in education. To be able to earn a Master of Aerospace Engineering, it takes not only determination but intelligence as well.

      There are several conspiracies surrounding the moon landing and Neil Armstrong. One theory claims it is a hoax, and the other two theories focus on why it was faked. None of these three conspiracies are practical.
      The first conspiracy revolves around images of the moon landing. A recent survey from the College of the Mainland shows that 11 out of 20 believe the Apollo mission was real. The other 9 believe it was faked because of the following photographs. One image from the moon landing captures the American flag planted into the moon’s surface (“Moon Landing Hoax” 1). In the photo, the flag appears to be waving in the wind, but there is no wind in space (1). NASA claims it only appears to be waving because it had been crushed up from the trip (1). In another photograph, you can see that the terrain repeats itself even though NASA claims the locations they explored are miles apart (1). “NASA swears that these photos were taken in different locations” (1). Also, All the photographs taken on the Apollo 11 mission have no stars. In space, the stars should be visible. There aren’t lights to keep them from sight (1). “The stars aren't visible because they are too faint. The astronauts in their white spacesuits appear quite bright, so they must use short shutter speeds and large f/stops to not overexpose the pictures. With those camera settings, though, the stars don't show up” (“Why We Can’t See Stars” 1). Another suspicious photograph makes the lunar module seem like it was placed into position (“Moon Landing Hoax” 1). The dust on the moon is extremely fine so when the module landed it should have left a print just like the astronaut’s footprints (1). Rockets behave differently in space than on earth (“Space Vehicles” 1). “As the rocket climbs higher and higher, the exhaust plume spreads out. Because the surrounding air gets thinner as the rocket climbs, there is less air pressure to impede the dispersal of the exhaust gasses” (1). All these suspicious photographs have led people to believe that the moon landing was staged in a studio.
        Which leads us to the second conspiracy where The International Flat Earth Research Society believes the moon landing was faked to install a myth that the earth is round (Schadewald 1). Transcription from the Schadewald interview records, ‘“The facts are simple,’ says Charles K. Johnson, president of the International Flat Earth Research Society ‘The earth is flat”’ (1). Charles K. Johnson states, “You can’t orbit a flat earth. The Space shuttle is a joke –and a very ludicrous joke” (1). Schadewald recorded, “The whole point of the Copernican theory is to get rid of Jesus by saying there is no up and no down,” declares Johnson. “The spinning ball thing just makes the whole bible a big joke” (1). Johnson and the Flat Earth Society firmly believe that the moon landing was faked in a Hollywood studio. Early documentation by sea explorers proves the earth was round and the history of space travel by the United States and other countries around the world makes this theory unsupportable.    

       The third theory claims the moon landing was faked to deceive people into believing the U.S was ahead in the space race.  Wall stated, “Kennedy viewed winning the space race as key to keeping the United States ahead of the Soviet Union technologically and militarily” (“Moon Speech” 1). President Kennedy stated, “Yet the vows of this nation can only be fulfilled if we in this nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first" (1). Taking from this portion of Kennedy’s speech we can conclude that the government was willing to do anything to be the first on the moon. They would even create a fake set to convince the world the United States was the first to successfully land on the moon. However, a small excerpt from a speech does not provide enough evidence to say the landing is a hoax. Only examining parts of the speech instead of the speeches full meaning is taking it out of context.
   “We choose to go to the moon, we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” (Wall). On July 20th, 1969, the first man, Neil Armstrong, landed on the moon (Dunbar). Neil Armstrong was accompanied by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (Dunbar). Since the broadcast of the moon landing, several conspiracy theories have surfaced.
•           Was the Moon Landing faked or real?
•           Was the Moon landing faked to install the belief that the earth is round?
•           Is it possible that the moon landing was faked to deceive the world the U.S was ahead in the space race?
After examining each of these conspiracy theories surrounding the moon landing, the evidence points to them being false.

                                                           Works Cited
 “Biographical Data.” NASA, Aug. 2012, www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/armstrong-na.html
 “Moon Landing Hoax.” Enki-Village, 24 July 2015, www.enkivillage.org/moon-landing-hoax.html.
 “Space Vehicles.” Clavius, www.clavius.org/techcrater.html.
 “Why Can't We See Stars in the Pictures of Spacewalking or Moonwalking Astronauts?” Star Date, stardate.org/astro-guide/faqs/why-cant-we-see-stars-pictures-spacewalking-or-moonwalking-astronauts.
 Dunbar, Brian. “Family Statement Regarding the Death of Neil Armstrong.” NASA, 6 June 2013, www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/aug/HQ_12_600_armstrong_family.html#.WrpfdkxFzIU
 Dunbar, Brian. “July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind.” NASA, NASA, 19 Feb. 2015, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11.html.
 Dunbar, Brian. “Neil Armstrong: 'We Have Lost a Humble Giant, but His Legacy Is Forever'.”NASA, 6 June 2013, www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/Features/neil_armstrong_passing.html
 Dunbar, Brian. “Who Was Neil Armstrong?” NASA, 12 May 2015, www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/who-was-neil-armstrong-k4.html
 Kehoe, Robert. “Neil Armstrong: A Man Out of Time.” Vision, 20 July 2009, www.vision.org/visionmedia/biography-neil-armstrong/17450.aspx
 Schadewald, Robert J. “Earth Orbits? Moon Landings? A Fraud! Says This Prophet.” The Flat-out Truth, web.archive.org/web/20130128101904/http:/www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/fe-scidi.htm.
 Wall, Mike. “JFK's 'Moon Speech' Still Resonates 50 Years Later.” Space.com, Space.com, 12 Sept. 2012, www.space.com/17547-jfk-moon-speech-50years-anniversary.ht