In December 2005, The Scotsman newspaper published a story about “Stalin’s half-man, half-ape super-warriors”:
THE Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents.
Moscow archives show that in the mid-1920s Russia’s top animal breeding scientist, Ilya Ivanov, was ordered to turn his skills from horse and animal work to the quest for a super-warrior.
According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: “I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat.”
In 1926 the Politburo in Moscow passed the request to the Academy of Science with the order to build a “living war machine”. The order came at a time when the Soviet Union was embarked on a crusade to turn the world upside down, with social engineering seen as a partner to industrialisation: new cities, architecture, and a new egalitarian society were being created.
The Scotsman must have thought they had uncovered one of Soviet Russia’s darkest secrets. The article went on to detail how Stalin financed a scientist Doctor Ivanoff with $200,000 to find out if it was possible to create a human-ape hybrid, the “Humanzee.”
In order to do this, Ivanoff decided he had to impregnate chimpanzees with human sperm. With assistance from the Pasteur Institute, Ivanoff was able to use their primate facility in Conakry, Guinea to carry out his experiments. It was in 1926, Ivanoff had three chimpanzees artificially impregnated at the facility. However, the experiment failed.
Back in Russia, Ivanoff decided to impregnate Russian women with ape sperm. A “Woman G” was set to be impregnated with orangutan sperm, but the donor ape (called “Tarzan”) died, and the experiment was canceled. In one of Stalin’s political purges, Ivanoff was removed form office, and died not longer after.
However, as explained in this documentary on the “Humanzee,” Ivanoff was not creating a hybrid ape army, but was attempting to discredit religious belief in creationism. For Ivanoff hoped his experiments in cross-fertilization would prove (once and for all) the evolutionary theory that man came from apes.
The documentary tends to errs on the more sensationalist aspects of this story before hurriedly tying-up the true story of the “Humanzee.” It also includes the tale of Xena, a “hairy woman,” believed to be a seven-foot-tall “abanu,” or ape-human; and the very disturbing Doctor Moreau-like experiments of Doctor Robert White, who transplanted a living monkey head onto another monkey’s dead body in 1970.