In Episode #6 of Season Three of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, Jesse and his investigative team tackle what the narrator calls “the wildest conspiracy yet: a plot to create bizarre creatures that will take over the world- one part animal, and one part person…. a new breed that can rise up and kill us all… the plot that could end the human race.” This week Jesse’s “unleashed” on the “Manimal Conspiracy.”
Conspiracies regarding the genetic modification of different animal species, and possible inter-breeding of animals with humans, have circulated throughout the mainstream media and conspiracy underground for years. Many of these theories have been inspired by works of science fiction, from sources such as H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, which tells the story of an inspired, but mad, scientist who creates sentient beings from animals via vivisection, and the Planet of the Apes movie franchise, which depicts the genetic engineering of apes by humans, leading to an ape revolution unseating human dominance on Earth.
“Super-soldier” conspiracies are also a common subject for both science fiction and conspiracy lore, with many people believing that, at the very least, human-enhancement modifications are being studied with possible implementation of such measures planned for the near future.
However, inspiration for such conspiracy theories can be found in real-life science, as well. In the first half of the 20th century, Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov conducted numerous experiments in hybridization, including efforts to create a human-ape hybrid. Some people speculate that Ivanov was given the task of creating an army of half-human, half-ape super soldiers by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, but evidence also suggests that Ivanov struggled throughout the years to continue conducting his research, and that Soviet support of his efforts was motivated more by their desire to prove an atheistic-Darwinist model for the evolution of life on Earth.
Jesse begins his “Manimal” investigation by meeting with animal cruelty investigator, Chris DeRose, who claims to have some information on the conspiracy. In voice-over, Jesse describes DeRose as a guy who “puts his life on the line busting criminals. He’s got a reputation as a tough guy. But the guy walking toward me doesn’t look so tough at all. He looks like he’s seen a ghost… or something worse.”
“Jesse, they’re creating these things called chimeras: two different species of animals into one. Jesse, they’ve created pigs and they got human blood flowing through their bodies. Mice with human brains. There’s all types of stuff going on out there. This is the kind of stuff we’re worried about,” explains DeRose. Jesse seems shocked, but apparently he’s heard of such hybridization projects before. “This sounds like a bunch of science fiction, but it’s real,” Jesse says. “I heard about these experiments in Shanghai about 10 years ago. Scientists growing embryos- part human, part rabbit. And that was just the beginning.”
Jesse quickly cuts to the point. “Do you know at all what the reason would be to do this? I mean, there must be a positive thing they’re doing this for, like to replace organs or whatever if they can do that?” DeRose, however, doesn’t see it that way. “You know, I wish I could say that’s the case, but it’s not. For me, from what we’ve gotten so far, it’s for power and it’s for control.” Within this context, it all makes more sense to Jesse. “Power over us…. control over you and me. Where have I ever heard that before? Like maybe every conspiracy I’ve ever busted. But some animal walking around that’s part human- that’s a whole other story,” says Jesse, in a voice-over. “They call it para-human. I call it monsters,” says DeRose.
Then, all of a sudden, a guy in a hooded sweatshirt rides up on a bike, shouting at DeRose. “Derose, what you talking about man?! I got my eye on you!” he yells. “Who the **** (fuck) is he?” asks Jesse. “I’ve got a lot of people who don’t like me,” DeRose reiterates. “But you’re protecting animals,” says Jesse. “Yeah, but a lot of people are hurting animals,” explains DeRose.
“Yeah, government agencies, the military, corporations- lots of groups want to test on and hurt animals. DeRose gets in their way, so I can see they’d want to stop him from talking to me. Tough luck!” warns a steadfast Jesse, in voice-over. “Chris, what you seem to be telling me is that we’ve got a lot of Dr. Frankenstein’s out there,” says Jesse. “It’s reality. It’s happening right now,” believes DeRose. “There’s nobody that looks at the ethical practice of what’s going on here? They’re just- they can do what they want?” asks Jesse. “They can do whatever they want because there’s no type of laws for this thing,” he explains. “So, just follow the trail?” asks Jesse. “Just follow the trail,” says DeRose.
Back at headquarters, Jesse reports his findings to the team. “Guys, I’ve got a lead on a new conspiracy,” says Jesse. “What I’m telling you is they’re crossbreeding humans and animals. I mean, I don’t see that as being a very good idea.” “So, what’ wrong with that?” interjects Jesse’s advisor, Braverman. “That’s how scientists do research to look for cures and vaccines and cures for diseases.” Team member Sean Stone, son of filmmaker Oliver Stone, agrees with Jesse that something more sinister might be going on. “Remember, the best way to kill people is to hide behind curing them,” he says. “Yeah, but the point is, are they out of control, who’s watching over this stuff?” wonders Jesse. Then, team member June Sarpong takes the fear to the next level. “This stuff sounds like a conspiracy between our scientists, the elite, to create a whole new human- animal race that can take over our planet.”
Tyrel Ventura, Jesse’s son and investigative team member, has an idea where the team might begin their investigation. “I’ve got a lead on a Dr. Zanjani in Reno who’s agreed to talk to us, and he’s trying to create human livers in sheep,” says Tyrel. “Human livers in sheep and he’s agreed to talk to you?” says a surprised Jesse. “He hasn’t made the connection that Tyrel Ventura is with Jesse Ventura? Or does he think you’re Ace Ventura?!”
However, as Jesse describes in voice-over, by the time Sean and Tyrel land in Reno, Dr. Esmail Zanjani has cancelled his interview appearance on the show. Jesse jokes “I guess that makes him part human, part chicken.”
Luckily, Tyrel and Sean have gotten in touch with Hussain Hussain, someone the narrator says “might shine a light on what the Dr. may want hidden.” Hussain is described as a “world-renown scientist and researcher,” and worked in Zanjani’s animal lab. He claims he was fired after he went public with information about Zanjani’s bizarre experiments. “He was trying to put human livers inside of sheep?” asks Tyrel. “Yes,” says Hussain. Tyrel continues. “In all of his research, would you consider Zanjani to be like a Dr. Frankenstein, in terms of how he’s treating and cross-breeding these animals?” “Well, using sheep to create humans can fall under that categorization, absolutely,” says Hussain.
Sean then asks if the sheep with human DNA could breed with normal sheep, and Hussain answers “yes.” Tyrel then asks the most stomach-churning question. “If they were, by accident, put out on the market, you’d have human beings essentially eating a piece of the sheep that has human cells?” “Yes,” confirms Hussain. “Does that mean that if you eat that sheep you’d be eaten human?” asks Sean. Hussain replies “absolutely.”
Next, Hussain Hussain leads Tyrel and Sean to what the narrator describes as “the farm that holds the world’s largest herd of part-human sheep,” Dr. Esmail Zanjani’s animal lab in Reno, Nevada. “Rapid population growth has created the demand for meat production, but adding human DNA to the food seems a remote possibility,” says the narrator. “Until Hussain leads them here.” Immediately, Tyrel notices a problem with the layout of the farm. “So, what is the safety measure that keeps the DNA sheep over there from getting mingled in with the sheep that go here?” he asks. “There is none, really,” says Hussain.
Meanwhile, June Sarpong is in Albany, New York to meet with Dr. Gordon Gallup, who is described as a “psychologist who has done groundbreaking research on animal behavior.” He’s speaking with June because he came to believe that a new species has been walking the planet for 40 years: half-chimp, half-human. “I first learned about Oliver in an article that appeared in a 1976 issue of Time Magazine. And in thumbing through that issue, I saw Oliver’s picture. Oliver is a chimpanzee that got international attention in the 1970’s because he “walked, looked, and behaved like a human.” “The first thing that occurred to me is that Oliver might be a human-chimpanzee hybrid. And I coined the term humanzee,” Gallup proudly explains.
Gallup then tells June a “deep dark secret about a government research center… a place called Yerkes,” the narrator says, grimly. “There’s been a persistent rumor that at the Yerkes Primate Center there was an attempt to artificially inseminate a female chimpanzee with human semen from an obviously undisclosed donor. And that not only did conception occur, but pregnancy went full term, and eventuated in live birth. And within week or two after the baby was born, the people that did this began to consider the implications of what they’d done, and they euthanized the infant without ever telling anybody about it.” June asks if he’s certain about this, and Gallup replies that he was told this while a graduate student by one of his professors who worked at the original Yerkes Primate Reserach Center in Orange Park, FLA, and that “he was a pretty credible person.”
The narrator explains that Yerkes has relocated to Georgia, and is “bigger, and more secretive, than ever.” “Do you actually believe it is physically possible to create a humanzee?” asks June. “There have been a number of primate hybridization experiments that are well documented” explains Gallup. June then asks if they would be happening in secret, and Gallup replies “they would only be happening in secret.”
June calls Jesse with the hot news. “Governor, it’s me. Remember this word- humanzee,” she says. “A human what?!” asks Jesse. “Humanzee. I’ve got another one for you too: Yerkes,” she adds. “It’s a government research center where they created a humanzee.”
Back at the farm, Tyrel and Sean are told by a worker, or possible security guard, “we’re not willing to talk to you guys.” A frustrated Tyrel asks, “Can’t tell us anything about the disposal of the sheep, or the DNA? How they get disposed? If they get into the slaughter house at all? Can’t even ask them if they’re playing god, here!” Soon after, the police arrive, and Tyrel and Sean head back to headquarters to tell Jesse.
“It’s getting really bizarre, man,” says Tyrel. “And the dangerous thing is that we found out is that where they store these human DNA sheep, is right next to the slaughterhouse on the farm. Easily, these sheep could wander in, or be put in there and put in a local market, and then we got cannibalism.” “Cannibalism?” asks Jesse, in disbelief. “Look, I could definitely see how, in the wrong hands, this type technology and this type of experimentation could lead to something darker,” says Tyrel. “Look it- you’re talking to me now about sheep that have human livers, I get a phone call talking about humanzees…” says a bewildered Jesse. “Human-what?!” asks Tyrel.
Next, Jesse meets with Dr. William Hurlbut, whom Jesse says “specializes in something called bio-ethics, advising the government on how far researchers can cross into Frankenstein territory.” “Now Dr., some of this stuff I’m finding out is pretty damn scary. You’re in the center of this, you’re at Stanford, tell me the worst scenario in your opinion, right now. What could be the worst thing that your colleagues could create today that would cause the most trouble?” Jesse asks. Hurlbut says he has talked with a Harvard professor who was thinking that he’d like to mix human and chimp genes in new a creature, to see what each gene did. Jesse asks what this creature would be called, and Hurlbut says “Well, some people call it, if it’s a chimp and human, a humanzee.”
“You know, as in the world of Frankenstein, I can start with good intentions and you can end up having a monster being created here,” states Jesse. “Well, we have to be attentive to that,” says Hurlbut. “Some people would want to enhance humans for the Bio- Olympics, maybe even as some sort of domestic slaves.” “What you’re saying is that the rich and the powerful, or whoever, could become extremely dangerous because they could start creating their own slaves, for lack of a better term?” asks Jesse. “Well, I’m not accusing anybody of this, but I’m saying this would be possible,” says Hurlbut.
When Hurlbut tells Jesse that such issues would be overseen on a governmental-level by the United States Congress, Jesse is sickened. “Oh boy! We gotta rely on them? They can’t even do a budget and we’re gonna put our hope in these bunch of bozos who get elected, these Democrats and Republicans?!” When Jesse asks about the rumors that they’ve already created a humanzee at Yerkes, Hurlbut says “you know, there are rumors about that. There are rumors about DARPA.” Jesse’s eyes light up when he hears the word “DARPA.” “DARPA: the super-secret Pentagon agency- the one that develops weapons and defense technologies. DARPA’s making humaznees?” asks Jesse. “Yes, that’s one of the things s we have to be careful about” warns Hurlbut.
While Jesse consults with Dr. Hurlbut, June Sarpong meets with Dr. Stuart Newman, an expert in biological research, who once tried to get a patent for a humanzee just to stop other scientists from creating them. “They ultimately rejected it (the patent). They judged that if it was beyond a certain percent human, it was inappropriate. But they wouldn’t actually commit themselves to what the percent was,” explains Newman. When June asks if these experiments have gone underground, Newman explains that they don’t have to go underground. “If the patent is turned down, in the United States that doesn’t mean that it’s thereby illegal to do it. It’s legal. According to federal standards, in the United States it’s prohibited to take an embryo that was made from the cells of two different species and to implant in a human female’s uterus, but it’s not prohibited to take that mixture and implant it in a chimpanzees uterus.” June asks if humanzees are maybe being secretly created now, and Newman says “there might be some places where it’s being done.”
Next, Jesse turns to his all-purpose conspiracy consultant, alternative media icon Alex Jones. “Yerkes is a primate research facility, one of the most preeminent in the world. And it supposedly is just a university-run program, that’s its cover,” says Jones. “But DARPA, that invented all the modern weapons systems, they’re in charge of it, and for decades they’ve have been trying to splice humans with chimpanzees. They’re looking for super-soldiers.” To Jesse, now it all makes sense. “We’ve seen whole populations rise up against their leaders in the Arab spring. If it ever happened here, they’d have the perfect army to keep us down,” Jesse speculates, in a voice-over. Alex then gives Jesse the specific location he needs to check out to get to the bottom of the Manimal Conspiracy. “Yerkes- Lawrenceville, Georgia. They created humanzees decades ago. It’s real. God knows how advanced it is now. Governor, this isn’t science fiction, it’s documented, and you can break this cover-up wide open.”
Jesse heeds Alex’s advice and takes Tyrel with him to Lawrenceville, Georgia. “Lawrenceville grew around the Yerkes research station, along with a lot of fear, says Jesse, in voice-over. “They say the smaller the town, the darker the secrets,” adds Tyrel.
Jesse and Tyrel are meeting a couple locals in a gas station parking lot who are willing to fight back against Yerkes Primate Reserach Center. The older of the two men is armed. “I notice you’ve got a weapon there, a rifle. Why do you carry that?” asks Jesse, coolly. “That’s protection, pure and simple,” says the older local. “You feel paranoid enough you carry a weapon in your car?” asks Jesse. The older local says “yes,” while the younger guy adds “I didn’t bring mine, ‘cause he was gonna bring his.” When Jesse asks if they attribute their paranoia to Yerkes, they say “yes,” and feel that there are too many unanswered questions. “Must be something they really don’t want you to know about, or they wouldn’t be so secret. You can’t even walk up to the fence, they try to run you off. And I used to hunt around here,” says the younger local.
When Jesse asks if any of the primates or monkeys ever escaped, the men say that they have, and that one escaped a few months ago, but was never found. They say the locals are afraid, especially the older ones. “A monkey’s not like a human. I mean, it’ll jump on you and tear you apart, gnaw your face off,” says the younger local. “Supposedly, they impregnated an ape with human sperm, brought it to fruition, and apparently killed it because they were afraid of what they had created,” says the older local. “I think it’s time we go check out that facility,” says Tyrel. “Let’s go over there, see what kind of answers we can get,” says Jesse.
Jesse and Tyrel arrive at Yerkes, but drive around back to avoid security at the front gate. “I want to see how they’re keeping chimps, and who knows the heck knows what else, from getting loose in the neighborhood,” says Jesse. Jesse and Tyrel walk up to a barbed wire fence, and Jesse observes that the fence isn’t there to keep the chimps in, but the people out. Then, Jesse and Tyrel realize, just like when Jesse met with Chris DeRose, they’re being watched. “Get him on film! What, is he running off on me now?” asks Jesse.
Jesse and Tyrel track down the man in the woods, who is filming them with his own video camera. “So you live in the neighborhood, huh?” Jesse asks the man, skeptically. “No, I don’t live in the neighborhood, I just help them out with their neighborhood watch,” the mysterious man says. “You don’t work for Yerkes?” asks Tyrel. “You just work for the neighborhood,” says Jesse. “I’m sure you can tell I don’t believe a word you’re saying.” “It’s up to you,” says the man. “Yeah, I’m sure it is. No problem. That’s the biggest bull story I’ve ever heard. What a bunch of bull!” says Jesse.
Jesse and Tyrel head back to the front gate to meet up with Braverman and Jack Carone, an animal rights advocate who exposes inhumane practices like vivisection, and claims to have knowledge of what goes on at Yerkes. “They’re in here mixing human and chimpanzee DNA, trying to cross breed them,” says Braverman. “Are you saying that there is nothing to stop them, that they can do whatever they want?” he asks.
In voice-over, before Carone answers, Jesse says “he wants to have his say, right under those security cameras, so everybody inside can hear. But then those itchy guards try and stop him.” Security arrives and tells Jesse and the crew that they’re on private property, and that they have to leave. “But, it’s not private property. I’m a taxpayer, young man. This is government property, correct? It’s not? This has nothing to do with the government?” asks Jesse.
“You think they’re in there, making a chimp and human combination, a humanzee?” Braverman asks Carone. Carone says “yes,” and Jesse cuts in with what’s on his mind. “Well, Let me get to the point, I hear DARPA does it,” says Jesse. “Oh yeah,” says Carone. “Before I came over I did a little more research and I found out that one of the directors of the Yerkes Center actually had an intelligence background, and he did work in creating Manchurian candidates- behavior modification on apes.”
Yerkes security continues to press the crew to leave the site. “You guys have a good day. I have nothing to say,” says one security team member. “I’ve got a feeling my tax dollars paid for this,” Jesse says to the security guy. Jesse continues to interrogate him as he walks away. “You see, I’m the governor you’ve never dealt with before. Where’s he going? I’ve got a question for him. I’ve been a mayor, I’ve been a governor, what rank do I need to achieve to go in this place- senator or the president? Because I’ve never lost an election, and I’ll do whatever it takes to expose this place and find out what you do in here!”
Then, amid the chaos, a car speeds toward them. “Governor, may I have a few minutes of your time, please, I’d like to talk with you?” says the woman in the car. “Jean Barnes may sound like a nice woman, but she’s a fierce crusader against Yerkes,” explains the narrator. “She’s exposed horrors here. Like the lab assistant who died of the herpes virus after a monkey spit in her eye.”
Barnes begins to tell Jesse about Geoffrey Bourne, the Yerkes director whom Jack Carone alluded to earlier with an intelligence background. According to the narrator, “Geoffrey Bourne led a CIA secret program to create brainwashed assassins. Many believe Robert Ludlum’s Bourne Identity was based on his work. Bourne ran this place for 26 years, he also wrote his own nonfiction books, like The Ape People.”
Barnes tells Jesse about an article from the Sunday Times of London from August 29, 1976 that describes Bourne’s idea to cross a human and a gorilla. “It gave the woman’s name, and that she lived in Pennsylvania, so I called her. She told me all about it. She told me she met him in New York, he had asked her to do this, and she told him she would think about it,” says Barnes. “Wait a minute- the head of this place approached a woman in Philadelphia asking her to, what, become impregnated by a primate?” asks Jesse. “Exactly,” says Barnes.
While Jesse, Tyrel, and Braverman wrap up their confrontation with security at the Yerkes facility, Sean Stone meets a nervous man in the woods, nearby. Timothy Jokubeit is described as an expert in animal husbandry, whose works led him to places he didn’t want to see. “Right now our team is tracking down these humanzees at the Yerkes facility, and I want to know what the correlation is between the humanzees and the people that are harvesting human organs inside of these animals?” asks Sean. “It’s under the guise of spare parts. They inject stem cells into an animal, pig, sheep, or cow, and they attempt to grow a human organ. And that’s the guise under which they’re doing this research,” says Jokubeit.
“So why are they mass breeding these things?” asks Sean. “For food,” contends Jokubeit. “It’s a food source for these humanzees. They’re breeding humanzee super-soldiers not to help us, but to kill us. They tell the public it’s for organ transplants, but really it’s a food source for humanzees. They’re trying to get them to develop a taste for blood.” Sean then asks who “they” are. “These are rogue scientists working for governmental black- ops agencies operating below the radar. They’re creating a food source for these humanzees and they will come after us,” says Jokubeit. “I know some of these people, some of these scientists. I can’t tell you who or where, I’ve seen some labs, I’ve seen papers, reports.” “So, you’re saying to me you’ve seen these labs? You’ve been in them, physically?” Sean asks. Jokubiet says he has, but won’t bring Sean to see them. “I don’t want to die, do you?” he asks.
Jesse’s last stop on his investigation brings him to Michael Reed, a leading primatologist and consultant on the recent Planet of the Apes movie. “Mike, let’s say they’re successful with this humanzee, what are we looking at physically here?” asks Jesse. “I would expect it to be probably about 4-5 times stronger than us. Unfortunately, I think even in your prime, he’d beat you in wrestling match,” says Reed. “If they put a 200-pound humanzee in the ring with you, he would absolutely destroy you.” “Destroy me?” asks Jesse. “He’d probably destroy Andre the Giant too.” “He would easily be able to body slam Andre the Giant. The agility would be incredible. If they’ve got the human end of intelligence, wow- you would make a super-human,” says Reed.
“Would they be able to create a humanzee platoon?” Jesse asks. Reed replies that there already is evidence that indicates chimpanzees create platoons and guard territory on their own, without human cross-breeding. “Now, could they actually, with their brain power, rise up and oppose us? Could they become an enemy? Much like the film you did, the most recent Planet of the Apes? Could that be a reality?” asks Jesse. “I think any time you play god with genes, bad things could happen,” says Reed. “If they’re successful, we’re looking at something that could conquer us and take over?” asks Jesse. “Absolutely,” replies Reed.
It seems Jesse’s concluded his investigation a little unnerved by the “Manimal Conspiracy.” “Not too long ago, I would have told you that Planet of the Apes was a good work of fiction. But after what we’ve found out, it’s starting to look like the future. Scientific research can be a good thing, but science in the hands of the wrong people, can be a disaster. You’ve got one of the top watchdogs telling me we have to trust Congress. Congress to keep an eye on Dr. Frankenstein working behind locked doors? I say, good luck! And don’t be cruel to animals, it could come back to bite you. I’m Jesse Ventura, and this is Conspiracy Theory.” Tune in next week to catch the Season Three finale, the “Brain Invaders” Conspiracy. Apologies to those readers who expected to read about “Brain Invaders” this week- Jesse needs to update his website!