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Okie Sawbones, SASS #77381

Anyone ever hear of this?

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Susan Hayward was diagnosed with brain cancer, allegedly the result of being exposed to dangerous radioactive toxins on location in Utah while making The Conqueror (1956). All the leads John Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, John Hoyt, Pedro Armendáriz, Hayward and director Dick Powell died of cancer. The case is still a scandal.

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Half the dead Hollywood types died of cancer. Duke was a chain smoker. Hayward was too.

 

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The story was in ALL the scandal rags back then.  I think it even made LIFE or TIME or both.

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Yep and it is almost certainly bunk.

 

John Wayne and the Nevada Test Site

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So now we come to the big one, the myth that dozens of people asked me about since the first Hollywood Myths episode came out. Supposedly, John Wayne's death from cancer was caused by his work in the Utah desert in 1954 on the 1956 Howard Hughes film The Conqueror, a movie widely regarded as Wayne's worst. The location near St. George, Utah, is notorious for being downwind from the Nevada Test Site, where a large number of atomic weapons had been detonated in prior years, and thus was the recipient of much radioactive fallout. Wayne's co-stars Susan Hayward and Agnes Moorehead also died of cancer; in fact, by the time People magazine checked up on all 220 cast and crew for a 1980 article, 91 of them had contracted some form of cancer, and 46 had died of cancer.

People's inspiration was apparently a 1979 article in the tabloid The Star by Peter Brennan who merely speculated about the coincidence without doing any real research. It was repeated by such newspapers as the New York Post (August 6, 1979) and the Los Angeles Times (August 6, 1979). People went a step further, talking to a few experts and managing to track down the history of the cast and crew. This article was what really started the story; in fact, virtually anything you might find about this story takes its quotes directly from People. One of the most often borrowed was from an enthusiastic fallout activist, Dr. Robert Pendleton at the University of Utah, who said:

With these numbers, this case could qualify as an epidemic. The connection between fallout radiation and cancer in individual cases has been practically impossible to prove conclusively. But in a group this size you'd expect only 30-some cancers to develop. With 91, I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up even in a court of law.

But it didn't, at least not for residents of St. George, Utah, often referred to as the "downwinders", when attorneys went door-to-door in the 1970's. The Times of London reported that some 700 such lawsuits were unsuccessful. However, ten years after the People magazine article, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act was passed and has since paid out over $1.5 billion, including many payments to people who had only to prove that they lived in certain counties during a certain time period, and had one of a list of approved diseases. Although this makes it sound like the link must have been proven, science doesn't depend on what politicians were able to convince bureaucrats to do.

And what science has found, contrary to what's reported in virtually every article published on the subject, is that any link between the film crew's cancers and the atomic tests is far from confirmed. First of all, the numbers reported by People are right in the range of what we might expect to find in a random sample. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 1980 the chances of being diagnosed with a cancer sometime in your lifetime was about 41%, with mortality at 21.7%. And, right on the button, People's survey of The Conqueror's crew found a 41.4% incidence with 20.7% mortality. (These numbers make an assumption of an age group of 20-55 at the time of filming.)

A 1979 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found no consistent pattern of correlation between childhood cancers and fallout exposure in the Utah counties, with the exception of leukemia. For reasons unknown, leukemia rates were about half that of the United States at large, but after the fallout period, this increased to just slightly above the normal rate. The authors were unable to correlate either leukemia or other cancers to fallout. Considering that the film crew spent only a few weeks there, instead of their whole lives like the people who were studied, it seems highly unlikely that they were affected.

But we can't make that declaration for certain. The data we have for the film crew is totally inadequate. Most crucial factors are unknown, like age, age of incidence, types of cancer, heredity, dose-response, and other risk factors each may have had — like John Wayne's smoking of five packs a day. And, of course, "cancer" is not one disease; it is hundreds of different diseases. Plus there's an obvious alternate explanation: The cast and crew simply got old in those intervening decades.

What about Dr. Pendleton's gloomy remarks? In an email to researcher Dylan Jim Esson, a colleague of Pendleton's, Lynn Anspaugh, said that Pendleton's reported comments were uncharacteristic and she thought they were more likely the result of media sensationalism. According to her analysis of the fallout readings from the time and place of The Conqueror's filming, she calculated that the crew received no more than 1 to 4 millirems of radiation, which was less than normal background levels. Pendleton himself had recorded high levels of radiation only when a fallout cloud was directly overhead the day following a test, and normal at other times. The most recent tests had been more than a year prior to the filming, so Anspaugh's calculations are not surprising.

From all the data we have, it was perfectly safe for the film crew, and their reported cancer histories show no unusual ill effects.

So there we have it, another line of evidence that Hollywood myths are all just a part of the show. Please let it continue, for as the early writer Wilson Mizner once said, "In Hollywood they almost made a great picture, but they caught it in time."

 

 

 

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Origins of King Tut's Curse


 

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Why a curse?

So where did the curse come from? According to Randi, "When Tut's tomb was discovered and opened in 1922, it was a major archaeological event. In order to keep the press at bay and yet allow them a sensational aspect with which to deal, the head of the excavation team, Howard Carter, put out a story that a curse had been placed upon anyone who violated the rest of the boy-king." Carter did not invent the idea of a cursed tomb, but he did exploit it to keep intruders away from his history-making discovery.

In fact, the tombs of all royalty — not just Tutankhamun's — were said to have exactly the same "curse" and had been opened with no resulting evil effects. Howard Carter was far from alone in making an effort to scare away potential grave robbers with the threat of supernatural wrath. Indeed, a famous writer offered a very similar curse:

 

 

So in reality the curse of King Tut is just more fake news made up to give the papers of the day something to write about

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I'm waiting for it to be reported on CNN or MSNBC before I can accept it as fact..... :lol:

 

..........Widder

 

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16 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I'm waiting for it to be reported on CNN or MSNBC before I can accept it as fact..... :lol:

 

..........Widder

 

You forgot the New York Times, Sir. 

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Yes, I heard about this years ago, when I was very young.

 

I have always believed that many or most of the cancer illnesses and related deaths were a direct result of radiation exposure, just as related in the claims.  I believe the dry environment in the area was very prone to having “dust” or sand stirred up, thereby keeping radiation airborne, and moving  in the area, exposing people to high level of radiation particles.  
 

I also believe that there seemed to be a highly concerted effort....too much of an effort.... to deny that the “fallout” is responsible for the cancer illnesses and deaths to those that spent time in the area.  So much denial, in fact, that it actually proves the theory correct.
 

Cat Brules

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Good thing they weren't in Nevada.

JHC

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The treatments for cancer during 'their' days was nothing like the treatments of today.

 

Ya got cancer..... ya probably died, assuming it was diagnosed late, etc.....

 

I figured if the story had any validity, it would have also included all the 'little people' in the area

who also had cancer and died, which would probably been 100% of the population.

But, stories won't have much readership talking about Joe Bo-Bo or Dr. Bottlestopper.

Put the Duke or Ms Hayward in the story and ya got yeself a hot item on the news stand,

whether it be true or not.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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I got a kick when they had reactor failure in Japan, people were flocking to the pharmacy looking for iodine. I was like A it's half a world away. They've released more radiation than that in  Nevada and New Mexico. B......it MIGHT protect your thyroid gland and that's about it.

JHC

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People have been dying from cancer long before nukes were invented.

 

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3 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

Yes, I heard about this years ago, when I was very young.

 

I have always believed that many or most of the cancer illnesses and related deaths were a direct result of radiation exposure, just as related in the claims.  I believe the dry environment in the area was very prone to having “dust” or sand stirred up, thereby keeping radiation airborne, and moving  in the area, exposing people to high level of radiation particles.  
 

I also believe that there seemed to be a highly concerted effort....too much of an effort.... to deny that the “fallout” is responsible for the cancer illnesses and deaths to those that spent time in the area.  So much denial, in fact, that it actually proves the theory correct.
 

Cat Brules

Current research has disproved the linear relationship between exposure to radiation & toxins that has been the basis of determining acceptable levels of exposure.  The long turn survivors of exposure to the detonations of Fatman & Littleboy have longer lifespans than other Japanese that weren't exposed to the blast radiation or soil contamination.  Now if the fallout contained long half life alpha emitters & the cast ingested these radio isotopes that would be another thing.  However, that is not likely because the long term residents didn't exhibit high cancer rates.

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One of the results of not having died of pneumonia or polio or smallpox, or a gazillion other things is that you live to be older and cancer gets a chance to be the reason you die.

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I believe this story was drummed up and pushed by the “No Nukes” crowd. 
 

These same people enjoy the benefits of nuclear power and only pop their heads up when they want some attention. Granted, California only imports 8.7% nuclear power on average. Other states with “No Nukes” types utilize more. 

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Anyone ever hear of this?

 

No I did not.

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 "The film was shot in the vicinity of a nuclear test site is thought to have affected their lives in a lasting way. Namely, out of 220 people who worked on the production of The Conqueror, 92 died of cancer, including Wayne, Hayward, and Armendáriz."

 

 

I know of a few families from that area who lost elders due to cancer, all of which did not smoke or drink.  Hmmm..... 

 

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46 minutes ago, Hashknife Cowboy said:

 

 "The film was shot in the vicinity of a nuclear test site is thought to have affected their lives in a lasting way. Namely, out of 220 people who worked on the production of The Conqueror, 92 died of cancer, including Wayne, Hayward, and Armendáriz."

 

 

I know of a few families from that area who lost elders due to cancer, all of which did not smoke or drink.  Hmmm..... 

 

True, but as residents of the region their exposure was long term. Not temporary. 

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Oh yes.  This is old news.

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On 7/12/2020 at 6:50 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

Origins of King Tut's Curse


 

 

So in reality the curse of King Tut is just more fake news made up to give the papers of the day something to write about

I thought Lord Kanarvan and Howard Carter died of fungal poisoning that had been stewing in the tomb.

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On 7/12/2020 at 10:53 PM, J.D. Daily said:

Current research has disproved the linear relationship between exposure to radiation & toxins that has been the basis of determining acceptable levels of exposure.  The long turn survivors of exposure to the detonations of Fatman & Littleboy have longer lifespans than other Japanese that weren't exposed to the blast radiation or soil contamination.  Now if the fallout contained long half life alpha emitters & the cast ingested these radio isotopes that would be another thing.  However, that is not likely because the long term residents didn't exhibit high cancer rates.


As I said above:

     “......too much of an effort.... to deny that the “fallout” is responsible for the cancer illnesses and deaths to those that spent time in the area.  So much denial, in fact, that it actually proves the theory correct.”


That is the truth of it....it isn’t “theory,” a term I used to put the truth in nicer way.
Cat Brules

 

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