Categories: Science

Face of 18th century Connecticut man who was mistaken for a VAMPIRE

The face of a Connecticut farmer who was thought to be a vampire when he died of tuberculosis in the 1800s is on display for the first time since his corpse was mutilated and thrown into a grave.

The disease turns people’s skin buff, their eyes become red and swollen, and sometimes they have bloodstains around their mouths from coughing, which were believed to be signs of the undead about 200 years ago.

The man’s skeleton, buried in a coffin with ‘JB55’ inscribed on it, was used to conduct a DNA analysis that was fed to a machine learning system to predict what he might look like before being riddled was with the disease.

The results showed that he had fair skin, brown or hazel eyes, brown or black hair, and some freckles.

The man, a farmer living in Connecticut, died of tuberculosis in the 1800s, leading people to believe he was a vampire. Researchers used DNA from his bones to predict what he might look like before he got infected

An investigation into JB55’s DNA analysis in 2019 led to the uncovering of his true identity.

This research built on the original 1994 discovery, but had access to the latest technologies to find historical records for “John Barber” and determine that he was 55 years old when he died.

The team of US researchers identified that JB55 had a chronic lung infection after analyzing his ribs, an infectious disease that was rampant in the 1800s.

The highly contagious bacterial infection left patients pale, emaciated and coughing up blood, according to author and folklorist Michael Bell.

“The emaciated figure strikes one with fear,” an 18th-century physician quoted by Bell in a 2013 essay in Kritikos magazine said. ‘The forehead covered in beads of sweat. The cheeks. . . a furious crimson. The eyes sank. . . . The breathing offensive, fast and laborious.’

When JB55 was found in the coffin, his remains were in a ‘skull and crossbones’ orientation, which was believed to have prevented him from rising from the dead.

When JB55 was found in the coffin, his remains were in a ‘skull and crossbones’ orientation, which was believed to have prevented him from rising from the dead.

The latest research reconstructed the man’s face in a 3D model (photo)

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The story of how this man was considered a vampire started with the famous “vampires” of Jewett City, a large family who lived in the same town of Griswold – Jewett City was a small town.

The family lost several men to tuberculosis in nine years, and when one of the younger sons became infected, the family was convinced they were being plagued by vampires.

The family began exhuming the dead, burning and reburying their remains.

And when the young boy recovered, surviving relatives believed the practice had worked.

“Such vampire folklore attributed the high number of deaths from disease to vampires who rose from the dead and fed on living relatives,” reads the 2019 study led by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory.

In attempts to stop the vampire ‘epidemic’, the body of a sick person was often exhumed and examined.

“The presence of certain features (eg, blood flowing from the mouth and bloating of the chest), although now known to be related to the natural decomposition process, has been mistaken for indications of life.”

They were able to upload a 3D model of his skull, which allowed the machine learning system to predict what he might have looked like.

The team of American researchers identified that JB55 had a chronic lung infection after analyzing his ribs (pictured), an infectious disease that was rampant in the 1800s.

The DNA used to reconstruct JB55’s face came from femoral bone powder, but Parabon NanoLabs, which performed the facial reconstruction, notes that ancient remains are sometimes difficult to work with and used three approaches during testing.

This included shotgun sequencing, which breaks down the genome into small DNA fragments that are sequenced individually.

The others focused on the entire human genome, targeting ~850,000 modified Single nucleotide polymorphisms, often referred to as SNPs, which are the most common type of genetic variation among humans.

Once the team was able to create a complete genetic profile, they applied machine learning models to predict what JB55 looked like when he roamed the Earth about 200 years ago.

Jacky

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