Book Reviews

Destroying Sacrosanct Historical Narratives

Destroying Sacrosanct Historical Narratives
Anastasia Romanov with the lady known as “Evgenia Smetisko”

Revealing Deeper Truths: The Case of Anastasia and the Romanov Massacre

On the surface the majority of the world including historians, clerics, politicians and laypeople accept the hitherto codified explanation of the Romanov Massacre the night of July 16/17, 1918; it is similar to the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, or the lyrics to Silent Night. We know them by heart. We can recite them each time without missing a beat. So it has been for almost a century with the supposed assassination of the family of Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, and their five children.

Tsarizm.com and IceBox Publishing have assisted with the publication of Anastasia Again: The Hidden Secret of the Romanovs (IceBox Publishing, 2018) in which the circumstantial evidence and biometric visual face recognition analyses of the woman also known as “Evgenia Smetisko” are explored with a stunning conclusion: she was Anastasia and lived in plain sight in the USA to the noble age of almost 96 years of age.

Indeed, her credentials are so unique and compelling that they defy any explanation other than that she was, indeed, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II Romanov and his wife, the German born Alexandra von Hessen und bei Rhein. A partial account of her evidence includes her grave at the Russian Orthodox Monastery (ROCOR) in Herkimer County, New York on which is inscribed not the date of birth (1899) of Smetisko, rather that of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaevna (18 June 1901), her inheritance of numerous and invaluable Romanov objects from former tutor, Charles “Sydney” Gibbes at his death later as a monk in the UK, her sizable financial estate which produces at least $50K per annum in perpetuity for the museum at the monastery, and, perhaps most compelling, her flabbergasting visual face recognition match to the historical Anastasia heightened by an equally remarkable congruence with Empress Alexandra who would have been her mother.

Destroying Sacrosanct Historical Narratives

The moment that such a contention is uttered, however, the most common reaction is “impossible!” Representatives of the Church point to the fact that the entire family were canonized as saints in 1981, even though aka “Smetisko/Romanov” died in 1997. “Saints have to be physically dead, and the Church does not make mistakes.” Ironically, aka “Evgenia Smetisko” made one of various visits to the monastery in 1981, the same year as the canonization, to discuss how future funds from her estate would be utilized. Her dream of a museum in which the Imperial Romanov Family would be seen in a positive light did come to fruition, even if her desire for piped in Russian music and a chapel was not accomplished. What a conundrum to know that when a young monk asked one of the executors of her estate, Mr. Frank O’Connell (who also claimed Romanov descent from an earlier ancestor), his reply was quick and firm, “Why, that is Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaevna!” If Anastasia, she was among the living even though her icon already sported a halo in heaven.

It should be mentioned for historical accuracy that the Russian Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) has canonized the Imperial Family, while the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia refers to them a bit differently as “Passion-Bearers,” or those who “faced death” in an exemplary Christian manner. When ROCOR and ROC met to discuss a reunification after the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union, one can safely assume that the topic of which nomenclature to use was discussed, ostensibly not resolved as the distinction still exists.

Other well-known authoresses on the topic of the Romanovs have also been firm in their rejection of any talk of “survival.” One household name tersely stated, “I’m not buying it.” Another insisted, “Any posts about imposters will be immediately deleted.” Challenging any paradigm which is de factothe sanctioned one is always at risk of official rejection and repression. History is rife with substantiation!

In 2018 a most pleasurable opportunity for correspondence with UK based Coryne Hall arose. She had published that year a most insightful and instructive book about the attempts to save the Imperial family titled To Free the Romanovs: Royal Kinship and Betrayal In Europe 1917-1919(Amberley Publishing-UK, 2018). Although the book does not challenge the status quo narrative of death at the hands of the Cheka Forces under Yacov Yurovsky in the Ipatiev House of Ekaterinburg (dubbed House of Special Purpose), Ms. Hall does include an amazing fact: there were reports of evacuations from the house at the same time as the alleged murder attested to by Sir Charles Eliot, High Commissioner in Siberia, who claimed that an airplane was flying over the Ipatiev House, and that a train with the blinds drawn was seen heading toward the city of Perm. Aide de Camp, Robert Ingraham, Hall continues, knew something too. He was with the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark) in 1919, but could say nothing; he had signed the UK Official Secrets Act which, at the date of this article, has not yet been unsealed and published. Coryne Hall then gives a hat tip to the most commonly held notion that the family perished but leaves open the possibility in journalist honesty that there may yet be a viable alternative. This transparent report is a breath of intellectual fresh air which is laudable.

Recently, a post by this author on the Facebook page dedicated to Anna Anderson as the Real Anastasia by Romanov writer Marie Stravlo, generated a dynamic and thought provoking correspondence which still continues with Stravlo who has penned a number of related books.

For the first time a dedicated and respected researcher also opined that Anastasia had, indeed, survived. Stravlo’s current research goes beyond this notion, however, and will soon be presented by her and her research team which may totally destroy all former notions about who survived, how they survived, and how they evaded detection. It must be noted that Stavlo and this author of Anastasia Again: The Hidden Secret of the Romanovs(IceBox Publishing, 2018) come to two different conclusions as to which claimant was truly Anastasia.

Marie Stravlo points to many Romanov relatives who officially affirmed that Anna Anderson was the lost grand duchess. Conversely, other Romanovs denied Anderson’s claim including the Tsar’s sister, Olga Kulikovsky, nee Romanova and Princess Yelena of Russia, nee Princess Helena of Serbia, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovich Romanov, who was murdered 18 July 1918. Noteworthy affirmation for aka Evgenia Smetisko to have been Anastasia includes the venerable tutor, Charles “Sydney” Gibbes who escaped the Bolsheviks and had taken copious Romanov objects with him.

Some of these priceless items had been given to him over the years by the Romanov children, the Tsar and the Tsaritsa. He retrieved others from the Ipatiev House when the Cheka Forces left and the city was temporarily under White Russian control. He gathered up the strewn remnants of the family and even dismantled the Italian Glass chandelier to take all of it back to the UK. While there he converted to Orthodoxy and founded a monastery where he took vows becoming Father Nicholai in honor of the Tsar.

As an adult, aka “Evgenia” visited Gibbes at various times, sailing from New York City. Upon his death, Gibbes’ son transferred all these collectibles to aka “Evgenia,” most of which are now in the monastery museum which was mentioned in a 2014 New York Times article by Eve Kahn.

Kahn even mentions aka Evgenia at times called Eugenia with the anglicized family name Smith.

Gratitude is due Mr. Bob Schmitt of www.visualfacerecognition.comwho used his 2D technology in 2014 to study any possible congruence between aka “Evgenia” and the verifiable Anastasia. The results were astounding! A beautiful match! 3D technology was soon to be available he assured, and it was in 2017 that he visited this author in person to view his findings. Not only did aka “Evgenia” match Anastasia in 2D and 3D, she was also a lovely variation of and highly congruent with Empress Alexandra; an improbability for an impostress-one for whom the monastery has insisted they have no plans to change the grave plaque, allowing Anastasia’s date of birth to stand unchallenged. It is odd to view the grave which simultaneously recognizes and denies the identity of the woman buried in its hallowed ground.

In a recent appearance on the The Debbie Aldrich Show, Bob Schmitt appeared with me to discuss Anastasia research with Ms. Aldrich. The readers will listen to Bob’s assessment of the results of aka Evgenia with Anastasia. With 30 years of experience his declaration is even more jaw-dropping. (23 December, 2018)

Coryne Hall and Marie Stravlo are to be commended. They enter dimensions beyond those of the standard narrative to provide readers with new insight opening doors to new realities, uncomfortable as they may be.

This author’s work hopefully does the same; the purpose is to use Anastasia Again: the Hidden Secret of the Romanovs(tsarizm, amazon, barnesnoble and all online book retailers) as a vehicle to rekindle scrutiny into the claims of aka “Evgenia Smetisko” and to either give her due credence or, if dispelled, begin to analyze HOW she could look like Anastasia, be recognized by the Romanov tutor Gibbes, and manage to bequeath priceless Romanov objects to an Orthodox monastery, only to be buried in its cemetery with the date of birth of Anastasia Nicholaevna Romanova.

Anastasia Romanov with the lady known as “Anna Anderson”

The reader is urged to regard the 2D side by side analyses of Anastasia Romanov with the ladies known as “Anna Anderson” and “Evgenia Smetisko” and decide independently even before all the cards are eventually and, sans doute, definitively put on the table for the entire world, including theologians, forensic scientists, historians, anthropologists and sociologists to digest.

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