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    The Human Chimp

    This engrossing documentary follows the turbulent life of Oliver, a chimp with a bizarrely human appearance who stunned the world and made some people wonder whether he was a human-chimp hybrid, or 'humanzee.'

    After he was brought over to the USA from Africa, Oliver became a media sensation. The only one of his kind, Oliver has baffled scientists for over three decades, but new advances in DNA profiling have enabled scientists to conclusively prove his genetic make-up.

    Professor Gordon Gallup, of the State University of New York in Albany, recalls his first impressions of the creature. "I thought Oliver might be a humanzee. He had some very peculiar morphological and facial characteristics that looked surprisingly human-like to me."

    Oliver's bald head, high forehead, less pronounced jaw and pointed ears contributed to this appearance, and he had a different scent which meant that other chimps did not like to be around him. His most surprising trait was his habit of walking upright, in contrast to the normal chimp gait. But where did this unusual animal come from?

    Oliver was brought over from Africa by trainer Frank Burger and lived with the Burger family for the first 16 years of his life. He was shunned by the other chimps kept by the Burgers and preferred the company of humans.

    "Oliver was like a little person," remembers Janet Burger. But after he became sexually mature, Oliver began exhibiting a dangerously amorous side towards Janet and the Burgers decided to sell him. Their friend Vincent Pace was interested, but was outbid by Manhattan attorney Michael Miller, whose interest had been piqued by an article he had seen on Oliver.

    The story of a New York attorney owning 'Bigfoot' broke, and the newspapers went beserk. Were scientists undertaking outrageous experiments? What was this creature? There were already rumours of such experiments circulating, allegedly taking place in China and in America.

    Professor Gallup recalls rumours that a hybrid was created in America in the 1920s, when a female chimp was said to have been artificially inseminated by human semen. According to the stories, an infant was born, only to be euthanized and the whole experiment hushed up. Could such a hybrid exist?

    Patrick Dixon, who works in predicting scientific breakthroughs, believes it might: "It is absolutely inevitable that a scientist, sometime, somewhere will make a hybrid of a monkey and a human. It may already have happened."

    By spring 1976, Oliver was hot property. He made a star appearance at the Explorers Club Annual Banquet in New York, where a hushed audience looked on in amazement. Thus began his worldwide career, which saw him become a media sensation in Japan -- star of 'Man or Ape: The Mysterious Unusual Man Oliver' on Nippon TV in 1976. 26 million viewers watched as the programme conducted a range of experiments on Oliver but failed to come up with a conclusive decision: Oliver's identity was still a mystery.

    If Oliver was a hybrid, it would change the way that we see ourselves and how we relate to other species. Vincent Pace maintains that something makes Oliver different: "There's somebody in there; I've always felt it. Something more than an animal."

    But if a hybrid was created, myriad ethical and moral dilemmas would ensue. Where would the creature live? What about human rights? As the programme looks back at similar cross-species experiments and follows the latest in DNA profiling which aims to decide once and for all what Oliver is, we see him as he is today: 42 years old and living happily in a Texas sanctuary after being liberated from a laboratory where he had been languishing for nine years. Michael Miller explains the enduring appeal of the Oliver mystery: "Anything that raises the question of 'Who are we?' will be fascinating to us."

    the human chimp is showing on Channel Five as part of the Channel of the Apes season, on sunday october 31 at 8pm

    Re: Humanzee

    Originally posted by Ranjhan
    the human chimp is showing on Channel Five as part of the Channel of the Apes season, on sunday october 31 at 8pm
    some wait !!! b4 we get see this then huh !!!
    snug as a bug in a rug !