By Tom Dare
A CHILLING VIDEO which seems to show scientists from the 1940s reanimating the dismembered head of a dog, as well as fully reviving a dog that had died, has resurfaced this week.
Footage reportedly from the Soviet Film Agency shows several Soviet scientists attaching the head of a dog to a machine, which is able to circulate blood around the brain and therefore restore basic motor functions to the head.
And later in the video footage shows those same scientists, using a similar technique to the first experiment, managing to revive a dog that had been clinically dead for at least ten minutes.
The film, released just a year before America’s entry into the Second World War in 1941, was shown through the courtesy of the National Council of American-Soviet friendship.
The first part of the film, which took place in 1928, shows the experiments of Soviet scientist Sergei Sergeevich Brukhonenko, who created an apparatus for the artificial circulation with blood of warm-blooded animal. The device was named “autojector” and consisted of two mechanically operated diaphragm pumps with a system of valves. Those present at one of the first demonstrations of the technology to Soviet leaders reported that “the isolated head reacted briskly to the environment, opened its mouth, and even swallowed a piece of cheese placed in it.”
“The isolated head lives on for hours, and even reacts to external stimuli,” the film’s narrator notes.
“The head even reacts to light, and to sound.
“And, the revival of individual organs allowed scientists to proceed with experiments on reviving the whole organism.”
The experiment was also demonstrated to A. V. Lunacharsky, Russian Minister of Education, and to several international scientists, among them Professor Haldane from the United Kingdom. The news of the head surviving after being cut off from the rest of the body spread quickly through Europe, and by 1937 Brukhonenko had perfected his heart and lung machine. In 1939, 12 out of 13 experimental animals were resuscitated using the heart-lung machine after 10 minutes of circulatory arrest, one of which can be seen in the video. All dogs recovered completely without any residual neurological damage.
There is some dispute as to the validity of the video, with some claiming that the film was a propaganda effort by the Americans and the British to make the Soviets appear formidable to the Nazis they were fighting. It is probable, though, that the film is genuine, given that experiments such as this would not have been impossible in the 1930s and 1940s.