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Old 18 December 2009, 12:54 AM
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Icon81 People entombed in construction projects

Comment: Is it true that a worker is entombed in the Golden Gate Bridge
from when he was building it?
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Old 18 December 2009, 01:20 AM
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Is it true that Waylon Jennings is entombed in the Hoover Dam?
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Old 10 June 2014, 04:02 AM
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This seems to be based on an old European tradition that, back during pagan/early Christian times, it was common practice to use human sacrifices in architecture- it was thought to appease evil spirits, I believe. Stories are told of bridges, castles, and even churches (http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/sacrifice.html#vilmnitz) which have human beings, often children, as part of the foundation. When it was brought to America, the reason for the entombation became accidental, although I do have some vague memories of hearing it repeated about Southwestern Native American architecture. It seems odd that I don't remember any such claims about the Aztecs, but I guess you don't need to make up new gory tales of human sacrifice for the Aztecs.
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Old 05 June 2015, 10:55 AM
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Bad as it may seem, there is some truth to the story, though with the garbage chute myth, it's not as people expect.

In 1850, a mummified baby tumbled out from between the walls of a Parisian apartment. The couple living in the apartment were charged with murder; they were later cleared when a physician used insects to determine the time of death. This case marked the first time in French forensic science that entomology was used in a criminal trial. And 28 years later, French pathologist Edmond Perrier Megnin used insects to calculate the time of death of a mummified infant in a similar case.

Mummified infants have been found in walls as recently as 2007, when contractor Bob Kinghorn discovered the body of a child wrapped in newspaper in the walls of a home in East Toronto. Police investigated the infantís death, but were unable to determine the cause.

The other documented incident of this refers to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. There are believed to be a man named "Johnston" buried in one of the pilings. The exact story is somewhat vague, with documents being lost to the ravages of time, so the story is based around scant reports. What is known is the man died, and his body was never recovered.

Speculation is that at some point during the pouring of the pilings, he slipped and fell into the caisson; and it was deemed too expensive to go down the hundred or so odd feet to reclaim his body.
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Old 07 February 2016, 01:14 AM
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This seems to go back to the "are people entombed in Hoover Dam" stories. Several people died in accidents while working on the construction of the dam but the bodies were removed - they didn't just pour concrete over them and keep working.

The tradition of burying people in structures to appease ancient spirits also happened in Ancient Rome. Some think my fair lady in the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is falling down" refers to a female who was buried in the original
bridge. There has been different bridges across the Themes for 2,000 years.
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Old 08 February 2016, 02:46 PM
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I watched a Discovery Channel documentary about the Hoover Dam construction. The people they interviewed said that even if someone died and fell into the concrete, they would have pulled their body out because leaving it there would have weakened the structure.

Also, it said that most of the people that died in the construction died of silicosis digging the diversion tunnels rather than during the actual construction of the dam structure.
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Old 08 February 2016, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTex View Post
most of the people that died in the construction [of Hoover Dam] died of silicosis digging the diversion tunnels...
Yes, but that's not as romantic. Just as the fact that most of the people who've died in Yellowstone have drowned (in regular water, not hot springs) isn't as interesting as thinking they've all been killed by scalding, bears and bison.

Seaboe

Last edited by Seaboe Muffinchucker; 08 February 2016 at 06:35 PM. Reason: I read what I wanted to say, rather than what I typed.
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Old 08 February 2016, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTex View Post
I watched a Discovery Channel documentary about the Hoover Dam construction. The people they interviewed said that even if someone died and fell into the concrete, they would have pulled their body out because leaving it there would have weakened the structure.
I've heard the same said about the Great Wall of China. Bodies would have decayed and weakend it.
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