Valery Novoselov: Investigating Jeanne Calment’s Longevity Record


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Jeanne Calment has the claim of being the longest lived human, but two researchers believe this claim may be false.

Is the oldest recorded human being potentially a hoax?

If you open an article dedicated to supercentenarians, it is very likely that at its very beginning, you will see the name of Jeanne Calment, the oldest known person in the world, who is believed to have lived for up to 122 years. Jeanne is not merely a unique phenomenon from the point of view of statistics; over the years, she became a symbol of extraordinary human capacities.

For a person who sticks to a healthy lifestyle or even engages in biohacking in order to live longer, Jeanne’s record is a teasing goal to achieve and surpass;however, to the researchers of aging, this extremely rare event is rather a reason for curiosity-and skepticism.

A couple of weeks ago at the joint meeting of the Gerontological Society of RAS and the Gerontology Department of Moscow Society of Naturalists (Moscow State University), there was a report by Nikolay Zak, who holds a PhD in physico-mathematical sciences, that shed new light on the case of Jeanne Calment. The main hypothesis of this independent investigation is that the person who we know as Jeanne Calment is actually her daughter, Yvonne, who took the place of her mother after her death in 1934 in order to help her family avoid heavy financial losses related to inheritance.

The initiator of this independent investigation, Valery Novoselov, assistant professor of the Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics of RUDN University(Moscow), is convinced that Calment’s case has to be revalidated.

We need practical solutions-and this is why any data concerning aging should be robust

In Russia, Valery Novoselov is mostly known for his studies of medical documents of historic persons such as Vladimir Lenin. His review of medical archives dedicated to shedding light on the real causes of death of this great Russian politician is ready but, so far, remains unpublished; there are too many stakeholders interested in this issue, including people who would probably prefer to see politically motivated malice behind Lenin’s death.

While Valery discusses the hurdles involved in gathering the relevant data, and the warnings of his lawyer, I find myself thinking about a simple yet shocking truth:the quality of medical data and its public availability can literally make history. It makes a great introduction to the main topic of our conversation.

E. (Elena Milova) -Valery, you are currently involved in revalidating longevity records. What was your motivation to engage in these investigations in the first place?

V. (Valery Novoselov) -You know, my main focus of interest is people. I don’t like to deal with animals, because I believe that due to evolutionary mechanisms, the processes of aging in different species are not homologous. So, I am only interested in analyzing human data with some practical application of the results. Back in 2016, I was curious how many centenarians there were in the Moscow region. I live here, so it could be feasible to gather the data and even meet these people to conduct a survey and collect information about the factors that could have promoted their longevity. You see, there are Blue Zones where there are many centenarians, and the data about their lifestyle can probably explain their longevity. However, most of Russia is located in a totally different climate zone, and what is known about the life-extending lifestyles of, say, Mediterranean countries cannot be applied to our latitude.

V. -So, I was curious about the centenarians in the Moscow region, and I have sent requests to two different agencies:the Department of Labor and Social Security and the Federal Agency of Statistics. They provided me with two absolutely different sets of data. The one from the agency gave me 4135 people aged 100 and older, and the Department of Labor gave me 735 people. 6-fold difference. In my conversations with people working in these organizations, there were many surprises. First of all, they themselves were not sure about the numbers. Second, there were hallmarks of unreliability, such as a huge prevalence of centenarians only in the regions of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, and a steep growth in this age group in one year-up to 30%. We requested personal information on these people, as this is the only way to check the real numbers. However, the main idea here is this:too much variance of data is likely an indicator of errors. In centenarians, the possibility of error is the highest.

The case of Jeanne does not look like it fits into the survival curve models developed by the leading demographers of aging

E. -So, what was the starting point in the investigation of Jeanne Calment’s case? What was the first thing that caused the initial skepticism?

V. -In the last few years, there were many interesting articles on the survival curve of centenarians and supercentenarians. Some of them were written by Leonid and Natalia Gavrilovs and some by Elisabetta Barbi and her colleagues, and despite their differing views on the survival plateaus of marginal age groups, the case of Jeanne Calment didn’t fit into any of the refined math models behind their studies. If we imagine the curves of survival in these studies, Jeanne is a dot away from the main trend that they describe. One more reason for suspicion is how far from other longevity records her age is. There are only two cases of this kind:Jeanne and Sarah Knauss, whose record is 119 years. All other supercentenarians are several years apart from them. Several years of difference in my or your age is nothing surprising compared to the same difference in very old age. Most longevity records are very close to one another. Whenever a new record is set, the person dies several days or several weeks later, very rarely several months later. However, we are never speaking about years apart, definitely not several years. Furthermore, we looked at the French database of supercentenarians of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (there are 49 such French people), and we have found that Jeanne was the first(by birth date)validated supercentenarian in France and that she is also the most long-lived person in the world. It is a very unlikely combination of events from the point of view of statistics.

E. -Yeah, this sounds somewhat counterintuitive. It would be more logical if people who were born later than Jeanne would preserve their health for longer and live longer, as they would have access to more advanced medical technologies.

V. -That too. We know from history that there were many cases when people had exaggerated their ages, but it was much easier to reveal because it was most often in men, and as you know, men tend to live shorter lives than women, so in old age, the number of women is much higher. But Jeanne is a woman, so her longevity is by default less surprising and suspicious. Nevertheless, there was a big commission that was formed to validate supercentenarians. In France, such an organization is funded by the French pharmaceutical company Ipsen.

From suspicion to revalidation of the case

E. -So, you started to check the data from this validation group?

V. -I had many ideas at once. I am a geriatrician, and in my work, I rely on visual assessment a lot. My eyes were telling me that Jeanne didn’t have the hallmarks of frailty that would correspond to her official age, such as the fact that unlike other supercentenarians, she was able to sit straight in her chair without others’ help. I didn’t see enough signs of dermal atrophy nor atrophy of subcutaneous tissue. Most of all, it was my clinical experience that made me question Jeanne’s age and believe that we will find something interesting.

V. -As a first step, I decided to run a survey to see how people assessed Jeanne’s age by comparing her photos and videos to the photos and videos of other supercentenarians. The participants (233 random people) were massively reducing her age by around 20-25 years compared to her official age on the date when this picture was taken. There was one more person with the same perception, the Major of Arles. He is responsible for congratulating people who have reached 100, and, in accordance with tradition, he should have visited Jeanne. However, she said that instead she would prefer to come along. This willingness to take a walk across the city is already surprising in a 100-year-old, but apart from that, the Mayor, who was used to dealing with centenarians, didn’t recognise his hero of the occasion in a spry old lady sitting in his lobby.

E. -What was the next stage of the investigation?

V. -I invited a young mathematician, Nikolay Zak, to help me analyze the existing datasets on supercentenarians and see if Jeanne could fit in. He has found that she could not. The models developed by him claimed that if we rely on the laws of statistics, Jeanne as a phenomenon should not exist. It was such a big surprise to Nikolay that he decided to personally revalidate this case. His French is fairly good, so he reached out to the holders of the archives in Arles, found some volunteers there, and started to check every small detail.

V. -You know, on most of the occasions when I raised the issue with my colleagues, their first counterargument was “How could an error or even a deception take place if Jeanne lived in a small city where people knew one another very well?” It turns out that this was a misconception, as Arles was one of the biggest French communes at that time with 38 thousand people(even now, not every Moscow satellite city has that many people), and apart from that, Jeanne didn’t live in the city all the time; she and her daughter often spent their time in a homestead 16 kilometers away from Arles. The more that Nikolay checked, the more that small inconsistencies, errors, and even signs of intentional fraud were revealed. After looking at all the data that Nikolay has managed to collect, including the known intentional destruction of the family archive on Jeanne’s orders, we developed a hypothesis that is now being checked. In 1934, there was a death in the Calment family. The official story is that in 1934, Jeanne had lost her only daughter, Yvonne. We think that in reality it was Jeanne who had died, aged almost 59, and her daughter took her name and personality.

E. – Detective work teaches us that a person who is suspected to have broken the law should have had some sort of motive for that.

V. – Indeed, and there was a motive. The 1930s were dire years for the family. Her mother in law and her father both died in 1931, and the family had to pay huge inheritance taxes in each case. Unlike their levels at the beginning of the century, these taxes were up to 35% of the property’s cost, as the government was likely preparing for the next world war. We could expect the family to be in quite a miserable financial situation. If Jeanne had died, her daughter Yvonne and her husband would have to pay a lot of money. However, if it were Yvonne who died, the family wouldn’t have to pay any taxes, as she didn’t own the homestead.

Dealing with the archive… or its absence

E. – Is there more precise proof that Yvonne has replaced Jeanne?

V. – We suspect that the passport of Jeanne, which was issued by the French gendarmerie in the 1930s, can be considered to be proof of replacement. The features described in the passport, such as eye color and height, do not correspond to the features of Jeanne when she was old. There is another interesting fact, too. In case of death, the usual formal procedures require a witness to look at the body and sign the statement of death. How you would do it normally, if one of your relatives would suddenly die? You would spare yourself the effort and would call some neighbors, I guess. This was not the case, as an old stranger living far away was invited instead. When I say old, I mean around 70 years old, and, at that time, this could have meant a lot of health issues, including sight problems. Why invite total strangers from far away, and why should they be old?

E. – Yes, this sounds weird. Right, these are suspicious documents, but if we are talking about a family conspiracy, there should be some unconscious leaks in their behavior or speech.

V. – There are, of course. For instance, Yvonne’s husband Joseph Charles Frédéric Billot never got remarried, despite the fact that he was only 42 at the moment of her “death”. There were many mentions that he was getting along very well with Jeanne and they were raising Yvonne’s son Frédéric Jean Paul together. You would expect a husband to treat his own wife well, wouldn’t you? The kid, by the way, was calling Jeanne “mamzanne”, that is, Mom Jeanne. It also looks unusual. Next, Jeanne used to mention the maid that took her to school. Nikolay has found the date of birth of this maid, Marthe Fousson, in the birth certificate, and year of birth in the census of 1911, and it turns out that she was 10 years younger than Jeanne, which means that she could only be taking her daughter Yvonne to school. Hunting was an important part of her lifestyle, but the age of her first hunt jumped around impressively in the span of 20 years.

E. -Documents, behavior, anything else?

V. -The last test was based on the photos. As you know, even if people age, most proportions of the face, such as the distance between the eyes, the nose shape, and the level of the hairline in women don’t change. Some of them don’t change at all, as they are defined by the skull shape. Nikolay suggested placing the pictures of young and old Jeanne together and seeing if the proportions match. It turns out that the features of the young Yvonne match the features of the old Jeanne. However, when you compare the features of the young Jeanne to the old Jeanne, they don’t match. Surprising, isn’t it?

E. -A finding of this scale should have shaken the academic community. How did your fellow researchers of aging respond to the preliminary results of the investigation?

V. -There was some initial skepticism, but after a proper exchange of data with my Russian and foreign colleagues, there is a growing interest in seeing the results of this investigation. The president of the Gerontological Society of RAS, Vladimir Anisimov, encourages us to keep investigating until we find the truth. As you probably know, the main professional organization that is performing validation is the Gerontology Research Group. It is currently led by Robert D. Young, who is also a Senior Consultant for Gerontology at Guinness World Records. I was very pleased with his interest and support. Working together, we will hopefully come to a definitive conclusion sooner.

E. -It is nice to learn that the community is open to the idea of revalidation.

V. -Indeed. However, I am asking myself why the revalidation was not initiated earlier, as the more you dig, the more questions arise. I have found a hint to a possible explanation in the book “L’assurance et ses secrets” (Insurance and its secrets) by Jean-Pierre Daniel that was published in 2007. Here it is:

V. -“Chacun se souvient de Jeanne Calment officiellement morte à 122 ans, le 4 août 1997, Il avait été dit à l’époque que cette dame bénéficiait d’une rente viagère, ce qui etait vrai. Celle-ci etait versée par une grande société française que cette longévité exceptionelle ne réjouissait pas. La société était d’autant plus marrie qu’elle savait pertinemment qu’elle ne payait pas Jeanne Calment, mais sa fille. En effect, au décès de la vraie Jeanne Calment, sa fille qui évidemment n’était plus une gamine, avait endossé l’identité de sa mère pour continuer à toucher la rente. La société d’assurance avait découvert l’usurpation d’identité, mais en accord – ou à la demande ? – des pouvoirs publics, elle n’avait pas souhaité la dénoncer tant le personnage de la “doyenne des Français” était devenu mythique.”

V. -“Everyone remembers Jeanne Calment, who has officially died at age 122 on August 4, 1997. It was said at the time that this lady had benefited from having a life annuity, which was true. This was paid by a large French company that was not happy at all with this exceptional longevity. The company was even more upset as it knew that it had been paying not Jeanne Calment, but her daughter. In reality, after the death of the real Jeanne Calment, her daughter who obviously was no longer a child, had taken her mother’s identity to keep receiving the annuity. The insurance company had discovered identity theft, but in agreement with – or on the demand of? – the public authorities, it had not wished to reveal the truth, given how much the character of the “grandmother of the French” had become legendary.”

E. -So, there were some players involved who would apparently prefer to protect the image of a national hero, even if it meant sacrificing the accuracy of data used for scientific studies?

V. -It could be. However, I would also consider another prerequisite for this particular situation. It is a lack of focusing on the most important goals and lack of a spirit of rebellion in the scientific community. I’ll explain why I think so. What is the main goal of gerontology as a science?It is to help people remain healthy and live longer. If you are setting this as a goal, it is obvious that you could not stand it if the data on your hands were questionable. If you want science to progress and to bear fruit such as reliable lifestyle recommendations or a new drug to slow down aging, even a slight suspicion should be enough to spark further investigation in order to make the data as robust as possible. A spirit of rebellion is absolutely necessary to be able to follow your scientific intuition despite the accepted views.

E. -Rebellion, I like that!Well, what will be the next step of your investigation?Do you plan to contact Guinness World Records to let them know that the case of Jeanne Calment likely requires revalidation?

V. -We already sent them our materials and are waiting for a reply. Right now, we need to exchange more information with our colleagues at the GRG, as they are the most experienced group in the world when it comes to longevity validation. Ideally, the next step is to prepare and publish scientific peer-reviewed articles with all the information that we have been able to collect.

E. -In your opinion, what is the main lesson of this story?

V. -Well, to be completely honest, the main lesson is still to be learned. You see, the current buzz around longevity records can be easily distracting us from the goals that are truly important. I’d really want this story to be reduced to a revalidation by a qualified group of researchers and to an update of all corresponding books. In my view, it just does not deserve the hype. There was a mistake, we will correct it, and that is it. We will be seeing new longevity records again and again; it will never stop, because there is no proven limit of human healthspan and lifespan.

V. -There are many signs, however, that both healthspan and lifespan can largely depend on the medical technologies that we have. The population is aging very fast, and I believe that we need to focus our efforts on developing and testing the interventions that would effectively bring aging under medical control in humans. This is priority number one for Russian gerontology. If we let things of relatively small practical value, such as the discussion of longevity records and the personal stories behind them, become a talk show and distract us beyond measure, we may come to 2050 completely unprepared.

There will be 2 billion people who are 60 years old and older by that time, which is 1/4 of the global population. How are we supposed to cope with the overload of our healthcare system without powerful therapies that can address the underlying mechanisms of aging and thus prevent and cure age-related diseases? We need to undertake preemptive steps. We need honesty, courage, openness and the ability to act fast in creating these innovative treatments. We need the flexibility to find new ways and bypass obstacles. We need cool heads. This is what we truly need, and we need it right now.

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About the author
Elena Milova

Elena Milova

Elena has been a longevity activist and advocate since 2013, when she first started to organize educational events to make new evidence-based methods of healthy life extension more popular. The last few years have seen Elena leading some successful projects in Russia, aimed at spreading the idea of healthy longevity among decision makers as well as the general public. Several years of lobbying resulted in the inclusion of her propositions in the strategic program documents of the Russian Federation related to the problems of the elderly. She is a co-author of the book “Aging Prevention for All”, where, among other topics, she is sharing how to facilitate the adoption of the healthy lifestyle to promote the period of good health. In 2015, Elena helped to shape and coordinate the successful crowdfunding campaign of the Major Mouse Testing Program – a study of Senolytic drug combinations on mouse lifespan. In 2017 at LEAF, Elena led a successful advocacy project to include the problems of the elderly into the WHO’s 13th Programme of Work . Previously Elena has worked as a project manager in the pharmaceutical and advertisement industries, helping to promote new drugs and therapies. This experience helped her to realize that the existing therapies were not 100% effective and could not completely stop age-related diseases – which has ignited an interest for the development of innovative therapies. Elena graduated with a bachelor’s in both psychology and foreign languages and is now working to earn her MBA at the oldest Russian business school MIRBIS. Elena left her Board and staff position at LEAF in January 2022 to pursue other endeavours.
  1. Paul Wakfer
    December 8, 2018

    Excellent Interview, Elena!

    • Elena Milova
      December 8, 2018

      Thank you, Paul! The hypothesis shared in this interview is to be properly discussed yet before any conclusions, and we are looking forward to see the publication with all findings. Valery and Nikolay are doing their best to publish a peer-reviewed article in English as soon as possible, as so far there is only a publication in Russian and it is not covering all the data.

  2. December 8, 2018

    Very interesting detective work!..

    Turns out the exact same “substitution” as a cause of extreme longevity was found to be the case in Vilcabamca, Ecuador!!.

    Younger folks realized Harvard (Prof. Alexander Leaf, et. al.) and other researchers were interested in the “longevos” and took their names… often in the same family.. Diego Sr. became Diego Jr… and 20 years was added to his life!

  3. December 9, 2018

    Extraordinary! How credible is this research?

  4. December 9, 2018

    In the case of Jeanne calment for inconsiderate, Sarah Knauss who lived at 119 years of age and 1999 would be considered more pessoa than mais tempo viveu. I do not wait for results das investigações. Continuous ethics, but really there are inconsistencies, not the case of Jeanne Calment, a super-existent more documented history.

  5. December 10, 2018

    Very interesting. I look forward to the paper and slide show coming out in English. I found the Russian version, but it’s of no good to me.

  6. December 12, 2018

    Good interview & research.
    We hold new results to know if this record will be review.
    If the scam will be confirmed, it would almost make a movie.

  7. December 23, 2018

    fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing.

    I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  8. December 26, 2018

    I understand the timeframe probably makes it impractical in this case, but I ask does today’s DNA-testing technology make it possible to determine who is a descendant of whom?

  9. December 27, 2018

    I would like to see a clear resolution that will reveal the truth concerning this fascinating subject, whom I have followed since learning of her advanced age in the 1990’s. In my view, there needs to be an equally weighted inquiry into those involved in the vetting process, if this turns out to be fraudulent; it seems many clues were missed. Sarah Knauss may find her status elevated one day.

  10. December 28, 2018

    Very interesting and nicely done piece. Would be interesting to see the survival curves from which “Jeanne Calment” stands out.

  11. December 28, 2018

    Elena! Thank you, what a terrific, interesting and well-written article! Easily the most interesting thing I’ve read all year (days to go!)

    Best from Tasmania, Was

  12. December 31, 2018

    euh,,, y’a pas de droit de succession entre fille et mère!

    • January 2, 2019

      Bien sûr que si ! Aujourd’hui il y en a et il faudrait déterminer ce qu’ils étaient exactement à l’époque mais probablement très élevés dans le cas d’un enfant unique (l’héritage venait surtout du père, propriétaire du magasin et, c’est expliqué dans certains articles, il venait de payer des droits de succession très inportant à la disparition de ses parents quand Jeanne (oups Yvonne) est morte…

  13. January 2, 2019

    Bien sûr que si ! Aujourd’hui il y en a et il faudrait déterminer ce qu’ils étaient exactement à l’époque mais probablement très élevés dans le cas d’un enfant unique (l’héritage venait surtout du père, propriétaire du magasin et, c’est expliqué dans certains articles, il venait de payer des droits de succession très inportant à la disparition de ses parents quand Jeanne (oups Yvonne) est morte…

  14. January 3, 2019

    Jeanne Calment’s case is one of the most solid cases of all times. Her life and age is consistently reported on from 1875 until her death in 1997. I have researched Calment’s case myself and have seen many more records from the French team and there are more than 30 documents supporting her age and not a single one not supporting her age.
    One would think that a researcher would look into this before proposing this nonsense.

  15. January 6, 2019

    What is odd is the events of 1965. The man who bought Jeanne Calment’s apartment agreed to pay her a lifetime annuity. But instead it was Yvonne, who was 67 years of age in 1965, posing as a 90 year old. That’s one trouble spot here. I would doubt this annuity was signed in absentia. Or perhaps it was?

    And if someone lives to 122, they would seem more youthful at 110 years of age than others. Even the case of Sarah Knauss pulls me in two directions. Her photo at age 100 is like a woman barely 65 years of age. Well of course, she had superior genes too.

  16. January 7, 2019

    Sign the petition calling on French President Emmanuel Macron to order exhumation and DNA analysis:

  17. January 11, 2019

    La théorie de l’échange est difficile à soutenir. Comment la fille et la mère auraient pu échanger leur place sans que cela ne se voit ? Leur entourage et les personnes amenées à les côtoyer régulièrement auraient forcément remarqué la supercherie.
    L’étude des journaux de l’époque montre par ailleurs que la famille Calment a fait publier des avis de décès dans le journal local le “Petit marseillais” invitant ceux qui le désirent à venir se réunir à la maison mortuaire… Il est difficile d’imaginer que des imposteurs visant à faire passer une jeune femme pour sa mère décédée invitent la population locale à voir le corps…



  18. January 27, 2019

    @ Leclerc. Voir le corps? Pas sûr que le visage était visible. Le corps était peut-être recouvert d’un linceul, ou même enfermé dans un cercueil.

  19. February 27, 2019

    An interesting article but it doesn’t address several issues including the unprecedented amount of documentary evidence supporting her 122 year age. This should have been discussed.

    Also comparing her appearance at 116 years she doesn’t look her age but neither did Sarah Knauss at 115 years which could be due to both’s genetics and their outlier status.

    However , whilst recognising the difficulties of using appearance as an indication of extreme age one observation which hasn’t been made yet , is that by her last years Jeanne does look more like a 121 -22 year old. So, if it was in fact Yvonne, she must have been the oldest frailest looking 99 year old seen in a long time !

    Also in terms of fairness and consistency The Japanese Shigechiyo Izumi ‘s claim to be 120 years was removed when it was suggested he was taking the identity of an older brother and was in fact 105 when he died but nothing, I believe , was proven ? How does this case compare to Calment’s . If Izumi’s claim was removed due to doubt was this doubt more significant than Calment’s case and if not , should Calment be removed as verified or Izumi restored alongside Calment until both claims have been satisfactorily resolved. ?

    • February 27, 2019

      There are no documents proving the long life until 122 of Jean Calment. Quite the contrary: That there are so many collected documents is a sign that Miss Calment and her family has a big criminal energy. Because NO ONE checked the data under the idea of taking over the identity over from her mother. All these so called “facts” seem to come from the family or from Jeanne/Yvonne herself. Where was the independent witness to prove that the Jeanne Calment BEFORE the death of Yvonne had after the death of her only child? For example: A medical record from the SAME physician, one before this mysterious death of her daughter, and one after the death. Are there any medical records from 1934 on? Are there documents of people who met her around that time? THIS would be the indices, that Jeanne is not Yvonne. Showing photos and telling some stories about the life of her mother: No, this is no proof! A strong sign that Yvonne was acting as Jeanne ist the fact, that a young widower in his forties is moving in the house of his mother in law, and is not finding a new wife anymore until his death? Strange! The deal with the apartment: Strange! Everything about this woman: Strange! Nothing speaks for her, anything against her.

  20. March 11, 2019

    I personally know 2 people over 100 and she looks much, much older in photos taken near the end of her life than either of them. Unless there is evidence to the contrary her appearance alone is proof to me she was older than 99.

  21. November 14, 2019

    Three years ago under this YouTube link I investigated the same hypothesis, that daughter Yvonne took the place of Jeanne Calment. For the record, check Giga Gerard, 44 replies:

  22. kz9876
    April 6, 2021

    Well the simplest way to prove or disprove would be to test the age of the person that died in 1934. Is the age of that person 36 or 59?
    This russian equation or statistics claim is just BS. 3 yrs out is not much of a blooper from the next oldest Sarah at 119 yrs. If it was 20 yrs then ya that would be an anomaly for sure.

    • jonfree1
      July 16, 2022

      Though there are indeed documents proving that a Jeanne Calment was born in 1875, I don’t think any of them can also disprove that her daughter took on her identity 59 years later.

      My biggest problems with the theory of an identity switch are that if it is true, it means that 1) Yvonne probably went to a funeral purporting to be her own (wouldn’t someone there have noticed that she was among the mourners and found it a little odd that she wasn’t in the coffin instead?), and 2) all the people who weren’t at the funeral likewise either failed to realize or turned a blind eye to the fact that “Jeanne” not only now looked a lot younger, but bore a closer physical resemblance to her supposedly deceased daughter than she did when Yvonne was alive, too.

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