Separated at birth: experiments with humans

Separated at birth: experiments with humans

In 1961 three twin brothers were born who were separated at birth. His birth mother did not have the necessary resources to raise them and gave them up for adoption to the agency Louise wise. Through this agency, children were given to different families. However, in this agency the criteria for the adoption of twins was governed by a guideline that exceeded ethical and moral limits: experimentation with humans. Bobby, Eddy and David, the triplets, were adopted by different families until one day two of them met by chance and the whole story was uncovered.


  • 1 Separated at birth: The story of triplets
  • 2 The experiment
  • 3 A possible macabre target
  • 4 A circle without closing
  • 5 References

Separated at birth: The story of triplets

Bobby Shafran first arrived at the University in 1980. He himself says that when he got out of his car, the rest of his companions welcomed him in a somewhat effusive way so as not to know him at all. He even states that some girl kissed him on the mouth. The whole situation missed him, since it was the first time he stepped on that place. Without a doubt, it was a most surreal moment until I hear: "Welcome back, Eddy!". ¿Eddy? Who was Eddy?

He entered his room and while he took the clothes out of the suitcase, a companion knocked on the door, which was open. This fellow, Michael Domnitz, was a friend of Eddy and knew that he would not return to University this new year, so seeing Bobby was perplexed. "Are you adopted?"Michael asked directly. Bobby answered yes, to which Michael asked again, "Is your birthday July 12?". Bobby nodded again. Without further questions, Michael stated: "you won't believe it, you have a twin brother". From that moment, everything changed. They both went to the nearest cabin and called Eddy.

Bobby says that that same night they arrived at Eddy's house. When Bobby went to knock on the door, it opened by itself. As Bobby himself relates: "As soon as I approached, it opened. There I was. His eyes were my eyes. And my eyes were his. It was true. It was as if the world had disappeared and only Eddy and I were left".

The news jumped into the press and David appeared

The meeting between Bobby and Eddy was so striking that he jumped into the press. Almost immediately, a friend of David Kellman (the third brother) taught him newspaper clipping. David, seeing the photo, seemed more a curiosity than anything else, but he began to read the news and realized that it also went with him. David says he was able to get Eddy's number and phoned. He spoke with his adoptive mother and said: "My name is David Kellman and I was born on July 12, 1961. I was reading the newspaper and I think it is possible that there are two others like me. I mean, I think I'm a triplet ".

"I don't know if this will be great or terrible."

-Eddy Galland-

From now on, the triplets met and said they connected as if they had known each other for a lifetime. They began to appear on television, became famous and even came to appear in a film of the singer Madonna. His fame was increasing and they moved to live in an apartment in New York. They were 19 years apart but now they didn't separate for a moment. Their connection was such that they even put a restaurant together. However, something began to change.

The experiment

The journalist and writer Lowrence Wright began writing a story about separated siblings at birth. Report that "During my research, I found a very strange scientific article". This study was called "The psychoanalytic study of the child". The article related a secret investigation directed by the psychiatrist Peter Bela Neubauer in which an undetermined number of twin brothers were separated at birth. All of them had been given for adoption through the agency Louise wise. Something smelled like singe. Wright contacted Bobby and told him everything he had learned about the experiment.

Everything began to fit. David says they were adopted by different families: "We were adopted by a working-class family, one of the middle class and another with economic solvency". They also remember that as young children they were subjected to tests, questionnaires and different exams by various experimenters. Among his memories is that they were recorded. The adoption agency Louise wise, said that these were psychological evaluations to observe development in adopted children.

"They separated us and studied us as if we were laboratory rats."

-Bobby Shafran-

Natasha Josefowitz, was an assistant to Dr. Peter Bela Neubauer, but says he was not part of the experiment and that he knows it is through what he heard. According to Natasha, Dr. Neubauer intended to end the discussion about whether the behavior is determined by biology or by the development context. "And if we put them in different contexts? We would end the discussion forever of, is it born or made?", assures the assistant. Under this premise, the objective would be to find out what establishes how we are: nature or society. Was this the real goal?

A possible macabre goal

The goal reported by Natasha might seem enlightening, however, something did not convince. Some researchers, including journalist Lowrence Wright, wondered why they did not publish the objectives or the results. The journalist questioned the good intention of the investigation: "The study was never published, why? What was the purpose of all this?"

The triplets began to distance themselves because of discussions in the restaurant, especially Bobby. The lack of coexistence in his youth could be a cause of weight when not knowing how to deal with the problems that could arise in the brothers. Eddy, the most affected by this distancing, began to exhibit strange behavior. He was diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for three weeks. Faced with this situation, he was surprised that the other two brothers also attended the psychiatrist sometime in his life.

In 1995, Eddy took his own life. This fact marked the life of Bobby and David. All the brothers had presented mental problems, and to the surprise of those who investigated this case, the biological parents also manifested mental problems. This information took a turn on the possible objective of the investigation. As Lowrence Wright states: "The goal of the scientists was to study the children of biological parents with mental problems and place them in different places to know if the mental illness was hereditary".

The triplets were not the only ones separated at birth

This objective was never confirmed by Dr. Neubauer, however, he gained strength in knowing that there were more twin brothers involved in the experiment and there was more than one suicide. Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein were also separated twins at birth. They were two sisters who were part of the same experiment. Both had depression throughout their lives and their biological mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. This type of information only increased the suspicions of the real objective.

An unclosed circle

Today, It is not yet known what the real objective of this experiment was. The brothers themselves had access to the official documents but say there is nothing clear. They ensure that they do not feel part of an experiment, but victims of it. Although it seems strange, no one has given them a satisfactory explanation. What does seem clear is that there are still several twin brothers without knowing each other. However, here is a dilemma: if there are records of who they are, should they know the truth or better let them live their lives? Knowing this information could have important mental consequences, so it is difficult to make a decision.

Another aspect that is very clear is that At present, these types of experiments are completely prohibited in research., both medical and psychological. Ethical and moral criteria predominate over scientific interests. In the sixties and seventies, the investigation had not yet defined what limits it could or could not cross, but that was already behind.



Tim Wardle (director). (2018). Three identical strangers. United Kingdom: RAW.

Online press

Benavides, L. (2019). Triplets separated at birth: Dr. Neubaur's sinister experiment. The newspaper. Click here to access the news.

Hare, B. (2019). This is how the documentary "Three identical strangers" was made, the story of the triplets separated at birth that were found 19 years later. " CNN. Click here to access the news.

Rego, P. (2918). Separate the triplets from Long Island: experiment and drama. The world. Click here to access the news.

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