The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

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The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

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The jumping Frenchmen of Maine are the biggest medical anomaly in the world. Even though, this abnormal event took place in the early 19th century – scientists still have no idea what could have occurred to cause it. There are many theories and speculations that might be close to what might of caused the crazy behavior but, we will never know what truly happened.

The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine were a group of lumberjacks in the region of Moosehead Lake in Maine. These lumberjacks were unnoticed until George Miller Beard recognized the unusualities of the victims. George Beard started to record the behaviors of the people he had spectated in his journal, which later became the only sightings of these people. Miller recorded,”Startle, jumping, and tic-like behaviors among the French Canadians and lumberjacks who lived near Moosehead Lake in northern Maine.¨ Scenarios of loud yelling, hitting, and jumping would occur every so often in outrageous bursts of violence.

He had also noticed that the lumberjacks would obey every command given to them and would repeat the phrases said. This would later be identified as echolalia, repeating phrases made by another person and echopraxia, repeating movements made by another person. These conditions would be present in recordings similar to this, made by George Miller, ¨Could not help repeating the word or sounds that came from the person that ordered them any more than they could help striking, dropping, throwing, jumping, or starting.¨

George Miller created theories such as a possibly of the behavior being caused by a condition. A prediction of what the condition may have been never came forward but Miller had speculated that it was hereditary. Hereditary is something being passed on for generations by genetic factors… something that can of been a medical condition.  He had though that it was hereditary because most people in the remote location of Maine had been behaving the same unusual way.

Another theory was that it could have been culture- bound syndrome. A syndrome of which is recognizing in a small populated or cultural region. This means that this jumping like behavior could only be found in this remote part of Maine. George Miller also believed that this abnormal jumping and yelling could be caused from Tourettes syndrome. This could explain the sudden and loud bursts of violence caused from this certain group. All these theories are very believable and may even be found true.

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