The Royal Jelly Problem

An exploration of the causes and prevalence of immortality in the Wold Newton Universe

By Dennis E. Power




In 1921 Sherlock Holmes made one of the greatest discoveries in scientific history. He had discovered, through a combination of intensive research and fortuitous happenstance, what mankind has been searching for since the dawn of time, the Fountain of Youth. Holmes had not merely discovered an Elixir of Life, that is a chemical formula that could extend life, but one that also rejuvenated the aged back to youthful maturity.[1] Holmes discovered that the royal jelly created when a certain bee species ate the pollen from certain rare species of plants contained this long sought after treasure.


Royal jelly is a substance secreted from the heads of young worker bees. It comprises part of the diet of all of the young in a hive. However when a queen is needed a particular hatching will be fed only royal jelly and in large quantities. This feeding triggers the necessary biological changes to create a new Queen Bee. Like honey and beewax, royal jelly has been used for centuries as a consumable good by human beings. Royal jelly is most often used as a health food and also a cosmetic base.


Sherlock Holmes’ achievement was remarkable not simply for its biological effects but because it was accomplished by an “amateur” biochemist. While there is no denying that Holmes was a genius and an accomplished chemist, it should also be remembered that his chemical experiments were performed in a rather small laboratory and as a compliment to his main profession of detection. While he did carry out some biochemical experimenation, these experiments, as with all of his other chemical work were to aid Holmes in main his vocation of crime solving and so were confined to such things as research on stains for the purposes of identification. 


After being a consulting detective for a over two decades Holmes grew bored as the cases seemed less and less challenging to his intellect. He was also feeling the infirmities of age and felt that his studies of the habits of bees and his quest for the elixir of life would prove challenges for his waning years.


There is some dispute about Holmes age. Holmes biographer William S. Baring-Gould places his birth at 1854.[2]  However the Mary Russell Holmes[3] papers indicate that he was 54 in 1915 when he met his future wife, giving him a birth date of 1861. While a difference of seven years does seem like a small difference when discussing these years as part of the span of a man’s life, it can mean a great deal. There can be a world of difference between the ages of 54 and 61 as far as physical deterioration goes, especially in terms of the state of geriatric medicine at the turn of the century. Ms. King disputes Baring-Gold’s earlier date since it appears that Baring-Gould based much of Holmes background on the life of his grandfather as recounted in Sabine Baring-Gould’s autobiography, Early Reminiscences. In Ms. King’s view the 1854 date was in essence lifted from Baring-Gould’s autobiography.  Laurie R. King uses the Adventure of the Gloria Scott for her dating; using the internal dates to date the adventure in 1885 (it is stated that it took place thirty years from 1855 when the Gloria Scott was lost) by this accounting Holmes was seventeen at this juncture. [4]


Even though this does make Holmes slightly younger in 1915 when he met Mary Russell, he being 54 and she 15, by the time that they married in 1921 he would have been 60 and she 21, still a gap of 39 years.  There must have been a reason why a careful researcher such as Baring –Gould picked the 1854 date for Sherlock Holmes birth and there also must be a reason for Laurie King’s belief that Holmes was younger than most people thought.


Holmes began working on his elixir in 1909 so despite some interruptions, he may have made some progress by 1915, enough perhaps to slow down his aging. This may be why Laurie J. King believed Mary Russell when she stated that Holmes was fifty-four when he was actually sixty-one. Russell was writing a public account of her life with Holmes yet also writing several years after the fact. Russell was laying down the foundation for a “younger” Holmes so that a healthy and vigorous Holmes would not attract attention when he was supposed to be nearing seventy.


Ms. King’s dismissal of the dates in Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street because of the similarities between W. S. Baring-Gould’s biography of Sherlock Holmes and Sabine Baring-Gould’s autobiography would please Holmes, since he wanted to muddy the waters about his early life and true age. The similarities however are easily explained. Holmes worked with W. S. Baring-Gould on this biography, by posing as a member of the Holmes family supplying Baring-Gould with material for publication. There were however large gaps in the information about Holmes early life. Holmes, as a representative of the family, stressed that in no regard that would they allow Baring-Gould to examine these early years and if he attempted to do the project would be delayed by legal battles for years. They also did not want him to leave these years as mysterious so they told him to create a back history from some skeleton facts, thus the borrowing from his grandfather’s autobiography.


Holmes of course did not want anyone to dig too deeply into his family’s past lest the secret of his faithless mother be discovered. She committed adultery on their father twice, once with a vampire lover while pregnant with Sherlock.[5] Her other extramarital affair was with Holmes tutor and teacher, James Moriarty.[6] Holmes did not want to reveal these affairs not merely for sake of his family’s reputation but also because knowledge about the affair with Radu could have exposed his brother Rutherford’s existence and endangered him.


Exposure of his mother’s affair with Moriarty would have also brought to light one of the most anguishing episodes of Sherlock Holmes life, the death of his first love, Elizabeth. Elizabeth had been killed as Holmes and his friend, and fellow student, Reginald Musgrave thwarted the plans of Rathe, the fencing teacher. [7]  Although this incident was crucial in making Holmes the man he became, it was Holmes inability to disassociate his emotions from his actions that led to the death of Elizabeth and so led to his reliance on stoicism and logic as an adult. The emotional pain of his mother’s infidelities and the death of Elizabeth resulted in his general attitude towards women and self-imposed bachelorhood.[8] His emotional detachment led to having few acquaintanceships and even fewer friends. Musgrave was reduced to the status of a casual acquaintance after Holmes left the University.


When Holmes retired to Sussex he fully intended to devote himself to his bee studies and his research on the elixir of life however he kept being pulled away from his Sussex farm by his brother Mycroft and other government officials such as Denis Nayland Smith.[9]  Had he not been pulled away from his researches it is probable that he would have completed his work prior to 1921.


While Holmes bee studies may have been derived from his fascination with their structured, harmonious albeit matriarchial society, these studies were certainly given added incentive when he received a note from an old foe in 1908. In 1875 while still a University student,[10] Sherlock Holmes had been forced to solve a mystery by Fu Manchu, who was at that time using the name Ch'ing Chuan-Fu  The mystery revolved around the identity of the traitor at the Empress Dowager's court. After reviewing the evidence and interviewing Prince Kung, the Chief Eunuch of the Palace and the Dowager Empress, Holmes concluded that the Empress was the traitor. Fu Manchu refused to believe this and Holmes escaped with his life only through fortune. After the Empress Dowager died Fu Manchu sent Holmes a letter congratulating him on the accuracy of his deduction. As a long deferred payment Fu Manchu gave him a clue to the elixir of life, that it was derived from the honey of a certain flower.[11] While the message from Fu Manchu probably was not the deciding factor, it certainly encouraged Holmes to retire and pursue his bee studies.


We know from Sax Rohmer that Fu Manchu did not succeed in creating his Elixir of Life until 1929.[12] This is eight years after Holmes made his first batch of the royal jelly, and twenty-one years after giving Holmes the major clue to the secret of immortality. Was Rohmer incorrect? Did Fu Manchu actually possess the secret of immortality as early as 1908? No, I do not believe that Rohmer was incorrect. I do not believe that Fu Manchu possessed a working version of the elixir in 1908 when he imparted this knowledge to Holmes. In fact Fu Manchu may not have been certain that this was a key ingredient of the elixir.




Using the sources of mythology, arcane lore, alchemical treatises and his own scientific acumen Fu Manchu begun working on his elixir of life in 1904 but by 1908 had become frustrated with his progress. As he did with many projects Fu Manchu set up independent satellite operations to see if the same results would be achieved. Holmes was one of his unknowing agents in the creation of the elixir of life. Fu Manchu was certain that if the improbable happened and Holmes achieved success he could always steal the formula.


When Fu Manchu began serious work on the elixir of life he doubtless made a study of the legends of immortals and the various legends of eternal youth. Some of these legends such as the Fountain of Youth, he would have found were pure myth.


He may have learned that were people who were true immortals, that they never aged and seemed to heal from the most serious of injuries. He may have even have found and experimented on a few of these and discovered that they had come by their immortality naturally through some quirk in the evolutionary process. He would have also discovered that their gifts could not be transferred via tissue transplantation or blood transfusion.[13]


Fu Manchu may have even discovered people who had become immortal not through evolution or through the imbibing some substance but rather had made bargains or had been cursed by beings of great power.[14]  Although he probably researched the “living” dead, that is vampires, mummies and zombies he found this avenue of research, a dead end-- so to speak, as were the artificially animated corpses of Frankenstein method.[15]


Fu Manchu was associated with one immortal that he knew under a variety of names. This immortal had been a mentor in Fu Manchu’s youth and a friend and rival in Fu Manchu’s maturity. It remained a source of irritation for Fu Manchu that he aged while his acquaintance did not. Rashiel, or as he was known to the League of Assassins he controlled, Ras Al Ghul, maintained his immortality by periodically regenerating his body in a toxic stew. However this particular method, despite some accounts to the contrary, only worked on Ras Al Ghul. It either killed anyone else that tried it or if they survived the treatment, they were rendered irrevocably insane.[16] 


In his researches Fu Manchu may have learned of some who had staved off death through a drug, for example Darius Beiderbeck and a man who called himself General Immortus. Both of these men demonstrated a major of the failings of their elixirs. Their elixirs did not regenerate the body to youth but only slowed the aging process.  Continual boosters of the elixirs had to be imbibed in order for the age slowing treatment to be effective. If by chance the elixir could not be recreated because it contained ingredients such as rare plants that had become extinct since its creation, as was possibly in case of the Biederbeck or that the formula was lost due by destruction or time fogged memory, the aging process restarted. In some cases, such as Biederbeck’s, there also seemed to be another adverse reaction to either reducing or stopping the dosages of the elixir, as if after being held in stasis for so long that the aging process over compensated and hyper accelerated. After reducing the dosage the would-be immortal died in a few short years from rapid aging, as if from some advanced form of progeria. According to Fu Manchu’s sources after failing to find a substitute for his elixir Biederbeck aged from forty to eighty in ten years. [17] The so-called General Immortus was also useless for Fu Manchu’s research since he had long forgotten how he had created his version of the Elixir.[18]


Fu Manchu discounted the story of Saint-Germain as a person who had achieved his eternal youth through alchemical means but instead his sources led him to believe that Saint-Germain was actually a vampire attempting to pass as human.[19]


There was also the mysterious figure called Baron Karl who had created a form of elixir that also staved off the ravages of aging, only to lose the formula in a fire. This elixir however seemed to be more effective in that unlike Beiderbeck, it only had to be taken every few decades.[20] He suspected, without hard evidence, that this was a variation of the Elixir of the Nine.[21] The Nine were, at least according to them, immortals whose eldest members dated back to the Paleolithic era.[22] Their elixir slowed the aging process so that a person aged one year for every three hundred. However this elixir also had to be taken regularly, in yearly installments. There were also reports of rare but serious neurological side effects. The largest strike against the Nine’s Elixir was that the Nine controlled it and so controlled those who took it. The Nine had contacted Fu Manchu as a prospective member of their organization but he since he suspected that the Elixir was addictive, he diplomatically declined their offer.[23] Fu Manchu had abducted some people he suspected of being agents of the Nine but could never isolate the elements of the Elixir from their blood or tissue samples.


There were also rumors of various substances that could stop the aging process, however Fu Manchu would not have known of silphium plant of the West Indies or the pills of the Kavuru since these would be not known to the world until 1934 and 1936 respectively.[24]


Most tantalizing to Fu Manchu was the story of Cornelius Agrippa’s assistant who achieved eternal youth through one drink of an elixir created by Agrippa.[25]


Once Holmes began the elixir research Fu Manchu undoubtedly had agents watching Holmes for any sign of having achieved the elixir of life. Although Holmes was certainly careful in hiding his discovery, he most probably would not have been able to escape the attention of Fu Manchu. This is especially true in the light of Holmes uncharacteristic marriage, especially to a woman decades his junior. The date of Holmes marriage is intriguing in the light that this was also the year in which he made his big breakthrough with the royal jelly youth elixir.




In 1921 Holmes’ perfected royal jelly elixir not only preserved one’s age but actually rejuvenated one back to a more youthful state. All of the previous elixir’s mentioned halted the slowed the aging process, sometimes so dramatically that aging was imperceptible. One of the drawbacks of these elixirs was that a person was locked into the age when they first took the elixir. If they were fortunate enough to take it when they were a youth they would have centuries of youth. If however they took it in middle age or at the twilight of their life, they would remain in that state for centuries. Fu Manchu was already sixty-four when he began his serious experimentation on the elixir. [26] Shortly after taking the improved form of his royal jelly and discovering his physical age was regressing, Holmes realized that he had a new lease on life. A union with Mary could be a true marriage of not only mental equals but also of physical equals. It was then that he agreed to the marriage.


Holmes however was not quite ready to “kill off” Sherlock Holmes so he and Mary had to keep up the pretense of his age. As a master of disguise this was not a problem for Holmes to accomplish on the relatively rare occasions that they were publicly seen as Mr. And Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. The intention was to continue with their identities until it no longer became feasible for them to do so. Mary Russell intended to continue her identity and pretend to age as it became necessary. Unfortunately, it was never necessary for her to have to pretend to do so.


Holmes’ discovery should have been a boon, not only for Fu Manchu who was waiting in the wings for such a discovery, but it should have been a boon for the world. Sherlock Holmes understood how revolutionary his discovery was, for while eternal youth and health would not eliminate most of the ills that plagued mankind, it could go a long way to ending some of them. It would certainly eliminate disease and possibly death. With the prospect of long life, humanity might be take a long view of history and gradually eliminate most problems such as war, poverty and crime. He knew that the royal jelly would have to be slowly and gradually introduced so that social chaos would not ensue.


Sherlock Holmes gave samples of the royal jelly to his brother Mycroft, to his wife and to his aging friend Dr. Watson. He knew that Mycroft Holmes would be the best man to create a systemic method to disseminate the royal jelly to the world’s population without creating either social anarchy or allow the royal jelly to be sequestered into the hands of an elite few. However tests on Mycroft and Dr. Watson soon uncovered a serious flaw in the royal jelly. It did not work, at least it did not work on them as it had on Sherlock Holmes, and although invigorated with renewed health they remained the same biological age they had attained prior to taking the royal jelly. This result was standard among all the other test subjects.[27]


The secret of Holmes’ discovery would have to be kept strictly guarded while further tests were conducted. Mycroft Holmes used his authority as head of the British Secret Service to keep the properties of Sherlock’s royal jelly secret from even highest echelons of government.  He realized that was there even the merest hint that Sherlock had stumbled onto a veritable fountain of youth there would be a mad frenzy by the powerful and the unscrupulous to use it. If it were learned that it only worked on Sherlock, his life would not be worth a fig. He would be needlessly vivisected for the secret. [28]


As it would be discovered the royal jelly was not without its merits, it did slow down the aging process to some degree but its rejuvenation properties were not found to work on anybody but Sherlock Holmes, although testing continued.


Unbeknownst to Holmes or Mycroft one of the vials supposedly used in a failed test actually ended up in the hand of Dr. Fu Manchu. He tried the royal jelly and nearly died of anaphalatic shock. It took Fu Manchu eight more years before he was able to create his own elixir. Like most of the extant elixirs Fu Manchu’s successful formula arrested the aging process by slowing it down dramatically. Yet it also had the two main drawbacks of needed continued dosages and while it kept Fu Manchu alive he remained at the advanced biological age of eighty-nine. He would continually seek to improve his formula for the next few decades.


In the course of his later studies Fu Manchu would have become familiar with Siliphium and Kavuru and would have discovered the attributes and detractions of both. Siliphium slowed down the aging process but was derived from a plant that grew only on one island. Efforts to transplant the plant were unsuccessful. Kavuru needed leopard spinal fluid and the glands of women between the ages of sixteen and twenty.  The kavaru pills also had to be taken once a month.[29] The Kavuru used all of their women and depopulated the local villages of women in their need for the female glands. Fu Manchu had discovered a process similar to the Kavuru method, in that the alchemical process that created his version elixir of life can only be stoked with human bodies.[30]


Fu Manchu may have obtained samples of the Kavuru pills from Neal Brown or his wife Annette, if so he would have discovered that the formula was not too different from his own.[31]


In Tarzan’s Quest, Jane’s friend, the Princess Sborov was searching for a way to restore her youth. This quest took the Princess and Jane into the land of the Kavuru, since it was rumored that they had this ability. There were many rumors about the Kavuru; many of these were not true. That their pills could restore youth seems to be one of these. The Kavuru pills arrested the aging process but probably did not rejuvenate. In Tarzan Alive, Philip Jose Farmer carefully noted that although Jane was forty-seven years old, she still moved and looked as if she were in her twenties; therefore there was not a noticeable age difference between Tarzan and Jane. If the pills restored youth, Farmer need not have noted this.


Philip Jose Farmer speculated that Doc Savage successfully synthesized Karavu, “which is why he and his aides have not aged since 1933”[32] Doc Savage disappeared circa 1948 into other dimensional space and was trapped there for years in an energy state so he did not age. [33] However his fabulous Five were seen taking care of Doc’s son and his grandson, having aged yet still being active. If Doc had been able to replicate the kavaru pills he must have only created a small amount which ran out after a few years. He must also have kept the formula secret even from his most trusted aides. It does seem puzzling however if Doc had replicated the Kavaru formula that Monk Mayfair who was a chemist nearly equal to Doc could not replicate the formula.


Yet there is also the matter of why Doc Savage or Tarzan would have needed the Kavaru pills. There was after all the royal jelly. Even if Lord Greystoke, despite being related to the Holmes family was not allowed access to the royal jelly, it seems odd that Mycroft Holmes or the British Secret Service would not have at least sent a sample to Doc Savage, who was a well regarded philanthropist as well as a world renowned scientist, to see if he could unlock its secrets.




Doc Savage did unlock part of the secret of the royal jelly. He discovered, as had the scientists in England, that Holmes’ royal jelly treatment was effective for most people, in slowing down the aging process but eventually the body would become adjusted to the chemistry of the jelly and lose its potency. Dr. Watson, Mary Russell and Mycroft were able to add several active years to their lives but they still eventually aged. However Mycroft aged less at a lesser rate than the others. Among his own staff Doc Savage discovered that the Royal jelly was most effective on himself and Monk Mayfair.


Doc Savage knew that there was a genetic element to the effectiveness of the Royal jelly formula. The royal jelly worked best on people who could trace their ancestry to the Wold Newton Meteorite Event. This however was not confined to just royal jelly; silphium, kavaru and some other life extension compounds also worked most effectively on a member of the extended Wold Newton Family. However even in the Wold Newton family there were mutations. Tarzan apparently had a mutation which allowed him to become permantly immortal from the potion given to him by the witch doctor. Sherlock Holmes apparently had a genetic mutation that allowed for the royal jelly to rejuvenate him. Doc Savage surmised that both Holmes and Tarzan had a common ancestor that passed down a very rare recessive gene that triggered the “immortality” gene or factor.


He believed that it may have been the man called John Carter who could not remember how old he was. Like Tarzan he seemed to be permanently immortal.[34]


Doc Savage passed on part of his finding to the British Secret Service, telling them that the best chance to find another person who could be rejuvenated by the royal jelly would be among the extended Wold Newton families. Doc Savage believed that the rare “immortality gene” that is the rare genetic mutation that allowed for variations of immortality. Permanent immortality that is eternal youth from one dosage of a substance that triggered the gene: rejuvenation- the ability to return to biological maturity and maintain that age through either one or regular dosages of the substance that triggered the gene; and eternal life-the ability either maintain the age or delay the aging process by one or regular dosages of the substance that triggered the gene. The first two were extremely rare; the third while still rare was more common among members of the Wold Newton families and various, rare individuals outside of the Wold Newton families. Doc Savage suspected that all the various people who benefited from the various elixirs of life could trace their ancestry to the person who had originated the mutation. Doc Savage suspected that the common ancestor might be John Carter of Virginia who may have been alive during the Middle Ages.[35]


It is fairly certain that Doc Savage was not aware of the existence of Kane the Immortal or the other five men who had been affected by a fallen meteorite in prehistory, although if he had been this may have altered his findings a bit. Although Doc Savage probably knew about DNA prior to his disappearance in 1946, he did not have access to the sophisticated DNA analysis techniques of the early 21st century. If he had he would have discovered a strange genetic anomaly that preceded the Wold Newton family.


Doc Savage’s theory about the common ancestry of  these individuals does seem to be on the whole valid, even among such groups, as The Nine who claim that their elixir worked on anyone. The Nine’s elixir was unique among other such elixirs of life. It was effective on people outside of the group for this reason, although the key ingredient was directly related to this Wold Newton immortality gene.


The effectiveness of the Capellean/Eridanean elixirs derived from their technological base which was based on molecular nanotechnology. The adopted terrestrials received blood transfusions from Capellean/Eridanean extraterrestrials whose blood contained  nanites geared towards maintaining health and increasing the life span. Because of the nanites had been programmed for the Capellean and Eridanean norm, the nanites were not as effective on terrestrial biology as they were on Capellean and Eridanean biology. This is one of the reasons that the aging process did not slow down in terrestrial adoptees until the age of forty.[36]


While this was an inheritable mutation it was not one that manifested readily. Although Tarzan became truly immortal after he imbibed a potion given to him by a witch doctor his children did not become immortal and became all too mortal when their supply of the Kavuru pills was depleted, although the pills were more effective for them than they were for most people.


It was the same story with most of the so called elixirs of life, while they may be effective in slowing down the aging process of most people for a time, eventually, unless these people have the genetic marker, the so-called immortality gene, the elixirs gradually loses their effect. In essence these elixirs trigger the latent mutation and depending on much of the genetic anomaly the individual has will determine how effective the elixirs are upon them, some may need constant doses of their elixirs, some may need to take it every few years, in some the aging process is totally arrested in others the aging process is extremely slowed.


In 1972, during the course of its periodic testing, the Q branch discovered that the blood serum of one of their agents tested positively with samples of the royal jelly. Although it is probably apocryphal it is said the Major Boothroyd sighed and said, “Of course, it would be him.” The agent was James Bond, 007 a member of the extended Wold Newton family, although one without close genetic ties to either Tarzan or Sherlock Holmes.[37] 


This led scientists to believe that the immortality gene was a random mutation with the extended Wold Newton family. The royal jelly treatment successfully rejuvenated the fifty-three year old Bond to biological maturity-that is back to being approximately twenty-five years, although like Holmes he had to dose himself with it on a regular basis. Upon his agreeing to take the treatment Bond insisted that his close colleagues at MI5 be returned to active duty and given the royal jelly. This arrested their aging but did not make them any younger. Major Boothroyd declined the offer. Sir Miles Messervey, Miss Moneypenny and Bill Tanner accepted the offer but would eventually decide to leave the service for various reasons of their own. [38]


Having learned of James Bond’s rejuvenation, Fu Manchu was even more determined to find a way to rejuvenate himself. He found one method of doing so by using drugs to remove his allergy to bee venom and then using the royal jelly. However this was only effective for seven years and like Darius Biederbeck, he became afflicted with rapid aging. He then tried a method of transfusing his blood supply with one of his descendents, although this was seemingly been effective only time will tell.


There was also another case where a rejuvenation formula was created and was seemingly effective in 1969. The drug rejuvenated a man who was biologically ninety years old back to biological maturity. What is even more amazing is that chronologically the man was thousands of years old. The man was Iwaldi, a member of the Nine.  The Nine encouraged their Servants, that is, those they selected to receive the Elixir, to try and replicate the Elixir. They did this out of blatant self-interest as well as a method of controlling their Servants. For thousands of years attempts to replicate the elixir had proved ineffective. Most who tried to create their own version of the elixir eventually realized this and realized how much they needed the Nine for their immortality. The specific plant needed to create the elixir was rare and the supply was always limited. Although the Nine guarded the location of the plants, they had serious concerns about a possible disaster happening to the plants and eliminating their ability to create the elixir. They encouraged their candidates to try to make their own versions of the elixir in the hopes that one of them would succeed, giving them an alternative to their rare supply of the elixir.


In the early 1960’s one of the researchers working for Iwaldi was able to create a version of the elixir that not only prolonged life but also restored youth. Iwaldi chose not to share this discovery with his fellow members of the Nine.[39] Instead he had a plan to also rejuvenate the earth, which he believed was being destroyed through overpopulation and pollution, by killing off most of humanity and have an immortal elite rule the remnants of humanity. Fortunately Iwaldi’s plans never came to fruition thanks to efforts of Doctor James Caliban.[40]


However the rejuvenation formula was lost so it cannot be determined if the rejuvenation drug was effective on the general populace or just on a small group of people. Even Caliban was unable to break replicate the formula for the Nine’s elixir.


Part of the problem may have been that the researchers had to work with blood samples or samples of the elixir itself rather than the plants themselves however because one of their early researchers had stolen several viable plants and disappeared. The plants were however only viable under certain conditions so they believed that chances were that the researcher had failed.[41] In fact he had not failed but like some of the other recipients of the elixir he became mad.


The researcher was a young, extremely handsome youth who had become the lover of Anana, distaff leader of the Nine. At this time Anana was already biologically in her late nineties. Kavandavanda convinced her to give him some of the plants to study. He absconded with them and took with him several members of his tribe who were also servants of the Nine. Like the Nine Kavandavanda promised them immortality. He was not able to get very far from the Nine’s headquarters in Central Africa and was fortunate enough to have established himself in the foothills of the Mutia Escarpment.[42] He soon discovered that the soil of the area did not contain some of the vital ingredients to make the elixir. He had to find substitutes for these ingredients, among these were leopard spinal fluid and the hormones of fertile young women.  He kept batches of his elixir in pill form. The pills of the kavuru were then derived from the elixir of the Nine.


Unlike the Nine’s elixir which had to be taken in yearly doses Kavandavanda’s version had to be taken every month. To help supply him with the necessary ingredients the women that had come with him were first sacrificed and then women from the surrounding villages. By 1933, the Kavuru population was few in number although they had a large supply of pills, most of which Kavandavanda kept for his personal reserve.


Tarzan and Jane took these pills in 1933. Tarzan gave his pills to his sons and to his lion, so they must have worked even on felines. Why were the Kavuru pills and the Nine’s Elixir so effective in slowing down the aging process? Why did they work so well on people outside of the Wold Newton family?


Oddly enough the answer is once again Tarzan. Doc Savage did not have the technology, nor would he have thought to do a DNA analysis of the Kavuru tablets. Lord Greystoke donated a couple of the pills in late 1970s. The reason that Lord Greystoke donated the pills was because his supply was running low. In 1933, Tarzan, Jane, Neal Brown and Annette had approximately two thousand pills when they left the Kavuru.[43] Divided equally this would have given each of them 500 pills. Tarzan’s 500 pills were split between Jad Bul Ja and between Tarzan’s sons and their wives. It became apparent by 1950 that the pills were not having any effect on Alicia Rutherford Clayton so John Paul Clayton gave his supply to his stepbrother, sisters and his mother.[44]


When it became apparently that time would run out before the pills could be duplicated, Jane’s children, over her protests stopped taking their pills. To forestall the inevitability of aging and death, Tarzan’s family moved into Pellucidar, Alice developed cancer, which prompted her return to civilization. Tarzan and Jane also returned to the surface world while Jack Drummond-Clayton and his wife remained in Pellucidar to help deal with various problems in David Innes’ empire.[45]


Alice Rutherford Clayton died in 1978 and John Paul Clayton was never the same. He became a reclusive devotee of rare books. For a man who had once been at the peak of physical conditioning, he became gaunt. Jack insisted that he preferred his solitude. He did not want to tell his family that he had leukemia, having been hit with this news while Alice was undergoing her ultimately futile treatments. It was the ineffectiveness of the treatments and the accompanying side effects of the drugs that made John Paul Clayton decide not to undergo chemotherapy but to fight the disease holistically and mentally. The disease made aged him dramatically giving him the appearance of a frail old man.


In 1988, a man calling himself Dane Hunt kidnapped John Paul Clayton. Hunt believed that John Paul Clayton was an aged Tarzan. Hunt believed that Tarzan had aged because he had stolen his supply of the Kavuru pills.[46] John Paul Clayton let him Hunt continue believing this mistruth and led Hunt on a wild goose chase throughout Africa, convincing Hunt that Burroughs had deliberately falsified the information as to where the pills came from. He told Hunt that the geneticist who called himself God had created them. God had given sentience to a group of gorillas by using DNA samples stolen from Westminster Abbey. The gorillas had the memories and personalities of the persons God had stolen the DNA from. They built a city they called “London-on-the-Thames” [47]


John Paul Clayton knew that London-on-the-Thames was deserted and planned to outwit Hunt, defeating him by guile since he could no longer do so by muscle. John Paul Clayton saw that there was a great deal of resemblance between Hunt and Tarzan, and that Hunt possessed strength akin to Tarzan. John Paul Clayton learned that Hunt had another agenda as well as his search for the immortality pills; he wanted Tarzan to acknowledge him as his son. Hunt’s real name Jean Raoul de Coude and he was the son of Olga de Coude, with whom Tarzan had a short affair before marrying Jane. De Coude attributed John Paul Clayton’s inability to acknowledge him or even to remember him to senility.


Although he was beaten, starved and half dragged across Africa in his weakened condition John Paul Clayton continued to pretend to be Tarzan, so that de Coude would not discover the truth about Tarzan.  He managed to escape and tried to get a bar owner to call the authorities but De Coude and his men found him and paid off the bar owner and the bar’s patrons. De Coude was wealthy because he was the owner of Greystoke Inc., which he had wrongfully believed to be owned by Tarzan’s family.[48] De Coude eventually grew tired of “Tarzan’s” recalcitrance about showing the location of the immortality pills and over not admitting his parentage. He challenged the frail and sick old man to a fight and proceeded to beat him to death.


There is little doubt he would have succeeded in this had not the real Tarzan arrived on the scene. Jane and Tarzan had returned to Pellucidar after Alice’s death at John Paul Clayton’s instance. They became caught up in the turmoil on Pellucidar but Jane grew tired of the constant tumult and struggle. When they returned to London they discovered the disappearance of John Paul Clayton. Fortunately the arrogant Jean De Coude had not bothered to cover his tracks all that well and Tarzan trailed him to Africa. Aided by remnants of the gorillas of London-on-Thames and some Mangani, Tarzan attacked De Coude’s camp.


Tarzan confronted De Coude who was shocked to find the real Tarzan still young. They had a brief brutal fight that ended with De Coude falling to his death. It was only after De Coude’s death that Tarzan could bring himself to acknowledge that De Coude was his son. 


The ultimate tragedy was that Tarzan lost two sons that day because John Paul Clayton’s disease ravaged body succumbed to the brutal beating he had received at the hands of his half brother. He had strength enough to say his final farewells to Tarzan and Jane before passing away. It is fitting perhaps that the son of Tarzan died fighting in his beloved Africa.[49]


A couple of the sentient gorillas died in the assault on De Coude’s camp. They asked that Tarzan take their bodies back to London, where they could be buried and also help with “God’s” research.



1988 was a significant year in the life of Tarzan and Jane because it was the year that the last of the Kavuru pills had been used and Jane began to age. Since she ruled out returning to Pellucidar, Tarzan had to face the fact that eventually she would be lost to him. Despite attempting to find several methods to prolong her life, Jane began to age normally.[50] By 2018 she was biologically 74 years old when she was involved in a serious accident that nearly killed Tarzan. Although Jane was not killed she suffered extensive brain damage that left her blind and paralyzed. She did not want to live out the rest of her life as a burden to Tarzan and asked that he give her the mercy of death as he had to Jad-bal-ja when he became aged and infirm. Tarzan of course refused, eventually they agreed on a compromise, cryogenic suspension.


Using his vast wealth Tarzan funded several scientific projects with the purpose of not only curing Jane but also rejuvenating her.


Oddly enough it was tissue samples from the gorilla’s from London-on-the-Thames that provided the means to create a true elixir of life that worked on just about everyone.


An initial chemical analysis demonstrated a strong similarity to the sample of elixir donated by James Caliban. However it was not until 2050 that DNA analysis ascertained what plants and hormones had been used in making the Kavuru pills. Intensive DNA analysis proved that the Kavuru pills and the elixir of the Nine had the same plant DNA. Moreover there was a specific human DNA strand present in both samples. The DNA was that of Tarzan and significantly one of the plants in both mixtures was identified as the Mbwun or Kothoga fungus. This fungus which in modern times grew only in Brazil and like many fungi formed a symbiotic relationship, this with a chimerical retrovirus, that is a retrovirus that has the ability to absorb and replicate DNA and RNA from a variety of hosts and then to infect its host with the replicated genetic information. One such outbreak was responsible for some deaths in the New York Museum of Natural History and a year later in the New York Subway system.[51]


The Mbwun fungus that had been found in the analysis of the Kavuru pills and also in the Nine’s elixir however had a different genetic signature than that of the one from Brazil, indicating that the fungus had at one time been more wide spread.  Intensive genetic tests also revealed the presence of this same genetic strain in the royal jelly formula created by Holmes. The dried plants that Fu Manchu had given Holmes had been infected with the mbwun fungus carrying this genetic virus. The tissue of the gorilla from London-on-the-Thames revealed the presence of the same fungus, indicating an African origin. God had used the mbwun fungus to create a genetic virus that imprinted the RNA/DNA of deceased Englishmen into the gorillas. A similar mbwun created genetic virus was what gave the Kavuru pills and the Nine’s elixir its immortality factor.


Tarzan was shocked when it was revealed that Patient Zero for the genetic anomaly that allowed various elixirs of life to be effective on a few individuals and in some rare cases granted rejuvenation and/or true immortality was John Clayton, Lord Greystoke born in 1892.


Through some inexplicable manner Tarzan was not only his own ancestor but a genetic marker unique to him could be found in most of the people upon whom the various elixirs of life were effective.


There was at least one other person who had the same genetic marker and manifested into true immortality. This was the man known as Phra the Phoenician or as he is better known, John Carter of Virginia. DNA found in Carter’s mausoleum led to further startling revelations. John Carter was both an ancestor and a descendent of Tarzan. His being an ancestor is easily explained since one of John Carter’s identities was John Caldwell, which is easily traceable to Tarzan through his family tree. As to John Carter being a descendent of Tarzan, it remains as inexplicable as the DNA evidence that Tarzan was his own descendent. John Carter’s genetic contributions helped to spread and reinforce the “immortality” gene.


The DNA driving the immortality factor of the elixir and its offshoot the kavuru pills belonged to Tarzan. Somehow in the distant past, Tarzan’s DNA must have been absorbed by the mbwun fungus and the Stone Age people who became The Nine used this fungus to create their elixir.


Once Tarzan’s DNA was identified as the key ingredient, the relationship between the various elixirs could be mapped out. Tarzan’s genetic was somehow transmitted to the mbwun fungus in the Paleolithic era and the Nine created their elixir from plants that contained the virus. Silphium from Fear Cay was almost certainly a cache of the Nine’s elixir plants. Kavandavanda stole some of the precious elixir plants from the Nine but when the plants lost their potency in transplantation he was forced to substitute some of the key ingredients, thus creating the Kavuru pills. General Immortus had been a servant of the Nine but had been expelled and left to die of old age. Iwaldi had given Baron Karl a sample of elixir in the hopes that he could replicate the formula. He may have succeeded but a fire destroyed his notes. The fire may have been set by agents of Anana who did not wish the formula to be duplicated.


One of the Nine’s experiments to crossbreed their elixir plants with another hardier species resulted in seeming failure. However the Mbwun fungus that carried Tarzan DNA had infected this plant. Although the plant by itself was useless some form of elixir could be produced when it was combined with other chemical compounds. This plant was sent to Sherlock Holmes by Fu Manchu, therefore it was the basis for Holmes Royal Jelly and also Fu Manchu’s form of the elixir.


It is not known what was in the elixirs used by The Mortal Immortal or Darius Biederbeck used. It is possible that they used some variation of the Nine’s elixir. In the case of Darius Biederbeck, this would seem to be a fairly good guess. In the case of the Mortal Immortal, who only had to take one dose of an elixir before becoming eternally youthful, two possibilities exist. One is that the elixir was a variation of the Nines and that it activated his latent genes into full immortality as seems to have happened with Tarzan and John Carter. The other is that the elixir actually did not work, was toxic and actually killed the young man, but activating his “Highlander” type immortality.


Scientists deemed it too unsafe to replicate the mbwun virus due to its chimerical nature. Instead combinations of biologists and physicists began working on a synthetic version of the mbwun virus using nanotechnology. It proved elusive however. 


Although the researchers in Tarzan’s employ were mystified by the revelation that Tarzan was responsible for a genetic virus created thousand of years before his birth, Tarzan was not. He had met a doppelganger of his several years earlier and knew that at one point he was supposed to travel back in time. However his doppelganger had not divulged any details not wanting to upset the course of history. Knowing that the immortality factor but mostly, that any ultimate cure of Jane depended on his traveling back to the past, Tarzan began to fund time travel research.


As part of the crew of HG Wells, using the identity of John Gribardsun he traveled back from 2070 to 12, 000 B.C. How the creation of the Nine resulted from his time travels is related in the articles Triple Tarzan Tangle and Kane and Gribardsun.


Although the early editions of Time’s Last Gift, Philip Jose Farmer’s account of Gribardsun’s journey back through time, do not reveal it, starting with the 1977 Ballentine edition revealed that Tarzan’s quest for the fountain of youth was successful. It is mentioned that in 2073 Ms. Renown Chilliken, who had been born in 1940 became the first person to receive a treatment that rejuvenated her. By 2140 she was still young and beautiful. The rejuvenation treatment had been created by replicating the genetic virus present in the Kavuru pills and the Nine’s elixir, and also by recreating the rejuvenating properties of the royal jelly formula.


Although Renown Chilliken was believed to be the oldest person on earth, her birthday celebration was attended by the actual oldest person in the world, Tarzan and the second oldest person, Jane.


In the epilogue it further revealed that Tarzan and Jane, now eternally young, were taking part in a mission to Cappella, which by coincidence or design was the home system of one of the groups of aliens stranded on Earth, who had also used a life extension treatment based on nanotechnology. What is not stated is the reason why this particular location was chosen. Once the immortality treatment became public, the remaining adopted Capelleans and Eridaneans also went public with the desire to return to their adoptive homes. It took several more years to develop FTL technology. Capella was chosen as the first stop because it was slightly closer to the Earth.
















[1] Although there have been many fictional stories about people finding a fountain of youth which accidentally ages them back a state of childhood or even infancy, these seem to be fictional. Both of the two known rejuvenation formulas, Holmes royal jelly and Iwaldi’s elixir, reverse the effects of aging by undoing cellular damage rather than making any great morphological changes. The body’s is reset to the biological equivalent of a healthy person at the peak of maturity. One of the side effects of the elixir is that it makes the recipient resistant to disease and able to heal more rapidly and eventually would regrow a severed limb or organ. However it does not confer true immortality in the sense that it can instantaneously regenerate vital organs. Holmes discovery of the royal jelly treatment was first related by W. S. Baring-Gould in his Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. Initially the full effect of the royal jelly treatment was not disclosed even to Baring-Gould, and it was viewed merely as a method of life extension. Most readers viewed the biography as mere fiction and the royal jelly treatment as mere wish fulfillment on the part of Baring-Gould. Hints that the royal jelly treatment could also rejuvenate the body began to surface after 1973 when one of MI5’s agents was youthened. In 1983 Time For Sherlock Holmes, a Holmes pastiche appeared in which Holmes and Watson were returned to their youth via the royal jelly treatment. In 1989, The Lost Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published. These were short stories based on radio plays originally broadcast in the 1940’s. The radio plays were based on unpublished cases of Sherlock Holmes. One of these stories, The Adventure of the Notorious Canary Trainer was significant because the written version had a section that was not in the original radio broadcast. This section dealt with Holmes use of royal jelly to extend his life. Great importance was placed on the fact that the royal jelly could not restore youth only to cease aging. This additional bit was planted by the Diogenes Club to counteract the rejuvenation story.

[2] Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, by William Baring-Gould.

[3] As edited by Laurie R. King, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, O Jerusalem, A Letter of Mary, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, etc.

[4] A Holmes Chronology by Laurie King

[5] The vampire lover was Radu the Handsome. The result of Mrs. Holmes extramarital affair was the birth of Sherlock’s vampiric twin, Rutherford Holmes. Fred Saberhagen reveals the vampiric affair and the resulting vampire twin in The Holmes Dracula File. The vampire twin appears in Alternate Outlaws edited by Mike Resnick but Brad Mengel revealed his identity in Watching the Detectives.

[6] This affair was directly referred to in the otherwise fictitious Seven Per Cent Solution. That Moriarty was Holmes tutor is also revealed in The Infernal Device. His stint as his teacher is shown in Young Sherlock Holmes film.

[7] At the time Holmes did not know that his fencing teacher, Rathe was the same man who had tutored him in math years earlier. In the film it is Holmes, Watson and Elizabeth against Rathe, the new headmaster and Mrs. Briggs the school nurse. Rathe and Briggs are actually siblings and part of an Egyptian cult that is killing off rich businessmen who had earlier desecrated an Egyptian tomb. However while this was the cover story that was used, Moriarty had killed the real Rathe and assumed his identity as part of a mission of revenge. This also as part of a larger scheme, linked to his alien masters the Capelleans. For Moriarty’s connection to the Capelleans please read The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer. The film’s depiction of Holmes and Watson meeting as young men prior to A Study in Scarlet is also false. It is a bit hard to believe that after such traumatic incidents that both of the boys would forget having met one another. The film’s Watson character was actually Holmes fellow student Reginald Musgrave whose connection to Holmes was established in the A. C. Doyle story The Musgrave Ritual. That Musgrave also acted as the first amanuensis for Holmes is established in The Musgrave Version and The Adventure of the Celestial Snows by George Alec Effinger

[8] Sherlock Holmes had allowed himself to love three women, Elizabeth, Irene Adler and Mary Russell. Although diligent research has discovered that Sherlock Holmes had romantic interludes besides these three in the persons of Marjorie Raffles, Miss Falkland and Vivian S. La Graine, these three encounters did were more casual because of the circumstances in which they were committed. Sherlock Holmes loved Elizabeth, Irene and Mary as Sherlock Holmes. He was someone else when he was involved with the other ladies. I am not suggesting that Holmes had any sort of disassociative personality disorder, at least no more so than any good actor. Holmes was a consummate actor who immersed himself in his roles and met these ladies while playing a role that is while, undercover. Like many undercover operatives in order to make his assumed role believable Holmes sometimes had to act in ways that were atypical for him such as romancing and wooing a young lady. This is not to say that there was not, at the time, an emotional connection between Holmes and these ladies in question, however that connection ended when the case was over. Although it is most probable that while assuming his roles, Holmes, like many actors who are by nature stoic and straitlaced, allowed himself to safely experience emotions he normally kept contained by convincing himself that it was for the role and not real. Another possible reason that Holmes may have refrained from many romantic liaisons was because he was so fertile. Four out of the six women with whom he was involved, even for a short while, became pregnant.

[9] Between 1909 and 1921 Denis Nayland Smith involved Holmes in the adventures titled Ten Years Beyond Baker Street, and the Fires of Fu Manchu; Mycroft drew Holmes into the adventures called Hellbirds, Son of Holmes, Adventure of the Peerless Peer, Rasputin’s Revenge and Holmes apprentice Mary Russell involved him in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, O Jerusalem and A Monstrous Regiment of Women.

[10] The 1875 date for this adventure gives independent evidence for the 1854 birth date of Holmes.

[11] Adventure of the Celestial Snows by George Alec Effinger

[12]  According to The Mask of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer, (1932)

[13] Such as the immortals made famous through the Highlander series of films, novels and television shows.

[14] Kane, Dorian Gray and Casca the immortal to give a couple of examples.

[15] His research into vampires did result in one experiment that he hoped would give him eternal life. He attempted to duplicate the Animus Klonos experiment conducted by Dr. Praetorius ad described in the tome, Annotations by Herr Doktor Theophagus Kraft on Praetorius’ The Filtration of Nature and Effects of Homunculi Distillation. The purpose of the experiment was to create younger satellite bodies that shared Fu Manchu’s consciousness. This experiment did lead to the transferal of Fu Manchu’s consciousness into a new body nor had had created a satellite body that shared Fu Manchu’s consciousness as did Dracula’s soul clones, but rather Fu Manchu’s process incompletely imprinted Fu Manchu’s personality and memories upon the younger body, creating in essence a cloned body with Fu Manchu’s memories. The clone was named Tzing Jao but went by the code name the Yellow Claw.

[16] Fu Manchu’s relationship with Ras Al Ghul is detailed in The Devil Doctor: The Early Life of Fu Manchu. The reason for Ras Al Ghul’s peculiar form of immortality is explained in The Demon Head.

[17] Darius Biederbeck appears in The Return of Dr.Phibes. His rapid aging from middle to old age in a matter of hours and subsequent death were exaggerated for purposes of drama.

[18] If indeed he ever had such a formula. Although it is apocryphal there is some evidence to suggest that “General Immortus” was once a Servant of the Nine who was cast out of their service. Rather than kill him immediately for his offense, they sentenced him to die a long linger death from old age with him knowing that he could have had centuries more to live.  General Immortus appeared in DC Comics as a foe of The Doom Patrol starting with My Greatest Adventure #80 June, 1963

[19] Both tales may have been true, although there may have been at least two different men calling themselves the Count Saint-Germain. The vampire who called himself Saint-Germain has been chronicled by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, starting with Hotel Transylvania (1978)

[20] Baron Karl appears in Escape From Loki by Philip Jose Farmer. He may also appear under other names in the Doc Savage adventure Up From the Earth’s Center and Sea Wolf by Jack London

[21] For more on Baron Karl and his possible association with the Nine please read  Christopher Carey’s “The Green Eyes Have It–Or Are They Blue?” in Myths for the Modern Age, ed. Win Scott Eckert, MonkeyBrain Books, 2005. This essay combines two earlier pieces, “Loki in Sunlight” and “The Green Eyes Have it or are They Blue”, both located at the official Philip Jose Farmer website

[22] The Nine appear in the novels, A Feast Unknown, Lord of the Trees and The Mad Goblin by Philip Jose Farmer

[23] Physical addiction was only part of why he declined the Nine’s offer. Fu Manchu did not want to become part of any organization that controlled him and whose agenda might conflict with his own personal agendas. This is part of the reason why he never pursued becoming part of the Capellean or Eridanean families. Since the Capelleans and Eridaneans had been all but eliminated by 1873, there was not much point in joining them anyway.

[24] Silphium appeared in Fear Cay, by Kenneth Robeson in 1934, the pills of the Kavuru appeared in Tarzan’s Quest by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1936

[25] Whose tragic story was related in “The Mortal Immortal” by Mary Shelly

[26] Although one of the benefits of the Nine’s elixir was that it regenerated body parts, it was not able to reverse the aging process. One of the reasons that the Nine encouraged their agents to experiment with the elixir to see if they could create an effective substitute was twofold. First was as an alternative to the elixir in case the rare ingredients that went into the elixir compound became so compromised that no more elixir could be made. The second was on the off chance that someone could create a compound that was even more effective than the elixir, one that could rejuvenate as well as prolong life. In is revealed in The Mad Goblin that one of the eldest members of the Nine, Iwaldi had been searching for a rejuvenator for centuries.

[27] Further tests would show that the royal jelly treatment did successfully slow down the aging process in most people who used it, however the rejuvenation factor did not manifest. Continual use of the royal jelly to halt the aging process was also elusive for the subjects eventually built up an immunity to the chemicals in the royal jelly.

[28] Although the argument has been made that the reason that royal jelly and other elixirs of life have been kept from the public at large is because of fears of overpopulating the world with hordes of immortals, this does not actually seem to have been the case. There seems to a component in most elixirs that decreases fertility as it increases life span. Prior to using royal jelly Sherlock Holmes was so fertile that he fathered nine children. Yet after using the royal jelly and rejuvenated back to his prime, he does not seem to have fathered any children. Although the case has been made that Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell were the parents of Abraham Moth who was the father of Arthur Sherlock Holmes, presently known as R MI5’s current Armourer, it seems more likely that the Holmes lineage came through Jane Sherlock, his mother. Jane Sherlock seems to have been the granddaughter of Sigerson Holmes.  While it is true that Sherlock and Mary Holmes childless state could be due to her infertility, there are other instances where immortality seems to equate to low fertility. Highlander type immortals become infertile when their immortality is activated. The original Capelleans and Eridaneans with their life extension treatment that assured of a thousand years of life became extinct on Earth due to the combination of low fertility and a practical if vile practice of targeting females for assassination. The creators of the Kavuru pills grew so few in number that they had to seek outsiders for the ingredients to create their pills. Casca the Eternal soldier also seems to have been infertile. The Thoan Lords from Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers series appear, at least by, More than Fire, seem to be very few in number brought about by a combination of low fertility and wanton murder of one another. The immortals of Farmer’s Riverworld series were also infertile and although that does seem to be purposeful to prevent overpopulation on the already teeming planet, one has to wonder if it was not also a by-product of the immortality process.

[29] Dr. Edward Jekyll, also experimented with the glands of young women in an effort to find the elixir of life. However he did not achieve the elixir of life but he did successfully find a method of transforming his gender. His experiments were depicted in Dr. Jekyll, Sister Hyde (Hammer Studios 1971)

[30] The Trail of Fu Manchu   Rohmer, Sax (1934)

[31] Fu Manchu eventually did discover a method of rejuvenation, at least for himself. However it required the blood of a close relative as a catalyst. So he ruthlessly began breeding descendents to be used as material for his elixir. At one point he planned to use Fah lo Suee and Shang Chi for this purpose.

[32] Farmer, Philip Jose, Tarzan Alive, Bantam, 1976 pg. 198

[33] This other dimensional space is the nexus point between universes known variously as the Phantom Zone, Negative Zone, the Bleed and several other names. Doc’s exile to other dimensional space was shown in DC Comics, Doc Savage No. 1, 1987

[34]  Although Tarzan insists that he is as mortal as anyone else, just longer lived, the fact that he lived over 14,000 years without aging and without suffering a mortal injury defies this statement. He may mean that he is susceptible to injury and that he could be killed, say if beheaded or bisected. Then again it is quite probable that Tarzan suffered mortal wounds without realizing it. The blows to his head that gave him temporary amnesia may have killed a man without his healing factor.

[35]  For a series of scholarly dissertations on this very subject you may read The Arms of Tarzan by Philip Jose Farmer, John Carter is Phra the Phoenician by Dr. Peter Coogan, John Carter: Torn by Phoenician Dreams by Dennis E. Power and Dr. Peter Coogan. The Lives and Times of John Carter of Mars by Dennis E. Power and Dr. Peter Coogan.

[36] The Eridaneans, the Capelleans and the blood ceremony between their adoptive Terran families were first revealed in The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, Farmer, Philip Jose (Daw 1973). The Eridanean and Capellean longevity was based on nanotechnology was first theorized in the Capellean and Eridanean sections of Aliens Among Us!, although many of the speculations first disseminated in that early article have been since discovered to be false that speculation seems to remain valid.

[37] In the later case this is a good thing since among the many women James Bond bedded was Violet Holmes, the daughter of Mycroft. Their union resulted offspring, Clive Reston who also became a member of the British Secret Service. Reston was also the father of James Bond Reston, who was James Bond’s successor to the 007 number and has been actively known as James Bond since 2005.

[38]  Eventually everyone that James Bond worked with at MI5 retired and were replaced by different people. Sir Miles was at first replaced by Admiral Michael Hargreaves-Mountbatten, and then by Barbara Mawdsley, Miss Moneypenny was replaced by Penelope Smallbone, Tanner was replaced by his nephew and Q was replaced by R. However the film and book series continued to use the names of the original characters to both a sense of timelessness and a sense of continuity to the series. The use of these names also was to provide the cover of fictionality for the true activities of MI5. Although various foreign intelligence agencies had eventually uncovered that original ruse that Fleming’s books and the films provided, which was to make the public and foreign governments that James Bond was a fictional character, they began to doubt this new intelligence when a younger James Bond appeared on the scene.


It was the combination of the continuation of these names in the works of fiction and the fact that the persons in question had indeed received the royal jelly treatment that led such a careful scholar such as Win Eckert to believe that the royal jelly treatment was fully effective for M, Moneypenny and Tanner, as seen in the James Bond Chronology and Genealogy

[39] There is some evidence Iwaldi did at least share it with the nominal head of the Nine, XauXaz. For more information please see Tarzans in the Valley of Gold.

[40] Farmer, Philip Jose The Mad Goblin, Ace Books,

[41] The plant Silphium which was found on Fear Cay in the Caribbean until 1935 also retarded aging, although since the plant went extinct no known samples exist. There is a distinct possibility that Fear Cay was one of the areas in the world where The Nine grew their special plant. If it was one such plot, why it was left to fallow remains a mystery.

[42] The Mutia Escarpment is a large mountain jutting out of a valley in Central Africa. It is a tall almost rectangular spire, which is home to many lost civilizations. Although some intrepid explorers such as Henry Curtis and Allan Quatermain have found their way to it, you will not find it on any map of Africa. The Mutia Escarpment is a shard of the extra dimensional planet known as Zumor and as such is a nexus point for many realities. The air around the mountain is subject to electrical storms. Electrical equipment and compasses tend to go haywire near the Escarpment. Several planes have suddenly come upon the mountain and crashed upon it. The Mutia Escarpment was first depicted on film in Tarzan the Ape-Man, 1932 (MGM), its first appearance in print may have been in Tarzan’s Quest (1934) For more information please see Tarzan? Jane?

[43] Kavandavanda claimed that this amount of pills would give eternal life to a thousand people. However a pill the size of a pea had to be taken once a month, so this amount would have taken a storehouse rather than a box that could be carried by one man. Even if Tarzan and the others only carried off what they could carry, it is doubtful that there was that many pills on hand, otherwise the kavaru would have had no need to continually hunt and capture women to make the pills. Kavandavanda probably had personal supply of about a thousand pills with a thousand pills for the rest of the followers. Two thousand pills would have kept Kavandavanda alive for another 167 years.

[44] John Paul Clayton was the biological son of Lord and Lady Greystoke. He was however not the main protagonist of the novel, The Son of Tarzan (1914) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Rather that was about his adopted older brother, John Drummond Clayton. Philip Jose Farmer first revealed this adoption in “The Great Korak Discrepancy”. John Paul Clayton was the baby seen in The Beasts of Tarzan (1913). The other children of Tarzan are Charlotte Clayton who was mentioned in The Man Eater (1915) by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Penelope Clayton whose identity was discovered by Chuck Loridans in his “The Daughters of Tarzan” in Myths For the Modern Age (Monkeybrain Books, 2005)

[45] See Dr. Peter Coogan’s Pellucidar Lost

[46] We know for a fact that De Coude had not stolen Tarzan’s supply of the pills, so whose did he steal? The answer is Tibbs, who had been the manservant for the Prince and Princess Sobov. He erroneously believed Tibbs to have been Tarzan and Jane’s manservant. Although it is not specific as to when De Coude confronted Tarzan about his parentage, it seems to have been in Nairobi while Jane and the others were recovering from their ordeal among the Kavaru. After Tarzan’s initial rejection of him Decode must have overheard a discussion of the pills and broke into the rooms they shared, stealing Tibbs’ share. Tibbs had been ambivalent about using them and decided that fate must have interceded. He never said anything about the theft.

[47] The encounter between Tarzan and “God” was depicted in Tarzan and the Lion Man (1934)

[48] In fact Greystoke Inc. was owned by the Lansing family, the true Lord Greystoke family, whose name Burroughs had borrowed. De Coude had been fooled because Richard Lansing was also known as Tarzan, that is, as a jungle man named White Skin by some of the mangani. See Tarzan? Jane?” for details of Lansing’s career. Lansing had retired in 1980 to return to his boyhood home of the Mutia Escarpment. He had left his business in the hands of his son, John Lansing. Ignoring Richard Lansing’s warnings not to fly to the Mutia escarpment, John and his family did so, thinking to surprise Richard on his birthday. The plane crashed near the Mutia escarpment without Richard being aware of it. John Clayton, his wife and the pilot were killed out right, their ten-year-old son John, survived. Ten-year-old John Lansing was raised by a group of Mangani who gave him the name Tarzan. In wake of John’s disappearance, DeCoude seized the company. After DeCoude’s disappearance Richard Lansing’s younger son, Richard seized control of Greystoke Inc. In the 2003 Tarzan television series, the name Lansing was changed to Clayton.

[49] The story of John Paul Clayton’s confrontation with Jean DeCoude was depicted in Tarzan the Warrior, Malibu Comics, 1992. The story was fairly accurate in how it depicted the character of John Paul Clayton and his interaction with DeCoude. “Jackie Clayton” was depicted as weak and a bit of a coward. John Paul Clayton was neither of those and even the death of his wife and his illness would not have changed that. However Jack had immediately sized “Hunt’ up and knew him to be a bully who glorified in his power over the weak. To string De Coude along and to take him on a wild goose chase, Jack acted the part of the coward. To be fair, if the comic book version of Jackie Clayton had really been a coward and a weakling, he would have divulged his true identity and the whereabouts of Tarzan rather than take continual beatings. Instead, he continued the pretense to be the aged Tarzan to his detriment. Possibly the one partially true statement that “Jackie Clayton” made was that when his Jane died, he had lost the will to live.


The comic also depicted Tarzan and Jane as being transported to an other-dimensional realm where they became caught up in a war between aliens and beast-men. In fact the supposed other dimension was actually the center of the Earth, specifically, Pellucidar and the turmoil in question was the war that Innes was fighting to keep his Empire. In Tarzan the Warrior, Jane wants to return home because she needed the values of civilization. It was not so much she rejected the primitive but rather despised the constant state of war that existed in Pellucidar.

[50] Tarzan even obtained samples of the royal jelly through his connections in the Wold Newton family. It was discovered that the royal jelly had no effect upon people who had taken the Kavaru pills. There was a lingering genetic effect that negated the beneficial enzymes of the royal jelly.

[51] These rather gruesome episodes are depicted in the novels, Relic and Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child