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Joe Roark

60th Anniversary of Paul Anderson's Back Lift

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Joe Roark
48 minutes ago, peter yates said:

Hi Joe,just catching up after my trip and read this excellent piece. The Chinese have a saying,"No investigation,no right to speak."Unfortunately there are few who actually go to the trouble of investigation to unearth as much as possible the facts,especially when it comes to strength feats. Of course the same people are only too ready to shout and condemn when someone actually takes the trouble to seek out he truth and make it known.Thank you Joe for being one of the "investigators,"and having the courage of your convictions. This is in no way a disrespect to Anderson but respectful to all the other strongmen past and present who can back up their claims with evidence.

Peter.

Peter, sincerely, thank you.

I have no agenda beyond trying to figure out what happened in any given situation. And, once surety arrives in my mind, whether affirming or denying the likelihood of a lift, then that is what I believe.

Those who criticize my work on Anderson, while perfectly free to do so, do so, not based on research, or what Paul's daughter discovered, or what Paul's brother-in-law acknowledged, but, it appears to me, based on emotions or feelings that Paul was a good man who did wonderful things to help young people through his speakings and his children's home(s). I do not deny that he was a good man. But.

The dilemma for me arrives when, in all candor, Paul had to know how much the safe weighed (what his own daughter later proved was about 1,200 lbs LESS than he advertised) but he for whatever reason(s) stayed with the higher weight of the safe. On what did he base the weight of 3,500, instead of 2,300? Did he never weigh it, and was simply told it weighed that much?That is a possibility.But it contradicts his own scenario that everything on the platform WAS weighed.

But his motive aside, what we deal with here are facts not motives, and the fact is, the overstatement happened.

Please feel free to share the link to the article if you wish.

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Joe Roark

Bumping this. A member recently sent me a message that he had finally read the long piece.

I know the Internet features brief writings, but the overwhelming amount of misinformation about Anderson's back lift cannot not be dealt with via few paragraphs.

Any criticism of the piece is welcome, and feel free to share this link anywhere you choose because I placed it in the section that non-members can see.

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Bob Fett

The facts just get in the way of people's beliefs.

;)

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Andrey Smolnikov
On 25.08.2017 at 4:53 PM, Joe Roark said:

Bumping this. A member recently sent me a message that he had finally read the long piece.

I know the Internet features brief writings, but the overwhelming amount of misinformation about Anderson's back lift cannot not be dealt with via few paragraphs.

Any criticism of the piece is welcome, and feel free to share this link anywhere you choose because I placed it in the section that non-members can see.

Dear Joe, incredible research! But when did GBWR get Mr.Anderson`s backlift record out of the book? Was Paul Anderson alive at the time?

With best wishes,

Andrey.

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Joe Roark
1 hour ago, Andrey Smolnikov said:

Dear Joe, incredible research! But when did GBWR get Mr.Anderson`s backlift record out of the book? Was Paul Anderson alive at the time?

With best wishes,

Andrey.

Paul had passed when the lift was removed. I do not know the exact year it was removed because I do not buy the Guinness book, but it was several years ago. In was listed in the 1984 edition, and if memory serves, was listed in the British edition before being listed in the American edition.

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Ray Nobile

was it not removed when greg ernst did his record breaking backlift a couple of years ago.?this lift was reconised by the guiness book of records.

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Joe Roark
3 hours ago, Ray Nobile said:

was it not removed when greg ernst did his record breaking backlift a couple of years ago.?this lift was reconised by the guiness book of records.

It was removed several years before Ernst's record (done 19 years previously) was recognized.

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Ray Nobile

thanks joe.however why did guiness remove andersons record.? did your research influence their descision?:lol:

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Joe Roark
3 hours ago, Ray Nobile said:

thanks joe.however why did guiness remove andersons record.? did your research influence their descision?:lol:

An interesting question.

I suspect the research that I conducted on the matter, finding nothing approaching proof to support the lift, and the GBWR staff not being able to find any proof when asked, led them to reevaluate the entry. We must keep in mind that in those early days of publishing their book, and needing entries to fill pages, while at the same time lacking staff enough to witness and authorize claims [worldwide], perhaps the level to gain acceptance was not as high as it is today.

If someone today were to submit a back lift claim he would have zero chance of simply being believed without evidence.

It is to their credit that, checking what had been submitted (we still do not know what that was) and finding it did not meet their standards, they removed it. Indeed, the mention of henceforth accepting only 'standard' weightlifting records- at least for a while- removed the problem of dealing with such matters. It is, after all, or was, I should say, not just anyone who could judge such a lift as the back lift.

Indeed, retroactively, some people denounce Ernst's well documented lift , not for lack of witnesses, but because he did not lift the weight high enough. In the decades I have been closely following the history of iron, I have NEVER heard of a height distance requirement in the back lift- only that all the weight be lifted at the same time so that no corner of the apparatus is lifted  while another corner is supported. Indeed, Paul's claim that he could move a back lift 'several inches' is simply ridiculous except for amounts that would qualify as a warm-up. Another criticism aimed at Ernst was that his platform was not truly horizontal, but slanted. Again, never was that a factor before, and if you think about it, a slanted platform may indeed be more difficult, if after the 'easier side is lifted, the other side now is heavier and the lifter is no longer in his best position of leverage.

Anyway, my belief is that if I had not conducted the research- which by the way I started to honor the lift, having believed it happened- then why would GBWR have been prompted to examine the situation? So yes, then, I fancy my research made a determining difference.

We must always look at history not as flawless reporting, but with open minds and analytical questions. Any real lift will endure such an examination.

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Joe Roark

As of this morning, over 1,900 views of this topic- which does not mean that many people read the whole piece.

But for those who did, criticism is welcome. Opposing views are welcome. Legless opinions, not so much.

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John Ozag

I came across this very old magazine article on Paul Anderson. Probably from 1956 because it mentions that he is 24 years old. It discusses his interest in pro wrestling, how he would handle Floyd Patterson in a boxing match, the 6000 lb. safe lift which an accompanying friend claims to have seen, his even - tempered personality and arm wrestling an Egyptian who reportedly called him a "no good American bum." 

Weight Lifting Article.PDF

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Ed Mines
8 hours ago, John Ozag said:

Weight Lifting Article.PDF

Caper magazine, was that a 1950s men's magazine with nudie photos in it?

in reality a skilled fighter (boxer, wrestler, martial arts master...............) can usually defeat a strong man. Anderson would run out of breath in very short order if he actually wrestled a trained wrestler.

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Joe Roark
46 minutes ago, Ed Mines said:

Caper magazine, was that a 1950s men's magazine with nudie photos in it?

in reality a skilled fighter (boxer, wrestler, martial arts master...............) can usually defeat a strong man. Anderson would run out of breath in very short order if he actually wrestled a trained wrestler.

Yes, apparently there were some nudes- at least topless, but I will do some checking to see who this author was, and read the article more carefully. But it has been my experience while researching the back lift by Anderson that even famous magazines (Saturday Evening Post) allowed some misinformation about the back lift to be printed. My view is that the legend grew its own legs and walked in various forms from source to source until the legend became accepted as truth.

The author also offered: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Cy-Rice/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ACy Rice

Here are the 1956 issues of Caper magazine. https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=27831848

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Joe Roark
9 hours ago, John Ozag said:

I came across this very old magazine article on Paul Anderson. Probably from 1956 because it mentions that he is 24 years old. It discusses his interest in pro wrestling, how he would handle Floyd Patterson in a boxing match, the 6000 lb. safe lift which an accompanying friend claims to have seen, his even - tempered personality and arm wrestling an Egyptian who reportedly called him a "no good American bum." 

Weight Lifting Article.PDF

John, thanks for posting this. Charles Mapes told me that he thought Paul's manager did not have the capability of hurling Paul into the big time.

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Ed Mines

i preferred Nugget, Topper, Gem & Vue.

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Joe Roark
47 minutes ago, Ed Mines said:

i preferred Nugget, Topper, Gem & Vue.

Weider's GEM? Charles A. Smith helped on Weider's girly mags. I believe he offered restaurant/wine reviews.

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Joe Roark
12 hours ago, John Ozag said:

I came across this very old magazine article on Paul Anderson. Probably from 1956 because it mentions that he is 24 years old. It discusses his interest in pro wrestling, how he would handle Floyd Patterson in a boxing match, the 6000 lb. safe lift which an accompanying friend claims to have seen, his even - tempered personality and arm wrestling an Egyptian who reportedly called him a "no good American bum." 

Weight Lifting Article.PDF

John, the article was written later than 1956. Here is why:

It mentions three appearances by Paul on Ed Sullivan's TV show- the third appearance was Sep 22, 1957, so the article had to be after that. Paul would still be a month away from turning age 25.

Further (and I acknowledge inadequate wrestling files), but Paul beat Sky Hi Lee on Feb 20, 1958, [for first time?] so maybe the article was after that? I know the age does not work for age 24 in this scenario.

Here is another match:

PAUL ANDERSON SCORES MAT WIN
(Los Angeles Times, Thursday, March 27, 1958)

Paul Anderson, the 330-pound strongest man in the
world, crushed 280-pound Sky Hi Lee in two straight falls in the wrestling feature before 4,287 fans last night at the
Olympic Auditorium.

Anderson won the first fall in 7:21 with a Georgia bear hug and the second in 6:41 with a bodyflip and press.

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Joe Roark
carl linich

Article states he was an olympic powerlifting champion.

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Ray Nobile

yes carl typical of authors who do no research.read an article today on hackensmit, author says he was a champion bodybuilder before turning to wrestling.

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Joe Roark

There are errors in the piece, and I have emailed Mr. Cox with a link to my 60th anniversary piece.

The $10,000 he mentions should be $15,000, and there was a safe, not safes, and it was manganese not steel, but perhaps he will read the link I sent to him.

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Debbie Jacobs
3 hours ago, Joe Roark said:

There are errors in the piece, and I have emailed Mr. Cox with a link to my 60th anniversary piece.

The $10,000 he mentions should be $15,000, and there was a safe, not safes, and it was manganese not steel, but perhaps he will read the link I sent to him.

I hope Mr. Cox reads your 60th anniversary piece. The fact that he cites your article, "Ironclad: Paul Anderson's June 12, 1957 Backlift", when referring to issues with the validity of the backlift and refers to it as well researched shows he has some respect for your work.

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Joe Roark
27 minutes ago, Debbie Jacobs said:

I hope Mr. Cox reads your 60th anniversary piece. The fact that he cites your article, "Ironclad: Paul Anderson's June 12, 1957 Backlift", when referring to issues with the validity of the backlift and refers to it as well researched shows he has some respect for your work.

The Anniversary piece is lengthy, but I hope he reads it.

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Dale Credico

 

Quote

 

Read more in a well-researched piece by Joe Roark called “Ironclad: Paul Anderson’s June 12, 1957 Backlift.

But who’s to say Anderson couldn’t do it?

 

Stop doing that!!!

Stop reversing the onus of proof like that. Hahaha! What, now anything is a record or true as long as it can't be proved to be false without doubt?
Okay . . . "I put 400 lbs. overhead seven times yesterday." It's up to you to prove I didn't, otherwise it's true.
Yes. It was a pretty good day here yesterday. Just ask my cousin, he seen it!

Edited by Dale Credico

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