Helen Keller: fraud or not?

Caption: Photo from https://open.spotify.com/album/2VLU4pds7mk7epZzscXTjG

Caption: Photo from https://open.spotify.com/album/2VLU4pds7mk7epZzscXTjG

Helen Keller (1880-1968) was a woman who is remembered for being blind and deaf but having many admirable lifetime accomplishments. Keller became blind and deaf at 19 months old due to Meningitis. Keller is recorded as graduating with a PhD, writing several books, and even flying a plane. How does a person do all these things being blind and deaf? That here, is the million dollar question. 

PCM senior Skylar Burns goes into great detail on why she feels that Helen Keller was an over-exaggerated fraud of history. 

“If she was 19 months old, that would make her a little over a year old, so she could possibly know some simple words and phrases. But, ‘by age seven Keller had developed nearly 60 hand gestures to communicate with her parents to ask for things,’ but how could you learn that if you can’t see or hear? So you can’t learn anything visually because you have no sight and you can’t listen to people because you can’t hear,” Burns explains. 

Keller is also noted in history with many other remarkable accomplishments like writing 12 books and even flying a plane.

 “This is where it really gets me. These people claim that she flew an airplane. How in the world did she fly a plane? She can’t see or hear, like there is no way. They also say she wrote multiple books. Like there is no way. That doesn’t work. What could she possibly have to say? You wouldn’t know anything. You don’t hear about anything, you don’t see anything,” Burns said. 

Even if flying a plane really did happen, she didn’t do the type of flying a plane that you’d probably imagine. The plane was already in the air, and she was assisted by the actual pilot the whole time, so basically all she was sitting in the plane in the pilot’s seat. 

“They claim she could read lips by placing her hands on people’s lips, with her thumb on her larynx, but if she did that she would be like groping you, if someone ever did that to me, I would slap them. But you can’t do that because that’s terrible and you can’t scream at her either because she can’t hear you,” Burns said. 

Burns concludes, “I think she was a real person. But I think the things she ‘accomplished’ were very over-exaggerated or in fact not real.”