Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

From the Fertile Mind of Ripley's

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

From the Fertile Mind of Ripley's

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- Pam George stood in front of the squat,

well-endowed couple, smiling as she stared at the intricately

carved statues of a woman with a baby in her arms and a male

warrior.

"So, you just touch it?" she asked. "Should I do it with both

hands? Will that make it work better?"

The Kingsland, Ga., woman traveled two hours yesterday just to

caress the African wooden totems on display at the Ripley's

Believe It or Not! Museum.

The totems are a pair of fertility gods. One touch and a woman

will soon become pregnant, or so legend has it.

Perhaps it is more than just legend.

Over the past 14 months, 11 babies have been born to women

who have stroked the statues at Ripley's corporate headquarters

in Orlando. Even the woman from Airborne Express who delivered

the statues in their crates got pregnant. And at least three

more babies are on the way.

Women from all over the country are flocking to St. Augustine

in hopes that the legend bears true.

The mood of those who approached the almighty statues yesterday

ranged from somber to skeptical to silly.

A woman from Massachusetts ran from the building crying after

she touched the baby in the female statue's arms. The baby is

supposed to be the most fertile part.

Marie Louise Grethen, 69, just happened to be in the museum. She

laughed as she gave the pair a full rubdown.

"If it happens to me, it'll make history," she said.

There's no charge to see or touch the statues, which will be

displayed in the museum lobby until Feb. 25.

There is no scientific evidence proving the pair's procreation

powers, but some people don't want to test the gods.

"It's a risk I'm not willing to take," laughed Barbara Wilson,

manager of the St. Augustine facility. …

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