Hardiman, Vertus

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Hardiman, Vertus Gender: M
Vertus Wellborn Hardiman
born on 9 March 1922 at 02:20 (= 02:20 AM )
Place Montgomery, Indiana, 38n40, 87w03
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 17°59' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 20°27 Asc.s_capcol.18.gif 03°37'


American victim of a US government human radiation experiment at the age of five that left him with a painful skull deformity that forced him to cover his head for 80 years.

In 1928, Vertus Hardiman attended Lyles Consolidated School where he and nine other children were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital. To get parental consent the experiment was misrepresented as a new therapy for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. The radiation of the skull led to immediate symptoms but also to a severe progressive necrosis of the bone all through his life.

The school children from Lyles Station School were delivered by their schoolbus, including Hardiman who was only five years-old at the time and not technically enrolled in school. His mother sent him with his older brother to receive what they had been told was treatment for ringworm. All of the children treated with the radiation complained of the same symptoms: they all experienced headaches, suffered from dizziness, and felt extreme burning of the scalp. Eventually all the children lost their hair permanently. Jerrod Elliott was raised by a mother who sympathized with African Americans and took on a legal case to help the Hardimans.

The parents of the children did meet with a local lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the hospital, focusing on how the parents had been misled and tricked, but the verdict found the hospital not liable. Many suffered long-term effects, but with Vertus Hardiman, the effects were the most pronounced.

Grossly disfigured, Hardimann bore this injustice with remarkable dignity. In 1945 Vertus travelled to California in search of broader opportunity. In 1946 he worked for the County of Los Angeles General Hospital, where he served with distinction. Vertus lived his last years in Altadena, California. Hardiman died on 1 June 2007 at age 85. His life is the subject of a documentary, Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed, released in 2011 that was written and produced by Wilbert Smith and directed by Brett Leonard.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth certificate from Indiana archives.


  • Traits : Body : Hair (Permanently bald after irradiation)
  • Traits : Body : Race (Black)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Bone
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Treatment/Therapy (Irradiated)
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Other Criminal Victim (Unlawful medical experiment)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 85)
  • Notable : Famous : Criminal cases