First we learned that Billy the Kid was not shot by Pat Garrett, but lived to an old age. Now anthropologist Sergey Gorbenko says Joan of Arc was not burned at the stake, but lived to be 57 years old.

Gorbenko examined skulls from the French royal family of Ludwig XI and found that the skull that was thought to belong to the king was actually a woman’s. It wasn’t the skull of his wife Charlotte, because she died at age 38 and the skull belonged to a 55-57-year-old woman. He says, “The woman whose skull had been mistaken for that of King Ludwig XI for 100 years turned out to be Joan of Arc herself.”

The original Joan of Arc was Margarita d’Champdiver, who was not a peasant girl but the illegitimate daughter of King Karl VI and his mistress Odetta d’Champdiver. The king raised her as a soldier, since both his sons that been killed in battle. Since Karl VI had no sons to take over the throne, he had to claim it as a God-given right, so he started the legend of the virgin destined to save France, and assigned this role to his daughter Margarita.

However, after a while “Joan’s” victories became a problem for the king. He didn’t like seeing his army under female leadership, so he developed a plan to kill Joan off by burning her at the stake. However, another woman was actually executed in her place. Evidence of this is that “Joan’s” face was covered while she was being burned.

This doesn’t mean that Margarita wasn’t both a great leader and a great fighter. Gorbenko says, “I did not discover anything that could discredit Joan of Arc. She was a magnificent leader, a true believer in God, a loyal wife and a kind mother. Can these facts sabotage her sainthood? [The Pope] and the Vatican are entitled to canonize Joan of Arc and no scientific discoveries can disprove this.”

Margaret Starbird has studied a very special person in history: Mary Magdalene. She set out to refute the heresy that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife?and proved it instead!

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