126-year-old Cuban Stakes Claim on Longevity Record Held by American Besse Cooper
Game on. Who is the world's oldest living person?
A Cuban woman, Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodriguez, is claiming to have celebrated her 126th birthday, which would make her older than the current record holder 114-year-old American Besse Cooper.
The birthday girl spent the day talking and showing off her identification papers that, she says, shows she was born on Feb. 2, 1885.
Cuba's state-run Prensa Latina agency says Bautista has a civil registry document that states her 126-year-old date of birth in the town of Ceiba Hueca, where she still lives.
But Bautista's claim is not recognized internationally and she isn't recognized by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which verifies longevity information for Guinness World Records.
Fox News Latino spoke exclusively to Robert D. Young the Senior Claims Investigator for the Gerontology Research Group who says Bautista's claim is unlikely.
"The evidence gives us no reason to believe the claim," Young said. "If you take a look at the documents that she [Bautista] is showing, it looks like the document is from the 1950s."
Young is skeptical. He believes the document is a passport. The claims investigator also points to the video (below this article) that shows a close-up of the passport in which he says it appears that underneath the "8" in 1885 is actually a "9". Young raises the question of whether or not it could say 1915 instead.
He also points out her uncharacteristic physical attributes like talking and even standing and walking with assistance. Young believes other evidence is needed. He says some evidence that can be used are a marriage certificate and documentation that proves the age of her children.
"She just doesn't exhibit the attributes of a person who would be 126 years old," Young said. "There is no such thing as a 116-year-old that can walk around, let alone an 126-year-old."
According to Young, there has never been a case of someone being 123, much less 126.
"Studies in countries show us that 99 percent of the people who claim to be 115 years or older were false."
Young says all the Bautista family has to do is put in a claim so that they can review the evidence concretely. No matter how skeptical he may be.
"The odds of someone living to 126 are one trillion to one, based on mortality rates."
To put Bautista's claimed age in perspective, in 1885, Mark Twains' Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published, the U.S. Salvation Army was established, baseball players made $1,000 to $2,000 a season, and Grover Cleveland became the nation's 22nd President.
Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino
Like us at facebook.com/foxnewslatino