S.E.A.R.CH. Scientific Expedition to Account for the Romanov Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of Truth in Russia's history.
Since 1991 our members have worked with universities and organizations in the United States and Russia to initiate archeological expeditions to Ekaterinburg, Russia. The purpose of these expeditions is to search for the missing remains of two Romanov children, Tsarevich Alexis and those of his sister, Grand Duchess Maria.
In 1993, members of Search Foundation, Inc. met and introduced Dr. Alexander Avdonin, Director of the Obretenye Foundation, to the Russian-American community, in order to inform them as to the status of the Imperial family's remains. No one in the West knew what had actually happened to the Romanov family other than what Judge/Investigator Nicholas Sokolov reported as a result of his 1919 investigations. The Russian-American community could now learn the Truth as to what had transpired between July 16 to 19, 1918, at the Four Brothers Mine area.
Nine sets of remains were unearthed from a shallow grave under a bridge at the Pig's Meadow site by Dr. Alexander Avdonin's team in 1991. Missing were two sets of remains; those of Grand Duchess Maria or Anastasia and those of Tsarevich Alexis . An identification team from the United States, led by Dr. William Maples, Director of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, University of Florida, Gainesville, was invited by the Russians to help them sort out the bones and identify them. Very quickly, the American team determined that one of the Tsar's daughters was misidentified. The Russians claimed that they had the Tsar's daughter Anastasia and that her sister Maria was missing. Dr. Maples claimed that Anastasia was missing and that Maria was there.
From the beginning, the path taken to identify the remains was met with resistance and opposition from various groups. In order to determine that the remains found by Dr. Avdonin were indeed those of the Romanovs, a Commission comprised of scientists, historians, police investigators and church officials was established by the Russian government. Although most members of the Commission agreed on the authenticity of the remains, the Russian Orthodox Church chose to wait with their decision. To date, priests and bishops of the Moscow Patriarchal Church will not discuss the status of the Romanov remains found at the Pig's Meadow. Vikenti, Archbishop of Ekaterinburg, told Peter Sarandinaki, unofficially, "We don't believe in those bones". To this date, the Russian Orthodox Church (both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad) would rather wait until all identification questions have been answered and no doubts remain.
Captain Peter Sarandinaki, director of SEARCH, has participated in three archeological expeditions in Ekaterinburg for the purpose of finding the missing Imperial remains. These searches occurred in September 1998, June 1999 and July 2004.
At the Annual Convention of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, held in January 2000, in Reno, NV., SEARCH initiated and facilitated the debate between Russian Medical Examiner Dr. Sergey Nikitin and American forensic anthropologists: Drs. Anthony Falsetti, Director of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, and Diane L. France, Director of the Colorado State Human Identification Laboratory. Dr. Nikitin held that Russian methods of reconstruction and photo superimposition used in identifying Grand Duchess Anastasia's remains were sufficient to identify Anastasia; whereas the American anthropologists held that the bones the Russians claim to be from Anastasia were actually those from a 19 year old female - not younger. Thus, concluding that the bones were Grand Duchess Maria’s.
On July 29, 2007 Russian experts uncovered a double grave at a site in the Pig's Meadow just 70 meters away from the 1st. grave that was discovered by Dr. Alexander Avdonin in 1977. Please see Press Release On December 5th 2008, the DNA results obtained from the newly found remains from the 2nd grave and 1st grave were announced to the world. See FINAL DNA
That was the very same day that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexis II passed away. To this date, the new Patriarch Kiril, refuses to accept the 2008 DNA studies and the authenticity of the found remains.
Not giving up, Captain Peter Sarandinaki vowed to continue the work until the Romanov remains are fully accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Royal family is given the dignified burial they deserve.
To this end, the SEARCH Foundation has sponsored archeological expeditions (2009, 2012 and 2013 and 2014) to Perm, Russia, with the goal to find the remains of the Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich Romanov and his secretary, Brian Johnson, who were killed by the Bolsheviks in June 1918.
It is our goal to return to Russia in the summer of 2015 and work with Russian, American and British forensic experts as well as the Russian Orthodox Church and the local Perm Government, in order to finally close a very sad chapter in world history,