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Pedro, the mystery Mummy
Put cursor over Pedro to see his X-Ray


This is one of my favorite stories.

In 1932 two men, Cecil Main and Frank Carr, spent a few weeks digging for gold in the San Pedro Mountains of Wyoming. After working a rich vein which seemed to keep continuing into more solid rock, they decided to use dynamite to blast a huge section of the mountainside off and save some time getting at more of the gold.

After the dust from the blast cleared, they found that the rock face they had been chipping away at led to a small cavern about 15 feet long and 4 feet high (4.5m x 1.2m). It had been totally sealed off from the outside world by this thick wall of rock they had been working at, with no visible entrance or even small crack leading into it. Inside this cavern was a small ledge on which a pixie-like creature sat, cross-legged. It turned out to be a tiny mummy about 7" high (18 cm) with a total height of 14" (35 cm). It's face looked like an old man's. It had a flat head, huge, heavy-lidded eyes and a very wide mouth. It was so well preserved that the finger nails could still be seen on the hands. It gets stranger - the top of it's head was covered in a dark jelly-like substance that was still mushy. Ew!

Cecil and Frank carefully took their find to the huge town of Casper, Wyoming where many prominent scientists, sure of a hoax, came from all over the US to have a look at it. Everyone had the idea that this was just a scheme to make money, something invented by the two prospectors to get rich with their discovered anomaly. Dr. Henry Shapiro, an anthropologist from the American Museum of Natural History, set up extensive tests, assuming it would show some type of doll or pieced-together work of taxidermy. Instead the X-rays showed that "Pedro" had inside him a perfectly formed, manlike skeleton with a complete set of human-like ribs. Also shown was a damaged spine, a broken collarbone and a skull that had been smashed by a heavy blow. It seems Pedro had met with a violent death. The gelatinous substance on his head was exposed brain tissue and congealed blood. Ew! The fontanels - the soft spots in the skull which mesh to a solid plate as a baby matures to childhood - were closed, proving that this had indeed been a full grown adult. Pedro had a full set of adult teeth but the odd difference to us regular humans was that he had overly pointed canines - what we'd call "vampire" teeth. The overall estimate was that the being had been about 65 years old at the time of death and dated 'far back into history'.


X -Ray courtesy Chicago Field Museum

Sometime in the 1950s, Pedro vanished after one of his owners died, and his location today is still unknown.

The Shoshone Indian Nation of Wyoming have legends of the Nimerigar, a small race of people who it is said would attack them with tiny bows and poisoned arrows. It was also said they used to kill their own kind with a blow to the head when they became too ill to be a useful and active part of society anymore. I figure these "legends" are around for reason.

The questions I didn't find answers to seem to be the same ones that didn't get answered back in 1932, either - how did Pedro get into a totally sealed cave in solid rock -which would have taken tens of thousands of years to seal - and why was the top of the head moist and 'gelatinous' yet after all those many, many MANY years? Ew? I found this story especially interesting since the scientific minds of the day tried to find some hoax or B.S. behind this little guy, but couldn't. He seemed to be exactly what he was; whatever he was.
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