Wyoming Mummy

SMALL Hominid of western North America. Variant name: Pedro.

Physical description: Height, 6.5 inches sitting; 14 inches estimated total. Weight, 0.75 pound. Dark-brown, wrinkled skin. Gray head-hair. Flat head. Flat nose. Wide mouth with full lips. Pointed teeth. Thick arm-hair. Spatular fingernails.

Distribution: Pedro Mountains, Wyoming. Significant sighting: In October 1932, two prospectors, C. Main and F. Carr, came across a small cave in the Pedro Mountains, Carbon County, Wyoming, in which a little, mummi fied man was sitting on a ledge. They kept it with them for two years, wrapped in a sack; after that, it was obtained by Floyd Jones of Casper, Wyoming, who exhibited it in the 1930s, and then Ivan P. Goodman, who exhibited it in the 1940s. At some point, it was allegedly brought to anthropologist Harry L. Shapiro at the American Museum of Natural History, who examined it for a month. X rays proved it had a human skeleton, and there was a suggestion of undigested food in the stomach. The bones of the right shoulder apparently were broken, and the spine had been injured. Goodman died in 1950, and the mummy passed into the hands of Leonard Waller, after which it was lost sometime in the 1970s.

Probable explanation: An infant or fetus with anencephaly, a congenital anomaly producing an absence of all or part of the brain, suggested by Rainer Zangerl and D. Dwight Davis, who examined the mummy in March 1950. They suspected it had been buried no more than twenty-five years. It may also have been "enhanced" for exhibition.

Sources: "Mummified Dwarf Is Found near Pathfinder Reservoir," Casper (Wyo.) Tribune Herald, October 22, 1932; "Wyoming 'Mummy' Mystery Solved," Bulletin of the Chicago Natural History Museum 21, no. 4 (April 1950): 5; Ray Palmer, "Mystery of the Midget Mummy," Fate 4 (September 1950): 74-76; Elvina Colburn (letter), "The Midget Mummy," Fate 5 (April 1951): 96-97; Lance Robbins, "Wyoming's Mystery Mummy," Exploring the Unknown, May 1965; Duane Valentry, "Mystery of the Missing Mummy," Popular Archaeology 4 (March-April 1975): 57-58; Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, July 22 and July 24, 1979; Mark Chorvinsky, "Wyoming's Mystery Mummy," Fate 48 (November 1995): 22-24.

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