San pedro mummy

San Pedro Mummy

Real Name: Unknown (nick-named "Pedro")
Case: Unidentified Remains/Mysterious Legends
Date: 1932
Location: Wyoming


Details: For centuries, multiple Native American tribes have talked about two-foot tall beings that perform super-human feats. They are known as the "little people". In 1932, prospectors Cecil Mann and Frank Carr were exploring the San Pedro Mountains in Wyoming when they found an unusual mummified figure within a cave. The figure was six inches high and in a sitting position. It had a flattened skull and brown skin, with wisps of gray hair coming from the back of the head. They believed that the mummy may have been part of a race of "little people". Several days later, Cecil returned to the cave and took the mummy. The discovery made headline news in the area. Some believed that Native Americans had placed the mummy in the cave.
Cecil did not seem to care what the mummy was, he was just interested in selling it. He soon found a buyer: an insurance salesman named Homer Sherrill, who purchased it for $25 in 1934. Homer used the mummy as part of a side show attraction, charging people twenty-five cents to look at it. The mummy remained an attraction for several years.

X-rays of mummy

X-ray of the mummy

Then, Homer gave it to a used car salesman named Ivan Goodman who brought it to Dr. Paul Martin, of the Chicago Museum of Natural History. In 1950, he took photographs and x-rays of the figure. The x-rays revealed that the remains were of a species between a mature infant or a under-sized human being about seventeen inches tall. Dr. Martin believed that it suffered from an Anencephaly; this is a condition in which infants are born without a brain and lack a complete skull. As a result, it may take on the physical appearance of an adult.
However, other experts claim that the malformed skull could have been the result of a blow to the head. These experts believe that the mummy has other physical characteristics of an adult, including a full set of teeth. Still, many experts believe that it was an Anencephalic infant.
In October of 1950, Ivan loaned the mummy to Dr. Leonard Wadler, curator of a New York museum. Ivan believed that he could make a great amount of money if Dr. Wadler could prove that the mummy was a relative of the pygmies, a race of people in Africa and Asia who stand four to five feet in height. However, Ivan died of a sudden stroke a short time later. Dr. Wadler kept the mummy.
To date, no one is quite sure what the figure is, or what happened to it. It was last seen in Florida with Dr. Wadler in 1975 and has never been re-located.
Extra Notes: This case ran on the February 2, 1994 episode.
This case was also featured on the series, Monumental Mysteries.
Results: Unresolved - It was later discovered that Dr. Wadler moved to Florida and died in the 1980s. It is unknown what happened to the mummy after his death. On the series, "Monumental Mysteries," it was revealed that an airing of this segment forced a couple to realize they had a similar mummy in their possession that also originated from the San Pedro Mountains. An analysis of their remains showed the mummy was that of an infant dating back several thousand years that suffered from amencephaly (an enlarged brain). While the original remains have never been found, it is believed they both share the same characteristics.

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