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The San Pedro Mountains mummy

I have always tried to understand whether the ancient legends that tell of giant men who lived on our planet could have a historical basis. However, other traditional tales tell of tiny men, who also lived in a remote time in our history. Proof of their existence would be a small mummy found in 1934.

The San Pedro Mountains mummy
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The San Pedro Mountains mummy

In June 1934 Cecil Mayne and Frank Carr, two gold prospectors, during their search in the San Pedro mountains, in Carbon County area, after having blown up a thick rock wall with dynamite, noticed an opening that led into a small cave dug into the mountain, approximately 1.2 meters high and about 4.6 meters deep.

Inside the niche, the two men found the mummified remains of the smallest human being ever discovered, whose origins were a true mystery.

The legends of the local Native American tribes passed down stories about “little men,” or “little spirits,” also called Nimeriga. In some of these tales, these tiny beings possessed magical or healing powers. In others legends, they were portrayed as a ferocious spawn who attacked Native Americans with poisoned arrows.

The discovery of the little mummy aroused much interest, but also much controversy. Some scientists, especially at the beginning, unable to place the find in the consolidated theory that perfectly explained the appearance of Homo Sapiens, questioned the veracity of the discovery, labeling the mummy as a hoax.

However, numerous researchers flocked to the area, with a deep desire to determine the truth behind the tiny person, later nicknamed “Pedro”. With an estimated height of 36 cm, it was clear that this was no ordinary find.

Close view of the San Pedro Mountains mummy
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Close view of the San Pedro Mountains mummy

The two men made Pedro available to scientists for a series of in-depth tests. The small mummy appeared to be in a sitting position, cross-legged, on a small ledge inside what appeared to be an artificial cavity. With his protruding eyes and flattened skull, Pedro was in an extremely good state of preservation, so much so that even his fingernails were visible.

A gelatinous substance was spotted on Pedro's head, which made it clear that the body had been preserved using specially made liquids. His nose was flattened, his set of teeth were complete, and his brown, wrinkled skin gave him the appearance of an elderly man.

In subsequent years, scientists conducted more invasive tests using X-rays and other internal scanning techniques to unravel the mystery of the small mummy. Some anthropologists concluded that Pedro could be the mummy of a child suffering from anencephaly, a serious congenital malformation that can be found during the first month of pregnancy, where the unborn child appears totally or partially missing the cranial vault and the brain.

Radiography of the San Pedro Mountains mummy
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Radiography of the San Pedro Mountains mummy

However, the hypothesis was questioned by another group of scientists, who believed that Pedro's remains were the remains of an adult man, aged between 16 and 65. The X-ray examination, in fact, revealed the presence of sharp teeth and food in the stomach that appeared to be raw meat. The scan also suggested that Pedro had suffered a violent death, showing broken bones and damage to his skull.

With modern research techniques, it would certainly be possible to shed light on the mystery represented by Pedro. However, around the 1950s, Pedro seems to mysteriously disappear and his story becomes tinged with mystery.

It is said that the remains were put on display in 1940 at a fair and were then purchased by a man named Ivan Goodman. Upon Goodman's death in 1950, the artifact passed into the hands of a man named Leonard Waller (sometimes referred to as Walder). Since then, nothing more has been heard of it.

His current location is unknown.

With the disappearance of the find, Pedro's mystery is destined to remain veiled. Most scientists seemed to agree that Pedro was the mummy of an adult human male.

However, a study using modern techniques could answer a number of still open questions, such as his provenance, whether he was suffering from a disease or congenital condition, the nature of the gelatinous substance found on his head, and how it was possible to seal his remains within a thick layer of rock.

The answers to these questions, and many others, will remaining unanswered until new analyzes can be carried out on Pedro. Until then, scientists and enthusiasts will only be able to advance hypotheses about who or what he was.

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DrWatson's profile picture

In 2005, John Adolfi of Syracuse, New York, offered a $10,000 reward for the mummy, claiming it would disprove evolution. As far as I know, the mummy has not yet been found.

7 Apr 2024
lostcivilizations's profile picture
Lost Civilizations (@lostcivilizations)

I am always intrigued by the fact that no bones of such small people have ever been found, except this mummified body. It is a pity that the current location of the mummy is unknown and no studies can be carried out. I hope the mummy isn't lost forever.

8 Apr 2024
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