Pedro Mountain Mummy

Astonishing Legends’ listeners are no strangers to the Egyptomania that swept America thanks to our Kincaid’s Cave episode. Mummies, specifically, were at the top of many American’s minds during the first half of the 20th century. So, you can imagine the interest that arose in 1934 when prospectors Cecil Mayne and Frank Carr discovered a sealed cave in the San Pedro Mountains containing a very strange mummy. 

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Mayne and Carr were not originally prospecting for mummies when they came across what would become known as the Pedro Mountain Mummy. Instead, they were searching for gold near the Pathfinder Reservoir. They found what they believed would be a good place to perhaps find a vein of gold and set up some dynamite to open up the earth. When the dust settled, they found a cave which lead to a rock ledge and a sealed cave. While there were not any gold veins, they did discover the sealed cave which only held a mummy.

But this mummy was not like the Egyptian mummies whose pictures had been widely circulated. Instead, the Pedro Mountain Mummy was incredibly small, about 6.5 inches, sitting cross-legged. Its skin had long been brown and wrinkled and its features showed a flat nose, heavy lidded eyes, a wide mouth and thin lips. With a simple initial look, it looked like a wizened old man. 

Upon closer inspection, it had fingernails and there was a jelly-like substance on the top of its head. It also had teeth, although they appeared to be a full set of canines. 

The prospectors, eager to capitalize on anything after failing to find gold, instantly shared these findings. Believed to be a hoax, anthropologists and scientists were soon shocked to find that, in x-ray, it appeared to be an actual human skeleton. What’s more is that further analysis showed that the being had been killed quite violently - it’s skull had been smashed by a heavy object, its spine was damaged, and it had a broken collarbone. 

After initial testing, it was believed to be a fully grown adult male who was about 65 at the time of his death. 

The mummy was sold and it made its rounds throughout the years. It was in sideshows, displayed in a pharmacy to bring in customers, and even used in car commercials. Unfortunately, it was stolen in the 1950s.

Years later, after purportedly hearing about the strange mummy from his students, University of Wyoming physical anthropologist George Gill gave the images a close look. Instead of an old pygmy man, Dr. Gill believed that the mummy was an infant suffering from anencephaly, which would explain the apparent head trauma, slightly strange features, and size.

In 2005, John Adolfi of Syracuse, New York, offered a $10,000 for the mummy’s safe return. However, no one has claimed the reward and the mummy’s location remains a mystery.

Thank you to Addey L for providing this topic for #Blogstonishing 2019!

Here are multiple known photos and x-ray taken of the Mummy found in the San Pedro Mountain Range, WY. It is licensed under the Public Domain!