The Wyoming Mummy!


The Wyoming Mummy!

In June 1934, two gold hunters in Wyoming’s San Pedro Mountains were digging and blasting for gold when they found a small cave deep inside the rock. After the dust had settled, the prospectors found the perfectly preserved but long-forgotten bones of a small person.


In search of the origin

This tiny person’s origins were a mystery. Native American tribes in the area had a reputation for telling tales of fabled “little people,” “small spirits,” or the Nimeriga. The little people in some of these tales possessed magical or therapeutic abilities. But, in some legends, they were a hostile tribe that shot poisoned arrows at the Native Americans.


Fabricated or not?

The discovery of the mummified bones attracted a lot of attention to the area, raised many concerns, and sparked debate. Many people doubted the prospectors’ account, thinking the remains were fake and the tale was fabricated. Still, scientists went to the area to discover the truth about the tiny creature called “Pedro.” Clearly, these were not ordinary bones because they were about 14 inches tall when standing and about six and a half inches tall when sitting.

Pedro was subjected to intensive testing by the scientists. They first looked over the visible physical proof. Pedro was discovered sitting cross-legged on a narrow ledge in what looked to be an artificial cave. Pedro was incredibly well preserved; his fingernails were evident, and he had protruding eyes and a flattened cranium. Pedro’s head was covered in something like gelatin, and it was clear that liquids were being used to keep the body alive. A complete set of teeth, a flattened nose, and aged, wrinkled skin gave him the look of an older man.


Cause of death

In the years that followed Pedro’s discovery, researchers used more invasive techniques like x-rays to try to solve the puzzle. Several anthropologists thought at first that the bones belonged to a baby who either died soon after being born or was born too soon. However, there is controversy in this regard because the second group of scientists thinks the bones are those of an adult, possibly between the ages of 16 and 65. In addition, X-rays allegedly showed the presence of stuff in the stomach that seemed like raw flesh and had pointed teeth. Finally, the fact that Pedro’s bones were broken, his spine was hurt, and his head was hurt on the x-rays showed that he had died violently.


Controversy remains about Pedro.

Significant rumors that the mummified remains were fake circulated after their discovery. Some thought the remains were those of a dead newborn discovered at a hospital. Or the prospectors had made the remains using rudimentary taxidermy because of the sticky substance on Pedro’s head. Others, on the other hand, felt that the remains were proof of either an extraterrestrial being or a race resembling the Leprechauns referenced in local indigenous folklore. In addition, many found it hard to believe that a person of such diminutive stature could be an adult. Even if further information about Pedro’s ancestry could be revealed by current testing, this is not possible because the location of the bones has been a mystery for some time. The relics allegedly went on exhibit at sideshows in the 1940s before being bought by an individual by the name of Ivan Goodman. Goodman’s remains were given to Leonard Waller after his death in 1950. (sometimes reported as Walder). Since then, this is the first time anyone has seen the remains.


Final Words about Wyoming Mummy

The questions surrounding Pedro remain because the remains have never been located. Most researchers concur that Pedro’s remains belonged to an adult male. Modern testing, however, may have provided answers to many more queries, like where he was from, whether he had any ailments or congenital disabilities, what the gelatinous substance was, and how his remains ended up being buried behind a substantial amount of rock. Unfortunately, if the remains cannot be found and are not subjected to additional examination, the answers to these questions and many others will likely remain unsolved.

As a result, scientists and enthusiasts can only make conjectures regarding who or what he was at that time.


Bob Daid Holding Wyoming Mummy in1950
Bob David, in roughly 1950, is holding the Pedro Mountain mummy. Western History Center at Casper College. Photo credit: Wyohistory



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