Y’all ever hear about the San Pedro Mountain Mummy? Actually, Pedro Mountain Mummy is a bit more accurate as this took place in Wyoming not New Mexico, but we are potentially talking about a mummified elf here, so if “accuracy” is your thing, you might wanna skip to the next column. It’s Vegan Horoscopes, I think.
So round about October 1932 a pair of prospector-types named Cecil Mayne and Frank Carr were out rootin’, tootin’ and what have you, when they dynamited a passageway into what they described as “a small room.” It was only about 4 feet wide and 16 feet deep, but they decided to crawl in (nope) and that was where they found the mummy. The figure was only about 7 inches tall and was seated snugly in a crosslegged position on a small shelf at the back of the cave. It was humanoid, with bulging features and a strange jelly-like substance covering the top of its flattened head, almost like it had been caved in. Even stranger, it seemed to have fully developed, overly long canine teeth. Fangs you might say. Carr and Mayne were obviously awestruck. What had they just discovered? And more importantly, what were they going to do with it?
Naturally, the answer was SHOWBIZ. This being 1932, finding a sideshow exhibit was almost as valuable as the gold they had been looking for in the first place. They popped ol’ “Pedro” under glass and hustled him back to Casper, Wyoming where they could charge two-bits a gander! — claiming he was proof of a race of tiny, divine beings who existed alongside humanity long ago. The men were naturally ridiculed as hucksters and charlatans, but they made a pretty penny and, more importantly, the mummy found its way into the hands of some actual scientists! As far as we know, the Pedro Mountain Mummy has been X-rayed twice and both confirmed a human skeleton inside the mummy, and also that it was most likely a human infant who was born with a condition known as anencephaly, where a huge portion of the skull and scalp never develop. So mystery solved, right? Well, sort of.
See, we would love to use modern medical technology and diagnoses to confirm what these X-rays indicate but the mummy is kind of … missing. Somewhere along its squirrely-whirly journey from sideshow, to pharmacy, to oddities museum, someone misplaced Pedro. At least I hope to God that’s what happened. He does sort of look like challah bread. Yikes. Anyway, there is a $10,000 reward for the Pedro Mountain Mummy, so if you spot him at a rummage sale or in an old Tupperware at the back of your Gam-gam’s fridge, be sure to get that sucker on eBay ASAP.
Then … there’s the Nimerigar. See, the Shoshone of the Rocky Mountains have been telling stories about guys like Pedro for centuries: a vicious group of miniature humanoids haunting the woods and mountains. Said to be equipped with poison-tipped arrows, they would reign death upon anyone who stumbled into their territory, which included the Wind River and (you guessed it) the Pedro Mountain ranges of Wyoming. The Shoshone called them the Nimerigar, or “people eaters,” due to their habit of killing and eating their own kind when they grew too old or weak to contribute to the warband. How did they do it, you ask? Well, that part of the legend is very clear. They bashed their heads in with a rock. Just like somebody did to poor Pedro.
I don’t know what the Pedro Mountain Mummy was, but it does seem sad to have lost such an interesting cross-section of both science and fiction. So many questions could be answered: How old was it? What was with those teeth? Was that jelly … brains? Just imagine being able to hold in your hands the potential remains of a mythical being! We could perform all the tests we wanted, find out once and for all what Pedro really is, and then, and only then … get him back out on the road and start making some serious cash. Pedro Unwrapped. Las Vegas. 2021.