In the name of poking holes in the theory of evolution, a Syracuse, N.Y., man says he will pay $10,000 for one of the most mysterious artifacts ever dug up in Wyoming - the Pedro Mountain Mummy.
John Adolfi says he wants the Pedro Mountain Mummy, sometimes referred to as Pedro, in order to conduct DNA tests, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging on the little fellow.
Conducting such tests, however, is no easy matter, as the mummy vanished in 1950.
Although the mummy has not been seen in public for 55 years, several photos and many descriptions of the anomalistic artifact remain.
According to these descriptions and photos, it is the size and proportions that make the mummy freakish and pique Adolfi's interest in it.
In the seated position in which Pedro is frozen, he stands only 7 inches tall. If he were to stand up, it was estimated Pedro would only stand 17 inches. And seated or standing, he only weighs three-quarters of a pound.
Adding to the Pedro Mountain Mummy enigma is the fact that he is proportioned much more like an adult than an infant.
According to Adolfi's hypothesis, conducting modern scientific tests on the mummy will reveal that Pedro was an adult at the time of his death. This would mean he was one of the "little people" - a mythical tribe of savage pygmies who haunted Wyoming's mountains, according to Arapaho and Shoshone tales.
These little people, Adolfi postulates, were a species of hominid primates which current evolutionary paradigms fail to take into account.
Adolfi admits that proof of a previously unknown prehistoric relative of man would not disprove evolution, as the recently discovered remains of Homo floresiensis, the "Hobbits" found in Indonesia, did not disprove it.
But, Adolfi says, proof of a new hominid species would poke holes in the paradigm evolutionists have created regarding human origins.
Pedro is also a fun artifact, and offering a reward for it is a great way for Adolfi's Web site (www.biblelandstudios.com) to kick off a worldwide treasure hunt in which rewards will be offered for all kinds of artifacts that go against the accepted scientific and historic paradigms.
In future months rewards will be offered for pieces or photos of Noah's Ark and for evidence of giant humans who Adolfi says once roamed Earth, he said.
The tale of Pedro
The Pedro Mountain Mummy was first discovered by Cecil Mayne in 1932.
Mayne was prospecting for gold near Pathfinder Reservoir when an explosion he detonated revealed a small cave, according to a Oct. 21, 1932, article in the Casper Tribune-Herald. Inside the cave Mayne found the mummified remains of what looked like a tiny human.
Debate about the mummy's nature started soon after it was found. Some said it was a hoax. Others said it was the mummified remains of a baby. And others said it was one of the little people spoken about in Indian legends, according to Casper Tribune-Herald stories from 1932.
The mummy somehow made its way to Meeteetse, where it was displayed at Jones Drug Store for some years.
In the mid-1940s a Casper used car salesman named Ivan Goodman spied Pedro in the Meeteetse store and bought it for several thousands of dollars.
Soon Goodman was using Pedro to attract people to his lot. The mummy also served as a sort of mascot for Goodman's auto dealership, and its image was placed in advertisements, according to a Casper Shopper story from March 9, 1977.
While in Goodman's hands, the mummy attracted the attention of several Eastern scientists. And in 1950 these scientists conducted the most extensive scientific study of the mummy ever.
X-rays revealed Pedro to have adult-like vertebrae and teeth, according to a Casper Tribune-Herald story from March 5, 1950.
Based on these findings, it was apparently concluded the mummy was an adult.
"After an exhaustive study by the scientists it was agreed that it was the only specimen known of a human race of that type which perhaps dated back a million years," Goodman was quoted as saying in the March 5, 1950, edition of the Casper Tribune-Herald.
Perhaps the study turned out to be a bit too exhaustive for Goodman, as he died later in 1950.
When Goodman died the mummy passed into the hands of New Yorker Leonard Wadler, according to a July 7, 1979, Casper Star-Tribune article.
Soon after, Wadler and his mummy vanished.
According to Adolfi, Wadler moved to Florida and died in the Sunshine State in the 1980s.
If the Pedro Mountain Mummy is to be found, Adolfi said, it will probably be discovered in Florida.
Although Adolfi hopes Pedro will turn out to be a separate species of hominid, recent studies suggest the artifact, although odd, doesn't relegate the currently accepted account of human origins to the trash bin.
According to studies done by George Gill, an anthropology professor at the University of Wyoming, X-rays taken in the 1950s of Pedro reveal him to be an infant who suffered from anencephaly, a birth defect in which only the brain stem develops.
Further testing on a female pygmy mummy brought to Gill revealed it also was an anencephalic infant.
Although Adolfi is only offering the $10,000 reward for the mummy unearthed in 1932, he is interested in buying other pygmy mummies for lesser amounts, he said.
On the Net
If you have any other information about the history of the Pedro Mountain Mummy, please contact Brendan Burke at (307) 266-0589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Brendan Burke can be reached at (307) 266-0589 or Brendan.Burke@casperstartribune.net.