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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Friday, December 18, 2009

DALE DRINNON: Casper Wyoming "Little Person" Mummy

A while back Karl Shuker posted a blog entry that repeated the story about a tiny human mummy uncovered at Casper, Wyoming that was supposed to have been an adult when it died because it had a full set of adult teeth. That is the standard story on the books but it is false.

I wrote to Karl that the mummy had been the subject of an article in Persuit of which he was unaware. And it was not the mummy of an adult but a deformed foetus that very likely had never drawn breath. I mentioned that I had seen the X-rays of it as well. And so here is the illustration.

The first giveaway is that the poor creature had no brains to speak of; mostly an empty braincase (the X-ray seems to show packed dirt in that area.) And it did not have adult teeth, it had baby teeth: most of what shows in its mouth are the unemerged tooth buds. Basically all it is is a very grisly relic, but certainly not evidence of a whole race of such things running around alive at one time.

1 comment:

Dr Karl Shuker said...

I have already seen the x-ray photograph. The reason why there is little or no brain tissue is that the skull has been damaged and the brain tissue removed, either as a result of or following the injury, and the supposed juvenile tooth buds are actually adult tooth sockets from which the teeth have been forcibly extracted. Basically, as I have already discussed with Dale Drinnon on previous occasions), it appears that the mummy was once a dwarf adult (whether human or some pygmy humanoid race is undetermined) that was deliberately killed by a severe blow to the skull, and at some time (either as torture while living following capture, or more probably after death for some religious ritual?) had had its teeth pulled out.

While in the mood for commenting on Dale's varied crypto-statements of late: I feel obliged to say that his identification not so long ago on the CFZ bloggo of the mythical Welsh water-leaper as a freshwater stingray is unlikely in the extreme. As the UK (which includes Wales) is one of the angling capitals of the world, there is no possibility whatsoever that anything as distinctive as a freshwater stingray would have remained undetected by science in any Welsh river or other body of freshwater. If scientists themselves had not brought it to scientific attention, local and visiting fishermen would definitely have done so long ago. The water-leaper is nothing more than an exotic beast of local legend, about as cryptozoological as the Isle of Skye's very own version of the unicorn or Cumbria's flying hedgehog.

Previous experience with Dale suggests that this could well be the beginning - if I let it be - of a very protracted, increasingly heated series of exchanges, so forgive me if I choose not to pursue these points further. I have offered my opinions, and until - if ever - the Wyoming mini-mummy and/or a Welsh water-leaper are obtained, that is all that can be offered, which are neither right nor wrong, merely opinions, and is why I prefer not to enter into long exchanges. Facts are what matter, and opinions, however forcibly expressed, are not facts, unless supported by physical evidence, which is sadly lacking in both of these cases.