Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/18
Monstrum Humanum Rarissimum
This article was written by Hartwig Hausdorf
Preserved in formaldehyde, pressed into a 16-inch-high glass, and sharing almost nothing with other examples in the collection, a horrible creature has spent the last 265 years in a little museum in Waldenburg, a small city in the German region of Saxonia. The so-called “Chicken-Man” is Germany’s greatest mystery. Is it just an extraordinary miscarriage? Or do we have surprising evidence for a case of targeted genetic manipulation by extraterrestrials, abandoned when the results did not meet their expectations?
In other words: Could this exhibit be a hybrid between man and an extraterrestrial life form?
A Monstrous Birth
In the year 1735, 28-year-old housewife Johanna Sophia Schmied of Taucha, a village near Leipzig, became pregnant for the fourth time. Although she had delivered three healthy sons before, this time she gave birth to a terrifying "monster".
Dr. Gottlieb Friderici of Leipzig, who witnessed the entire event, thoughtfully preserved the creature in formaldehyde to give future colleagues the possibility of solving the uncanny mystery of the strange being. After the initial autopsy, Friderici wrote a 32-page report in Latin, which contained the medical history of the mother and meticulously reported the results of his examinations.
At the time of birth, Johanna Sophia Schmied had been married to a "hunchback". She was "of short and stocky stature and had a choleric-melancholic temper". Without a question, this cannot be the explanation for bringing forth such a monster, especially if we take a look at her older, completely healthy children.
Even the course of her fourth pregnancy was pretty unusual: According to Dr. Friderici, the fetus did not grant her belly “its due height as seen with others.” The birth itself took more than seven hours.
Dr. Friderici immediately hired a draftsman at his own expense to make drawings for upcoming generations. After a brief external observation, the doctor chose to “neither be hesitant nor to wait any longer” and dedicated himself in his description specifically to the autopsy of the being, namely the “inner anatomy of the unhappy monster.”
During this autopsy, the doctor observed anomalies from the “normal” human anatomy. The oversized, monstrous head did not present itself to be hydrocephalic, as the tumor-like outgrowth was completely filled with brain matter. Other anomalies were found in the lungs and the heart. The latter did not feature a heart sac (pericardium), but was embedded inside a “peculiarly thin membrane.”
The inner organs of the monstrous creature were not the only anomalies. Its bone structure deviated in many characteristics from a normal human being. Neither the lower arms (normally consisting of the ulna and the radius) nor the lower legs (in humans, the fibula and the tibia) consisted of two bones, likewise the patella (caps) of the knees were absent.
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