In a shop in the Pacific Northwest for over 65 years has rested Sylvester, best known as the cowboy mummy, and researchers are trying to figure out just how he died.
Legend is that a couple of hombres picked up poor Sylvester’s dehydrated body as they rode across Arizona’s Gila Bend Desert in 1895 and from then on he traveled quietly with a series of side shows exhibited as the cowboy mummy– complete with bullet hole in his chest. The tall tale tied to the desperado was that he was a card playing kinda fella who had the misfortune of getting caught cheating and was shot in the stomach for his efforts. Hopping on his horse and feeling into the desert he was found there, sans horse, by the passers by years later.
Since the 1950s he has been on display at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in Seattle where he has drawn a fair bit of local notoriety.
The thing is, he may not have a bullet hole in his gut at all. While researchers in 2005 found he has pockmarks on his face from healed shotgun pellets and a metal fragment in under his collarbone, the neatly drilled hole on which his demise has been pinned, may be literally a neatly drilled hole.