P.G. Museum's Mysterious Fetus Might Be Ricketts' Specimen
August 6, 2011
As the 31st annual Steinbeck Festival celebrates the literary legacy of John Steinbeck, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is exploring the question of whether a preserved human fetus found in the museum's basement might be a specimen of legendary Steinbeck pal Edward "Doc" Ricketts.
Museum Collection Curator Paul VandeCarr is trying to track down the fetus' origins, which are not documented in the museum archives, according to City Manager Tom Frutchey's weekly report.
"Part of this investigation includes Paul collecting hand writing samples from Doc Ricketts and looking for any consistency between these samples and the writing on the fetus specimen jar," the report states. "Paul has found one distinct character to match with the specimen jar label. As a result, Paul is looking into sending the writing samples to a hand writing analyst to determine to what extent the label writing matches the Doc Ricketts writing samples."
Museum officials will release the results when they are available, Frutchey writes.