Remember the scene in Hamlet where two gravediggers argue whether or not Ophelia should be buried in a churchyard since her death looks like a suicide? Hamlet comes along and wonders about the skulls that they dig up to make room for a fresh grave. Hamlet then picks up a skull and the gravedigger says that it is the skull of Yorick. Whereupon Hamlet says, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him. Fellow of infinite jest.” The findings in a recent self storage auction in Tennessee reminded me of this scene from this Shakespearean play.
Ronald Mosier purchased the contents of an abandoned self storage locker at East Main Storage in Morristown. He regularly goes to auctions with the hope of finding of value that he could then turn around and sell. This past purchase from East Main Storage contained clothes, a few dishes, and some small odds and ends. Nestled among those odds and ends was a skull – a human skull.
At first, Mosier thought it was an artificial Halloween decoration. But the more he thought about it and the more he looked at it, the more he realized that the skull was the real deal. The skull was missing its jawbone and all but four of its upper teeth. Mosier said that the skull was the weirdest thing he has ever gotten in an auction.
Mosier, 74, knew he couldn’t just throw the skull in the garbage and he worried what to do with it. He felt it should be buried. But, he didn’t want to bury it and then in 10 years have someone dig it up and get in trouble for burying it.
So, he called the Hawkins County Sheriff’s office. But, since the purchase was from a facility in Morristown, the county sheriff contacted Sheriff Ronnie Lawson, at the Morristown Police Department.
Together, they made an interesting discovery. There are three, small round holes around the top of the skull. The holes have ben precisely drilled. Lawson surmised that the skull could have been used somehow for medical purposes or study.
The police are now trying to track down who had rented the storage unit. Hopefully, they will be able to figure out the previous renter and track them down and find out about the skull.
Mosier hopes that it isn’t part of a crime that someone has committed a long time ago. He hopes that it is ‘legal’ because he wants it back. After all, it really could be a treasure for him – if someone was willing to pay for a real human skull.
“Human skull among items found in abandoned storage locker.” Times News; 14 March 2014.