Women

04.13.13

Brit Woman: I Was Raised By Monkeys

In new memoir, Marina Chapman claims to have lived with primates for five years as a child.

Is the 'Girl with No Name' telling the truth? In a quirky story in The Guardian, Marina Chapman claims she was raised by monkeys for five years in the Colombian jungle after being kidnapped and dumped in the wilderness as a young child. She says learned the primates' screeched warning codes and ate the fruit they dropped. By the time she came across other humans, her hair had grown down to her knees and, she says, she spoke in grunts.

According to The Guardian, Chapman--who has written a book about her supposed life story--seems to retain remnants of her life in the jungle. Decades later, her arms are still strong and sinewy from climbing trees all day. Her gait is more of a "dance-walk." Apparently, she has certainly led an eventful life, even without the monkeys: she says that the humans who rescued her from the jungle tried to sell her to a brothel. She allegedly escaped, became a street kid, got enslaved as a domestic servent, then finally fell in love, was rescued, and moved to Yorkshire. As the newspaper points out:

Marina's account asks a lot of her readers, and leads us to examine the nature of memory. If she cannot remember her pre-jungle childhood, how can we trust what happened afterwards? If she has been unable to find the jungle where she lived, can we be sure it existed? Might she be suffering from false memory syndrome? Perhaps she unconsciously invented the story of the monkeys as a means of coping with a traumatic childhood? Or maybe she is simply telling the truth.