James' letter Number 5

Greetings. My name is Paul White.

The following is an article sent to me by James, the sideshow talker, about the strange fictional true story of "the wild boy of Argentina."
This was part of an article on an Argentina periodical, and was read on Radio Splendid, in Argentina, in May of 1967.

Mr. Negrette was one of investigators on the case of "The Wild Boy of Luis Guillon."

The Wild Boy of Argentina

(AKA The Rubber Boy of Luis Guillon)

For many years there have been reports of a strange creature roaming the interior of Buenos Aires province. Most reports came in from Luis Guillon, district of Esteban Echeveria. A rural area known as Luis Guillon, is made up of several barrios. Among them there is Barrio Lindo, Barrio Las Moreras, Barrio Lavallol, and Barrio Bahia Blanca.

At the border of Barrio Lindo and Barrio Las Moreras there is a big Estancia, and at the farthest point of Barrio Lindo there is an old cemetery. It is around these barrios that the legend of this creature begun. Some said that it was a werewolf, others that it was a ghoul that robbed the cemetery and ate the corpses, and even others said that it was a demon looking for victims to possess.

It was at the beginning of 1960 that sighting of this creature begun to increase. Tales of seeing a terrifying form, some say it crawled on all four, some say it ran hunched over like an ape, some even said that it moved in a rolling motion on the ground, were common. Each sighting mentioned a pack of wild dogs. Some said that the creature was chasing it, following it, or running with it.

These local people were prone to superstitions, and wild imagination, so for sometime they we not taken seriously. But reports continued to come in. People in those barrios were afraid to come out at night. When they heard their own dogs begin to bark at night, these people would go into a panic, many praying out loud, crying, and such.

The situation started to take a critical turn when a young boy was almost stoned to death by these peasants as he was accused of being the lobizon (werewolf) because he was the seventh boy in a family of seven children, all boys. Then, an adolescent girl was brutally attack one evening. Even though her assailant was soon caught, people there claimed that he was just a scapegoat so the authority would say that they have solved the mystery.

For the national media all this was a big joke. They would bring people dressed up in gorilla suits or werewolf masks, during the day, running down the main boulevard, while the reporters yelled, “there's the lobizon of Luis Guillon!” The locals did not laugh.

Finally, the local commandant for Luis Guillon put together a team of officers who were deputized to find this “creature of the night.” They were sent out in teams of two, and there were three teams. Team number one came to Barrio Las Moreras; team number two went to Barrio Lindo by the cemetery; team number three were set up inside the forest area of the estancia where the creature was last sighted.

THE CREATURE

The first night, team one and team three reported hearing a lot of dogs barking and a lot of people running to their houses. Team two reported hearing howls coming from beyond the cemetery area where there is a public garbage dump, but concluded by the sounds that it was likely some pranksters making the noises, as they sounded human, and there are no wolves in this area. Local insisted that it was the creature, a werewolf, making those noises.

The second night team number two (Officer Arenas, and Officer Cabrera were in team number two.) set up a facade near the dumpsite and waited. Around eleven at night they heard noises, they went to investigate. Suddenly, Officer Arenas reports, several wild dogs were startled, and growled at them, Officer Arenas fire one shot from his pistol and the dogs begun to run. Without warning a bizarre and grotesque form jumped up and ran behind the fleeing dogs. Officer Cabrera yelled and ran the opposite direction. Officer Arenas watch in amazement, and kept his form. Being dark he could not identify what he saw, but it was a creature running on two legs, in a strange gait, and appeared to have long hair.

Team number three (Officer Mendoza and Mr. Torres made up team number three.) heard the shot, and begun to move toward the cemetery. In the darkness, they saw the silhouette of a pack of dogs running toward them. Officer Mendoza, at once, took his service revolver and shot the two lead wild dogs. As they fell, the other canines scattered. Suddenly they heard an ear shattering inhuman shriek as they saw a child like creature running and falling on one of the dogs. It tried to make the dog get up. No use. The creature continued whimpering, and shrieking. It obviously was mourning for the fallen wild dog.

As officer Arenas and officer Cabrera approached, in amazement, they all realized that this was a small child, a young boy! He was dirty, and his hair dark and matted as if wool from a black sheep.

Mr. Torres tried to capture the child, but it fought like a wild animal, biting, and growling fearlessly. It's interesting to see that this feral child did not try to use his fingers to scratch or grab, kept his arms flailing on his sides. It finally took four grown man to restrain him.

The next morning he was taken, secretly to avoid the media hype, to an institution for the mentally retarded in Monte Grande. There they tried to “tame' him, rehabilitate him. They tried reward and punishment as well as positive reinforcement. It was very difficult. And his constant growling and shrieking was upsetting the staff and interned patients as well. A local teacher/nurse for the institution, named Miss Rosita, begin to make progress. He took a liking to her, and seemed at ease when she was around. Because of his dark feature it was believed that this child might be of indigenous decent. He was given the name “Negrito.”

NEGRITO'S BEHAVIOR

Miss Rosita made remarkable progress with Negrito. Expert believe that he must have been in the wild since an age when he was able to walk up right, otherwise, he would, as in other cases of feral children, walk on all fours, or crawl on his knees and hands. He appears to be eight or nine years old. Miss Rosita observe that Negrito knew of many items presented to him, even knew their purpose. He knew how to put on a hat, and how to hold a spoon, even though he would not use it. He would pick up shoes and put them next to his feet to show that he knew its purpose.

When he needed to urinate, Negrito just did it, whether he was walking, or standing in place. When a physical movement of nature called, he squatted and did what he must regardless of where he was or who might be around him. However, he did not do it around where his food was placed.

When around dogs, he did not bark as domesticated dogs do, but made strange noises as wild dogs or wolves made in the wild. Some of the canines seemed afraid of him; others amazingly appeared to communicate with him. When “communicating” with dogs, Negrito showed a neutral face. However, when angry he growled and shows his teeth.

A particular trait of Negrito was that he liked children and women, but would growl and try to bite most grown males. Negrito begun to make friends with some of the younger patients and some of the nurses in the asylum, another interesting trait was that when disciplined physically by a known person, he would just lay there in a submissive position. However, if the punisher were unknown to him, Negrito would go into a wild uncontrollable rage against that individual, even causing bodily harm to the punisher.

Speech was still an issue. He made no attempt to communicate with words. He would growl or whine to be understood. This was frustrating Miss Rosita. Another teacher suggested teaching him the language of the deaf, sign language. Negrito learned sign language fast, and was soon communicating his needs via sign language.

Negrito continued to make progress by all account, and suddenly, one day he was gone. All the authority personal of the institution claimed that they did not know what happened to him. Some say that while Negrito received more freedom of movement within the asylum, he took the opportunity to run away.

Miss Rosita was heart broken; she insisted she did not know why he would run away. He was making such great progress and seemed happy in his new “civilized” life. Because of public outcry, the Monte Grande commandant recruited people to investigate and search for Negrito.

THE SEARCH FOR NEGRITO

Soon after Negrito was captured in Luis Guillon, circus around the country begun displaying “wild children.” Some even claimed that they had the “real” wild boy from Luis Guillon. That is the reason why circuses where targeted to search for Negrito.

Five circuses were located that carry in their show a wild child or children. Four of those cases, sadly, were retarded children being exploited by making them act in a wild way. In three cases, the “wild children” were removed and sent to local asylums. In the forth case it was learned that the child in question was of normal understanding. His father had taught him how to act “wild” and it appeared not to be abused.

More reports kept coming in of wild children from around the country and even nearby countries, but they proved fruitless.

Almost a year later we received a telegraph from a scout for Circo Argentina in Ipacarai, Paraguay. The scout was Mr. Gallo. Mr. Gallo reported that a circus in Asuncion advertised a “rubber boy.” The rubber boy was reported to be a child with dark features that communicated with his hands when away from the public. This child was, for the spectacle, kept in a cage where he growled at the public, then contorted his body while being given commands by a woman named Isabel, who informed the audience that she was working on rehabilitating this unfortunate child who was found running wild in the jungles of the Amazon region. This child was presented as part of the “phenomenon” or freakshow of the circus.

Negrito was appearing along side some strange individuals, including an apple head boy, a living werewolf, a midget, an a fakir.
The living werewolf was an unique person named Pablo Blanco. He was cover facially with hair looking like a cinema wolf man. Negrito seem to trust him, and am told they became good friends.

An investigator named Enrique Nazer was sent to Paraguay to find and identify this while child. He took pictures, and written material to make an acknowledgement of Negrito. With help from the Asuncion authority the visited Circo Paniagua. The circus owner, Mr. Paniagua, co-operated with the constable and Mr. Nazer; when introduced to them, the child growled and tried to hide. Mr. Blanco assured him that he was safe. He was not to be hurt. Mr. Nazer called out, “Negrito!” The child stopped, almost confused, he gave a look to Mr. Nazer, and ran to hide by behing Mr. Blanco by Isabel's side.

This was Negrito! Mr. Paniagua showed documents that showed that an administrator of the Monte Grande Institute gave Negrito into his care; the document showed that Negrito was given a “chance” to raise money for his own rehabilitation. Additionally, Mr. Paniagua had paper work from the authority in Buenos Aires where arrangement was being made to bring Negrito back to Argentina, at the end of the season. The Buenos Aires authority felt that they might have found Negrito's family.

Mr. Nazer was invited to stay for a few days to observe Negrito's new life. Negrito seemed content where he was. He enjoyed the reaction of the audience and played up his “wild side” as an actor would show off in front of his public. Before each show, Negrito, with Isabel's help would wet his body and roll on dirty, then use a burnt wine cork to darken his face, making look dirtier.

NEGRITO FINDS A FAMILY

Within the month, Negrito along with Isabel returned to Argentina. Negrito was reunited with Miss Rosita. He was please to see her, but showed little emotion, other then to sign “happy to see you, me,” to Miss Rosita. Negrito stayed at Asylum for Retarded and Abandoned Children in Lanus, Buenos Aires. Isabel stayed with him, and Miss Rosita made frequent visits to Negrito, as the authorities were investigating the Monte Grande institution for the retarded and why was Negrito was signed off secretly to a circus.

During the time that Negrito was captured and place at the Monte Grande institution, several couples came forward to claim him. Many of them had sad stories of loosing a child. But in all cases they were dismissed as opportunists trying to get attention or recognition, as not had any way to back up their claim.

Only one couple, from Barrio Las Moreras had a story and recorded document of having lost a child several years ago. The local police had a report showing the disappearance of a child at the age of three. According to the report, their child disappeared, with the family dog one afternoon. The family and neighborhood looked for months, with help from the police and other volunteers. Finally, the police reported that the child was kidnapped. Having no other resources or clues the police gave up. Soon so did the volunteers.

Now it is speculated that Negrito might kidnapped, or left with his dog, and got lost in the estancia, or the forest area past Barrio Lindo. How did he survived all these years? What happened to the family dog? How long have he been in the Luis Guillon area? Why didn't he seek human contact since he was in a populated area? These questions may never be answered.

On March of 1962 Negrito was reunited with his real family. As this was done in seclusion we do not have any details of the encounter.
Isabel went back to Circo Paniagua. Miss Rosita became a teacher at Esteban Echeveria Primary School in Luis Guillon.
Since then, Negrito, with his family, toured with several circuses, often with Isabel and Mr. Blanco.
At one circus he was introduced as a "boy raised by wolves." Outside of Argentina he was known as "The Wild Boy of Argentina." In Argentina he was The "Rubber Boy of Luis Guillon" or "The Wild Boy of Luis Guillon."
On the show a talker would tell the story about Negrito, while he growled, then contorted his body in strange ways, thus the title of "the rubber boy."

The last I heard about Negrito, he and his family were relocating to North America where it was believe he could receive further therapy to complete his rehabilitation and relearn to speak.

That is all I can tell about Negrito from the interviews I made in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as I tried to learn more about the Wild Boy of Argentina.

With respect,

Mr. Marcelo Negrette

The Wild Boy, now a wild man, in 2007.