WOLLONGONG, Australia - Recent scientific discoveries suggest that the Hobbit tribe, a one-metre-tall race of childlike people who lived on the Indonesian island of Flores between 13,000 and 18,000 years ago, were preyed upon and driven to extinction by the Michael Jackson tribe. The latter tribe was identified as a distinct form of hominid after its skeletal remains were found intertwined with two of the six Hobbit skeletons discovered in October 2003 in a cave called Lian Bua.
"At first we thought the Lian Bua remains were homogenous in the scientific sense," wrote Margaret Leakey-Teatsworth in the April issue of Popular Archeology. A carbon-dating expert and fellow at the University of Wollongong in Australia, Leakey-Teatsworth explained, "Upon closer inspection of a photo taken shortly after the discovery of the Lian Bua skeletons, we noticed that the humeri (upper arm bones) of one of the skeletons were draped over the clavicles (collar bones) of two of the other skeletons."
According to Leaky-Teatsworth, the length of the "friendly" humeri and the position of the femurs (thighbones) of that skeleton indicate that it belonged to a whole other kind of tribe altogether, a tribe that approached modern-day humans in size if not in maturity. Leakey-Teatsworth's team named that tribe the Michael Jackson tribe after discovering drawings on the walls of the Lian Bua cave, whose occupants were apparently killed by a surge of volcanic lava.
In those cave drawings a relatively tall creature, whose face has been lightened somehow and whose nose appears to be much smaller than that of other tribesmen in the area, seems to be offering some kind of beverage to a member of the smaller Hobbit tribe.
In other drawings uncovered at Lin Bua, which is Indonesian for "a never, never place," a Michael Jackson tribesman appears to be beckoning to a Hobbit to join him on a garishly decorated sleeping stone.
Although Leakey-Teatsworth and other researchers theorize that the Hobbit tribe became extinct because its population dwindled after male members of the tribe lost interest in traditional mating rituals, she said that such theories were merely hypothetical at this point.
"We won't be able to render a more definitive verdict until after the evidence has been put on trial," she said.
She also applied the same caveat to the theory that the Michael Jackson tribe itself became extinct because of its reckless spending habits and its failure to reproduce, owing to it obsession with the Hobbit tribe.
In related news, Leaky-Teatsworth has ruled out the possibility that a Robert Blake tribe co-existed with the Michael Jackson and Hobbit tribes. "Those rumors surface every so often," she said, "but no one really has any interest in pursuing them."