Marina Chapman is a woman who claims to have spent her childhood living with monkeys after being abducted by a criminal group at the age of five and left in the Colombian jungle. Her story has generated controversy, with some people asserting that it is true and others arguing that it is a fabrication or exaggeration.
The Strange Story Of The Feral Child Marina Chapman
Whether fact or fiction, the story of Marina Chapman is certainly intriguing. According to Marina, when she was 5 years old, she was walking near her home when she noticed two adults following her. "I felt a hand cover my mouth - it was a black hand in a white handkerchief. Then I realized there were two people taking me away. I could hear children crying in the background," Marina said.
The Jungle Life Of Marina
After that, Marina's next memory is of the kidnappers driving their car deep into the Colombian rainforest and then leaving her there. For days, she did not encounter any other humans and nobody came to rescue her. Struggling with hunger, she began to survive in the wild.
Eventually, Marina came across a large family of small monkeys. She saw them as a glimmer of hope in her dire situation, even though they were not human, they were still close to human-like and it was a "something is better than nothing" situation for Marina.
At first, the monkeys did not accept her and paid her little attention. But Marina persevered, learning their ways and habits such as eating berries and roots, stealing dropped bananas, sleeping in holes in trees, and even walking on all fours. Eventually, the monkeys began to accept her as one of their own. She spent several years living with these Capuchin monkeys and lost her ability to speak the human language.
According to Marina, she once became seriously ill from food poisoning after eating tamarind. She was writhing in pain when an elderly monkey, whom she considered her grandpa, led her to a muddy pool of water to drink. After drinking the water, she vomited and began to recover
Climbing trees, carrying bunches of bananas, sitting on branches, and throwing bananas at each other - Marina's life with the capuchin monkeys was filled with fun, but it could not replace the human companionship she craved.
When Marina The Feral Child Returned To Human Society
One day, she came across a group of hunters in the jungle. The sound of their guns and machetes frightened her, but she seized the opportunity to be rescued, as she deeply longed for human companionship. She approached the hunters, naked and on all fours, grunting and pleading for them to rescue her. They eventually did, and this marked the beginning of an incredible change in her life.
They procured her and brought her to a brothel where she was given the moniker "Gloria" and forced to perform menial tasks and endure regular physical abuse. However, she managed to escape and began residing on the streets of Cúcuta alongside other vagrant children, where she was re-christened "Pony Malta" by her new companions. Utilizing the techniques she had learned from the monkeys, Marina began stealing food and other necessities. She would then retreat to the treetops, hiding among the branches to evade capture.
Later on, Marina encountered a family who agreed to take her in and renamed her "Rosalba." Unfortunately, this family turned out to be a group of notorious criminals who enslaved her. She managed to flee once more, with the aid of a neighbor, a woman named Maruja who had nine children of her own. Eventually, Maruja sent Marina to live with one of her children in Bogotá. Before her departure, Maruja gifted Marina a plane ticket, as well as new clothing and footwear.
Marina recounts that the dress was the most stunning item she had ever laid eyes on. At the age of 14, she was adopted by Maria, Maruja's daughter who told her that as she was now free, she should choose her own name. She chose to go by "Luz Marina" - inspired by a Colombian beauty queen.
The Married Life Of Marina Chapman
Her adoptive family had found success in the textile industry and in 1977, they sent their children to Bradford, a prominent hub of the wool industry. Marina accompanied them as their nanny. It was there, at church, where she met John Chapman. After facing so much brutality, mistreatment, and suffering, Marina finally found love. They wed after six months in 1979 and began the most significant chapter of their lives together.
Marina and John settled down in the tranquil town of Wilsden. They had their first daughter, Joanna, in 1980 and their second, Vanessa, three years later.
It took Marina some time to fully grasp the language and customs of society. Her determination and willpower helped her overcome the traumatic experiences of her past. Later, she worked as a cook at the National Media Museum before deciding to work with children, in part as a way to make up for the childhood she had lost.
The Book On Marina's Extraordinary Life Story
In the town of Allerton where the Chapmans now reside, her neighbors are unaware of her past except that she grew up in rural Colombia. It was her daughter Vanessa James, 28, a composer, who convinced her mother to turn her story into a book, "The Girl With No Name," which was first published in 2012.
However, in Bradford, Marina is better known for her culinary skills, including once cooking a quiche for the Duke of Kent, who reportedly declared it the best he had ever tasted. She has recently started her own business called Marina Latina Food.
Given her background of having to forage in the jungle with monkeys just to survive, it is not surprising that food holds a special passion for her.