Fact Check: Tiny Mummified Remains From Atacama Desert Are NOT Alien Mystery -- She Was A Human Baby Girl

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Tiny Mummified Remains From Atacama Desert Are NOT Alien Mystery -- She Was A Human Baby Girl Human Baby

Are mysterious remains discovered in the Atacama Desert in Chile proof of a tiny alien life form? No, that's not true: In 2003, a 6-inch-long mummified body was found in La Noria, an abandoned mining town in the Atacama Desert. Scientists from several fields of study have examined photos, X-rays, and DNA samples from the remains and they all conclude there is no question the remains are human.

The video in this post (archived here) has the watermark of Dr. Steven Greer's website, siriusdisclosure.com. The video was published on Facebook by "Power of the mind" on June 9, 2020 under the title "They can't Hide it Anymore'' (unseen footage)." It was captioned:

A huminoid skeleton with only 10 ribs six inches in height called the Atacama humanoid which has been seen by local natives multiple times in the northern part of chile the locals call them the gentiles.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Mar 11 19:27:36 2021 UTC)

UFO enthusiasts, notably Dr. Steven Greer who wrote the 2013 documentary "Sirius," have continued to promote alternative explanations and questions about these remains and some of the physical anomalies present. There was renewed interest in the "Atacama Humanoid" in 2013 leading up to the release of Greer's documentary.

The video's subject matter is quite broad, starting with the tiny remains, then moving to a cover-up conspiracy, spacecraft power, the global energy market, the "quantum flux field" and the end of economic hegemony. This fact check is focused only on the remains found in the Atacama Desert. The claims Greer makes develop a false mystery around the mummified remains, beginning with the claim that he does not know what it is, then stating:

Every scientist that looks at it says, 'Oh my God, it looks like an alien!'

As the music builds, he states:

I just got a report from Chile last night that multiple of these small creatures have been seen live and living in these foothills of the Andes and the Atacama region.
This is an area that the native people have reported seeing small people, which they called the gentiles, which is an interesting term they use for them for centuries and perhaps millennia.

Greer does not explain the circumstances of how and where these tiny mummified remains were found in the desert. Nor does he explain that the question, "What exactly is this creature?" has been settled for years. These are the remains of a human female baby who may have been stillborn or born premature.

Garry Nolan, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, played an important role in Greer's documentary and has continued working on the analysis of DNA from the remains. On March 22, 2018, Stanford Medicine News Center published an announcement about the findings of Sanchita Bhattacharya et. al. which Nolan co-authored, published in the peer-reviewed journal Genome Research:

A bizarre human skeleton, once rumored to have extraterrestrial origins, has gotten a rather comprehensive genomic work-up, the results of which are now in, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine report.

The findings stamp out any remaining questions about the specimen's home planet -- it's without a doubt human -- but more than that, the analysis answers questions about remains that have long been a genetic enigma.

An October 19, 2003, report published just weeks after the discovery in the Chilean news website estrellaiquique.cl, tells a story that does not seem otherworldly. The remains were found by a treasure hunter, Oscar Muñoz, with a shovel and pick, near the old church in the abandoned desert town of La Noria. The tiny remains were wrapped in a cloth that was tied with a purple ribbon. The discovery was photographed by Alejandro Dávalos who then shared the photos, free of charge, with UFO enthusiasts.

Below is an interview with Muñoz that was recorded shortly after the discovery:

Muñoz sold the remains for 30,000 pesos, (about $42) to a pub owner who was a regular customer from Iquique, Chile. From there, the details, told by Ramon Navio-Osorio himself, of how the remains got from Chile to Spain are not entirely clear, but they are now "stored" in Barcelona in the care of Navio-Osorio who is the head of a UFO organization called the Institute for Exobiological Investigation and Study. In this article Navio-Osorio does not refrain from sharing the opinions of experts who have down-to-earth explanations. On February 28, 2007, Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, Doctor of Medicine, Professor of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the University of the Basque Country, wrote in a report:

It is the mummified body with all the human characteristics of a fetus. The body is 14 cm long and has all normal anatomical structures and connections in the head, trunk, and extremities. The entire body surface shows the skin's own integument that consolidates the soft tissue structures and bones.

In the articular regions the coloration is darker as well as in general in those places in which the soft tissues that are resected and retracted predominate.

In the abdominal region the existence of a portion of the umbilical cord is evidenced.

After the 2018 paper was published in Genome Research there was a backlash questioning the ethics of the research that had been done. An article was published in the New York Times on March 28, 2018, "Chile and Its Scientists Protest Research on Tiny Mummy"

The Chilean National Monuments Council, a government agency, said in an email Tuesday that it had initiated an inquiry into whether the little girl's remains were illegally exhumed in 2003 and smuggled out of the country. The council has turned over its records to the Public Ministry of Chile in response to the outcry from Chilean researchers. They contended that the grave site was plundered and the mummified skeleton was stolen, violating the country's laws.

A response was published in the Genome Research journal that stated:

The recent publication of the genetic analysis of the so-called Atacama skeleton (Bhattacharya et al. 2018) has raised important questions in the biological, archaeological, and anthropological communities. We have clearly stated previously that this skeleton should be repatriated and accorded proper respect as human remains and we echo recent demands for its repatriation.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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