Decoded: Statue with a QR code head

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


A photo of a statue with what looks like a QR code for a face has been making the rounds on social media, with some of the more imaginative people suggesting that it's evidence of ancient aliens.



The "ancient aliens" would also have to be time traveling aliens, as QR codes were only invented in 1994. So the most likely explanation is that it's a modern statue. Either an ironic work of art, or some kind of marketing thing - possibly the company identified in the QR code sponsoring an exhibit.

I took a few minutes to transcribe the QR code into machine readable format, and then scanned it. The result was rather boring:

http://www.altechmexico.com/

Altech Mexico is just an online retailer of electronic and electrical components. So it's likely this statue was just part of some museum exhibit sponsored by them - or possibly the artist simply picked a random QR code to use as an example, perhaps from the back of the Altech catalog laying on their desk:


There's been some suggestion that it might be a digital fake, but there's really nothing in the images to suggest it. And note the two images are different, and taken from different distances and angles. The shadow of the head could be interpreted as being too round - but that seems more like an optical illusion with the curve of the large central stone of the necklace continuing the curve.

 
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Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
It's always possible that Altech Mexico dates to the time of the Olmec, and the statue is made of near-unworkable diorite instead of locally sourced red sandstone, right?

It could happen.

(All respect I had left for Discovery Networks evaporated after I found the Debunking Ancient Aliens Website)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Does anyone speak spanish here? it's also possible it's in the home of the CEO or a board member. They give weird things like that out to company executives and board members all the time. Perhaps someone could write the company and ask.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Scott Waring is being extremely imaginative:

http://www.ufosightingsdaily.com/2015/08/ancient-mayan-statue-has-code-on-face.html?m=1
"Although the face works as a QR code"!!!? It's the same QR code as is on the back page of Altech Mexico's catalog.
http://ecommerce.altechmexico.com/ecommerce/site/content/catalog/Mexico_2013.pdf
 
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Hevach

Senior Member.
The QR code is 30x30 if I'm counting right. There are 2^900 or (spoiler for big number)
8452712498170643941637436558664265704301557216577944354047371344426782440907597751590676094202515006314790319892114058862117560952042968596008623655407033230534186943984081346699704282822823056848387726531379014466368452684024987821414350380272583623832617294363807973376

possible 30x30 grids (not QR codes, however, since some pixels are taken up by the position and alignment squares, the timing lines, and the version and formatting header areas adjacent to the three big positioning squares) of this type, only one of which matches the QR code on Altech's catalog.

So even if the ancient aliens or whatevers were creating a mathematical grid for some reason, the probability of it matching this QR code is 1.18x10^-273%. The probability of it matching ANY QR code is already incredibly small, since even if you match the required pixels not all permutations in those constraints will be valid, and even those that are valid will not all resolve to intelligible text.

A single string that will decode into multiple intelligible strings when subjected to different algorithms is one of the holy grails of computer science - they've only been created in trivially small lengths and are mathematically improbable if not impossible for any significant length.


IF this is ancient, then the people who created it knew what a QR code would be and knew about this one specifically.



I'm pretty sure that guy's just writing weird Star Trek fan fiction at this point. In the final draft, Picard will find the statue in the same cave as the head Data lost in the 18th Century.
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
I have a question:
Is this you Mick?
If not one of you copied the other word for word and is therefore fibbing slightly.
I think I can guess which one.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I have a question:
Is this you Mick?
If not one of you copied the other word for word and is therefore fibbing slightly.
I think I can guess which one.
Funny, that's a computer voice reading my post (a slightly earlier version). Nothing to do with me. Seems like UFOvni2012 has done this with several videos.

Some sites have copied my OP, and posted it with very little changes or additional comments. Examples:
http://www.messagetoeagle.com/articles1/mayastatuefacecoveredwithcode.php#.Vdt0MNNVhBc
 

Efftup

Senior Member.

Skaredstiff

Member
Scott Waring is "extremely imaginative" is an understatement! But, this could really be what he tends to believe that space aliens are also "time travelers". Accordingly, they would know what they were advertising in the possible marketing campaign? Possibly the space aliens are in the process of cashing in on the future stock market by pumping this Altech Mexico business? They will make big investments and watch their wealth grow. Possibly they were the ones who implanted the idea of using the QR electronic read system into the developer(s) minds. But it really seems like a waste of time travel to do such trivial deeds? When the hoax is completely exposed, if this OP has not already done that? The UFO folks are in for a big disappointment!
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
It may yet just be marketing rather than a hoax. We still don;t know the source of the original photo so we have no idea where this statue is or how old it is actually claimed to be
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
It may yet just be marketing rather than a hoax. We still don;t know the source of the original photo so we have no idea where this statue is or how old it is actually claimed to be
The statue itself is almost certainly some kind of marketing or a recent work that just used whatever QR code was handy, but the stories being circulated about it online are clearly bunk.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I guess:
Aztec statue
In the Den (hence the TV and curio cabinet)
by Company exec or large customer
 

skephu

Senior Member.
This web page says that the mystery will be resolved on Brazilian TV on August 30:
Translation:
Rede Globo is a Brazilian television network.
 

skephu

Senior Member.
Final update here.
Google translate:
There is a video from the TV program on the page. I don't understand Portuguese, but apparently a computer graphics expert concludes that the photo is fake.
The head of the statue is square but its shadow is round.
Link to the video:
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It does not look fake to me. And I'm a computer graphics expert too, but that's really just an argument from authority. I mention the round shadow in the OP
There's been some suggestion that it might be a digital fake, but there's really nothing in the images to suggest it. And note the two images are different, and taken from different distances and angles. The shadow of the head could be interpreted as being too round - but that seems more like an optical illusion with the curve of the large central stone of the necklace continuing the curve.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It does not look fake to me. And I'm a computer graphics expert too, but that's really just an argument from authority. I mention the round shadow in the OP
plus, imo, the faux old paint job looks way too "good" to be photoshopped to the body. The paint job isnt actually good, but the match between head and body is good. what do you think @Leifer ?
 

Bruno D.

Senior Member.
Other than talking about the Square head X round shadow, they speak of:
- different definition between the head and the rest of the pictures
- as there are no new statues found lately, the picture is fake

All of that means that the "Fantastico" program didn't do any real research. I mean, cmon, all it takes is for someone to go there and find the statue or talk to the owner of the website the QR code directs to.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I mean, cmon, all it takes is for someone to go there and find the statue or talk to the owner of the website the QR code directs to
i did email (although in English) a few contacts from the Altech site, no response though. I dont think you can find the statue as i think its in someones livingroom. <which would make it creepy to give internet people a low down on what it is /where it is... esp if the owner of the statue didnt take the picture.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
plus, imo, the faux old paint job looks way too "good" to be photoshopped to the body. The paint job isnt actually good, but the match between head and body is good. what do you think @Leifer ?
It's always possible to sculpt a fake statue, and paint it to look realistic....even up-close. I do it every-so often for Hollywood.
In fact, I painted some tombstones a few weeks ago, for a TV commercial. Before we started, the Director told us, "....he has never seen a realistically painted tombstone", so I took it as a challenge. Message back from the director after the job.....""They looked amazing, they looked real."

A few things I see is, you typically would expect more wear....I think the Aztec/Mayan primarily used Basalt stone which pits over time, or ceramics, or some other stone.
The QR statue seems polished stone ??. Plus, the QR has way sharper edges than the rest of the sculpture. (possibly carved that way for simply the sake of clarity.

I know this to be true....when creating something with a company logo...the paying client wants the logo to be crisp, and obvious.....they are paying for that.
In the tombstones we made, the engraved writing was unrealistically "crisp" for their supposed age..
So we gave them.....old tombstones with obvious readable writing.


Mick's HQ photo.....

aztec_2.jpg

In the mirror behind the sculpture, you can see the reflection of the person taking the photo, his hands and camera. (I see a red-eye removing pre-flash.....but I see no flash.) Most good museums don't allow flash, anyway. (edit: I see it's in a home)
There is a secondary (now upside-down) reflection from the mirror, onto the glass shelf above.
The photographer's hands can be better seen if we flip that part of the photo....
aztec_3.jpg


(you can even see a face...)

aztec_4.jpg

It's likely a real....modern advertisement.
And I'll admit....kinda clever, from a "buzz" point of view !!
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
But all we have is Mick's HQ photo.
i have this pic too but it just makes it more confusing because i cant tell what the statue is straddling.. or how that could be a base.

Anyway, good observations. yea the weathering is all wrong... but i was referring to the theory that the statue is real (or fake either way) but they photoshopped the QR head onto it. i dont think the QR part is photoshopped based on the stone and matching paint (color and wipe off technique used)

1440084922_scan-artifact-1.jpg
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
...not for speculation, but for interest.....

The fun of working in a model/prop shop....We've been known to cut the heads of plaster statues, and replace it with a custom-carved "celebrity" head.....then it all gets painted to match......and become lawn-art, or whatever. Or in this case, we could have taken an imitation sculpture, and added the QR face, and paint it to match.
....a young actress.....

20130329_172759(0).jpg
 
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NoParty

Senior Member.
...not for speculation, but for interest.....

The fun of working in a model/prop shop....We've been known to cut the heads of plaster statues, and replace it with a custom-carved "celebrity" head.....then it all gets painted to match......and become lawn-art, or whatever. Or in this case, we could have taken an imitation sculpture, and added the QR face, and paint it to match.
....a young actress.....

View attachment 14990
So, did you get to actually meet Richard Simmons?!?
 
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