US forensic scientist Dr John McDowell says the small Nazca mummies are NOT REAL

Charlie Wiser

Senior Member.

US forensic scientist Dr John McDowell says the small Nazca mummies are NOT REAL​

NOTE: The word "real" means the mummies were once living organisms. Neither I nor Maussan nor McDowell use the word to suggest anything about their origin, whether aliens or new species that evolved on Earth.

Dr John McDowell visited Peru with Drs Caruso and Rodriguez in April 2024 to examine the Nazca mummies for Jaime Maussan's team. Maussan has tweeted several times about the visit, including a 20-minute interview with McDowell where he names him lead of the investigation going forward, snippets of the press conference, and the following comments (emphasis mine):

It's done #ufotwitter "Specimens are real, some are clearly not human"; Nazca tridactyls (Monserrat, Sebastian, Santiago, Maria, Victoria*); By John Mcdowell from the top specialists in forensic medicine on the Planet.*
Dr. John McDowell: Nazca mummies are real specimens and some are clearly not human
Source 1
Source 2

What Maussan is doing is grouping together the small (eg. Victoria) and large (eg. Maria) mummies (although - if real - they are obviously two very different species) in order to make it look like McDowell is pronouncing them all real (i.e. once-living organisms).

I wrote to Dr McDowell this week to ask his opinion of the smaller mummies (such as Josefina, Alberto, Victoria, and Clara). What I didn't realize, and what Maussan has obfuscated, is that the US team did not examine the smaller mummies and that Maussan is grossly misrepresenting McDowell by implying his comments refer to both types of mummy - even naming Victoria. Because of this, I'd assumed McDowell examined both types and I wanted clarification. I sent him the hi-res x-ray of Josefina, which is not available on the official website The Alien Project and which I suspected McDowell had not seen.

His response in full (May 7, 2024) (I added para breaks as it came without any; emphasis mine):

Thank you for the information you have provided. I am especially grateful for the attached images. Please give me a little more information about yourself and why you have an interest in these "Nazca Mummies."

None of us (Dr. Caruso, Dr. Rodriguez or I) who traveled to Peru to examine some of the "Nazca Mummies" have ever claimed or stated in any way what these specimens (specifically the images you have attached to this email) actually are. We were more interested in the "humanoid", larger bodies and did not spend much—if any time--with the smaller, "doll-like" entities. To my knowledge, none of us have stated anything in the public domain about these specific entities as shown in your email attachments. In fact, I do not believe that any of us said anything about the specimens represented in the images you have provided.

Please understand that we know the "Nazca Mummies" you have sent images of were never living entities composed of the hard tissues of one and only one "species." It would be foolish to state that these "bodies" could represent individuals that could have been alive let alone capable of walking, flying or swimming. Please do not infer that we said otherwise.

As I have said publicly, Jaime Maussan never at any point tried to influence our opinions nor would we allow him, or his associates to influence in any way our very limited evaluations of the entities that we examined during our short time in Peru. As I have clearly stated in multiple forums, we want to work with any reputable organization or individual(s) to determine what any and all of the "Nazca Mummies" actually are. Further know that we are all aware of hoaxes that have been perpetrated on well-meaning "scientists" in the past.

As any reputable, competent scientist would do, we maintain a high level of skepticism regarding the "Nazca Mummies."
John McDowell

This is McDowell's actual quote in the video attached to Maussan's tweet, where he distinguishes between the two types and his contrasting observations about them:

The specimens that we've examined - some people are calling them bodies, mummies, I'm going to call them specimens, the specimens are real [lists the analyses that were done previously on the large mummies]... These are human or human-like, the ones that I've evaluated. There are some that are [pauses, shakes head] clearly not human, just let me put it that way.

McDowell is Maussan's ace-in-the-hole, a highly qualified American doctor who appears to have a genuine interest in the larger mummies (humans with elongated skulls and three digits on hands and feet) and has now seen them in person. I urged McDowell to make a public comment to clear up the misconception that Maussan is encouraging - that he believes the small mummies are assembled from multiple species - but I'm not holding my breath.
 
I urged McDowell to make a public comment to clear up the misconception that Maussan is encouraging - that he believes the small mummies are assembled from multiple species - but I'm not holding my breath.
That depends on McDowell having access to journalists willing to amplify such a statement?

Either way, it's a masterpiece of selective quoting.
External Quote:
Dr. John McDowell: Nazca mummies are real specimens and some are clearly not human
is really
External Quote:
Dr. John McDowell: Nazca mummies that we've examined are real human or human-like specimens, and some are clearly not human
The selective quoting obscures that these are two different sets of mummies: one set is real, and the other set is not human, but no mummy is both.

Today, I learned that the word "and" can be ambiguous.
 
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If the Peruvian team wanted this investigation to look as shady as possible, they're doing a fantastic job: Hire a forensic dentist to lead it. Dr. John McDowell not a medical doctor or Ph.D. (although I understand they do have an M.D. on the team). No archaeologists are on the team. The appropriate scientists to study these specimens would be bioarchaeologists, like the kind that have studied Andean mummies. Wikipedia, my emphasis:

External Quote:
The term bioarchaeology has been attributed to British archaeologist Grahame Clark who, in 1972, defined it as the study of animal and human bones from archaeological sites. Redefined in 1977 by Jane Buikstra, bioarchaeology in the United States now refers to the scientific study of human remains from archaeological sites, a discipline known in other countries as osteoarchaeology, osteology or palaeo-osteology. Compared to bioarchaeology, osteoarchaeology is the scientific study that solely focus on the human skeleton. The human skeleton is used to tell us about health, lifestyle, diet, mortality and physique of the past. Furthermore, palaeo-osteology is simply the study of ancient bones. In contrast, the term bioarchaeology is used in Europe to describe the study of all biological remains from archaeological sites.
I'm sure McDowell is an accomplished forensic dentist, but forensic dentistry is a field of criminology (Wikipedia):

External Quote:
Forensic dentistry or forensic odontology involves the handling, examination, and evaluation of dental evidence in a criminal justice context. Forensic dentistry is used in both criminal and civil law. Forensic dentists assist investigative agencies in identifying human remains, particularly in cases when identifying information is otherwise scarce or nonexistent—for instance, identifying burn victims by consulting the victim's dental records. Forensic dentists may also be asked to assist in determining the age, race, occupation, previous dental history, and socioeconomic status of unidentified human beings.
I look forward to seeing where the investigation goes...but for the Peruvian team and ufologists to pump up McDowell as a top scientist for this task is so "noted expert Professor Dr. Steven E. Jones, Ph.D."
 
No archaeologists are on the team. The appropriate scientists to study these specimens would be bioarchaeologists, like the kind that have studied Andean mummies.

I deleted my post above thinking I had found the wrong Dr. Turned out I had typed Dr. McDonald but had in fact found the same Dr. McDowell that you did, a forensic dentist. This seems to be a classic UFO/paranormal case of the "expert/non-expert". While a forensic dentist might be useful, the team should be headed by an archaeologist and or BioArch person that is familiar with Peruvian sites and cultures. Something that will probably never happen for a number of reasons.

My son is an Anthropology professor with a PhD in Bio-Archaeology and when I brought this story to his attention a while back, he commented "No Anthro person will touch these things":
  • First and foremost, any educated Anthropologist, especially in BioArchaeology, as well as most lay people, can immediate see they are hoaxes. They are cobbled together from various parts and pieces, therefore there is nothing to study. Something similar came up with Garry Nolan and his DNA testing of Ata talked about below. There is the faint possibility that these were some sort of ritual construction done in the past, but again a specialist in Peruvian Archaeology and cultures would be the best person for that.
  • As it's clearly a hoax with time and money in short supply in the Anthropology world, it's not worth the effort to academically study and de-bunk these things. A cursory glance does that.
  • As a hoax, they have no known province or provenance and are of limited value even if real.
  • As it's a hoax, whoever controls these things is not interested in a rigorous study behind a paywall in an academic journal, they want pull quotes that confirm it's not a hoax or at the very least keep the mystery going. Something McDowell, possibly inadvertently, gave Maussan. Maussan will always be in charge of the public narrative.
  • A mountain of ethical issues, from looting and grave robbing to the selling of artifacts to the recombining of remains. Also, for US Anthropologists there is NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. While a US law, Anthro people still are careful to not run afoul of the intent of the law, even in other countries.
This is a case where the proponents of the claim flip the burden of proof, as a few commenters upstream of this thread seemed to do. Until and unless a team of legit Anthropologists comes to study these remains and publish in a peer reviewed journal and their conclusion that these are hoaxes is upheld in peer review, then these are NOT hoaxes. Maussan and others have presented them as real, it's up to others to prove them not real.

In the mid '00s, UFOlogist Steven Greer obtained a sample from a supposed "alien" mummy from Chili's Atacama Desert, to use in his film Sirus. Stanford geneticist Garry Nolan heard about it and volunteered to test the sample. While Nolan is a geneticist, he is not a Bio-Archaeologist or an Anthropologist or a specialist in Atacama cultures. Again, the "expert/non-expert". Actual Bio-archaeologist that looked at the mummy, quickly identified it as a pre-term fetus that showed signs of having been desiccated. Not an alien. If not an alien, there was no need for Nolan to test the DNA to see if it was an alien.

In this case, Nolan was called out for conducting the research in the first place or at least not stopping once he found it was NOT an alien and just a pre-term human girl:

External Quote:
On the basis of incorrectly perceived phenotypic anomalies and an in-
correct age-at-death estimate, Nolan and colleagues undertook a DNA
analysis in 2013 and unsurprisingly confirmed the mummy was human.

Although this testing was not sensu stricto necessary, once her humanity
was confirmed, analysis should have stopped and her body should have
been repatriated to Chile.

Had these researchers involved, from the beginning, a biological anthropologist who specialises in human re-
mains, we are certain that ethical concerns would have been raised regarding the potentially living relatives of Ata (Dorador and Harrod,
2018) and the illegal removal of the mummy from Chile. We therefore cannot conclude that the ends justify the means.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1879981718300548?via=ihub

Many of these same concerns can be raised with Maussan's current side-show attractions and would likely prevent most serious Anthro people form ever engaging with them.
 
First and foremost, any educated Anthropologist, especially in BioArchaeology, as well as most lay people, can immediate see they are hoaxes. They are cobbled together from various parts and pieces, therefore there is nothing to study.
The recent specimens are more sophisticated than the earlier little dolls made of stuff glued together (the creator of which came forward). There's a guy on Twitter named Gonzalo who keeps popping up with this stuff on every UFO thread, and he posts endless promo pictures and videos.

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Screen Shot 2024-05-09 at 4.57.33 PM.png


I tried telling him that there's no phylogenetic reason for three-fingered, three-toed humanoids to just show up on the tree of life. But, you know, genetic engineering by aliens, etc. Your basic magical intervention.
 
[Quoting Halcrow. Killgrove et al., Sept. 2018 communication with the International Journal of Paleopathology]

On the basis of incorrectly perceived phenotypic anomalies and an incorrect age-at-death estimate, Nolan and colleagues undertook a DNA
analysis in 2013
(My emphasis).

Garry P. Nolan, a professor in the Department of Pathology at Stanford, is of course a well-known believer in the contemporary mythos hypothesis that aliens are visiting Earth and, presumably in part due to the academic position he holds, is something of a darling of UFO enthusiasts with similarly radical but evidentially unsupported views.

As Nolan and his views (and some of his less mainstream work) are discussed elsewhere on this forum, thought it might be worth bringing attention to the quote that @NorCal Dave provided in his useful post above.
Essentially, Halcrow, Killgrove et. al are saying Nolan et al. looked at the physical characteristics of the "specimen" (probably a pre-term female foetus of undetermined antiquity- possibly only decades) and drew incorrect conclusions, not least an age-at-death estimate of 6-8 years (of a 6"/ 15 cm crown-heel length skeleton). Halcrow et al. argue a gestational age of approx. 15 weeks.

The authors describe the use of DNA testing (by Bhattacharya et al. 2018 as well as Nolan et al.) as unethical.
 
Garry P. Nolan, a professor in the Department of Pathology at Stanford, is of course a well-known believer in the contemporary mythos hypothesis that aliens are visiting Earth and, presumably in part due to the academic position he holds, is something of a darling of UFO enthusiasts with similarly radical but evidentially unsupported views.

Indeed! I've had people privately use the term "rock star". Despite the fact he's never really presented any evidence that I'm aware of, aside from a few "strange isotopes"

I included this little anecdote as an illustration of what happens when legit academics get involved with the fringe and why they try to avoid doing so. Unless of course you don't think the idea of an ancient mummy alien is fringe.

The authors describe the use of DNA testing (by Bhattacharya et al. 2018 as well as Nolan et al.) as unethical.

I couldn't remember the title of the paper, so I asked my son where to find it. Turns out he uses this case in his Anthropology and Ethics class, so I got the paper as well as his notes and all the slides he uses for the class.

But, you know, genetic engineering by aliens, etc. Your basic magical intervention.

Yes. There was a former member here upstream in the thread that resorted to this kind of tactic.
 
I must say, for a hoax, these people are really committed to the bit.

Screen Shot 2024-06-06 at 11.10.05 AM.png

Critically, there is no documentation of any kind of excavation. No in situ photographs. The paper mentions (emphasis mine):
External Quote:
Specimen M01, is impregnated with a white powder that the physical chemical analysis called multielemental spectrometric analysis turned out to be diatomite (diatomite) dust, which according to its discoverer in its funeral chamber was completely covered by this material.
Which is...ridiculous.

I am told the discovery site is being kept secret because reasons. But, a museum is being built so people can see the specimens!

Open-access paper here: https://rgsa.openaccesspublications.org/rgsa/article/view/6916/2986
 
I must say, for a hoax, these people are really committed to the bit.

Hehe, nice find! But not that much of a commitment actually: publishing on that journal is cheap, expecially if one is brazilian (R$ 890 =~ 170USD). Easily recovered with the marketing value given by a 'citation' of a 'peer reviewed' article I guess.

External Quote:

1717706056294.png

https://rgsa.openaccesspublications.org/rgsa/taxapublicacao


And I was not amazed in discovering RGSA makes it to the list of predatory journals at predatoryjournals.org:

1717706837738.png
https://predatoryjournals.org/journals-list-4
 

I read through it. Maybe it's the translation, but it seemed very repetitive and, well "padded". Going over how C12-C14 dating works, for example, multiple times on page 6, page 9 and again on page 14 before finally giving the results.

When they do give the date, it has this odd explanation of what AD (Anno Domini) means. I though almost all scientific papers nowadays just use CE (Common Era). Maybe they're at a very Catholic collage or maybe it's a norm still in Latin America:

External Quote:
The dating report of the skin sample specifically of a keratin fraction code LEMA 895.1.1 corresponding to specimen M01, resulted in an age of 1771 ± 30 years; which, expressed in age calibrated according to the birth of Jesus Christ by world convention, at 95% confidence level years it is established that the age of the sample analyzed corresponds to 240 A.D. -383 A.D. (after Christ).
They also spend a lot of time talking about Social and Enviornmental Bioarcheology, which is pointless because the specimen has no known province or provenance, aside from the story told by the grave-robber. And yes, they more or less say that's where it came from:

External Quote:

This report corresponds to the bioarcheological case of Nasca-Peru, which involves a strange desiccated humanoid body that was found fortuitously by a “huaquero” (person who is dedicated to searching for huacas and buried archeological treasures), in 2016 between the provinces of Palpa and Nasca of the Peruvian south, which was taken in 2019 to the “Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga” (UNSLG) of the city of Ica-Peru
If they don't know where it came from, there can't be a whole lot of Social and Enviornmental Bioarcheology going on. Something they seem to note:

External Quote:

however, the archeological context where it was found that would have allowed social bioarcheology (Milner and Larsen, 2023; Carrión et al., 2015; Spencer, 1987) to establish associations or cultural links of this humanoid biological specimen and the ancient human populations of the Nasca civilization (Béguelin et al.,2024; Shin and Bianucci, 2021).
I'm trying to get my BioArch son to glance at this when he has a moment.
 
I did some digging on the authors of the paper and posted about it in reddit comment on a thread about the paper. Copying my comment here.

This paper seems to be written by dentists who have mostly studied and published about dentistry and social health. Only Suarez-Canlla has an educational background or publications remotely related to this paper (forensic dentistry studies, and one paper on the age at which skull deformation was performed in pre-Columbian Peruvian skulls). None of them are experts in relevant fields like Human Bioarchaeology, Taphonomy, Forensic Anthropology/Archaeology, Orthopedics. It seems like an interesting paper by non-specialists in the topics related to the paper, so I will wait for experts in the relevant fields to be allowed to examine the mummies before I draw any conclusions.

Here's the info for the authors of the paper from in the National Scientific, Technological and Technological Innovation Registry of Peru (Registro Nacional Científico, Tecnológico y de Innovación Tecnológica - RENACYT), from National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Tecnológica - CONCYTEC) and from Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID):

Edgar Hernàndez-Huaripaucar:

Education:

* Bachelor of Dentistry (Bachiller en Odontología)
* Master of Stomatology (Maestría en Estomatología)
* Dental Surgeon (Cirujano Dentista)
* Doctor of Public Health (Doctor en Salud Pública)

Selected Publications:

* Quality of life and post-traumatic stress in dentists after the COVID-19 pandemic
* Biosecurity measures against COVID-19 during dental care in a region of Peru
* Spiritual Intelligence Profile in Peruvian Health Sciences Students
* Factors associated with family violence in university students of health sciences

Roger Zúñiga-Avilés:

Education:

* No public information in ORCID
* No record in RENACYT
* C.V. "Principal Professor to D.E. of the Faculty of Communication, Tourism and Archaeology Sciences of the National University "San Luis Gonzaga de Ica." Teacher in Education Sciences with mention in Research and Teaching." (Docente Principal a D.E. de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Comunicación, Turismo y Arqueología de la Universidad Nacional "San Luis Gonzaga de Ica". Maestro en Ciencias de la Educación con mención en Investigación y Docencia.)

Selected publications:

* None found

Bladimir Becerra-Canales:

Education:

* Bachelor of Dentistry (Bachiller en Odontología)
* Master of Dentistry (Magíster en Odontología)
* Dental Surgeon (Cirujano Dentista)
* Doctor of Public Health (Doctor en Salud Pública)

Selected publications:

* Prevalence and factors associated with cervical cancer preventive screening in a Peruvian region
* Mood and mental health of Peruvian dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic
* Adaptation and Validation of the Questionnaire on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Peruvian Population

Carlos Suarez-Canlla:

Education:

* Bachelor of Dentistry (Bachiller en Odontología)
* Master of Stomatology (Maestría en Estomatología)
* Dental Surgeon (Cirujano Dentista)
* Doctor of Stomatology (Doctor en Estomatología)
* Specialist in Forensic Dentistry (Especialista en Odontología Forense)

Selected publications:

* The age of the Sutural behavior in pre-Columbian Peruvian skulls with Artificial cephalic deformation
* Comparison of the efficacy of three dental methods for estimating the age of persons aged 13 to 23 years
* Carreas method usefulness to estimate a peruvian population current stature

Irvin Zúñiga-Almora:

Education:

* No public information in ORCID
* No C.V. found

Selected publications:

* None found
 
They also spend a lot of time talking about Social and Enviornmental Bioarcheology, which is pointless because the specimen has no known province or provenance,

I guess this is because Revista de Gestão Social e Ambiental (as the name implies) caters to social and environmental issues, they needed the 'social' and 'environmental' magic words even if they're pointless:
External Quote:

The Revista de Gestão Social e Ambiental e-ISSN: 1981-982X, DOI: 10.24857), is a scientific publication aiming to provoke discussion and dissemination of the social and environmental theme resulting from academic research. Its editorial line is grounded on issues relating to areas of social and environmental management and company policies.
https://rgsa.openaccesspublications.org/rgsa


aside from the story told by the grave-robber. And yes, they more or less say that's where it came from:

External Quote:

This report corresponds to the bioarcheological case of Nasca-Peru, which involves a strange desiccated humanoid body that was found fortuitously by a “huaquero” (person who is dedicated to searching for huacas and buried archeological treasures), in 2016 between the provinces of Palpa and Nasca of the Peruvian south, which was taken in 2019 to the “Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga” (UNSLG) of the city of Ica-Peru

I find it interesting how they define an "huaquero", trying to spin it into a positive light and carefully avoiding the translation "graverobber" (correctly used by @NorCal Dave):
External Quote:

1717746198609.png

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/huaquero
 
This paper seems to be written by dentists who have mostly studied and published about dentistry and social health. Only Suarez-Canlla has an educational background or publications remotely related to this paper (forensic dentistry studies, and one paper on the age at which skull deformation was performed in pre-Columbian Peruvian skulls). None of them are experts in relevant fields like Human Bioarchaeology, Taphonomy, Forensic Anthropology/Archaeology, Orthopedics. It seems like an interesting paper by non-specialists in the topics related to the paper, so I will wait for experts in the relevant fields to be allowed to examine the mummies before I draw any conclusions.
This is where the paper is on-topic for this thread, because John McDowell is a forensic dentist, too!

External Quote:
From the perspective and foundations of social bioarcheology (Baquedano and Lillo, 2022; Swift et al., 2022; Agarwal and Glencross, 2011), the finding of widespread wear of teeth in extreme degree provides information about the food style and social life of this individual, which suggests that he would have had a very hard diet, that probably the dental system suffered from parafunctions or had multifunctions such as the use of teeth as defense instruments or work tools; which caused its exaggerated wear.

At the level of the jaw, in the left posterior area the loss of two molars is observed, however, the salient feature is that the residual bone retains a regularity and flat surface, compatible with a surgical intervention, emerging the unknowns of those who did it and how they did it. Therefore, in the face of the conjugation of so many supposed alterations of the bucomaxilofacial, mandibular and cranial region; they suggest that they would not be pathologies, but natural traits of another species of superior hominids (Hernández-Huaripaucar, 2023).
Why do they claim that a species that has a "hard diet" or uses its teeth for defense or as work tools is a "superior hominid"? Why do they think having upper molars, but no lower molars to match (on one side only!) is a trait of an evolved species?
 
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Why do they claim that a species that has a "hard diet" or uses its teeth for defense or as work tools is a "superior hominid"? Why do they think having upper molars, but no lower molars to match (one one side only!) is a trait of an evolved species?

I also found this a bit odd. We have a supposedly "superior hominid" that is stuck eating poorly processed grains, uses its teeth as a third (3 fingered?) hand and is reduced to biting people for defense, all of which has resulted in tooth lose.

Several of my son's graduate work papers were on something similar. Looking at the teeth, and the loss of them, in 16th century Italian peasants. These people were eking out a hard life eating poorly processed grains and using their teeth as tools resulting in tooth loss. And probably intense pain due to excessive cavities, abscess and infection.

Funny enough, the citation for Agarwal, is S.C. Agarwal. She was my son's graduate advisor when he was studying the teeth:D I'm going to have to pester him to look at this paper.

External Quote:
From the perspective and foundations of social bioarcheology (Baquedano and Lillo, 2022; Swift et al., 2022; Agarwal and Glencross, 2011), the finding of widespread wear of teeth in extreme degree provides information about the food style and social life of this individual, which suggests that he would have had a very hard diet, that probably the dental system suffered from parafunctions or had multifunctions such as the use of teeth as defense instruments or work tools; which caused its exaggerated wear.
External Quote:
Agarwal, S. C. & Glencross, B. A. (2011). Building a Social Bioarchaeology. Social Bioarchaeology, 1-11.
 
Maybe it's the translation, but it seemed very repetitive and, well "padded".
Totally agree. I can't speak/ read Spanish and maybe some clunky wording in the English text isn't a problem in the original,

External Quote:
...and other activities were managed as an expression of human interaction with their environmental environment
External Quote:
Bioarcheology also studies the association between human biology and the environmental environment
Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. 2024, https://rgsa.openaccesspublications.org/rgsa/article/view/6916/2986

There is one translational glitch (I think) which affects the meaning; in discussing the sex of the individual, the authors describe conflicting anatomical evidence and conclude
External Quote:
...the identification of the genus of the specimen is questionable
If Google Translate can be relied on, Spanish for "gender" and "genus" is género. The authors are saying that the sex of the individual has not been determined, not that the genus is not established (although they don't state genus, or species, either).
The English language paper doesn't seem to have been reviewed by a proof-reader with a biological sciences background.

There are more significant problems with the paper.
-Incidentally, I'll refer to the remains being discussed as "the specimen"; which I'm not completely happy with. I suspect (but do not know) that the specimen is mainly composed of the remains of one anatomically modern human, to which/ whom some materials (probably from another human/ humans) have been added, and some of the original bone/ bones removed post-mortem. External quotes are from Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. 2024 unless otherwise specified.

External Quote:
The findings of this morpho-anatomical biometric study offer a detailed, complete and accurate description of the biometric physical characteristics of the dried humanoid body
No they don't. The dimensions and weight of the specimen are not given. Its posture is not described.
There is no estimate of crown-to-heel height in life. No long bone or pelvic measurements are given; where skull measurements are present they are on an image of a CT scan and appear imprecise, and are incomplete.
There is no estimate of age at the time of death.
There are no photographs of the specimen, and no comprehensive visual description in lieu of this.
As far as we know, the specimen remains encased in the plaster-like covering in which it was supposedly discovered.

External Quote:
Specimen M01, is impregnated with a white powder that the physical-chemical analysis called multielemental spectrometric analysis turned out to be diatomite (diatomite) dust,
I don't know if the following images (not from the paper) are of the same specimen, but diatomaceous earth is moisture-absorbent and might have been applied for the mummification process; equally it may have been applied much more recently. In the photos below it seems likely that some facial features have been "sculpted" (eyes, nose, lips). The skin/ bone surfaces (including the head/ skull) are not widely visible.

Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. do not refer to any attempt to clean their specimen, which we might expect as being essential. Images of the skull and hand in their paper are computerised reconstructions based on CT scans.
The absence of photos of the specimen in their paper makes it difficult to say with certainty that the authors couldn't visually survey the specimen's skin surface (or bone, if exposed), but, considering they make no remarks about the skin, maybe we can at least provisionally surmise that they couldn't.

hqdefault (1).jpg


Unlike the specimen as a whole, there is a visual description of the head:
External Quote:

Examination of the facial, nasal and orbital region shows atypical qualitative and biometric features, for example a strong maxillary and mandibular protrusion and lack of lip closure is observed, in the orbital region there is also a marked protrusion of the eyeballs and in the nasal region there is a nose of almost normal appearance and dimension, except for a slight compression. Facial examination shows a face with an exophthalmic face, with the middle third of the face forward, with apparent facial symmetry, with a convex profile and presence of bulky lips.
This could be a description of the "face" of the "mummy" in the photos above. If it is, and the authors believe that they are directly observing the skin and external features of their specimen, it would be astonishing- and their credibility, well, low. Very.


Despite repeated references to social archaeology and social bioarchaeology, the authors largely ignore known, highly relevant findings from the Nazca area, particularly re. the specimen's deformed head.

We know the people of the Nazca area, in the time that the specimen is C14-dated to (240-383 AD) practised artificial cranial deformation (ACD):

External Quote:
The Nazca culture (also Nasca) was the archaeological culture that flourished from c. 100 BC to 800 AD beside the arid, southern coast of Peru in the river valleys of the Rio Grande de Nazca drainage and the Ica Valley...
...Elongated skulls, as a result of skull manipulation, were also seen in the excavations from Cahuachi. This effect was achieved by binding a cushion to an infant's forehead and a board to the back of the head. Archaeologists can only speculate as to why this was done to some of the skulls. Several theories suggest skull manipulation created an ethnic identity, formed the individual into a social being, or may have illustrated social status.
Wikipedia, Nazca Culture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazca_culture.

See also Wikipedia, Artificial cranial deformation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cranial_deformation, which has this image of a skull from the Nazca area, showing ACD was used there before the time of the specimen (on the left here):

Déformation_Péruvienne_MHNT_Noir.jpg
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The image on the right is a computerised reconstruction, Figure 3 in the Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. paper.
A bit of a resemblance? (I've flipped the Figure 3 horizontally for comparison).
I think the identified Proto-Nazca skull is missing part of its occipital bone, lower portion of the posterior skull. Had it been intact, the curvature of that part of skull might have been closer in appearance to that seen in the Fig. 3 reconstruction.

The authors, citing Ross et al. 2009 and Menanteau, 2020 claim that there are no indications of artificial cranial deformation as splints/ bandages leave characteristic marks.
But the authors don't provide us with any photos of the skull so that we (or anyone else) can decide.
The closest thing is the computerised reconstruction of Figure 3.
Where a series of densely-packed striations can be seen, which the authors don't comment on.
fig 3.PNG

Maybe they're artefactual. But you'd expect an attempt at an explanation.

The authors don't address the fact that distinctive markings from the mechanism of ACD do not always seem to be evident in individuals who have undergone ACD. This sometimes promotes debate where skulls with possible ACD, or atypical deformation/ natural variance from the norm, are found, my favourite example being the skull which belonged to "Ava",
a young adult Beaker culture woman buried in Scotland c. 2200 BC.
Her skull is very broad but short front-to-back. So are some other Beaker culture skulls (not all). There is ongoing discussion whether this is hereditary or due to ACD (or possibly a combination: a distinctive feature of an influential minority within that population at some time which was deliberately copied, or exaggerated, via ACD by other community members).

Capture ava.PNG


From Maya Hoole's Achavanich Beaker Burial website, link The Achavanich Beaker Burial, Distinct skull shape: Illustrations
There's some discussion of the genetic v. deliberate deformation issue in Alicia McDermott's article,
"Hereditary or Head-Binding? Archaeologist Seeks Answers on the Strange Achavanich Beaker Burial", Feb. 2016,
readable here at the Ancient Origins website (which has too many pop-ups). This question hasn't been settled by the presence or absence of distinctive skull markings indicative of ACD.

Ava's skull, from Ancient Origins
Captureb.PNG

Reconstruction informed by the skull and by DNA analysis (the latter mainly for skin, eye, hair colour)
ava.jpg

Wish they'd do one of her profile, with that skull shape evident.

There are a couple of other "issues" with Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. paper which I'll probably moan about reflect on if no-on beats me to it.
 
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If Google Translate can be relied on, Spanish for "gender" and "genus" is género. The authors are saying that the sex of the individual has not been determined, not that the genus is not established (although they don't state genus, or species, either).
I speak Spanish and I can confirm that it does indeed just say "gender of the specimen" rather than "genus"

I do find it a bit funny that they just left "huaquero" in Spanish instead of translating it to "grave robber", if I had to guess they mostly left it like that because they didn't know an English word for it and they didn't look too hard (I'd say "Tomb raider" is a more accurate term than "grave robber").

Maybe it's the translation, but it seemed very repetitive and, well "padded". Going over how C12-C14 dating works, for example, multiple times on page 6, page 9 and again on page 14 before finally giving the results.

I haven't read both full versions of the papers yet, but at least the carbon dating part feels more poorly written rather than padded. Mostly the content in page 9, which is already short and mentions stuff that was already mentioned previously.

Page 6:
The radiocarbon age dating technique, also known as carbon dating 14, is a method used to determine the age of organic carbon-containing materials, which is used in research in bioarcheology, paleomedicine and paleopathology.

The principle of radiocarbon dating is based on the use of carbon 14 (C-14 or 14C) which is a radioactive isotope of carbon that is produced in the Earth's atmosphere when cosmic rays interact with nitrogen. This C-14 is incorporated into the biosphere through photosynthesis and is found in constant amounts in living organisms; but when this organism dies, it no longer incorporates C-14, and the amount present in its tissue begins to disintegrate at a constant rate (Margariti et al., 2023; Taylor, 2020).

Regarding the decay rate of carbon 14, it is known that C-14 has a half-life of approximately 5,730 years, and that after this time, half of the C-14 present in an organism will have decayed into nitrogen 14 (N-14); therefore, upon knowing this decay rate,the age of an organic material can be calculated by measuring the amount of C-14 remaining in it and comparing it with the amount present in contemporary living organisms (Taylor, 2020, Hajdas et al., 2021; Seiler, 2015).

A series of steps are performed on the antiquity dating process to date a specimen, including the extraction of organic material, the preparation of samples for the measurement of C-14, and finally, the measurement of the ratio of C-14/C-12 by techniques such as mass spectrometry (Seiler, 2015).

Page 9:
The antiquity dating technique was performed by applying radiocarbon 14 (C-14 or 14C) which is a radioactive isotope of carbon, based on the rate of decay of said C-14, that is, the antiquity of a skin sample with collagen content from specimen M01 was calculated and the amount of C-14 residual in this organic material was measured and then compared with the amount present in current living organisms.

The C-14 antiquity dating process of the analyzed sample was performed in four steps: sample preparation, graphitization, mass spectrometry analysis with accelerators and calibration.

Page 6 serves as a reference for the rest of the paper explaining what carbon dating is and the principle behind it.

Page 9 should just mention how carbon dating will be used in the study. Saying "which is a radioactive isotope of carbon" sounds off because they already said that exact same wording in page 6, I would have cut the whole paragraph to:

"the antiquity of a skin sample with collagen content from specimen M01 was calculated and the amount of C-14 residual in this organic material was measured and then compared with the amount present in current living organisms.".

The four steps are technically all right, but three of the steps are basically the same thing as what was said in page 9, so it just feels like they are saying the same thing again.

Maybe they're at a very Catholic collage or maybe it's a norm still in Latin America:

Regarding the "after christ", Peru is very catholic (as is much of Latin America) so it doesn't surprise me that they would be using it even in an academic setting.
 
Additional concerns about the Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. 2024 paper.
As earlier, I'll refer to the remains under discussion as "the specimen", but feel this is an inadequate term for what are almost certainly human remains primarily from one individual.

There are a couple of potential in-paper contradictions concerning the anatomy of the specimen, specifically relating to features which seem to diverge from normal human anatomy.
This should raise concerns, as the paper claims to be
External Quote:
...a detailed, complete and accurate description of the biometric physical characteristics
(it clearly isn't) and the areas of divergence from "standard" human anatomy are essential to the author's claims.

-External quotes from the above paper unless otherwise indicated.

Re. the feet;
External Quote:
...all seven tarsal bones are complete (calcaneus, astragalus, scaphoid or navicular, cuboids and the three cuneiforms)
(My emphasis), but contradicted by:
External Quote:
...a different morphology and anatomy is revealed at the level of the calcaneal bone (which forms the heel of the foot), characterized by the absence of the large posterior protuberance that the calcaneus possesses.
The calcaneus is the heel bone. The author's CT confirms that the calcaneal tuberosity- the 'posterior protuberance'- is missing
(author's Fig. 5, right foot, below left; representative intact foot, below right).

Capture2.PNG
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By claiming that the specimen's calcaneus is complete, the authors are either making a gross error, or are implying that this calcaneus is intact and normal for this specimen (on what knowledge they can base this belief is not indicated) as opposed to being a damaged / deliberately "modified" standard human calcaneus. Which must be more likely.

Additionally, despite
External Quote:
...all seven tarsal bones are complete (calcaneus, astragalus, scaphoid or navicular, cuboids and the three cuneiforms
it would appear that a tranche of foot bones is missing; I think the cuneiforms.

I think this structure
Capturemt.PNG
(labelled 5 below) is a metatarsal; could be wrong, opinions appreciated.


(L to R) Normal right foot, Specimen right foot, (Ignore the dotted red lines.) Normal right foot

comp.PNG
foot-bones.jpg


Again, sort of semi-informed guessing: The image is a sagittal plane CT through the middle of the right foot, which is why "3" in the CT of the specimen- I think the navicular- has a different shape to "3" in the diagram, and appears to be in a different spatial relationship with "1" and "2". The specimen's "3" is reasonably similar in cross-section shape and location to the (apparently) equivalent bone in the "representative intact foot " CT image above right (second image in post).

External Quote:
At the level of the toes, four phalanges are also seen on each of the three toes, when in normal humans it is only three per toe.
It's hard to see if there are more than two phalanges, in the CT image, let alone four. Maybe the small curving extremity at the point of the toe. (Although I could be wrong about "5" being a single structure, a metatarsal).

Another potential in-paper contradiction:

External Quote:
four lumbar vertebrae (L) and a sacrum (S) are observed; emphasizing that in a normal human there are five lumbar vertebrae.
And
External Quote:
At the level of the pelvis, a disjunction is visualized between the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) and the base of the sacrum
If there are only four lumbar vertebrae, there can't be an L5, the fifth lumbar vertebrae.
The authors contradict themselves.

Figure 6, left; Fig. 6 vertebrae labelled, right. T7 is low density or partially absent, the authors recognise this. S2 also present, maybe S3/ part of S3? (C1 has a different shape to other vertebrae, only sections of the anterior, posterior arches are visible, which is normal for a mid-sagittal CT).
Capture s.PNG
Capture s.PNG


It does look like there are only 4 lumbar vertebrae (standard human=5), unless what I think is S1 (1st sacral vert.) is L5.
(Again, opinions welcome).

Standard human spine, courtesy of Stephen McGillion's Wessex Spinal Surgeon website.
Spinal-Anatomy.jpg


However,
External Quote:
Due to the presence of a large lesion and perforation of the perineum region and pelvic cavity, it is observed that such extensive lesion involves the terminal part of the spine, so the coccyx and the distal part of the sacrum, exactly the last two sacral portions (S4 and S5) are absent.
Meaning: It's got a sodding great hole in its jacksie, so some of its spine fell out or something.

The specimen is normally referred to as a mummy, and may well have been processed some way post-mortem (e.g. the diatomaceous covering). If the damage to the pelvic/ lower spine area was sustained at the end of life, or during processing of the cadaver, it might be possible that those who processed the remains attempted some sort of "repair" re-inserting some bones (conjecture on my part).
Another possibility is, along with the hands and feet, disreputable people have deliberately made alterations to normal anatomy in order to pass off the specimen as something which it is not, something that we know happens thanks to other Metabunkers, see this thread https://www.metabunk.org/threads/alien-bodies-at-a-mexican-uap-hearing.13163/

The author's Fig. 4 shows a computerised reconstruction from CT of a hand, with its three fingers and extra phalanges.
(An initial impression of mine added).
Capture 4.PNG


External Quote:
...no spaces or steps being observed in the distal portions of the tarsal region by a supposed amputation of the first and fifth metatarsals;
Actually, in Fig. 4 there appears to be a large step above the tarsal region; see above. Maybe a hamate bone?
Maybe it's an unrelated piece of anatomy included in the scan due to the specimen's posture; either way you'd expect the authors to explain its presence.

I don't know if the slightly lighter colours in three of the bones- either additional metacarpals, or phalanges- is significant
(the image is a false-colour model)
Capture 4.PNG


Tridactyl hands with long fingers are a feature of some known fake (or at least seriously suspect) "specimens" that might have a similar provenance, Re. the "Alien Bodies at a Mexican UAP Hearing" thread linked to above:
ol.PNG


If DNA were harvested from the phalanges and metacarpals of the Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. specimen, I think it's unlikely that it would demonstrate that all the bones were from one individual (we don't know if useable DNA would be present even if this were allowed, though).


External Quote:
...an elongated skull and an increase in cranial volume. (30% greater than humans)
External Quote:

Specifically, it is the cranial vault that presents an atypical growth and development, with an approximation to the dolichocephalic biotype. On the other hand, the cranial volume is 30% greater than that of a normal human.
The author's Fig. 2:

nnb.PNG

Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. claim they are comparing the specimen to Homo sapiens.
The fact that the specimen probably represents the (modified) remains of an anatomically modern Homo sapiens isn't considered- they are literally dehumanizing the remains (a reason I'm not overly keen on my own use of "specimen").

Despite the claim that the cranial volume is 30% higher than a typical human, No figure is given.
This is bizarre. Describing their resources the authors write (my emphasis),
External Quote:
. RadiAnt DICOM Viewer can also perform volume measurements on three-dimensional structures, which is very useful in computed tomography (CT) images where volumes of tissues, organs or lesions can be identified and measured
There is a strange possible twist to this: Looking at the caption for Fig. 2 (above), it says
External Quote:
Note. Skull/Face Ratio Esp. M01: 1/1.3 (30% higher); Skull-Human Face Ratio: 1/1
(Figure 2's title claims that it is a comparison in volume- the 2D images, without measurements, can only show area).

(1) Why are the authors even bothering with a skull: face ratio? [probably neurocranium: face; the face does include skull!]
(2) They are comparing the face of a desiccated set of remains (very little fluid or fat, dehydrated musculature, wizened skin tissues) with the face of a living person.
In addition, the CT image in Fig. 3 that has this caption is lacking the nose that the authors have described! The nose is obviously a feature that adds to the area of face in profile/ mid-sagittal plane.
(3) The specimen's image is a sagittal plane CT scan; the "standard" human is an X-ray and clearly shows soft tissues unlike the CT of the specimen. The authors are not comparing like-with-like (at least not in Figure 2).

So if the "skull; face" ratio is based on the (2D) images in Fig. 2, or comparable images, it is deeply flawed.
If the supposed difference between the skull: face ratios between the specimen and comparator
(claimed 1:1.3 v 1:1, "30% higher") is the basis for claiming the specimen has 30% greater cranial volume, it is very strange
(in fairness, the authors do not explicitly state this).

Although a volume is not given, two dimensions for the neurocranium can be found in Figure 1:
f1.PNG

This makes the omission of volume even stranger.

Approximate length, 10.9 cm, and depth, 14.39 cm are given. N.B. the depth is not perpendicular to length, making it longer than it should be.
There's no great precision; three of the end points are within the skull wall not on its inner surface, one end point doesn't quite reach the skull inner surface.

It's difficult for us to estimate an irregular volume with only two dimensions.
However, the authors have described the skull as having
External Quote:
...an approximation to the dolichocephalic biotype.
i.e. long and narrow. If the specimen is this individual, or broadly similar, we can see there isn't much broadening of the skull posterior of the face- in fact it appears to narrow.
c.PNG

The breadth of the cranial vault is likely to be less than its length.

So, if we use the on-screen axes of measurement to visualise a box around the cranial cavity, rather generously allowing breadth to be equal to length we can get a very approximate estimate of volume
(making no claims to accuracy or completeness here!)

f2.PNG


External Quote:
The capacity of an adult human cranial cavity is 1,200–1,700 cm3
Wikipedia, Cranial cavity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranial_cavity

-Admittedly my method for estimating the volume is incredibly crude- I'm sure most here could come up with something better. But even using the author's depth measurement and allowing a breadth equal to length (almost certainly too high a value), the specimen's cranial volume is likely to be well within the anatomically modern human range, not 30 percent greater.


Radiocarbon dating of the specimen dates it to the time of the Nazca culture. The Nazca people practiced mummification (also partial burials in arid areas where some natural mummification processes could occur) and artificial cranial deformation.
We know- and the authors know- huaqueros have exploited these remains in the past.
Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. (2024), instead of drawing the most obvious (and probably correct) conclusions about their specimen make extraordinary claims based on their own questionable interpretations. They deny the human origins of the remains.

External Quote:
...the most transcendental of the findings revealed, is that it would be validating ipso facto by the existing physical evidence, that the ancient pre-Columbian cultures coexisted with another intelligent humanoid biological species (Hernàndez-Huaripaucar 2023).
The Nazca people were fine artists, making recognisable ceramic animals and anthropomorphic figures. They did not model tridactyl humanoids.
For all their talk of social bioarchaeology, the authors ignore the culture they profess to be interested in, and appear to willingly misinterpret the desecrated remains of its people, in order to promote their own involvement in a contemporary mythos imported from elsewhere.
 
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If DNA were harvested from the phalanges and metacarpals of the Hernàndez-Huaripaucar, Zúñiga-Avilés et al. specimen, I think it's unlikely that it would demonstrate that all the bones were from one individual (we don't know if useable DNA would be present even if this were allowed, though).

This man, in the video linked below, claims to have studied the subject of this paper ("Maria") in person. He says that they took samples from two different finger bones on the same hand and sent the samples to a lab for DNA testing, which determined that the samples were from two different humans.

External Quote:

"...and that is because in Maria's long finger, which is longer than a human finger, and only three of them of course, is that a sample taken from here and a sample taken from here identified that these two bones were from two different sources. In fact human bones but two different humans."
Timestamp 11:56 for the above quote. When he says "a sample taken from here and a sample taken from here" he points first to the base, and then to the tip, of his index finger, indicating that they tested/compared samples from two different phalanges on the subject's hand.

External Quote:

"...and on further investigation, once we were armed with this knowledge, we could see where the thumb had been taken off, the rear finger had been taken off, the small finger..."
Timestamp 12:44 for the above quote. I cannot find the actual lab results anywhere.


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ41R7ypg4c
 
This man, in the video linked below, claims to have studied the subject of this paper ("Maria") in person. He says that they took samples from two different finger bones on the same hand and sent the samples to a lab for DNA testing, which determined that the samples were from two different humans.
Who is he? is he legit?
 
Who is he? is he legit?
That depends on your definition of "legit."

His name is Steve Mera, some sort of UFOlogist from the UK. I don't know about his credibility. I haven't watched his other content, but going off the titles and his bio on IMDb, he seems to have dedicated a large chunk of his life to doing these types of paranormal and alien/UFO investigations.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3678948/

He starred in "Alien Mummies of Peru", and "Alien Mummies of Peru Six Years Later" which the linked video above is a sort of follow-up to. The first one's on youtube here:


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc6mGtSYs0o


So, I'm not sure if he's legit, but he certainly went to Peru to investigate these things and interview some of the people involved.
 
The Nazca people were fine artists, making recognisable ceramic animals and anthropomorphic figures. They did not model tridactyl humanoids.
For all their talk of social bioarchaeology, the authors ignore the culture they profess to be interested in, and appear to willingly misinterpret the desecrated remains of its people, in order to promote their own involvement in a contemporary mythos imported from elsewhere.

Well done, John! I too wondered what is it these guys are talking about? Peru has a rich history and some amazing existing archeological sites and ones yet to be discovered. Why fart around with these "specimens" that are at best the result of grave robbing and more likely modern constructs for the antiquities trade?

I'm going to speculate a bit here, but:
  • So far, few if any of the "experts" working with these "specimens" seem to be actual Anthropologists, Archaeologists, Bio Archaeologists or any other form of Ancient Peruvian cultural expert. Rather this paper is written largely by modern day dentists. The OP is about a forensic dentist looking at these "specimens". Even going back to the original Mexican mummy thread that this one spun off from, the supposed alien mummies were studied by some sort of government "biologist" from Merida, Mexico.
  • One of the authors is concerned with "tourism":
External Quote:

Roger Zúñiga-Avilés
"Principal Professor to D.E. of the Faculty of Communication, Tourism and Archaeology Sciences of the National University "San Luis Gonzaga de Ica."
  • It appears many of the actual archaeology students and professors at this university do NOT endorse this research. Twitter post below showing the student group listing the people working on the project as NOT archaeologists and the only Anthropologist on the team at the time was a Social Anthropologist (not physical or Bio-Arch antnro) who only taught part time and was NOT involved as an official member of the faculty.
  • The Ica area has a history of dubious discoveries, such as the Ica Stones, that get turned into tourist attractions. Dr. Cabera's collection of likely hoaxed Ica stones ended up in the Museo de Piedras Grabadas ("Museum of Engraved Stones") (bold by me):
External Quote:

By the end of his life, Cabrera's collection reportedly contained around 20,000 stones,[6] many of which remain exhibited at his museum.[8] The National Chamber of Tourism of Peru lists the museum as a tourist destination and leaves the question of their authenticity open.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ica_stones

The Ica stones might be fake, so what? Come look at them anyway and spend some dollars (or Peruvian Sols). Same thing here with the various alien mummies. That's what I'm calling them because that's the implication if not outright stated idea.

Like Roswell and McMinnville's UFO festivals, the Mothman festival in West Virginia (yes there was one for 2024) or The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, I think this is largely an attempt at gaining tourist dollars.

Our expert non-experts say they these various alien mummies are "real", come see for yourself. Think they are actual aliens? Come and wonder at them. Think they're hoaxes? Come and prove it. No matter what you think of them, just COME AND SEE THEM!!

Twitter/X response from the real Archaeology students (Research and Progress Hotbed):

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