Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery

Commentary By Gordon King

Very, very interesting! Small humanoid alien looking creatures found in South America. Is this just a hoax? Or could there be some truth to it? The bible does speak of giants roaming the earth. What about tiny human like creatures? You decide.

High-Head Syndrome

High-Head SyndromeCredit: Sirius, YouTube Screengrab2. The skull showed signs of turricephaly, or high-head syndrome, a birth defect in which the top of the skull to be sort of cone-shaped due to the premature fusing of some of the skull’s sutures, according to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgery.

Alien-Like Skeleton Atacama Humanoid Proven Not A Hoax DNA Tested  –  StandUpFor FreedomLiberty

Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience

A teensy skeleton with a squashed alienlike head may have earthly origins, but the remains, found in the Atacama Desert a decade ago, do make for quite a medical mystery.

Apparently when the mummified specimen was discovered, some had suggested the possibility it was an alien that had somehow landed on Earth, though the researchers involved never suggested this otherworldly origin.

Now, DNA and other tests suggest the individual was a human and was 6 to 8 years of age when he or she died. Even so, the remains were just 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. [See Images of the Alien-Looking Human Remains]

“While the jury is out regarding the mutations that cause the deformity, and there is a real discrepancy in how we account for the apparent age of the bones … every nucleotide I’ve been able to look at is human,” researcher Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, told LiveScience. “I’ve only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream ‘nonhuman.'”

Analyzing the tiny human

Nolan and his colleagues analyzed the specimen in the fall of 2012 with high-resolution photography, X-rays and computed tomography scans, as well as DNA sequencing. The researchers wanted to find out whether some rare disorder could explain the anomalous skeleton — for instance it had just 10 ribs as opposed to 12 in a healthy human — the age the organism died, as its size suggested a preterm fetus, stillborn or a deformed child, and whether it was human or perhaps a South American nonhuman primate.

The remains also showed skull deformities and mild underdevelopment of the mid-face and jaw, the researchers found. The skull also showed signs of turricephaly, or high-head syndrome, a birth defect in which the top of the skull is cone-shaped.

The genome sequencing suggested the creature was human, though 9 percent of the genes didn’t match up with the reference human genome; the mismatches may be due to various factors, including degradation, artifacts from lab preparation of the specimen or insufficient data.

The team also looked at mitochondrial DNA, or the DNA inside the cells’ energy-making structures that gets passed down from mothers to offspring. The so-called allele frequency of the mitochondrial DNA suggested the individual came from the Atacama, particularly from the B2 haplotype group. A haplotype is a long segment of ancestral DNA that stays the same over several generations and can pinpoint a group who share a common ancestor way back in time. In this case the B2 haplotype is found on the west coast of South America.

The data from the mitochondrial DNA alleles point toward “the mother being an indigenous woman from the Chilean area of South America,” Nolan wrote in an email.

More mystery

The jury is still out on the mutations that caused the deformities, and the researchers aren’t certain how old the bones are, though they estimate the individual died at least a few decades ago. In addition, they didn’t find any of the mutations commonly associated with primordial dwarfism or other forms of dwarfism. If there is a genetic basis for the deformities, it is “not apparent at this level of resolution and at this stage of the analysis,” Nolan wrote in a summary of his work.

In addition, even if they found those mutations, they may not explain the anomalies seen in the skeleton. “There is no known form of dwarfism that accounts for all of the anomalies seen in this specimen,” Dr. Ralph Lachman, professor emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine, and clinical professor at Stanford University, wrote in a report to Nolan.

This wouldn’t be the first time alien-looking remains have been brought to the attention of science. The alienlike skulls of children were discovered in a 1,000-year-old cemetery in Mexico. Researchers who examined the skulls said they had been deliberately warped and illustrated a practice of skull deformation that was common at the time in Central America.

“It’s an interesting medical mystery of an unfortunate human with a series of birth defects that currently the genetics of which are not obvious,” Nolan wrote of the Atacama skeleton.

The research was featured in film “Sirius,” a crowd-funded documentary that premiered on April 22 in Hollywood, Calif.

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Ancient site unearthed in Iraq, near biblical home of Abraham

Archaeologists say the site dates back some 4,000 years to around the time Abraham would have lived there; it’s believed to be an administrative center for Ur.

By | Apr.04, 2013

Progress at excavation in Tell Khaiber, Iraq.

This photo taken on March 31, 2013 photo provided by Manchester University professor Stuart Campbell shows excavation in progress at Tell Khaiber, Iraq. Photo by AP

British archaeologists said Thursday they have unearthed a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham.

The structure, thought to be about 4,000 years old, probably served as an administrative center for Ur, around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible.

The compound is near the site of the partially reconstructed Ziggurat, or Sumerian temple, said Stuart Campbell of Manchester University’s Archaeology Department, who led the dig.

“This is a breathtaking find,” Campbell said, because of its unusually large size — roughly the size of a football pitch, or about 80 meters on each side. The archaeologist said complexes of this size and age were rare.

“It appears that it is some sort of public building. It might be an administrative building, it might have religious connections or controlling goods to the city of Ur,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from the U.K.

The complex of rooms around a large courtyard was found 20 kilometers from Ur, the last capital of the Sumerian royal dynasties whose civilization flourished 5,000 years ago.

Campbell said one of the artifacts they unearthed was a 9-centimeter clay plaque showing a worshipper wearing a long, fringed robe, approaching a sacred site.

AP

This photo taken on April 1, 2013 provided by Manchester University archaeologist Stuart Campbell shows a clay plaque, which shows a worshipper approaching a sacred place. Photo by AP

Beyond artifacts, the site could reveal the environmental and economic conditions of the region through analysis of plant and animal remains, the archaeological team said in a statement.

The dig began last month when the six-member British team worked with four Iraqi archaeologists to dig in the Tell Khaiber in the southern province of Thi Qar, some 320 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Decades of war and violence have kept international archaeologists away from Iraq, where significant archaeological sites as yet unexplored are located. Still, the dig showed that such collaborative missions could be possible in parts of Iraq that are relatively stable, like its Shiite-dominated south.

Campbell’s team was the first British-led archaeological dig in southern Iraq since the 1980s. It was also directed by Manchester University’s Dr. Jane Moon and independent archaeologist Robert Killick.

“This has been an opportunity to get back to an area very close to our heart for a long time,” Campbell said.

Iraq faces a broader problem of protecting its archaeological heritage. Its 12,000 registered archaeological sites are poorly guarded.

AP

This photo taken on March 31, 2013 provided by Manchester University archaeologist Stuart Campbell shows excavation in progress at Tell Khaiber, Iraq. Photo by AP