Given my advocacy of using DNA and forensic
science techniques in assisting in the investigation of controversial UFO and
alien events and claims (see my 2005 book “Hair of the Alien – DNA and other forensic evidence of alien abduction” which focused on the Peter Khoury case, but also included other evidence examined by
the Anomaly Physical Evidence Group
(APEG)) it will be hardly surprising that I have taken an interest in the
claims associated with reports about a DNA study linked with a diminutive “alien”
body as part of the Steven Greer “Sirius”documentary to be released on 22 April 2013. Perhaps then we may be in a
position to see if the extraordinary claims being made in the publicity related
to the documentary are backed up by compelling DNA data and related evidence.
I soon realised that I had come across the so
under the name of the La Noria “alien.”
I had thought based on the information from a
few years ago that researchers had concluded that the specimen had little or no
connection with UFO or alien events, and may have been a mummified human fetus.
Yet now it was being described as having
yielded DNA sequences through a group of scientists and medical team, whose
credentials are being described in the SIRIUS documentary publicity as “eye-opening,” and that the results were
“paradigm shifting physical evidence of a
medically and scientifically analaysed DNA sequenced humanoid creature of
unknown classification found in the Atacama desert, Chile.”
Extraordinary claims, indeed. The detail supporting these statements,
namely the detail of the DNA sequences and the methodology used, when revealed,
along with related data will clearly be subject to a lot of controversy and
discussion. Perhaps it will be diluted in the broader issues that will be
covered in the “Sirius” documentary, after all the focus will be the
controversial agenda of Dr Steven Greer’s research. Come 22 April we may know more.
Meanwhile I couldn’t get past the haunting
feeling of déjà vu as I thought about the DNA claims made in the publicity and
hype associated with the upcoming documentary.
My friend and colleague Dr. Horace Drew,
the DNA biochemistry research scientist, who supervised the team that produced
the results behind the “Hair of the Alien” investigation, confirmed the source
of my déjà vu feelings – a “cautionary tale” we were involved
with back in 2003, not a little “alien” figure, but something purported to be
an “alien claw.”
Bill Chalker & Horace Drew
In the various APEG investigations we have
tried to follow a range of protocols. Of
course we would at first try to see if a compelling linkage existed between the
specimen or sample and report observations of alleged UFOs and aliens.
In the Atacama “alien” case the linkage
seemed limited or absent. At best it
seemed there were anecdotes of UFO reports and alien sightings in the general
region and La Noria itself had something of a reputation of strange goings on -
a reputation shared often with “ghost towns.”
La Noria was an old abandoned nitrate mining location.
However none of the stories seemed to have
a direct relationship with the discovery of the Atacama specimen. It appears to be only linked somewhat unusual
appearance, by some Chilean and Spanish ufologists and sensational media
The initial discovery back in 2003 in the
“ghost town” of La Noria highlights that it was wrapped in burlap with a purple
bow, in circumstances that suggest it may have been human related, and buried,
with mummification and the environment accounting for aspects of its unusual
It was examined by Dr. Francisco Etxeberria
Gabilondo, professor of Forensic Medicine, in Spain during 2007. He concluded that it was a “normal mummified human fetus” estimated
to be about 15 weeks gestational age at time of death and most likely of
relatively recent origin. While there
had been further limited work by specialists in Spain, none of it seemed to
support anything alien, although the Spanish custodians of the specimen, the
Exopolitical group IIEE (Instituto de Investigacion y Estudios Exobiologicos)
still presents it as a possible “alien” but confirmed “we have no evidence to determine the nature of the specimen.” This seems at odds with the limited
scientific findings that IIEE present in their own report – “El Ser Anthropomrfico de Atacama” by
Ramon Navia in a special edition No. 50 of the IIEE publication “Espacio
Compatido – The UFO Report and Research Magazine.” Navia with his Exopolitical associate Osario
Villar even produced a book also entitled “El
Ser Anthropomrfico de Atacama.”
In a press release dated April 16, 2013,
the team behind the SIRIUS documentary
“elected to share the following additional 'Atacama
Humanoid' conclusive findings: 'Ata' was male and survived post-birth 6 to 8
years. Speaking specifically to Internet
controversy over 'Ata,': While it's size led many to suggest that it was an
aborted fetus, bone density and epiphyseal plate studies have already concluded
that this creature survived post-birth 6 to 8 years. There will be considerably
more DNA analysis results information released to the public on 'Ata,' the
'Atacama Humanoid,' as the team is calling him, between today and the 22nd.”
These results clearly contradict the
earlier 2007 results. Both cannot be right.
Hoping to get further information I decided
to send the following email to Steven Greer on April 19. Perhaps not surprisingly there has been no
response as of April 21 (Australian time).
Lets see how this plays out, whether
congratulations are due to the team involved, or more likely, whether a
controversial debate will ensue, hopefully based in facts and data, to see if
the claimed “unknown classification” DNA results being attributed to the
Atacama specimen are verifiable or whether they might be another “cautionary
tale” caught up with strange and unusual agendas. I suspect the latter, but lets see.
Dear Dr. Greer, I look forward to the opportunity of seeing
your documentary SIRIUS. Given my longtime advocacy of using DNA
& forensic science techniques (see my 2005 book "Hair of the Alien:
DNA and other forensic evidence of alien abduction") to determine the
possible nature of such evidence, my group APEG (Anomaly Physical Evidence
Group) and I are obviously intrigued by the DNA claims made about the Atacama
specimen. I have been following the limited release
of information on the DNA study and have been aware of the background Chilean
& Spanish connections and earlier limited scientific studies through
Hispanic researchers and the various publications of IIEE (Navia et.al) which
did not seem to support an exotic origin, although IIEE were clearly trying to
reach that conclusion.
I also note the following press release
sample from bone marrow extracted from the specimen, was prepared, sequenced,
and analyzed by a top research scientist at a prestigious American university.
For security purposes, 'Sirius' has withheld details on the university and
researcher, but will be revealing both along with additional DNA analysis
results from the 'Atacama Humanoid' on or before the release of 'Sirius' on the
22nd of April.There
will be considerably more DNA analysis results information released to the
public on 'Ata,' the 'Atacama Humanoid,' as the team is calling him, between
today and the 22nd.
At the time of publication of "Hair
of the Alien" in 2005 we were not in a position to identify the
head biochemist researcher who supervised the team behind those results and who
also authored the 2 technical reports/discussion papers appended in the book.
Now he can be identified as Dr. Horace Drew, recently retired as a principal
research scientist of the Commonwealth Scientific & Research Organisation
(CSIRO) Division of Molecular Science, Sydney Laboratory, Australia, and
co-author of the text "Understanding DNA - the molecule;
How it works" (which was described by Sir Aaron Klug as
"Authorative and lucid").
I have been discussing the Atacama specimen
story with Dr. Drew. He has indicated to me that he would be pleased to
be able to examine the detailed DNA analysis results, data and reports.
As the above press release indicates that the researcher, university and
data will be released by April 22nd we believe it is important to have a
measure of peer review coming from someone who has had experience in examining a
range of evidence presented as possibly extraterrestrial in nature. We would be grateful if you are able to
share this information with us.
I noted the recent statements referring to
the study as having yielded DNA sequences through a group of scientists
and medical team, whose credentials are being described as “eye-opening,” that
the results were “paradigm shifting physical evidence of a medically and
scientifically analaysed DNA sequenced humanoid creature of unknown
classification found in the Atacama desert, Chile.”
The reference to "unknown
classification" caused me to reflect on my own group's experience in
dealing with the so called Californian "alien claw" case, which was
detailed in the attach paper "A Cautionary Tale DNA Analysis of Alleged Extraterrestrial Biological Material: Anatomy of a Molecular Forensic Investigation" prepared by Dr. Colm Kelleher in 2003 when he was
with the NIDS organisation.
Back in September 2003 I described the
report on UFO Updates in the following way:The National Institute for Discovery
Science has published the results of an exhaustive and unprecedented DNA
study on a biological sample implicated in a major UFO abduction milieu -
the "alien claw" case from California.Scientists working with the Anomaly
Physical Evidence Goup (APEG) contributed Mt DNA PCR, DOP-PCR, MDA and
Ribosomal DNA analyses. It was ultimately the novel application of the
latter process that finally produced a breakthrough in this complex work
carried out in this groundbreaking investigation. This anchored the
"alien claw" with a more prosaic origin, namely a mollusc or
snail artifact - a case of when is a "claw" not a claw -
answer, when its a snail or slug.The byproduct of this exercise is the
novel ribosomal DNA analytical methodology, utilised by the APEG
scientists, which has diverse implications in the world of animal research
and perhaps in the field of cryptozoology.APEG is grateful to NIDS and A & S
Research for the opportunity to participate and contribute to this
fascinating exercise.While the study confirmed a prosaic
origin to the "alien claw" artifact, the UFO abduction milieu
from which it emerged is still under study in particular by A & S
Research and it will be interesting to see if any other intriguing
artefacts emerge to assist in the interpretation of this complex affair.
It needs to be remembered that this artifact was only one part of a very
complex affair. The lessons in this DNA investigation are of vital importance
to future such investigations.
Here are the sequences of eight novel PCR
primers, developed by the team led by Dr. Drew, that were used in the
"Cautionary Tale" research work.
They were designed to
amplify any possible DNA, maybe even of alien origin? The bases such as “W” or “V” indicate
certain combinations of A, C, G, T used in DNA synthesis. Snail DNA amplifies
just as well as human. To identify the species, you sequence the PCR project
(whether directly or by cloning in E. coli). There are four separate PCR
products which should ensure a reliable result.
We look forward to the opportunity of
examining the detail of the DNA study of the Atacama specimen.
Regards, Bill ChalkerAPEG