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Some “Starchild” Feedback

by Brian Dunning, Mar 19 2009

sc_cover_thumbjpg1The March 10 episode of my Skeptoid podcast dealt with a number of strange skulls from around the world. One that’s perhaps best known among the strange skull aficionado crowd – if there is such a crowd – is the “Starchild”. It’s the partial skull of a hydrocephalic child who died in Mexico about 900 years ago. At least, that’s what it is according to nearly every knowledgeable person who has seen it. But according to Lloyd Pye, it’s an alien hybrid.

Pye even had a DNA test done on the skull, which confirmed that it was boringly human (read the complete analysis here):

The sample taken from the Starchild Skull (SCS-1) has mtDNA consistent with Native American haplogroup C, as revealed through two independent extractions performed on fragments of parietal bone.

So I got an email from Mr. Pye after the episode came out, and it was clear that he disagrees with my conclusions, to put it mildly. His email was quite lengthy, and I won’t attempt to reproduce the whole thing. He did make a few valid points,  and a lot of invalid ones. For example, I mentioned that the skull had been found in a cave:

A MINE TUNNEL, NOT A CAVE. WE’VE BEEN CLEAR ABOUT THAT FACT FROM DAY ONE. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS MISTAKE BY NOVELLA OR ANYONE ELSE.

Whether you call a tunnel a cave, or a cave a tunnel, is hardly the salient point here, wouldn’t you agree? Is this really what proves the skeptics wrong? Maybe something to discuss over dinner tonight. Or supper.

And, by the way, I’m not Steve Novella. But since I originally misspelled Lloyd’s last name “Pie”, which is indeed a pretty lame error on my part (or on the part of my spellchecker), I’ll excuse this mistake of his.

I also mentioned that the skull is that of a child who was about five years old:

TOTALLY WRONG. THIS IS WHAT WE WERE TOLD BY THE FIRST SPECIALISTS TO ANALYZE IT, SO IT’S WHAT WE REPORTED in 1999. BUT NOT LONG AFTER, FOLLOWING MORE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION BY MORE KNOWLEGEABLE EXPERTS, WE FOUND THERE WAS NO WAY TO DETERMINE ITS AGE AT DEATH, OTHER THAN IT WAS CERTAINLY WELL BEYOND FIVE YEARS OLD.

If you are claiming expertise on skulls, then you should know that it’s quite easy to determine the age of a child from its skull, most obviously by the sutures between the various skull bones. If Pye’s “more knowledgeable experts” were unaware of this, he may need new experts.

TOOTH WEAR, TOOTH ROOT ANALYSIS, AND COMPLETE SUTURING INDICATE THAT THE STARCHILD DIED WELL BEYOND THE AGE OF FIVE.

OK, that’s worth looking at. So I went to Pye’s web site for more information about this. Here’s is what Pye’s expert, a Dr. Ted Robinson, has to say on that matter:

Dr David Hodges, a radiologist, stated that the suture lines were open and growing at the time of death. Dr. David Sweet was of the opinion that the skull was that of a 5-6 year old, based upon the dentition in the right maxillary fragment. Though some specialists who looked at the skull disagreed, I have always supported Dr. Sweet in his belief that this was the skull of a 5-6 year old child.

To me, this does not seem to support Pye’s statement of the child’s age, but I welcome any correction to my understanding. My personal recommendation to Pye would be to drop this line of argument, since even his own experts disagree with him.

But anyway, the child’s age is not really the issue here. Exactly what disease or abnormality the child may have been afflicted with is not even at issue (Pye and Robinson both point out problems with the hydrocephaly diagnosis: Most experts seem to agree with it, but there are certainly other possibilities). What’s at issue is Pye’s claim that the skull is an alien hybrid.

So I told him great, present the evidence of this you found compelling, and I’ll help you win Randi’s million dollars. Well, first he pointed me again to his DNA analysis

WHICH PROVED IT IS MOST LIKELY A HUMAN-ALIEN HYBRID.

and, again, sorry but I found no such conclusion in the analysis; see the link to it above if you think you can find something in there that I missed. A number of the attempts to get results from the sample were not successful, as is common in DNA analysis, especially with older samples like this skull. Pye said:

THAT SECOND, FAR MORE ACCURATE TEST SHOWED THE STARCHILD HAD A HUMAN MOTHER AND A NON-HUMAN FATHER BECAUSE ITS MITOCHONDRIAL DNA WAS EASILY RECOVERED ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT, INDICATING VERY LITTLE IF ANY DEGRADATION OF THE BONE (WHICH COULD BE EXPECTED WITH BURIAL IN A MINE TUNNEL). MEANWHILE, SIX ATTEMPTS TO RECOVER THE NUCLEAR DNA FAILED. IN 2003 WE COULD NOT PROVE THE FATHER WAS ALIEN, ONLY THAT HE WASN’T A NORMAL HUMAN THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN RECOVERABLE ALONG WITH A PROVEN HUMAN MOTHER.

Actually, this does not indicate that the father was “not a normal human.” What the analysis actually says is:

Single amplifications for fragments containing the diagnostic mutations for Native American haplogroups A, B, C and D[2] did not reveal a known Native American haplogroup, however, the extraction did not amplify consistently. A single amplification of a fragment of the mtDNA first hypervariable segment (HVSI) between np 16210 and np 16328 was sequenced using a cycle sequencing procedure with ABI Big-Dye 3.1 chemistry and analyzed on an ABI automated genetic analyzer. The sequence obtained revealed a transition relative to the Cambridge reference sequence at np16273. This sequence did not match either any personnel with access to the ancient DNA facilities or a sequence obtained from Mr. Pye. Subsequent amplifications of this fragment were not successful and the sequence could not be confirmed. Attempts to amplify fragments of the amelogenin gene located on the X and Y chromosome[3] were uniformly not successful.

“We couldn’t get consistent results from the sample” does not mean “the father was not a normal human”. But Pye has one more tool up his sleeve:

The make-or-break test of the Starchild’s viability is an expansive (3-4 months long) and very expensive ($250,000) DNA test that will reveal most of the Starchild’s genome, more than enough to say where it falls against humans, chimps, gorillas, and soon Neanderthals. I don’t think you or Randi are going to front that money for a test.

Pye is correct that I do not intend to personally finance any future delusional explorations, and he is correct that James Randi does not pay the expenses of everyone who wishes to mount a challenge to win the million dollars. I smelled a common charge by promoters of the paranormal, that it is irresponsible for skeptics to not volunteer to bear the burden of disproving every random implausible claim that comes in over the transom. I blew my nose this morning, and the product that came out is alien in origin. You should pay $250,000 to have it analyzed. If you don’t, you’re not a good skeptic.

But anyway, Pye’s “Starchild” project gave Skeptoid material for part of a week, and in thanks I’ll let Pye express what he really wanted to say. These are a couple more paragraphs from his email to me:

OVER THE COURSE OF THIS CAMPAIGN I HAVE BEEN AMAZED BY THE INCREDIBLE FEAR STRUCK INTO THE HEARTS OF ALL KINDS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCHERS BY THE PEER PRESSURE OF COLLEAGUES, AND OF COMING UNDER THE SCRUTINY OF “DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH” LIKE YOU. YOU AND YOUR “SKEPTIC” ILK ARE NO DIFFERENT IN YOUR OWN WAY THAN THE INQUISITORS OF BYGONE RELIGION. THE GARBAGE YOU ALL SPEW KEEPS REAL SCIENCE FROM MOVING FORWARD IN ANYTHING BUT TINY STEPS THAT EVERYONE CAN TOLERATE AT THE SAME TIME. UNFAIR AND RELENTLESS CRITICISM OF NOVEL, AGGRESSIVE RESEARCH KEEPS EVERYONE LOOKING DOWN AT THE GROUND, ONLY MAKING SURE THE NEXT STEP FORWARD IS SAFE AND SECURE, INSTEAD OF LIFTING EYES TO THE FAR HORIZON TO SEE WHAT MIGHT BE ACHIEVED WITH A SINGLE BOLD STRIDE FORWARD.

I DO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WORKS. YOU AND I ARE ON DIFFERENT TEAMS, IN A WAY, TEAMS LOCKED IN A STRUGGLE TO HAVE OUR VIEWS PREVAIL. WE BOTH WANT TO “WIN,” AS IT WERE, TO HAVE OUR VIEWS BE THE ONES THAT OTHER PEOPLE BELIEVE ALONG WITH US. THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN GIVE CREDENCE TO THE THINGS I SAY, NOR CAN I ALLOW YOU TO PUT OUT SUCH TRIPE ABOUT ME AND MY WORK WITHOUT AT LEAST ATTEMPTING TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. YOU HANDLE IT YOUR WAY, I’LL HANDLE IT MINE.

LET ME CONCLUDE BY POINTING OUT ANOTHER EGREGIOUS ERROR IN YOUR DISCUSSION OF THE FAMOUS “CONEHEAD” SKULLS OF PERU. HUNDREDS OF THEM ARE HELD IN VARIOUS MUSEUMS IN PERU AND AROUND THE WORLD, AND YET YOUR SIMPLISTIC ANSWER IS THAT EVERY ONE OF THEM CAN BE EXPLAINED BY THE COMMON PRACTICE OF HEADBINDING. YOU UTTERLY FAIL TO MENTION THAT THESE UNIQUE SKULLS HAVE BRAIN CAPACITIES THAT ARE ON AVERAGE TWICE AS LARGE AS NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS (HUMANS AVERAGE 1400 CC WHILE CONEHEADS AVERAGE BETWEEN 2800 AND 3000 CC). THUS, YOU LEAVE OUT THE MOST CRITICAL DIFFERENCE BECAUSE THE ACT OF HEADBINDING DOES NOT, AND NEVER CAN, EXPAND BRAIN CAPACITY OF HUMANS, CERTAINLY NOT MORE THAN DOUBLE SUCH CAPACITY. IN SHORT, YOU TOTALLY IGNORE THE KEY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND HUMANS, MAKING IT SEEM LIKE ANYONE IS STUPID FOR SUGGESTING THE CONEHEADS MIGHT IN ANY WAY BE UNUSUAL.

THEY DEFINITELY ARE UNUSUAL, AND I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR TEN YEARS THAT THEY COULD PROVE TO BE AS UNIQUE AS THE STARCHILD SKULL. YET IN THOSE TEN YEARS I AM UNAWARE OF A SINGLE CERTIFIED SCIENTIST OF ANY STRIPE HAVING THE NERVE TO BUCK THE ESTABLISHMENT AND CALL FOR THE GENETIC ANALYSIS OF A CONEHEAD SKULL. THIS, IN MY OPINION, IS ANOTHER IN THE LONG LINE OF TRAVESTIES PERPETRATED BY THE COWARDLY GROUP YOU SUPPORT AND KEEP IN LINE.

IF YOU TRULY WERE A SKEPTIC, YOU’D QUESTION WHY A DNA ANALYSIS OF THE CONEHEADS HASN’T BEEN ATTEMPTED, OR IF IT HAS, WHAT WERE THE RESULTS? I SUSPECT THAT’S AN ANSWER YOU WANT TO AVOID EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO AVOID WHAT THE STARCHILD SKULL MIGHT BE.

My Kleenex is still sitting there; WHY HAS NO DNA ANALYSIS BEEN ATTEMPTED??? It’s a conspiracy against science!

Recommended Reading

67 Responses to “Some “Starchild” Feedback”

  1. Kent Geek says:

    Was the email really received in all-caps like that? If so, you have to wonder what motivates people to “color” their argumentation in such a manner. It certainly doesn’t help them appear less silly.

  2. Maybe he sent his email from an Apple II.

  3. GL says:

    It’s truly wonderful how some folks leap directly from “we can’t determine” to “that proves these are alien!”

    I’m sure he knows what kind of alien Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal Man were with their giant brain capacities.

  4. SeanJJordan says:

    I’ll never cease to be amazed by the delusion displayed by all-caps apologetics…

  5. Doubting Foo says:

    SOMEONE SHOULD TELL HIM TO STOP SHOUTING!

  6. korshi says:

    I’ve always found these skulls fascinating, so I enjoyed your podcast on them. Although I’m a complete layman, I did some research of my own last year, and something you forgot to mention in your podcast is that the woman found with the ‘starchild’ showed evidence of head binding herself, so that the shape of the child’s skull was probably a combination of hydrocephaly and cradle-boarding, explaining its weird shape (I think the back of the skull is flattened, whereas with normal hydrocephaly I’d guess it would be uniformly swollen).

    Head-binding is pretty interesting in itself, I wonder if the increased capacity Pye refers to is an actual fact, and if so whether any research has been done into where it comes from… more fluid inside the skull? Assuming the photo on this site hasn’t been fabricated, it looks like the creation of coneheads is still going on, so research should be a possibility: http://wiki.bmezine.com/index.php/Cranial_Binding

  7. Doubting Foo says:

    Brian, I thought it was more difficult to get DNA other than mtdna? If so, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be able to get any y-chromo info…or maybe it’s because it is a girl????

    His site compares the skull to an adult female: http://www.starchildproject.com/morphology.htm

    So if it is a boy, why compare it with an adult female? And if it is a girl, why are they looking for a Y chromo?

    • girlfawkes says:

      Nuclear DNA degrades at a much faster rate than mitochondrial DNA. MtDNA is passed down through the female line to both males and females, however only the female continues to pass it to her offspring. What this means is that if you are a male, you have the MtDNA of your mother. When you have children, they will instead inherit the MtDNA of their mother, not yours. MtDNA comes from your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother and so on into infinity…

      MtDNA says nothing about the sex of the sample donor, relying on MtDNA alone it would be nearly impossible to determine the sex of this skull. A better indicator is physical examination.

      I believe that the comparison skull is the one found in the CAVE (LOL) with the deformed one. It just happened to be most likely female.

      “And if it is a girl, why are they looking for a Y chromo?”

      If I understand your question they are looking for a nuclear DNA sample which would give a full profile from both mother and father, thus definitively proving fully human origins. They probably will not find a large enough sample to use. If they do it WILL be found to be human and then the clucking about lab contamination can begin.

      You must all understand that even should this be proven fully human through scientific analysis they will deny it. They will hang onto their agenda at any cost no matter how ridiculous they look.

  8. catgirl says:

    I would consider Pye’s story more plausible if he could explain how an alien from another planet was coincidentally similar enough with humans to breed with them. If life on another planet evolved completely separately from life on Earth, I would expect all aliens to be more different than humans than our own bacteria.

    • Doug Crowell says:

      My understanding of Pye’s theory is that humans are genetically engineered from primate and alien DNA. If I understand right, breeding through sexual relations was not involved. I believe Mr. Pye also states that two different bacteria may have been deposited on Earth from another planet, thus giving life to our planet. If this were true, then you would not find it hard to believe that alien life would be so different from ours.

      • matt newcomb says:

        Also, since DNA is universal (at least among earth organisms, and who knows where our DNA came from) we are now able to splice genes between species. If we can put a pesticide producing gene from a bacteria into a corn plant, aliens, if they had the desire to mess with us, could certainly alter our genes with some of theirs, assuming both of our DNA has the same amino acids.

  9. MadScientist says:

    Hahahahaha! Thanks Brian, that was hilarious. I hope I stop laughing soon so I can get some sleep.

    Scientists are often brutal (and sometimes unfair in their criticism); you need to convince others that you’ve got something new/interesting/worthwhile. Who hasn’t submitted an article for publication and been whipped, tied to a horse, and dragged through town? Oh, those evil scientists! How dare they not listen to me! There are a few incredibly rare situations though where someone did put forth a good idea or new discovery and was ignored/laughed at/imprisoned, but that is by far the exception rather than the rule.

  10. Brian says:

    I think it would be interesting to find out why those skulls have a larger brain volume, assuming he isn’t lying. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that its alien, but any interesting fact is usually worth exploring, if for nothing more then curiosities sake.

    And did he actually write the email with all caps? Perhaps he needs a new keyboard.

  11. Brian (a different Brian) says:

    Perhaps he needs a new approach.

  12. Here is my article on the Starchild from a few years ago: http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=37

    Sorry about the formatting – we are moving our archived articles over to a new host and format soon.

  13. Dax says:

    Let’s see… mtDNA is circular (just like bacterial genomic DNA — symbiotic origin theory of mtDNA, anyone?) and this is one (of many) reasons why it is less prone to degradation. Genomic DNA is linear and since most naturally occurring degradation processes take place on the termini, it is thus more prone to degradation. Yes, there are other factors involved, but the fact is that it is really impossible to cut the ends of a circle, but not of a linear ribbon.

    But now, by the grace of Pye, I’ve learned that this is proof of alien origin! I guess all those CSI people feel really stupid now, finding mtDNA, and not genomic DNA, in heavily decomposed or burned bodies… and all along they were assuming these corpses had a human origin! Poor convicted murderers must all be innocent according to this new approach to molecular genetics!

  14. John says:

    My ears hurt after reading that. Quit yelling, dude.

  15. MadScientist says:

    Well, since all foreigners are called ‘alien’ by the government I have no doubt that the skull in question belonged to an alien hybrid – two human aliens.

  16. Courtney Franklin says:

    Just because there’s a movie called the coneheads doesn’t mean that the Cone heads of Peru are aliens or alien hybrids.

  17. MadScientist says:

    Oh, about the DNA stuff – not finding something is not at all unusual. If he finds non-human non-earth-animal DNA then he’s got something.

  18. TomP says:

    Surely all it takes is $250k worth of investment to have ABSOLUTE UNEQUIVOCAL PROOF of alien DNA, then from a purely financial point of view, Mr Pye would be mad not to make this investment.

    Leaving aside the 1 million from Randi, imagine how much money he would make in books, interviews, magazine deals, publicity tours, movie rights etc. Surely be in the region of tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars.

    Somehow, I think the fact that he’s not prepared to invest this relatively small amount of money to unequivocally prove his case means that deep down, he isn’t really convinced of his arguements himself.

  19. It’s just standard wooville reversal of burden of proof. Their job is to find ‘anomalies’, while it’s science’s job to drop everything and rush out to investigate the anomaly, and of course, to pay for it all.

  20. Starchildren? I could vomit blood.

  21. Mr. Pye needs a new woo. He’s been pounding this particular rock for a long time.

  22. Dan says:

    It seems the more assinine the point of view the more BS verbarage is stuffed into the argueement. My question though is with him calling you Steve Novella who is the more insulted by that lol. Love y our podcast.

  23. Feralboy says:

    Send him Occam’s Razor. His brain needs a shave.

  24. Nihilodei says:

    Thanx TomP… i was reading down the comments list and you went and ruined my up and coming comment.

    I am just trying to work out why these human alien hybrids arent the same as the lizard people. There couldnt be two alien species that could cross breed with us. We should ask the word expert, David Icke, on this. He sees them everywhere.

    anyway.. gotta let the door open for the flies and roaches..its dinner time!

    Klaatu!

  25. Mick says:

    Star Child is not Lloyd Pyes only pet project. He firmly believes in Planet X and Bigfoot as well.
    He has stated that Bigfoot and the Yeti are the ONLY hominids to have evolved on this planet. All Humans came from Alien descent (from Planet X of course).

    One of Lloyd Pye’s biggest arguments against the theory of evolution and science generally is conjecture, something he is the master at, but it seems conjecture without evidence is better than conjecture based upon masses of evidence.

  26. kailcar says:

    “Terrestrial” explanation of the points. (sorry for length and no ability to format!!)

    First let me say that I am a layman and not a medical professional so forgive me if my use of medical terminology is not correct or even accurate. Let me also say that I also hold to a belief that there is probably other life in the universe – to think we are alone as sentient beings in the whole of creation is impractical and maybe a bit arrogant. However, I also believe in finding a more natural explanation for something before jumping to the supernatural. I believe that when a simple/natural explanation for something presents itself it is probably the most likely one. I am not claiming medical knowledge on the topic, just throwing this out there for consideration. I am also not an expert on the disease known as Progeria, I am not in the medical field, I simply did my own research in response to this skull after seeing a special on the History Channel and after viewing a 65 minute lecture Lloyd Pye gave on the skull’s morphology to colleagues in the UK which greatly intriged me. I felt I could offer a reasonable counter-explanation for every point I heard made claiming that it helped justify the skull was from an alien or alien-human hybrid. I have paraphrased the salient points then offered my own explanation for your consideration afterwards….

    1. The scientist have already considred and dismissed that this is a child with a Hydrocephalic condition, which causes swelling of the head, primarily because of the placement, depth and size of the eye sockets and the fact that the skull is just “too symmetrical” to be a standard deformity – I don’t believe the skull is from a hydrocephalic person either. Frankly, Hydrocephaly probably would have caused mental impaired to the point where survival into adulthood may not have been credible for the time period we’re talking about. So I agree that this is not likely a case of hydrocephaly. However there is a little known genetic disorder known as Progeria that is much more likely. Maybe I’m wronge but, to me, a diagnosis of Progeria seems to easily explain away most if not all of the physical points. Unlike hydrocephaly, Progeria apparently leaves the brain untouched so if this were a person with Progeria, they would likely have had normal mental abilities and a normal IQ…and the physical characteristics of Progeria seem to match the eye depth and placement (and low holes for the optic nerves) as well as the perfect symmetry of the skull. Unlike Hydrocephali, Progeria causes an increase in the skull size in a uniform and symmetrical pattern. In Progeria, eyes are large and often bulge because of these deformities.
    2. The back of the skull (Occipital area and inion) is extremely flattened beyond what cradleboarding could possibly accomplish – this “strange” extreme flattened shape at the back of the head is an exact and naturally occurring characteristic of Progeria. Cradleboarding doesn’t even figure into anything here, a severe flattening of the occipital lobe (the back part of the skull) is entirely in keeping with this disease and occurs in those who suffer from Progeria today.
    3. The ears are smaller and lower than they would be on a “human” and the jaw muscles are much less defined – one characteristic of Progeria is that the face is much smaller in proportion to the skull and that the lower face, in particular is much less developed, which would give the person a very tiny jaw and underdeveloped jaw muscles that are all still perfectly capable of working normally and symmetrically. The ears are also smaller and lower in Progeria so, again, all this is still in keeping with the disease as far as I can see.
    4. Many features of the skull suggest that of a child (such as second set of teeth that have not come in and the small size of the body when it was discovered etc….but other things like the closed cranial sutures and crazing/aging of teeth that only happen when we are older imply that it could not be a child – Progeria is a disease that ages a child prematurely while also blocking growth in body and teeth. So let me take these points on one at a time:
    a. Small size – Progeria sufferers are tiny, even as adults (Progeria is considered a form of dwarfism) so the “child-like” size fits with the disease regardless of the actual age of the starchild.
    b. Secondary teeth have not dropped but this may have been an adult – also possible with Progeria. As tooth growth can be extremely delayed in people with Progeria it is possible that at an age of 15-20 the teeth may still be coming in and therefore appear to be the teeth of a much younger child even if this is an adult. This is a symptom of the disease.
    c. Yet existing teeth show wear that would require 15 years or more to aquire proving it could not be a child – Progeria ages the entire body to that of a 70-80 year old very quickly. Apparently teeth gain age and rot in young children with Progeria quite commonly, so coupled with the above point this seems to explain both the baby teeth that have not dropped AND the wear on the teeth. It allows for an age ranging in anything that has already been proposed (5-25 years old??) while still explaining both the presence of baby teeth and tooth aging/wear. In other words the skull is of a young child who’s teeth have not yet come in but who is suffering the age and rotting of teeth like an adult due to the disease OR it is the skull of a young adult who’s teeth may be wearing normally but who is suffering the developmental retardation of tooth growth.
    d. Closed Cranial Sutures and Wormian Bone (extensive bone islands) not possible in child of age 5 – Again, we could still be looking at a tiny adult suffering from Progeria. My research has found that wormian bone is a symptom of the disease and the closed sutures could be explained if this is not a child (or possibly the aging process of the disease has closed them prematurely).
    In short, on this particular point I think the scientists are either not recognizing the skull as belonging to a child because of the severe aging effects of the disease of Progeria OR they are indeed looking at an adult specimen who suffered from this disease and are not able to recognize the other features of Progeria. It may also explain why they cannot agree on the age of the starchild on death.
    5. Zygomatic bones are greatly reduced in size so the lower face is much smaller (like a “grey”) – again, this is a feature common to Progeria. The size or frailty of these bones doesn’t seem unusual for this disease.
    6. Because of the placement of neck muscles on the skull the neck would have to be about half as thick as a human neck (again another “grey-like” feature) – however, Progeria patients are very fragile and birdlike in structure and a small, very thin neck is another defining physical characteristic.
    7. The unuually large brain size means the head must sit on a different part of the neck for balance so is not in keeping with human anatomy. – This point seems to be supposition to me rather than anatomical fact as the scientists try to give an explanation for how a head of that shape and size could be supported….but bear in mind that people with Progeria exist today and have the same large brain size and small neck size and, to my knowledge, they exist and function with their skull having very normal placement on the neck. It is also possible for someone with Progeria to have other bone deformities in the neck or spine so these two things combined offer a reasonable explanation for this point. Pye seems to indicate that the hole where the spinal column joins the skull is not where it should be in a human but in looking at pics of the skulls from the bottom….I wonder if it might also be deceiving optically simply because the skulls hold such different shape and therefore the holes may appear to sit in different anatomical positions even if they really don’t. I don’t see anything to suggest otherwise…and please remember when UFO Hunters and Pye himself had a reconstructions of the skull done the placement of the head on the neck has appeared normal and within “human” ranges.
    8. The skull seemed thinner than a normal human skull and smelled like a drilled tooth when cuttings were taken, implying that the make-up of the skull was more like a “tooth” than normal skull bone. – according to dentists, that distinctive smell you get when you drill teeth is from Collagen burning. Progeria patients have huge amounts of excess collagen in their bones from what I can see via my research. Apparently this messed up collagen production is partly caused by the disease. So, while not an expert, I can easily see this explaining the strange smell and consistency of the skull.
    9. There is strange red residue and fibers in the bone of the skull and the fibers resisted cutting by the dremmel tool used to cut the skull – This can probably be explained away if the proper experts got their hands on the skull for testing but here are some theories: There is something called cysteine “residue” that can appear in the skull (again this residue can be more common in Progeria, I believe). There are also different types of fibers like Sharpey’s Fibers which can appear as hair-like fibers in the bone of the skull….However, I am leaning towards collagen fibers because it links more with point 8 and the excess collagen that might be found in the skull of someone with Progeria – plus collagen fibers apparently have great tensile strength which might explain not being cut by the dremmel (?). Another possibility: world scientiests have recently found noodle or knot-work shaped fibers left by microbes that exist in iron or copper mines. The microbes apparently live off the ore and produce strong polymar fibers as waste. The skull was found in an abandoned mine shaft in Chihuahua’s “Copper Valley” making it is likely it was resting in an abandoned copper mine so these fibers could easily have been left by these newly discovered microbes (or similar bacteria) as well.
    10. The bone had high levels of Silacon which is unusual for a human – high levels of Silacon have been found in patients suffering from bone diseases (which Progeria does qualify for). Silacon plays a part in bone growth and since Progeria patients have stunted or delayed bone growth, I would think higher levels of silacon would not be unusual.
    11. The bone had high levels of Aluminum which is unusual for a human – I can think of numerous reasons for the high aluminum. Chihuahua Mexico, where the skull was found, has high aluminum/alkalai levels in its soil, this may get into drinking water. It also is one of the major ranges for a toxic plant called Rayless Goldenrod which has elevated aluminum levels in it. If these people were eating game animals that were eating this plant, which grows around water sources, this could explain the elevated aluminum levels.
    12. The fibers and aluminum were only found in the “child” skeleton which was buried and not the normal female skull which was recovered with the starchild skull – the normal skull was lying on top of the soil while the starchild was buried so it is possible that the microbes were only under the soil (ditto with aluminum deposits/powders in the soil of the mine).In my mind, the fact that it was buried means it had different weathering and bacterial conditions in general than the skull that was not and may have absorbed bacteria or minerals from the soil over 900 years. So, in a mine where aluminum was found (or used as part of the mining process), it is also possible that the starchild skull picked up aluminum contamination from being buried there.
    13. The starchild had “deformed” hands as noted by the girl who discovered the skull – unfortunately these pieces were lost but note that in Progeria, the fingerbones at the end of each finger are often re-absorbed into the body so Progeria could accound for unusual looking hands/bones even after death.
    14. If this is a natural deformity then why haven’t we seen more skeletons or skulls like this. We probably have hundreds of specimens of hydrocephalic skulls (none of which look like this) if not alien then why has it not been discovered more frequently – simple, Progeria is an extremely rare disease….So rare, in fact that only about 40 living people are believed to have it in the entire world at any given time and doctors still don’t know much about it. The odds of us finding a skull like this that also survived the test of time would be astronomical. But we DID find one…it is the starchild skull.
    15. And the Big One: Only the mothers DNA could be identified, they could not find evidence of the father’s DNA so could not prove an earthly existance – please understand that maternal (mother’s) DNA is extracted from the mitochondria and that the paternal (father’s) DNA is extracted from the cell nucleus. Now also consider that the very heart of Progeria centers around the fact that it is a paternally carried disease, coming thru the sperm from the male and mutating the cell nuclei of the person with Progeria….Simply put, this means that the very place they need to get the DNA from to “prove” the male parent is human has already been targeted and damaged by the disease probably to the point where paternal DNA could not be recovered especially after 900 years. This would not affect the recovery of the maternal DNA which explains why they were able to easily retrieve that DNA. So the very fact that they CAN’T find paternal DNA to me is the final nail in this coffin, indicating that this is someone who suffered from Progeria.

    Please keep in mind that each Progeria patient has symptoms that vary widely so the starchild is going to be quite similar but not exact in physical features to any specific Progeria patient/photo. (we are all unique after all). Also remember that the forensic specialist who reconstructed the starchild skull openly admitted that while he used standard anatomical techniques to base his reconstruction on, the areas of the nose, chin, jaw placement and size allowed for many possibilities and interpretations. This means he could have placed the ears much lower than they actually would be or made the nose much smaller. Since they were already imagining a more grey-like alien look this may have biased the final sketches/sculpts. the following pics of the final “starchild” as reconstructed by Pye and The History Channel….followed by two modern day people with Progeria:

    http://www.seattlepi.com/dayart/20040916/450progeriaXX_closeup.jpg

    http://mi-cache.legacy.com/legacy/images/portraits/16477138port.jpg

    When we see something new or strange we want to leap to the extraordinary in our first flush of excitement. I admit I had that same rush of excitement when I first saw the starchild skull and thought to myself…wow we now have physical proof of aliens….but then I stopped and took stock, did some research and calmed down a bit…Even though it was disappointing, I was able to find earthly explanations for every aspect of the skull. But some people never get over that excitement and in fact, cling to it…using every argument (rational or not) to continue on a course that doesn’t crush their hopes. Unfortunately, while usually sincere and dedicated to their cause, the people who end up with these artifacts are often very one-sided in their beliefs and this makes it very difficult for them to be open minded if it means dashing their dreams. To me, this is an unreasonable way to approach science. Just because the starchild skull isn’t alien or an alien-human hybrid doesn’t mean that life doesn’t exist on other planets. We just have to know when to put aside the theories we hoped were true when we come face to face with stronger evidence suggesting they probably aren’t true. To me…all aspects of this skull point to a very earthly explanation. Someone with Progeria. If Pye has extensive evidence from experts in the field of progeria to indicate why this couldn’t possibly be progeria, I would love for him to make public this information for our consideration.

    • Loretta says:

      I am an expert I also agree that this may be the case of the star child project, but they can not disregard this, Progeria is a disease maybe whom they had this disease and did not want their families associated to this, this person was buried alive or died after someone clubbed it to death. Progeria i feel so sorry for those who have this. I do work closely with them and i feel that this diseas is not good for anyone.
      Well, let me tell you this, believe it or not this is not an alien this is a progeria child, adult, they are trying to make a mockery out of science and this is it.

  27. cl says:

    I’m not really committed to any position on the skull. I don’t mean to endorse or defend Lloyd Pye, either, as I think his affirmative conclusions are reasoned but premature. However, I do think you give the evidence short thrift, ignoring some of the more compelling data. What are your reasoned arguments explaining the skull’s lack of frontal sinuses and inion, for example? These anatomical shortcomings are not common features of hydrocephalic infants. Cradleboarding cannot account for the complete lack of an inion and frontal sinuses.

  28. Keira says:

    The Starchild Skull is a perfect skull, neither cradleboarded nor hydrocephalic (nothing that matches the typical human skull deformities). Approximately twice as hard as a normal human skull, but much lighter. Microscopic reddish fibers also found in the bone (which is previously unheard of in human skull). I also understand that tests for the nuclear DNA were ineffective, but the mitochondrial DNA was identifiable as coming from a human mother. Lloyd Pye is anything but a con man; for many years he’s been a serious researcher of hominoids. His most recent book, The Starchild Skull [Bell Lap Books. http://www.BellLapBooks.com, contains the following three appendices : Preliminary Analysis of a Highly Unusual Human-Like Skull [Dr. Ted J. Robinson, MD, LMCC, FRCS]. Report on DNA Analysis of Skeletal Remains from Two Skulls [Dr. Jason Eshleman, PhD, Trace Genetics, Inc, Richmond, CA]. and Summary of Inorganic Chemistry Analysis of Starchild Bone [Professor Ken Pye {My Note: no relation to Lloyd}, Director, Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd., Crowthorne, England]. In the first Appendix, Dr. Robinson writes: “…This skull’s morphology is so highly unusual as to be unique in my forty years of experience as a medical doctor specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the human cranium. Because of its uniqueness, I undertook an extensive review of literature on craniofacial abnormalities, which failed to uncover a single similar example. In short, is seems to be not only unique in my personal experience, but also unique through the history of worldwide studies of craniofacial abnormalities. This is significant. Specialists who examined the skull, X-rays, and CAT scans were: Dr. David Hodges, Radiologist, Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, BC. Dr. John Bachynsky, Radiologist, New Westminster, BC. Dr. Ken Poskitt, Pediatric Neuroradiologist, Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ian Jackson, (formerly of Mayo Clinic), Craniofacial Plastic Surgeon, Michigan. Dr. John McNicoll, Craniofacial Plastic Surgeon, Seattle. Dr. Mike Kaburda, Oral Surgeon, New Westminster, BC. Dr. Tony Townsend, Ophthalmologist, Vancouver. Dr. Hugh Parsons, Ophthamologist, Vancouver. Dr. David Sweet, Forensic Odontologist, Vancouver…Dr. Bachynsky saw no evidence of erosion of the skull’s inner table. Such erosion would be consistent with a diagnosis of hydrocephaly, so this condition can be ruled out as a cause of the abnormalities expressed. Hydrocephaly also causes widening of the sutures, again not expressed here. Ther was consensus agreement to both of the observations by other experts conversant with these features…”

  29. kate says:

    I can’t help seeing a similarity here. http://www.poe-news.com/imgs/story/82633-missingflababy.jpg. Close set eyes and small features. Not so unusual at all.

  30. michael jones says:

    So technologically far advanced Aliens come to earth to bury their dead children leaving no other traces of their presence OR
    A deformed human freak was born to some poor individual due to 1 of thousands of documented reasons……

    not complicated.

  31. Ash Doonan says:

    Hi there everyone,

    I am compelled (like many of you) towards the Starchild and the remarkable science behind it. Though I must disagree with most of you here. I do support Lloyd and his conclusions for there is so much evidence towards this skull being non-human. To add, I personally think that Lloyd Pye is addressing the fact that this skull is not from any human or animal (which is true) so it must belong to another organism from another planet (reasonable conclusion I must say chaps).

    Also I must agree with cl because there has been no suggestion towards the other research conducted like experiments identifying the unusual fibres found in the skull and the red residue that is in no shape or form, marrow (marrow normally decays quite quickley).

    In addition, we must also take in account the morophology which is very unique. Cradle-boarding or hydrocephalic deformity can not explain such a weird and strange appearance. If one was to look at X-ray or CAT images of the Starchild against a cradle-boarded or hydrocephalic skull (whether they are 10 years old or a 1,000 years old) then these differences are so apparent.

    On the matter of experts and scientists doing the tests/experiments well there is very much a rejection from some experts towards the skull. It appears that some scientists are open-minded enough to test a possible alien skull, and they have with great results, though there are some who wouldn’t put their jobs on the line. There is a case of cover-up unfortunetely amoung those dismissive experts and scientists, who accordingly to Pye’s book, just literally ignored him!

    P.S. I have spoken on another blog besides this one if anyone was wondering but unfortunetely I was a product of ridicule. If someone wants to reject my comments then please say it in a decent manner, thank you (:

  32. Max says:

    Would the author of this article (Brian Dunning) please give some input regarding the comment posted here by “Keira” on
    May 12, 2009? I think Keira’s comment raises some issues which Brian Dunning did not address in this article. I’m not saying that this means the skull is alien – but that there are some questions which have not been answered, and this alone is quite strange and merits more serious research.

  33. John says:

    Well Max still no reply posted on here as yet… I read Keira’s remarks and have to agree with you, I think ultimately that when you look at Loyd Pye’s work along with people Like Sitchin and others there is as they say “No smoke without fire” whilst I am still to be wholly convinced by everything I have read I would admit that they do have some very compelling views/arguments which would appear to answer more questions than they create, I think that one day mankind will discover the truth behind all of these mysteries but until then anyone who digresses from the normal train of thought will be ridiculed and seen as ranting idiots, on that note I have seen so called experts explain away the great sculptures etc in the Middle East as been created by men with hard stones knocking them against even harder stone to shape them into huge 4 ton perfect building blocks and using bronze saw’s along with sand and flints to cut marble… perfectly .. and this was on the National Geographic channel… so ?????

  34. Peter says:

    I have sent an Email to Dr.Ted Robinson M.D. L.M.C.C. F.R.C.S (C)
    to enquire about the letters after his name which stand for
    Licenciate of the Medical Councilof Canada, and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, there is also a (c)after theletters but I cannot
    find any reference to this letter. What I have found is that no
    Dr.Ted J.Robinson is listed as a Fellow,can anyone else confirm this.

  35. linda steel says:

    I am relatively open minded, but after seeing this skull, and then meeting Lloyd Pye, I was convinced that with all my years of experience in nursing, I could come up with some reasons why this was wholly terrestial. I put forward the arguments I had on various genetic conditions, lack of density of bone etc. etc., but he had an argument for all of them, they just weren’t plausible.
    I also find it hard to believe, that a technologically advanced alien race, would engineer our DNA, and come up with a skull that didn’t work, a life span of five years, and a twisted deformed skeleton. (Perhaps they were on short time in the genetic engineering department when this one slipped through

  36. KL says:

    I left this comment on Lloyd PYE’s official YouTube website yesterday:

    “Unfortunately many children around the word suffer from skull deformities, some rarer than others, and some more extreme than others.

    The Elephant man,Joseph Merrick, had a horribly deformed skeleton and skull, but no on is in any doubt that Merrick suffered from a rare and extreme bone deforming disease

    Why is the star child’s skull any more special than John Merrick’s deformity or even the Tree man ?

    Horribly deformed yes…….alien origin………..some leap without any REAL evidence.”

    HERE IS Llyod Pye’s response:
    OfficialLloydPye

    “MR K : We have plenty of REAL evidence, you simply haven’t taken the time or the trouble to examine any of it or you wouldn’t make a comment like that. There is not a shred of comparison between the Starchild Skull and the Elephant Man.”

    And my response to his reply:

    “You have plenty of REAL evidence of what exactly?

    And yes I have read the star child website and watched the TV interviews and documentaries.

    You have discovered strange fibres and colouration in the skull, and you can’t verify the father’s DNA.

    But all these things STILL do not necessarily mean the skull has “Alien” origin.

    It merely means you have a skull that has some unusual things about it , but look around, the world is FULL of unusual things”.

    ——–

    I await a further response, although I think I can predict his response!

    The trouble with Pye is that he first convinces himself of a conclusion, and then digs around anything that might in the slightest not throw out his conclusion, and then amazingly declare it as proof that he was right.

    Guess who originally named the skull “The Star Child”…..was it the amazed and dumbfounded doctors…..no, was it the the discoverer of the skull…nope……It was good ole Uncle Lloyd!
    So even BEFORE it went for any scientific testing, Lloyd has already decided it is an “alien” child!

    Pye is now claiming a new DNA testing technique has revealed that parts of the skull has now has been tested where no DNA match of any known animal could be found…..so Lloyd has concluded from this that the father is not human…..but further research is needed for the results to determine just how much % wise the child was alien……of course Pye refuses to name the lab that has produced these startling DNA results!

    I think that kinda says it all really!

    For Pye right from inception the skull had to be of Alien origin, so almost any result will lead Pye to the conclusion that the skull is alien…..even if the lab came back with 100% human DNA results!

    So Mr.Pye, as Linda said above, a vastly more advanced Alien race interbreeds with a female, but produces a deformed child obviously not suited to life on Earth….
    And let’s suppose Pye is correct, it is an Alien child….then where are it’s brothers and sisters?
    Perhaps the aliens need help from a fertility doctor!

    If Aliens truly did interbreed with humans, then why has there only been one “Star child” to date……surely there would be thousands if not millions of “Star child” like people living today…..I don’t see them!

    Aliens that have the capacity to travel to our planet would be several thousand years ahead of us modern humans, given that humans have only managed to travel to Earth very own satellite the moon, and is decades away from even venturing to any of our neighbouring planets.
    Pye seems to have over looked this small fact.
    Any Aliens visiting Earth aren’t likely to have made such a mess of specimen like the “star child”.
    Sorry Pye, time to eat your own very, very large humble pie!

    • Doug says:

      I do not believe that the skull has been proven to be “deformed” or unsuited to life. Please present more science, and less condemnation for a theory. Science is all about hypothesis and testing. Either ignore, or help prove/disprove the theory, but do not render comments based on your offended beliefs. It amazes me that a million dollar prize is offered up for proof and then the awarding of that prize is defended not with science, but with attacks on character. Keep to the science people. The skull will either prove to be, or prove not to be, of partial alien origin. Pye has put forth a theory. It is not up to Pye and all of us to prove/disprove the theory.

      • Manny says:

        i believe, doug, that she questioned pye’s theory with common sense, the greatest science of all!

  37. Reiner says:

    In this whole story, of which I read almost every line in this topic, there was one outstanding contribution that should have settled the case completely more than a year ago. On this topic, kailcar posted on April 21 2009 a meticulously researched piece that puts probably all remaining nails in the coffin of Mr Lloyd Pye’s ideas. Please read it all and give kailcar applause. I think this person deserves a prize!

    In the contribution, nearly every one of Pye’s claims finds plausible and straight forward explanations. What had been missing so far were responses to all the other points in Pye’s claims, besides the discussion about the interpretation of the missing paternal DNA. Important was also the altered chemical composition of the skull and its mechanical properties as well as the fibre enclosures which really needed at least some plausible hypotheses to try to explain them. Please reread kailcar’s contribution on the possible origin of the chemical changes of the bone specimens. It makes a lot of sense.

    I came across this whole thing today in mids of the occasional distraction that comes from clicking on too many youtube links, and also followed much of the lecture presentation by Lloyd Pye on youtube. Just like kailcar, I was intrigued by Lye’s lecture somehow, because this guy does not immediately come across as a complete crank. In fact, I wasted an entire afternoon to finally find this well done debunk.

    Now I wonder, if Lloyd Pye has any reasonable approach and is indeed so much interested in finding the truth as he claims, why did it take me hours of internet browsing to finally come across the utter dismantling of this story in kailcar’s post, while L. Pye has been searching to find “the truth” for 12 years? It’s not that he isn’t smart enough. He must have come across explanations such as the Progeria syndrome before. Dear Lloyd, I might want to say, if you truly want to prove something that most people don’t believe, and you really run out of ideas how to prove it, why don’t you try the method of counter proof by assuming the opposite of your most beloved hypothesis? Lloyd must have received thousands of hints from people who just don’t want to believe in the Easter bunny (with or without snake eyes) and could have used any of the most plausible ideas that are everywhere around to try to disprove this so completely unlikely explanation.

    Now I feel kind of stupid to have even watched all this stuff on youtube and wasting a whole afternoon, and I am thankful to have arrived at skepticblog.org. I’m gonna visit this place a lot more. Power to you!

    • Marie says:

      Here are just a few points from a layperson who knows Lloyd well.

      Even though he is often and easily debunked, he is not a crank. He is steadfastly dedicated to getting to the bottom of the Starchild mystery through scientific research. The current geneticist remains anonymous in order to protect his position at a prominent lab where some closed minded people lurk. He has not found nuclear DNA, but has had several results showing no known match in the DNA data bank. Lloyd took this to mean it must be alien. The geneticist has explained to Lloyd that this is not any kind of proof; it is just curious. It would be satisfying if he were able to find Progeria DNA, but that most likely is not possible after 900 years.

      • Reiner says:

        Even though it also looked to me for a while (a day or so, see my earlier comment) as if Lloyd was not a typical crank, what really discredits him in my eyes is not so much this star child story. It is all the other absolutely “out there” stuff about big foot in various forms and variations in different cultures. Those are long proven mythologies, utterly debunked and often quite ridiculous. Much of human mythologies have parallels even for far apart cultures, but that doesn’t make them reality. It only proves that all humans have a lot of imagination, and that our imaginations are quite universal. If it wasn’t for the big foot nonsense that he peddles in other web publications, Lloyd Lye would have a much more credibility. Don’t get me wrong: I love mysterious things, stuff that challenges my own fantasy and feeds my infatuation and awe for a majestic universe. Nature and it’s mysteries are fantastic enough, we don’t have to invent additional stuff out of thin air. It is any ways a bummer if it then turns out to be utter nonsense. So in order to not be disappointed one should approach everything with great care and the greatest amount of scepticism.

  38. ThomaT says:

    sorry typo should be Read Secret Vows Bert Twiggs.

  39. Winston says:

    Check out Lloyd Pye’s interview on Coast to Coast recently.

    It’s groundbreaking in that his Starchild skull, a possible alien-human hybrid and the most unusual real skull in the world, is about to be tested by scientists using genetic maps for every known creature. It’s a very expensive process that costs at least $200,000 which will determine once and for all what kind of creature that skull is and how far it deviates from humans and Neanderthals. It could be a turning point in that it will vindicate Lloyd and others like him so that the “alien intervention” theory will finally be accepted as real by mainstream science. If you listen to him, you can tell that Lloyd is a highly intelligent, sane and credible person with many compelling logical arguments. This interview is a must hear for anyone wondering about human origins.

    In it, he also debunks the skeptical arguments on this webpage.

    Part 1 of 11:
    youtube.c o m/watch?v=kHxuUmgt_SE

    • KL says:

      Winston, no disrespect but what do you know of the “starchild”?

      Almost everything that has been spouted about the “starchild” comes from Pye’s very own lips.

      So even when he is interviwed all these tests that the scientists are about to perform on the starchild are ALL described by…..Pye…..NOT the sciuentist who are about to do the tests, so Pye can quite easily spin these tests to have much more meaning than they really do.

      It’s not the first time that Pye has been fudging the facts and I suspect it won’t be the last.

      Take a TV interview he conducted on New Zealand tv in 2009…..
      In the interview (Available on You Tube), as usual only Pye was there to talk about the skull and no geneticist was there to back up Pye.

      Pye says that the skull has been tested for DNA and the results showed that the mother was human and the father was not!

      Hang on Pye…..those DNA test results were’t able to extract the DNA to determine the father, that doesn’t mean that the father was therefore not human!

      When qualified geneticists start suggesting that the skull may have alien origin…..then perhaps I might take it seriously…..but can anyone really take what Pye says seriously???

      • Doug says:

        I am not one to embrace every fringe theory that comes along, but Pye has put forth a theory based on scientific testing within the boundaries of conventional science. Why should he not be taken seriously? It is perfectly acceptable, and indeed prudent to be skeptical, but healthy skepticism should manifest itself in a dispassionate scientific argument.

  40. jono says:

    Any romp through textbooks about medical anomalies will reveal the many horrors of genetic mutation. I have read some of these books and can testify that with the amount of variation possible in the human procreative process it a complete wonder why most of us are not medical atrocities ourselves. It seems statistically the odds would be against most of us even being born alive.
    Can I imagine a species coming to earth and performing genetic experiments? Absolutely. Can I see them abandoning any result that did not suit their purposes? Again, I say yes.
    Is the starchild skull “worth” $250K to confirm it is partially non-human? I have to ask if we have the technology to arrive at such a conclusion to begin with. If we have it,and if there is enough non-degraded material with which to work, then maybe the money should be spent. I have to agree that even if we answered ‘yes’ to the requisite questions, It does seem likely that in the face of a ‘non-alien” result, that Mr. Pye would find that a pill too bitter to swallow.
    All this aside, it does appear that in the near future we are all going to have to revise our attitudes about the possibility of intelligent life being at Earth as the numbers of life-viable planets increases and as the number of widely differing environments in which life can exist at all also increases. Trying to guess about what ET life is like is much like trying to map the oceans of the world from a western beach at Maui. We need to try to look through non-earth-coloured glasses…as best we can.

  41. KL says:

    “Is the starchild skull “worth” $250K to confirm it is partially non-human?”- Jono

    The problem lies within the statement above, Pye isn’t interested in finding out if the Starchild is human, he want the star child to be “alien” to back up his theories.
    So anything however negligibly small Pye clings on to and touts as “proof” of ET.
    So if the scientist say that the evidence shows that the skull is 99.9% certain to be human……Pye will declare the 0.1% as proof of non human origin!

    • Finn says:

      An interesting aspect of your comment, “Pye will declare the 0.1% as proof of non human origin!”, is that inter-human variability (for single nucleotide polymorphisms) has been estimated to be 0.1%. If the human genome is ~ 3billion base pairs, then (very simplistically-speaking) that means there can be a difference of 30million base pairs (Wow!!) between individuals who are still considered “human”. Take a look at what Pye concludes after he reports of “differences” in his latest DNA analysis and look at how large these differences are. Still well within what is considered “human” by any scientist.

  42. Finn says:

    I wonder how far off the human trail that the alleged Mother of Starchild’s DNA would be, if tested in parallel with the SC skull? That is, it is certainly possible to make some (frail) argument that if genomic differences exist between a database and the SC skull, and if these differences are significantly larger than what is considered normal variability, then there is something here…..but…that has not been demonstrated. And what if the same DNA analysis of the Mom’s genome (I thought Pye was satisfied that she was human…?) showed differences from the database?….or if the SC skull showed differences between Mom? What about another human skull of the same 900yo age…how does this differ from the database/SC skull? All of these potential differences (or similarities) could be very enlightening. Are they being done?? Not if you already have a conclusion tucked away in your back pocket.

    This nonsense needs to be cleared up once and for all….

  43. Chris says:

    UFO’s = REAL AND OWNED BY AMERICAN MILITARY. THE TECHNOLOGY WAS BEING DEVELOPED IN WW2. NAZI SCIENTISTS TAKEN TO AMERICA UNDER OPERATION PAPERCLIP TO CONTINUE WORK AFTER THE WAR.

    The question you need to ask is why does the government want you to believe in aliens so badly?

    ALIENS = BS

    NIBURU = BS

    2012 APOCALYPSE = BS

    Retard scientist explains starchild = PRICELESS

  44. Bruce says:

    I think what we’re all missing here is that poor mother must have an alien vagina to deliver a child with a head that size!

  45. James Gallagher says:

    The genetic basis of Pye’s whole argument comes down to:

    One human mother + one father for which no genetic evidence exists = alien life form.

    It’s plain stupid and really bad science.

  46. Lou says:

    http://www.starchildproject.com/dna2011march.htm
    http://www.starchildproject.com/dna2011marchlaymans.htm

    Latest genetic testing. It appears that it is not homo sapien at all.

    I used to think it was a hoax but it’s hard to ignore latest genetic testing. They are also testing those conehead skull from Peru. If they turn out to be a new species, perhaps we should take another look at human evolution…

  47. Ian says:

    http://www.starchildproject.com/dna2011march.htm
    http://www.starchildproject.com/dna2011marchlaymans.htm

    Just to point out that thoes two links for Lloyd Pyes site are full of big claims that cant be backed up by the evidence presented.

    The 2003 DNA study does not support the claim that the starchild had a non-human farther as Lloyd implys. (Nuclear DNA was not recoverable, meaning no conclusion can be reached-go read the actual report from the actual scientist, it is on his site if you dig for it)

    The new 2010 and 2011 testing are been done by an unamed researcher at an unamaed lab. Who has not put out any report of his own yet.

    We dont know how the sample was provied or under what conditions the tests have been performed. (potential for poor practice and contamination or even if your very sceptical, fraud)

    Even the claims that he does make for the 2010/11 tests are not backed up.
    2010-“Some of the Starchild’s nuDNA is different from anything previously found on Earth! ”
    Nope not yet confirmed-“but it must be stressed that they are now, and will remain, only fragmentary, and they will ultimately require subsequent repetitions for absolute confirmation”

    2011-“Starchild Skull, is by itself sufficient reason to suspect a new species has been identified!”
    Also not yet confirmed-“Remember that the information found by comparing mtDNA segments cannot and should not be considered thoroughly verified, as some sequencing errors are undoubtedly present. Each mtDNA segment must be sequenced several times to establish exactly how many differences exist between the Starchild Skull and the human CRS”

    Lloyds misrepresenting of the DNA science is not a good sign for his trustworthyness.

    Ian

  48. IdiotSavant says:

    I’m a media scientist and interested in the starchild. There is a new update on the page.
    http://www.starchildproject.com/dna2012.htm

    However, what makes me (as a layman) angry is the unpurified way of claiming things out of the blue. Pye claims, that the denisova hominins are the first *species* discovered only by DNA analysis. But the authors did not call it a species or sub-species, they even avoided those terms. He claims things about FOXP2 that arent really true or lets say, too much popular scientific. Base pairs and coding base pairs aren’t the same. When I read an extract about all the gene analysis of 2011, in the end there were no data, but foundraising requests. Despite the question if it is an alien or not and its genome (the small sequence published) looks REALLY alien to me (what doesn’t mean a thing) – the project seems to be a bit dubious.
    I’m used to see facts and links. Whenever I do a research, usually it comes somewhen to some point, where I don’t understand anymore what it is all about with GTACACGTTAC and so on. A point where I know, if I only had more time or intelligence, I’d understand it. Maybe.
    In this case I always have the impression, that I lack information.
    Why is that? Why does Pye work so impure and unscientific with a sensitive topic that could turn our heads around 360°?
    It simply makes me angry.

  49. Jonathan Tame says:

    Mr. Lloyd Pye’s attempts at revealing verifiable proof of a scientific anomaly is more than commendable, it is absolutely necessary. Though skeptics may have concluded that there are many more questions raised than answers, he has stated clearly that after the results of full and complete gnome analysis has taken place, “Let the chips fall where they may,” so-to-speak.

    It may be true that his initial declarations; the skull seems to be of partially, inhuman origin, could be viewed as a biased perception. However, it is also true that he has expressed and demonstrated a determination to find proof – either way.

    The initial analysis of Dr. Ted J. Robinson and colleagues, who are named and can be verified, despite the lack of some in their search for authentication, is beyond reproach. The detailed scientific explanations stand up to scrutiny.

    That said, while it would be presumptuous to conclude the partial results, (to date), of the mtDNA and NuDNA analysis is proof that the “starchild skull,” is of inhuman origin, it does express that a distinct anomaly has occurred that requires more scrutiny by respected geneticists, for further analysis.

    The possibility of a Progeria prognosis has some merit – as the attending physicians did not directly rule it out. However, as is noted by Dr. Bachynsky “…there is no evidence of erosion of the inner table of the skull. Such erosion would be consistent with a diagnosis of hydrocephaly, so this condition can safely be ruled out as a cause of the abnormalities expressed…” According to several reputable sources, Progeria also exhibits similar abnormalities in the skull – which again, were absent.

    While I do not embrace the presumption, if it may be perceived so, that the skull is of inhuman origin, I think we are compelled as interested human beings to find out if it is so or is not so. I look forward to the further testing.

  50. KL says:

    @Jonathan Tame the 2 previous test which have been made public and have been conducted by named labs and named testers have BOTH found human DNA in the star child skull……..so we ALREADY know that it is human………what we don’t yet know is what is the cause of the mutations within the star child.
    Unfortunately Pye has mistaken mutated human for “non human”.
    Pye also seems not to have realised that mutated human most likely means they will find gene mutations……..and that is exactly what they have found…….gene mutations.
    Question does the Big Foot hunter who thinks he has found some Big Foot hair and then gives it to a lab to get tested…..only for the lab to identify it as dog hair……then subject the same hair to a different lab……..who can now identify which breed of dog the hair comes from…….then send the dog hair to another lab to find out if it comes from Big Foot…….because that is exactly what Pye is doing!!!

  51. shane says:

    Brian – You seem most interested in being cute and witty in your “skepticism”, which I find disrespectful and unhelpful. This lends to the idea that you just want to “win” the tit-for-tat argument (for the applause of your “fans” or whatever) rather than have an honest debate over the evidence, or lack thereof. It’s easy to poke at what others do. I get that. Just keep pointing and laughing. So easy a child can do it. But your response was shallow and weak even though you spiked the football like you scored a touchdown. You didn’t.

    By the way, why not just post the entire email? Why be so selective in what you show your readers? Maybe you left out the parts for which you were clearly outmatched. Can’t have that, can we?

    Do better.

  52. Benoît says:

    One point nobody pointed out here… Do you realize this skull comes from a part of Peru where natives are known to deform children? And so imagine a child with degeneration genetic problems been deformed again with there usual technique of compression…
    And I have to say that the fact that Pye redo the DNA tests all the time using any “gape” in the test to prove the child is alien is quite suspicious for the least! And finally how to prove ALIEN DNA??? Does he have a sample coming from a little green man to compare with???

  53. nik says:

    While the matter of cave/mine may seem a moot point, it would make a significant material difference to the skull. Caves are normally formed by water, so often wet, or volcanic action, and so often full of adverse chemicals, old mines are man made, and mostly above the water table and dry, so preservation is likely to be better.

  54. dragonfly says:

    I was at a conference at a hotel in October 2012. Next door to our meeting rooms was a gigantic genetic epidemiology conference. There were vendors selling equipment and software to perform genetic testing. They told me it costs about $2,000.00 to sequence an entire human genome now.

  55. Tim Timmons says:

    Supposedly it is much cheaper and easy to sequence a human genome than it is to map a new unknown genome. I don’t know the details.

    Overall, this article was a bit shameful. The author came off as a bit of a skofftic. The commenter who went through and looked at the evidence for progeria provided much more interesting commentary than the author of the actual article did.

    Mr. Pye is a bit over enthusiastic and perhaps somewhat invested in the skull being something interesting, but he is not a crank. He tries to keep things scientific with regard to the star child skull, although sometimes his limitations show up, since he is not a professional scientist. Some of his books are probably more speculative, dunno.

    Anyway, what is needed is a rational, scientific inquiry, not dismissal and mockery. Like the commentator who explained how it could be progeria. That was a good criticism of the skull, although it may not be decisive. If people would engage in that kind of criticism instead of just mockery and dismissal, we could learn the truth more quickly.

    P.S. I do not claim the skull is alien. Just that it is legitimately unusual and worthy of inquiry.

  56. Rose says:

    I am a neurobiology tech and I am SO glad someone finally pointed out that “We couldn’t get consistent results from the sample” does not mean “the father was not a normal human”. Degraded DNA does not an alien make, just frustration…

    One possible disease/syndrome that has been overlooked that might have produced this skull is Crouzon syndrome. It is a genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones (craniosynostosis). This early fusion prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face. See: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/crouzon-syndrome And do a search for images as well, that might be an eye opener.