It was an announcement that shocked the world.
Two apparently ‘non-human’ alien corpses dating back 1,000 years had been found preserved in a Peruvian mine.
With their small bodies, three-fingered hands and strange elongated skulls, the mummified specimens looked like a cross between humans and the extraterrestrial creature from the movie E.T.
Even more bizarre is that their internal cavities also allegedly contained implants of rare metals and eggs.
The ‘aliens’ were officially unveiled at Mexico’s Congress as politicians held their first ever hearing on UFOs, but was everything as it seemed? MailOnline takes a look.
Bombshell announcement: Two ‘aliens’ were officially unveiled at Mexico ‘s Congress (pictured) as politicians held their first ever hearing on UFOs , but was everything as it seemed? MailOnline takes a look
Similarities: With their small bodies, three-fingered hands and a strange elongated skull, the mummified specimens looked like a cross between humans and the extraterrestrial creature from the movie E.T.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ALLEGED ALIENS
Appearance: Small bodies, three-fingered hands and a strange elongated skull
Age: More than 1,000 years old
Found: In the city of Cusco, Peru in 2017
Preserved in: A Peruvian mine
Additional info: Their internal cavities contained rare metals and eggs
What was claimed?
The alleged aliens were presented in Mexico City by Jaime Maussan, a journalist and so-called ‘ufologist’ who has previously claimed to have found extraterrestrial remains.
He told politicians that the strange little corpses, which were displayed in satin-lined makeshift coffins, had been found in the city of Cusco, Peru, in 2017.
Maussan also testified under oath that almost a third of their DNA was ‘unknown’ and the specimens were not part of ‘our terrestrial evolution’.
He said X-rays had shown one to have eggs inside.
‘This is the first time extraterrestrial life is presented in such a form and I think there is a clear demonstration that we are dealing with non-human specimens that are not related to any other species in our world and that any scientific institution can investigate it,’ Maussan said.
‘We are not alone.’
The ufologist also claimed that the remains had been studied and radiocarbon-dated by scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which showed them to be more than 1,000 years old.
José de Jesús Zalce Benítez, the director of the Scientific Institute for Health of the Mexican navy, also said that X-rays, 3D reconstruction and DNA analysis had been carried out on the specimens.
He added: ‘I can affirm that these bodies have no relation to human beings.’
Peculiar: The body, presented in a satin-lined makeshift coffin, was seen with three fingers on its hand
Testing: Researchers claimed that the remains had been studied and radiocarbon-dated by scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which showed them to be more than 1,000 years old
What did the politicians say?
Representatives of Mexico’s Congress said the presentation had left them with ‘thoughts’ and ‘concerns’ and with the view to ‘continue talking about this’.
The country’s first hearing into UFOs was announced by Mexican politician Sergio Gutiérrez Luna, who is a friend of Maussan.
He said he believed it could lead to ‘legislation on unidentified aerial phenomena’.
Gutiérrez added: ‘Mexico must put itself at the forefront and listen to all voices and all opinions.
‘I have said it on many occasions, this is the house of the people – Chamber of Deputies. Here everyone is welcome.’
Reaction: Representatives of Mexico’s Congress (pictured) said the presentation had left them with ‘thoughts’ and ‘concerns’ and with the view to ‘continue talking about this’
How did scientists react?
Largely with disbelief and ridicule.
For a start, it was pointed out that if the UNAM had carried out such analysis it would be published in a journal and peer-reviewed, which it hasn’t been.
‘If this was real, we’d see proper scientific data and evidence being presented by experts, published in papers that would be appearing in peer-reviewed journals like Nature or Science,’ astronomer Michael Garrett, a professor at the University of Manchester, told MailOnline.
‘Other scientists would be scrutinizing the data and forming their own independent analysis — that’s how science works.’
In a statement published two days before Maussan appeared in front of Congress, the UNAM did not directly confirm or deny his bombshell claims.
But it added: ‘Just as detectives carefully analyze the crime scene looking for evidence, scientists meticulously analyze the data obtained in observatories.
‘The most interested in the search for extraterrestrial life are scientists and we will continue to look for it with the rigor that science demands. Quoting Carl Sagan: “Extraordinary statements require extraordinary evidence”.’
Ufologist: Jaime Maussan (pictured main yesterday) comes with somewhat of a reputation. In 2015, he claimed that a different mummified body found near Nazca in Peru was also an alien, only for this to be debunked when it was later was shown to be a human child
One of the university’s researchers was much more scathing, however.
Julieta Fierro said many details about the figures ‘made no sense’ and added that claims her university endorsed Maussan’s supposed discovery were false.
She also stressed that scientists would need more advanced technology than the X-rays claimed to have been used to determine if the allegedly calcified bodies were indeed ‘non-human’.
‘Maussan has done many things. He told me extraterrestrials do not talk to me like they talk to him because I don’t believe in them,’ Fierro said.
It is true that Maussan comes with somewhat of a reputation.
In 2015, he claimed that a different mummified body found near Nazca in Peru was also an alien, only for this to be debunked when it was later was shown to be a human child.
After he paraded his latest ‘discoveries’ before Mexico’s Congress, some scientists were quick to suggest the specimens were actually human remains which had been ‘maliciously manipulated and even mutilated… for commercial exploitation’.
Professor Garrett added: ‘I’m not sure what the Mexican Congress is thinking about giving this kind of drivel airtime.
‘Everyone is interested in the question of whether there are other forms of intelligent life “out there” but some people seem to lose all sense of rationality when very poor evidence is presented to them.
‘We all “want to believe” but belief must be based on solid scientific facts — this isn’t it.’
Well-known physicist Brian Cox was also asked about the claims on X (formerly Twitter).
View: Well-known physicist Brian Cox was also asked about the claims on X, formally Twitter
‘My immediate response — they are way too humanoid,’ he said. ‘It’s very unlikely that an intelligent species that evolved on another planet would look like us.
‘Secondly – send a sample off to 23andme – let alone the University down the road – and they’ll tell you within 10 minutes.’
However, elsewhere renowned American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson did not rule out that specimens could be real.
Speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, he said: ‘If those are actual aliens that would be amazing.
Tyson added: ‘But in science you need verification from independent sources, so what they should do… is share the data with other laboratories. And when you have agreement among what is measured, then you can talk about a discovery.’
So what is the truth?
Well, the fundamental problem with Maussan’s claims is that these so-called ‘alien’ mummies have already been debunked by scientists — two years before he presented them to Mexico’s Congress.
A team of experts put together by Alexander Sokolov from the Scientists Against Myths YouTube vlog found that the bodies were actually made of a ‘hodgepodge of human and animal bones’.
One of them was found to have a thigh bone where its upper arm bone should be, while its head was thought to have been created from the rear part of a llama or alpaca skull.
Explanation: The so-called ‘alien’ mummies have already been debunked by scientists — two years before Maussan presented them to Mexico’s Congress. Their heads are thought to have been created from the rear part of a llama or alpaca skull (depicted)
The team said it appeared that the facial part of the skull had been broken off, leaving just the brain case. This was then spun around to form the front of the ‘alien’ head.
‘Comparison shows that the reptiloid’s cranial cavity fits perfectly the skull cavity of the llama,’ said Sokolov in his 2021 YouTube documentary.
‘The location of the olfactory bulbs, the inner ear, the brain hemispheres and the little brain, precisely matches those in the llama skull.’
The oddities didn’t stop there.
Researchers said a thigh bone in one of the specimens was a human femur, but that it had been placed upside down. The other thigh bone was a tibia from the lower part of a human leg.
UFO expert: Ryan Graves, a former US Navy pilot who in July claimed the number of UFOs was being ‘grossly underreported’, was in attendance to hear Maussan’s original claims to the Mexican Congress
Furious: However, he later said he was ‘deeply disappointed by this unsubstantiated stunt’
This would have made it impossible for the ‘alien’ to walk.
Not only that, but several of its fingers had been placed upside down, too.
What has Maussan said in response?
In a follow-up press conference today, the ufologist said he was disappointed by the backlash from scientists and an American UFO specialist.
Ryan Graves, a former US Navy pilot who in July claimed the number of UFOs was being ‘grossly underreported’, was in attendance to hear Maussan’s original claims to the Mexican Congress.
But he later said he was ‘deeply disappointed by this unsubstantiated stunt’.
Dr Benitez, meanwhile, warned sceptics calling the ‘discovery’ a hoax to be mindful that their claims could destroy his life’s work.
He challenged scientists to take samples of the alleged alien bodies and carry out their own research.
When and whether this will be possible, however, remains to be seen.
KEY DISCOVERIES IN HUMANITY’S SEARCH FOR ALIEN LIFE
Discovery of pulsars
British astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was the first person to discover a pulsar in 1967 when she spotted a radio pulsar.
Since then other types of pulsars that emit X-rays and gamma rays have also been spotted.
Pulsars are essentially rotating, highly magnetised neutron stars but when they were first discovered it was believed they could have come from aliens.
‘Wow!’ radio signal
In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the night sky above Ohio spotted a radio signal so powerful that he excitedly wrote ‘Wow!’ next to his data.
In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the night sky above Ohio spotted a radio signal so powerful that he excitedly wrote ‘Wow!’ next to his data
The 72-second blast, spotted by Dr Jerry Ehman through a radio telescope, came from Sagittarius but matched no known celestial object.
Conspiracy theorists have since claimed that the ‘Wow! signal’, which was 30 times stronger than background radiation, was a message from intelligent extraterrestrials.
Fossilised Martian microbes
In 1996 Nasa and the White House made the explosive announcement that the rock contained traces of Martian bugs.
The meteorite, catalogued as Allen Hills (ALH) 84001, crashed onto the frozen wastes of Antarctica 13,000 years ago and was recovered in 1984.
Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike.
Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike (pictured)
However, the excitement did not last long. Other scientists questioned whether the meteorite samples were contaminated.
They also argued that heat generated when the rock was blasted into space may have created mineral structures that could be mistaken for microfossils.
Behaviour of Tabby’s Star in 2005
The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astronomers since being discovered in 2015.
It dims at a much faster rate than other stars, which some experts have suggested is a sign of aliens harnessing the energy of a star.
The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astonomers since being discovered in 2015 (artist’s impression)
Recent studies have ‘eliminated the possibility of an alien megastructure’, and instead, suggests that a ring of dust could be causing the strange signals.
Exoplanets in the Goldilocks zone in 2017
In February 2017 astronomers announced they had spotted a star system with planets that could support life just 39 light years away.
Seven Earth-like planets were discovered orbiting nearby dwarf star ‘Trappist-1’, and all of them could have water at their surface, one of the key components of life.
Three of the planets have such good conditions, that scientists say life may have already evolved on them.
Researchers claim that they will know whether or not there is life on any of the planets within a decade, and said: ‘This is just the beginning.’
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