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The starchild skull

The so-called “starchild” skull (source Wikipedia)

The “Starchild skull”, a real enough skull, is claimed to be physical evidence for a dead alien (or alien/human hybrid) right here on earth. Unfortunately, like so many of these objects that are supposed to derive from elsewhere in the cosmos, it is treated as private property and access to it for testing is tightly controlled. No independent scientific reports on it have ever been published and there are suspicions that data that demonstrates that it is human has been suppressed. Yet it has a very vocal community of supporters who tout it as proof of extraterrestrial contact (or a variety of other equally outlandish claims). The problems with the skull go way beyond simple data collection, analysis and interpretation: there are important ethical issues about the way in which the remains of a child – whether they are human or alien – are being used for commercial gain.

Discovery

The skull is supposed to have been discovered in the 1930s by an American girl from El Paso (Texas, USA) in an abandoned mine near Copper Canyon in Mexico, about 160 km south-west of Chihuahua. According to its current “owners”, the discovered died in the early 1990s and it did not come into their possession until 1998, so information about its discovery is third hand, at best (it should be obvious that the discoverer cannot have given an account directly to its current “owners” after her death). Nevertheless, it is said to have been discovered with the complete skeleton of an adult that lay exposed on the floor of the mine. The skeleton to which this skull belongs was covered by a small mound of earth, leaving only an arm and hand projecting from it; the child’s hand was clutching the upper arm of the adult. Although the girl tried to recover both skeletons, a flash flood washed away most of the remains and all she could take home were the two skulls.

The skulls were given to Ray and Melanie Young in 1998; Melanie is a neonatal nurse and was convinced that the shape of the child’s skull could not be the result of ordinary human deformities. To try to find out more about it, they approached the author Lloyd Pye, although it is not clear why they sought his assistance in examining the skulls rather than an archaeologist or palaeopathologist. He had published Everything you know is wrong, book 1: human origins in 1997, which promotes the ideas of Zechariah Sitchin about the alien origins of humanity, using tendentiously wrong translations of Sumerian texts as his principal evidence. This makes the choice of Lloyd Pye as someone to research the remains look as if the Youngs had already formed an idea about the nature of the child’s skull. Pye and the Youngs founded The Starchild Project early in 1999, when Lloyd Pye became the “caretaker” of the child’s skull. Since then, all access to the remains has been controlled by Pye who, by 2010, had engaged the services of his own geneticist for reasons that will become apparent. The Project has promoted the skull, principally to UFO and New Age groups, among which the term “star child” is used to refer to alleged human/alien hybrids or to “the next stage in human evolution”.

Description

The skull of the child is large, with a capacity of 1600 cm3, some 200 cm3 larger than the average human adult, although it falls within the overall range of 1000–1900 cm3. Although claims have been made that it is composed of a material resembling tooth enamel, it is of the standard mammalian bone chemical calcium hydroxyapatite. It contains the usual bones of the skull, together with all the features such as muscle attachments found in humans. However, it exhibits considerable deformities in all of them. For instance, the orbits are unusually shallow and the canal for the optic nerve is closer to the base of the orbit, suggesting a rotational deformity, while the occipital bone at the back of the skull is flattened. There are said to be no frontal sinuses, a condition that affects about ten percent of the population. Analysis of a detached portion of the right maxilla showed unerupted permanent dentition and an age at death of around five to six years has been suggested.

Three views of the "Starchild skull"

Three views of the ‘starchild’ skull

The first DNA test was carried out by the Bureau of Legal Dentistry laboratory of the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) in 1999, which recovered a small quantity of nuclear DNA, which was said to demonstrate that the child was male. This result has now been set aside by Pye, as it is said to have been the result of contamination, although we are not told how the contamination occurred: if the skull as a whole is contaminated, it means that any DNA results from it will be compromised, whether mtDNA or nuDNA (the latter is always more difficult to detect in ancient samples). A second test was carried out in 2003 by Trace Genetics of Davis (California, USA), a commercial company with a singularly unhelpful website (perhaps its takeover by DNAPrint Genomics Inc. in 2005 has something to do with this). According to the report on the examination, “has mtDNA consistent with Native American haplogroup C, as revealed through two independent extractions performed on fragments of parietal bone”. The inability to extract nuclear DNA is unsurprising and the analysts cite a number of factors that could make its sequencing difficult, including evidence “that X-Ray exposure damages and degrades DNA, which may have decreased the quantity and quality of DNA available in the bone prior to extraction”.

In 2010, further DNA analysis was undertaken by the National Institutes of Health BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) programme, which “compares nucleotide or protein sequences to sequence databases and calculates the statistical significance of matches… to infer functional and evolutionary relationships between sequences as well as help identify members of gene families”. The procedure found that 265 base pairs could be matched, demonstrating “that at least some of the nuclear DNA from the Starchild is from a human being”. What Lloyd Pye is keen to promote, though, is that a sequence of 342 base pairs produced no significant similarities; Pye spins this statement into “there is NO known earthly corollary for what has been analyzed!”, which is not what the report says. He also glosses over the part of the report that explains why no significant similarities have been found, saying that it is merely “an automatically generated list of possible procedural errors designed to help geneticists check all possible flaws in their testing techniques”. It would be helpful to see this!

Further testing was carried out in 2011, which concentrated again on the mtDNA. This time, we are not told the name of the laboratory that carried out the analysis (although we are told that it involved techniques similar to those of the National Institutes of Health’s BLAST programme) or the names of the scientists as “[t]he identity of certain research team members requires temporary anonymity”. This is not helpful, especially when it is appended to an appeal for $7,000,000 as “funding needed to carry out the recovery and sequencing of its entire genome”. Yet another claim was made in 2012. Firstly, an extrapolation of the anonymous 2011 tests made it appear that the child’s mtDNA differs in 977 places from humans, comparing it with the 385 places in Denisovan humans and 1500 places in chimpanzees. The second (“preliminary”) claim is that there are significant differences in the FOXP2 gene (a gene that is believed to be implicated in the development of language skills). According to Pye, there are 56 differences, which mean that this gene is not human, although significant mutations of the gene are reported.

A Mexican skull exhibiting deliberate deformation

A Mexican skull exhibiting deliberate deformation (source)

Dating

Radiocarbon dating was carried out in 2004 by Beta Analytic of Miami (Florida, USA), which gave a determination of 900 ± 40 bp, which calibrates to Cal AD 1117 ± 59; an earlier test on the adult skull gave exactly the same result. This places the two bodies firmly within the Casas Grandes tradition of the later Mogollon culture, which flourished in northern Mexico and the south-western USA in the early second millennium CE. Significantly, skull deformation was widely practised by this culture.

Significance

Deformed skulls are a widespread phenomenon in the ancient Americas. The skull of newborn infants consists of bones that are not yet fused (the fontanelle on the top of the head is where the frontal and parietal bones will eventually meet) and can be persuaded to grow into artificial shapes by means of pressing boards against the head and binding. A variety of deformations has been practised; the flattening of the occipital bone visible on the ‘starchild’ skull looks like this type of cultural flattening. However, other aspects of the skull look distinctly pathological: the lack of frontal sinuses, the over-large cranial capacity and the shapes of the orbits.

The DNA tests performed on the skull for Lloyd Pye have shown that it belongs to haplogroup C, a typical Native American type, demonstrating that the child’s mother was beyond doubt a Native American, not an alien. The adult skull recovered with the child’s yielded mtDNA of haplogroup A, another Native American type, but which means that the skull cannot be that of the child’s mother, which would by definition have mtDNA of the same haplogroup. Pye’s insistence that the failure to extract a coherent sequence of nuDNA is evidence that the father was not human is simply not a valid inference. There are greater difficulties in the extraction of nuclear DNA from ancient bone than in the extraction of mitochondrial DNA, so the lack of nuclear DNA from the ‘starchild’ skull is not at all mysterious and certainly not evidence for a non-human father. What Pye does not dwell on is the identification of both X and Y chromosomes, which show that the child was a boy; Y chromosomes can only be inherited from the father (men have an XY chromosome pair, women an XX chromosome pair), so the child’s father must have been as human as his mother.

So why does the skull look so unusual? Although Lloyd Pye quotes doctors who state that it cannot have been a pathological condition, he ignores similar skeletal remains that are clearly the result of hydrocephalus, a condition in which the skull fills with cerebrospinal fluid in and around the brain and which can be fatal. Another condition that can yield similar skeletal pathologies is progeria, in which symptoms resembling premature ageing are caused by a genetic mutation. Add to this the deliberate deformation of the skull likely to have been started immediately after birth and it is obvious why the skull should look so odd.

The scientific evidence shows very clearly that the ‘starchild’ skull is that of a very sick human boy who probably died from the condition that caused the unusual pathological features of the skull. To promote this unfortunate Native American, whose remains are being displayed for public entertainment, is immoral, does an immense disservice to his memory and is something that under the American NAGPRA legislation is probably illegal. Lloyd Pye is not a scientist who is about to bring astounding revelations about alien contact with humans to public attention: he is a writer who already believed this before being given the skull and his promotion of it is nothing short of disgusting.

Aliens in popular culture

In 1987, a new image became a cultural icon: the almond-faced alien with shining black eyes that adorned the cover of Whitley Streiber’s Communion, painted by artist Ted Seth Jacobs. From that moment on, virtually every alleged encounter with alien beings reported in the English speaking world involved creatures of this type, commonly referred to as ‘Greys’. This is not the place to delve into the complex world of alien typology, but it is worth noting that Greys seem to be a largely American alien, with other regions reporting predominantly different types of creature (such as the South American preference for dwarves, the European preference for Nordics, all of which suggests a strong cultural component to the phenomenon). However, during the burgeoning of the stories of alien abduction during the 1980s and 1990s, the Grey quickly established itself as the abductor par excellence if only because the majority of abduction accounts come from North America and the USA in particular.

A Grey alien?

A Grey alien or a fake?

Photographs of Greys and other aliens are notoriously unreliable and easily faked. Many look like models (indeed, many photographs of supposed aliens touted on the web turn out to be stills taken from Hollywood films or television dramas), some are crudely retouched photographs of humans, some are misidentifications of shadows and so on, and at least one shows a dead human pilot horribly burnt following a crash (the wire rims of his spectacles are glearly visible). Photographic evidence, as so often in UFOlogy, is useless. So what other evidence might there be for their presence on earth? Not the fantasies of Erich von Däniken, who has been unable in a career spanning more than forty years, to produce a single artefact of extraterrestrial origin, despite his penchant for ascribing virtually all of humanity’s cultural achievements to assistance given by aliens.

Nevertheless, Lloyd Pye continues to promote the skull as evidence for an alien/human hybrid (although he does not appear to specify whether this is an artificial hybrid made by manipulating the DNA of the fertilised egg or the result of inter-species sex). Such hybrids have been reported by numerous “alien abductees”, whose (usually hypnotically recovered) accounts of their abductions often refer to the aliens’ obsessive interest in their reproductive organs. Some claim to have undergone frequently painful and disturbing procedures to remove eggs and sperm; some claim to have become pregnant as a result of their treatment and subsequently to have discovered that they are no longer pregnant following a further abduction. There are accounts of abductees being shown humanoid but emotionless children during an abduction and being given impressions that these are their own offspring.

Whatever the objective reality of alien abduction experiences, physical evidence for the existence of the aliens themselves would be a powerful support for the veracity of the abductees’ stories. So how well does the “Starchild skull” match the available descriptions of Greys? First, we have to acknowledge that we are evidently dealing with the skull of an infant (based on the eruption of maxillary teeth, it has been estimated that the individual was aged around five or six years old when it died, although if we really are dealing with an alien or even an alien/human hybrid, it is a moot point whether we can use human tooth eruption data to assign an age at death!). Abductees have reported seeing hybrids but no infant Greys.

A reconstruction of the appearance of the "Starchild"

A reconstruction of the appearance of the “Starchild” around the time of its death

If we assume that the dental data can be used, then we have to recognise that the development of Greys from infancy to adulthood might well involve morphological changes to the shape of the face as subcutaneous fats are redistributed. This is the “puppy fat” that gives human children rounded faces and chubby cheeks that most lose during puberty. The reconstruction shown here – made by those promoting the skull as alien, it should be noted – depicts a child of distinctly human appearance. There are problems, of course, in that we do not have a mandible with which the reconstruct the appearance of the lower part of the face, but it has to be said that the eyes are much too close together, the nose too prominent and the width of the upper part of the head proportionally much greater than would be expected if this is the skull of a genuine Grey alien. We could always argue, of course, that if it is a human/alien hybrid, then human characteristics are dominant in this individual (although this would be a post hoc rationalisation).

There is nothing in this child’s skull to indicate that it is anything other than the remains of a very sick and very human individual whose parents’ culture encouraged them to flatten the back of its head. This head binding may well have contributed to its early death, but, whatever the precise nature of his pathological condition, the boy was clearly not destined to like to a ripe old age. Despite supporters of the alien hybrid claims saying that the child was in perfect health at the time of its death, a moment’s reflection will show that this cannot be the case: the child died, after all, which is not something that happens to healthy people unless they suffer trauma, for which there is no evidence at all.

This is a very sad object lesson in why we should treat human remains with respect. The bones of dead people are not analogous to artefacts, but are what is left of what was once a person. To use these bones for financial gain and for self-promotion says a lot about Lloyd Pye and his morals.

99 Responses to The “Starchild skull”

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  • joe says:

    it is a disgrace that Pye is using the Skull for finacial gain……..today i got an email from him asking for “donations” he needs 6k for testing……………I replied that he should start selling shares in the company.

  • illoura says:

    I don’t see anywhere mentioned in your post, anything that would explain the existence of strange red fibers interwoven inside the actual bone matter of the skull…. nor that the eye sockets, aside from being so close together, were also said to be about half the depth of a normal eye socket. The skull is not just misshapen, there are other anomalies. I also just read in Huffington Post ‘weird news’ section (1.30.13) that the skull was aged by two labs – seems it was fully grown, not a child.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      The red fibres, from the photographs that Lloyd Pye has made available, do not appear to be “interwoven inside the actual bone matter of the skull”; any fool can see that they are on the cut surfaces in the photographs, not embedded in the bone in any way. They run across the tops of the grooves made by the cutting tool. They look for all the world like bits of partly degraded cloth that have become attached to the bone and worked inside the cancellous holes; my guess is that it’s the remains of whatever the skull was wrapped in when it was smuggled, illegally, into the United States. I don’t mention them because they are irrelevant surface contamination!

      The eye sockets are exactly what one might expect from a child with progeria. If, as you say the <sarcasm>highly reliable</sarcasm> Huffington Post’s “Weird News” section claims that two laboratories have aged the skull as adult, please let me know that names of the laboratories and the authors of their reports. My suspicion is that the Huffington Post is simply regurgitating a press release by Lloyd Pye.

    • Exactley you see th truth. Whoever reads this cheap dis-information page and believes Loyde Pye at the end of his life (Now died of agressive cancer) was scamming money…is a damned, debating, Fool, PRETENDS to logically reason!

      • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

        cheap dis-information page”. Believe that if you want. You’d be wrong, but you have every right to believe any falsity.

  • carolyn says:

    obviously joe and kieth never actually read the article nor studied the evidence and the source. lloyd pye doesn’t make any money off of the skulls and as far as asking for a $6,000 donation, wouldn’t you think he’d ask for 60 k or even 600,00 if he was trying to make money? i’ve been subscribing and following for at least 12 years and that is the first time he ever came out straight asking for donations. as for some of the testing, it was also donated. it’s funny how people will scream insults about this, but it’s ok to spend billions on a planet we will never see or get to? or how about the affects of color on our moods. oh and my favorite, does chocolate really cause acne. if nothing else, further testing could help in the way of medical research and birth defect because, if keith and joe read the article, the “child” with birth defects even defied odds regarding those, people are just afraid it will prove something they don’t want to understand. how we got here. clearly we were not created with or from the big bang. we got here later. after it was already emptied of dinosaurs and the weather warmed up and we’ve been growing, dominating, destroying and discovering new species on our own planet every day. we have a missing link, that’s fact….this could be it.

  • tim says:

    you only talk about the dna stuff. what about the bone material differenes, fibers in the bone. if it is something new great, if not prove it for truthes sake is all anyone wants to know. and whats the deal with showing bones on tv or internet? illegal? national geographic and a thousand other publications do it
    every day. how about mummies, inca children, how about the skull YOU show on this page? should you
    go to jail? i was hoping to find an object article on this subject, as of yet i am still looking.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      There are no fibres in the bone. How often do I have to repeat that?

      My complaint about Lloyd Pye’s unethical behaviour is not that he shows images of human remains. I have no issue with that. What I do take exception to is the way he is using the remains: he treats this poor child’s skull as his possession, refuses to allow anyone independent to examine it and uses it as a tool to get money for further “research”. If he genuinely believed his claims about the skull, who could submit it to the physical anthropology department of any respectable university that would perform a whole battery of tests on it. He does not need to raise money to have this done in commercial laboratories, whose reports he does not release in their entirety.

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  • Ivan says:

    You might want to be careful with accusations of disrespect to human remains. Museums don’t do anything wholly different to what Pye is doing.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      There are all sorts of protocols used by museums in the display of human remains. I stand by my accusation that Lloyd Pye is acting unethically.

  • Ed says:

    What!? The Huff Po not checking its facts!? Say it isn’t so!

  • Pingback: The Starchild Skull: Alien or Hydrocephalic Child? « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

  • Walker says:

    Here we have two ends of the spectrum… Although I do not agree w/ all Mr. Pye’s conclusions, I fear you gravely misrepresent him and his words. In regards to not allowing just anybody to examine the remains, he (and many others) have found that when one presents outlier artifacts to mainstream entities, you often don’t get the aftifact returned! Alot of Bigfoot evidence has been “lost” in this way and he states this as one of his reasons in earlier interviews. The owners also commented that they attempted to bave the skull examined by a local university, only to be turned down. They have also had issues with attempted theft. I coyld go down the line and refute most of your statements, but it is late and I am tired. Your indignation over relic explotation rings hollow, as I can think of many other ways to get rich quicker and easier than this. Mr. pye may have some flaws in his research, but he appears to be open and honest about his methods and fundraising means. You simply don’t care for his conclusions and yor rhetoric comes across as crass, spitefull, pety, and poorly researched. Is it peesonal between you two? Could possible be a lover’s spat. Anyways, don’t claim relic exploitation when you really don’t care for eitber a man or his message. Good day.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      What a bizarre comment! A “lover’s spat”??? I have never even met the man.

      My gripes are with his absolute control over access to information. He is clearly only going to release any data that fits his preconceived views about this skull: anything that disagrees with these views, anything done independently of Mr Pye, anything that might confirm that the skull is that of an unfortunate human child (which is certainly is), will never be released while he controls the information flow. End of story.

  • scientia says:

    Your statement about the Grey alien image dating to the book “Communion” in 1987 is incorrect. This image actually dates to publicity in 1966 about the claimed abduction of Barney and Betty Hill by aliens in 1961. John G. Fuller talked to both the Hills and Dr. Simon, and wrote the book “The Interrupted Journey” in 1966. Their story received some notoriety since they were a mixed race couple at a time when this was still illegal in some states. This was portrayed in the TV series “Dark Skies” in 1966. And, in the movie “The UFO Incident” in 1975, Barney was played by none other than James Earl Jones.

    Since these “memories” were “recovered” by Dr. Simon using hypnosis, there is no reason to believe they were anything but fabrications. Nevertheless, the sketches made by Barney Hill in 1964 showing the very large, dark, almond shaped eyes have been considered canon by UFO enthusiasts ever since.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      The creatures reported by Betty Hill did not resemble Greys, least of all in her description of them having a nose like Jimmy Durante, hardly the slit nostrils reported for Greys!

  • Tim says:

    OMG, what a joke. The fibers are there, they were evident when the bone was cut for DNA testing. Its clearly visible that the fibers ARE in the actual bone and was verified by the Stanford Research Institute. Progeria? Hydrocephaly? Gimme a break. Why are the skull sutures not seperated? Also, neither these deformaties nor any type of physical manipulation explain why the bone is significantly thicker (almost double) than the thickness of human skull bone. It also doesnt explain why the chewing muscles are relocated. Think about it. What are the chances of a Native-American Child(which the dental wear among other features have shown this is not a child at all) from 900+ years ago, would have both Hydrocephally and Progeria, AND was subject to physical manipulation. Use your noggin! Maybes i can du som kinda Massawge type rubbin Manip-U-lay-shons on my head to makes my brains grow and I wills be a smarter, cuz. Hu-hut, Hu-hut. Your explanations are vague at best. When you mention that its claimed to be comparable to tooth enamel, your explanation is that it contains normal human bone substances, but you dont explain why it seems to be chemically put together in such a manner that gives it a hardness similar to tooth enamel. A feature never before seen in any human skull bone. I could go on, but I guarantee you, like other skeptics, are the only people with an agenda. To prove away with lame, vague explanations, with no open mind to alternative explanations (and I dont just mean aliens and UFOs). No open mind to ask questions rather you find answers that suit YOUR beliefs, then accuse Pye of doing just that. Pot – Black. Just like certain popular online encyclopedias

    • Tim says:

      Oh yes, I almost forgot another significant feature: There are no known congenital deformities or ways to manipulate a human skull that results in the complete and absolute disappearance of its brow ridge. Explain away.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      The fibres are not in the bone: they are on the surface. That is quite obvious in the photographs.

      Your insults are pathetic. They do not constitute an argument.

      • Ashley says:

        You didn’t answer him. Please give an explanation to the clear differences in bone density/thickness and differences in chemical composition which is why it is referred to being more like “tooth enamel”. (The skull is high in Oxygen content which is abnormal for a human skull) Please debunk this with a scientific reference or explanation. All you have on this site as “proof” is a half-assed answer for how the fibers got there via contamination. I don’t accept this but don’t care there are many more important differences that you skirt over and have no explanation to. Please try to debunk my above two stated examples.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          No, the onus is on the believers to provide the evidence for their extraordinary claims. They have released photographs that clearly show that the fibres are not an integral part of the bone structure but are instead on its surface. That is the only evidence available for the status of those fibres and it is obvious that they are a contaminant. As for the composition of the skull being more akin to tooth enamel than to bone, this is disproven by the photomicrographs of the bone showing the fibres, which have the cancellous holes of bone (even believers’s sites, such as this one refer to the cancellous holes); the results of chemical testing released by Lloyd Pye show that it is calcium hydroxyapatite, which is the mineral of both bone and enamel, but it is the structure of the material that makes it bone. The case is closed.

  • Millerman88 says:

    Check out the Antikythera Mechanism and other related searches the starchild comes up and the idea of CIA using Hitler and Soviet Mind control technology in the 1950′s

  • This skull belonged to a mutated human. Why any rational person would think anything different is a matter for psychotherapists and mythologists. It is very irritating when a mysterious object is found that at first nobody can explain and the “aliens from outer space” community jumps on it and INSISTS that it must be extraterrestrial. Then when proven otherwise they throw in conspiracy theories and all sorts of confusing alternate “evidences” to cast a smoke screen of doubt so they can cling to their faith.

    I’m truly open minded to the idea of extraterrestrial visitation, but to think that they are creatures that look anything like hominids from Earth is ridiculous.

    The skull is only a minor mystery: what specific mutation might have shaped the skull just this way. But who really cares? There are suitable explanations and plenty of examples of freaky human skulls that aren’t in dispute, many which are much worse, caused by known maladies and stressors.

  • Kelly says:

    Just because one person (Pye) says he thinks it alien seems like a bad reason to dismiss the whole case. Alien? Probably not, but new medical condition, or even new species? That sounds possible, and if it is a new species and it’s human-like that would explain why they are finding some human DNA and some that is different from human. Isn’t that exactly how they recovered the Neanderthal DNA, by comparing it to human as a baseline and then finding the bits that didn’t quite match?

    You act like they are trying to hide all sorts of things, when in reality they put most of the things you claim they are covering up right on their website. They aren’t hiding the cranial deformation practices you mentioned, in fact they talk about them a lot, and explain the difference between that and what the Starchild Skull has: http://www.starchildproject.com/cradleboarding.htm

    Are you a medical doctor? A cranial specialist? Even an archaeologist? Pye is clearly not doing everything right, but how are you any better when you pronounce it to be this or that condition? Unless you are qualified, and unless you have looked at the skull yourself? They have lots of ACTUAL Doctors who have looked at it and said it isn’t Progeria and isn’t cradleboarded. They obviously have to deal with self-proclaimed experts like you a lot because they have a letter on their website from one of the actual Doctors who have studied the skull. http://www.starchildproject.com/robinsonskeptic.htm

    You should read it, re-evaluate what gives you the right to discount respected and credentialed medical experts, and perhaps wait to see what the research says in the end before you make your judgement.

    I think it’s pretty rich to hear you criticizing another person for fund-raising for DNA testing when you’ve got no problem getting money from advertising on your own website. One rule for you and another for everyone else? Stop calling the kettle black, at least they are trying to do research, you’re just trying to make money off a blog.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      For your information, I am an archaeologist with twenty-eight years experience, much of which has been with human remains. This, I hope, qualifies me in some small way to criticise sloppy analysis and downright fradulent claims. And I don’t know where you’ve found advertising on this site: I have one link to Amazon (with suggestions of books that might actually allow people to learn something about real archaeology before making ridiculous claims), from which I make not a single penny.

      • LovewithHate says:

        If youre an archaeologist you dont offer any scientific explanation for the skull… you only seem to discredited Pye with no backing of your own proof or explanation besides its freaky…..also for you to have 28 years of experience in archaeology would make you like 46 or something a little to old for your bash tatics. Anyways love is the answer to everything.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          If you can write this, then you haven’t read the post at all. Of course I offer several plausible explanations for the skull. And I am 55 years old.

          • Michael says:

            Hi Kieth,
            Respect for creating an interesting website and discussion here.
            Im curious about your thinking. To me, it seems all these theories are some how related. Aliens, Pyramids, Christ, Religion, Genesis, Evolution, and the hoaxes, and perhaps because they deal with the question of who we are and our relationship to Him, the Spirit.

            I see that many articles here are meant to Debunk, many fantastical stories told through religion, conspiracy theorists, etc,

            But has any of the comments such as the one below by John, changed your outlook on any of this?

            Here is the theory you pose about the skulls:
            Native Americans were savages who liked to purposely deform their children for no apparent reason.
            They did alot of drugs too, which probably led to more deformities.

            The above theory when said out right, is not only laughable, but quite condescending to Native Americans.
            The paragraph following:
            “The scientific evidence shows very clearly that the ‘starchild’ skull is that of a very sick human boy who probably died from the condition that caused the unusual pathological features of the skull. To promote this unfortunate Native American, whose remains are being displayed for public entertainment, is immoral, does an immense disservice to his memory and is something that under the American NAGPRA legislation is probably illegal. Lloyd Pye is not a scientist who is about to bring astounding revelations about alien contact with humans to public attention: he is a writer who already believed this before being given the skull and his promotion of it is nothing short of disgusting.”

            This is a backhanded pat on the back for Native Americans.

            I saw an old Discovery program on the discovered ancient elongated skulls in S.America. They do not have the same properties as human skulls. period.
            Human skulls have 4 parts that combine and fuse centered around the fontanel.
            The alien skulls did not have 4 parts, but 2 or 3, which allows for the shape of their head to be possible.
            It is not spherical, like ours, required 4 sides, but triangular or as you said “Flat”.
            This cannot be accomplished by simple shaping, but would require DNA change to change the fundamental structure of bone growth. Im not a doctor, but it seems like common sense.

            Also, in the program, it showed the site where the bones were excavated. Where there were huge crop circle-like patterns etched into the dessert. These patterns were so large, you could only see them from the sky, and they were perfect in geometric shape.

            Then it went on the explain the deformities theories like you. and Explained the purposeful “Shaping” of heads as a possible reason or explanation for the elongated skulls. Which is, as you can see, highly improbable.

            I know these little, tid bits of facts can not make a disbeliever believe.
            But I am interested to know, what say you?

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            Nowhere have I said “Native Americans were savages who liked to purposely deform their children for no apparent reason. They did alot of drugs too, which probably led to more deformities. ”. If you’ve actually read this site, you will see that I get very cross when people suggest this sort of thing. There are lots of cultures across the world that “purposely deform their children for no apparent reason” (a majority of contemporary Americans circumcising their little boy babies, for instance: that is a barbaric practice that I would condemn!): think of tooth sharpening, foot binding and so on. There are cultural reasons for these things. A lot of the time these reasons are religious, aesthetic or social.

            Regardless of what you may have seen on the Discovery Channel, the deformed skulls of Central and South American peoples are human. Period. The DNA is human. Period.

        • Helen Wood says:

          Keith pretty thoroughly covers what the skull is and isn’t and his understanding of the field is obvious, as is Pye’s absolute lack of understanding.

          I know you alien nuts are getting desperate, but weaving sick little fantasies around a dead child in this way is offensive to anyone with any compassion in them.

          Don’t talk about love when you are insulting a man of integrity and declaring a child inhuman just because that child suffered from deformity. I could say you’re inhuman because of your stupidity and heartlessness, but I prefer to see you as just a human who somehow missed out on an education.

          • Hello Helen, you and Kieth should get together, because you both sound like totally closed-minded Non-experts who show no data to slam the Starchild. The DNA says so far it’s far from human. so Kieth using DNA from S Amercians which ARE NOT like the STARCHILD…okay? for his arguing is ignorant desperately clinging to his religious beliefs because you two don’t think…merely bury your egos in your Holy Bable book because your parents aubusively demand you believe as a child -before their brains were properly developed if they ever were- to learn to think for themselves; But thats just a fair bet. The fact is Kieth’s picture shows a 35-year old not 55… so he’s a mainstream lying liar along with the medical mafia and the criminal paid-off judges who pass the FDA’s false documents to manufactur them.

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            I get fed up with repeatedly explaining that I am not “closed-minded”. I am perfectly open to new ideas. The problem with so much of what I deal with on this site is that those new ideas are not backed up with robust data or, in the case of something like this skull, are based on wilful misrepresentation and suppression of data.

            As for me “desperately clinging to… [my] religious beliefs”, I’m sorry to have to disabuse you of the notion that I am in any way religious.

            It took me a while to work out your inane point about the picture that “shows a 35-year old not 55”; it doesn’t. This is me aged 35:
            Keith in 1994
            Actually, I was a few days off turning 36 when this photograph was taken.
            This is me around the time of my 55th birthday:
            Keith aged 55
            I know that I don’t have to do this ridiculous parade of photographs, but I want to make it clear to people like you that I have nothing to hide. Nothing at all.

            And, by the way, my name is spelled “Keith”: if you want to insult me, at least get my name right!

          • Dave says:

            Actor,

            You have clearly not read the full reports on this skull as it states the child is a boy, so it has X and Y chromosomes, which means the child’s parents were human. The DNA shows this skull is from a human male child. Simply because not ALL of the DNA could be extracted and sequenced does not PROVE extra-terrestrial origins. It only proves the age and degradation from years of mishandling and display.

            Keith isn’t arguing from a place of religion, he’s arguing from a place of science, which means he’s looking at the available evidence on the origins of this skull and basing his opinion on the analysis of that evidence. It’s ironic how you attempt to imply Helen and Keith are slamming the “Starchild” by failing to provide data when all the data anyone with critical thinking skills and reading comprehension skills can pick up from the reports posted above. Also if you’ve read any of Keith’s posts you would see he doesn’t have that much of an ego that he needs to bury in his “Holy Bable book.” I know it’s a typo, but I wonder if it’s more a Freudian Slip.

      • Kelly says:

        Keith, Thank you for the reply, very good of you. With all due respect, I studied archaeology myself at uni, but I don’t feel remotely qualified to pass judgement on a medical condition. It looks like they changed the links on the website, which is annoying, but you can still read the report by the doctors who studied the skull here: http://starchildproject.com/the-research/deformity-and-features-study

        You suggest artificial deformation, well Dr. Robinson is on the record on the site saying the unusual flattening “could not have been caused by any kind of flattening or binding device”, so that seems a moot point.

        Later you suggest hydrocephaly, which is ruled out again by Dr. Robinson, this time with Dr. Bachynsky in support.

        I do respect you wanting to get to the bottom of what I think is a fascinating case, but I just wish you had gone about it a different way and focused on the object at issue rather than Pye’s wacky theories.

        I remember one of my lecturers actually telling the class that whenever you find something on an archaeological dig with no obvious use, you should always assume it had religious significance. How many interesting parts of ancient life have been lost to obscurity by that sort of thinking? Her trying to shoehorn everything into religion is no different than trying to shoehorn this skull into being a human deformity. Is it genuinely more plausible to think that this is a deformed human that somehow managed to survive with DNA that would kill a normal human (see the latest FOXP2 results) and that magically managed to show no physical sign of any of the hallmarks of deformity while at the same time being radically different in shape than a normal skull, rather than even considering the possibility that this may be a new species?

        I’m not saying let your brain fall out, but a little bit of open-mindedness across most of the academic professions might go a long way.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          I don’t know who the lecturer was who told you that “whenever you find something on an archaeological dig with no obvious use, you should always assume it had religious significance”, because that’s something very few archaeologists actually do. Most will bend over backwards to find a functional explanation for everything and the ritual interpretation is usually seen as a last resort.

          Open-mindedness doesn’t mean that any old rubbish should be given space in your brain. The skull contains DNA. As far as we know, the combination of proteins that makes up DNA is something that has only happened on earth and is powerful evidence for common descent of all life from an original self-replicating cell-like form. If life has started on other planets (and I find it impossible to believe that it hasn’t), what are the chances of precisely the same proteins as on Earth combining to form a DNA molecule? Why not a different combination of proteins? Why not something other than proteins? Why not something other than DNA?

          And, even if we accept that at least some alien life forms have DNA molecules, what are the chances that their evolution followed a path so similar to ours (just one out of many millions of species thought to exist on earth)? We can’t even interbreed with our nearest living relatives, the chimpanzees, so how likely is it that alien DNA could be combined with that of a medieval human? As close to zero as makes it impossible, I would guess.

          It could be said that I am indulging in the logical fallacy of Argument from Incredulity, but I don’t believe that I am. I am trying to weigh the hypothesis that this is the skull of an unfortunate human child whose fragmentary DNA has not been reconstructed sufficiently to locate any nuDNA with the hypothesis that this is an alien/human hybrid with a human mother and alien father. Which is really the more likely?

          • You sound like a russian young male, so you will like this documented story. WE HAVE interbreeded with apes…Sasquatch/Yeti or “Bigfoot” Russia paranormal show on Sputnic channel has lots of documented cases of villages with one that had a orphaned, wild, yeti male who grew up until he raped this girl which made her crazy and placed in a mental institution….and these people had there faces hidden and didn’t seek publicity… that has the “Ring-of-truth”.

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            Show some evidence that Sasquatch, the Yeti or Bigfoot exist and I might take your claims seriously, If Sputnik really does have “lots of documented cases of villages with one that had a orphaned, wild, yeti male”, then why haven’t any real biologists, let alone Bigfoot hunters, been to document the cases and published them?

            And, I’m not Russian. You seem to have a very bizarre idea of who and what I am.

          • Matthew says:

            You said in one of your replies to someone else that the skulls in south america are human. Are you talking about the paracas skulls? How do you know these skulls are human? Cheers

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            The Paracas skulls are human because their morphology is human: the configuration of the bones, the shape of the bones (with the exception of the artificially deformed cranial plates, which conform to other instances of anthropogenic deformation), the shape of the jaws (which in hominins are V-shaped, uniquely for the apes, which otherwise have U-shaped jaws), the shape of the teeth, the shape of the orbits, the cranial capacity, the type of hair (where it survives)… even the DNA, despite the claims of Brien Foerster. And that’s just the skulls. When you look at the rest of the skeleton, the cultural trappings of the burials, the historical context of the burials, it all fits into a pattern seen in South American burials of the later first millennium BCE and the earlier first millennium CE. It is only a modern fantasy that makes the burials of the Paracas Necropolis Culture something other than human.

  • Mason says:

    Just saw this on tv. Glad to see a professional like Keith actually commenting on it.

  • Pingback: Starchild Skull nuDNA Test Results 2012

  • Alex says:

    I find the whole concept of “Nordic aliens” laughable. Why would a being that evolved on another world look exactly like a human? Don’t get me started on the Nazi undertones of such claims(Blonde hair,blue eyes,perfect,etc.)
    Also,why must people assume that the starchild is an alien,because it “looks like one?” How do they know it’s not a deformed kid? Again,good article.

  • icckybod says:

    I used to be a staunch Pye supporter. But the back and forth, 1st admission of human mother and alien father and now the claim that it is 100% alien, coupled with the financial begging, has become too much for me. Then in addition to the $$ begging for the SC testing, now Pye is doing $$ begging for himself personally. He says it is for ‘cancer’ and he has had an overwhelming response. But I wonder how much of those donations will be returned that was not needed for his “therapy”??

    • garrett says:

      pye died from his “cancer” so you were pretty close pigeon holing him as a scammer. Maybe his heirs can return the fortune he bilked.

  • The letter below offers a counter balance to crticism of Pye’s work…

    From the desk of Dr. T. J. Robinson
    Suite 879, 1641 Lonsdale
    North Vancouver, B.C. CANADA V7M 2J5
    Dec. 30, 2012

    If you wish to check out my credentials, I graduated from the University of Manitoba School of Medicine in May of 1963, and I obtained my specialty degree in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in Sept. of 1971, Certificate # 169.

    I have known Lloyd Pye since about 1998, having met him at a conference at the University of British Columbia. Although not a man of letters, Lloyd has always relentlessly sought the truth wherever it might lead him; consequently he has earned my respect with his intellectual honesty and attitude towards scientific research. He approached me about a year after we first met, and asked me whether I would participate in research on the so-called Starchild skull as he was aware of my background in medicine and plastic surgery with knowledge of cranial surgery and cranial anatomy. Having agreed to his request, Lloyd delivered the skull to my possession in 1999. It remained in my possession for a period of about two years. This afforded me the time required to carry out extensive investigation of the skull, and I involved numerous specialist friends and colleagues of mine in the investigation. These gentlemen were specialists in the disciplines of radiology, ophthalmic surgery, oral surgery, craniofacial surgery, neurology and pediatric neurosurgery.

    The skull is remarkable. It is humanoid but unlike any skull I have ever seen. In my 49 years of experience as a medical doctor and plastic surgeon I have never seen anything like it:

    •Carbon 14 dating of the skull places its age at 900 years ago, plus or minus 40.

    •It is remarkably light and weighs about half of the weight of a human adult skull. The cranial capacity is about 1600 cc, which is 400 cc. larger than an average human adult of the same size.

    •It is composed of a bony material which is so hard that a standard Dremel blade had great difficulty cutting it to harvest samples for DNA analysis, making a diamond coated blade more useful.

    •The biochemical/mineral analysis or bone histochemistry shows a different composition than mammalian bone. This analysis was conducted in England at a later date.

    •Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicates the presence of strange fibers of an unknown nature. These are not artefactual. There is also a mysterious, red residue that can be seen in the cancellous holes on SEM microscopic cross-sections of the bone.

    •The frontal sinuses are absent on X-ray and CT scans. The X-rays and CT scans were carried out by Dr. David Hodges at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. On Sept 3, 1999 I met with Dr. Ken Poskitt, an experienced pediatric neuroradiologist at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Upon reviewing the photos of the skull, the X-rays and the CT scans, he stated “that he had never seen anything like it”. Dr. Poskitt has reviewed tens of thousands of pediatric skull x-rays.

    •A bony prominence on the posterior aspect of the skull known as the inion, to which the ligamentum nuchae and trapezius muscle consistently attach in humans and primates, is absent.

    •The eye sockets are very shallow, and there are other characteristics of the configuration of the posterior orbital foramina that are highly unusual and that differ significantly from that of humans. Dr. Anthony Townsend. An experienced senior eye surgeon was struck by the shallowness of the orbits. He said that this could be consistent with anophthalmos (congenital absence of the eyes). What contradicts this, however, is the presence of large optic foramina which suggests that the being was sighted. Dr. Hugh Parsons, a prominent retinal surgeon, further states that if the being were anophthalmic, the entire orbit would be small. I therefore conclude that I am on solid grounds in stating that the being was most likely sighted.

    •There is no evidence that the flattening of the posterior aspect of the skull was the result of cradle-boarding, and the type of flattening that is present is distinctly different from what would be present in cradle-boarded infants.

    •I have worked with Paul Tessier, a pioneering leader in craniofacial surgery in France. I have seen every type of craniofacial deformity known to exist. This skull did not result from any known congenital deformity.

    •The being was not hydrocephalic: hydrocephaly is a common deformity which is characterized by entirely different deformities from the anatomical characteristics seen in this skull.

    •The CT scans were reviewed by two prominent craniofacial surgeons, Dr. Ian Taylor (who was at the Mayo clinic at the time), and Dr. Joe Gruss of Seattle. Both said they had never seen anything like it.

    •Standard measurements of the skull normally conducted by an oral surgeon in New Westminster B.C. revealed that the measurements of this skull were 10 standard deviations away from the median of the Bell curve. This is an extraordinary finding. The baseline studies to establish the norm for these measurements were conducted by an oral surgeon in Michigan and were done on a database of several thousand aboriginal or First Nations North American skulls. One can only reasonably conclude from these statistical studies that the Starchild skull is distinctly different from human.
    In conclusion, the skull is a fascinating enigma. It is real, and it is different from any human skull I have ever seen personally or found in the medical literature. Despite my age, I continue to be involved in aspects of medical research at U.B.C. and I follow the Starchild story with great interest. I hope that Lloyd will one day soon have raised sufficient funds to analyze the entire DNA/genome of this specimen. Research to date on about 10% of the genome indicates significant differences from human, or from any known primate or any other specimen in the NIH database.

    I do not care to speculate on its origins, extraterrestrial or otherwise, as I prefer to base my opinions on evidence-based research.

    If you have any other questions, I shall be happy to answer them.

    Yours truly,

    T.J. Robinson, M.D., L.M.C.C., F.R.C.S.(C)

    • Cindy Blöth says:

      Thank You T.J Robinson!
      And to Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews I would like to say that the way you reply on others comments are unprofessional.

      • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

        Really? Cite some examples and I will make them more professional.

      • Helen Wood says:

        I find him completely professional. It’s the comments opposing him that reveal rudeness, deception, lack of scientific knowledge and, in some cases, appalling grammar and spelling.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          Thank you for that. I don’t like to point out others’ poor spelling, grammar and lack of knowledge, but it’s rather telling that the worst perpetrators of these faux pas are generally the True Believers in the Bad Archaeology.

  • Paul says:

    My name is Paul, I have been interested and involved with archaeology, mostly Irish and studied 8 kbc to 900a.d.I first dicovered Starchild from a colour newspaper article in 99 , which I kept in a scrapbook. Years later I aqquired a magazine titled X Factor no 81 ( Marshall Cavendish Publications ), Starchild is on the cover, and there are five colour pages of photos and info on it. I found this again yesterday, and it inspired me to go on the web and see if there were any updates on it. So far , there are 25 differences to a human, but most of all is the D.N.A. Dna segment 342 base pairs long proves some Starchild nu Dna is not only NOT HUMAN ,it is not found in the N. I. H.database = No significant similarity found, and resulted in 883.5 variations in the Starchild’s mt Dna and so its plus or minus 700 per cent different from normal humans. ( Neanderthal is 200 ). Research of the mother belongs to Haplogroup C when traced back through time. People of this dna group were originally settled in Mongolia, Russia and Australia, travelling to the Americas by way of the Bering Strait. Dna of the Starchild skull shows indications of belonging to Haplegroup A which originated in Africa. Its not really any evidence proving that one is human and one is alien, until you stop to consider that this was 900 years ago – How did one normal human being, and one abnormal human ? being , from two areas of the world, manage to come together and end up in the same location half a world away ? The biochemical / mineral analysis or bone histochemistry shows a different composition than mammalian bone, this analysis was conducted in England. Scanning electron microscopy indicates the presence of strange fibres of an unknown nature. These are not artefactual. There is also a mysterious red residue that can be seen on the cancellous holes on S.e. m. Microscopic cross sections of the bone. Frontal sinuses are absent on x-ray and ct scans. A bony prominence on the posterior aspect of the skull known as the Inion, to which the Ligamentum Nuchae and Trapezius muscle consistantly attach in humans and primates, is absent. ( A shallow dent replaces it ). The eye sockets are very shallow, and there are other characteristics of the Posterior Orbital Foramina that are highly unusual and that differ significantly from that of humans. Dr Anthony Townsend, an experienced senior eye surgeon was struck by the shallowness of the orbits. He said that this could be consistent with Anophthalmos , ( congenial absence of the eyes ).What contradicts this, however, is the presence of large Optic Foramina which suggests that the being was sighted. Dr Hugh Parsons, a prominent retinal surgeon, further states that if the being were Anophthalmic, the entire Orbit would be small. I therefore conclude that I am on solid grounds in stating that the being was most likely sighted. The Starchild is very much a unique mystery ! Interesting that its skull is very much thinner than the so called human parent, and made of a bone material the same as tooth enamel, making it light , yet very strong. I noticed in the magazine mentioned , that by doubling back the page to show the human female and the Star child skulls together on the same right hand side, that both far right teeth on the two skulls are extremely similar if not identical. Did anyone notice this before ?

  • JD says:

    With all due respect Mr Fitzpatrick-Matthews, youre an archaeologist, not a geneticist, not an anthropologist, and have never laid your own eyes on the skull – are you really qualified to express such a strong opinion?

    As an archaeologist you should be a little more open to the search for the truth, regardless how absurd it may seem. Humanity has grown through history by exploring and extending its boundaries, not by living within them (or what they believe to be them). Its not a matter of whether we believe, its where science can take the truth. Frankly with closed minds like yours out there, i can understand Pye’s paranoia.

    Im a little more open minded. I suspect the structure of the skull itself is enough to warrant further investigation. Its not a matter of being a believer, if you trust in science, it will eventually tell the truth.

    RIP Lord Pye, and I do hope his work is someday fulfilled.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Yes, I am a mere archaeologist. One who has excavated numerous human skeletons, been in charge of excavations where literally hundreds of burials have been excavated under my supervision and who is now in a position of curating a collection that includes more than 500 sets of human remains. I therefore believe that I have some experience in dealing with them and can recognise a good many of the variations to which human bones are subject; I also have handbooks dealing with the recognition of pathological traits in human bone, to which I can turn when I am unable to recognise them.

      Calling somebody closed-minded is a very lazy accusation. I am not in the least closed-minded, not even when it comes to the possibility of alien contact. I remember my excitement when it was announced that genuine film of an autopsy conducted on a dead alien from Roswell had been found. I spent that evening in the pub with my then partner, excitedly discussing what the possible implications of the discovery might be. When the documentary was aired, my disappointment was immense. The “body” was clearly a model, the “pathologists” incompetent actors and the “laboratory” an obvious studio set that made 1960s episodes of Doctor Who look realistic. But, before being presented with the evidence, I was more than open to the idea: I was positively looking forward to confirmation that aliens (and, by implication, UFOs) exist.

      None of the evidence that Lloyd Pye chose to release to the public was any better than Ray Santilli’s film of the Roswell autopsy. In many ways, it is worse, because he was using the remains of a once living person to promote an utterly implausible hypothesis. My hope is that his work will be shown to be as fraudulent as I believe it to be.

      RIP, indeed, Lloyd Pye.

      • dp says:

        Wow this is a very lively debate. Thank you for showing an opposing point of view. I’m not an archaeologist or a science, but I have always had a healthy appetite for all things paranormal. I believe that having debates such as this we can truly solve mysteries such as the star child skull, so long as the debate is done in a respectful way by all concerned.

        For what it’s worth it is my belief that the star child skull is not completely human.

        Have a great day

    • Dave says:

      The truth is pretty clear: this is the skull of a child who was physically deformed by his parents in accordance with social norms. There may have been other physical problems contributing to the features and his early death, but that’s a moot point. Wanting to believe this is alien, or an alien/human hybrid doesn’t make it reality. Spending more money on investigating this skull is a waste especially considering the current owner is so secretive and controlling over the skull. It appears any evidence proving the skull to be exactly what it is would be destroyed by the owner, or at the minimum would be discredited, downplayed, and simply require further testing, and money…always more money.

      • Loyde is a CIA agent an expert on a number of topics, who doesn’t lie on his death bed (He died of aggressive cancer) and the skull from a scientific stand-point is undisputidly Non-human taking a diamond saw to cut because of the unbelievable resin-like fibers fused in the bone. The bone is far stronger basically tooth-enamel (3x thinner) yet far lighter (3x) but this dis-imformation page can’t explain away those facts so they hide it…”Emkay kids”. Research fully before posting.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          Lloyd Pye may have been “an expert on a number of topics”, but physical anthropology wasn’t one of them. Simply parrotting his “dis-imformation” (your word) does not constitute data. The skull is indisputably human. End of story.

        • Dave says:

          Perhaps you should take your own advice. I see no evidence showing the red fibers to be “fused” with the skull. The red fibers appear to be remnants of cloth that was wrapped around the skull. All you’ve done, Actor, is re-state what comes from a website that is clearly biased towards the “this is alien” camp without showing any novel or individual thought. Perhaps if the owner allowed the skull to be examined by truly independent scientists and released ALL of the data we might have a better idea; however that’s not going to happen, is it? I say that because nothing in the current owners actions lead me to believe he’ll allow this because he’s carefully controlling access and anyone with a skeptical mind can easily see why.

          • garrett says:

            by the time you wrote this he was dead,wonder why he fought so hard to have the truth of his findings come out when he stood to gain nothing from the revelations? thank god for your skeptical mind

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            If you look at the original date of posting, you’ll see it was written long before Lloyd Pye died. Thank you for your reading skills!

          • Dave says:

            Hi Garrett,

            This is from the “Starchild” website:

            “Our Indiegogo campaign ended on January 11th, 2014. We raised over $10,000 towards our important research, and are already looking into future events to raise the $75,000 needed to begin the next phase of DNA testing.”

            Looks like Lloyd Pye had much to gain from donations, and his death has nothing to do with the “foundation” continuing to solicit more money from people who want to believe his claim that this skull is from an alien. P.T. Barnum is often quoted as saying “there’s a sucker born every minute” and I see nothing demonstrating the quote as incorrect. If you believe every penny has gone to and will continue going to genetic testing, well, I’ll happily keep my skeptical mind, thank you very much.

          • dp says:

            Hi Dave,

            The red fiber appears to be knotted and it could be on the surface of a cut in the bone. Not on the surface of the uncut bone itself and on the website it was stated that the skull bone is thinner then normal but much stronger. It is more like enamel. Why would they leave a rag or any material on the skull when it was being sent in for a scientific analysis? Wouldn’t they have cleaned it first?

          • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

            The bone may resemble enamel, but it is not enamel: both are composed primarily of calcium hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2), but their structure is different. Whilst tooth enamel is a tightly packed crystalline structure, composed of what are referred to as rods, bone has a dense outer surface and a cancellous (spongy) interior. The close-up photographs of the skull make it clear that it is indeed bone.

            Anyone with archaeological experience will understand why the surface of much of the skull has the appearance (but not structure) of enamel. Any bone that has been handled for extended periods develops a characteristic polish, which gives the surface a reflective appearance. This is clearly visible in Lloyd Pye’s photographs and show that the skull has been handled a great deal over the years.

            As with so many of the analyses commissioned by Lloyd Pye, we simply don’t know what protocols were observed during the cutting of the bone, as he never released the original uncensored reports, never described the experimental procedures followed and rarely stated which laboratories (never mind individual scientists) carried out the test. He was a master of obfuscation and censorship.

          • Dave says:

            Hi dp,

            The threads, considering their microscopic, would easily have been missed prior to the cutting process. Even cleaning would not remove all evidence of the threads, if that were the case many criminals would not be in jail because nothing would be left for the crime scene investigators to discover after the criminals cleaned up all evidence of their crimes. The blade could easily drag the threads into the skull right behind the actual cutting teeth giving the appearance the threads were in the bone and were so strong they could not be cut by the blade. Further, the blade could cause the threads to twist giving the impression the threads were deliberately tied into a knot. Looking closely at the microscopic photos you can see that some of the fibers have clearly been twisted and cut/broken by the cutting blade. There are only a couple of photos showing this as most of the photos are cropped so you can only see what the website wants you to see, namely fibers so strong they could not be cut by the blade and appear to be in the bone.

            As for the appearance of enamel, the original owner of the skulls coated them with shellac, and why does someone cover anything with shellac?

            The problem with considering the thickness of the skull is they’re using the skull of the adult female found with the child’s skull as a comparison. How can you compare the skull of an adult with that of a child and expect people to consider this as scientific evidence? The other problem with this “proof” is skulls are not uniformly thick and can vary several mm depending on where the bone is cut. I cannot find on the starchild website where they reference the location of the cuts. I read a medical report which found average bone thickness range of 1.2mm to 7.2mm for children. Again, this is right in keeping with the 3mm thickness referenced on the starchild website which does not prove alien origin, rather it only gives further proof that this is, in fact, the skull of a human child.

            Here’s the title of the report and you can find it at nih.gov.

            “J Pediatr Orthop. 1996 May-Jun;16(3):340-3.
            Skull thickness and halo-pin placement in children: the effects of race, gender, and laterality.”

            This smashes the starchild website claiming the skull is thinner than average as the medical report clearly and scientifically proves the skull is right in line with the averages for a human child.

            As for the skull being “significantly stronger” than normal bone, without seeing the reports and evidence of crush testing I ignore this because nothing on that website indicates to me they’re following any uniform scientific protocols.

            Sorry this was so long.

      • Ashley says:

        Dave you are wrong. It has been proven that the skull could NOT have been deformed by the common ‘cranial deformity’ practices in the world and could not physically have been misshaped in this way. As per the actual structure of the skull: Human skulls have 4 parts that combine and fuse centered around the fontanel. The ‘starchild’ skull does not have 4 parts, but 2 or 3, which allows for the shape of their head to be possible. It is not spherical, like ours, (required 4 sides), but triangular or as previously stated “Flat”.
        This cannot be accomplished by simple shaping, but would require DNA change to change the fundamental structure of bone growth.

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          For goodness sake, look at the photographs on the page! How many skull parts can you count? I make it six in addition to the facial bones: a frontal, two parietals, two temporals and an occipital bone, all with normal sutures between them. Please use your eyes before making assertions that aren’t supported by the available evidence. It certainly hasn’t been proven that the skull could not have been deformed deliberately; the best explanation is a combination of skull binding and a pathological condition that could be progeria, hydrocephalus or a combination. The DNA is human. Again, case closed!

  • Common Sense says:

    This was a very refreshing and insightful article. When I am very bored I watch Ancient Aliens on TV to get a laugh. They used the star child as proof that the Dalai Lama is an alien hybrid. Very faulty reasoning devoid of logic, rudimentary education… its just ludicrous! Thanks again. and you don’t to answer all of these morons insults, they just want to believe in fairy tales without thinking. :o)

  • Gary Raye says:

    Mr. Matthews, what is your opinion of the report presented by John Passalacque of Dr. T.J. Robinson’s findings.His report was not commented on by anyone,so please give us your analysis of those statements.Thank you.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      First, let’s revisit what Dr Robinson said (per John Passalacque):

      • Carbon 14 dating of the skull places its age at 900 years ago, plus or minus 40. [KJF-M comment: no one is disputing this, which gives the date Cal AD 1117 ± 59 quoted in my article]
      • It is remarkably light and weighs about half of the weight of a human adult skull. The cranial capacity is about 1600 cc, which is 400 cc. larger than an average human adult of the same size. [KJF-M comment: the skull has numerous morphological features that make it clear that it is not the skull of an adult but of a child; the cranial capacity is probably a result of a pathological condition combined with artificial deformation]
      • It is composed of a bony material which is so hard that a standard Dremel blade had great difficulty cutting it to harvest samples for DNA analysis, making a diamond coated blade more useful. [KJF-M comment: in a previous comment, Dave has pointed out that the original owner (i.e. the discoverer) coated both skulls with shellac, which may have hardened the bone; in any case, a standard Dremel blade is not a good instrument for cutting bone to extract samples and a diamond coated blade would be preferable]
      • The biochemical/mineral analysis or bone histochemistry shows a different composition than mammalian bone. This analysis was conducted in England at a later date. [KJF-M comment: where is this analysis? The photographs and chemical analysis make the skull appear to be absolutely like mammalian bone!]
      • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicates the presence of strange fibers of an unknown nature. These are not artefactual. There is also a mysterious, red residue that can be seen in the cancellous holes on SEM microscopic cross-sections of the bone. [KJF-M comment: I have commented frequently about the red fibres, which are clearly of artefactual origin, despite Dr Robinson’s statement to the contrary; dye from the fibres is an obvious source of the “red residue” seen aroudn the cancellous holes]
      • The frontal sinuses are absent on X-ray and CT scans. The X-rays and CT scans were carried out by Dr. David Hodges at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. On Sept 3, 1999 I met with Dr. Ken Poskitt, an experienced pediatric neuroradiologist at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Upon reviewing the photos of the skull, the X-rays and the CT scans, he stated “that he had never seen anything like it”. Dr. Poskitt has reviewed tens of thousands of pediatric skull x-rays. [KJF-M comment: as I point out, the absence of frontal sinuses is not unique but is found in about 10% of all humans. Professor Poskitt is a respected paediatrician, but we are not told what it was “he had never seen anything like” and the quote could be completely out of context]: certainly, he will be aware that the absence of frontal sinuses is not rare]
      • A bony prominence on the posterior aspect of the skull known as the inion, to which the ligamentum nuchae and trapezius muscle consistently attach in humans and primates, is absent. [KJF-M comment: the absence of the inion may be a result of the deformation of the skull and something to do with its pathology; its lack of development is also consistent with the age of the child]
      • The eye sockets are very shallow, and there are other characteristics of the configuration of the posterior orbital foramina that are highly unusual and that differ significantly from that of humans. Dr. Anthony Townsend. An experienced senior eye surgeon was struck by the shallowness of the orbits. He said that this could be consistent with anophthalmos (congenital absence of the eyes). What contradicts this, however, is the presence of large optic foramina which suggests that the being was sighted. Dr. Hugh Parsons, a prominent retinal surgeon, further states that if the being were anophthalmic, the entire orbit would be small. I therefore conclude that I am on solid grounds in stating that the being was most likely sighted. [KJF-M comment: it seems that Dr Robinson is assuming that this is the skull of an adult and that it exhibits no pathological or deformational characteristics, which is not a safe assumption: the shallowness of the orbits is a pathological feature that could be a consequence of progeria]
      • There is no evidence that the flattening of the posterior aspect of the skull was the result of cradle-boarding, and the type of flattening that is present is distinctly different from what would be present in cradle-boarded infants. [KJF-M comment: Dr Robinson is assuming cradle boarding, but this is not typical of Mogollon practice, which aimed at flattening the occipu—and thus preventing the development of the inion—rather than both the occiput and the top of the head]
      • I have worked with Paul Tessier, a pioneering leader in craniofacial surgery in France. I have seen every type of craniofacial deformity known to exist. This skull did not result from any known congenital deformity. [KJF-M: the shape of the skull is probably a product of two factors—a patholoigcal condition similar to progeria and artificial deformation common in the culture into which the child was born—so stating that its shape is not the result of a known congential deformity is missing the point]
      • The being was not hydrocephalic: hydrocephaly is a common deformity which is characterized by entirely different deformities from the anatomical characteristics seen in this skull. [KJF-M comment: hydrocephaly may be a contributing factor to the skull morphology, but, as with artificial deformation, is not suggested to be the sole cause]
      • The CT scans were reviewed by two prominent craniofacial surgeons, Dr. Ian Taylor (who was at the Mayo clinic at the time), and Dr. Joe Gruss of Seattle. Both said they had never seen anything like it. [KJF-M comment: but we are not told which features so puzzled them]
      • Standard measurements of the skull normally conducted by an oral surgeon in New Westminster B.C. revealed that the measurements of this skull were 10 standard deviations away from the median of the Bell curve. This is an extraordinary finding. The baseline studies to establish the norm for these measurements were conducted by an oral surgeon in Michigan and were done on a database of several thousand aboriginal or First Nations North American skulls. One can only reasonably conclude from these statistical studies that the Starchild skull is distinctly different from human. [KJF-M comment: once again, Dr Robinson seems to ignore the cultural deformation of the skull and assumes it to be of an adult]

      Now, Dr Ted J Robinson may be an excellent doctor: I do not doubt this. However, despite the two years spent with the skull (1999-2001), he seems not to have recognised that it is the skull of a child. This makes me wonder if he has any expertise in palaeopathology. Indeed, a lot of the points he makes seem to assume that there must be a single explanation for the shape of the skull; either it is cultural deformation or it is pathological. He appears to think that only one pathological condition—hydrocephalus—is implicated and makes no comment about progeria, which strikes me as the most obvious pathology. He does not seem willing to consider a combination of factors. He seems to discount culturally specific forms of cranial deformation and to understand only cradleboarding (which is the form found in British Columbia, where his practice is located). This suggests to me that he has little knowledge of anthropology, especially of the anthropology of Mexico, where the skull was found.

      So, I didn’t respond to John Passalacque’s reposting of Dr Ted Robinson’s opinions because those opinions add no new evidence to the debate, contain a few misconceptions and take the unwarranted position that a single explanation for the morphology of the skull is required. As another doctor is fond of saying, “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”!

      • I was content just reading the posts in this forum, both pro and con, but since my name has been injected into this debate I will weigh in as to which side I stand on the Star child.

        I don’t really know if the Star Child is an aberration of a humanoid triggered by congenital defects, cultural cradle boarding, or a combination of causes.

        However, combining multiple reasons makes it more difficult for me to accept any one explanation as gospel truth. The reason is the introduction of exponential possibilities. I could accept Progeria as a single cause, more readily if it wasn’t compounded by the Star Child’s additional anomalies. Progeria by and in itself does not explain the oblong shape and other anomalous features of the Star Child skull. You have to introduce other causative factors to completely explain the abnormalities. Every additional factor introduced into the equation makes it less plausible for me to believe and strains credulity because of the logarithmic impossibilities of one child being so unlucky to suffer from many different maladies simultaneously.

        To reiterate my position, I am so what agnostic as to the geneses of the Star Child, but my world view DOES allow for the possibility of DNA tinkering by extraterrestrials. To think that we are alone in this vast universe is absurd and irrational.

        .

        • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

          John, I think that you have fallen into the same trap as Dr Ted Robinson. The pathology exhibited by the skull is suggestive not of a single cause but of multiple causes. Elements of its shape and the shallowness of the orbits point towards progeria; the lateral widening suggests hydrocepalus; the flattening of the occiput is most easily explained by binding for cultural reasons. A combination of all three explains the morphology really well. Look at any ancient skeleton and you are likely to find evidence for multiple pathologies: why do you believe that in this instance it involves “the introduction of exponential possibilities”?

        • Dave says:

          I worked at a hospital and saw many children suffering from multiple maladies regardless of the “logarithmic impossibilities.” The most likely cause for the condition of this skull is the simplest explanation: This child suffered from multiple birth defects and was the victim of the cultural norm of cranial deforming which caused his skull to look “out of this world.”

  • Keith,

    The point I was trying to drive home is the odds of the Star Child succumbing to Progeria is about 1 in 100,000,000. Add to that the odds of him also contracting hydrocephalus with odds of 1 in a 1,000 and now you have odds of 1 in 100,000,000,000. (The current population of the world is only about 7,000,000,000). Add a 3rd cause of the deformity and the odds become astronomical to the point of absurdity. No one person can be that unlucky.

    I know you follow the news so I am sure you will be very interested in the following news story about the Paracus Elongated Skulls…

    The following paragraphs were cut and pasted from this site:

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/initial-dna-analysis-paracas-elongated-skull-released-incredible

    5 February, 2014 – 13:47
    Initial DNA analysis of Paracas elongated skull released – with incredible results…

    It is well-known that most cases of skull elongation are the result of cranial deformation, head flattening, or head binding, in which the skull is intentionally deformed by applying force over a long period of time. It is usually achieved by binding the head between two pieces of wood, or binding in cloth. However, while cranial deformation changes the shape of the skull, it does not alter its volume, weight, or other features that are characteristic of a regular human skull.

    The Paracas skulls, however, are different. The cranial volume is up to 25 percent larger and 60 percent heavier than conventional human skulls, meaning they could not have been intentionally deformed through head binding/flattening. They also contain only one parietal plate, rather than two. The fact that the skulls’ features are not the result of cranial deformation means that the cause of the elongation is a mystery, and has been for decades.

    It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.

    I await your analysis.

    John

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Hi John

      You do know where the DNA analysis of the Paracas skulls originates, don’t you? It’s with Melba Ketchum, the researcher who claimed, wrongly, to have identified Bigfoot DNA. After reading about it on Skeptophilia, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring it up on here. It’s utter rubbish, of course. The Paracas skulls have perfectly ordinary human origins; the shape is due entirely to deformation for cultural reasons. The DNA analysis is either a fraud or incompetence.

  • How does head binding in over 100 of this Paracas skulls account for cranial volume that is 25% larger and 60% heavier than modern Homo Sapien skulls? Or are these measurements also extracted from junk science?

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      John, head binding alters the volume of the brain case by deforming the bones of the skull. Simple. For my take on the silly story of the Paracas skulls, read my blog post about them.

  • Kronomex says:

    The photograph of the skull reminds me of a child that had hydrocephalus rather than little green/grey/pick any colour aliens as parents.

  • Christine says:

    My head’s in a whirl. What I know of Archaeology, DNA testing etc, etc, is dangerous. I think if you want to find an alien you will, and no amount of evidence will move you. It’s like the people in my corner of the world who go looking for evidence for the inferiority of black people and find plenty on the internet. A true scientist will unhesitatingly abandon a theory if it turns out to be incorrect. But that requires humility. AlIknow is that the first time I looked down a microscope at a section of a plant, I was held by the wonder of creation. I don’t need aliens to excite me!This planet will do.

  • Dave says:

    Look up images for “Roona in India.”

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      The poor child. Roona Begum looks to be a terribly ill little child. Just like the “Starchild”.

      • Dave says:

        My thought exactly. It’s so difficult to see a child going through what she is, even with advanced medical treatment, and now try imagining what it was like for a child 900 years ago. The fact remains when looking at Roona you clearly see the “Starchild” reflected through her. This is making me rethink my earlier contention that the “Starchild” suffered through manual skull deformation, rather it looks like it could be hydrocephalus alone that caused his skull to look the way it does. Either way I see nothing alien here.

  • bevus says:

    maybe this site is outdated but it seems like there have been many more studies done by the starchild project now – including dna testing – showing that the skull could be a new species

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      No, there is no new evidence.

      • Daniel says:

        Hello everyone. Keith u seem a good man, have to say that when I was reading these comments I looked at ur photo and thought you were 35, anyway its good to question the facts ps glad to c no one was reduced to swearing

    • Dave says:

      The “Starchild” website just keeps saying more money is needed for more testing.

  • Ron says:

    Looking at this from a completely unbiased standpoint, Keith’s many many arguments counter much of the Starchild’s progression. The Starchild Project itself may or may not be a hoax, but there is no real way of knowing if the ‘Starchild’ is extraterrestrial. But we should know that with more and more continuous testing on the skull, the skull slightly changes with each testing. Especially the extraction of skull itself (ex: the red fabric)

    but hey,
    What does 15 year old know?

  • Paul Carter Block says:

    I attended a lecture given by Lloyd Pye at the Fortean Times UnConvention in London a few years ago. As a presentation of startling evidence for the historical presence of space-alien life on Earth it was a massive disappointment and seemed more like an extended begging session for funding of “essential” scientific testing; I half-expected the hat to be passed round at any moment.
    If Mr Pye were genuine if his beliefs in the ET provenance of this individual, then I have to assume that he was quite untrained or poorly advised in the appropriate disciplines. The only alternative to that is that he was a charlatan out to make a living from displaying this relic to the gullible. I have to incline toward the latter view.
    The “pro-alien” posters here reveal more of themselves than they know. The most aggressive protagonists of Pye’s standpoint clearly have no education in scientific matters as well as very little in how to spell. They fall into the same category as the AGW-deniers who still insist that Climate Change is a world-wide conspiracy by climate scientists in order to maintain lucrative research funding. This shows a paranoid suspicion of the scientific method and, by extension, those people who are cleverer than themselves.
    If the Pye estate were, finally, to hand over the skull to a reputable laboratory for proper analysis, then I’m sure the true nature of this poor child’s terrible illness(es) and premature death would be revealed as known human pathology. That would not satisfy the armchair experts with their absurd UFO agenda, however.
    I have to pay tribute to Mr Fitzpatrick-Matthews for the colossal patience and forbearance he has exhibited in answering some of the crazy theories that have been vomited at him in this debate.

  • It is nice to see an experienced archaeologist writing on these subjects. I find it rather interesting, that the “Flat Earth Society” deems it fit to attack you constantly. Keep it up the good fight.

    This poor kid does look a lot like a hydrochloric. As a matter of fact, the first time I saw a photo it reminded me of the photos of my sister right after she was born. She had hydrocephaly and died shortly after birth, but it very similar.

  • pako says:

    I believe StarChild is genuine and his author Lloyd Pye legit. RIP. More when he has recently been murdered (cancer induced) by the Establishment Elite who time after time deny us the truth by eliminating scientists, inventors, anthropologists, astronomers and any whislteblower daring cast the TRUTH publically.

  • wyrrdshaman says:

    Enough folks!

    “Its a human. Its an alien. Its a human. Its an alien”.

    Good grief. At this moment in time both camps have strong evidence that backs up their belief of who this skull belonged to. Seeing as there seem to be missing pieces to this puzzle and confusing test results, right now no one can truly, catagoricaly without an ounce of doubt (because that would be close minded) say this is or is not a skull of a deformed Human child. No one can say it is or is not a skull of an alien child/adult.
    So far it looks to have a great deal of Human attributes and DNA but until such time as the alien argument can be completely and totaly ruled out then I dont feel anyone has the right to say it does not have alien attributes/DNA.

    It bugs me when people get personal about these things, bringing into doubt someones proffessional abilities. Ego’s left at the door. Please!

  • Robert Brown says:

    I stumbled on this website looking for credible criticism of this whole Starchild nonsense. As a retired archaeologist I sometimes encounter people with these deluded internet conspiracy beliefs. Pseudoscience is everywhere these days, even infecting some of my closest friends. Your site gives me a great resource. I look forward to exploring it thoroughly. Thank you Keith.

  • Maurice Newport says:

    I frequent this site from time to time, reading about various topics to add to discussions I sometimes find myself invloved in. Keith, your patience in these matters speaks very highly of you. Thank you… Regarding the state of science education, I’m not sure that the fault lies so much in the much-ballyhooed level of the teaching profession as in the unusually intense resistance to the scientific method by those of extreme religious or even psychological conditions that prevent reasonable discourse but rather seem to moved by non-rational motivations. Julian Jaynes wrote a book entitled, “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,” which addresses how consciousness evolved, as well as mentalities like this and places it in a very interesting matrix of meaning relative to his thesis. I highly recommend it…

  • Jeremy says:

    I’m open to the idea of aliens; however, I am skeptical about evidence supporting hybrids. If I were an intelligent species that wanted to experiment with the genetics of another species. It would seem infinitely more efficient to remove a handful from their environment and breed those few in captivity. Little can be said with any certainty about a hypothetical (but possible) alien species, but I feel it would be safe to say that they must travel quite far. Why spend so much time and effort engineering these creatures just to drop it off on the planet? I mean who knows really. But I find the idea that the unusual skull is explainable by some unknown earthly cause much more plausible being as it was found on earth after all. Show me a skull on an alien spaceship where I would keep my part alien part human offspring (ya know if I were an alien) and will talk.

Agree or disagree? Please comment!