The ‘Atacama Alien’ is no such thing!

CMI’s verdict on the Sirius alien movie of 2013, now confirmed

In 2013 a movie to promote the idea that aliens are visiting the earth gained notable headlines in the media, and we received numerous, concerned inquiries at the time. Particularly the movie’s claim that ‘science’ had somehow proven that a little mummified corpse found in the Chilean desert was extraterrestrial in origin. Now, DNA testing published in the Genome Research journal has confirmed that the mummy was that of a child suffering from extreme dwarfism and other genetic mutations.

The writer and producer of UFO-promoting movie SiriusDr Steven Greer, is a champion of the idea that governments around the world have been hiding evidence of alien visitation. And this movie with its claims that DNA testing had proved this mummy to be of ET origin was to be his smoking gun evidence. However, the very same scientific authority used in the movie, Garry Nolan, now a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, has completely poured cold water on Greer’s misleading claims. A report stated:

“The results revealed four new single nucleotide variants (SNVs)—a type of genetic mutation— in genes that were known to cause bone diseases, like scoliosis or dislocations, as well as two more SNVs in genes involved in producing collagen. Ata also had 10 pairs of ribs, rather than 11—a feature that has never been seen in humans before.”1

The ‘missing’ ribs, of course, are not proof of partial alien ancestry, for it is clear that this little human baby was seriously malformed. And Nolan added:

"We actually believe the girl was stillborn or died immediately after birth … While this started as a story about aliens, and went international—it's really a story of a human tragedy. A woman had a malformed baby, it was preserved in a manner and then ‘hocked’, or sold."1

The lesson here in our digital age is to be skeptical of spectacular, soundbite claims. Sensationalist type news sells advertising space, and of course, that is the aim of all media outlets. As we have shown, the UFO realm is littered by false claims and half-truths, because like any other religion, its adherents want you to believe what they believe, and sadly, millions are being deceived. That’s why we made a feature-length movie on the UFO subject. See Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception.

In the light of this new and conclusive scientific study, we are reposting our original 2013 article below.


  1. Origin of 'six-inch mummy' confirmed, bbc.com/news/science-environment-43489246, accessed 23 March, 2018.

Sirius the documentary

Is the Atacama mummified body really an ET?


We’ve received several inquiries over the last few months about the lead claim in this alleged documentary. As a researcher in this area, I frequently get sent links to articles and videos etc. about some UFO sighting or alleged ‘proof’ of ET visitations. Experience has taught me to adopt a wait and see approach before commenting. Why?


Often, many of these claims are just outright hoaxes from someone in the  UFO-believing community seeking their 5 minutes of fame. Before too long, some talented video editor reveals how the footage has been manipulated in order to insert a UFO into some background footage (the viral ‘Jerusalem UFO’ was a good example of this). Or, some whistle blower ‘fesses up’ and reveals his part in the scam. On other occasions, some natural phenomenon or a man made craft has been mistaken for a UFO, and the details are later released that reveal this. Sometimes there is no apparent naturalistic explanation and so, after ruling out all other possibilities, I might seek a spiritual explanation (as in fallen angels) if the facts ultimately lead to that conclusion.

So, in this light, although the movie was released in April, 2013, I wanted to wait a while before commenting, and true to form there is now a plethora of revealing information out there dealing with the primary claim in this movie.

A sideshow

To my great disappointment, and no doubt to many others who probably paid good money to see the flick, it was not really about the primary claim. The prerelease hype was centered upon the discovery of a small, 14cm (5.5 inch) mummified skeleton found near a town called La Noria, Chile’s northern Atacama desert region. It was found back in 2003 by a local man and then sold to a Spanish businessman from Barcelona. Almost 10 years ago, the local Chilean media produced a documentary about the body, so why is it suddenly big news now? Sirius claims that a recent radiological report signed by two specialists provide a detailed description of internal organs proving that ‘the Atacama alien’ (Ata for short) was not a hoax. Based on this, and coupled with fascinating pictures of the skeleton with its oversized head and mentions that it contained one more rib (9) than humans, viewers were hoodwinked into watching on the presumption that some earth-shattering revelation was going to ensue. It was clever marketing, but not entirely honest. Ata was really just a sideshow to the main game. Indeed, Ata was not a hoax (as in a fabrication), but that was only half the story.

‘Sirius’ Theatrical TrailerSteven-GreerDr Steven Greer

The main game

It should have really been called ‘The Greer movie’ because the documentary was produced by, and centered on, infamous UFOlogist, Dr Steven Greer, an emergency room doctor who is head of the UFO organizations CSETI and The Disclosure Project. I have briefly written about Greer previously in  Prepare ye the way—the aliens are coming! The Disclosure Project is a worldwide movement of ET true believers whose aim is to press gang governments into revealing all the information they have about alleged extraterrestrial visitations to the earth. And this is really the big picture of the documentary. Ata, occasionally makes an appearance now and then as they chronicle alleged researchers trying to extract tissue in an attempt to do DNA testing. Surely, non-human DNA would prove it is alien, right?

The movie commences with Greer giving a lecture in Santa Monica, California to a faithful group of devotees. The narrator starts off claiming that Greer possesses a ‘dead man’s trigger’. In the context of this movie, this means that if Greer is harmed somehow after making these revelations, his recourse would be to reveal such damaging evidence against the perpetrator that they would be harmed—even fatally.

The evolution connection

Greer’s ‘revelatory’ trigger and the main claim of this movie is that he has overwhelming evidence revealing corrupt government, military, and banking institutions. He attempts to tap into the public consciousness by claiming our dependency on fossil fuels is simply a well-organized mechanism to keep the status quo and control populations. Of course, this is a universal theme believed by many people with a conspiratorial mindset, but he adds a kicker that, because of our governments’ knowledge of ET’s, we already have the technology to develop cheap, even free energy. After all, the aliens have somehow travelled thousands of light years across the galaxy, defied the very laws of physics that govern our universe so they must be much more advanced than us. This ‘advanced ET’ idea is really the major theme that underlines all beliefs in alien life, and evolution is at its core. In a big bang universe, there could be star systems out there millions or billions of years older than ours. If such  alleged aliens are millions or billions of years older than humans on the evolutionary scale, they may be that many years more advanced in their technology. This idea has also become more mainstream among biologists and physicists as some lean towards the belief that these older, wiser aliens created human DNA. Of course, many Christians think that God could have created alien life although that raises many theological problems. (Those beliefs are dealt with here—please read this link before commenting).

However, Greer says that revealing such knowledge of advanced free energy would cause a collapse in our global financial system, which is not allowed to happen. He does not seem to understand the nature of business, the cost of developing new technology, or the cost of maintaining complex infrastructure, so his thesis of ‘free energy’ is rather ridiculous. Moreover, if governments really have some amazing control of our financial systems to keep the masses happy, one wonders why there are so many dissatisfied and unemployed people as a result of the last global financial crisis that are baying for governments’ blood?

ETs in religious texts

A not-so-subtle comment that ‘broad minded’ people understand that ETs really exist was a precursor to him displaying supposed evidence of alien visitations that have been occurring for millennia. For example, Greer claims that ancient Indian Sanskrit texts prove that advanced technology similar to nuclear devices were used in the ancient past. In my book  Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection I demonstrated how many people even believe that the Bible is a historical record of alien visitations that were mistaken for ‘gods’ by supposed primitive Bible writers (another evolutionary construct, i.e. ‘past equals primitive’). They often claim that the reason the Lord Jesus Christ could turn water into wine and raise the dead was by virtue of His ‘advanced technology’ and so on. This is an example of how UFO beliefs are rising and even challenging the church. It ties into a growing universal theme that ‘science’ will be our saviour. In an attempt to prove their case, they interviewed and assembled a substantial list of people who’ve seen UFOs and had experiences with alleged ‘aliens’, including many military personal that claim to have seen UFOs (again, see  Prepare ye the way—the aliens are coming!). Some of the footage shown, such as UFOs forming crops circles, are well known hoaxes. On watching this it was hard to believe that Greer wants to be taken seriously when we overwhelmingly know that crop circles are simply made by people (read  Alien Intrusion for a detailed exposê on this).

Sirius is a religious treatise in disguise

Like many other religious believers in the UFO phenomenon, Greer is  an ‘experiencer‘, that is, one who had an encounter with something he believed was UFO-related. At age 17 he claims he was very poor, had no health care and had a near death experience (NDE) due to an infection. During this event he believed he found himself in deep space and said he experienced oneness with the cosmos. This episode ultimately led him to the practice of meditation.

‘Sirius’ Theatrical Trailergroupies-in-the_desert

Today, Greer is a classic, out in the open, New Ager. In the movie he is shown meditating with his groupies in the desert, who claim they can call upon the UFOs and make them appear at will. They often talk about energy fields and how to develop visualization techniques. This is also known as ‘remote viewing’ and is extremely troubling as I believe it openly occultic (although they do not recognize it as such). I have seen this practice first hand at UFO conferences I have attended. Practitioners seem to enter a trance-like state and start ‘channeling’ messages and images from supposed distant worlds. As such, they claim that one can send interstellar messages to ETs by harnessing these inner energies. Greer even claims that these aliens could be ‘transdimensional’, or even spiritual beings (we agree!). This is actually known in UFO circles as ‘The Interdimensional Hypothesis’. Listening to the group’s chants on screen was very disturbing to me, as they sounded more like the prayers of devotees to pagan gods. They were potentially very misleading for the viewer who might be similarly tempted to attempt such things. Greer claims that these highly-evolved and advanced ETs are carefully monitoring humanity and our use (or non-use) of technologies, because space is common ground and not just for humans for their own benefit and to use as they see fit. This ‘documentary’ is really nothing more than a plug for Greer’s over-the-top religious beliefs.

Back to the alien … eventually!

After Greer has now attempted to convince the viewer that there is a global conspiracy to hide the truth about alien visitations, we eventually return to the Atacama mummy and the ‘research’ by Stanford School of Medicine researcher Garry Nolan. Is it a deformed human or an alien? It claims that DNA results show no genetic abnormalities yet it makes the statement that so much of its DNA is ‘non-matching’ or non coding DNA so they have no idea what it codes for. This is openly deceptive. The viewer is led to believe that they cannot fit a lot of the genetic data into the box that their program specifies. They attempt to give the impression to the uninformed layperson that there is something mysteriously unknown about it. Actually, the wording is completely vague in this section, so the careful viewer will notice that it is impossible to know what is actually being discussed, in context. However, Nolan later told Live Science magazine that:

“ … every nucleotide I’ve been able to look at is human … I’ve only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream ‘nonhuman’.”1
‘Sirius’ Theatrical Trailerexamine-mummy

But the documentary presented information that was so vague that nothing could be used towards any scientific publication or presentation. In fact, in the documentary it was not clear what was sequenced, except that the mitochondrial DNA was typed and that the Y chromosome was present. (Note: This means Ata was a human and a male!) The movie also claimed that more mutations were present than in normal humans by saying “more than we would expect to be caused by single cell division.” Without further explanation it is hard to decipher what is meant by this statement. Moreover, they were dealing with a corpse of potentially great age, meaning this falls into the problematic realm of ancient DNA (aDNA). It is expected that there would be lots of post-mortem DNA degradation due to the fact that our marvelous little DNA repair systems cease to function once death occurs. In short, of course there is more mutation than you would expect from cellular division. This demonstrates the very misleading way the information was presented, and trying to convey that there is somehow more than meets the eye, when there isn’t, is all too common a trait from UFO believers. “There is nothing new under the sun,” as the wise King Solomon said. They display the human common trait of wanting others to believe what they believe—just like we Christians do. The difference is that they have no problem in using half truths (half lies) to achieve it.

Truth was a casualty

The fact is that Ata has undergone lots of testing previously. Freely available is a transcribed report from Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the Spanish Basque Country University. He is a specialist in Forensic Anthropology with the Complutense University. He wrote:

“ … it’s a mummified body with all typical the characteristics of a fetus. The body has a length of 14 cm and displays all the structures and anatomical links normal for the head, trunk and extremities … Taken as a whole, the proportions of the anatomical structures (skeleton and softer parts), the level of development of each one of its bones and its macroscopic configuration, allow us to interpret it without any shadow of doubt as a completely normal mummified fetus … Both based on the total length of the body as well as the length of the bones, it can be estimated that it’s a fetus in an approximate gestation period close to 15 weeks.”2

So, it’s all much ado about nothing. But unfortunately, as I have discovered, too much UFOlogy now suffers from ‘never let the facts get in the way of a good story’ disease.

There was no greater example of this obfuscation when, even after they confessed Ata was human after the alleged DNA testing, they then try to muddy the waters with a lot of ‘buts’. And the biggest ‘but’ was right at the end of the movie when they asked the viewer to consider if Ata was really human, or an unknown (animal) species, or a missing link in our evolution, a human affected by an unknown disease or an alien. What? I thought they said it was human, but of course that’s not the last ‘take home’ thought they want the viewer to have. However, no one ever addressed one obvious question that stood out to me, which was, why would alien beings no bigger than a normal pencil require football field sized spaceships to traverse the galaxy. The bigger the ship the more preposterous the energy requirements become! Smaller would be faster, better, cheaper (as a former Chief Administrator of NASA once famously quoted).3

The movie finishes where it started, with Greer on stage in Santa Monica. He waves goodbye to the adoring audience and says, “God bless you all.” But one wonders what type of god he is referring to. The statement, like many others who use it, is often used to portray the user as a good ‘accepting’ person who should be believed (because he played the ‘God card’). He most certainly has a strong belief system but with his New Age pantheistic view, he is certainly not referring to the God of the Bible.

Christians need to be aware not to allow their faith to be challenged by seeming spectacular claims like ‘alien body found in the desert’. They need to hold fast to the truth that emanates from God’s Word which has no room for such things.

First published: 6 August 2013
Re-featured on homepage: 27 March 2018


  1. Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery, livescience.com/29176-alien-looking-skeleton-poses-medical-mystery.html?cmpid=514645, accessed 31 July, 2013. Return to text.
  2. Analysis of the Atacama humanoid alien, ghosttheory.com/2013/04/12/atacama-humanoid, accessed 31 July, 2013. Return to text.
  3. Daniel Goldin, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Goldin, accessed 31 July, 2013. Return to text.