One would think that as popular science publications overflow with serious musings about what actual aliens might look like and what their bio-chemical compositions might be, the modern myth of human/alien hybrids walking among us would be discarded even by the most ardent ufologists. And one would be wrong. At least one follower of the ancient astronaut theory, Lloyd Pye, is determined to prove that aliens and humans knew each other in a very intimate way and he thinks he has the direct, physical evidence to convince scientists.
That evidence is a 900 year old skull of a young boy he calls the Starchild. Found in Mexico during the 1930s, it’s an odd artifact with an abnormally large space for a brain, shallow eye sockets with oval orbits, and canals for the optic nerves situated in the wrong place. According to Pye, it looks like the result of a Gray alien and a human creating a hybrid and he’s submitted the skull for DNA testing several times to prove that there may be some traces of an extraterrestrial lineage somewhere in its genome. So far, the scientists who’ve tested the sample confirmed that the child’s mother was definitely human. From the father’s side, things are rather fuzzy at best so Pye is using that ambiguity to argue that the child’s dad could very well be an alien.
Of course just because we haven’t been able to determine a genetic profile of the father doesn’t mean that we need to set our sights on Zeta Riticuli. But as most skeptics know, when it comes to pseudoscience, negative evidence carries the same weight to believers as any tangible proof. This is why rather than provide a serious explanation for any of the mysteries of the skull, Pye simply exaggerates them and keeps reminding us that it looks an awful lot like the head of a Gray if you squint hard enough. He also dodges the question of how alien genomes would resemble our own closely enough for producion of viable offspring and how we could detect some trace of genetic manipulation by an advanced extraterrestrial species. In other words, Pye doesn’t even know what he’s trying to find other than validation for his ideas.
You see, some proponents of the ancient astronaut theory need a little something extra to their science to get that feeling of uniqueness, significance and companionship that most religious beliefs try to offer. They’re too skeptical about a traditional deity and so they embrace the idea of alien overlords because alien life is at least scientifically plausible. When something in human history gives them pause, they use alien influence to craft an answer for themselves. How did apes mutate into intelligent humans? Genetic “upgrade” from aliens who were experimenting with our biosphere at the time. How did we go from cave dwellers to residents of vast city states that were the seeds of empires? Extraterrestrial guidance. For every mystery or gap in their knowledge, there’s a wide variety of alien tales to choose from, many of which combine ancient fiction or New Age beliefs into complex mythologies. For them, it makes being human a lot more exciting.
This is why a strange skull which can be a handy Rorschach test for skeptics and believers alike isn’t just an interesting way to make money and gain publicity for Pye and his fans. It’s something to hold on to almost like a religious relic. And because it’s seems like the proof they’ve been seeking all these years, they insist that its abnormalities aren’t abnormalities at all and that no doctor can classify them as human disorders, even if the tentative expert conclusion is that the skull represents a rare and severe case of brachycephaly. It’s just one of those beliefs that’s too spectacular to let go without a fight.