As pointed out by Lee Spiegel in the Huffington Post, the lead scientist featured in the documentary, Dr. Gary Nolan of the Stanford School of Medicine, states briefly in the documentary that the body was 'human.' It is also stated in the documentary that another year of DNA research will be needed to make a final determination about the DNA. However, Alejandro Rojas of Open Minds reports that he inquired of Dr. Nolan, asking him by email for further clarification. Mr. Rojas states that he replied, ““The sequence that we got from the mitochondria [energy factories of cells] tells us with extremely high confidence that the mother was an indigenous Indian from the Chilean area.”
Of course, it's always possible that a deeper study will reveal some greater mystery, such as a father of unknown origin, but right now all we are looking is a child with an unusual and spectacular deformity. For Dr. Greer to prove that this specimen has at least in part an alien origin, it is essential that the father's DNA be found.
In the documentary, Dr. Greer is vague about the origins of the small body, saying only that it came from Chile. In fact, it was found in 2006 by a souvenir hunter in the ghost town of La Noria. He sold it to a barkeep for about $65, and it was displayed in the bar for many years to paying customers. It was eventually bought by a UFO investigator and appears to have come into Dr. Greer's possession in 2009, at a conference in Barcelona. In the documentary, he states that he was 'not allowed' to do DNA testing on it until 2012, but does not explain why that would be.
The balance of the documentary makes an extensive case that is the backbone of Greer's Disclosure Project, which is that a power-mad elite bent on retaining its wealth is keeping the truth about aliens--that they are benevolent and stand willing to share extraordinary technology with us--from ordinary people. This is, in effect, the opposite of the Budd Hopkins hypothesis, which was that a terrified and incapable government is keeping the truth about aliens--which is that they are dangerous and exploitative--from a helpless public.
The Atacama child remains something of a mystery. In a study completed a few years ago, Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of Legal and Forensic Medicine in the Basque Country University, concluded that the body was “a completely normal mummified fetus.” However, Dr. Ralph Lachman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles has concluded that the body is that of a child, not a fetus.
The remains reveal what appears to be a unique abnormality, but they are the remains of a human being, not a creature from another planet. So far.
It is impossible for me to believe that Dr. Greer has not known this for some time. One wonders if, had he revealed Dr. Nolan's clear and unequivocal report that this was a human child on the day he received it, the documentary would have been such a sensation, or even if there would have been enough financial backing to enable him to make it.
So the Atacama child is a scientific mystery, but at present a human one. I had hoped it would be otherwise, I must admit, although I had serious doubts that any alien corpse would be left lying around anywhere on Earth. In fact, I am most unsure about the whole nature and origin of UFOs and the close encounter experience. We have yet to come to a clear answer about any of it, frankly. We have many scientific tools that can be applied to it, but so far nothing of any real scientific consequence has been done.
The greater mystery is very real, and, for that matter, the mystery of the Atacama child is, too. I hope that Dr. Nolan's statement that "the people I’ve come to meet through this process have convinced me thoroughly the observed phenomena around the planet should not be ignored. That has been an awakening for me,” will be heeded by other scientists.
There are quite a few things that the scientific community could do to sharpen the focus of the UFO mystery in general, and probably even solve at least some parts of it. There is plenty of physical evidence out there that can be gathered, and is accessible to study at a high level of scientific finish. It is simply not true that the phenomenon is too ephemeral to admit of study.
In my book Solving the Communion Enigma, I outlined exactly what can be done and how to do it. The book was not reviewed in any mainstream media, or in the popular scientific press. No interest was expressed from any quarter in the quite straightforward and relatively inexpensive studies that can and should be done.
The Atacama child is a human mystery, and one that has, at the present, nothing to do with the UFO and close encounter phenomena. Hopefully, the effort needed to find the child's paternal DNA will be mounted, and maybe that will bear fruit.
Beyond that, though, something can be gained from the documentary's notoriety. Maybe some scientists will heed Dr. Nolan's comment, and begin to take a closer look at the extraordinary evidence that is available across the whole spectrum of the phenomenon. We need not only to find out on what level it is 'real,' but to try to gain some insight into who is right about it, Dr. Greer or Budd Hopkins, or if it is too complex to be characterized in a simple black or white manner.
For my part, I stand ready to offer whatever insight and support I can. And, unlike the Sirius documentary, I don't cost ten dollars. My help comes free.