Alien abductions, kachinas, and Peru's elongated skulls

In this intriguing episode, we seek to uncover the origins of Grey aliens and their creation as a modern myth. We will also explore Hopi society, Peruvian pyramids, and elongated skulls. At last, we will also disprove Brien Foerster's claimed alien DNA results.

Segment 1: The Betty and Barney Hill Abduction (2:38)

Segment 2: Hopi and Kachina (30:38)

Segment 3: Mysteries of Peru (42:54)

Join us on this enthralling journey as we peel back the layers of myths to reveal the truths about Grey aliens.

In Digging up Ancient Aliens, our host Fredrik uses his background in archaeology to discover what is genuine, fake, and somewhere in between in popular media, such as Ancient Aliens, Ancient Apocalypse, and many other places.

In this episode:

The Case on the Hill

Kachina Spirits

Peruvian Pyramids

DNA of the elongated skulls of Nazca and Paracas

Sources, resources and further reading suggestions

Hi, hello, and välkommen to Digging Up Ancient Aliens. This is the podcast where we examine strange claims about alternative history and ancient aliens in popular media. Do their claims hold water to an archeologist, or are there better explanations out there? 

We are now on episode 44, and I am Fredrik, your guide into the world of pseudo-archaeology. This time, we will look at the origin of the Grey aliens. We will learn this is a modern creation, but don't turn it off yet because there will be some exciting twists and turns along the way. 

We start far from the world of archaeology with the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill. We will look into alien abductions, their commonalities, and how we can explain many of these experiences. We will also learn some interesting things about the case. 

Then, we will hunt for historical examples of Grey aliens. During this travel, we will visit the Hopi people and discuss their society and religion, which can all be seen in their practice of creating Kachina figures. From there, we move on to Peru, where we will discuss pyramids, elongated skulls, and ancient DNA. We will also disprove Brien Foerster's DNA analysis he performed a couple of years ago. 

Remember that you can find sources, resources, and reading suggestions on our website, You can also find contact info there if you notice any mistakes or have any suggestions.

Now that we have finished our preparations, let's dig into the episode.

The Case on the Hill

We start this episode with the famous case of Roswell, a topic we discussed with Blake Smith from Monstertalk in episode 9. I do not have something to add currently to this case since it's pretty clear that it was a weather balloon, and Brian Dunning over at Skeptoid has done some fantastic research into the Roswell claims. Due to this, I'll leave this subject for now; we need to have things to return to later.

Next is a topic I struggle with, not really how to explain the phenomenon but how to tactfully approach it. The subject is Alien abductees, often referred to as alien abduction experience or AAE in research articles. We will return to this subject with a psychologist when some schedules align with the stars. I will softly start by dealing with this topic since it's quite a recurring topic, and what they say in this episode is not, well, in comparison, harmful. 

Let's start with the maybe most famous example they bring up, the Barney and Betty Hill incident. A tale that inspired episodes on X-files and a movie starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons in the lead. This case is usually described as "the first known UFO abduction," something that is not true. Earlier accounts are, for example, Elizabeth Klarer, who tells about being abducted in the 1950s. Then we have Antônio Vilas Boas, a Brazilian farmer who claims to have been kidnapped in 1957. If you want to hear more about Antônios's story, check out the member/Patreon version. 

The story about what is claimed to have happened to Barney and Betty starts on September 19, 1961. The couple was driving back to their home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from a vacation in Niagara Falls and Montreal. The couple had stopped for a late dinner in Colebrook, New Hampshire, from where they left around 10 PM. It was the last stretch of the journey in their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air; the air was warm, and the heavens were clear. As they went down US Route 3, Betty saw something and urged Barney to stop the car. Barney parked the car at a rest stop, and the couple watched a luminous object on the far-off horizon. Betty, convinced it was an unidentified flying object, fervently declared her belief, while Barney remained skeptical, insisting it was nothing more than a commercial airplane en route to Montreal. Betty's previous encounter with a UFO through her sister a few years prior had perhaps influenced her conviction.

The couple is then claimed to have witnessed the light as they continue their journey until the light forces them to stop in the middle of the highway. Barney described "humanoid" looking creatures with glossy black uniforms and hats, which were kind of leather-like. According to Betty, Barney gets concerned about their safety at one point, and while shouting, "They're going to capture us," he jumps in the car, and they speed off.

Here is the story the couple initially told to the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena, NICAP. An independent UFO research group formed in 1950 and lasted into the 80s. The Hills reported their sighting a few days after to Richard Hall, who involved the group's investigator Walter Webb. An interview took place in October 1961 and lasted for about six hours. You might rightly point out here that this account does not include any grey aliens or an abduction. Or, as Jason Martell puts it.

"The beings described by Betty and Barney Hill fit the classic case of a Grey. Now, there are variations to size and dimensions of these beings, but they all seem to have the same characteristics: Slim, spindly bodies; large, oval heads; large, oversized eyes." - Jason Martell.

These are elements that aren't added until almost two years later. After this experience, Betty Hill started to have nightmares and journal these dreams. She then reworked her accounts and rewrote her journals and experiences for almost two and a half years. One copy, however, was provided to Walter Webb in November 1961. In 1964, the Hills had agreed to undergo hypnosis to recover memories as a part of a treatment for their anxiety led by Dr. Benjamin Simon.

Dr. Simon has maybe gotten the short end of the stick in the public reimagination of the story. More often than not, he is just referred to as a hypnotist; Dr. Simon, however, was the head of neuropsychiatry at the Army's psychiatric center, Mason General Hospital. There, Dr. Simon was involved in researching what then was called shell shock, today more known as PTSD. Within this research, Dr. Simon experimented with hypnosis to relieve soldiers' stress. Hypnosis is, while surrounded by magical claims, a real thing. In clinical studies on pain relief, patients who have been hypnotized report that the hypnosis helped them with their pain. Even better results can be found in stress management among susceptible patients. I say susceptible since hypnosis doesn't work on everyone. The technique most used today was developed at Stanford and includes a sliding scale called Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales. So, everyone fits on this scale that ranges from 0 to 12. From not susceptible to entirely susceptible.

It is in the couple's anxiety and being interracial we find Dr. Simons's reason for being involved in this. As he points out in his foreword to John G. Fuller's book "The interupted Journey," what interested Dr. Simon was not the UFO story but "Mr. and Mrs. Hill presented-crippling anxiety, manifested by him in fairly open fashion and by Mrs. Hill more in the form of repetitive nightmarish dreams."

Reading Dr. Simons's account, he doesn't take much stock in what the couple says during the hypnosis. Dr. Simon theorized that the couple could unlock the amnesia quicker than through traditional therapy. He does point out that while being hypnotized, you can still make things up and does not seem to take what the couple says as truth. Today, we know that this form of "regressed memory theory" doesn't really have any effect and that most patients just tell an imagined version of what happened. Dr. Simon doesn't discuss this, but it's a bit of hindsight 20/20 on that. The doctor intended to use the hypnosis sessions as a part of a more extensive therapy for the apparent stress presented by the couple.

I'd like to add that some of Barney's stress seems related to his experience as an Afro-American in the white culture of 1960. Within the recordings, he often talks about his fear of being subjugated to racist acts. Not unfounded at all; it had just been a few years since the lynching of Emmet Till in Mississippi. Barney gives insight into his concerns while doing simple things like renting a room, entering a restaurant, or walking in the park. Will they be accepted, face racism, and rejection, or what will happen in these situations? Something that I believe many people of color are still struggling with today. 

Within these recordings of the therapy sessions, most of the abduction story people know is documented. All the medical experiments, the star maps, and the grey alien look more or less originate here. 

Worth mentioning is that how the aliens looked changed quite a bit through the years. From the original leather-wearing humanoid figures as initially reported, Betty then describes them as short humans with black hair and Jimmy Durante noses. Barney, however, depicts the creatures at first a bit differently. Looking out a window is not an extraterrestrial being but a red-headed Irishman. Dr. Simon asked why he thought the alien looked Irish, and Barney answered:

"I think I know why. Because Irish are usually hostile to n-word. And when I see a friendly Irish person, I react to him by thinking—I will be friendly. And I think this one that is looking over his shoulder is friendly."

The Irishman turns into a German Nazi with a scarf and leather jacket. However, later, during the hypnosis, Barney starts to depict them as thin, grey, with large black eyes, and bald, which Betty will also pick up on afterward. Interestingly, as Brian Dunning points out, in April 1962, Twilight episode 30 of season 3 aired, titled "Hocus-Pocus and Frisby." In it, we encounter a monster that fits Hill's depiction of the grey aliens almost a bit too well.

What's fascinating here is how the story evolved from the strange light in the sky to the full-fledged AAE. Maybe even more interesting is that neither Walter Webb nor Dr. Simon believes the abduction part of the account. 

Is there a way to explain these sightings and experiences? Well, it depends. For the strange lights in the sky, it's hard to say precisely what it was since we can't often go back and see it. The term UFO doesn't necessarily mean alien spacecraft but something in the sky that we have yet to identify. A few things have been suggested for the Hills flying objects they saw; the most common one is that it was Venus they saw. I find that explanation a bit lackluster. A better answer was presented in 2007 by the Macdonald family. They tried to re-create the light and drow down Route 3 during the day and at night. During the night, they did manage to see a light following them. On closer examination, they noticed that it corresponded with the location of the observation tower on top of Cannon Mountain. The tower had a bright light on top and, from the looks of things, was a good candidate for what the Hills saw.

Unfortunately, the tower was torn down in 2008 and replaced with a new one in 2011 with a less bright light. No recent UFO sightings have been reported of late on this stretch of Route 3. 

How about the alien encounters, then? How do we explain the abductions? Here, it would have been even better with a psychologist present, but there are several explanations behind the AAE. Some will relate to Betty's nightmares, which we have already discussed. Something often left out of these stories is that the abductees are sleeping. Betty Hills' abduction came from dreams after researching the UFO phenomenon. Within the episode, they interview another person who claims to have had an AAE, Kim Carlsberg. I don't want to get too deep into her story, but Kim claims to have seen a strange light, went to bed, and was abducted. I don't want to go deeper into Kim's story because she is clearly in distress, but instead of getting help to deal with the stress these dreams give her properly, she is taken advantage of by the media.

For many of these cases, sleep paralysis is the most likely cause of these experiences. We go through different stages during sleep, including the so-called REM (or rapid eye movement) stage. During this stage, we often have our dreams, and as a safety mechanism, the body locks up to stop you from acting out your dream. In some cases, people can become aware during this stage. Referred to as "awareness during sleep paralysis" or ASP. During the ASP, your body is paralyzed and in a dream-like state. In this state, about 40% of persons with ASP have auditory hallucinations, and 30% report visual. These hallucinations seem to be culturally influenced. In the past, demons or ghosts were the culprits. In Slavic countries, for example, you might have been visited by Vjek, but in other parts of Europe, it might have been the Succubus. These religious or folkloric elements seem in our society to become replaced by Aliens.

Sleep paralysis is not the only sleep-related explanation. A study by Dr. Wamsley et al. shows that 80% of people suffering from narcolepsy report dream delusions. The dreams feel so real that people can't differentiate between what's been a dream and what's not. Some of the alien abductions can be found here. Then, we have a Russian study from 2021 where the authors show that people with lucid dreaming and other REM-sleep states could force an AAE experience. 

So, dreams could be a reasonable explanation for many of these sightings. But there are more hypotheses, such as psychopathology. I can see why some would think those reporting AAE are mentally ill, but we should be careful and respectful regarding mental illness. While some reports might be due to a psychopathological disturbance, studies don't see more mental health issues among AAE reporters than the typical populations. So, I'd be cautious to use this explanation.

Then there's the idea of false memories. When people have an experience they can't explain or the very loose symptoms of alien abductions, such as missing time, muscle pain, or headaches. Symptoms that are very common in the human experience. They seek out self-proclaimed experts outside the medical and scientific fields. There, they undergo regressed memory therapies and other pseudoscientific methods that plant these fantasies as actual memories. 

It has also been suggested by Dr. Newman and others that abductions are a way to escape one's self-using machoism. To elude the stress and everyday life, these people create a machoism fantasy or reality where they disconnect from themself. Many of the descriptions from AAE reports include things that could be viewed as masochistic activities. We see in the reports a removal of control, humiliation, and infliction of pain. All items that often are integral parts of the machoism experience. Newman and Baumeister suggest that the alien abduction proponents, media, and other sources have created the raw material for these masochistic fantasies that turn into AAE experiences.

Other explanations are that the report is a pure hoax, something worth keeping in mind that some, of course, will use AAE as a way to fame. Most likely, many of these AAE result from one or more of these explanations. Something worth remembering is that many of those reporting an AAE are victims. Many have been taken advantage of by repressed memory experts and UFO book authors. Instead of getting the help many need to alleviate the stress, they are fed a false narrative that often worsens their anxiety. This is visible in the interviews with Kim during the episode.

At least we know a bit more, and maybe even more importantly, we have found the true origin of the Grey aliens. They are an invention to some extent based on TV shows and the hypnosis of Barney Hill. That's basically the end of the Grey alien origin, but the Ancient Alien show needed to fill out some 30 more minutes and will therefore look for historical evidence of grey aliens. 

Kachina spirits

Let's move into an area that is a bit more related to archaeology, maybe not that much, though. We are back with the Hopi tribe, a nation connected to the Pueblo people and part of the Uto-Azteca. It is not the first time we have visited the Hopi people or the subject Giorgio brings up here. 

"The translation for the word Kachina is very simple. It means teacher. The Kachina were not a part of the spiritual world, but they were, in fact, a part of the physical world. They descended from the sky in what the Hopi refer to as fiery shields. They would touch down on Earth, spend time with human beings, teach them, give them knowledge, and then they would use the same "shields" to fly back into the sky." - Giorgio Tsoukalos.

Here is one thing that actually makes me a bit frustrated with these Ancient Alien experts. They don't even bother using a dictionary. Sure, it's like ten years since Giorgio said this in tape. But dictionaries for the Hopi language have been in print for some time. I used two, "A Concise Hopi and English Lexicon," published in 1985, and the Hopi dictionary from Arizona University Press, published in 1998. Neither of these translates Kachina to the word teacher. The word for teacher is tutuqaynaqa. Kachina or Katsina is translated to a spirit being. In a way, it's a type of god to make a crude analogy. But why are we talking about these spirit beings? Well, in part, it's due to the depictions of these spirits; Ancient Astronaut theorists claim that they look like aliens. 

The Hopi have for a long time depicted the Katsina as a type of doll created from the cottonwood root. They have a fascinating design with what looks like a helmet on top; due to a somewhat Rorschachuesk practice, the alien proponents claim these beings to be aliens. The Katsinas are depicted both in rock art and as dolls. The term doll may be a bit of a misnomer; while it's, in a sense, a toy, it is much more in the Hopi tradition. 

To understand the doll, we must sort out what a Kachina is. Something more complex than one might think. Within the Hopi and Pueblo people, we have the Katsina represented in three ways: first, the spiritual being that lives in the collective mind of the people of Pueblo. Secondly, these beings are impersonated by people who dress as spirits with the help of masks. Thirdly, we find these impersonators depicted as dolls given to girls in ceremonies. 

The Katsina spirits are also split up into a couple of different classes. The maybe most important is the Chief or Mong Katsina. Each clan would own at least one impersonation of these spirits, and only one person, either by heritage or election, can impersonate this spirit. There are about 30 of the Mong Kachina; often, the clans have one or two connected to them specifically as a sort of supernatural partner or wuye. These Mong Kachinas also have different parts in the Hopi people's more vital ceremonies, such as Soyal, Powamu, and Niman. One spirit that's always present in these festivals is Eototo, a representation of the village chief. These ceremonies often take the shape of dancing and processions in the villages.

Another class is the guardians and warriors. Some are almost equal in status to one of the Mong Kachinas but still in a different standing. The role of these spirits is to safeguard the Mong class and to protect the ceremonies from witchcraft. One or two guards usually flanked the rear in the procession and dances to keep the dancers safe. 

A third class is the ogres and cannibals or the Sosoyok't. Their function is to scare children into conformity in the village. If a child strays from the proper path, they are brought in front of these rather scary beings who will talk to them to set them back on the right track. This particular group seems to be borrowed from the Zuni people. 

The list could continue, and we have not brought up the clowns, animals, or non-danced kachinas. There are some 200 recognized and documented kachinas within the Hopi tradition. Each has its place and function within the belief. 

To get back to the dolls, they are based on the impersonators' costumes, so it's not a helmet the doll has but a mask. In many cases, the dolls are supposed to be made by the father in the family, but if time is lacking, it seems okay to buy one. The Katchina doll is then presented as a gift from the father to his daughter, but the Kachina impersonator hands it out. The question is why this tradition takes form. The answer might be among the most popular Kachinas that are handed out, the Powamu or the Bean Dance, and Niman, the Home dance. Both are connected to agricultural and fertility rites.

Within the Hopi tradition, life is, above all, the most good. As bringers of life, woman in Hopi society has a special place. The dolls could be gifted to ensure that food and other blessings multiply. As women, the Kachinas are bringers of life. The children are often told that what the Kachina touches will multiply. But at the same time, the dolls are not sacred objects themself in that sense. No rituals, songs, or anything else are connected to creating a Kachina doll. They seem to exist on a plane of being both a sacred object and a child toy to some extent. 

At the same time, the girls get their dolls; boys usually get a bow and arrow from their father. Interestingly, warfare and childbearing seem to be talked about in the same way—both activities, which might not be the best word, incorporate blood and a life-threatening danger. The purification rites are remarkably similar between the two.

The women in the Hopi culture genuinely have a different status than many other cultures. It is the woman who's head of the house; the man who moves in with the woman's family when they marry. If there's any surplus of food or other items, these belong to the woman. As we note here, the Kachina dolls are far more complex than what we see in Ancient Aliens. This tradition is an integral part of the Hopi society and symbolism that connects the whole culture like a spiderweb. The meaning of the Kachina doll is found in the Hopi kinship, spirits, and their view of the natural world. As we often see, the simple alien theories don't fit within the larger construct of society. 

I have not forgotten about Giorgio's claims about firey shields. I could not find any reference to the fire, but this is in the Hopi tongue called paatuwvota. It can translate to a flying shield or ripples on the water. What Giorgio is not mentioning is that shamans often use these shields to traverse to the heaven spirits and that they are made out of cotton and woven like a wedding dress. There are also a few other flying things like gourdes when specific spirits sit on them. 

So, the Hopi traditions are not evidence for Grey aliens existing before Hill's hypnosis. But are we saving the best evidence for last? Could DNA evidence prove this hypothesis right?

Mysteries of Peru

Welcome to Peru. Could it be that evidence of historic Grey Aliens is found here? Let's hear the claim from David Childress. 

"One of the things that you see around the pyramids, here on coastal Peru, is that they're associated with these skulls. It would seem that those elongated skulls were half-alien, half-human. And in fact, some of the recent DNA testing that's been done, here in Peru, is indicating that these people are, somehow, half-human and half some other race." – David Childress.

So there is a bunch of things going on here. We have pyramids, we have elongated skulls, and we have DNA testing. What we don't have is a time and place; we know it's Peru and in the coastal region. But Peru is quite large, and we don't know what time period we're in. This vagueness, I believe, is intended; this way, Childress can connect the origin of the pyramids with the aliens, and if the aliens visited, they could have mated with humans. As we know by now, according to the Ancient Astronaut theory, monumental building is something humans could not do and must have been introduced by aliens. Note there that Childress is also trying to connect these pyramids to burials.

Peruvian Pyramids

Let's look at the history of Peruvian pyramids. I use the term pyramid a bit fast and loose here; what is referred to as pyramids in Peru is not comparable to a true pyramid as we see in Egypt. What we find here resembles maybe more the pyramids of Mesoamerica,  but in many cases, I would perhaps refer to them as mounds or temples. I've also seen this in the books and articles that different authors use the terms pyramid and mound. However, they are often rectangular than square, consisting of platforms and staircases. 

What is the earliest date for these types of monumental structures? The exciting thing is that this is something being explored and pushed back. We currently find Peru's first monumental constructions during the Late Archaic or Late Preceramic period at Bandurria in the Huacho region. The earliest radion carbon datings for the site are around 3100-2800 calibrated BCE. The site has ten structures consisting of four main mounds between eight and twelve meters high. These mounds or pyramids were constructed using existing natural mounds, then adding layers of filling such as sand and gravel. The outer layer consists of rocks, not larger than that one person could easily carry two, that they put in place with a mortar of clay and saltgrass. 

We should not forget the Caral-Supe society in the Norte Chico region. Much work in the area has been done by Ruth Shady Solís, who paved the way for later research in Norte Chico. Her co-authors on a 2001 paper, Winifred Creamer and Jonathan Haas, have also done much work in the area. Even if Solís, Creamer, and Haas started as a team building on Ruth Solís work, the cooperation was short-lived and became a pretty famous feud. It may be worth revisiting at a later point. The earliest signs of buildings and communal projects start around 3100 BCE, around the time we see the temples in Bandurria. Pyramid-like structures, however, were not built until around 2500 BCE. From what I can tell, these platform mounds are made in a similar construction style to Bandurria. The largest city was in Caral, where at its height, estimations indicate that some 3000 people lived there. One of the more famous platform pyramids incorporates an oval theater where flutes of condor and pelican bones were found. There are even examples of blue whale vertebrates being used as stools.  

Here we have again a slow and steady evolution of constructions going back to 3000 BCE. The issue is that the cultures constructing these buildings did not practice headbinding or elongated skulls. That practice was only seen in the Paracas and Nazca cultures that we found 1000 years after the end of Caral-Supe culture. While the Paracas culture did build platform mounds, I don't see any pyramid-like structures. In contrast to the Moche culture's adobe pyramids, the Nazca were not big on pyramids either. The exception is in Cahuachi, where we find pyramids, with the Great Temple as the city's crown. While the Great Temple is built in steps like a step pyramid, half the construction is supported by a mountain. I would instead classify it as a step-temple, but I see many references to it as a pyramid. This grand construction was built in several stages and had a ceremonial function, a civil function for nobility, a residential, and a funerary part. A tomb that seems to predate the construction was found at the top of the hill. Later burials have been found too.

I want to stress, however, that the Nazca did not build the pyramids at Cahuachi as tombs. We know quite a bit about the Nazca burial patterns, and they primarily consist of funerary urns, pit burials, and nobility chamber tombs. The funerary urns seem to have been reserved for young individuals and children. The pit burials are the dominating burial form, and chamber tombs were constructed for what appears to be the nobility. There is an exception to these burial forms in La Muña, where the Nazca people built mausoleums. There, we find pit burials but with a small construction on a bench, not unlike tombs we construct today in some parts of the world.

With this said, toward the end of the Nazca culture, when structures started to be abandoned, we began to see a resurgence of burials being constructed close to the Cahuachi pyramids. The question might be if it was due to the ceremonial function of the site or a tribute to the good old days. 

So, Childress's connection between Peruvian pyramids and burials is not as straightforward as he indicates. As we now know, the pyramid constructs predate the elongated skulls. But how about these skulls and the DNA test that Childress refers to? 

DNA of the elongated skulls of Nazca and Paracas

I'm not sure what test Childress refers to; from what I can tell, there has not been any testing at this point. Not even Brien Foerster made any claims regarding DNA in his 2015 book. If he had access to the test, I'm confident he would have promoted them in the book. Especially since he then claimed that he had obtained DNA tests that proved five Peruvian skulls were not human. Brien Foerster obtained the samples from the official-sounding Paracas History Museum. A small private museum created by Juan Navarro Hierro, who markets the place by letting Ancient Alien theorists play science with his collections of human remains. 

As far I can tell, Brien Foerster has not published the DNA tests he performed. He has done some YouTube videos and Facebook posts on it and interviewed in Ancient Origins, but he has not done any publications. If he had the DNA evidence he claimed to have, I hardly believe any journal would refuse to publish it. The issue is the peer-review process, I guess, where any inaccuracies would show up. And just from the little Foerster has put out, I see a lot of red flags.

How were the samples obtained? DNA samples are very sensitive, and contamination can happen quite easily. I get suspicious when I see on Paracas History Museum's Facebook page that Childress and Tsoukalos handle some of the remains without gloves. So, who knows how much contamination has been by people handling these remains? Especially since their origin seems a bit dubious. However, Dr. Jennifer Raff, an ancient DNA expert, found a video that appears to document parts of how Foerster obtained the sample. They needlessly disassemble a child's remains while taking samples without adequate protection. Several people are in the room; only two have gloves and a small mask to cover their mouths. But there are skin and hair exposed and would, of course, as Dr. Raff points out, contaminate these samples. Jennifer Raff points out in her article that to sample DNA properly, you must wear a suit that covers you from head to toe. 

Archaeologist Carl Faegans also found a now-deleted Facebook post that shows some of the results from Foerster's DNA tests. As Faegans points out, they only have one sample that's dated. There's also evidence of contamination, especially the U2e1, the H, and the R found among British and European people. Several of them were in attendance when taking the sample. Faegans continues to point out these flaws with the alleged results:

- Carl Faegans.

Another clear indicator that Foerster's evidence is, at best, contaminated is the newly published test from Jessica Thorton et al. using Raman Spectroscopy and STR Analysis. They conclude that the elongated skulls they tested were human and that "Moreover, no foreign DNA or unusual profiles were observed in any of the Paracas samples tested."

We have quite a good understanding of how the Paracas and Nazca cultures created the elongated skulls. We have examples of Peruvian cribs that utilized ropes, cushions, and boards, as described by Weiss in 1961. We have different cultures that achieved this with different variations of this method. As I mentioned in the past, elongated skulls were usual in Europe. In Toulouse, artificial cranial deformation was performed until the 20th century, so elongated skulls were often called the Toulouse deformity.

So, I think we can finally end the Alien discussion around artificial cranial deformation. It is at least clear that Childress, as we heard at the beginning of this section, was wrong on every single point he made. And on that, we will close this episode for this time. The Grey alien is a modern creation, and the historical claims made by the alien theorists have proven wrong at best. 

But make sure to return for another installment of Digging Up Ancient Aliens. 

But till then, remember to leave a positive review anywhere you can, such as iTunes, Spotify, or to your friend at the trench. I would also recommend visiting to find more info about me and the podcast. You can also find me on most social media sites, and if you have comments, corrections, suggestions, or just want to write an email in all caps, you can find my contact info on the website.

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Sandra Marteleur created the intro music, and our outro is by the band called Trallskruv, who sings their song "tin foil hat." Links to both these artists will be found in the show notes.

Until next time, keep shoveling that science!

Sources, resources, and further reading suggestions

Albert, R. and Leedom Shaul, D. (1985). A Concise Hopi and English Lexicon. John Benjamins Publishing.

Appelle, S., Lynn, S.J., Newman, L. and Malaktaris, A. (2013). Alien Abduction Experiences. In: E. Cardeña, S.J. Lynn and S. Krippner, eds., Alien Abduction Experiences - Examining the Scientific Evidence. American Psychological Association.

Bacha, A.B. and Llanos Jacinto, Ó.D. (2006). The Great Temple at the Ceremonial Site of Cahuachi (Nazca, Perú). Dimensión Antropológica, 38, pp.46–86.

Chu, A. (2006). Arquitectura monumental precerámica de Bandurria, Huacho. Boletín de arqueología PUCP, (10), pp.91–109. doi:

Colton, H.S. (1995). Hopi Kachina dolls: with a Key to Their Identification. Albuquerque: Univeristy of New Mexico Press.

Denzler, B. (2003). The Lure of the Edge: Scientific passions, Religious beliefs, and the Pursuit of UFOs. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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