Many scientists, however, believe that the two small, mummified bodies with elongated heads and three fingers on each hand, photographs of which were broadcast across the world last week when they were presented to Mexico’s Congress, are an already-debunked – and maybe criminal – hoax.
Staff employees at Maussan’s office in Mexico City’s Santa Fe business district carefully move the two locked boxes with glass lids containing the bodies into a green-screened studio, where Reuters got exclusive access on Friday.
Everyone gathers to get a better look. The bodies look to be old and human-like, with two eyes, a mouth, two arms, and two legs. Maussan claims they were discovered in Peru in 2017 near the pre-Columbian Nazca Lines.
He claims he can demonstrate that they are unlike anything on Earth. He released scientific research and study results on social media and during the hearing, claiming they prove the remains are around 1,000 years old and unrelated to any known Earthly species.
According to Maussan, one of them, a female, was revealed to contain eggs inside.
“It is the most important thing that has happened to humanity,” Maussan, 70, remarked while sitting in his office, which is extensively decorated with colorful alien-themed artwork and accessories.
“I believe that this phenomenon is the only one that gives us the opportunity to unite,” he continued.
Elsa Tomasto-Cagigao, a noted Peruvian bio-anthropologist, is disturbed that such claims are still being made public, citing similar supposed discoveries that were later discovered to be forgeries.
“What we said before still stands, they are presenting the same rehash as always and if there are people that keep believing that, what can we do??” she remarked over the phone. “It is so crass and so simple that there is nothing more to add.”
Previous comparable discoveries have been regarded by scientists as disfigured mummies of pre-Hispanic children, sometimes mixed with animal parts.
Former Princeton University astrophysics department head David Spergel, who chaired a NASA report investigating unidentified abnormal occurrences, said on Thursday that such samples should be made accessible for assessment by the global scientific community.
Maussan posted the results of DNA and carbon dating tests he said he commissioned on “the beings” on social media and in his presentation.
A Mexican scientist evaluated the results at the request of Reuters and determined that they suggested typical life on Earth.
However, Maussan told Reuters on Friday that the test results were unrelated to the two bodies he presented to Congress this week. In fact, he claimed, they were carried out on a whole different body, Victoria, which is still in Peru.
“They were found in the same place. They have the same physical appearance, they are the same, ” Maussan said of Victoria and the two bodies he displayed in Mexico. He stated that testing on the two bodies was not performed in order to avoid harming them.
Maussan is no stranger to squabbles. In the past, he has made widely disputed assertions concerning other remains. He appeared in a 2017 TV documentary on other remains discovered near the Nazca Lines, which specialists such as Tomasto-Cagigao and paleontologist Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi stated appeared to be doctored mummies.
He has now enraged Peruvian officials.
Leslie Urteaga, Peruvian Culture Minister, has questioned how the specimens, which she claims are pre-Hispanic items, left Peru and has filed a criminal case.
“I’m not worried. I have done absolutely nothing illegal,” Maussan stated.
He claims he has no idea how the remains ended up in Mexico. They were borrowed by Maussan for the hearing and are now in the hands of a Mexican guy who was in Maussan’s office on Friday but declined to be recognized.
When questioned how the bodies, whom he referred to as Clara and Mauricio, came to be in his custody, the man just stated that he would divulge everything “at the appropriate time.”
Jose de Jesus Zalce Benitez, Director of the Secretary of the Navy’s Health Sciences Research Institute, testified during the congressional session, bolstering Maussan’s assertions. He carefully conveyed his interpretation of the science when he joined him in his office.
“Based on the DNA tests, which were compared with more than one million species … they are not related to what is known or described up to this moment by science or by human knowledge,” he said
Julieta Fierro, an astronomer at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) who evaluated Maussan’s test results for Reuters, sees significantly less mystery in the data.
She claims that the presence of carbon-14 in UNAM investigations demonstrates that the samples were linked to brain and skin tissues from distinct mummies who died at different times.
The quantity of radioactive carbon-14 isotope absorbed by live organisms into their tissue decays with time, allowing scientists to estimate the specimen’s death year.
The amount of carbon-14 in other planets’ atmospheres would not necessarily be the same as on Earth, she added.
All in all, the results “do not show anything mysterious that could indicate life compounds that do not exist on Earth,” Fierro said.