The Paracas skulls: aliens, an unknown hominid species or cranial deformation?

Three Paracas Necropolis Culture skulls, showing different shapes produced by head binding

Three Paracas Necropolis Culture skulls, showing different shapes produced by head binding (Source)

Sources of dubious (and notsodubious) news on the internet have been getting very excited for the past week or so about some skulls from Paracas in south-western Perú. According to these sites, the skulls have been shown to have DNA that proves them not to be modern Homo sapiens but something else. Depending on the slant of the site, they are the remains of either an unknown but earthly species or aliens. Some sites make comparisons with the Starchild Skull, which has been touted as a human/alien hybrid. So just how reliable is the news?


The skulls were discovered by the respected Perúvian archaeologist Julio César Tello (1880-1947) during excavations in 1927-8 on the northern side of the Cerro Colorado area of the Paracas Peninsula. In all, some 429 mummy bundles were recovered from two clusters at a site known as Wari Kayan, a large subterranean structure. The mummies were wrapped in cotton cloths, some of which were embroidered with wool to create elaborate patterns, which are among the best South American textiles ever found. The mummies were then placed in baskets in a sitting position, facing north; as with all South American mummies, their preservation is due to natural desiccation. Almost four hundred embroidered cloths were recovered. All the burials were of males and the quality of their grave gifts suggests that they were of high status; some have suggested that many of the men buried there had been brought for some distance to a special location, although this is not accepted by all.

Tello had previously excavated at Chavín de Huantar and recognised that there were cultural affinities between its products and those found at Wari Karan and suggested that the Paracas Necropolis Culture, as he called it, was related to the largely contemporary Chavín Culture. Comparisons have also been made between the later Paracas textiles and those of the Nasca Culture, suggesting another relationship. The pottery was largely plain and thin walled; it is very similar to ceramics found in the Cañete and Chincha Valleys, to the north of Paracas and is generally known today as Topará style. Similar pottery is also found in the earliest Nasca culture. It is generally accepted that the Nasca culture derives from the Paracas Necropolis Culture.

An example of Paracas Necropolis Culture embroidery

An example of Paracas Necropolis Culture embroidery (Source)

A Paracas Necropolis settlement has been found at Arena Blanca, in the coastal plain below the Cerro Coloarado. It covers an area of some 5- hectares, divided into twenty separate ditstricts, with buildings made from cobbles in dried mud. It inhabitants had cultivated plants, while cotton nets may be evidence for fishing. It appears to be contemporary with the earliest phase of burial at Wari Kayan and after its abandonment, was used as a cemetery by people of the Topará Culture. Further settlements are known in the Ica Valley to the south, where they span the entire period of the Paracas Necropolis Culture (conventionally reckoned to span 1-200 CE, although some prefer to place it earlier).

So far, so good. We have burials from a culture whose cultural affinities are well established and whose chronology is reasonably clear. Now for the part that has led to the recent controversial claims. Many of the high status burials of the Paracas Necropolis Culture have deformed skulls, which are usually believed to be deliberately induced using boards and weights. These result, in extreme cases, in skulls that are elongated into tall conical shapes. No two are alike and all are believed to have denoted high status in Paracas Necropolis Culture society.

The beginning of the controversy

A foetal mummy, illustrated by Rivero and Tschudi

A foetal mummy, illustrated by Rivero and Tschudi

For many years after their discovery, the Paracas Necropolis Culture burials were regarded as ordinary Andean mummies, whose high status males exhibit the cultural deformation of the skull practised by a number of pre-Columbian New World societies. Enter David Hatcher Childress, a well known promoter of some very Bad Archaeology indeed. In a 2012 book, The Enigma of Cranial Deformation: Elongated Skulls of the Ancients, co-written with Brien Foerster (described as a “Canadian-Peruvian anthropologist” by Amazon, although it would be more accurate to describe him as a tour operator), Childress suggests that the phenomenon is not one of cranial deformation. Quoting a nineteenth-century doctor, John James von Tschudi who claimed to have seen a seven-month term foetus with a head as elongated as its mother, Childress claims that this is evidence for a separate race or species.

What is not made clear is that they are quoting from the book Antigüedades Peruanas (1851) by Mariano Eduardo de Rivero y Ustáriz (1798-1857) and Johann Jakob von Tschudi (1818-1889) or, rather, its 1855 English translation by Francis Lister Hawks (1798-1866), who also managed to “translate” the authors’ names (as, indeed, does the original Spanish edition, where Dr von Tschudi is given the forenames Juan Diego!). Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. Until one reads Antigüedades Peruanas and discovers that this is in a chapter dealing with racial typology and phrenology and that Tschudi is reinforcing a typology of three Amerindian races he first proposed in Archiv für Pysiologie in 1845. The type to which they attribute the elongated crania are described as Aymaran, and the presence of a large wormian bone at the parietal/occipital interface is said to demonstrate the primitive nature of this people: se halle en una seccion del género humano, un fenómeno anómalo constante que falta en las demas, pero que es característico en los animales rumiantes y carnívoros (“there is thus found in one section of the human race a perpetual anomalous phenomenon, which is wanting in all others, but which is characteristic of the ruminant and carnivorous animals” in Hawks’s translation). Because of the high incidence of such bones among the indigenous peoples of the Andes, they are sometimes known as Inca bones.

The engraving that shows the foetal mummy (curiously found in the English translation but not in the Spanish original) does not depict the extreme of cranial deformation that Childress claims is genetic in origin: while the skull appears dolichocephalic, it appears to be entirely in the range of normal human foetuses. Moreover, although Rivero and Tschudi claim that it was found within the womb of a pregnant mother, the engraving does not show a foetus in a natural position, but in the position of a typical Andean mummy. It also appears to be wearing a kilt. In other words, there is a degree of deception in their account. It appears that Childress and Foerster cannot adduce any recent discoveries of neonatal or foetal mummies displaying supposedly congenital or hereditary skull deformation of this type.

Enter Lloyd Pye

Brien Foerster managed to persuade Juan Navarro Hierro, director (and owner) of the Paracas History Museum (sic: on the sign outside the museum, the name is given first in English, then, smaller, in Spanish) to part with some tissue samples. He claims that he did this because “[t]he only way to establish the actual age, and possible genetic origins of the Paracas people is through DNA analysis of the skulls themselves”. Dating human tissue by means of DNA analysis is such a new technique that I can find no other use of this remarkable development in any other archaeological investigation. Of course, there is no such dating technique: this is Brien Foerster displaying his ignorance of archaeological dating techniques!

Where did he choose to send the samples? To some prestigious university department, well known for its work on ancient DNA? No. Instead, he chose to send them to Lloyd Pye (1946-2013), a crank who believed in ancient astronauts, the extraterrestrial origins of humanity and, worst of all, touted the “Starchild Skull” as an alien/human hybrid. Why? This suggests that, far from being a dispassionate researcher, Brien Foerster has a preconceived agenda and it’s one that involves aliens. Although his original page lists his affiliation as “University of Victoria, Biological Sciences, Department Member”, his association with the university is as a graduate, not a member of faculty. [Update 11 April 2015: he has a new page that more honestly describes him as an undergraduate.]

A Paracas skull: note the dimple toward the top of the head, which is a product of head-binding, depressing the suture between the parietal plates that Brien Foerster claims does not exist

A Paracas skull: note the dimple toward the top of the head, which is a product of head-binding, depressing the suture between the parietal plates that Brien Foerster claims does not exist (Source)

On his website, Brien Foerster makes a number of claims about the skulls from Paracas, citing Lloyd Pye as an authority. He refers to “5 physical factors, pointed out by Lloyd Pye and myself, which are not at all common to Homo sapiens”, of which he lists two: “the presence of 2 small holes in the back of the skull” and “only one parietal plate, where there should be 2”. This is backed up by a photograph, although it appears to depict a skull with no cranial deformation.

The “small holes” are the parietal foramina, perfectly normal features of the human skull (he does say that Lloyd Pye believed that they might be “natural”, so why are they flagged up as a factor “not at all common to Homo sapiens”?). There are few photographs that show the top of the Paracas skulls, but it is obvious that the frontal bone (the bone behind our foreheads) is stretched enormously; it is also evident that the sagittal suture (between the two parietal bones) begins very high up on the skull on those few photographs that show this element. Either Brien Foerster is entirely ignorant of the normal features of the human skull, or he is deliberately deceiving a readership he expects of be ignorant of these features.

It gets worse

Just when you thought that this story couldn’t possibly take off, Brien Foerster managed to put out a release on his Facebook page on 12 February 2014 hinting about initial results from his DNA tests. This is what has set the internet of dubious news stories talking excitedly. This is what Brien Foerster quotes:

Whatever the sample labeled 3A has came from – it had mtDNA with mutations unknown in any human, primate or animal known so far. The data are very sketchy though and a LOT of sequencing still needs to be done to recover the complete mtDNA sequence. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample 3A indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.. I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree. The question is if they were so different, they could not interbreed with humans. Breeding within their small population, they may have degenerated due to inbreeding. That would explain buried children – they were either low or not viable.

I am surprised that a geneticist would make this statement, but it is presented as verbatim, so we must assume that she/he genuinely wrote it. Let’s analyse what they are saying. Firstly, that Sample 3A “had mtDNA with mutations unknown in any human, primate or animal known so far”. That’s a very far reaching statement. It means that the source of the sample is unrelated to any animal on the planet. Any animal. Think about that for a few moments. The clear implication is that this is a non-terrestrial life form. The only one not to be related to all other animals, be they Bryozoa, Porifera, Acanthocephala, Acoelomorpha, Brachiopoda, Chaetognatha, Ctenophora, Cycliophora, Entoprocta, Gastrotricha, Gnathostomulida, Hemichordata, Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Micrognathozoa, Nematomorpha, Nemertea, Onychophora, Orthonectida, Phoronida, Placozoa, Priapulida, Rhombozoa, Rotifera, Sipuncula, Tardigrada, Xenoturbellida, Echinodermata, Cnidaria, Annelida, Nematoda, Platyhelminthes, Chordata, Mollusca or Arthropoda. Incidentally, we belong to the phylum Chordata.

A Paracas Necropolis Culture skull with hair

A Paracas Necropolis Culture skull with hair (Source)

Now, this statement troubles me. For a start, there is the skeletal morphology. This morphology shows that the owners of the Paracas skulls were Chordates; more than that, they belonged to the sub-phylum Vertebrata (or Craniata), as they possess a bony vertebral column; more than that, they were members of the superclass Tetrapoda, as they possess four independent limbs; more than that, they belong to the class Mammalia, as they possess hair (which can be seen on some of the skulls); more than that, the skeletal morphology demonstrates that they belong to the Primates, as do all apes, including humans, monkeys, tarsiers, lemurs and lorises. In other words, far from possessing “mutations unknown in any human, primate or animal”, they appear to be human. So what does the mtDNA sequenced from Sample 3A mean?

Well, our anonymous geneticist goes on to classify Sample 3A as “a new human-like creature”. So it’s not actually unrelated to the rest of the animal kingdom. That’s a relief. However, it’s “very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans”, whatever that is supposed to mean. Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) and Denisovans (exact species not yet determined, although members of the genus Homo) are extinct hominins whose distribution was restricted to Europe and western Asia: one would not expect to find them in South America. If the mtDNA of Sample 3A really is “very distant from Homo sapiens”, the only hominin so far known from the New World, does this mean that the geneticist considers it to be another species within the genus Homo or a member of an entirely separate genus? This is something I would expect them to give an opinion on and I find it curious that they apparently have not.

The hominin evolutionary tree, as understood in 2014

The hominin evolutionary tree, as understood in 2014 (Source)

What is even more curious is the statement that “I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree”. This is worryingly ambiguous and can be taken in two ways. It might mean that Sample 3A derives from a species whose position in the hominin lineage cannot yet be determined, but which might one day. I suspect that this is not the intended meaning though. Given the thrust of the rest of the statement, I suspect that it is meant to imply that the mtDNA belongs to a species entirely outside the hominin lineage. In other words, it’s leaving open the possibility that we should regard the sample as deriving from an alien. There does not appear to be any consideration given to the likelihood that the odd features of the mtDNA recovered are not “mutations unknown in any human, primate or animal” but a result of contamination (after all, the skulls were excavated in the 1920s and we do not know the conditions under which they have been stored, how much they have been handled, whether any procedures have been used to stabilise them and so on) or errors in the laboratory.

The statement ends with a very worrying pair of sentences: “Breeding within their small population, they may have degenerated due to inbreeding. That would explain buried children – they were either low or not viable.” “[D]egenerated” is a very loaded term: it smacks of racialist theories and I am surprised that a scientist would use it. Be that as it may, it is true that inbreeding within small isolated populations will increase the likelihood of genetic disorders that will led to the eventual extinction of that population. However, it is quite ludicrous to claim that it “would explain buried children”. Has this geneticist no knowledge of pre-twentieth century population mortality patterns? Before the development of modern medicine, infant mortality rates were high; in some societies, fewer than half of all live births would survive more than five years. The burial of children in the Paracas Necropolis Culture is a perfectly normal phenomenon that can be found in many human societies. To claim otherwise is deliberately misleading.

I find the entire statement released by Brien Foerster to be quite unprofessional. It makes unsubstantiated claims; it deals with preliminary results; it contains at least one outright untruth. This is not standard scientific procedure. Let us assume that the mtDNA sequencing has been done properly. The geneticist states that “[t]he data are very sketchy”: so why release them, particularly when “a LOT of sequencing still needs to be done”? It is very unusual for a scientist to “leak” preliminary results in this way, unless they are very certain of their reliability. Doing it with “sketchy” data is inexcusable. Unless there is a hidden agenda…

Assessing the claim

There are so many problems with the statement posted by Brien Foerster, that it is difficult to see why anyone would take it seriously. For a start, it sits in glorious isolation from any archaeological data. The Paracas Necropolis Culture is not the product of some mysteriously isolated group of non-human creatures: its position within the broader cultural development of prehistoric Perú is well understood. The cranial deformation seen in mummies from the Wari Kayan cemetery fit into a known pattern, termed the Aymara deformity, which is produced by wrapping the skulls of infants tightly in circular bands. This exerts pressure along a transverse axis, through the mastoid region and the region just above the insertion of the nuchal ligament on the occiput. This can cause the skull to appear tri-lobed (as seen in the “Starchild Skull”), although the Paracas skulls exhibit a more conical deformity. The compression may disrupt the normal growth pattern of the skull, particularly along the sutures, and can produce a depression in the sagittal region, exactly as seen in a number of the Paracas skulls. Altering the shape of the skull also alters its volume, despite Foerster’s claim that it does not [edited 19.2.2014 by KJF-M]. Although small variations away from normal volume can be produced, they are not significant. However, while Foerster claims that the capacity of the skulls is too great for Homo sapiens, this is not the case: the Paracas skulls have an average capacity of 1600 cm3 and the human range is up to 1800 cm3 and they therefore fall well within the normal distribution range.

Secondly, the interpretation of the genetic information so far released is said by the scientist carrying out the sequencing to rest on “sketchy” data. Does this mean that further work may modify the interpretation? Is the geneticist allowing themselves a way of retracting the interpretation of further work shows the mtDNA to belong to a perfectly ordinary Amerindian type?

I was initially reminded of another DNA related story, the announced discovery of Bigfoot DNA in 2013 by Melba Ketchum. Although some early analyses of Brien Foerster’s statements regarding the Paracas DNA implicated Melba Ketchum, this is not the case, although Foerster has said that he is working with her, while she has hinted that she has been working with elongated skulls. It thus appears that she is not the anonymous geneticist who wrote the bizarre statement posted on Foerster’s Facebook page. As happens so often with this sort of work, Brien Foerster is asking for donations to carry on the work (the site shows as of today (15 February 2014) that one donor has given $1000, twenty have given $100, twelve have given $50, while there are 38 donations of smaller sums).

In summary, this is a non-story. There is nothing at all unusual about the population of the Paracas Necropolis Culture, apart from the extreme nature of the head-binding they practised. DNA or no DNA, they are fully human: every aspect of their skulls can be explained in terms of genetics (such as the large wormian bone) and culture (such as the cranial deformation). Any statements to the contrary contain a mixture of deliberate deception, ignorance of anthropology, lack of archaeological knowledge and jumping to wild conclusions using “sketchy” data. They are not evidence for aliens or an otherwise unknown hominin species.

Update 20 February 2014

There is a condition known as craniosynostosis, in which one or more sutures fuses early. The most common form is sagittal sysnostosis, which is found in about half all cases and suppresses growth in the lateral plane of the skull, compensated by a disproportionate growth in length, resulting in a long, narrow skull. In The Enigma of Cranial Deformation, Childress and Foerster publish a colour photograph of a skull from Camacho (Perú) showing exactly this form of sagittal synostosis, which they wrongly claim shows that the individual had a single parietal plate. As with all their other discussions of palaeopathology, all they show is their ignorance of the subject: they are completely unqualified to write an entire book on the subject if they can make such basic mistakes. It’s a shame that the readers of their book are unaware of the depth of their ignorance.


      1. They don’t. It seems to me screaming racist and whining and name calling is their methodology, along with character assassination and spin doctoring.
        Pot kettle black wrought irony.


      2. I don’t believe there is a 50% increase in the volume of the cranium of the mummy compared to that of a normal human of the same age. You might want to read that again.


  1. I can concur that Mr Foerster know nothing about genetics and confirmed that when working with Pye thy had not received any viable test results from said tissue samples but ‘will keep trying until they do’….!!! I have this in writing………….the guy is a charlatan of the highest order……………………!!!


  2. Great article Keith, we are currently discussing this @ the UM site. I would like some clarification on your statement, “Altering the shape of the skull also alters its volume, despite Foerster’s claim that it does not.”

    Altering could mean increasing or decreasing, and I’m assuming that your meaning here is increasing cranial volume.

    Also, does the cranial binding cause the skull plates to grow excessively to close the wider gaps in the sutures? Or are the plates simply stretched due to the binding pressures?
    From article,…”the Paracas skulls, but it is obvious that the frontal bone (the bone behind our foreheads) is stretched enormously; it is also evident that the sagittal suture (between the two parietal bones) begins very high up on the skull..”

    Thanks in advance…BF has claimed for yrs that these skulls are of Alien origin, and has just recently admitted they are human. His choice of geneticists, etc (and his choice of words) doesn’t help to improve his credibility problems.


    1. Hi John

      Thanks for the praise! As I understand it, the cranial bones are stretched (and this is clearly visible on the frontal bones of the Paracas skulls, for which most photographs show views from the front; photographs showing the sides indicate that the parietals are also stretched): the sutures appear to form quite normally. Presumably, decreasing the volume of the cranial capacity would put pressures on the brain that would cause problems for the individual.

      I’ve been trying to find out more about Brien Foerster, but it’s proved very difficult. As I note in the post, Amazon describe him as an anthropologist, but I haven’t found any evidence for this. He has revealed that the subject of his undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria was in Biology. Some of the websites that parrot Foerster’s claims have described him as Assistant Director of the Paracas History Museum; this appears to derive from a post that Foerster made on Graham Hancock’s website. The Museum’s website is rather basic (the English version appears to have some errors of translation from Spanish) and journalist Rachel Chase has has revealed that it is a privately-owned institution.

      From his own statements, it is abundantly clear that Brien Foerster’s knowledge and understanding of archaeology are limited; so are his understanding and knowledge of anthropology. As for genetics, well that’s not for me to say…


      1. Thanks Keith, I wasn’t sure if the bones could be stretched….esp to that degree.

        I think describing BF as a tour guide is mostly accurate. His collaboration w. DH Childress, and their actions together are comical to say the least….apparently they are also ‘experts’ at stone cutting, etc! (I watch Ancient Aliens TV just for the laughs, and there are many Youtube vids of this pair as well.) Also, I’ve just read your “Starchild” article, another interesting topic. The fringe will believe what they will, regardless of the facts.

        Keep up the good work!


      1. Okay, that’s a recent study that suggests the textbook I was using (which is admittedly thirty years or so old) may be out of date. I’m more than happy to accept that. However, the range of cranial capacity in modern Homo sapiens is 950 cm3 to 1800 cm3 (the average is around 1400-1450 cm3), so the Paracas skulls fall well within the range of human cranial capacities. It is not evidence that they are not human.

        As a side issue, why does no-one look at the rest of the body? Was the post-cranial skeleton even retained after excavation? It was common practice in archaeology during the 1920s only to retain the skulls of human burials. If any post-cranial remains have survived, I’m willing to bet that they are indistinguishable from Homo sapiens skeletons.


        1. OE, thanks for the link.!

          I’m not sure what to believe now. My original line of thinking was to compare the deformed skull to a deforming a balloon, the shape changes, but volume doesn’t. Also, I’ve accepted the fact that the plates are stretched, (and grow) during the deformation process.

          IMO, the skull vault volume may increase slightly, but brain size does not.

          Good point on the skeleton Keith, so much more could be learned.

          Regardless of what BF has said, there was never a doubt in my mind that the Paracas skulls are humanoid, I’m no expert, but I’d like to examine one up close for myself.


        2. It would be very interesting to see the rest of the body. Here’s one for a start:

          I suggest you turn down the audio and ignore the title lest it detract from your observation of the remains.

          It would be foolish to discount the possibility of deformity in this this case, though if this was the case, the individual must have lived long enough to have its skull modified (three to five years?). It also seems unlikely that if this was typical for cone head remains that the original archaeologists wouldn’t have noticed it. Or maybe they chose not to investigate?


          1. Sorry, I seem to be unable to embed that video.

            You might try a youtube search for ‘Anatomy expert believes enigmatic skeleton of Peru is not human’


            1. You expressed an interest in seeing a body associated with these skulls. I provided one example.
              Rather than comment on the body, you denigrate the ability of a person expressing an opinion on it. Do you have a foregone conclusion in this case?


        3. Does the example in this video not have a skeleton attached?
          (from the bottom of the article i just read on this topic – first time i have heard of these skulls)

          And with more ribs than a modern human would have…
          Just wondering if this skeleton is available to you? :-)

          Article: )



  3. I am enrolled on the Human Evolution: Past and Future mooc
    by John Hawks and you would (or maybe would not) be surprised at the rubbish people take for granted as truth.Someone is on there spouting sections of a paper as defending the non-sapiens possibly erectus Paracas skulls even after having pointed out to him that the very next paragraph in said paper says it does not mean H.erectus.
    Sigh…..why can I not avert my eyes instead of engaging.


  4. The Paracas Museum is a small private museum – something not uncommon in Peru – located in a town that doesn’t get a huge amount of tourism. Given that, I suspect Brien Foerster managed to persuade the owner that giving him a title in the museum would bring in more visitors thanks to his Ancient Aliens fame.

    The museum does contain skulls from Tello’s excavations, but the collection has increased greatly in recent years thanks to the work of looters. Here’s a video from 2011 showing Brien purchasing a skull:


  5. One wonders how the skull samples made their way from Peru to the US for testing. As you may imagine it’s tremendously difficult to get official permission to remove archaeological materials or samples from the country. Permits from INC – the Peruvian Ministry of Culture – are needed, and are only granted to archaeologists for good reason. It seems highly unlikely that they’d issue one to a tour guide.


  6. Good point Judith, I’m sue BF had some help in getting the necessary permit(s)…assuming he did get one. Also, did BF purcase the skull from a reputable source???

    I agree 100% w/ what Keith said about their qualifications overall, and esp. so on Childress and BF’s book which is available on Amazon.

    One person gave a negative review there, and the AA fans attacked imm.


    1. It was Judith B. who gave that review! (It’s a small world after all. I thought you name seemed familiar.) And you did a great job JB; your review is in sharp contrast to most of the rest there on Amazon…it’s amazing what the fringe will believe, and accept as fact without question.


      1. P. S. The link orangeelvis gave requires a fee to acess full text of article. (The abstract is good.)

        Alos, you are all invited to join the Unexplained Mysteries website to join in our discussion(s). The skeptics are outnumbered by the fringe there…but we are more intelligent, (haha).


  7. Have any of the sculls been definitively dated?
    Has anybody commented on the layout of the teeth in the skulls?
    If there is a significant difference in the number and configuration of the teeth it would be decisive either way as an alien would be very unlikely to have exactly the same configuration as homo sapiens.
    Is it not true that the volume of the skulls lies right at the top end of the Homo Sapiens range?
    Does it not appear to be strange to some archaeologists that these elongated skulls are found in Malta, France, South America and North America –
    Does anybody know of any other locations?
    My point is that it would be very unusual for the culture of head binding to be a universal world wide practice unless there was a persuasive reason for so doing AND that there was at the time a connected world wide homogenous civilisation to impose it. In our hugely connected planet today we can’t even dream of this kind of connected culture with universally practised behaviours.
    Notwithstanding what has been said, I am not convinced that totally debunking the idea that these creatures were alien is necessarily the right thing to do without further scrutiny.


    1. ‘Does it not appear to be strange to some archaeologists that these elongated skulls are found in Malta, France, South America and North America –
      Does anybody know of any other locations?’
      How about Australia, Egypt, Russia and Africa just for starters.


      1. Why do people keep bringing up the idea that elongated skulls have been found in Egypt? This seems to be a wrong inference from the head shapes in Armana style art, in which the hereditary dolicocephaly of the royal family is over-exaggerated. Remember that we possess the mummified bodies of some of the people so portrayed, and their skulls do not exhibit deformities of the type depicted in the art of the period.

        Equally, I don’t know of any Maltese skulls showing this type of deformation. Yes, there are dolichocephalic skulls, but this is a perfectly normal type of skull shape (the three classes are dolichocephaly, where the head is long in proportion to its width, brachycephaly, where the skull is broad in proportion to its width, and mesocephaly, where the proportions are “just right”).


        1. I can’t comment on maltese skulls, I was quoting the original post in my response. I had read somewhere that elongated skulls were found in egypt, but can’t find anything on it just now (better check my facts ).

          I do think its interesting though, to compare this egyptian sculpture with a skull found in south america:

          I guess you’ll call that coincidence.


          1. Just found something referring to cranial deformation in Egypt:


            The sociopolitical history and physiological underpinnings of skull deformation.

            Ayer A et al. 2010

            ‘In this report, the evidence, mechanisms, and rationale for the practice of artificial cranial deformation (ACD) in ancient Peru and during Akhenaten’s reign in the 18th dynasty in Egypt (1375-1358 BCE) are reviewed’….. ‘While evidence from ancient Peru is widespread and complex, there are comparatively fewer examples of deformed crania from the period of Akhenaten’s rule. Nevertheless, Akhenaten’s own deformity, the skull of the so-called “Younger Lady” mummy, and Tutankhamen’s skull all evince some degree of plagiocephaly,’


  8. Nope. It’s all true, I seen it on the Tee Vee. On Dat Anceint Allian program. Whooo golly dats like sayin the Annooonnaki ain’t on tryin to steel my gold! Hot MUSTERD!


    1. I did Brien, and quite openly…, but when I pushed you on the ‘facts’ on your FB page and even offered to pay myself in full for DNA testing through a reputable scientific establishment you immediately blocked and deleted me… Figure that…!!! (Alex from


  9. I also bought the book “The Enigma of Cranial Deformation” and I was shocked to find that a lot of text is actually misquoted and copied from Wikipedia.
    There was a video where Brien was using a rotary tool (and broke off the blade) to cut some pieces of skull. When I asked him on Facebook if this was a video of the sample 3A being taken he removed the video.

    It’s fine that someone is a tourguide and is interested and passionate about something but I think it’s wrong to pretend or bend the information.


    1. Sounds like you are full of misinformation. Probably have the book statements wrong too because of your idea about the video being so far off. I quote from the DNA analysis that was actually done, “The samples consisted of hair, including roots, a tooth, skull bone and skin, and this process was carefully documented via photos and video. Samples from three skulls were sent to the geneticist, although the geneticist was not given any information about what they came from until after the genetic testing, so as not to create any preconceived ideas. “


      1. As we have all been asking Brien for so very long… Which ‘Geneticist’…? Any reputable scientist would be more than happy to present such an amazing discovery to the world… If it were valid.


  10. Thank you for the disinformation and thanks for the representing the 75% of the world who will not change and continue to be apart of the zombie or walking dead. THE ONLY WAY WE NO THE TRUTH IS IF MORE AND MORE ASK QUESTIONS.


  11. Whenever this subject is raised I see more ad hominem attacks than addressing of the issues. Lets leave Forrester out of it. I don’t care who he is or what his qualifications are. I saw these skulls long before I had heard of him or any of the controversy and would like to see someone who is qualified address these issues:

    1) Brain capacity.It has been asserted :’the Paracas skulls fall well within the range of human cranial capacities’. Really? Try and ignore the other nonsense on these webpages, but have a look at this diagram:

    and tell me that it is within normal range for Homo sapiens. How about we reputably establish the typical range of the skulls from Paraccus? There’s some seriously big heads there.

    2)Anomalous parietal plates. I have seen many with two (instead of three) and others with five or more.

    3)Anomalous dentition (many are missing molars, and sockets where they would be are also absent).

    4)Possibly natural red hair, not normally present in South American populations.

    There is tremendous interest in these skulls and I find it disappointing that mainstream experts dismiss them as typical cases of cranial deformation.
    Is there really nothing of interest here?
    How about some DNA testing by reputable experts to put the matter to rest?


    1. ‘Lucky’, I’ve looked at the image to which you link, that shows a typical deformed skull in photograph accompanied by an outline drawing of (presumably) the same skull superimposed on a normal human skull, looking much larger. But there is no scale. Also, notice how the deformed skull’s mandible is around 10% larger on the outline drawing than that of the normal skull. Is this legitimate? Secondly, the outline drawings just show the profile of the skulls, not the capacity: the file to which you link is called conehead1.jpg, which gives a good clue about the three-dimensional shape, implying that it becomes narrower as it progresses away from the face. You are right that we need some reliable estimates of cranial capacity for the entire assemblage of skulls from Paracas, something that, as far as I know, has not been provided.

      I’m unsure what to make of your comments regarding the number of parietal plates. Two is the number of parietal bones in all human skulls. You could have looked this up on Wikipedia. I have no idea where you’ve got the idea that three is the usual number; where does the third bone fit? If you’ve seen skulls with five parietals, are you sure that you’ve not been looking at all the bones of the skull or that you’ve not seen Wormian bones (the so-called Inca Bones that I mention in the article)?

      Missing molars are not uncommon. Are aware of what happens to the bone of the mandible and maxilla after the loss of a tooth? The socket fills with new bone growth. This is perfectly ordinary human biology.

      A lot of mummies have red hair. Have you perhaps been reading this? If you read this instead, you’ll learn that hair colour depends on the interplay of two substances, eumelanin and pheomelanin. Oxidisation of the hair, as would occur during decay, results in a greater loss of the type of eumelanin that produces a black colouring; the result is that the hair appears light brown to reddish after the loss of the darker colouring. Again, perfectly normal human biology.

      Yes, the skulls from Paracas are interesting, but not for the reasons you suggest.


      1. You should go take a look for yourself before you crap all over people who are not only actively studying it, but using real science instead of biased opinions of what they think should or shouldn’t be according to their ridiculously small concept of the universe.


    2. Like it of not, BF is involved…unfortunately. Also, the diagram in the link you posted doesn’t specify the size of either skull, so how are we to make a good decision re size?
      It’s still being debated as to whether the intentionally deformed skulls are bigger than a ‘normal sized’ skull. Some do look bigger, and I agree, accurate measurements would be helpful.

      I’ve read many articles quoting ‘normal skull size’ and the #’s have ranged from 1,200 ccm to 1,900 ccm. Everyone’s different, and this also applies to the size of their heads.


      1. BF is involved. So what? How is that relevant to the existence of these skulls and the questions they pose?

        True, the diagram doesn’t specify size. Nonetheless I find it indicative that the proportions appear correct. Given that the lower half of the skulls that I have observed appear ‘normally’ sized, if you superimpose a ‘normally’ sized skull over these ones you can see that there is a considerably larger brain case.
        To me this is a fundamental area for enquiry; do these extreme examples of cranial deformation display larger brain capacities?


        1. BF’s involvement IS relevant because he is claiming these skulls belong to human/alien hybrids, OR a humanoid branch that doesn’t fit anywhere in the current ‘evolutionary tree’. He is basing these claims on the tiny genetic sequences available to him, (supposedly) and worst of all, (IMO) he is employing Dr. M. Ketchum who is infamous for presenting opossum DNA as Bigfoot DNA.

          The skull’s and the brain’s size is genetically determined in each individual. The intention deformation of the skull MAY increase the cranial vault size, but DOES NOT increase the brain size. (A. Einstein’s brain was of ‘normal’ size….about 1250 ccm; increased brain size doesn’t necessarily mean increased intelligence.)

          Also, intentional skull deformation can and does affect sinus cavities, and upper/lower mandible size/shape.


          1. My issue is not that wild speculation about the origin of these skulls, alien or otherwise, is being discounted, rather that the assumption has been made that these skulls are typical and not worthy of special investigation.
            These assumptions seem to have been made on principle, rather than on an examination of the evidence.

            Without any accurate or reliable measurements (that I am aware of, perhaps you can rectify this), the statement has been made that these skulls fall well within the normal range for modern humans.

            I have observed skulls in Peru which are apparently normal skulls which have been deformed. No problem. They are what you would expect.
            The interest is piqued when you compare these with others which are radically different. In this context, it is not relevant who makes what claims about their origins, or what their credibility or motivation is.

            Clearly there is a lot of uncertainty about whether or not cranial deformation can alter either the size of the cranial vault or the size of the brain. Could you be so kind as to indicate your evidence or your expertise which has prompted you to assert (in bold letters) that cranial deformation does not increase brain size and does affect upper/lower mandible size/shape?


            1. No one said they’re not worthy of special investigation. The problem is about WHO is now investigating them. As I’ve said, we (ALL) need accurate measurements.

              I can only suggest you read the many links on this subject available on the Unexplained Mysteries website, in the Ancient mysteries Section, and go to the ‘Paracas Skulls’ Thread there. (Some articles are fee-based, and you must pay to access them.) And/or search the web.


              1. I accept the fact that BF is involved is relevant, but only in regards to this blog as it is mostly about his claims. I am not here to defend his claims of alien origin, or to add credence to his DNA results.
                I am surprised that no one seems to have mentioned that unidentified DNA does not an alien make. As I understand, most genomes will have significant portions of unidentifiable junk DNA which mean (as far as we know) nothing.

                You say ‘no one claims they are not worthy of special investigation’, but rebuttals of BF’s theories emphasise that these skulls are typical examples of head binding.
                For example: “There is nothing at all unusual about the population of the Paracas Necropolis Culture, apart from the extreme nature of the head-binding they practised.’ Also: ‘ the Paracas skulls fall well within the range of human cranial capacities’.
                Don’t these type of statements suggest that they are not worthy of special investigation?

                If our science is free of bias, as it should be, wouldn’t the fact that BF is involved be no impediment to serious examination?
                I have no doubt that if BF claimed that a three and a half feet tall human lived as recently as ten thousand years ago in Indonesia, and presented a complete skeleton (while running tours to Flores to see the location it was found) that this would have been consigned to the annals of junk science, ridiculed as a hoax or another bigfoot story and not investigated any further.

                Perhaps the most valid criticisms of BF are unsubstantiated claims.
                One of the features I find interesting in these specimens is the noticeably different lower mandible shape and size. Could you please substantiate your claim that head binding can and does affect the shape and size of the lower mandible?


                1. My point was that the skulls are still worthy of study because it would help us gain knowledge in cultural, historical, and medical areas. (Maybe it suggests this to you, but not to me, much can still be learned.)

                  Like I said:I can only suggest you read the many links on this subject available on the Unexplained Mysteries website, in the Ancient mysteries Section, and go to the ‘Paracas Skulls’ Thread there, and/or search the web.

                  This site is good, though some are fee-based articles, but you can read the Abstract…


                2. PS, What I’ve been trying to say in a nice way IS: Do your OWN research. The info is available, I don’t have the time to back every point made here.


                3. Thanks John, I am doing my own research. Part of that research is engaging in discussion with experts like yourself. I hadn’t come across reference to head binding affecting lower mandibles before, so rather than accept your comment at face value I asked for your source. I understand if you don’t have time to reply.
                  Thanks for the link to the medical site. I was unable to find anything that referred specifically to the paracus skulls, but I did find something which referred to mandible deformation: (
                  it referred to ‘rocker jaw’ but I am not sure that it relates directly to the variations we see in these skulls.
                  I made quite a few searches on Unexplained Mysteries website
                  ( using a variety of terms but found nothing relating to the paracus skulls. I would really appreciate a link if you would be so kind.
                  One thing I did find on that site which I quite liked was a quote in one of the comments sections:
                  ‘science is about investigating the unexplained
                  not explaining the uninvestigated’


    3. I wholeheartedly agree with you and have been watching this subject for a long long time. What the writer, Fitz, fails to note is that the skull volume is significantly larger than homo sapiens. Why did he omit this incredible fact? Gee we all find it curious why a couch potato scientist who is debunking in-the-field-researchers fails to cite one of the most important elements regarding these skulls. Well his long winded tedious scientist bashing expose just sheds light on how far a mainstream arrogant couch-scientist will go to force his square peg into a round hole, a round cyclic hole that is.


    4. “Red hair” is often the result of burial. The “Bog Bodies” often show red hair as a result of the chemicals in the peat. It’s been also found in other species such as the Columbrian mammoths. Recall seeing a recent article on the chemistry of this (still looking)


  12. A recurrent characteristic of these skulls is larger and slightly differently shaped mandibles, so I would not be surprised if it is legit.
    Having seen these skulls, my (totally unqualified) observation is that many are not substantially narrower as they progress away from the face.
    Looking at them without preconception, it appears that the cranial vault is larger than a ‘normal’ human.
    Clearly some accurate measurements need to be taken before we can say one way or another that they fell ‘well within the range of human cranial capacities’. Blind freddy could see that they are big.

    I must have got the idea about the number of parietal plates from an unreliable source. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to refer to the arrangement and number of sutures in these skulls, which appear to be non standard. Perhaps this is a result of the head binding process, however, ‘typical’ skulls which have been bound display normal arrangements of the sutures. Some of these examples (the larger, more extreme ones with differently shaped eye sockets, jaws and dentition) show considerable variation from the norm.


    1. The red hair on these examples looks nothing like the ones in the pictures on the link you provided, it is way darker and redder. I don’t know that its a big deal; it may have simply been dyed, but again it might be interesting to investigate further, with reputable DNA analysis.


      1. Also regarding the anomalous mandible, if you question the legitimacy of the diagram in this aspect, I suggest you take a look at the picture of the skull accompanying it; you can clearly see that the mandible is massive (around 10%) larger.


        1. I do question its legitimacy, no guarantee and no indication is given that the smaller unmodified skull is normal size….plz see my re, above.


  13. Lester, here’s the link to the UM thread, (I hope, the search there @ UM doesn’t always work.)

    IF link does not work, plz go to UM website, enter ‘Ancient Mysteries and Alternate History’ Sect, and then go to pg 3.of this Sect. The Thread’s exact name is: ‘Paracas elongated skull dna’. There are some good links/info posted there….good luck.

    ( I don’t blame U for not just taking my word….also, I’m not an expert, but I’m fairly well-read on this subject thanks to the UM site, and the above article. The ncbi has 2 free articles on this subject, but all others are fee-based. Shouldn’t we be sharing info freely for the benefit of all?)


  14. Hi, I really respect your work but I have to disagree. If we omit actual forensic evidence as well as what may be literal parts of the bible, we are left with pyramids all over the world with an incomplete timeline as to who built them and why they are all over the world, reports of a pre cro-magnum and pre-nethanderal races of giant hominids all over the world as well as reports that the Incans discovered this race, and unexplainable archaeology all over the world. Pumu Punku and Baalbek have stones perfectly quarried and carried miles away that weight potentially over 1000 tonnes. The Ajanta caves are nine caves in India that are not only intricately built only by removing existing stone from the caves, but also two of the cave temples perfectly align with the sun of the Winter and Summer solstice every year. Gilgal Rephaim in Northern Israel is another site that looks similar to the Stonehenge in the US and the UK. Some Israeli archaeologists even believe that this was the ancient city of Bashan, ruled by Og, supposedly one of the last of the race called the Rephaim, which literally translates into giants in Hebrew. Original portions of the bible such as Genesis, Deuteronomy, and the Book of Enoch, clearly mention this unidentified race. Also, the strange theory (theory because I haven’t actually seen the skulls in Peru), it’s reported that the sagittal suture is commonly missing and the mandible and dentition are significantly different. Feel free to explain your opinion as to why you think different races have significant noticeable differences on the cranium when we all supposedly evolved from one single primate. Last but not least is Ancient Sumeria, one of the first recognized cultures to write and read. If we dismiss all written language and only look at the image recorded by the Sumerians, it shows what appears to be Sumerians kneeling and praising their god, who is the same height as them sitting down. Above they have a drawing of the constellations showing Pluto which humanity didn’t even discover until the 1900’s. Please do not tell me that all these past civilizations were just very intelligent beings. What was their fascination with the cosmos?


    1. Hi Dan, I always worry when people start quoting the bible as a reputable source of anything other than the state of politics in Judea/Palestine during the periods when it was finally compiled.
      Many years ago a BBC Horizon programme debunking (brilliantly) Eric Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods (I had been impressed when I first read it as someone with no other knowledge with which to counter its assertions). In this they pointed out that without mortar the pyramid is the only structure which can be built to a monumental size. I think you will find that there are timelines for all these monuments. People who want to believe in alien intervention will try to deny much of what is known and pretend that everything is a great mystery. You might find this (and many other sites as well as books) informative. The Incas were around during the 16th century so were way behind Europe and the far East. Other people before them also built pyramids and in Egypt there is plenty of evidence for a learning process as older pyramids had collapsed.
      Ancient peoples seem to have managed to drag huge lumps of rock around all over the world, after all they didn’t have the internet to waste their time on so had to do something! (Only joking – but they did have oodles of time which we, in our ‘civilisation’ don’t seem to have.)
      You ask of ancient people “What was their fascination with the cosmos?” Err, it was all around them? They did not have cities or street lights or any other form of light except for fires at night so the night sky was there in all its wonder, every night. Their intellects were the same as ours and curiosity is a very human trait. Alignments on solar solstices is nothing unusual and easy to do when you know where they occur. it would not take many years of living in a n area to suss this out.
      Also most peoples showed their Gods and kings as being larger than others. It was a sign of their importance. Again nothing unusual. It even persisted in early European medieval art. “Medieval artists ranked humans in order of social importance based on religious ideology. Medieval artwork demonstrated that hierarchy by drawing humans sized according to social status rather than true proportions. ” ( Hope this is useful.


  15. I would recommend a mummies genetic test.
    The result will be probably an unknown specie.
    In the primitive homo spaiens point of view
    may be they were considered as gods or
    at least rulers due to their highly analytical mind.


  16. You rather skated over the only important point about the Paracas skulls. That is their volume. You are improperly comparing the mean to the +4 sigma value. A mean volume of 1,600 cc should be compared to the mean of humans which is usually taken to be 1,330 to 1,350. Given that the standard deviation is about 100 to 120 cc, that is significant.

    I have read in the mainstream literature that some of the skulls have volumes between 2,500 and 3,000 cc, though I have not been able to find corroboration in the peer reviewed literature. If this is true, they would fall completely outside of the human range and would present a very serious problem.

    The mtDNA report is implausible on its face, and I disregarded it when I read it. The most likely explanation would be that a mutation took place that increased cranial volume and because it enhanced the deformation potential was reinforced within the population. However, I am really ambivalent about the whole thing and would prefer to be curious rather than dismissive.

    Great blog, by the way. I would love to have you join us at Polymathica.


  17. Nice skulls – I first saw photos of them back in early 2,000. However, where are the bodies, and where are the scale markings from which to determine stature and height? I can not tell by your photos but the photos I saw had only two distinct cranial sections rather the human three. Additionally, what has happened to all those remains of giants found on U.S. soil before WWII? One can go into newspaper archives and view the B&W’s with impunity. After WWII the photos and the source info just dried up as regularly reported phenomenon.


  18. Skulls/burials like these turn up in Migration Period burials in the Bavaria-Bohemia region. The archaeological evidence points to them being Hunnic. I personally excavated one on a late Roman – early Medieval gravefield near Dachau in c.2008. Probably male, the body was buried not far from a number of deviant burials.


  19. I also find the unusually large eye sockets of these Paracas skulls to be an interesting anomaly. The practice of cranial deformation isn’t known to effect the eye area to such a degree.


    1. Yep. Legitimate science, thats what we need, like GMO’s for corporate profit, expensive medication to mask social and behavioural problems in children, and newer and deadlier weaponry for the military. (is archaeology legitimate science, or just a diversion?)


      1. Archaeology is a legitimate science when it is done in a way that folows the evidence. This is clearly not the case and as such it is illigetimate.

        Really not sure why you needed to add your rant against GMOs and pharmaceuticals. Guess you have never eaten a banana or taken a tylenol. Good on you :)


  20. I have visited the private Paracas museum of Mr. Juan navarro Hierro and seen these skulls by my own means and not as part of a tour. I can say, these skulls deserve more research. They definetly don’t look like the Wari, Nazca or other people of that area/time skulls. Instead of complaining about Mr. Foerster work, I would welcome more interest by universities and institutions with the funds and resources to do more DNA testing on this skulls. It is just unbelievable how much this testing is avoided and talk is cheap.
    One point not adressed so far on this comments is the fact that there are also some Paracas skulls with 5 plates; One extra plate on the back of the skull. I find there is a lot of research work to be done yet.
    Julio C. Tello discovered them almost a century ago. His work and conclusions might need to be reviewed in the light of modern science; DNA, carbon dating, MRI, CAD imaging, ground penetrating radar, google earth, etc. There is more there than just the skulls to be studied.

    For example; On the Paracas peninsula there is a place across from Lagunillas beach called Playa Roja (translation: Red Beach), a beautiful beach with it’s shore filled with red pebble stones. Just above that beach on the desertic flat adjacent area (13°53’25.52″S, 76°18’11.58″W) there are craters sprinkled on a rectangular area roughly about 250 x 160 meters = 40,000sq.mts. This area appears to have been subject to bulldozer digging at the south end towards the beach. I suspect it is an ancient Paracas area studied years ago and at some point in time badly vandalized by grave robbers.
    If you trace a straight line from the craters area (13°53’25.52″S, 76°18’11.58″W) to the famous Chandelier geoglyph in Paracas and continue into the sea from the Chandelier, you will reach a small island where only decapitated and only female momies were found. This island is called today Isla Blanca due to it’s white color as the result of guano or seabird droppings.
    If you meassure the distance from the coordinates shown above to the apex of the Chandelier and multiply it by phi(1.61803399…) you get the distance from the craters to the highest point on Isla Blanca.

    Coincidence. Maybe, but there is more, although I will not print it here.


  21. The following comments are made without any support or attack to either side of the Scientific-Evolution vs Religion-Creationism debate. I hold both sides in about equal contempt.

    I take some personal issue with your comments regarding Lloyd Pye. He made his own case regarding the so-called ‘Starchild Skull’. You can character assassinate anyone, but when you make absolutely false claims against folks that I knew and cared about, I have to respond. Your ploy is typical of historical sciences. If you can’t argue the facts, attack the messenger.

    In any intellectual argument, we can disagree with a viewpoint without calling people names or casting negatives about them personally. Lloyd was a thoughtful, bright intelligent human being, willing to live on subsistence wages to follow his passion. He believed in what he was doing, and he had to make a living with his life’s work, and he did, such as it was. The nature of exploring ideas that are outside the current political, educational, scientific or religious mainstreams means by definition the consumer audience is going to be a tiny slice of the woo-woo crowd. Ain’t much left, even if the ideas have substantial merit as a subject of rigorous inquiry. That leaves a small slice of the population whom reject both Science and Religion no alternative but to follow some ideas on those on the fringes.

    A really good example is the current state of 14c testing on non fossilized so called ‘dinosaur’ bones. For 10 years, Dr. Schweitzer made exemplary efforts to explain how ‘collagen and hemoglobin elements’ could survive for 65 million years. All with a straight face, and without ever once subjecting the material to 14c testing. Ten years later, we have over 65 blind 14c test results from non-fossilized so-called ‘dinosaur’ bones with a date range between 12.5K and 42,000 years ago. And you and I both know that 14c tests are the bedrock of Historical Science. What those tests say, is that so-called ‘dinosaurs’ didn’t all go extinct 65 million years ago, but many mid range species larger than an elephant, survived up to and went extinct pretty much around the Younger Dryas impact event of 12,800 YBP. That list includes T-Rex and many other Raptors and Therapods, as well as a range of Stegosaurs and many other Sauropods.

    The above is just a tiny taste of my disregard for most Historical Sciences, only slightly less than than the Religious-Creationist nonsense. For a whole lot of reasons, your personal attack drives me ever further from almost every Historical of Physical Scientific viewpoint. And I had long ago crossed to the other side of the road regarding organized or structured religion-creationism.

    Your lack of perspective, (giving no credence to any other viewpoint, other than your own) doesn’t enlighten us much. As I understand the mass of data regarding ‘elongated skulls’ and particularly the Peruvian specimens, many of the skulls are actually a result of cradle-boarding or binding. And many experts (including Brien Foerster) agree that is the case. The rub is that some of the skulls exhibit characteristics that differentiate them from modern humans to a degree that suggests a possible different linage from us or modern human. But that, in and of itself should be no basis for discounting the questions of the inquiry. That does NOT infer they are anything other than a species of terrestrial carbon based life.

    If you are as well read as you make yourself out to be, you are aware that at current count, there have been about 23 different species of identified hominids in our late Holocene to late Pleistocene past. About 9 are identified from some physical evidence, 4 or 5 are multiple reports of exposure to such evidence. For example, the thousands of reports (and I have copies of over 800 in my collection) from newspaper around the world of giants of various sizes and shapes found in all kinds of circumstances.

    The remaining 10 are of various unknown species from eye witness accounts throughout known history.

    The anomalies that run through the Historical Scientific community are as about as deep and empty as the Black Holes of Physics. Anthropologists, Archaeologists, Paleontologists and Geologists date everything (incorrectly) before they even know the relative details of an inquiry, or subject evidence. That is patently bad science. Dr. Schweitzer is just one of the more egregious examples. Although her discovery will still turn out to be one of the turning points in kicking down the door of a 65 million year old extinction event.

    So, RIP Lloyd Pye, a good friend, mentor, teacher and all around excellent human being. Many do not agree with your position advocating ‘Interventionism’, as I did not, but no one should question your authenticity as a true human being.


    1. Hi John, You mentioned, ‘bad science’ and this applies to BOTH Mr. Pye and BF here.

      BF is NO expert, he’s a tour guide at best. His poor choice of associates has damaged his credibility…..beyond repair, IMO.

      I have nothing personal against Mr. P, but, speculations and assumptions are not proof, no matter how many times someone insists it to be true.

      Talk IS cheap….it’s up to BF to provide valid proof to support his claims IF he expects to be taken seriously, and so far, all we’ve gotten is Bad Arch..


      1. What I said specifically is that so-called ‘scientists’ assign dates and chronologies to everything (incorectly) BEFORE they even know the relative details of an inquiry, or subject evidence. THAT is patently bad science. You are entirely disengenuous by making the reference of ‘bad science’ point to BF and LP. My reference had nothing to do with them and everything to do with so-called ‘scientests’ that misrepresent data and information for their own agenda and time clock of history. How about keeping an open and honest dialogue going, not using misdirection and slight of hand in your responses. You are so far off the wall that you are literally implying that only non-standard theories are financially lucrative for the purveyors of those theories, by denegrating Brian Foerster for making Tour Guide money, while the great hidden truth is that most standard and historical sciences depend on enormous mountains of cash to perpetuate their vice grip on the “facts” of history. Just like ALL explorers, Brian and Lloyd were and are bound to get it wrong sometimes. But that is no excuse to accuse them of being literal ‘charlatans’. They weren’t and aren’t. It has nothing to do with any facts about ‘elongated skulls’ that Brien Foerster makes a living as a Tour Guide Operator. The facts regarding elongated skulls are whatever they turn out to be, regardless of any detractors or proponents means of livelehood.

        If you really need someone’s tree to pee on, go look at mine/. My book is published here:

        If you think Brien and Lloyd give you heartburn, I bet you my stuff will curl your toes.

        John Jensen


        1. There’s no denying BF has been disingenuous re the Paracas skulls. He made false statements that he simply cannot prove. He’s simply promoting Ancient Alien crack-pot ‘Theories.’

          ” My reference had nothing to do with them and everything to do with so-called ‘scientists’ that misrepresent data and information for their own agenda and time clock of history. How about keeping an open and honest dialogue going, not using misdirection and slight of hand in your responses…..”

          You should be applying the above to BF and Pye’s statements…..misrepresenting data is the stock and trade of the Fringe Crowd. Bears repeating: Talk IS cheap….it’s up to BF to provide valid proof to support his claims IF he expects to be taken seriously, and so far, all we’ve gotten is Bad Arch. in the form of BF’s unsubstantiated opinions. (And this should apply to Pye’s work as well.)

          “The facts regarding elongated skulls are whatever they turn out to be, regardless of any detractors or proponents means of livelehood.”

          I agree, so let’s get someone REPUTABLE to do the proper tests, etc. and report the facts.


  22. I would like to know which sections of the MTDNA sequence were anomalies and what those areas correspond to. I understand that ancient DNA is harder to sequence, but if possible the tests should be replicated and several individuals sampled. Also, how many markers were examined-if money is the problem why not test many individuals on a few markers rather than one on all markers (whole genome)?

    Also, why the distrust of the government? Wouldn’t the government of Peru want to support this research? It sounds like these people lived a typical life of people of that time and region-but more archaeological research is needed. It is an interesting topic; I’m pretty sure further DNA testing will show these were Native Americans related to others in South America, but we have to wait and see.


    1. Don’t hold your breath waiting for further DNA testing. The established archaeologists have decided that there is nothing extraordinary about these skulls even though they have never even seen them. Any further private testing will be disregarded and ridiculed, especially if it produces results which challenge mainstream pronouncements.


      1. What the question should rather be is the following. If it really was alien DNA, why did they not publish the results in a reputable scientific journal and win the Nobel prize in the process. Usually pseudo science runs to the Internet first and claims cover ups before even attempting to publish.


        1. What nonsense. If a ‘reputable’ scientific journal publishing non mainstream perspectives is your answer, you will be spending a lot of time twiddling your thumbs waiting for that to happen. Because it doesn’t. I have hard evidence (and I mean HARD evidence) that proves several facts that do not fit into current the current mainstream scientific narrative, and I couldn’t get any of them printed in any peer reviewed publication if my life depended on it. Not that I have necessarily tried very hard. What happens when you have overwhelming evidence for non traditional facts, (for instance, the more than 65 RC AMS tests performed on semi and non fossilized Dinosaur bones (including a T-Rex, but NOT Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s T-Rex hind limb) returning RC dates between 12K and 42K years ago. No one in the Western scientific community will even acknowledge that the data exists. Yet it in fact does. When scientific attack dogs can’t beat up a person’s credentials, or frame the data as lying, cheating, mishandled, contaminated or other smoke screen bushwa, then they just ignore it with a silence that would defy an outer space vacuum.

          Elongated skulls, and some 23 other anomalous species including various size giants have been recorded over hundreds to thousands of year, alongside unknown aerial craft and their occupants, underwater remains of cities, and technologies from the very far distant past, as well as dinosaurs that are not more than two or three Epochs old, (based on science’s most authentic and accepted testing methods; RC AMS tests) and the lists go on. You cannot make a careful and thoughtful case for every piece of evidence being a fraud, fake, mishandled, etc. To do so, is just junk science of the worst kind. Evidence that is fact based needs to be tested, re-tested until a reasonable explanation can be found for the cases that stand up to the scrutiny. I will readily admit that just like the elongated skulls, many artifacts are not what they are purported to be. But they also are not ALL fakes or lies. So keep shouting fraud. You are in the minority anymore, and one of these days facts are going to put you all out of the shouting business.

          I make the case in my books and papers that I am neither an advocate, supporter or debunker of either gradualism-evolution or creationism-religion. I hold both in about equal disregard and about as foolish as the concept of atheism.

          I do not know what the answer is to DNA, but I do know that it is the equivalent of ‘machine code’ or some form of software language, because it has structure and sequencing, which means, by definition that it has ‘design integrity’. Which ultimately means there is no other logical or rational explanation than it is of some form of intelligent design. On that basis alone, I call bullshit on atheism. I only comment on it because you are so lame you put it in your response name.


            1. I clearly defined (exactly) my issue with “atheism”. As I understand it, the term is used to define a position that denies any “gods”, “god”, “supreme being” or any intelligence higher than man’s own, has, had, did or does exist. That may be poorly defined, but it is what I understand the term to mean. To reiterate my argument, “DNA, ………. is the equivalent of ‘machine code’ or some form of software language, because it has structure and sequencing, which means, by definition that it has ‘design integrity’. Which ultimately means there is no other logical or rational explanation than it is of some form of intelligent design.” And that my erudite friend, succinctly is my argument against “atheism”. DNA is reduced by logic to “intelligent design”, and it is silly to argue “intelligent design” with an avowed atheist. The complexity of the argument is already lost on you. In general terms, it means that software cannot create itself from a base of non existence. Ergo, it was designed intelligently and coherently. Ask Bill Gates or any other genius programmer of the late 20th century if that isn’t the general premise of software development. And that is what you have with DNA. Intelligent Design. Period. Whoever, whatever, however did IT, they, them, those or IT coherently designed DNA, it wipes away the ability to deny some form of unknown, maybe unknowable intelligence beyond our realm of reference. All we know is that we DON’T know what or who the IT is.


          1. First up, my handle is the name of my website. So honestly, I am glad it irritates you.

            I think your whole argument can be summed up as follows which goes back to my original comment. This is verbatim what you said.
            “I have hard evidence (and I mean HARD evidence) that proves several facts that do not fit into current the current mainstream scientific narrative, and I couldn’t get any of them printed in any peer reviewed publication if my life depended on it. Not that I have necessarily tried very hard.”
            You have not tried hard? Cleearly you do not understand the scientific review and publication process. Its hard work and it takes a long time, with multiple rejections and resubmissions etc.

            BTW: At least two of my published papers have taken more than a year to get published, due to process and resubmissions etc. This is science this is integrity, this is how it works.


            1. Part of the problem, I think, is that those outside academia have no understanding of the peer review process. To many people, it looks like an Old Boys’ club, with reviewers ensuring that only papers that fit the “accepted model” are allowed to be published. Those of us who do submit papers for peer review know that this is a completely unfounded view of what the process is. If someone submits a paper that only backs up the status quo, then it will more than likely not be accepted, unless it takes the form of a major review of the published literature. Papers that present innovative analyses, new data or better still, new hypotheses, are much more likely to be accepted, provided of course that they are rigorously argued. Scientific rigour is something that people like Brien Foerster and David Hatcher Childress appear not to understand. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt by assuming this to be mere ignorance on their part. There are some, though, for whom this sort of ignorance is decidedly wilful. This attitude seems to pervade the creationist camp.


    2. The Paracas skull are not the only conical and abnormal humaniod skulls. A good example can be found in the Chicago University dig from 2000 – 2011, by Paleontologist Paul C. Sereno and his team. They were originally looking for dinasaur remains and stumbled upon a human grave yard that operated for thousands of years, at a now dried lake bed – at Gobero, Niger. The internmnets were abviously done with care leaving behind flowers and other cerimonial items, placed withthe bound-up bodies. What is so unusual, is that the find demonstarted two types of humans. The first group called Kiffian were permineralized from a long term flood that covered the area to a heigh of at least 70 plus feet. These skull were dated to about 10,000 BC and have conical skulls, large eye orbits, with bone pertrusion brows, and they are exceedingly tall. Of the remains I saw, it took up an eight foot table without having the shoulders, neck and head displayed. The second set of burials, the Tenereans, are still calcium in deposite, are very similar to a skull and body height for today. These remains were dated to between to about 4,500 BC. The dating used extensive geologic diagraming of the ground morphology, and use of several methods of dating to include Optically Stimulated Luminescence for the periferal sand layers. So there you have it in one amazing find. A civilation with conical human skulls and out cropped brows, standing as giants at around 12,000 years ago, and a second group of skelletons just like modern man dating to 4,500 BC. And the bonus is that world Elite scientists admitt the climate changed throughout North Africa sevral times without flatulating cows, and automobiles. Now where have we read all of this before!


      1. Frank, if you want to make a plausible scientific case get someone to proof read what you type. Your English is awful, as is your interpretation of archaeological data. I bet you have never even been on archaeological dig of any scientific standing


  23. if you all are such sceptics about Foerster’s claims and are such ‘experts’ in the field, why have none of you taken samples yourselves and had the DNA tested so we can all know whether Foerster’s claims are true or unfounded.

    with just your words (and, frankly, no idea of what your credentials are), your scepticism is just as absurd as any of the claims being made by Foerster and Pye


    1. No-one has taken samples because there is no need. The skulls are human. It doesn’t take DNA to prove that: the morphology alone is sufficient. As Foerster is evidently in cahoots with the owner of the museum, I suspect that he controls all access to the skulls.

      If you search this site, you will discover what my credentials are. Suffice it to say that I have been working with human remains for almost thirty years. I am well aware of what to expect from a human skull and the Paracas skulls are 100% human.


      1. Typical. ‘Move along, nothing to see here’.
        A population of humans with noticeably larger brain size and several anomalous anatomical features. A bizarre, dangerous and painful procedure inflicted on children across several continents over long periods of time, often associated with megalithic stone works. Are you so jaded or certain of your worldview that you have no curiosity?


          1. So you’re not curious…?
            Where is your analysis?
            You have debunked (analysed?) Foresters claims, and repeated the conclusions of earlier research.
            Have you handled or even seen these or any of the hundreds or perhaps thousands of similar skulls that are found in South America and other places?


      2. I do not understand your certainty. These skulls are clearly very different from standard human skulls – not only in degree (size/volume larger than normal) but also in kind (two cranial plates versus three in normal human skull). It seems the only certainty is uncertainty, until one can get their hands on one and study it completely. Anyone who hasn’t done so who espouses “certain” conclusions would seem to have an agenda other than seeking truth, wherever it may lead…


        1. But the cranial capacity is within normal human variability. No mystery there. The alleged single parietal is simply a product of the obliteration of the suture, a well known phenomenon. Again, no mystery there. When you take into account the evidence that the Paracas people were relatively isolated, it becomes easy to see how certain uncommon genetic traits – relatively large cranial capacity and sagittal synostosis – could become much more frequent.

          My biggest problem with Brien Foerster and his supporters is that they show minimal understanding of human osteology yet feel empowered to shout about allegedly mysterious features of ancient skulls that to anyone with any knowledge of the subject are simply part of normal human skeletal development and cultural practices.


          1. I think taking cranial capacity variance at face value and applying it here is a bit of a stretch. First of all, how do we know what the cranial capacity really is? Secondly, there should be a ratio of eye socket size or cheek bone width to cranial capacity. Simply saying it is “within normal human variability” means if these skulls have “normal” size in the facial structure, but have the cranial capacity of Andre the Giant, then that IS a mystery.

            Furthermore, sagittal synostosis combined with the dramatically increased cranial capacity for multiple skulls CAN be explained by the small population, as you say – but is it the simplest (and most likely) explanation? It is, if you presuppose that homo sapiens is the only possible genetic source. If you were looking at ancient animal or dinosaur fossils, I would imagine most educated and reasonable people would believe they had come across another species…


          2. The problem IS, that you are making statements as if their universal certainty is a given, when nothing could be further from the objective truth. There is very little that is factually ‘Normal Human Development’. The fact that known different species, as well as racial groups have very different skeletal development characteristics, though hotly debated between the igalitarian advocates and the OOE adherents, means those same kinds of variation, whether between species, as is so visually demonstrable between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon, or between racial groups, means that another species and or racial group, even though exinct, could and should be so identified as ‘different than homo sapien-sapien’. As is, of course the case with Neanderthal, Denisovan, Cro-Magnon, Australopithecina, Red Deer Cave people, Homo Floresiensis, Homo Ergaster et. al. All of whom have distincly different physical characteristics. So it is more rational, rather than less rational to accept so called ‘elongated’ skulls as representing a different hominin species status than any of the other above extinct species.

            You sound like you are advocating against an ‘alien’ association, and if so, you should have no qualms about saying so. I would agree with that position whole heartedly. That is, that the world wide phenomenon of ‘elongated’ skulls represent at most a separater hominin species and are NOT extraterrestrial or ‘alien’ in any way. That being given, there is little value assigning an igaltarian sapien-sapien viewpoint to them.


            1. To JJ, Regardless of what you call them, they ARE Humanoid skulls, and do fit, (somewhere) on the Hominin branch of the ‘Evo’Tree’.


      3. Right on the money Keith.

        It’s not surprising BF isn’t allowing anyone but his ppl to examine, etc. these skulls.I’m NO expert, but I’d still like to take a closer look, etc of these skulls.


        1. You guys have been arguing about what the argument is for weeks. For people wanting to argue they are 100% hominids then provide some type of evidence at least and the same goes for those arguing they are not then should so the same. Questions bring more answers not the other way around. A real scientist is never 100% certain and always continues to look at all evidence on both sides. Why is it that these types of skulls have been found all around the world? Why are these same skulls depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics? There is no evidence to suggest that these cultures all over the world, without ever communicating, just all happened to wake up one day and decide to deform their childrens skulls with planks, something that should not even change the total amount of cranial space if they did anyways.


          1. No. Remember, the first rule of making a claim that goes against the mainstream is to provide evidence that the mainstream explanation is wrong. Those who are claiming that the Paracas skulls are aliens/a separate hominid species are the ones who need to demonstrate that. The default position that these are perfectly explicable Homo sapiens skulls is the one that stands until shown impossible.

            Of course there is no certainty. The idea of &ldwuo;proof” is restricted to mathematics (despite what lawyers might claim), which is why I talk about evidence all the time. To make the claims that Brien Foerster does about these skulls demands evidence that he has not presented. And, to judge by his public pronouncements (including the appallingly amateurish Wikipedia-derived The Enigma of Cranial Deformation, co-written with Daivd Hatcher Childress), he doesn’t know the first thing about hominin anatomy. That has to be a base from which to build. Either these skulls belong to the hominin lineage or they do not. Morphologically, it’s abundantly clear that they do. The next question is, do they belong to the genus Homo? Again, the morphology is pretty clear on that. The lack of a nuchal crest, lack of developed brow ridges and the presence of a mental process are all very clear signs that this is Homo sapiens.

            As for the idea that similar cranial deformations are &ldquo:depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics”, the first thing to point out is that you’re not actually talking about hieroglyphs (the elements of the monumental writing system), but artistic depictions, both painted and plastic (no, not polymer-based, but sculpted). As I’ve pointed out before, we actually have the mummies of a number of people depicted with these elongated heads and their skulls don’t show that deformation. Whatever the reasons for this particular style of art, they have nothing to do with the true shape of the skull. It’s artistic convention. You are treating Egyptian art as if it depicts the world in a photo-realistic way. At no point in the history of Egypt was its art ever meant to do this. It showed an underlying, ideal reality. The Platonic forms of the world, if you like. The fact is that we don’t know what these depictions were intended to convey. Amenhotep IV is depicted like any other Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh, but after the development of Atenism as the state cult and his change of name to Akenaten, so depictions of people – not just him, but everyone – get these strange, elongated heads. There is no shame in admitting that we don’t have an explanation. But it’s certainly true that it has nothing to do with depicting people with strangely-shaped skulls.

            And as for your assertion that archaeologists explain these skulls by insisting that “these cultures all over the world, without ever communicating, just all happened to wake up one day and decide to deform their childrens skulls with planks” completely ignores a first principle of archaeological/historical investigation: find the date! Cranial deformation occurs in a number of cultures across the world but, for the most part, these cultures were not contemporary with each other. They had no contact. Their means of deformation were utterly different and specific to the culture in question, which is evidence enough for the independent origin of the phenomenon. Some use boards. Other used bandages. It’s pretty obvious to any mother that a baby’s head is pretty malleable, so a culture that placed value on a certain shape of head would invent ways of creating, enhancing and exaggerating that specific shape. Because these people are long since dead and buried, we can’t ask them why they did this to their children. As archaeologists, we try to understand the social reasons that might have made them do this.

            And, please, get over this idea that the deformation of the Paracas skulls “change[s] the total amount of cranial space”: as I’ve pointed out, these skulls capacities lie entirely within the normal distribution of cranial capacities for Homo sapiens.

            Provide some real evidence that these skulls cannot be explained as culturally modified human skulls and palaeoanthropologists and archaeologists will start to pay attention. Until then, they will rightly treat Brien Foerster’s statements about the anomalous character of these skulls despite his utter ignorance of human anatomy as undeserving of their attention.


            1. You dismiss the idea that cranial deformation was a feature in ancient egypt. I present again some of the literature related to this, which you did not respond to when I originally posted it above:


              The sociopolitical history and physiological underpinnings of skull deformation.

              Ayer A et al. 2010

              ‘In this report, the evidence, mechanisms, and rationale for the practice of artificial cranial deformation (ACD) in ancient Peru and during Akhenaten’s reign in the 18th dynasty in Egypt (1375-1358 BCE) are reviewed’….. ‘While evidence from ancient Peru is widespread and complex, there are comparatively fewer examples of deformed crania from the period of Akhenaten’s rule. Nevertheless, Akhenaten’s own deformity, the skull of the so-called “Younger Lady” mummy, and Tutankhamen’s skull all evince some degree of plagiocephaly,’

              and there is also the image posted above of the extreme similarity between an elongated skull from peru and the sculpture from egypt; you really think this is coincidence?


  24. I am also wondering where your data about the cranial capacities comes from, seeing as you assert that their capacity lies ‘entirely within normal distribution of cranial capacities for Homo sapiens’


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