The Mexican Congress is generally supposed to be a place for formal presentations on budgets and other important laws. But this week, lawmakers heard testimony from a self-proclaimed UFO researcher who brought with him some unusual objects: two mummified specimens that he said were the bodies of extraterrestrial beings.
THE presentation Mummies Tuesday by Jaime Maussan, a journalist who has speculated a lot about extraterrestrials, made jaws drop and memes multiply around the country. The two specimens, which Maussan said were found in Peru in 2017, were small and chalky in color; each had three-fingered hands and what appeared to be shrunken or desiccated heads.
“These are non-human beings who are not part of our terrestrial evolution,” Mr. Maussan declared under oath, accompanied by a sign language interpreter.
The specimens, he added, had been buried in an isolated site in Peru and were about 1,000 years old, according to carbon tests carried out by researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The researchers, however, distanced themselves from Mr. Maussan’s conclusions.
Mr. Maussan lives in Mexico and is well known for making such claims while engaging in pseudoscience on television and YouTube, as well as selling his own line of dietary supplements. His presentation drew attention to the growing fascination in Mexico with the possibility of extraterrestrial life, a consequence, some say, of efforts by the American authorities to lift the veil on the secrecy of government programs which studied unexplained phenomena.
Mr. Maussan did not respond to requests for comment.
Other speakers before the Mexican Congress included Ryan Graves, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot who described a close encounter with what looked like a flying sphere enclosing a cube. Mr. Graves, who in the same way testified this year in the U.S. Congress told Mexican lawmakers that such encounters were “vastly underestimated.”
Mr. Maussan was invited by a deputy, Sergio Gutiérrez Luna, who said he was interested in hearing different points of view on a subject of great interest.
“What we did here was an exercise in listening,” said Mr. Luna, who belongs to the ruling Morena party. said journalists after the presentation. “Learning about any subject is done by finding contrasting opinions. »
However, Mr. Maussan’s presentation stunned many Mexican scientific circles. After images of the mummies began to circulate, the Institute of Physics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico published a statement specifying that its researchers had never examined the specimens themselves, but had simply performed carbon testing in 2017 on skin samples provided by a customer.
The university laboratory that conducted the tests “disassociates itself from any subsequent use, interpretation or distortion of the results it provides,” the institute said. “In no case do we draw any conclusions about the origin of these samples.”
Likewise, Antígona Segura, one of Mexico’s leading astrobiologists, questioned Mr. Maussan’s claims. “These conclusions are simply not supported by evidence,” said Dr. Segura, who collaborates with Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, a NASA initiative to search for life on distant worlds. “It’s all very shameful.”
It is unclear how Mr. Maussan brought the mummified specimens to Mexico from Peru, whether they actually came from Peru, or whether his specimens are reproductions or different from other mummified remains previously thought to be extraterrestrial, which are found still in Peru.
But the Peruvian media have suggested that Mr. Maussan learned of some mummies in 2017 thanks to a Peruvian grave robber. Analysis of the specimens in question in Peru showed that they were made from a combination of human and animal bones, plant fibers and synthetic adhesives.
Another analysis in 2021, the head of one of the specimens was determined to be a deteriorated llama skullcase. While debunking the claim that the mummies were aliens, the researchers questioned how the specimens were made centuries ago, appearing to be “very high-quality constructs.”
Elda Cantu And Emiliano Rodriguez Mega reports contributed.