WASHINGTON, March 24, 2018: The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the driest and oldest in the world. Naturalist Charles Darwin visited the region in 1835. The South American wasteland took on a more strategic purpose when large deposits of potassium nitrate were found. Potassium nitrate is an important component to the production of gunpowder. It is also where The Atacama Humanoid was found. Is the 5″ skeleton proof of ancient aliens visiting earth, or a mummified human embryo with congenital abnormalities?
But that all ended in the 1940s. And Atacama’s mining communities became ghost towns, with their eerie cemeteries a playground for paranormal investigator’s.
NASA’s interplanetary investigators are using the Atacama’s Mars-like soil to test sensors on roving robots that may one day discover life lurking below the red planet’s topsoil.
Speaking of Mars, in 2003, something odd was discovered near an abandoned church in a ghost town named La Noria. It was the mummified remains of a six-inch-long female embryo wrapped in burlap and stuffed in a leather satchel.
You cannot gaze at the small being with the unusually large and elongated head without immediately assuming she is from another planet. Hence, the little cadaver has become an object of singular interest to extraterrestrial-hunting ufologists.
They just call her Ata
Ata came to the attention of Americans in 2013 with the release of the documentary film “Sirius.”
The film insists “ET civilizations have been here before” and that “their presence has been kept secret.”
Stranger still, on Friday, geneticists at the Institute for Computational Health Sciences, the University of California at San Francisco, released a paper saying the diminutive figure’s “estimated bone age” is “about 6-8 years.”
And she has 10 ribs instead of the customary 12.
An Earthling without a chance
But the researchers blame osteochondrodysplasia (also called skeletal dysplasia), a condition that affects the development of bone and cartilage. As a result they claim Ata’s “cranial malformations, [and] premature joint fusion” is not indicative of aliens visiting earth.
She “was not ancient, but belonged to the modern age, and “contained high-quality DNA that was suitable for scientific investigation.”
The unusual age reading on Ata’s bones, they say, is due to her various medical conditions. Those include “scoliosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and musculoskeletal abnormalities.”
Believe it or not, Ata has an owner, Ramon Navia-Osorio.
He just happens to be a UFO investigator and heads the Institute for Exobiological Investigation and Study in his native Spain.
Navia-Orsorio told the Argentine website UFO Reality that the Chilean ghost town La Noria is “a gloomy place, one of those that inspire bad omens” and “a place full of legends.”
They are out there, not in Chile
But the region is also home to the 66-antenna Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope. When combined, the radio dishes are equivalent to a single telescope nearly 10 miles across.
It has imaged two young planets, about the size of our solar system’s Saturn, cutting through the accretion disk in their orbits around star HD 163296.
“Astronomers now know that our galaxy is teeming with planets, from rocky worlds roughly the size of Earth to gas giants bigger than Jupiter,” says the ALMA website.
For now, little Ata, as we now know, is not an ancient alien from a distant galaxy but an unfortunate Earthling who died far too young in the Atacama Desert of Chile.
Top images: Colliding galaxies NGC 4038 and 4039 in the constellation Corvus, NASA. The Atacama Humanoid, screen capture from “Sirius.”