The Atacama "Alien" is Human, and Robert Ripley Knew It First

Believe it or Not: The Atacama “Alien” is Human, and Robert Ripley Knew it First

Ever since the marketing buzz for the documentary film Sirius began filling up the inboxes of fringe news websites, debate has been raging about the origins of a tiny mummy referred to as the “Atacama Alien”, or “Ata” as it’s been nicknamed, but anyone who remembers the adventures of Robert Ripley already knows what the mummy is.


The promotional material for Sirius was clearly intended to make us believe that the tiny body was of some kind of extraterrestrial background, and preordering the film guaranteed that our eyes would be opened to the “new technology” that was hidden to us from the government, technology presumably given to us from some advanced space faring species who had managed to leave one of their own behind in a South American desert.

Well, much to the dismay of everyone who bought tickets to stream the film, the flick ended up being more about how “brilliant” ufologist and “new energy” proponent Steven Greer was, and less about any shocking new revelations involving aliens. The interviews were simply rehashes of already available information, footage of widely proven UFO hoaxes was used, and after over an hour of teasing.. the little body of “Ata” was shown to be 91% human. But of course, Greer remained adamant that “questions still remain”.


In the end, viewers and believers in the extraterrestrial origins of UFOs felt cheated.


Still, even after Standford University researchers released their findings, plenty of Dr. Greer apologists remain steadfast in their assertion that the remaining 8% uncertainty in the DNA tests could be proof of a new species, a hybrid of alien and human biology that defies all knowledge of known history… unless, of course, you’ve ever been to a Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Museum.

Just the other day I was flipping through “Search for the Shrunken Heads”, a fun book that chronicles some of Robert Ripley’s 1930’s adventures around the world, when I noticed a photograph of Ripley holding a particularly familiar tiny humanoid. According to the intrepid adventurer’s notes, the oddity turned out to be an unfortunate soul who was chosen for a full-body “reduction” rather than just a shrinking of the head.

Interestingly enough, Robert Ripley found the shrunken body in Peru and named it “Atta-Boy”, after the nearby Atacama Desert.. the same desert where Dr. Steven Greer would eventually find the humanoid body in Sirius. Hardly a coincidence worth ignoring.


Of course, there are still some questions when it comes to making a comparison between the two. Apparently, “Ata” has a skeleton, and I can’t seem to find any reference to whether or not “Atta-Boy” does as well, considering that you can’t exactly shrink bone. That answer might not come unless someone has access to the private Ridley archives in Orlando, Florida. Secondly, there’s no guarantee that “Atta-Boy” wasn’t some kind of Fiji-Mermaid-esque mummy slapped together by the locals for fun, but even that raises it’s own set of questions about Greer’s body.

Now that we know, definitively, that Sirius‘ tiny “alien” is really just a human, be it a shrunken, deformed, or aborted one, ufologists and believers ought to be mighty pissed at Steven Greer for taking advantage of them. Sure, what he found in the desert might have been weird, but Robert Ripley found something strange just the same, and unlike Greer, didn’t need to dress his oddities up in stories of aliens and free energy, knowing that sometimes, weird for weirdness sake is all you need to sell tickets.

What do you think about the human origins of “Ata”? Did Greer simply find another one of Ripley’s oddities? Or does that other 8% account for something truly extraterrestrial? Tweet me @WeirdHQ, message me on Facebook, or leave a comment with your thoughts below.


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