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The “Ata” Controversy: Should We Suspend our Disbelief?

Since the release of Dr. Steven Greer’s latest documentary film, Sirius, the primary focus remains on the series of tests featured in the movie, regarding a small humanoid nicknamed “Ata”. Greer presents it, rather hopefully, as evidence of extraterrestrial life that has visited Earth.

However, the general consensus among the media, of course, has been that the small creature is of human origin,based on results that appear in Greer’s film that seem to lead to this conclusion. My pal Lee Speigel, writing for the Huffington Post, even noted following the film’s release that, “now that the film is available to everybody, and DNA analysis shows that Ata was human, was that early PR hype about the humanoid a bit premature?” It remains a fair question.

I had expressed previously here at Mysterious Universe that the miniature humanoid, if proven to be anything but human, would still not actually prove the existence of extraterrestrials. If anything, it would prove the existence of anomalies here on Earth, which may challenge conventional views held in the fields of archeology, anthropology, and the scientific study of our evolution as a species… perhaps even the evolution of other humanoid beings believed to exist, as represented largely in the more “fringe” literature of today.


Either prospect–an extraterrestrial, or a tiny nonhuman earthling–would have been fascinating. But as we’ve mentioned, the evidence seems to suggest that the diminutive mummy is indeed of human origin. Still, what does this prove for us at this stage in the game, and are there elements that would still warrant a suspension of disbelief until further information is provided? Indeed, perhaps the verdict is still out on the Atacama humanoid, and here’s why.


Over at The Gralien Report, a very thoughtful comment about this was recently made by Tyler Kokjohn, Ph.D, in relation to both the merit of Greer’s treatment thus far, as well as why we may wish to withhold harsh criticism of the so-called “humanoid” until further information is provided:

The analyses of the entity are incomplete, tentative and not yet vetted by peer review, the gold standard for scientific data… When scientists issue ‘preliminary’ findings, be careful.  That means they are subject to revision.  If they comport with your opinion, be even more cautious because that is when you are most likely to make the error of being insufficiently critical.

Unless and until the complete data are available for scrutiny, this story remains a story, not scientifically established fact.  Dr. Greer has found competent collaborators who should be able to meet the customary requirements to produce a quality scientific publication detailing the full data and results.  Until that happens I believe neither Dr. Greer nor his scientist collaborators.  Maybe each and every assertion made to date will turn out to be the absolute truth.  And maybe none of it will hold up to external, independent scrutiny.  Time will tell all.

Indeed, scientific process (especially in the world of publication) requires not just the serious, technical and skeptical treatment of such subjects, but also in a manner that features the work of qualified experts which is then peer-reviewed by other qualified experts. As Kokjohn points out in the commentary above, we should note that Dr. Greer, to his credit (and despite making somewhat sensational claims about the “alien” find early on), nonetheless followed through with arranging study of the anomalous mummy by qualified individuals. Whether this goes on to be studied further, questioned, reevaluated, and then presented for peer review remains to be seen… but if it does, and despite the outcome, perhaps Greer’s work will help set new (and truly scientific) precedents with regard to the serious (or should I say “Sirius”) study of the unexplained.


Greer’s presentation can be more than a bit biased, at times, toward belief in the extraterrestrial component regarding UFOs. And of course, his meditative remote-viewing sessions for purposes of creating CE-5 “encounters” borders on being outright kooky. And yet, when presented with possible evidence of the imposible, he also managed to raise funding for proper scientific testing, and then released his findings, to date, in a documentary film. Arguably, this is more than most in the field have managed to achieve, and thus perhaps it warrants a suspension of our disbelief until further scientific information can be presented about the final determination on the Atacama Humanoid.

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  • We can’t force something we don’t understand into what we know.

  • Christopher Rose

    What if humans are made from the DNA of those aliens? Would that explain the the match? …just putting it out there.

  • It’s a fair question.

    Another fair question: What if aliens utilize human embryos in order to reproduce, or create biological automatons?

    In both cases, the genetic differences between aliens & humans would be almost negligible, perhaps even only epigenetic in the way certain genes express & activate.

  • But *if* hardware material has been recovered, then maybe it was deliberately planted by the aliens, either to ‘nudge’ us in the right direction, or to misguide us in a fool’s errand.

    Hmm… I’m just remembering my currently favorite videogame (Mass Effect) and how the Reapers planted the mass effect relays in order to indirectly control the technological development of sapient species in the galaxy o_0

  • Underseer

    Yeah, those are also possibilities – although I do think that they wouldn’t allow access to their full tech – that’d be like giving dynamite and matches to a chimpanzee.

    The first thing we did when we discovered the power locked in the atom? We immediately used it as a weapon against our own kind. Ain’t humanity adorable?

    I agree there’s a possibility that we’re being ‘managed’ – it makes sense. If you were an advanced species, you’d have a pretty strong interest in ensuring that an emergent race didn’t prematurely get its hands on tech that could threaten you, until they’d grown up a bit – or a lot – more.

    If you had to, you might even have long-term, ‘deep cover’ operatives disguised as humans in key positions to deliberately slow technological progress – or even as you say, ‘misguide’ us into blind alleys. That does sound like a paranoid’s wet dream, but nonetheless, it hardly seems impossible for a species that could be hundreds – or thousands – of years ahead of us.

    In that case, we should arrest quite few Republican senators in the US – their anti-science stance suggests they might be little green men! 😉

    The enlightened Darwin award candidates pictured here are prime candidates for what will from here on be known as the ‘Fool’s Errand’ fifth columnists for those slimy ET scumbags. Be warned, they are among us 😉

  • alan borky

    Micah what makes me extremely doubtful about the whole thing’s how Ata’s
    appearance seems to vary enormously from picture to picture.

    For instance in your second picture down where he appears to be lying on his back why does he seem to have a bony eyelid very like the retractable
    sort children’s science fiction action figures had in the Seventies and
    what’s happened to the empty socket very evident in other shots?

    Similarly in some pictures he seems to have flat bony nostrils in others a little translucent nose.

    Likewise why in pictures of the hole in the back of his head can we see out the other side almost as if there’s no face there at all but when we look in through the eye socket side it’s completely pitch black?

    Aboveall why when he looks like he’s made of varnished wood in some pictures and others blackening banana peel and burnt matches held together with fudgey monkey dung does the floppy piece of biological matter extracted out the hole at the back of the head look like a limp piece of white boiled pearl oinion?

    why when he looks like dried shrivelled blackened banana peel combined
    withextracted from the hole in the back of his h

  • alan borky

    “What if aliens utilize human embryos in order to reproduce, or create biological automatons?”

    Bli’me RPJ you’ve just explained British politics to me and British journalism especially the BBC!

  • Steve C

    Whats with this need for there to be something extraterrestrial in order for our species to exist? Gods, ancient aliens, UFO visitors or some other form of “seeding”.
    I don’t entirely discount it, but based on what we know and can supply good evidence for there is almost chance of these kind of visits, this is just basically just another form religious wishful thinking.

  • LOL

  • I think that it is a Beef Jerky/Human hybrid, honestly.

  • The proper title is ’emperor Nimbala’ 😉

  • It is identicle to the small find by destination truth i wonder if its the very same.

  • thejynxed

    I’d be more likely to believe that we were created as an experimental gene pool that they tap into now and then to view our progression and for use in repairing their own DNA.

  • Can’t it be both? 😉