For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
For the want of $14,000 the alien skull was lost.
Wait … what?
A science fiction author (red flag #1) and amateur UFO hunter (red flag #2) has revealed what he claims is an alien skull brought to him by an unnamed collector (red flag #3) who allegedly bought it from a Mongolian trader (red flag #4). Now he needs $14,000 (red flag #5) to pay for DNA tests on the skull. Should this parade of red flags stop his march to proving the greatest discovery ever? Did it stop the three-fingered Peruvian mummy investigators?
" I welcome questions and skepticism, but if you decide to challenge me, be sure to bring along evidence."
In an extensive article on the Chinese media site jqknews.com, 55-year-old Li Jianmin explains that the “collector” bought the skull at a roadside stand in Inner Mongolia. (Pictures of the skull and Li can be seen here.) The collector decided to show it to Jianmin after reading one of his science fiction books and seeing an illustration which looked like his roadside acquisition, which is brown with a curved top and measures 16 cm (6.2 inches) in diameter. The skull also resembles a human cranium with skull lines and hippocampal grooves. Unlike a human skull, it is divided into distinct upper and lower layers. The “collector” claimed to have taken it to various “paleontologists” without success before bringing it to Jianmin.
Li Jianmin claimed he studied the skull for four months. He conducted Raman spectroscopy, a technique used in chemistry to identify molecules and study chemical bonding and intramolecular bonds, and atomic force microscopy, a very-high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy said to be over 1000 times better than that of optical microscopes. He then claims he compared the results with others claiming to have alien skulls in their possession (sorry, I’ve run out of red flags). The end result of four months of work was a 103-page report with pictures and drawings which he presented at a UFO conference held in Beijing in October, along with his conclusion: the skull definitely belonged to an alien.
"DNA analysis alone costs around 100,000 yuan ($14,398)."
OK, despite saying the skull belongs to an alien, Li Jianmin doesn’t really have the definitive proof a DNA test would produce since it costs over 14 grand and he claims he’s already spent that much just completing the report. He’s certain it would back him up because the Raman test showed that it doesn’t match any known earth organism. He also speculated that the skull was anywhere from 2.5 to 400 million years old.
What is this thing Li Jianmin is so certain to be an alien skull? One observation was that it’s a “sea monster monk,” which probably refers to the so-called “sea monk monster” reportedly caught off the coast of Denmark in 1546 and so named because it resembled a monk. Later speculation pointed towards it being an angelshark (often called a monkfish) or a giant squid.
Want to know what it really is? You’ll have to wait until a “collector” shows Li Jianmin how to collect money using crowdfunding. Meanwhile, I'm setting one up to buy more red flags.