Although accounts of human victims snatched by kidnappers from other worlds are dismissed as frauds or fantasies by most academics, at least one outstanding scholar among them had courage enough to go public with persuasive scientific evidence on behalf of the controversial phenomenon’s authenticity. Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, John Edward Mack, M.D. (1929–2004), put his stellar professional reputation on the line as an American psychiatrist, parapsychologist, and professor at the Harvard Medical School’s Cambridge Hospital with publication of his shocking 1994 book.
In Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, (NY: Prentice Hall), he clinically documented representative case histories of thirteen men and women selected from more than one hundred persons he examined over a four-year period. His thorough study of their remarkably similar experiences led him to conclude that off-world intruders of superior intelligence, operating technologies far beyond our comprehension, are abducting both male and female individuals from around the earth for purposes of creating offspring from otherworldly beings and humans. Indeed, some of his clients asserted that they were themselves half-human and half-alien. In one case, a twenty-year-old man taken inside a spacecraft was introduced to a pair of hybrid girls by an extraterrestrial being that telepathically explained to him, “These are your sisters.”
While readers of Dr. Mack’s impeccable research might infer that alien abduction is a modern experience, its roots go back at least two thousand years, to a desert peninsula on the Pacific coast of South America. It was here, in western Peru, that the doyen of early twentieth century Andean archaeologists first excavated the seaside Paracas Cavernas, shaft graves cut deep into the top of the Cerro Colorado. Beginning in 1928, Julio Tello discovered that each tomb contained multiple pairs of pre-Columbian human remains in hundreds of bundle-burials wrapped in the finest examples of Andean textile work.
But more than their numbers, their internment methods were cause for astonishment. The relatively well-preserved, skeletal cadavers physically resembled local, indigenous, black-coarse-haired, short-stature Peruvian natives in no respect. He observed that the much larger Paracas skulls still evidenced wavy red and auburn hair. (Seventy years later, Thor Heyerdahl established that post mortem hair loses its sheen but not its color (Pyramids of Tucume: The Quest for Peru’s Forgotten City, London, 1995). Most remarkable of all, their skulls were abnormally large and oblong-shaped. He was already familiar with the artificially elongated heads of Inca royalty, but these Cerro Colorado specimens were far beyond anything comparable.
Tello expanded his excavations to its steep, northern slope, where he uncovered hundreds more red-haired, large-skull remains at the necropolis of Wari Kayan. Aside from their bones, the Paracas civilizers left little else of themselves to posterity, but what does still exist testifies to the great achievements of a lost people. Their surviving public works projects could only have been constructed by masters of water management with extensive knowledge of advanced irrigation techniques. They also created one of the world’s largest geoglyphs, the so-called “Candelabra of the Andes,” etched on the north face of the peninsula ridge and—at nearly six hundred feet tall—visible to sailors twelve miles out at sea. It does not, however, depict candelabra but, more probably, a mounted, hallucinogenic plant, possibly jimson weed, for attaining altered states of consciousness during religious ceremonies.
While visiting this fascinating area of the Ica Region during autumn 1994, I was intrigued to learn, at the local Centre Museum that the Paracas Culture reached its zenith by circa 800 BCE until slipping into decline after 100 CE, thereafter dying out about one-hundred-fifty years later. It had abruptly come into existence, full-blown, minus any antecedents, around 1200 BCE. This was a particularly cogent period, because it coincided with the sudden, simultaneous and calamitous end of the Bronze Age in Europe, across the Near East and Asia Minor, as far as the Shang Dynasty, China. This far-flung cultural collapse was accompanied by geological upheavals around the Northern Hemisphere in the form of seismic and volcanic violence seldom surpassed in Earth’s history.
Perhaps these catastrophic events explained the contemporaneous and precipitous appearance of tall, red-haired seafarers making landfall on the shores of coastal Peru, where they sparked the Paracas Culture. In fact, my late twentieth century hypothesis was confirmed just last year, when DNA testing of prehistoric Cerro Colorado material from the skulls, teeth and hair of four to seven Paracas specimens confirmed that these samples belonged to persons whose origins lay in the Baltic regions of northeastern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Atlantic coastal France, and Iberia. Genetic trace elements from Basque and ancient Near Eastern origins were also found.
The fragments were tested under contamination-free conditions at Canada’s Lakehead University laboratory and two other labs in the United States. Similar testing of a pre-Columbian Paracas infant found it belonged exclusively to haplogroup U2e1, found among inhabitants of the Motala region on the northwestern coast of Sweden. (A haplogroup is a genetic population set that shares a common ancestor through matrilineal descent.) Discovery of the infant’s U2e1 absolutely ruled out any genetic connection with Peru’s Amerindian natives, whose Mongoloid ancestors migrated out of Siberia across the Bering Straits’ land bridge into Alaska fifteen thousand years ago. Thus, the long-dead Paracans presented our modern world with genetic proof that visitors from the Old World did indeed arrive in the Americas millennia before Christopher Columbus set foot on the beach at San Salvador in 1492. But they had yet more to offer.
While DNA testing clearly establishes the ancient Old World identity of this prehistoric Peruvian group, it cannot account for their massively outsized heads. Despite their unequivocal overseas origins, no population group resembling the Paracans of two or three millennia ago is known to have ever inhabited Europe or the Near East—nor any other place on Earth, save, strangely enough, the Ohio Valley. There, a physically similar people sparked North America’s earliest high culture above the Rio Grande River. Archaeologists named it after the Adena plantation at Chillicothe owned by Ohio’s sixth governor, Thomas Worthington. It was here that an unusual mound was professionally excavated in 1900. Excavated grave goods were unlike any artifacts retrieved from other ancient earthworks, so much so, the skillfully wrought pendants and ceremonial axes self-evidently belonged to an entirely distinct society.
As its investigation continued and expanded throughout the twentieth Century, and especially when radiocarbon ating analysis became available after 1949, the profound importance and high strangeness of the Adena gradually emerged. It showed no signs of development but appeared full-blown around 1000 BCE, expiring about 700 CE after seventeen centuries of existence. The mound builders of this seminal culture were remembered by the Mississippi Choctaw as the Nahullo, an ancient race of giants with red hair, and similarly known in Tuscarora oral tradition as the Ron-nong-weto-wanca, or “Red-haired Giant Sorcerers.” But DNA research could account for neither the outsized skulls of North America’s Adena nor South America’s Paracas.
Conventional scholars explain such anomalous features as entirely the result of cranium deformation caused by head boarding. This was a common cultural practice in vogue among various, pre-modern peoples, including Polynesians, Alchon Huns (Central Asian nomads of the fifth century), the Chinookans of coastal British Columbia, the Choctaw of the Carolinas, Mesoamericans, and Andeans. In each case, the newborn baby’s head was bound between a pair of cloth-covered boards. Slight, constant pressure was applied, as the soft, malleable skull grew over subsequent weeks and months into a greatly distended, oblong shape. The appearance consequence was an ovoid skull, with the skin of the face pulled back so tightly the eyes became crossed and extremely slanted, with the lips withdrawn from the teeth.
The purpose in subjecting select infants to such disfigurement was to distinguish them and their similarly deformed elite not only from the lower orders of their own people but from outsiders, as well. Head deformation was restricted to ruling class individuals to physically separate them from their subjects and may have been regarded by royalty as aesthetically appealing. But Paracas and Adena human remains fundamentally differ from the Chinookans, Choctaw, et al, because their skulls had not been elongated by head boards or any other, artificial methods. The Adena were born with substantially larger skulls, far higher and much broader foreheads, powerfully prominent jaws, and more pronounced cheekbones than North America’s other, pre-Columbian populations.
Adena stature was relatively gigantic compared to Plains Indian, and proportionately more robust. For example, Burial 54 in West Virginia’s Cresap Mound belonged to an Adena man of remarkable stature: seven feet, four inches. “All the long bones were heavy,” observed Don Dragoo, Curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Section of Man, in Pittsburgh, “and possessed marked eminences for the attachment of muscles” (Mounds for the Dead. PA: Annals of Carnegie Museum, Volume 37, September 1963). The remains evidenced no indication of gigantism, a rare disorder resulting from increased levels of growth hormone before the fusion of the growth plate, which usually occurs at some point soon after puberty; acromegaly (an adult form of gigantism), or any other genetic abnormality.
Nor was the Cresap figure a unique discovery but one among dozens of excavated Adena burials—some even taller—characterized by exceptionally large and heavy, monstrously distended skulls. While these mound-builder attributes have been long officially recognized, if not well-publicized, as natural-born traits, the same recognition is still withheld from contemporaneous Paracans. A break in that obfuscation appeared last year on page 37 of Ancient American magazine, volume 21, issue 117.
In “The Forgotten Inhabitants of the Americas: The Intriguing Archaeological Evidence of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art,” author Rafael Videla Bisssmann reproduces the image of a fetus with elongated cranium still within the womb of a mummified Paracas woman. Its anatomical illustration first appeared in the Spanish language edition of Dr. Leopold Müller’s Peruvian Antiquities: Lithography of a Fetus, in the Intrauterine Position, with the Typical Huanca Skull Shape (Lamina VI a.), published in 1851—some one hundred years before the first alien abduction accounts were publicly disclosed. More to the point of our discussion, the grossly oblong skull of 1851’s unborn child could not possibly have been shaped by head-boarding but was its own, physical trait.
Dr. Müller quotes anthropologists Mariano Edward Rivero and John James von Tschudi, “the same formation [absence of the signs of artificial pressure] of the head presents itself in children yet unborn; and of this truth we have had convincing proof in the sight of a fetus, enclosed in the womb of a mummy of a pregnant woman, which we found in a cave of Huichay, two leagues from Tarma, and which is, at this moment, in our collection. Professor D’Outrepont, of great celebrity in the department of obstetrics, has assured us that the fetus is one of seven months’ age. It belongs, according to a very clearly defined formation of the cranium, to the tribe of the Huancas. We present the reader with a drawing of this conclusive and interesting proof in opposition to the advocates of mechanical action as the sole and exclusive cause of the phrenological form of the Peruvian race.”
Earlier still, in 1838, were found the elongated skulls of two prehistoric Peruvian infants, “generally considered to be distorted by the effects of pressure; but in opposition to this opinion, Dr. Graves has stated that ‘a careful examination of them has convinced him that their peculiar shape cannot be owing to artificial pressure;’ and to corroborate this view, we may remark that the peculiarities are as great in the child as in the adult, and indeed more in the younger than in the elder of the two specimens now produced: and the position is considerably strengthened by the great relative length of the large bones of the cranium; by the direction of the plane of the occipital bone, which is not forced upwards but occupies a place in the under part of the skull; by the further absence of marks of pressure, there being no elevation of the vertex nor projection of either side; and by the fact of there being no instrument nor mechanical contrivance suited to produce such an alteration of form (as these skulls present) found in connection with them.”
Since the mid-nineteenth century release of Dr. Müller’s book, additional, prehistoric fetuses displaying identically enlarged crania have come to light in the Andes region. On the south shore of Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca, a similarly deformed, seven-to-nine-month-old fetus is displayed at the Pata Patani Museum. After close examination, a certified radiologist and professional neurologist, both from the United States, ruled out hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, typically among young children, enlarging the head. They concurred instead that the fetus was the offspring of homo sapiens-sapiens and something related, but not human. Their assessment coincides with latest DNA testing of the ancient Paracans, whose European ancestors bred with an unknown, human-like being unrelated to homo sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans, or any branch of our species’ evolutionary tree.
DNA testing additionally revealed mutations in the Paracas genetic material unlike anything equivalent among humans or primates, even all other mammals. Moreover, head deformation does not alter weight or cranial volume. The Pata Patani skull is twice the cranial volume of any known human fetus. Paracas skulls average twenty-five per cent larger and sixty percent heavier than the average homo sapiens-sapiens skull, which feature two parietal plates; Paracas skulls have only one. When joined together at their fibrous joint, the parietal bones form the sides and roof of the cranium. Between these two parietal bones of human skulls is the sagittal suture, a dense, fibrous connective tissue joint. Many (most?) of the elongated Paracas skulls lack sagittal sutures altogether. These sutures are infrequently fused together in human skulls and disappear through craniosynostosis, which typically occurs during infancy; virtually all the Paracas skulls devoid of sagittal sutures belonged to adults and display no indication of ever having experienced craniosynostosis.
They also feature the most overtly pronounced zygomatic arch—a curved, bony ridge at the outer border of the eye socket—of any human. So, too, the foramen magnum, or “great hole,” a large, oval opening (foramen) in the occipital bone of the human skull, transmits the spinal component of the accessory nerve into the skull. In Paracas crania only, the foramen magnum is uniformally smaller and set further back, away from the jaw, more toward the rear of the skull, a placement never found in modern humans or their hominid ancestors.
Much of this emerging information, as new as it is mind-blowing, is the hard work of researcher Brien Foerster (Elongated Skulls Of Peru And Bolivia. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015), who labored thirty months and raised $50,000 to successfully complete the first, comprehensive DNA testing of the ancient Paracans. Although the oral traditions of this enigmatic people died with their culture by the mid-third century CE, something of that otherwise vanished history may have survived in the folklore of later Andean tribes.
They spoke of Orichana, a goddess who descended from the heavens in a flying temple “brighter than the sun.” After sharing her greatness with pre-Inca Peruvians, she stepped aboard her golden temple, which once more lit up with blinding light, then disappeared into the sky. Her image, according to Tiahuanaco natives, still adorns the uppermost section of their ancient city’s famous Gateway of the Sun.
Perhaps, like all myth, a kernel of truth lies at the core of Orichana’s legendary visit. She was, after all, remembered, perhaps not without cause, as the First Mother of Mankind.
CAPTIONS: The cast of a modern-day human’s lower jaw fits inside the actual, lower jawbone of a prehistoric North American mound-builder.
Left, a homo sapiens-sapiens skull compares with a pre-Columbian mound-builder skull. Not every one was elongated, but all were much larger and heavier than modern human crania.
An ancient Paracas skull still evidences its anomalous red hair.