The mummified remains of a "space alien" found in Atacama, Chile, which had been a subject of speculations for the last 10 years, has been identified as a mutated human, according to scientists at Stanford University.
The six-inch skeleton, known popularly as Atacama Humanoid (or Ata), was discovered by a man called Oscar Munoz on 19 October 2003, when he was looking for artifacts of historical value near an abandoned church in La Noria, Chile. [Click here to look at the image of Ata]
According to Chilean local newspaper, Munoz found a white cloth in which a skeleton not more than the size of a pen was preserved. He described the creature as one with hard teeth and a bulging head. The skeleton was dark in colour and had nine ribs, unlike humans.
The discovery of the "space alien" led to speculations among scientists. Many people considered the finding as proof of extra-terrestrial life, while others deemed it as the skeletal remains of an aborted fetus or a monkey. Some even turned it down as hoax.
A new documentary film called "Sirius", which was premiered in Los Angeles on 22 April, revealed that Ata is not a hoax, but a human male. Earlier, the promotions of "Sirius" suggested that a DNA analysis of Ata resulted in the creature being termed as "unknown classification."
But the Hollywood premier of the documentary video has revealed that it is a human male that lived to the age of six to eight. The revelation has come as a disappointment for UFO enthusiasts who had hoped that Ata would be confirmed as an extra-terrestrial life.
Researchers analysed a DNA sample from the bone marrow of Ata to find out the creature's species. They concluded that it is an "interesting mutation" that lived upto eight years post birth. "I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a monkey. It is human - closer to human than chimpanzees. It lived to the age of six to eight," Daily Mail quoted Garry Nolan, director of stem cell biology at Stanford University's School of Medicine in California, as saying.
"Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born," he said.
"The DNA tells the story and we have the computational techniques that allow us to determine, in very short order, whether, in fact, this is human," Nolan explained in the film.
However, Steven Greer, who is the main force behind "Sirius" is not really keen to admit the identity of Ata, reported The Huffington Post UK. Greer, a physician and founder of the Disclosure Project, has stated in his own report published online that the "Atacama humanoid remains a profound mystery."