Excerpts from "The Brien Foerster - Paracas Skull Fiasco" are italicized.
(PP) Brien Foerster, the fringe theorist, publicly stated that he had taken fragments of stones at Puma Punku in Bolivia for the purpose of having them tested at a laboratory here in the United States as part of an effort to prove that archaeologists have been lying about the age of the ancient site to cover up the involvement of space aliens, a lost civilization, or Bible giants. Foerster stated this on an online fundraising website where he requested that his supporters give him cash to pay for the testing.
Foerster is claiming that mitochondrial DNA was found in at least one sample and that analysis of that DNA showed mutations that don’t conform to mutations known in humans or other animals.
“It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.”
What does that mean?
Not much really. At best it’s inconclusive. The DNA would be identified as human, but with anomalies; anomalies that could be caused by any number of contaminants or procedural flaws. It could be that this DNA really does provide unusual results, but the only thing that can be said of it at this point is that it requires further study. The sensational release of unconfirmed and unverifiable information such as this on a radio show, is not worthy of the attention this story is receiving.
Enough about the chit chat...I'm sure you're ready to get to the good stuff. The site exclusives...am I right? Well, wait no more.
A 100% unaltered and authentic chat dialogue was sent to the AA Newsroom today (Sept. 17, 2014) between concerned archaeologists and an alleged Ancient Aliens crew member about a missing skull and Foerster trespassing and stealing artifacts from archaeological sites in Peru. The transcript is nearly 20 pages long and has some juicy details...
Here is what I thought most important to mention:
Brien is facing persecution in the USA. If he returns, he will be arrested.
If this is true or not, we do not know. But it was implied in the following document:
Who is doing the skull analysis and where/when can we expect peer-reviewed publication of these results? Foerster isn’t telling, which sends up a huge red flag. In the quote above, Foerster refers to himself as doing the “sequencing”. Is this a slip of the tongue? He’s definitely not a geneticist. Secondary to this is the way in which he has “released” these findings, which is reminiscent of Melba Ketchum’s Bigfoot debacle of 2012. This is not the way science is done, though some might argue that he is not a scientist, and not much argument would be found in response.
Some people are buying into what seems to amount to Foerster’s latest effort to sell books, without really thinking about the situation critically. The Paracas elongated skulls are strange, but the features people like Foerster and Childress hold out as evidence that they have an other-worldly origin doesn’t really hold up to close scrutiny.
There are fossilized skulls of a race of proto-humans called the Boskop Man. They were found near a small town in South Africa of the same name, and these skulls sparked a heated debate among anthropologists and archaeologists when they were presented in 1913. They were given as evidence for a species of human that had a significantly larger brain and therefore greater intelligence than contemporary species. The Boskop skulls offered a cranial capacity of 40-50% larger than any other known humanoid species, but it’s been demonstrated that this doesn’t necessarily equate to greater intelligence. More isn’t always more.
The Paracas skulls, aside from looking strange, are anatomically identical to regular skulls, and since we know how and why their culture undertook skeletal modification, it seems credulous to inject conspiracy where none exists to begin with.
According to Foerster, the geneticist who discovered the allegedly never-before-seen DNA, wants to remain anonymous. If that’s not a red flag for the credibility of your research, I don’t know what is. The final nail in this story’s coffin, for me, was the revelation that Foerster had appeared on the popular History Channel program “Ancient Aliens” multiple times. In yesterday’s article, I said that the scientific and archaeological communities generally regard “Ancient Aliens” as inaccurate.
“Inaccurate.” That was an understatement.
Archaeologist Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews has this to say about “Ancient Aliens”:
“I find it incredible and frightening that a worldwide distributed television channel that bills itself as ‘The History Channel’ can broadcast such rubbish as Ancient Aliens. If it were an entertainment programme, I’d have fewer worries (although it would still make me cross); it is the implied authority of the channel (‘The History Channel’, not just any old ‘History Channel’) that makes the broadcast of this series so potentially damaging […] A channel that is making claims for its authoritative status, which offers educational resources, has a responsibility not to mislead its viewers (no doubt its executives think of them as ‘customers’). That responsibility is one that all makers and broadcasters of supposedly factual television have, but one that few of them take seriously: the responsibility to check facts.”
Foerster has not said explicitly that he believes the skulls are alien. In a YouTube interview, he said “My intent simply is to find the truth as to who these people were.”
That’s a noble goal. But if you really want to find out who the people of the Paracas culture were, speak to some archaeologists. Make your research transparent and available to the public. Have your data reviewed for journals with stringent requirements and high standards. Don’t use an historical oddity as a cheap hook for your tour company, or to sell books. If your goal is to help enrich humanity’s knowledge of our ancient past, then share your information with us instead of releasing only selected snippets of admittedly preliminary results. Otherwise, we have no reason to believe you.
Update: On top of everything, it’s been suggested that he may have violated international import/export laws, or at the very least Peruvian export laws, which require credentialed permits to remove any kind of archaeological material from the country. It appears Foerster had no such permit, though this is as yet unconfirmed.