The Strange case of the Peruvian Mummies – Part 1. By Stephen Mera and Barry Fitzgerald
This entire investigation began as result of information received at the beginning of this year (2017) concerning mummified bodies discovered in Peru. This was long before the subsequent internet explosion of the matter through Gaia.com, a global online conscious media platform. This discovery resulted in the involvement of Mexican journalist and a prominent and well-respected Ufologist Jaime Maussan who, along with Gaia.com started to release a stream of information about the find. As a result of this a considerable internet furore of claim and counterclaim erupted and the lines between fact, wishful thinking and fiction became increasingly blurred.
The unnamed people who originally found the bodies had contacted a local journalist who, in turn, put them in contact with Thierry Jamin, who is a French researcher and explorer. He is also the president of the Inkari Institute, which is based in Cusco, Peru. The institute is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) devoted to unearthing hitherto unknown information and artefacts concerning the enigmatic yet highly influential Inca civilisation.
As regards the discovery itself, a number of unusual, apparently mummified bodies, six in total, had been discovered near the Nazca region of Peru, although the precise location has not been revealed. This, incidentally, is the same desolate location as the iconic Nazca Lines first brought to the attention of the public by Erich von Däniken. It was due to the open-minded nature and function of the Inkari Institute that the reporter had suggested Thierry be contacted by these men. However, the bodies did not appear to be entirely human, possessing elongated skulls, large eye sockets, three fingers and three toes, which gave rise to speculation that they were of extraterrestrial origin. This of course only served to further stoke the fires of controversy. Because of this, several internationally known figures had become involved, including the aforementioned Jaime Maussan.
As we will see, Jaime implied that these corpses may be genuine and hinted that they appeared to have ET origins. On the other hand and as one would expect, the counter-claims stated that all the bodies were fakes, which, given the fractious and entrenched nature of the debate, is about par for the course. As a result of this and in order to bring some kind of sanity and clarity to the ongoing chaos, Dei Mian, Inkari Institute French Ambassador for the project, entered into discussions with Zohar Global Group and Steve Mera, who is noted as an impartial ‘honest broker’ in matters like these, i.e. he does not suffer fools gladly and called a spade a spade, and commissioned him to travel to Peru to make a journalistic style documentary film. This would also include an impartial investigation and evaluation of what had been discovered and attempt to either prove or disprove the nature and origins of the apparently mummified bodies.
Steve was delighted at the prospect and in turn he contacted Barry Fitzgerald, (author, researcher and one of the lead investigators of Ghosthunters International) and asked if he would care to accompany him as his cameraman. Barry agreed, so flights were booked and on the 5th of July 2017, the pair set off from Manchester International Airport to begin the long flight to South America. Perhaps the situation on their arrival at the airport should
have been a warning of what was to follow, because a suspicious package had been found in the airport and with the current all-too-worrying security issues, the building had been evacuated as a precaution.
When it reopened this created massive knock-on delays (and cancellations) and anxious passengers milled around trying to get booked in for their flights. Fortunately Steve and Barry were able to finagle their way to the front of the queues and board their flight, which departed for Cusco, (which is at the very heart of the Inca civilisation), via Madrid and Lima. It has to be emphasised here that the Peruvian government is naturally very wary when claims like this are made, because in many cases those who find artefacts of any kind may not be professional archaeologists. In many cases they are predatory treasure hunters out to make a fast buck on the black market by trading in illicit ancient artefacts and these bodies would fall into that category.
In fact the Peruvian government currently does not know the location of the bodies, because the people who found them have hidden them, although as we shall see Steve and Barry were given special access to them by undisclosed party unconnected to the Inkari Institute and its associated members. This has led to some well-founded worries that the bodies are not being kept in ideal conditions, which, unfortunately, may well cause them to deteriorate.
As far as the involvement of Jamie Maussan was concerned, as well as helping to publicise the incident, he was able to assist the Inkari Institute by supplying specialists in various fields. His continued involvement has developed to the point where he has become the main spokesman for the discovery and it is through him that much of the information has been released. The specialists took samples from the mummies and had them carbon dated, which indicated that they were from somewhere between 240 and 450 AD. None of these samples were taken from the fingers or feet due to the fact that these appendages are extremely delicate and there are no public reports of the results available at this stage
Of the mummies themselves, a number of them are around 24 inches (61cm) in length and another, named ‘Maria’ by Thierry Jamin, was considerably larger. With reference to the issues relating to governmental worries about with illicit trading in artefacts like these, an arbitrary value of $1million has been placed on Maria, which is almost the size of a normal person and is by far the largest of the corpses, and around $100,000 on each of the smaller examples. From this it is easy to see why smuggling is a tempting prospect in any country, especially those rich in ancient relics.
When the two men eventually arrived at their destination they were taken aback by the effects of altitude, which was something they had overlooked, and this proved a hindrance over the duration of their stay. This took the form of almost constant nausea and headaches, but having little choice in the matter they made the best they could of the situation and carried on. Their interpreter gave them a word or warning; not to talk openly about what we were doing there, in case someone close by was listening and not to have similar conversations either by text or cell phone. This was good advice and was taken gladly. After settling in at the hotel they met with Thierry, who apprised them of the situation and this was the situation for the first day or so. It was made clear to the two men that there had been a media frenzy and Thierry had been pressurised from all sides, particularly the government.
This included charges that he had orchestrated a massive hoax, which was simply not the case. In fact the people who had discovered the corpses arrived at his premises and more or less dumped them on his worktop. Over several weeks he examined and evaluated them and it was during this time that they were also examined by the Gaia organisation and specialists hired by Jaime Maussan. As already mentioned they made scans and x-rays of the bodies and took various samples including DNA and material for carbon dating. Then, a couple of weeks later, the bodies were collected by the men who spirited them away. As we have seen, some of the results of the tests which were taken from the Maria body have come back (some were sent to the USA) and in addition to the carbon dating, a skeletal expert suggested there were several anatomical anomalies present. Amongst the bodies was one that resembled a small child, again with what looks like a slightly enlarged cranium and again possessing three fingers and three toes. Thierry had also been asked to attend the governmental agency charged with looking after artefacts like these and asked where they were, but he could not tell them simply because he honestly did not know. He had not asked the men who took them because he did not want to compromise their identities. The following day Steve and Barry also interviewed a representative from the Peruvian authorities, who told them that the government was extremely concerned about the illegal trade in artefacts and took a dim view of anyone indulging in this trade. They took this as both a warning and implied threat.
Into the Hills.
In the small hours of morning of the 8th Steve and Barry received an unexpected phone call informing them that they would be collected by car and taken to where the bodies were located, but they were warned not to identify the driver or the vehicle nor make any kind of recording of what they saw. Rather more worryingly, they were also asked not to take their cell phones. Naturally they were intrigued, but at the same time very wary since they would effectively have no way of contacting the outside world if anything went wrong. Besides, there was always the nagging suspicion and risk that they might be kidnapped. They agreed, but unsurprisingly they had a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons, but on balance, because of what they might discover, they decided to risk it. All of this was a real surprise, because it was not immediately obvious how the caller had got Steve’s phone number.
The men plus an interpreter were picked up around 4pm and taken into the mountains; they were able to negotiate with the driver about taking some video, but it was made clear that he would say when the cameras had to be turned off. The journey took them to an even greater altitude of over 13,000 where, in addition to having difficulty breathing, even the car was having problems with the lack or air. When they arrived at their destination it turned out to be a small cluster of buildings, yellow in colour and one of them appeared to be warehouse of some kind. Once inside they were taken upstairs to find four people already there. Steve and Barry talked for a while about the importance of documenting what they hoped to see, i.e. the bodies, and managed to reach an accommodation. The men had reluctantly agreed to allow Steve and Barry to film and take photos of what they saw, and after being issued with surgical gloves and masks, they also examined the bodies. As it transpired they were there for over four hours. The bodies were produced and the first one was approx 14 inches (just over 35cm) in length.
On examining the body, both Steve and Barry thought it was an obvious fake and said so. The head was a fish head and it was anatomically wrong, there was no evidence of a nasal passage, lungs and even leg joints. There were x-rays of this body, which they also examined, and these also indicated that it was a fake. They said this and to their surprise the people there agreed with them. They felt they were being tested. It should be pointed out that Thierry had previously indicated that the smaller bodies might be fakes, but he was not sure. When the next bodies were revealed they were intact and around 24 inches (61cm) in length, they were told that one was presumed to be male and the other female.
The female was supposedly pregnant and according to the x-rays ‘she’ had three ‘eggs’ inside ‘her’ and this in itself is problematic, because if these entities are ET, are they necessarily male and females as we would understand the term or perhaps the male incubates any potential offspring? If the internal objects were eggs, then this might indicate the possibility that these entities, assuming they are genuine, might be reptilian or even amphibian. This also had weighed against the very real possibility that these new bodies were fakes as well, but this could not be conclusively determined until additional DNA samples were taken at a later stage and scientifically examined.
They were also shown several detached skulls and in common with the bodies these had elongated craniums as well, along with cranium ridges. They also had large eyes and the spinal columns would have entered directly underneath them. On the x-rays, the two 61cm bodies showed what appeared to be metal implants, with the female, (if that is what it is) having a metal band on its chest and the male having a circular one on its hand. When asked, the people who were in possession of the bodies said that no tests had been carried out on these particular bodies, so their authenticity is still very much open to question. The next body to be shown was again similar, however this time missing its head and in a sitting position. It was accompanied by two skulls which had apparently been found in the same location to the others. Again, x-rays showed a lack of nasal cavities, lungs, and leg and arm ball-joints. If these were real the bones they seemed knitted together, which would suggest that they were more than likely adult and not infant.
However, when the body of ‘Maria’, which is in a foetal position was revealed, their response was dramatically different, it was almost visceral and emotional. Steve’s initial response was that he would have dismissed the rest of the bodies, because this was something else entirely and the investigation had just shifted up a gear. Maria also has an elongated skull, three slender fingers and three toes. She also has unusual dermal ridges on the toes, these are the equivalent of fingerprints in the hands, and in the case of Maria these are not swirls and curls, but are in the form of straight lines, this is unusual and there is no obvious reason why this should be. She still has some of her teeth and is estimated to be around 35 years of age.
One thing that was common to all the bodies was the presence of a layer of white powder and this was one of the things that had created the intense internet furore and where the main charges of ‘fake’ had originated. It was thought that the powder was plaster or maybe cement used to cover a scaffolding of bones. In fact the powder is not plaster, it has been shown that it is a naturally occurring substance called ‘diatomite’. This substance comes from ‘diatoms’, which were single-celled prehistoric organisms similar to algae that can still be found in fresh (and salt) water regions. It is used in water filtrations systems and also, perhaps crucially, as an aid in the preservation of DNA and its purification.
It should be pointed out that cement also contains diatomite, but not in this concentration and besides, that is the same as saying that loaf of bread is made of sugar because one of the ingredients is sugar, so that criticism is not valid. It’s obvious that such a substance was purposely applied to the body, and those responsible may have known of its preserving properties. Diatomite locks in and holds bacteria, slowing and in some cases stopping the decomposition process. This covering may also have been applied post death and after some considerable time. If it had been applied upon death, due to the body shrinking in size (a natural process) the diatomite may have hardened to become somewhat of a shell and would easily have been cracked off and away from the body.
Another thing we should be clear about is that these bodies are not true mummies, because they still have their internal organs, so they cannot have gone through same mummification process as the better known Egyptian examples. If the diatomite is local then it suggests that, along with many areas of the Earths crust in the present day, millions of years ago the Andes may well have been on the sea bed. There is another curious anomaly associated with the remote area in which these bodes were found and that is the presence of a powerful electromagnetic anomaly. This anomaly is so powerful that video cameras allegedly malfunction and have to be shielded inside a faraday cage to allow them to operate reliably. Whether or not this has any bearing on the bodies is anyone’s guess. While they were at this undisclosed location Steve took bone samples from the bodies plus some of the diatomite powder and at present these are being looked at by Universities in the UK for testing and evaluation. These additional tests have been requested purely to help reinforce and validate the evidence already in existence, so there is still more to come.
On the 10th of July, Steve and Barry travelled back to Lima on behalf of the Inkari Institute to attend a conference on the 11th. The conference had been arranged at the Swissotel in Lima to reveal to the world’s press what had been discovered regarding the mummified bodies and their possible origins. When they arrived at the hotel and asked about the event, at first the staff denied all knowledge, it was as if they were deliberately trying to downplay the event. They were also told that the conference was not to be filmed or otherwise recorded, all of which seemed extremely odd. However on the day of the conference the turnout was remarkable, with journalists and photographers arriving in their droves and the original room had to be replaced with a larger venue. Steve was able to interview Jaime Maussan plus two of the doctors involved in the initial examinations, but these interviews had to be conducted more or less in secret in their hotel rooms. In fact the level of secrecy and security extended to issuing swipe cards to guests that were programmed so that the lifts could not to take them to any floor on the hotel other than those they were staying on.
The conference involved showing video clips of the bodies and statements made by Jaime Maussan. When questions were asked regarding the authenticity of the remains, the response were that there were no indication that there had been any kind of post mortem modifications made to them and that they appeared to be genuine. However, from the outset it was clear that the Peruvian government was not too happy with the situation and, surprisingly, given the free business and publicity such an event generated, neither were the hotel. Despite the lack of official permission to record the event (which was also going out on a live internet feed in Spanish) the camera crews set up and started filming. When Jamie began his presentation, his words were almost drowned out by a steady thumping/banging noise that seemed to be coming from below the venue. This became so intrusive that some of the film crews gave up and stopped recording. The conference organisers tried to find out what was going on, but the hotel did not appear to be especially helpful in this respect. The noise did eventually stop, but it had the effect of upsetting the composure of those attending the event. It is possible that this was deliberate and that the Peruvian government were determined to downplay any possible link between the bodies and anything controversial, especially if it involved an extraterrestrial link, or ever the possibility (and this is a strong possibility), that they belonged to some previously unknown branch of the human race. Another apparently orchestrated attempt to discredit the discoveries came, once again via the Peruvian government, and took the form of statements from dozens of scientists who all claimed that the bodies were fakes. These were scientists (and this is not an attempt to belittle their qualifications) who had either not actually examined the bodies or who had got their information via the muddled and confusing information on the internet.
The question is: what to make of the small bodies? What are they and are they genuine? There are several ways of looking at this. One is the likelihood that that the smaller bodies are, as suspected, well constructed fakes dating from antiquity; but why were they in the same vicinity as the ‘Maria’ body. Another fascinating aspect to the small bodies is that, according to the x-rays, they have no lungs. If that is the case and they are genuine corpses and not fakes, might this indicate that they are, as mentioned elsewhere, amphibians? Yet more questions with no answers.
One theory is that perhaps Maria was regarded as a deity of some kind and these small bodies were made in the same image to keep her company in the afterlife. This is not as unlikely as it seems either, simply because the Egyptians did the same thing when they placed food, weapons and effigies of animals (and sometimes living people) in with the embalmed bodies of their rulers. This is before one considers that there is an ancient tradition in South America concerning people who lived there at the dawn of history, they supposedly closely resembled the figure that had been found. Another thing about Maria is the fact that she was covered in diatomite and if this has the capacity to preserve DNA, might this have been another possible indication of veneration from those who buried her? Another peculiarity about this body is that when discovered, it was placed either on or in a tomb inside the cave and not just lying wrapped up on the stone floor. This may be another sign that this person was regarded as someone special.
This has led to much fevered speculation that because of their appearance, which is similar to that of grey aliens, they are all extraterrestrial in nature, but this might not be the case. Perhaps they are genetic mutations that died out and perhaps the elongated skulls were the results of them being ‘boarded’ as infants. There is a tradition in some cultures, similar to that of giraffe-necked women, where the skulls of babies have wooden boards attached to them, (the process is called cranial deformation), in order to deliberately deform the skull.
This is (or was) evidently a sign of beauty or perhaps an indicator of social status, if so it was very much in the eye of the beholder. It was a practise also carried out by the Huns and it still occurs today in places like the Pacific island of Vanuatu. On the other hand, might this be a form of ‘cargo cult’ worship, which oddly enough was also prevalent on Vanuatu during the WWII? In this case, rather than trying to induce the god ‘John Frum’ and his aircraft bearing gifts to land, was this an attempt to emulate and attract beings that also came from the sky? The truth is that at the present time we simply do not know and are awaiting the results of further tests and examinations of the bodies, particularly that of the enigmatic Maria.
Over the next few days Barry and Steve conducted few more interviews until, finally they returned home and as a result of the ambiguity more investigation is required and that is currently ongoing.
Further updates coming soon: Watch this space!
One way or the other… THE TRUTH WILL BE TOLD!!!
Stephen Mera is the editor of Phenomena Magazine and has produced numerous books specific to the genre.