A Microbiologist Evaluates Dr. Greer’s Messages

Evaluating Dr. Greer’s Messages

By Guest Blogger,

Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D.

AnencephalyEd Uthman, MD

Anencephalic Human Fetus (courtesy Dr. Ed Uthman, MD)

Getting too far ahead of the data may be risky and few situations illustrate that better than the Atacama humanoid story presented by Dr. Steven Greer.  Despite the obviously strange appearance of the remains, recently released laboratory test results do not support an extraterrestrial origin for the entity (1, 2).  A preliminary analysis of mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences has revealed although the entity is not a New World primate, it shares genetic kinship with people indigenous to the area in which the tiny body was recovered (2, 3).Notwithstanding the awkward discord between his initial assertions regarding the origins of the remains and the actual lab results, Dr. Greer continues to hatch still more factually unsupported speculations regarding extraterrestrial connections (3).

Judging ‘Preliminary’ Results

The report issued by Dr. Garry Nolan of Stanford University (2) makes clear his assessments are ‘preliminary,’ meaning conclusions based on the DNA sequences and other evidence should not be considered definitive.  Before the Atacama humanoid research can be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal a great deal more work will be required.  Dr. Nolan is clearly a competent researcher who has been able to complete investigations and publish quality data in respected journals.  However, no primary sequence data from the Atacama entity have been provided for inspection.  Until that happens, I will afford Dr, Nolan exactly the same latitude I give all my colleagues; unless the full data appear in a peer-reviewed journal, the information and interpretations, although interesting, cannot be deemed to represent reliable scientific fact.

Although the preliminary evidence argues against an extraterrestrial origin, discovery of a 6-inch tall human would still be extraordinary.  However, at this stage the notion that the data reveal the entity is not the vanguard of a new race of humans, but a stillborn fetus is also equally valid.  In that case, finding that the entity did not possess any mutations for dwarfism or skeletal abnormalities would be the predicted outcome.  The entity is tiny not as a consequence of unusual mutations, but because it never completed prenatal development.  Unfortunately, the sequence analyses are incomplete and interpretative statements regarding this point flatly contradictory with independent expert Dr. Ralph Lachman estimating on the basis of bone growth patterns the entity was 6-8 years old at the time of death (1, 2, 3).  Reaching any firm, scientifically justified conclusions will clearly take more time and additional work.

Alternative Investigatory Approaches

DNA sequence analysis is powerful, but the information it can reveal does have some limitations.  Fortunately, there may be alternative ways to establish the age of the entity at death.  The investigators have been provided a huge windfall in that the entity also seems to possess substantial amounts of preserved soft tissues.  That potentially provides an internal check of the DNA sequences as well as the chance to have a glimpse at some of the genes that were actually active when the entity died.  The type of hemoglobin present in human blood cells changes predictably with development before and after birth.  Two forms of hemoglobin, HbE (embryonic) and HbF (fetal) are found during development in utero.  These immature forms of hemoglobin have higher affinity for oxygen than the adult form, enabling the baby to ensure adequate levels of perfusion during development.  A stillborn human fetus with skeletal development comparable to the entity would harbor hemoglobin F (fetal) proteins and that hypothesis could be subjected to a direct test.  Finding a high level of HbF would strongly suggest the entity did not leave the uterus alive, or, if it was living at birth, did not survive long.  Examination of the genome alone would not reveal this situation as all forms of the hemoglobin gene (E, F, A, A2) will be present in the nuclear DNA whether or not they were expressed at the moment of death.

If the entity lived 6-8 years, it is also possible careful forensic examination of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract contents might reveal what, if any, food stuffs were in the gut at the moment of death.  If the entity was still born, the GI tract would have contained little external matter.  In addition, a forensic examiner might be able to note putrefaction of the gut tissues suggesting a decomposition process beginning from within and indicative of a GI tract heavily colonized by microbes as expected for an entity that had lived independently outside its mother.

Questions Concerning Provenance

The details concerning where, when and who discovered the Atacama entity (4) will probably need to be clarified explicitly if the data are to be published in a peer reviewed journal.  Not only will they provide scientifically important evidence regarding the nature of the entity, the preliminary data strongly suggest the remains are human.  That means the investigators may need to certify they have followed all rules and regulations regarding the acquisition, import and disposition of human remains.

Larger Issues

Dr. Greer has now demonstrated that he can establish productive liaisons with respected mainstream academic scientists.  To push a slow moving effort forward perhaps he will now emulate the outreach effort he made to get expert help with his investigation of Ata.  Recruiting recognized authorities to vet the concepts for the clean ET energy technologies he says will free us from fossil fuel and nuclear power dependence would quickly bolster his credibility.

A search of the US Patent and Trademark Office database failed to reveal any clean energy patents held by Dr. Greer.  If he had the foresight to apply for patent protection for the information he possesses and awards have been granted, that would constitute both documentation and validation of the ideas as an independent patent examiner agreed the invention disclosures passed criteria of novelty and utility.  If his applications were rejected on a grounds of infringement of existing patents, that might help expose an alleged conspiracy by revealing the specific technologies, their disposition and entities controlling their application or suppressing their use.  If no applications have been submitted, that would present a literally golden opportunity to seek motivated collaborators by offering to share a portion of the potentially lucrative future royalties.  If Dr. Greer’s clean energy claims are factual he should have no trouble getting expert help getting them documented and reduced to practice quickly.

Dr. Greer has a most unusual problem for a ufologist, all his hypotheses regarding the origin of Ata can be tested directly in a properly controlled fashion.  The remains have yielded high quality DNA meaning a complete, high coverage genomic sequence will be available and many unadulterated complete human genomes are now available for direct comparisons.

If the investigators ultimately claim discovery of a novel Lilliputian race of humans, the burden of proof will be a heavy one demanding meticulous documentation, unimpeachable data and publication in the peer reviewed scientific literature.  And there is more.  The famous Carl Sagan quip about the evidence necessary to prove extraordinary claims has an important corollary; paradigm-busting pronouncements will generate intense, perhaps hostile, scrutiny.  As the recent announcement of faster-than-light neutrinos and a swift flurry of responses discrediting the finding revealed (5), such inspection may expose even the most subtle experimental artifacts and interpretation errors.  Granted wide latitude for a preliminary report, a scientist’s reputation is at stake with a submission to a peer reviewed journal.  It will be interesting to see the nature of the final conclusions regarding the Atacama entity, how they are presented to the scientific community and whether all parties to the collaboration ultimately endorse them.

The scientific evidence may only be preliminary, but considered in the context of prior accomplishments and the complete lack of substantiation provided in his latest efforts, I suggest it possible to reach a reasonable conclusion regarding the astonishing serial claims of Dr. Greer.  Caveat emptor.

________________

  1. Lee Speigel, ‘Sirius’ Documentary Reveals DNA Test Results on Ata, the ‘6-inch Alien, 23 April 2013 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/23/sirius-documentary-dna-re_n_3135628.html)
  1. Dr. Garry Nolan, Chile Specimen Report and Summary, (http://siriusdisclosure.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Chile-Specimen_GPN-Summary.pdf).
  1. Steven M. Greer, Stanford University Research: Atacama Humanoid Still a Mystery, 22 April 2013 (http://siriusdisclosure.com/evidence/atacama-humanoid/).
  1. Lee Speigel, Steven Greer ‘Sirius’ Documentary to Unveil Pictures of Alleged Tiny Space Alien (PHOTOS), 16 April 2013 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/tiny-chile-alien-backgrou_n_3071767.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-  news)
  1. Adrian Cho, Once Again, Physicists Debunk Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos, 8 June 2012 (http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/06/once-again-physicists-debunk.html)
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7 thoughts on “A Microbiologist Evaluates Dr. Greer’s Messages

  1. People who follow ufology’s turbulent arguments about the credibility of various artifacts, cases, and claims should read this scientist’s comments carefully. Dr. Kokjohn lays out specific actions and protocols that are expected by members of the scientific establishment in order for them to take a UFO-related claim seriously. Yes, this includes “the government,” as well, which consults with scientists when needed. The UFO community periodically stirs up a lot of dust and heat, crying out for recognition that they are in possession of knowledge important for human survival–or of an artifact or a case that reveals our origins. Yet it’s hard to bring to mind any instance, any case, that ever came close to presenting its evidence in as thorough and objective a manner as the microbiologist suggests above. If it’s due to ignorance, why don’t we determine to do better? If it’s due to the arrogance that often accompanies true believers and doctrinal beliefs, then I suggest this: overturn whoever is holding us back; walk away from whatever doctrine isn’t working; and start all over again, from scratch.

  2. I’d written recently on Greer:

    “Yeah yeah yeah… I can understand the celebration of the accomplishments arguably made and the initiatives arguably taken, I can admire confidence, a certain diligence, and the credentialed ease behind the podium matching equal ease behind a lectern; REMAINS that it does not excuse mixing good testimony with bad… invalidating the former and inflating the latter, prosecuting a HUGE narcissism both physically and intellectually… so diminishing the more important message, and in 20 years of impotent public displays, extravagant claims sans citation and support, or the remotest “there” there… …he’s shown us nothing at all. Truly, I believe he works for the other side.

    That’s the thing though… where you don’t sieve the evidence, put yourself second to the message to transfer, or provide citation and support for your claims you diminish our side, not justify it. 20 years ago I thought the world of our good country doctor… then there was 20 years of bupkis from him diminishing what was NOT bupkis. I don’t need the DisProj. I’ve got seven categories of compelling evidence and the research of a ufological quadrature in Friedman, Dolan, Feschino, and Hastings. I’m well served entirely without the arguable contributions of Dr Greer… all respect to his misguided supporters.. sincerely.

    My contention is that you don’t get your “solid determination” in a sturdy building, say, if you insist on mixing Sean David Morton (just _missed_ testifying I’m sure) Manure with Richard Dolan Mortar, eh? If one supplies too many rationalizations to facilitate denial one may provide for a denial which is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unneeded. That’s what Greer does… he facilitates denial.”

  3. Not being a scientist, thank you, Dr. Kokjohn, for breaking down for us, non-scientists, the reasons certain “scientific” methods either are totally NOT scientific or are still in process with no definitive conclusions capable of being made.

    And for us, non-scientists, we have to make sure we continue to listen to our “guts” when it’s telling us that something is just not right. We may not know the actual logical reasons why something doesn’t “add up”, but I think we know something’s not a duck when it barks like a dog. Discernment in this world is key and eventually, things come clear.

    And thank you, Jeremy, for giving Dr. Kokjohn access to your forum and to us.

    And I totally agree with you, Carol (Rainey – not myself – although I agree with myself as well), in that if ufology ever wants to be taken seriously as a scientific field, they have to adopt the stringent standards that actual science does. The circus that was in DC this past week did absolutely nothing to help the field – if anything given the light, comedic press the “hearing” got, it was a total joke. And while ufology is more than just Greer/Bassett & Friends, they are masters at PR and unfortunately to the mainstream, they are becoming the face of ufology. (At one point, I wondered if in fact they are part of a plot to make sure no one really ever does take ufology seriously. The enemy within…)

  4. I am curious, what do you make of the ribs? I am leaning toward the idea that it was a miscarried fetus, as the head could have been crushed during mummification. But what about the ribs? There are too few of them.

    • @ Ms. Pris –

      The apparent rib count deficit makes it fascinating. Undoubtedly part of the reason this entity came to the fore was the undeniable fact that it is quite strange.

      Since human skeletal abnormalities are not my expertise, I sought opinions from an anatomist and someone who researches human developmental genetics. Let me emphasize that the only data they had to go on was the report and essay Dr. Greer posted.

      The genetics person indicated such a condition has been observed, although less than 1% of cases in her database if I recall the numbers correctly. She is seeking an opinion of an expert pathologist on the matter, but I have nothing on his take as yet. The anatomist, whose research area is paleontology, basically said the same thing as Jack Brewer in his comment above; that any incompletely developed structures were highly likely to be lost since it seems the entity was a found object and not deliberately curated to preserve it. He seemed to feel the small amount of image evidence he could examine was more consistent with a human fetus than anything else. Take this information with the understanding that any errors are due to my paraphrasing and interpretation of their responses.

      The good news is that there is plenty of material to analyze, meaning that it will be possible to make an informed decision as to the likely origin of the entity at some point. At the moment, no matter what people wish to believe the humanoid origin is, the laboratory work is incomplete. We will simply have to wait and see what Dr. Nolan and his collaborators reach as a final conclusion. I am confident he will do a creditable job.

      The hypothesis of a Lilliputian human race rests on scant and flimsy evidence at this point. While that possibility remains open, proving it is true will be quite a feat and I wish Dr. Nolan the best of luck.

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