We all love clickbait, whether we like to admit it or not. That’s probably one of the reasons you flicked to this article (gotcha!). We are fascinated by the bizarre, the impossible and oddities that defy explanation. And as we scroll through social media, I am sure each of us can admit to stopping for a second or two when we see an article that tickles our curiosity. “Octuplet mum shares her secret to removing stretchmarks” or “Make $50k a day with this secret trick!” or “Conjoined Twins fall pregnant—but who is the father?” or “Alien remains proven to have non-terrestrial DNA.” Our imagination is captured and tantalised momentarily as we ponder whether the impossible is, well, possible! Could all these bizarre claims actually be true?
On September 13, a Mexican journalist and self-proclaimed “UFOlogist”, José Jamie Maussan, presented two non-human corpses to Mexico’s Congress claiming them to be of alien origin. The two corpses looked unbelievably cartoonish, having three extremely long fingers on each hand, a huge skull on a child-sized body and wizened grey skin covering the figures like cling wrap. Maussan told Congress the remains were recovered in Cusco, Peru near the ancient Nazca Lines formations in 2017. This area of Cusco is known for the gigantic and mysterious figures carved into the earth. These engravings can only be seen from a bird’s eye view and extend over an area of 500km. Though some argue these carvings must be the result of ancient indigenous communities, many believe they are evidence of extra-terrestrial life.
Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico used carbon dating to determine the remains to be about 1000 years old. Maussan testified under oath that these figures are “non-human beings that are not part of our terrestrial evolution”, and claimed that X-rays had revealed one of the figures to have “eggs” inside it. The researchers presenting to Mexican Congress came from Mexico, the United States, Japan and Brazil, each supporting the finding that these alien corpses were authentic. The Mexican Congress heard these findings just two months after a similar hearing in the US Congress where a former US Air Force intelligence officer, Major David Grusch, claimed the United States had been aware of “non-human” activity since the 1930s and was intentionally covering it up. He alleged that the US is in possession of nonhuman “biologics” and is concealing a longstanding program that retrieves and reverse engineers unidentified flying objects.
José de Jesús Zalce Benítez, director of the Health Science Research Institute of the Secretary of the Navy, bolstered Maussan’s claims at the Mexican congressional hearing, explaining that, “Based on the DNA tests, which were compared with more than one million species . . . [the corpses] are not related to what is known or described up to this moment by science or by human knowledge.” These alien remains have gone viral on social media, with various theories proposed as to the authenticity or origin of these beings. Many claim these aliens to be fake, while others firmly support Maussan, arguing that claims of the aliens being fake are attempts to cover up the truth. So, is this all a hoax? Or, just maybe, could it all be true?
Unfortunately for all my conspiratorial friends, upon further examination, these remains have been declared a hoax by many scientists. Those who performed the carbon dating of the corpses were not involved in actually collecting the sample that was tested, nor had they come into contact with the full specimens, allowing the possibility for false samples to be provided. Julieta Fierro, a scientist at Mexico’s National Autonomous University’s Institute of Astronomy, declared that the carbon dating of the samples instead indicated that the specimens were related to brain and skin tissues from different mummies who died at different times in history. Further, she asserted that scientists would need more advanced technology than X-rays to determine if the bodies were “non-human”.
Maussan has been involved in many controversies surrounding his claims, repeatedly being exposed as a fraud. In 2015 he revealed a body which he claimed to belong to an alien. It was later proven to be the remains of a human child that had been tampered with. Again in 2017, he claimed to have discovered specimens in Nazca, Peru, which had elongated skulls and three fingers on each hand. These figures were later declared to be “manufactured dolls” with paper and synthetic glue used to create a skin-like covering. Time and time again, Maussan has been exposed for his deceptions, this being his most convincing one yet.
And yet . . . strange and unexplainable events still occur—things that cannot be explained by science (unlike these fake alien remains). While science can answer many of the curiosities we encounter in life, it doesn’t provide an answer for everything. For example, science hasn’t been able to explain where black holes begin and end, how ball lightning occurs (look it up!), or shapeshifting and supernatural occurrences. There are bizarre things in our universe which we simply cannot comprehend. Unexplainable phenomena occur despite the impossibility of it. And we are a curious bunch, us humans—we love a good mystery. We are fascinated by the bizarre, the impossible, oddities that defy explanation. We are drawn to believe that the impossible is actually possible . . . and we call this hope.
We are willing to suspend disbelief that we might be able to own a home in 2023. Despite contrary evidence, we hope that our sports team will win the grand final. And more solemnly, we earnestly hope that the people we love can be healed of serious disease—even something as deadly as stage four cancer. Because deep down, we know that the impossible can be possible. Why? Because we’ve heard the stories. Because we have seen it with our own eyes. We have seen people beat all odds, seen disease disappear and seen miracles happen.
Christmas is evidence of this. It is our annual reminder that we have a reason to hope, because the impossible has happened before. More than 2000 years ago, a young virgin gave birth to the Son of God and Saviour of the world. Impossible, right? Wrong! Under an oppressive Roman regime, a heavily pregnant young virgin and her husband travelled to his hometown, a small Jewish town called Bethlehem, for a census. Caught up in the scandal of unwed pregnancy, the young couple were not welcome at the homes of their relatives. They had to instead find shelter elsewhere. Overcome with emotion, the young woman went into labour and the couple urgently sought shelter from the local inn. But alas, there was no room at the inn. The young woman had to instead give birth to her child in an animal’s stable. In shame, humility and poverty, this Child entered the world. The promised Messiah, King of Israel, God incarnate and Saviour of the world . . . born to a virgin enmeshed in scandal . . . in a smelly stable.
Christmas is a time of hope. It is a time when we put aside all our worries and embrace optimism, joy and wonder. It is a time when we can all embrace personal hope as we marvel at the miracle of God coming down as a baby to bring peace on Earth. It is a time to celebrate with loved ones because of the unique hope and special truth we have. Christmas is a time when the impossible becomes possible.
Olivia Fairfax is an eager student in all things psychology, theology and literature She enjoys spending her time writing, learning and investing in people.