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The Llewellyn Journal

Starchild Update

This article was written by Lloyd Pye
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Lloyd Pye was the subject of the cover story in the November 1999 FATE: "Raising the Starchild" by Billy Cox.

It has been two years since I was first shown what has come to be known as “The Starchild Skull” in February 1999. I regret to say we still do not have a final determination of its origins. Initially, I felt this process would require a few months, because I expected the resistance to it that I found within the scientific establishment. What I did not expect, however, was the pervasive disinterest I encountered among influential members of the alternative knowledge community. This could be due to ineptitude on my part. I am not trying to assign blame, just trying to explain what has led to the current situation.

I led the Starchild effort during 1999, then turned it over to two Canadian researchers, Dr. Ted Robinson and Chad Deetken. Because Dr. Robinson is a cranio-facial plastic surgeon, we hoped his credentials would open doors in Canada that were closed to me in the U.S. This has not been the case. Ted and Chad have had as much difficulty as I did convincing establishment scientists to seriously consider the Starchild as something other than a highly unusual but totally human deformity.

Despite our combined failure to secure a definitive answer to what the Starchild is, we have made significant progress. Carbon 14 testing indicates it died about 900 years ago. We have not been able to reliably establish its age at death. We assume it was a child of about six, based on three secondary teeth found in a detached piece of its upper jaw (maxilla). A CAT scan has proved its cranial sutures were perfectly normal, which rules out any suture-related deformities. The same CAT scan showed its inner ears are noticeably larger than normal. It has no frontal sinuses, not even vestigial ones, which is highly unusual for a six-year-old human. Its chewing muscles were one third the size of normal, meaning its lower jaw (mandible), which is missing, would be greatly reduced from normal. The piece of upper jaw we have does indicate that a small maxillary sinus was present.

The rear of the head and neck are astonishingly realigned and reshaped, as is the inner surface of the totally flattened occipital bone (the triangular covering of the rear of the head). There is no inion (the bump at the lower rear of normal skulls). Instead, that area is noticeably concave. Rather than attaching to the inion, where they belong, the neck muscles attach a full inch lower-only one centimeter from the foramen magnum, where the spine enters the skull. This means its neck, like its chewing muscles, was about one third the size of normal. It was centered directly under the mass of the head rather than an inch or so to the rear, as is normal. Inside the occipital bone, the pronounced ridges that support a human’s cerebellum are greatly reduced. Not wholly eliminated, but reduced enough to make brain experts wonder what kind of cerebellum it might have had.

The brain itself was a marvel. The Starchild skull is the size of that of a normal 12-year-old. A 12-year-old’s brain is in the range of 1,200 cubic centimeters. A normal adult brain is 1,400 cubic centimeters. The Starchild skull holds 1,600 cubic centimeters, meaning it held wall-to-wall brain. How did so much more brain get crammed into a skull the size of a typical 12-year-old’s? Several factors make this possible: First, the great expansion of the parietal bones, the two swellings with the dip in the middle at the top rear of the crown. Second, no frontal sinuses to take up extra space. Third, the eye sockets. If those incredibly shallow, fantastically symmetrical sockets could support human-like eyeballs, those eyes would have been centered in the middle of the nose (where our cheeks are) rather than at the top of the nose, as is normal.

What could cause so much brain to be required? One suggestion is that with such a thin neck, perhaps speaking as we know it would have been impossible. In its place, perhaps, was a form of telepathy-which might well require greatly increased cerebral firepower.

Perhaps the most compelling test result to date is the Starchild’s high degree of variance from normal human bone density. Its bone density is only 40 percent of normal. Let us consider a “normal” human deformity (if you’ll pardon the oxymoron). In such a case we could fully expect that whatever bone remained to be analyzed-however bizarrely misshapen it might be-would be fundamentally human. That stands to reason. Yet the Starchild skull is uniformly only 40 percent of normal density, which is so far outside the range of acceptable variance as to be something else entirely. But what else could it be? We need one more major test to answer that all-important question. A forensic DNA test has already proved conclusively that the Starchild was a male. It also revealed that the skull was buried in acidic soil that severely degraded its DNA. Luckily, enough remained to permit recovery of at least its X and Y chromosomes. For as little as that is, relative to the full chromosomal compliment, it is enough to obtain a conclusive answer.

What we need now is $20,000 to pay for a much more sophisticated diagnostic DNA test. That will take the recovered X and Y chromosomes and break them into their component strings of base pairs, to compare them with similar strings of base pairs in normal humans. If everything lines up as it should, then the Starchild is entirely human. Period. If they don’t line up equally, then it is something other than human. Period.

Wish us luck. We’re going to need it.

The November 1999 issue, containing the original report on the Starchild, is available from FATE. Write to for information about back issue availability.

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