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Starchild Update

The Starchild Project and Lloyd Pye

Its been a long time coming, but now its official: we're funded to do a first round of diagnostic DNA testing on the Starchild skull. Over the next few months we will all be able to learn, without doubt, once and for all, what the Starchild skull truly represents. We stand on the threshold of possibly making history at the absolute highest level.

Mysteries of the Crystal Skulls Revealed Our bottom-line goal is now, and has always been, to obtain a believable, defendable analysis of the Starchild skulls genetic heritage from its mother and father. Though the technology is available to supply this information, securing it will not be easy. There are several problems and pitfalls we have to avoid, not least of which are contamination and corruption of the testing sample. Without results we can strongly defend against assaults from critics, we might as well not even attempt it. Validity of the results is essential.

The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls There are two possible results: positive and negative. A positive means the Starchild's DNA is recoverable, it can be replicated, and when compared to human DNA it isn't within the range of accepted norms. In other words, its not entirely human .A negative result means its DNA is recovered, replicated, and proves beyond doubt to fall within the normal range established for humans. Its one or the other, with no middle ground, and theres only one way to determine what it is. Now were going to take that crucial step.

If we obtain the positive result we anticipate, criticism will be automatic and loud. Critics will try to paint us with the same colors of buffoonery being daubed on the Raelians as these words are written. We have to make certain everything we do in this regard has a stamp of procedural correctness and authenticity on it, so we can ensure that any positive result is, first, heard around the world, and when the initial tumult dies down it will be given fair consideration because of the care and caution we exercised all along.

Contamination is the primary enemy of extraction and analysis of ancient DNA. Its why the procedure is so expensive. Technically, ancient DNA is over 50 years old. Our skull is 900 years old. So unlike a paternity test taken from living tissue, the Starchild's DNA must be recovered in fragments. This was true in the forensic test done in Canada. That test recovered only a few picograms (trillionths), but it was enough to assure us more can be recovered and replicated by a process called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which will create a large enough sample to do a much more detailed analysis. So all the effort and cost to obtain a more detailed analysis is, and has always been, worthwhile.

During the testing process, contamination must be diligently fought against. To better understand this problem, lets examine what will happen to the Starchild skull when I deliver it to a lab. First, a thumbnail-sized piece of its bone will be cut from the upper part of its cranium. That will be carefully sanded down on both sides until only a thin layer of its interior aspect remains. The sanding is to remove the skin oil sand thus the DNA of any human hand that might have touched it. My own skin oils would, in fact, be the likeliest source of surface contamination, though in the nearly two years I had the Starchild out on the road with me, I let approximately 5,000 people hold it. (If you are among that group, a positive test result will certainly add meaning to your experience!)

Once all the possible contamination oils and/or skin flakes have been removed from the bone sample, it will be washed several times in chemicals to make certain nothing other than the Starchild's DNA is to be analyzed. After the sample has been super-cleansed, anyone who handles it will dress like a mummy, making sure that not a droplet of their breath or a skin flake will fall into the sample. These labs have to make the clean room at a microchip plant look like a pigpen; hence, the very high expense of it.

To guard against accidental contamination of a sample, the DNA of every person who works in these labs is tested and recorded. Thus, when a DNA samples profile is achieved, it is measured against everyone who might have worked on it. If a match is found, contamination has occurred. However, such labs make every effort to be certain that what is analyzed is indeed the samples bone, uncontaminated by workers in the lab, or anyone else, in any way, shape, or form. Even so, the system isn't foolproof.

With literally any sample, it is always possible for a lab worker to, for any number of reasons, choose to deliberately corrupt the process. They could, if they wanted to, bring in a tiny fragment of DNA from someone unaffiliated with the lab, slip it into the PCR replicating mixture, and the results could be mistaken for an uncontaminated sample. Naturally, the assumption is that nobody would do that. They're paid to do a job, fairly and impartially, and let the chips fall where they may. But it should be obvious that the Starchild skull will not be a typical case for any lab we choose to work on it. It brings with it a high degree of emotional baggage for certain kinds of people, and such people have been known to act negatively against ideas that conflict with their beliefs.

My book, Everything You Know Is Wrong,isn't listed on because a hard core of religious fundamentalists works there. When those workers find a book like mine, of which they disapprove, they have friends send in negative reviews, then they write the review system so negative reviews are seen first by those seeking a book they donut like. When this happened to my book, management turned a deaf ear to my complaints. I have since learned that I'm far from the only person victimized by this practice. Theres now a group of us who have been forced to pull our books off Amazon because having them on it hurts us more than helps us. This is a travesty against intellectual freedom, against the marketplace of ideas Amazon is in business to support, yet they do nothing to correct it.

With that as a real analogy, suppose we choose a lab with a worker who, for whatever reason, decides they don't like the idea of trying to prove alien life forms exist. To many people this would be a serious concern. So at some point during the weeks-long process of analyzing the Starchilds DNA, they make sure the sample is contaminated. Thus, we would get a corrupted result of entirely human that we would have no way to verify.

How can we prevent this from happening? Unlike with Amazon, there is no removing ourselves from the field of play. We have to enter the game on the labs turf using the labs rules. So my initial thought was to not agree to use a lab unless they permitted the mounting of a set of around-the-clock spy cameras, the kind used in every Quick Stop shopping market in the U.S. Those are relatively inexpensive now, and part of the budget for the money already contributed was to pay for this 24/7 surveillance system.

(That filming is apart from the higher quality filming we still intend to arrange for every step of the procedure. A video record of events is absolutely necessary to prove to critics that the proper practices were maintained throughout. If the result is negative, then that film has no intrinsic worth. But if the result is positive, recording it will be essential.)

24/7 scrutiny would have worked and would have acted as a deterrent. Unfortunately, it would only have been about 90% effective. It would not absolutely rule out beyond any shadow of doubt the possibility of corruption of the sample. But it was the best I could come up with to try to ensure the validity of the process. However, there was always a way to be even more sure than cameras, but it was a way I couldn't seriously consider because of my protracted failure to secure the funding to run even one test.

The absolute foolproof way is to do not one but two complete and separate tests on the DNA. This means two samples of bone given to two separate labs. This also means that anyone bent on corrupting the sample in their lab would have to corrupt it in exactly the same way, to exactly the same degree, in the other lab doing the testing. If the testing is legitimate, both results should read out exactly the same. If the two labs doing the testing don't know who the other lab is, only that another lab exists, then theres no way for two workers (one in each lab) to coordinate a contamination procedure. It cant happen.

We at the Starchild Project have decided that it makes more sense to run two separate testing procedures at two separate ancient DNA labs rather than to try to avoid deliberate corruption of one test by monitoring it with film. One dedicated researcher determined to scotch the results would probably be able to do so despite the cameras looking over their shoulders. But two of them in two widely separate labs should eliminate that risk. Yet for all of those precautionary measures, there is still a potential difficulty.

What if two labs come to different conclusions? How can they be reconciled? They cant. The only solution in that case would be to run a third test, which should prove one right and the other wrong. If a third lab produces a third result different from the other two, then well know were not being given straight answers, which will mean were being victimized by a widespread and highly organized conspiracy against us. If that proves to be the case, then someone smarter than me will have to figure out what to do next.

By explaining the situation like this, I'm hoping to make people aware of the extreme difficulties we are up against in trying to produce results that our side can have 100% faith and trust in, while at the same time producing results that our critics cannot easily dismiss as the continued rantings of lunatics. If we do this right and produce a positive result from two separate labs, who can argue with it? HOW can they argue with it? They cant. Well be able to cram it down their throats and they'll have to swallow it and learn to live with it. Two positive tests showing significant deviations from the human norm will change history forever, and I honestly believe that result is well within our reach.

I'm prepared to give full attention to this process for most of the next four or five months, which is how long it should take to contract with two labs and get in line to have our testing done. If all goes according to current plan, the first test will begin some time in February. The second will probably not be until April or May. This is where things stand as I write this, but I will be working hard to speed that process along as much as possible.

One snag on my time is that I have to be in Europe for much of March. I have been approached by a literary agency in Milan that is interested in getting my book, the aforementioned Everything You Know Is Wrong,reprinted in several countries in Europe. To facilitate this, they have asked me to attend the London Book Fair in the middle of March, which I've agreed to do because I have long been scheduled to be in Amsterdam in late March to speak at an international conference sponsored by Nexus Magazine. So theres no reason not to go to London in mid-March, attend the Book Fair, give a few lectures in and around London (to pay my own bills!), then go to Amsterdam. That is my plan for March, and I would appreciate hearing soon from anyone reading this update in England, or near to it, because we need help setting up some speaking venues.

With all of the above said, there is one last problem to mention, and its the same as always money. We have enough for one round of testing and half of another, but we don't at this point have all we need. People who now know about this are telling me that somehow what is needed will materialize when its supposed to materialize, but I'm not that confident. I've languished far too long with far too little response to these requests.

The bottom line is that we have enough to start and complete one test, but not enough to finish the second. Were short by several thousand dollars, and I refuse to ask the major contributors for more. It must indeed, should come from people reading this, or from those made aware of our need by people who read this. Its time to start rattling the cages of those who can, and really should, support something as potentially momentous as this.

By the way, its no longer me hitting people up for money again. Thats over. Now its more like offering a last opportunity to participate in making serious history. There are no guarantees, of course, but if we do get the results we think well get, then you can tell one and all that you were an integral part of it. How would that sound to the grand kids?

The rules for contributing still hold. If the result is negative and the Starchild is, after all, a never-before-seen human deformity, then the money is Vegas money, blown and gone. The skulls only value will be for clinical analysis. If its a positive result showing the Starchild is not entirely human, anyone donating $250 or more will be paid back in full from the income that will accrue as a consequence. Lets face it, a positive result makes the Starchild the most famous and valuable relic in the world. You will be paid back.

If I have anything meaningful to report when I lecture in London, Ill do so. If I have anything to report in Amsterdam on March 29th and 30th, I will do so. All other things being equal, the next time I intend to update this website will be in mid-April when I return from Europe, or as soon thereafter as I have results to share from the first test.

Finally, let me offer deep and profound thanks to all those who have previously carried the Starchild to this incredible threshold. You know who you are. For those who would like to officially join the campaign, please contribute by check, bank draft, or money order to The Starchild Fund. Don't make it out to me. Be sure to have your address on your check or on the envelope so I can contact you if necessary. Then mail it to me at:

Lloyd Pye
6805 Veterans Blvd. # L-3
Metairie, LA 70003

If preferred, contributions can be wired directly into the Starchild Fund account at Bank One in Metairie, LA. The account number is: 1591729601. The routing number, or ABA, is 065400137. Lets all buckle down and make this happenat last!!!

Lloyd Pye
New Orleans, LA, U.S.A.

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