Alien Hair Scientifically Tested
Author: Rita Copeland and Robin Nugent ©
Hard evidence in the form of orthodox scientific investigations on physical artefacts is always welcome in the UFO field. The testing of one such piece of evidence was reported in a scientific paper published in April 1999.
The paper was titled “Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Analysis of a Shed Hair from an Alien Abduction Case”. It was the subject of an article, “Strange Evidence”, by Bill Chalker (author of “The Oz Files”) published in the Spring edition of International UFO Reporter (IUR), a quarterly magazine put out by the American UFO association, CUFOS.
The physical artifact, a strand of blonde hair, came into the possession of a young man, Peter Khoury, during a bizarre encounter with an alleged alien female in Sydney in 1992. He retrieved the hair, sealed it in a plastic bag and kept it safe and untouched until it was handed over for scientific investigation in 1998. The scientific team involved was the Anomaly Physical Evidence Group. The research methodology they employed was the standard DNA analysis commonly used to obtain forensic evidence in conventional criminal proceedings. A 2cm piece of the hair strand was taken from just above the root of the hair canal. Similar control samples were taken from Peter (born in Lebanon, normal thickness black hair) and his wife (of Greek ancestry, normal thickness brown hair). Even under the microscope the human hair samples showed remarkable difference to the alleged alien hair. The latter was “extremely thin and almost clear”. Bill Chalker stated that “further investigation … by high- resolution darkfield microscopy showed it to lie at the lower end of normal human hair thickness, and also to show a pronounced “mosaic” structure, perhaps due to the near-absence of melanin.”
The hair samples were then subjected to the testing procedure to obtain “a precise DNA base sequence of Mitochondrial Hypervariable Region I Spanning nucleotides 16,000 to 16,400 of the circular mitochondrial DNA” which “acts as an easily-amplified genetic marker for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).” Any sequence variation within that range would provide a “microscopic genetic fingerprint”. The hair samples from the wife proved incompatible to the test (hair dye may have made DNA recovery difficult). The clones derived from the testing procedure on Peter’s hair “did not show any systematic deviation from the consensus of any of 380 locations spanning the whole hypervariable region” (of typical white European DNA sequence). In contrast, all clones from the tall, blonde female’s hair sample “showed five consistent substitutions from the human consensus”, only three of which are common human deviations. The other two deviations, however, seemed “quite rare”. The conclusion drawn from this was that the tall, blonde female was “biologically close to human genetics but of an unusual racial type.” Additional controls were then obtained (blood samples) from the young man, his wife and a male Chinese friend “who spent some time in the same room” but who had never had contact with the “alien” hair directly. The findings of these tests revealed that the DNA of the three human samples aligned closely to the expected human range, the Asian showing a single substitution at one place only in the DNA sequence, but that was consistent with his being Asian. In an examination of the scientific literature on sequence variations in Hypervariable Region I of Mitochondrial DNA, it was found that only four persons (of tens of thousands surveyed in this literature) contain one particular variation as seen in the “alien” hair. In addition, these four also exhibited substitutions in the other four sites shown in the blonde hair, yet showed “almost no other changes in the entire hypervariable region of 380 base pairs”.
Bill Chalker concludes “these four human persons and the tall, blonde female share a common maternal ancestor sometime in the past 2,000- 10,000 years, given known rates of substitution in mitochondrial DNA. Indeed, a perfect 5/5 match between the tall blonde and those four persons indicates that little if any random substitution has occurred in the intervening period.” But it gets even more bizarre when you take into consideration the phenotype (outward appearance) with this genotype (genetic structure). The physical description Peter gave of his alleged alien female was “tall, blonde, fair skinned”. Such a phenotype would place her, at first assumption, in the group of humans we know as Finns, Icelandics and Scandinavians. Yet all four of the people in the literature having the same genotype were of the Mongoloid/Chinese type (one Chinese, three Taiwanese, appearing in databases in Asian countries) who would, presumably, have thick black hair. “All four thus belong to a rare third human racial type (again as defined by DNA sequence) found only in Asia.” (The two main racial types based on DNA analysis being Africans and Whites-Asian).
So whence cometh a Nordic phenotype of Asian genotype?
The scientists logically ruled out the likelihood of the hair having come from an albino woman in the Sydney area as the genetics are Asian; and of the hair having come from an Asian woman with “thin, almost clear, hair having the same DNA”; and from a chemically-bleached Asian woman, as such hair would not have rendered itself to DNA analysis (as happened in the case of Peter’s wife’s chemically affected hair). In discussing the general implications, the scientists trace the Darwinian theory of evolution from apes by random mutation followed by natural selection, and propose an alternate explanation: “Might the modern human population be a recent introduction to Earth from elsewhere, say 30,000 years ago, when the Neanderthals went into rapid decline?” This hypothesis of seeding of life is known as panspermia and leaves open the possibility at least that humans thus could share a DNA sequence with aliens. The Darwinian theory did not gain ready acceptability when first introduced but has been held now for nearly a hundred years by establishment scientists. It may not be easy for the same establishment to reverse that theory again. Nevertheless, hard evidence, backed by reliable scientific testing, is opening the way for credibility in the UFO field at last.