Ata the “6-Inch Alien” – Real or Hoax?

In 2003, in the remote Atacama region of Chile, small mummified remains of what appeared to be a tiny human-like creature were found. A film was released this week which unveils DNA results on those remains. To some people, these results provide more questions than answers. And the biggest question of all is if these remains are even real.

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The film entitled “Sirius” is promoted by Dr. Steven M. Greer, M.D., who is a self-proclaimed authority on UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence. Though the film’s scope encompasses more than just the remains known as “Ata,” this diminutive creature’s role in the film has garnered the most attention.

Critics have panned the film as recycled UFO fodder and accused Greer of peddling theories with no evidence. In the segments relating to Ata, however, Greer brings in some reputable scientists which lend some authority to the assertions regarding the remains.

DNA Results
In the film we learn that Garry Nolan of Stanford University’s School of Medicine performed DNA tests on the remains. He stated, “I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a monkey. It is human – closer to human than chimpanzees. It lived to the age of six to eight. Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born.”

Nolan said he can state “with extremely high confidence that the mother was an indigenous Indian from the Chilean area. The other thing that immediately fell out of the analysis is that it’s male. It probably died in the last century, if I were to make a guess.”

Additional notes

Here are some other pieces of information from the film and from papers published by Greer and Nolan:

  • The specimen has only 10 pairs of ribs, as opposed to the normal of 12.
  • The skull is quite different than a typical human.
  • A non-fetal tooth exists in the jaw bone.
  • No deformities or genetic defects (such as dwarfism) were reported.
  • Although 91% of the DNA matches human DNA, 9% of the DNA does not.
  • The remains are described as “many decades to centuries” old.


Below are some of the more common theories as to what Ata may be.

  • ET/Human Hybrid – UFO and ET theorists point to the appearance and 9% unknown DNA as possible evidence of a human/ET hybrid creature. Some have dismissed the 9% DNA figure.
  • Fetus Theory – Many have speculated that the remains may merely be those of a fetus. Both Greer and Nolan, however, flatly reject this claim. You can see x-ray comparisons of a fetus with Ata here.
  • Deformity/Mutation – Some have suggested this represents the remains of a human afflicted with a deformity unknown to modern medicine. Dr. Nolan’s paper on the subject states, ” The specimen was concluded by the medical specialist to be a human child with an apparently severe form of dwarfism and other anomalies.” He later writes, “As the current list of human disorders is far from complete and many human disorders are polygenic, there might remain to be found a combination of mutations working in concert that lead to the observed defect(s).”
  • Hoax – Some commenters around the internet have joked that this is nothing more than a plastic doll and the entire film is a hoax designed to make money. Greer points to the CAT scan as evidence: “There is absolutely

    no doubt that the specimen is an actual organism and that it is not a hoax of any kind.” Though this would certainly be the reaction of most people, it is hard to believe that Stanford professor would sacrifice his reputation with such a statement.

  • Shrunken Remains – It has been suggested that these are indeed human remains, but they have been shrunken in some way similar to shrunken heads. We have not found evidence that bones can be shrunken in this manner, and traditional shrunken heads are created without the skull.


  • How could a 6-inch human possibly survive?
  • How small was this organism at birth?
  • Will the results be subject to peer review? (Nolan’s paper addresses this: “Full analysis of the DNA, and attempts to link genetics to morphology, will eventually follow in an appropriately peer-reviewed article in an accredited scientific journal. The results will be independently verified before publication.”)
  • Why was there a 10-year wait to test the DNA?


You can watch “Sirius” on the movie’s website for $9.99, or purchase the DVD for $19.99.

Huffington Post
A Huff Post article on the topic has been criticized for dismissing the results as a “disappointment” to those anticipating the film. “In fact, the film, which premiered Monday in Hollywood, features a scientist who concluded the little humanoid was human,” the article summarizes. Readers critical of that article have claimed that it over-simplifies the findings presented in the film and in the papers by Greer and Nolan.

Bottom Line
We’re not really sure what to make of this one! At first glance, it surely seems to be a hoax, but with a Stanford professor’s reputation is at stake, we’ll wait to read the peer-reviewed article to make a final determination.

Your Turn
What is your theory regarding the remains?

Watch a trailer for Sirius below. Note that Ata only accounts for a small portion of the film’s overall content.

Below are some images of Ata.

ata5 ata1 ata2 ata3 ata6


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  • Jeff jackson

    Really want to believe…. too much fishyness regarding the subject for what 60 plus years… idk. Besides i find it really presumtious to think we’re alone… spec of sand in an infinite galaxy in turn a spec of sand in an infinite universe… idk. Besides I’ve visited some sights personally: Mexico’s ruins. Egypt, never been to cambodia, but their similarities and advanced knowledge is well… hard to explain in any other way. Yes I did just visit Roswell nm too. Fun place if nothing else.
    Thanks for existing and keep questioning everything!

  • Jeff jackson

    I can also understand why the establishment wouldn’t want ET to be public knowledge. .. wars, religions, politics… just dont think the masses are ready…idk. Just my view.
    If u really want, my opinion is not only are they real. They tought us all we know and honestly never left. Lookat the time line
    Man__________________________________(everything we know)_And this is the present. I ask…
    ? what happend here?

  • Jeff jackson

    Btw the “here” should be directly under (everything we know).

  • GodKiller

    Absolute hoax, have to pay for documentary first clue. Second clue documentary include Dr. Geer, a known fraud and obviously delusional. Third and greatest clue Geer mentions Rockefeller who insisted he make this documentary. Case solved, full of crap, neo conservative BS. Anything to fake an alien invasion and gain dominant control on earth, since religion has failed!

  • GodKiller

    A simple bone carving from human bone, that’s all!

  • Hi

    I think it is cool

  • John Baker

    Let’s just say I’d be very, very surprised to find that this is real.