Dead Head

Lloyd Pye—writer, paranormalist, possible wighat—reveals the true origins of the starchild


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In the beginning, the skull spoke to him. “I looked into those eye sockets,” says cryptohistorian Lloyd Pye, recollecting the cool evening in 1999 when he first encountered the small armature of bone now celebrated in UFO circles as the Starchild. “And I was enthralled. They were shaped like the Hollywood Bowl, but they weren’t twisted up or deformed. They were symmetrical, and I thought, ‘Now, this could be a freakin’ alien!'”

It is only through daring hypotheses, of course, that science makes progress. Pye, 53, a novelist who writes thrillers by trade, has been studying what stuffy academics call “mythic phenomena” for more than three decades. Debunkers may quibble, but Pye has the American public on his side (54 percent of us now believe that there’s intelligent extraterrestrial life, according to a recent Life magazine poll). Over the years, he has searched through the forests of the Pacific Northwest for the bloated footprints of Sasquatch, traveled to the Great Pyramid of Giza to behold what he believes is the work of aliens, and stalked the Sinai Desert with Zecharia Sitchin, an 80-year-old Russian-born journalist, historian, and UFO scholar who contends that ancient Sumerian legends hold the secret truth of human origins—in short, that we humans are the spawn of blond E.T.s called the Anunnaki.

As yet, Pye’s fieldwork hasn’t made it into his sparsely selling fiction—his first novel told the tale of a college football player with superhuman powers, his second was a Tom Clancyish techno-thriller about computer hackers. But in 1997, the rogue thinker issued his first nonfiction treatise, Everything You Know Is Wrong—Book One: Human Origins, a self-published tome positing that Earth’s “so-called prehumans” (Neanderthals and the like) were, in fact, ancestors of those shy hominoids that today wander our forests and mountains—you know, Bigfoot and the abominable snowman.

Last year, a young married couple who wish to remain anonymous (perhaps for obvious reasons) invited the intrepid author to visit them somewhere in the Southwest. They sought his expert opinion on a very special skull and wanted to tell him what little they knew about its origins. According to Pye, a young woman found two skulls—indeed, a child’s whole skeleton and what appeared to be the skeleton of the child’s mother—in a mine shaft near Chihuahua, Mexico, sometime around 1930. Transfixed, she trundled the bones to the surface and laid them under a tree, only to have a torrential rainstorm wash away all but the skulls. Both skulls were missing their jawbones, but the child’s was endowed with a brain cavity that seemed hauntingly vast. The woman took both skulls home and squirreled them away in her garage, where they sat, a riddle in a box, for the next 60-odd years. Just before she died a few years ago, she passed them on to a male friend, who then turned them over to the young couple.

Pye first viewed the skulls in the lobby of a Holiday Inn. The younger specimen, he surmises, represents the spawn of a predatory “gray,” a bulbous-headed visitor who swept down to Earth 900 years ago to mingle his sperm (or whatever) with the egg of a female human. He reckons that the “Star Husband” legends espoused by myriad North American Indians were not myths, but accurate reports of ancient events.

The couple agreed to share their mysterious treasure—or as Pye calls it, “the most anomalous human specimen since the Elephant Man”—with the world. So he packed the Starchild (and its companion skull) in a Wal-Mart toolbox and commenced barnstorming. During the last year, Pye has piloted his battered 1992 Buick Roadmaster to more than four dozen UFO convocations. He’s appeared six times on a late-night radio show hosted by Art Bell, the Larry King of the paranormal. And he’s garnered some intriguing endorsements: Paula Gunn Allen, a retired UCLA professor of Native American studies, believes the Starchild is “proof of what Indians have known for a long time: that we live among nonhumans who can disappear at will.”

Inevitably, however, some pathologists and forensic anthropologists who have come across Pye and his Starchild have been flatly dismissive. Last fall, David Sweet, a forensics expert at the University of British Columbia, analyzed the Starchild skull and found that it has normal X and Y chromosomes—meaning it’s the skull of a human male.

Still, Pye soldiers on. When reached recently at his home in New Orleans, the staunch iconoclast proudly compared himself with “Galileo and all those other marginal visionaries who weren’t afraid to put their dicks on the chopping block.” He was happy to chat.



Outside: Let’s start by facing facts. Conventional wisdom holds that people like you are out of your gourd.

Pye: Well, “conventional wisdom” is shaped by the media, who listen to the high priests of science, who think they know everything just because they’ve got a bunch of letters after their names. They don’t know everything. History shows that science is nothing but a constant correcting of misguided assumptions.

O: And when did you start down this path of correcting them?

Pye: Senior year of college, when I read Ivan Sanderson’s book Abominable Snowman: Legend Come to Life. It just made sense.

O: OK, so explain: When the Star Husbands came down out of the sky, what kind of women did they seek, single or married?

Pye: I imagine that in those remote tribal cultures you’d have to be ugly enough to make a freight train take a dirt road not to find someone who’d want to screw you. I assume most people would be hooked up.

O: I guess the alien-human couplings were sort of clandestine?

Pye: No, all the abductee reports I’ve ever read say the grays don’t have any apparent genitalia. They’d make the babies in, you know, test tubes. And then, like Arnold [Schwarzenegger] in The Terminator, they’d leave, saying, “We’ll be back.” It’d be six years before they came for the kid.

O: You’ve said that the Starchild was about six when he died. You think his mom killed him to prevent the grays from taking him back?

Pye: All I know for sure is that the skeletons were lying side by side and one of the child’s fingers was sticking out of the dirt, wrapped around the arm of the mother. It sure looks like a murder-suicide. But maybe she didn’t kill the kid. Maybe the kid just wandered off and ate a mushroom and—poof!—the thing kills him. Now mom’s in deep, deep shit. She’s fucked with the gods and she doesn’t want the other villagers to pay the price, so she just says, “Fuck it!” and eats some mushrooms herself and lies down by the kid.

O: You have any other theories?

Pye: I don’t, but in the alternative-knowledge community, they have what they call “sensitives,” and at conferences I’d let these folks hold the skull over a blanket and look at it and feel it and bond with it. One sensitive told me the Starchild was attacked by a shaggy-haired, nine-foot-tall monster—not a Bigfoot, but a monster with a big, big head and red eyes and a club. A couple other people said that the grays notified the kid telepathically that they were coming to get him. He told his mother, and mom said, “I don’t want you to go,” and the kid agreed to stay with his mother and die with her.

O: But the DNA test said this kid wasn’t an alien.

Pye: The forensic DNA test we had done only looked at whether the X and Y chromosomes are there. It’s the Volkswagen test, and we need the Cadillac—the diagnostic DNA test, which would look inside the chromosomes, down the gene strands. I’m convinced that when we look that close, this thing won’t prove to be entirely human. The shape of the head, in all its details, matches exactly abductees’ descriptions of grays. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…

O: But a forensic anthropologist from the Department of Defense says that the Starchild’s head was swollen because he was hydrocephalic and pointy because, in infancy, it was shaped by a cradle board. He also said that they were common throughout Mexico a millennium ago.

Pye: Hey, they’ll always find some way to dismiss me—I’m pissing on their god. They’re in a holy war with the creationists, so they have to prop up Charles Darwin when the truth is humans just appeared in the fossil records 120,000 years ago.

O: How’s that?

Pye: The first humans were genetically engineered by the Anunnaki. They came to Earth because they needed gold to repair the atmosphere of their planet, which they’d damaged.

O: But where are Earth’s Anunnaki now?

Pye: Gone, mostly. They had a nuclear war around 2000 b.c. In the Sinai Desert you can still see the impact. For miles around, the rocks are darkened.

O: I see. And the Star Husbands—it seems like they’ve disappeared too. I never bump into them on the sidewalk.

Pye: Their program’s changed within the last hundred years. Ever since phone lines went up and the world got, you know, small, the grays have harvested. They still impregnate women, but they come and get the fetus when the woman’s in her second trimester.

O: One more question. You’re spending a lot of time alone with this skull. Is that scary?

Pye: You know, sometimes on those desert roads out West late at night I just say to myself, “I wonder if they know I have this thing.” And every once in a while, when I’m driving, I’ll see, like, a shooting star and then I’ll get that feeling—you know, how the hairs rise on the back of your neck? And I’ll just think, “I wonder if I could be beamed up or something?”   

Correspondent Bill Donahue wrote about firefly nookie in September 1999.