In archaeology, the history of an object from the time it was discovered to the present is called the provenance. It is like a chain of evidence that allows archaeologists and scientists to know where an item was and who had access to it at all times, to make sure it has not been tampered with. This is obviously important to help experts spot a fake artifact, but modern science has made it impossible to fake a bone relic like the Starchild Skull, so although the provenance, the history of the Skull, is not always clear, the fact remains that it does exist, it is real, and currently there is no explanation for it. The Starchild Skull's provenance begins in the 1930s.
During the 1930s an American teenage girl went on holiday to Mexico with her family, who were of Mexican heritage. While visiting a small village in Mexico's Copper Canyon region she went exploring on her own and discovered an abandoned mine tunnel. Inside it she found a full human skeleton lying on its back. Beside it was an area of disturbed ground with an arm bone sticking out of the dirt and the hand bones wrapped around the upper arm bone of the skeleton lying on the surface. Using her hands she dug the buried skeleton which she described as smaller than the other, and "misshapen" out of its shallow grave.
The girl gathered up all of the bones, and hid them nearby with the intention of returning for them later during her vacation. She claimed that at some point soon afterwards there was a flash flood that washed most of the bones away, however the girl found the two skulls, the misshapen one now damaged, lodged in debris along the flood path, and took them home with her back to Texas, USA, where she kept them the rest of her life.
The misshapen skull had been damaged, and now most of the front part of the face was missing, with only a small piece of maxilla, upper jaw bone, remaining, and this was broken free from the rest of the skull. At some point later the girl, probably now a woman, coated the exterior of both skulls in clear shellac, and continued to keep them until the end of her life.
That girl never gave the name or exact location of the village she had been visiting, or any specific detail on the location of the mine tunnel. She passed away in the 1990s, making the story of its discovery hearsay. However, the staining on the skulls matches the story that the normal skull was lying on its back above ground and the misshapen skull was buried, and inorganic chemistry testing on both skulls matches what would be expected in the copper canyon region of Mexico.
Upon her death the skulls were passed to friends, who in turn passed them on to Ray and Melanie Young of El Paso, Texas in 1998. Melanie, a neonatal nurse and clinical massage therapist who was intrigued to learn what deformity or condition would have caused the "misshapen" skull. She approached several of her colleagues at the hospital where she worked, and while all dismissed it as some sort of deformity, none could give her an explanation as to what condition could have caused it. This piqued her curiosity further, and, now suspecting that it might be something completely new to science and medicine, Melanie sought out the open-minded assistance of Lloyd Pye, an author and researcher in the field of alternative knowledge with contacts among the medical profession.
Lloyd Pye became Director of the Starchild Project in February of 1999, and after rapidly encountering the same inability among experts to identify the deformity, began to suspect the Skull had other-worldly origins, a theme he explored in him books and lectures. Pye, with the assistance of both major and minor contributors, organized independent scientific testing of the skull in three countries (the US, Canada, and England).
Those tests concluded that both skulls were 900 years old, that the Starchild's bone is much thinner, lighter, and stronger than human bone, that the bone contains unusual reinforcing fibers, the brain was 30% larger than a normal human of its size, and the entire Skull is over 10 standard deviations from the human norm, a highly unusual statistic.
"One can only reasonably conclude from these statistical studies that
the Starchild skull is distinctly different from human."
- Dr. Ted Robinson, M.D., L.M.C.C., F.R.C.S.(C)
Many theories were proposed over the years, yet still no known human deformity, illness, or cultural practice has been identified that explains the Skull. In 2003 Trace Genetics were able to recover some human DNA from the Starchild Skull, however, despite DNA clearly being present in the sample, the technology was unable to identify much of the genetic material as human.
In 2010 the Project secured access to a highly sophisticated ancient DNA lab capable of recovering non-human DNA. Preliminary DNA testing has found that a significant percentage of the DNA in the Skull appears to not be human, a finding that, if verified, would indicate the Skull is a new species. 2013 the Starchild Project became a formal company, and now continues its work to complete the DNA testing on the Skull and to determine the truth about this unusual specimen.