STORY: These two tiny mummified bodies - images of which were shared around the world this week - are now the subject of much controversy.
For Jaime Maussan, a Mexican journalist and longtime UFO enthusiast, the alien-looking forms are among the most important discoveries in the history of humankind.
But for many scientists, they are an already-debunked, perhaps even criminal, stunt.
Maussan gained instant international attention when he stood before Mexico's Congress just days ago and presented the two figures.
He shared scientific analysis and study results he argues prove the bodies are about 1,000 years old and not related to any known Earthly species.
Reuters gained exclusive access to his office to see them.
The bodies appear ancient and share characteristics with humans.
Maussan claims they were found around 2017 in Peru.
"It's the most important thing that has happened to humanity, because it's the opportunity for us to evolve, for us to grow, for us to maybe initiate communication with other intelligences. I think this phenomenon is the only one that gives us the opportunity to come together."
But the backlash from the scientific community came just as swiftly as Maussan's new-found fame… with scientists and archaeologists in Peru calling the bodies a farce.
Reuters correspondent Cassandra Garrison spoke to Maussan about his research:
"He told me about the scientific analysis and data studies that he's been presenting this entire week actually were done on a different body that remains in Peru and the two bodies that he presented here in Mexico, he's not done scientific analysis on, saying that he didn't want to damage the specimens. And I think that could potentially change the conversation. But we had scientists independently review the results who told us that they do not represent anything out of the ordinary and certainly indicate normal life on earth."
Maussan is no stranger to controversy, having participated in a 2017 documentary that appeared to feature doctored mummies.
As to how these two bodies arrived in Mexico from Peru… that’s a question Maussan says he can't answer.
According to him, a man brought the remains to the country and Maussan asked permission to present them to Mexico’s Congress.
But the move has angered Peruvian officials, who have filed a criminal complaint against him.
Maussan says he has done nothing illegal and welcomes the Peruvian government to investigate the figures.
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