How often does one get to write about a possibly extraterrestrial skull in one’s job? I will tell you: not that often. So here we go…

At this year’s 18th Annual McMenamins UFO Festival (May 18-21, 2017) at Hotel Oregon, we are pleased to host guest speaker Melanie Young, a former neonatal nurse and co-founder of the volunteer organization called the Starchild Project.

In 1998, having worked as a registered nurse (RN) in the neonatal unit of a busy hospital for more than a decade, Young was given a very strange gift.

“I opened the box and there were two skulls inside. One was a normal human, but the other was so strange, I just took one look at it and thought, how did you survive?” The thin and light bone of the skull and its strange shape were different from any deformity she had ever seen in practice or in text books. She suspected that, if it was a human, it had survived a level of deformity that had never been seen before.

What has since become known as the Starchild Skull is a 900-year-old bone that was found in a cave in Mexico in the 1930s. It was kept in private collections ‘til 1998, when it came into Young’s possession.

The skull quickly gained new-found attention in 1999 when UFO enthusiasts noticed that it looked like a skull of the so-called “grey alien,” and it became known as the “Starchild Skull.” That same year, Young co-founded a volunteer organization known as the Starchild Project, which began seeking experts to examine the skull, and contracting independent labs to conduct donation-funded testing ranging from X-rays to scanning electron microscopy and DNA testing. The organization has published all of the results and reports directly on Although some experts remain skeptical, many have gone on record with their conclusions that the relic is not human. Still, there are numerous reports, articles and websites debunking the myth of the skull – and just as many sources that strive to debunk the debunkers.

Young is open to the possibility that it is from an alien lifesource, but reiterates that her goal is to explore any medial or scientific benefits of the skull first and only then to worry about where it fits — if at all — on the human family tree. She hopes that this strange relic holds the secret to treating some of the conditions that keep many babies from surviving and thriving.

“It has never been about proving aliens exist or finding a new species. That would be cool, but it’s not why I started this,” Young says. “The thing that has driven me to keep working on this is knowing that, if we could find out what made this a viable birth, then we could develop ways to help other babies with birth defects survive and live a productive life.”

The skull was most recently in the possession of paranormal researcher Lloyd Pye, who passed away in 2013. A quick online search produced inconclusive information as to where the relic is currently. (Melanie Young will not in fact have it with her in McMinnville, in case you were wondering.)

Tickets for Young’s program on Friday, May 19, as well as several other of our 18th Annual UFO Fest events, are now on sale at


  1. NKent805 on April 1, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Keep your filthy hands off these ancient Native American skulls. These are not Aliens! They belonged to a poor child who had hydrocephaly and died from pressure and swelling of the brain. Anything that is found in the grown in Native burials, do not belong to non-native invaders! You have no real history or ties to American soil in the past and present. Just because hordes of illegal European invaders live here now, doesn’t mean that the history of the past belongs to you. Only a barbarous and savage person would talk a professional picture posing with the skull of a Native American child. Americas past and the remains of ancient Native Americans are not your cultural heritage or possessions to dig up and display in you cheap ass museum!! Stop trying you rewrite history and insert Aliens in it!!

  2. Lora on June 17, 2020 at 1:30 am

    Great Comment NKent805! WELL SAID. I agree with you it’s feeling so disrespectful to manipulate the scientific narrative and sensationalize it for lowest common denominator for money & “fame”. Hardly fame. Should be embarrassed putting that nonsense out there 🙄

    • Nick on September 21, 2020 at 2:59 am

      Keep calm and trust science. It is a fascinating story. People want to know more. Where is the skull now?

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