The IIG was contacted on December 15, 2003, by a gentleman claiming that he believed that he was in possession of an “alien skull.”
He subsequently submitted numerous photographs of the object, which on first glance looked like a rock that resembled a face, the “features” of which were comprised of a “mouth” and two “eyes.” These appeared to be holes that were drilled into the rock. One IIG member, Sherri Andrews , recognized that the holes were reminiscent of those made by rock-boring clams.
While it would have been easy enough to dismiss the “skull” as the rock that it obviously was, the IIG decided to pursue the investigation further in order to be able to provide the claimant with as much evidence as possible to convince him as well. Sherri was made lead investigator, since she was familiar with the likely cause of the phenomenon and had some scientific contacts that could be asked for assistance.
Sherri made contact with Dr. Lindsey Groves, Collection Manager of Malacology at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. Dr. Groves examined the photos and concurred that the phenomenon was likely caused by the action of rock-boring clams. Sherri subsequently visited the museum and examined many examples of such rock with the clams still in situ. Dr. Groves also provided basic information on the two types of rock-boring clams and how they live.
In addition, Sherri made contact with Dr. Kevin Pope, a geomorphologist who runs Geo Eco Arc Research and has been involved in research that has led to significant conclusions about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Dr. Pope also immediately agreed that the photos appeared to depict a rock with holes made by rock-boring clams.
On February 21, 2004, an investigative team (Jim Underdown, Sherri Andrews, Brian Hart, and Trey Stokes) traveled to the home of the gentleman in possession of the rock in Lake Elsinore, California, in order to confirm our suspicions in person. Our initial interview with the gentleman in his home was taped and examination of the artifact took place. Among other pieces of information that were gleaned from our time spent there was the fact that after the artifact had been originally found on the beach, the grandson of the original finder was busily digging seashell fragments out of the holes. Upon examination, it was very clear that the artifact was in fact a rock.
The claimant was informed of our final conclusion in March 2004, after which we received no further communication from him.