THE ALIEN AUTOPSY FILM
- Facts vs Armchair Research -
Some international researchers conclude that the Santilli 'Roswell' footage is not a hoax. They claim that the alien in the autopsy room was retrieved not from the Roswell UFO crash site but from another, earlier crash near Socorro.....
THE 'ROSWELL FOOTAGE' RELEASE
About a year and a half ago, on 5th May 1995, the London-based film producer Ray Santilli for the first time presented his alleged alien autopsy footage to an audience of invited media representatives and UFO researchers at the London Museum. Even before that date, a very emotional debate had already started. Angry ufologists had challenged Santilli to shut up or work together with them, while others had claimed from the very beginning that the film is a hoax just because it doesn't fit into their concept of what happened in New Mexico in the summer of 1947.
Santilli's marketing policy, his commercial exploitation of the film, his ignorance in the UFO field and his violation of all the unwritten protocols of the UFO community didn't find many friends among ufologists, and quite soon many screamed "Hoax!" without being able to prove anything. One researcher even concluded, "There is no [16 mm] film and no cameraman", after quoting page after page of all the rumours, second- and third-hand information and inconsistencies among Santilli's claims (or alleged claims), to prove that he was right from the very beginning when he suspected a scam, because the being on the autopsy table looked "too humanoid to be an extraterrestrial", yet ignoring that this is exactly how most eyewitnesses describe crashed Ufonauts.1
Unfortunately, those who searched for the truth, wherever it might be, were few in number. Willing to listen to Santilli first, before they judged and checked out the information they could get before asking for more, were mainly Philip Mantle (UK), Bob Shell (USA) and Michael Hesemann (Germany)-the International Research Team (IRT)-joined by Maurizio Baiata and Roberto Pinotti (Italy), Johannes Baron of Buttlar (Germany), Odd-Gunnar Roed (Norway), Hanspeter Wachter (Switzerland), Col. Colman VonKeviczky, Dr Bruce Maccabee, Joe Stefula, Lt. Col. W. C. Stevens, Ted Loman, Robert Morning Sky, Llewellyan Wykel and Dennis Murphy (USA), and others.
Let me point out that we found Ray Santilli always very friendly, helpful and cooperative although sometimes limited in his actions by agreements with his business partners and the cameraman. I wonder if any 'major international media corporation' would ever have been even nearly as open to any reasonable research approach as Mr Santilli indeed was. The following is a summary of results from the IRT's first year of investigation.
Yes, there is a cameraman. We located people, besides Santilli, who had spoken to him over the phone: Gary Shoefield of Polygram, Philip Mantle, John Purdie of Channel Four (UK) and the secretary of David Roehring of Fox Network, USA. He is American, an old man, and lives in Florida. He was in hospital when Gary Shoefield wanted to meet him, and was coughing when Philip Mantle had him on the phone. According to his story he had polio as a child.2 Polio victims at that time mostly walked with a limp. He could not have had a bad hand, otherwise he could not have worked as a cameraman, but maybe he had a bad leg. The movement of the cameraman in the film indicates this, since he doesn't move smoothly. Bob Shell enquired among senior US military cameramen if they could remember a colleague from the 1940s with a bad leg. They knew one. His name is Jack "X", and he is exactly the age claimed for the Santilli cameraman: eighty-six.3
The cameraman is not Jack Barnett-a name used originally by Santilli to protect the identity of the true cameraman. Jack Barnett worked for Universal News, filmed Elvis Presley at a high-school concert in 1955 and died in 1969. Jack X did not work for Universal, but filmed Elvis at another concert, an open-air one, when the Universal cameramen were on strike.4 The cameraman agreed to be interviewed by a major US TV network.5
In April 1996 Bob Shell was contacted by the US Air Force following an enquiry from President Clinton's scientific adviser, Dr John Gibbons. The USAF Captain told Shell that they had located footage from the same stock in their archives and verified that at least part of the Santilli material is genuine, and shows no dummy and no human. They knew the cameraman's name-Jack X-but asked Shell to forward an address, since the military records building in St Louis had had a fire and many records had been lost. A search would be time-consuming and expensive.6
When we asked for details about the crash site, we became convinced that the cameraman indeed has an excellent knowledge of the area in question. With Ray Santilli as the intermediary-and Santilli did not know anything about the area in question and insisted on calling Socorro "Sorocco"-he even described a ruined bridge that we could locate only on our third visit to the area. He knew exactly what he was talking about.
Although some have criticized the cameraman's technique in the autopsy film, other military cameraman think this is exactly the way they, too, would have filmed it.
"The cameraman keeps moving to get out of the way of the surgeon and keeps trying to get the best perspective. The job of an army cameraman is to record a procedure on film, not to deliver beautiful pictures. And that, here, is an adequate filmic protocol," said Dr Roderick Ryan, US Navy cameraman during the '40s and '50s who filmed many secret government projects including the atomic tests on Bikini Atoll.7
"Among these circumstances, no one could have made a better job...he was not only a well-educated and experienced movie man, but, additionally, in full knowledge of editing and production of documentaries. Evidence: filming the autopsy activities from various view angles," said Col. Colman VonKeviczky, who studied at the UFA Film Academy in Berlin Babelsberg, was head of the audiovisual division of the Royal Hungarian General Staff, cameraman and director of the 3rd US Army at Heidelberg and member of the audiovisual department of the United Nations in New York.8
THE FILM STOCK
Careful study of stills made from the original film and high-quality Betacam copies confirmed that the film was indeed shot on 16-mm material. The camera handling seen on the autopsy film indicates the use of a small, lightweight camera with fixed lenses (therefore, the out-of-focus close-ups), like the 16-mm Bell & Howell Filmo Camera used by US military cameramen in the '40s-the camera the cameraman claims he used.9
Leaders of 16 mm film were sent to Kodak Hollywood, London and Copenhagen and turned out to bear the symbols (a square and a triangle) used by Kodak either in 1947 or in 1967.10
Two segments with three frames each, one clearly showing the autopsy room, were given to Bob Shell, editor of Shutterbug magazine and also a phototechnical consultant for the FBI and the US courts. After a careful physical analysis, Shell confirmed the segments to be pre-1956 16-mm film. In 1956 Kodak changed its film-base from acetate-propionate to triacetate, and the samples were clearly on acetate-propionate film. The film type was Super XX-Panchromatic Safety Film, a high-speed film used for indoor filming but which had a life-span of no more than two years, when cosmic radiation would cause a 'fogging' of the material. Shell is sure the film was exposed and developed within two years. This, at least, dates the film as pre-1958.11
THE EQUIPMENT & OBJECTS IN THE AUTOPSY ROOM
Everything in the film dates to the time in question. The telephone is an AT& model from 1946,12 and spiral cables had been optional since 1938 and standard for US Army telephones.13 The wall clock is a model on the market since 1938,14 and the microphone is a 1946 Sheer Bros mike.15 The table with the instruments was standard equipment for a pathologist, as confirmed by Prof. Cyril Wecht, ex-President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.16 The bone hammer was not unusual; nor was the Bunsen burner which, in autopsies, served the purpose of burning away body fat.
The corpse on the autopsy table has been the subject of many disputes as to whether it is a dummy, a girl with a genetic disorder or, indeed, an alien. Nearly all special effects (FX) experts concluded that it is certainly possible to fake footage of a realistic-looking autopsy. There have been many concerns about 'snuff' movies and the origin of the corpses used in them. South America had been named as a possible origin, but reports from there have indicated the use of very realistic dummies. However, no one has found any evidence of special effects being used in this autopsy film-although today, unquestionably, nearly everything can be faked with the latest state-of-the-art FX techniques.17 On the other hand, pathologists and physicians from all over the world who saw the film were pretty sure the body was not a dummy, but actually a corpse-human or humanoid.
It is indisputable that some of the characteristics of different genetic disorders can be found in the being on the autopsy table-mostly disorders such as Turner's syndrome or progeria, combined with polydactylism (which is not a typical element of Turner's syndrome, although possible in combination with it) and other anomalies. This prompted a German dermatologist, Dr T. Jansen of the Policlinic of the University of Munich, to publish a study in a medical journal, trying to prove that the body is that of a girl who died from a rare form of progeria.18 On the other hand, he forgot to explain why there could be two girls with identical symptoms including polydactylism, when progeria is so rare that there are only 20 cases worldwide. Unfortunately, the only case of Turner's syndrome twins, although obviously documented on film, was never published in the medical literature.
Indeed, Dr Jansen's 'findings' do not explain the extreme precautions taken when the autopsy was performed, i.e., why would the team have worn bio-hazard protection suits if the body had a genetic disorder, and why would the being have been fitted with black eye-lenses? Although Dr Jansen diagnosed a stroke (common for progeria patients) as the cause of death, this does not explain the damaged right leg, the broken and swollen left leg, the cut-off right hand and a bruise at the left temple with a possible bullet wound. Should we assume that our creature broke its legs, cut its right hand and shot a bullet in its head before it died from a stroke?
More than that, Jansen's explanation for the missing navel couldn't convince us, either. To quote Dr Jansen, "It's like if you put up an umbrella: the unevenness disappears."19
On the other hand, quite a number of pathologists concluded that the being was not human at all, since its inner organs were like nothing they had ever seen:
Although a close-up of the brain was shown, it was again out of focus. However, the appearance was not that of a human brain. 20
~Prof. Christopher Milroy, Home Office Pathologist, University of Sheffield, UK
As for the organs removed, they could not be tallied with any human organs. 21
~Prof. Mihatsch, University of Basle, Switzerland
I can't place these structures in an abdominal context... I find it difficult to bring in any connection with the human body as I know it. The structure that must be the brain, if it were a human being, does not look like a brain...it does not seem to be a human being. 22
~Prof. Cyril Wecht, Ex-President, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, USA
This is not a human brain. It is...much too dark. 23
~Dr Carsten Nygren, Oslo, Norway
When we look at the inner organs of the body we find no single organ that in any way resembles any human organ. The main organ, which could be the liver, has neither the shape nor the location of a human liver. The face of the alleged extraterrestrial shows surprising anatomical features: very big ocular orbits, a very flat nasal pyramid, a mouth somehow wide open...nevertheless, the face is flat, there is no evidence of facial musculature which is present in human beings and is responsible for the large variety of facial expressions of the human species... My overall impression is that we are dealing with a creature that seems to belong to our species but is so clearly different from us that it seems absurd to speculate about the similarity. 24
~Prof. Pierluigi Baima Bollone, University of Turin, Italy
There was not a single physician or pathologist who, after watching the full film, concluded it was a hoax or that the being on the table was a dummy. They all agreed the corpse was of a living, biological entity-human or not.
According to the cameraman the autopsy was performed by "Dr Bronk" and "Dr Williams".
Prof. Dr Detlev Bronk (1897-1975) was no surprise, since his name already appeared in the controversial "Majestic 12" documents. He was Chairman of the National Research Council, America's leading biophysicist and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Army, Air Force and of the Atomic Energy Commission-certainly a person to whom the supervision of an autopsy of this relevance could have been entrusted. After his death, all his papers and documents were preserved at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, of which he was President from 1953.25
Dr Bronk was a very methodical person, kept detailed diaries and all his correspondence, notes and dates. But when Bob Shell wanted to look through his papers and diaries for 1947, he learnt that, mysteriously enough, this is the only year for which all the records are missing. None of the friendly librarians could tell him what had happened to them or why they are still missing.26
Dr Williams might have been Dr Robert Parvin Williams (1891-1967), who was Special Assistant to the Surgeon General of the Army at Fort Monroe, Virginia. He was a Lt. Col. in 1947 and was promoted to Brig. General in 1949.27 Alone, the naming of Dr Williams-who was the right man in the right place for the task-indicates the cameraman had some inside knowledge.
Were the protagonists of the alien autopsy footage indeed pathologists or surgeons-or just actors? We asked the physicians who viewed the footage:
Whilst the examination had features of a medically conducted examination, aspects suggest it was not conducted by an experienced pathologist, but rather by a surgeon. 28
~Prof. Dr Ch. Milroy, University of Sheffield, UK
I do not question the capability of the pathologist or surgeon who is working on the corpse. 29
~Prof. Dr M. J. Mihatsch, University of Basle, Switzerland
(They) are either pathologists or surgeons who have performed a number of autopsies before. 30
~Prof. Cyril Wecht, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, USA
Definitely surgeons, not pathologists...well-experienced. 31
~Prof. Pierluigi Baima Bollone, University of Turin, Italy
The persons who performed the autopsy were certainly of the medical profession, if not experienced pathologists. 32
~Prof. Jean Pierre, University of Paris, France
These were surgeons doing the work, not pathologists. 33
~Dr Carsten Nygren, Oslo, Norway
In fact, neither Prof. Bronk nor Dr Williams were pathologists: Bronk was a biophysicist and Williams a surgeon. Indeed, not one physician concluded they were actors or made any mistakes.
One point of criticism was the type of autopsy performed. Obviously it served the purpose of determining the cause of death rather than of learning more about an alien life-form. On the other hand, this is explainable by the circumstances under which the autopsy was performed.
According to the cameraman, four living aliens were found at the crash site. One did not survive the recovery operation, the second and third died about four weeks later, and the fourth survived until May 1949.
We do not know anything about the autopsy of the first creature, and it might very well have been that it was subjected to a 'big' scientific autopsy.
The cameraman filmed the second and third autopsies on 1st and 3rd July 1947, when the main concern might have been to find out the cause of their sudden deaths in order to find a way to keep alien no. 4 alive-unless they could establish communication and find out why these visitors had come to Earth. This was surely of a higher interest for the national defence forces than a scientific study of an alien life-form. Nevertheless, we assume that organs were taken for further study during the dissection.
Furthermore, according to the cameraman, the fourth alien was autopsied scientifically in a medical theatre in Washington, DC, in the presence of leading scientists from the US, England and France.34
THE DEBRIS FOOTAGE
The Santilli footage showing metal samples was analysed by Dennis W. Murphy, who has an Academy of Science degree in marine diving technology and welding and has studied all types of metalwork.
He concluded: "I have never seen anything that resembles the manufacturing techniques used in the construction of the I-beams in the Santilli debris footage. I know of no manufacturing process that could produce the multitude of details found on the I-beams."
Murphy refused possibilities like milling ("When I look at the lettering I see precise rounds as part of the symbols. I do not think that you can do this with current milling machines..."), extrusion, rolling, casting, moulding ("against moulding...the apparent lack of weight for all the pieces..., the acute right-angles at the roots, the thinness of the flanges of the I-beam and the finely detailed definition of the raised symbols...", which could only be produced with metal of a high density which is much heavier than the indicated weight), and the use of foam-core paperboard ("the crystalline nature of the break in the broken beams, the reflectivity of the material in the break, the rigidity of the I-beams..." argue against this possibility, according to Murphy).
The nature of fractures, the flexible, light and highly reflective appearance of the I-beams baffled Murphy and brought him to the conclusion that, indeed, metal with an extremely fine, crystalline structure had been used, manufactured with an unknown technique.35 The same conclusion was drawn by Prof. Dr Malanga of the University of Pisa, Italy.36
Master Sergeant Bob Allen, USAF security coordinator at a top-secret research facility near Tonapah, Nevada, recognized the panels on the film: "The army came, after many years, to the conclusion that the beings had taken the boxes out with them because they were waiting to be picked up. Each panel was constructed for each of the ETs individually. They could be fitted into slots in various apparatus. The entire system-propulsion, navigation, everything-could be started and controlled by these panels. We tried it too, but our brain frequency was not fast enough to operate them." According to Allen, they were presented, together with other "alien hardware", every 10 years to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories for examination as the basis of latest state-of-the-art science.37
This was confirmed by a USAF engineer, working for Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque, who identified them as some kind of "biofeedback computers responding to neural impulses".38 "We learned how to feed information into them, but we were not able to get information out of them," he added.
Bill Uhouse, a mechanical design engineer who worked at the top-secret facility at Area 51 on the Nevada test site-where he allegedly worked with alien technology-identified them as "personal control panels. They served to communicate with the individual member of the crew and possibly to interact with a computer on board or, better, the steering unit. When the craft crashed, each crew member took his panel with him. Possibly they served as communication with a mother ship, which could locate and rescue them."39
When I first saw the hieroglyphs on the I-beams, I immediately recognised a similarity with the Greek and Phoenician alphabets. Indeed, both of them have a common origin and belong to the same 'family' as the many different Semitic alphabets-Aramaic, Sabaeic, Samaritan, Hebrew, Protocanaanitic, Nabataeic and Arabic-which all originate from the hieroglyphic alphabet, one of the four main groups of Egyptian hieroglyphs (the others being two- and three-syllable signs and ideograms).40
Interestingly enough, inscriptions which clearly belong to the same family of alphabets, but pre-date the Phoenician or even the Egyptian culture, have been found all over the world-in Peru (Ylo),41 Ecuador (Cuenca),42 Brazil (Piedra Pintada),43 France (Glozel, Maz d'Azil),44 on the Canary Islands,45 and elsewhere. Because of their similarity with the Phoenician alphabet, I call them "Proto-Phoenician".
In this context I was able to decipher both I-beams and translate their inscriptions using languages from the same context and language families as the alphabets. They say: "DIREQH ELE/ECE" and "OSNI". "DIREQH" is related to the Hebrew "Derekh", meaning "way, path, journey". "ELE" could be a plural of "El", meaning "God", like the Hebrew "Elohim", and "ECE" is related to the Egyptian "ase", meaning "to introduce" or "to approach". So, depending on whether we read the second sign as a "lambda/lamed" or a "gamma/gimel", we can translate it alternatively (since we don't know the grammar) as "the journey of the gods", a prayer, like "Go with God", or "a journey to approach/ introduce". I translate "OSNI" as the Egyptian "asni", meaning "to make to open",46 either philosophically, as in "to open for a contact" or "to open the consciousness", or, in a practical sense, as in "Open here".
But why would extraterrestrials speak and write like Phoenician, Hebrew or Egyptian? Maybe because it's the language of the gods, who introduced it on Earth. In fact, the ancient Egyptians believed their hieroglyphic system had been brought to them by Thoth or Tehuti, the God of Wisdom, one of the Neteru ("Watchers") who travelled in the celestial barks on the celestial Nile-the Milky Way.47
Is it a coincidence that the mathematical system of both ancient Sumer and Egypt was based on 12, when here we meet beings with 12 fingers? We find twelve-toed footprints on Anasazi petroglyphs in the Canyonlands of Utah, USA,48 and a twelve-fingered Sky Kachina in the tradition of the Laguna, Hopi and other Pueblo Indians.49 The Brazilian Ugha Mongulala believe their "Ancient Fathers", who came from the stars, had "six fingers and six toes as signs of their divine origin".50
ROSWELL OR SOCORRO?
Ray Santilli's claim that the film was "the Roswell footage" caused a lot of controversy, since none of the witnesses to the July 1947 UFO crash/retrieval event had confirmed either the bodies or the debris. Indeed, the corpses found in Roswell were smaller, more slender, and had four or five fingers, according to eyewitnesses.51 None ever mentioned six fingers. In any case, if the film were a fake, why did those responsible for it not care to read at least one of the many books on this subject or see the excellent TV mini-series, Roswell, by Paul Davies, as shown on Showtime?
The very first information I got from Santilli about the source of the film made me wonder if it actually had anything to do with Roswell at all. Ray already insisted on 5 May 1995 that the autopsies had been filmed on 1st and 2nd July 1947, and that the recovery had taken place "in the beginning of June"-one month too early for Roswell.
When I went to Roswell on 30th June 1995 to confront the eyewitnesses (including Robert Shirkey, Glenn Dennis and Frank Kaufmann) with the just-released stills from the film, I asked Santilli for details about the crash site. He could only tell me it was "about four-and-a-half hours away", "close to White Sands test site" and "an Apache reservation", and "at the northern shore of a small dry lake at the end of a small canyon". I asked him to call the cameraman to obtain more detailed instructions, which, indeed, he did. He said the crash site was "between Socorro" (Ray said "Sorocco") "and Magdalena".
By the end of July 1995, Santilli released the full story of the cameraman who confirmed he had learnt of the crash on 1 June 1947 - which dates the event back to the late hours of 31 May 1947. Date, location and everything we see on the film didn't fit with Roswell. Conclusion: it was a different event.
The fact that the cameraman had been flown into Roswell and brought to the crash site by car, caused him to believe he'd been involved in "the Roswell incident" that he'd heard about-and Santilli believed him.
THE CRASH/RETRIEVAL SITE
Following the instructions given by the cameraman, I was able to find the small dry lake at the end of a canyon by following "the last dirt road before the (Magdalena) mountains". It was about 15 miles away from the White Sands Proving Grounds and the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Resort, a former reservation.
On the third visit to the site, Ted Loman was even able to find the ruins of a (railway) bridge mentioned by the cameraman. After we sent photographs to the cameraman, he was able to confirm the site.
In September 1995 Santilli released the cameraman's drawings, enhanced by a graphic artist, showing the crash scene. Although the scenery in our photographs looked different, we found that, coming from the canyon, it looked exactly like it was in his drawings. Right where he drew the craft crashed into a cliff, we found an area, 20 meters in diameter, where someone had deliberately sizzled off the rock as if trying to remove traces.
Above the dry lake bed we located an old mine. According to the New Mexico Office of Mining & Technology in Socorro it was a manganese mine, called "Niggerhead Mine", which was closed in 1938, reopened during the war when manganese was precious and needed, and closed down again in 1945. According to the cameraman, it was again reopened by the US Government (Department of the Interior), but with no further mining, on the very day the retrieval began: 1st June 1947.52 Mining operations were used as cover events for the Manhattan Project and maybe also here. Isn't the reopening of a mine a perfect excuse for moving in heavy equipment-cranes, flatbed trucks-and personnel, and cordoning off of an area?
An Air Accident Report, allegedly written by General Nathan Twining of the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field and published by the late Len Stringfield, mentions a "Flying Disc Aircraft found near White Sands Proving Grounds" at some time before 16 July 1947, the date of the report. Since the report covers the full technical evaluation of the craft, we can assume the crash happened at least one month beforehand, if not more.53
Stringfield quoted another witness, Major V. A. Postleweith of US Army Intelligence, who had seen a classified telex mentioning a disc crash "in the vicinity of the White Sands Proving Grounds".54
CRASH AND RETRIEVAL WITNESSES
We located several witnesses to a 'crash' that very day in question: 31 May 1947, in the evening hours. Fred Strozzi, a local rancher who lived just a few miles away from the crash site, claimed to have seen a meteorite "bigger than a basketball" falling during that time and in the area in question, according to Betty and Smoky Pound, another local rancher couple.55 Unfortunately, Strozzi passed away years ago, so we couldn't ask him for details.
But the same 'meteorite' had also been seen by a group of Native American children of the Acoma tribe who went to school in Gallup, New Mexico. That day, 31st May-which one of them remembered quite clearly because it was just before her birthday-was a very hot day, so they played in the evening when it had cooled down. "Suddenly the whole sky was lit up as if it was daytime," one of them recalled. "In less than four seconds, a big ball of fire glided silently over our heads from left to right, i.e., northwest to southeast"-which is the direction of Socorro. "The light was so bright that we kids held our hands before our faces to protect our eyes."56
Two days later, most of the children had blisters on their hands and arms-"itchies" as they called them. We received a letter from the daughter of one of the witnesses and interviewed two others, one on the phone, the other on camera.57 A meteorite wouldn't cause blistering like this. According to the cameraman, when he moved in about 24 hours later, the crashed disc was still hot and there was the danger of a fire, so we can indeed assume that the craft was a 'fireball' when it crashed in the late hours of 31 May 1947.
Did the local newspapers cover the 'meteorite' sighting? Ted Loman tried to find out, and visited the office of the Socorro Chieftain. He was told that in the late 1960s a fire destroyed some of the papers and that, in fact, some were missing-those between 10th May and 15th June 1947. At the suggestion of the editorial assistant he spoke to, Ted tried at the library of the local mining university, where he found microfilms of all the issues of the paper-with the exception of those between 10th May and 15th June 1947. His attempt to find them in the Rio Grande Collection of the New Mexico State University at Las Cruces, New Mexico, was also unsuccessful.
Bob Shell tried at the neighbouring town of Magdalena. Again, all papers from that period were missing. He was told, "You won't find them. I have been looking for them for years and nobody has them." He also tried at the Zimmerman Library of New Mexico, without success.
According to the cameraman, the craft was delivered on the back of a flatbed truck to Wright Field, Ohio, by the middle of June 1947. A witness, Howard Marston, a civilian engineer who worked at a testing laboratory at Wright Field in the summer of 1947, claims he was present "when they brought in a disc... It was on the trailer of a truck, covered with tarpaulins. They unloaded it in a hangar. I saw it from a distance when they uncovered it. It was a metallic disc, about 30 to 40 feet in diameter," Marston told me when I interviewed him.58
WITNESSES TO THE FILM'S ORIGIN
We located four eyewitnesses who had seen footage from the same stock as the Santilli film in the possession of the US military and intelligence-a fact recently confirmed by USAF Capt. John McAndrews.59
Master Sgt Bob Allen was security coordinator at a top-secret test site near Tonapah, Nevada. When he was briefed for his work, he was shown films for about two-and-a-half hours. When he saw the Santilli film on TV he immediately recognized them as part of the same stock. "I saw three autopsies," he told me. "During one, Truman stood behind the glass screen in the autopsy room. He wore a surgeon's face-mask, but one could see it was Truman. After a few days the first one died, then the second. They said, 'Damn, they are dying like flies and we have to find out if they have any hostile intentions and what they are doing here. We must find a way to keep the fourth alive.' That's why the autopsies were done. The fourth extraterrestrial lived for another two years..." 60
Sgt Clifford Stone, US Army, was stationed at Fort Ley, Virginia, in 1969. He was part of a Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Accident (NBC) Quick Reaction Team. He said:
My mission on that was to be the NBC NCO, the communications NCO. I had the opportunity to take our Lieutenant to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. At Fort Belvoir, myself and another person, a person from the Air Force, an airman, went to gallivant around and went up the stairs in an auditorium there, and we went into one room and sat down, and there was this Plexiglas window down into the theatre...and they were watching down there what we believed to be trailers of science-fiction movies.
There were these common saucer-shaped UFOs, cigar-shaped UFOs...and you also had bodies. The airman and I went ahead and tried to figure out what movies these came from because we had an interest in SF... There were several types of bodies... When we did this, some people came in and told us to follow, in no uncertain terms." Both were arrested and underwent an "intensified debriefing" which took four nights and five days. "When I saw the Santilli tape, I saw the pictures first: they were haunting, because they took me back to this day in 1969, to these movies that they were watching. There were bodies that looked very, very, very close to that one. And there were alive ones, also. I have knowledge that there is footage within a tent. I have knowledge of a film with-if that is not Truman in the film, it is a very convincing double. 61
On 26th June, 1995, the British researcher Colin Andrews visited Ray Santilli in the presence of the Japanese researcher Johsen Takano, who advises the Japanese Government in UFO matters, and Dr Hoang-Yung Chiang of the National Research Centre for Biotechnology in Taipeh, Taiwan. Dr Hoang-Yung teaches at the Cultural University and the Medical University of Taipeh and, through his initiative, ufology is now officially recognised by the Taiwanese Government as a scientific discipline.
After a private viewing, both Takano and Hoang-Yung told Andrews they had seen the film before: Johsen, when his government had requested UFO information from the US Government, which was then brought to Tokyo by a CIA courier; Hoang-Yung, when he had visited the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.62
While nobody has been able to present any proof that the Santilli autopsy footage was faked, we have some convincing indications that the film might very well be genuine. If it is a hoax, it is definitely the most ingenious fake of the century.
Instead of continuing the polemic of the last year or so, serious UFO researchers should continue to evaluate the evidence and search for the truth, in what might turn out to be the most provocative proof yet that we are not alone in the Universe.
1. Jeffrey, Kent, "Santilli's Controversial Autopsy Movie", MUFON UFO Journal, Seguin, Texas, USA, no. 335, March 1996.
2. (a) Mantle, Philip (ed.), "The Roswell Film Footage", UFO Times, BUFORA, Batley, England, no. 36, Jul/Aug 1995; (b) Santilli, Ray (ed.), "Operation Anvil" (press release), London, England, 1995.
3. Shell, Bob, personal communication, December 1995.
4. Santilli, Ray, "My Story" (press release), London, 1995.
5. Santilli, Ray, Conference on the CompuServe Encounters Forum, 25 March 1996.
6. Shell, Bob, personal communication, 18 April 1996.
7. Kiviat, B. and D. Roehring, Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?, TV broadcast, Fox Network, USA, 29 August 1995.
8. VonKeviczky, Colman, "Autopsy of a Human-like 'Freak' Body" (report), New York, USA, 23 October 1995.
10. (a) Letter from Eastman Kodak Co., Hollywood, USA, June 1995 (without date);
(b) Letter from Kodak Ltd., London, UK, 14 June 1995.
11. Shell, Bob, "Summary of Points in Physical Research on Film Dating" (report), Radford, Virginia, USA, 6 September 1995.
12. (a) Personal information from Terry Blanton, 31 October 1995; (b) Time Magazine, New York, 18 DEcember 1995.
14. Santilli, Ray, statement published on the Internet, June 1995.
15. MUFON Section, CompuServe Encounters Forum, Library, September 1995.
16. Kiviat and Roehring, ibid.
17. Stokes, Trey, "Special Effects: The Fine Art of Fooling People", UFO Times, BUFORA, Batley, England, January 1996.
18. Jansen, T., "Der 'Roswell-Alien': Progerie", Münch. Med. Wschr., no. 9, Munich, Germany, 1996.
19. "Wie im Lehrbuch", in Der Spiegel, Hamburg, Germany, 23 April 1996.
20. Milroy, Christopher (Dr), statement, 2 June 1995.
21. Wachter, Hanspeter, "Der Roswell-Film", Magazin 2000, Neuss, Germany, no. 110, May 1996.
22. Kiviat and Roehring, ibid.
23. Roed, Odd-Gunnar, "Norwegian pathologist views the Roswell footage" (report), Oslo, Norway, March 1996.
24. Misterii (TV broadcast), RAI Due, Italy, 17 October 1995.
25. (a) Modern Scientists and Engineers, McGraw-Hill, New York, vol. 1, 1980;
(b) Current Biography, New York, 1949.
26. Shell, Bob, personal communication, 25 January 1996.
27. Who was Who, (copy without year given to Bob Shell).
28. Milroy, ibid.
29. Wachter, ibid.
30. Kiviat and Roehring, ibid.
31. Misterii, ibid.
32. Roswell footage TV broadcast, TF1, France, 23 October 1995.
33. Roed, ibid.
34. Santilli, "Operation Anvil", ibid.; personal communications.
35. Murphy, Dennis, "Discussion of Debris Details: Santilli Alien Dissection Film" (report), published on CompuServe Encounters Forum, 1 March 1996.
36. Malanga, Corrado (Dr), lecture, Roswell Symposium of the Republic of San Marino, 7 September 1995.
37. Allen, Bob (M.Sgt), personal communication, 24 January 1996.
38. Shell, Bob, personal communication, 18 February 1996.
39. Uhouse, Bill, statement on the Roswell footage panel, International UFO Conference, Mesquite, Nevada, USA, 1 December 1995.
40. (a) Zauzich, Karl-Theodor, Hieroglyphs without Mystery, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, USA, 1992.
(b) Wallis Budge, E. A., Egyptian Language, Dover Publications, New York, reprinted 1983.
(c) Wallis Budge, E. A., An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Dover Publications, New York, vols. 1-2, reprinted 1978.
(d) Watterson, Barbara, Introducing Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1993.
(e) Robinson, Andrews, Story of Writing, London, 1960.
(f) Naveh, Joseph, Die Etstehung des Alphabets ("The Origin of the Alphabet"), Palphot, Jerusalem, Israel, 1994.
41. Charroux, Robert, Vergessene Welten, Econ, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1974.
42. von Däniken, Erich, Meine Welt in Bildern, Econ, Düsseldorf, 1973.
43. Homet, Marcel (Dr), Die Soehne der Sonne, Walter, Olten, Switzerland, 1958.
44. Charroux, Robert, Das Raetsel der Anden, Econ, Düsseldorf, 1978.
45. Herrera, Salvador Lopez, The Canary Islands through History, Gráficas Tenerife, Santa Cruz (undated).
46. Wallis Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, vol. 2, ibid.
47. Hesemann, Michael, Cosmic Connections, Gateway Books, Bath, UK, 1995.
48. Morning Sky, Robert, personal communication, December 1995.
49. Shell, Bob, personal communication, February 1996.
50. Brugger, Karl, The Chronicle of Akakor, Delacorte Press, New York, 1977.
51. (a) Friedman, S. and D. Berliner, UFO Crash at Corono, Paragon, New York, 1992.
(b) Randle, K. and D. Schmitt, UFO Crash at Roswell, Avon, New York, 1991.
52. (a) Document in the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, Socorro, New Mexico, USA;
(b) Wykel, L. and K. Kelly, "The Six Mile Canyon Crash Site" (report), Albuquerque, New Mexico, 24 SEptember 1995.
53. Stringfield, Leonard, UFO Crash Retrievals: Search for Proof in a Hall of Mirrors, Cincinatti, Ohio, USA, 1994 (self-published).
54. Stringfield, Leonard, UFO Crash Retrievals: Amassing the Evidence, Cincinatti, Ohio, 1982 (self-published).
55. Wykel and Kelly, ibid.
56. Letter to Art Bell (radio talk-show host), 10 September 1995.
57. Personal interviews, 19 February 1996.
58. Marston, Howard, personal interview, 2 December 1995.
59. Shell, Bob, personal communication, 18 April 1996.
60. Allen, Bob (M.Sgt), personal communication, 24 January 1996.
61. Stone, Clifford (Sgt), as interviewed by Ted Loman, 20 February 1996.
62. Andrews, Colin, personal communication, 28 JUne 1995.
About the Author:
Michael Hesemann is a cultural anthropologist and historian who studied at Göttingen University. He is a best-selling author and award-winning film producer, with expertise in frontier sciences and extraterrestrial phenomena. He lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since 1984, Hesemann has published and edited Magazin 2000, which comes out in German and Czech languages. His international best-sellers, UFOs: The Evidence, A Cosmic Connection and UFOs: A Secret Matter have been published in 14 countries, with a distribution of more than 500,000 copies. His latest book, Beyond Roswell (with Philip Mantle), on his investigation into the controversial alien autopsy footage, will be published towards the end of 1996 by Marlowe, New York. Michael Hesemann has produced several award-winning documentaries, such as UFOs: The Secret Evidence and UFOs: Secrets of the Black World, and has worked for TV programmes in Germany, Japan and the US. He has spoken at international conferences in 22 countries across five continents, at 30 universities, and at the United Nations. He is an associate member of the Society for Scientific Exploration.
A Surgeon's View: Alien Autopsy's Overwhelming Lack of Credibility
The remarkable aspect of the alleged Roswell alien saucer crash is that in nearly 50 years of tenacious efforts to legitimize the event by scores of believers and supposed witnesses and participants, not a single, solitary bit of tangible, credible evidence has been found to support such a fantastic and significant event. Despite the reports of extensive debris found in the field at this alleged crash site; despite the many who allegedly handled material fragments with amazing qualities; despite hearsay that the alien bodies and craft were spirited away with unheard-of government efficiency and conspiratorial secrecy to locations that remain mysterious and unproven; despite all these exceedingly unlikely occurrences, no one has surfaced with a hint of convincing, supportive evidence; not even a tiny piece of that mysterious material scattered so widely and handled by so many has surfaced for examination. Didn't anyone slip a fragment into his or her pocket? And now, perhaps to mark the event's upcoming 50th anniversary, someone is apparently trying again to prove this was really an extraterrestrial event -- this time with an alien autopsy film
I recognize that it is far easier to create a hoax than to unmask one. But the question "Why?" effectively exposes the bizarre scenarios depicted in the autopsy film as blatant fabrications..
Why introduce a film now, when alleged mortal fear of repercussions from the government supposedly silenced all witnesses for decades? If the film is authentic, why didn't someone cash in on it in a big way, decades ago, selling it to the highest bidder in a worldwide auction by an agent assuring anonymity of the source? Other than placing a period clock and telephone in the scene, why didn't the filmmaker use some rudimentary special effects to give the autopsy scenario at least the appearance of being more than the clumsy gropings of veiled, amateur actors impersonating medical investigators?
Considering that an alien autopsy would have been a unique event, the maker of this film should have attempted at least to give the appearance of the event being authentic and credible. Why not use a group of actors trained in instrument handling? Why not progress through a systematic autopsy process, rather than just slash and cut out viscera? And wouldn't it have been better to show the need to take many days or weeks to unravel and comprehend the allegedly unrecognizable, misplaced internal organs? But none of these essential procedures was observed, indicating that the autopsy was not authentic, but was contrived by low budget, poorly advised nonprofessionals.
There was no systematic progression of the autopsy, starting from a careful examination and penetration of organs and orifices, particularly since alien lore predicates extraordinary eyes, lack of ears or hearing, imperforated oral cavities and questionable need for gastrointestinal tracts, and no genital or anal structures. Next, skilled unroofing of the body cavities would have been followed by surgically precise and detailed dissection, delineating interrelationships, continuity, and formations of the various unknown internal organ systems, during which time decomposition of the body would need to be prevented by some preservation or embalming process. Indeed, there might have been a rare -- no, unprecedented and unparalleled -- opportunity to study an alien corpse; but it was not an autopsy that was needed, but rather, a systematic, lengthy, detailed, precise, anatomic dissection and microscopic study of a well-preserved body by a team of specialists of the various, presumably strange, organ systems. No less than that was done in the initial evaluations of the newly discovered Coelocanths. (When a carcass of this primitive fish, thought to be extinct, was first dredged from the depths of the Indian Ocean off Madagascar, ichthyologists worldwide were involved in its dissection, study, and preservation.)
Instead, the dramatic and graphic autopsy -- performed with far less diligence and skill than a routine autopsy -- was staged by the filmmaker in two scenes. First, the anonymous, hooded figures stand around ineptly trying to occupy their hands, clearly devoid of the rudimentary skills of manual examination of a body, generally expected of any physician, clinical pathologist, or other medical professional. This is followed by tentative, insecure incising, with the operator's face peering down close to the body from which he or she wants to be shielded by wearing the protective suit. Scene two shows the body open; the same inexperienced, unskilled hands are groping around randomly and unsystematically, and without efforts to recognize or analyze organ structures, relationships, or continuity. The bizarre body contents are blindly chopped out and tossed into pans. Ironically, since the external body structure appears so humanlike, the real question is, why should these internal organs be so unrecognizable?
An autopsy is done to determine a disease process, a deviation from the norm, or the cause of death. When the norm is unknown, as would be the case with an alien body, then a careful anatomic dissection is needed with frequent samples being taken for microscopic examination. Anatomical dissection consists of precise steps of delineation, tracing the continuity and relationship of each fold, loop, or bulge to adjacent structures, particularly if the anatomy is unknown and unrecognized as claimed here.
This poorly performed autopsy may have botched a golden opportunity to learn much about this corpse. But it is consistent with an ill-designed hoax. Observation of how ineptly the instruments are held and used is also revealing, and distinguishes a skilled medical professional from an actor. Scissors, for example, are not held with the forefinger and thumb awkwardly pointing off sideways, as was done in the film. Instead, the ring finger and thumb are placed in the scissors' holes, the middle finger stabilizes, and the index finger is used to direct the scissor tip precisely. Dissection should be done with judicious irrigation and sponging of obscuring fluids (none was seen in the film); dissection is done with direct vision of the knife or scissor points and not by blindly cutting, as depicted. The chopping out and removal of body contents would have totally distorted the functional and structural relationships of organs and destroyed the functional anatomy.
The peculiar headgear of these hooded operators is also enigmatic. Presumably, the hoods were intended to protect against microbes, vapors, or other alien toxins. But as shown, the hoods would cause rapid asphyxia from anoxia and accumulation of exhaled carbon dioxide. Where are the pumps and hoses necessary to supply fresh air to the operators? Without a circulating air supply, the visors would also have become rapidly fogged by condensation, and vision would be obscured. The lack of a detectable air supply suggests that the hoods used for this film were sufficiently porous for air exchange to occur freely, and thus would provide no protection against toxic gases or microbial contagion. All these observations are also most consistent with an ill-designed theatrical mock-up, rather than an actual autopsy of a potentially contagious, decomposing, alien corpse.
The mode of photographic documentation also raises countless questions: Why did a professional photographer repeatedly, if not intentionally, go out of focus and usually position himself or herself behind the actors to obscure the view at the most crucial moments -- such as when the cranium (head) was opened? Why was the removal of the skullcap not seen, nor the in situ appearance of the brain? Why was a movie camera chosen for documentation (since movie cameras were known to have a focus problem) when efficient 35 mm still cameras with close-up lenses and color film were available at the time and commonly used for medical/surgical/pathological documentation? Furthermore, why was the camera operator allowed to take away and keep a film, when, according to testimony presented, an otherwise high level of secrecy was exercised and enforced with mortal threats? Why did the camera operator not ship this roll back to the military, as he or she did with the other rolls of film, instead of notifying the military to pick it up; and why did the military -- incredibly -- allow the camera operator to keep this top secret film? Of course a movie camera poorly focused and poorly positioned would be the choice of someone intending to tantalize, mislead, and not reveal any information in the course of hoax.
Only two conclusions are possible from this film: Either this is the work of beginners attempting to create a hoax to resuscitate the corpse of Roswell crash lore; or, if the film is intended to portray an actual autopsy of an unusual humanoid body (a proposition untenable and entirely unsubstantiated), then it is a documentation of the crime of the millennium -- the brutal butchery, devastation, and destruction of unique evidence and an unparalleled opportunity to gain some understanding about this deformed creature, regardless of its origin.
I hope that this critique will not guide someone to produce a more believable alien autopsy film.
Joseph A. Bauer is a surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio
By Joe Nickell Britain's Manchester Evening News (April 6, 2006) termed it a hoax that "fooled the world." Well, not exactly: Skeptical Inquirer magazine was on to the 1995 "Alien Autopsy" film from the outset. But now the reputed creator of the fake extraterrestrial corpse used for the "autopsy" has publicly confessed. The film—purporting to depict the post mortem of an extraterrestrial who died in a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947—was part of a "documentary" that aired on the Fox television network. Skeptics and many UFOlogists quickly branded the affair a hoax. Among numerous observations, they noted that the film bore a bogus, non-military codemark, that the injuries sustained by the extraterrestrial were inconsistent with an air crash, and that the person performing the autopsy held the scissors like a tailor rather than a pathologist (who is trained to place his middle or ring finger in the bottom of the scissors hole and use his forefinger to steady the blades). Hollywood special effects expert Trey Stokes (whose film credits include The Blob, Batman Returns, and Tales from the Crypt) said that the alien corpse behaved like a dummy, seeming lightweight, "rubbery," and therefore moving unnaturally when handled. (See Joe Nickell, "'Alien Autopsy' Hoax," Skeptical Inquirer, Nov./Dec. 1995, 17–19.) Belatedly, a Manchester sculptor and special-effects creator, John Humphreys, now claims the Roswell alien was his handiwork, destroyed after the film was made. He made the revelation just as a new movie, "Alien Autopsy," was being released, a film for which he recreated the original creature. As he told the BBC, "Funnily enough, I used exactly the same process as before. You start with the stills from the film, blow them up as large as you can. Then you make an aluminum armature, which you cover in clay, and then add all the detail." The clay model was used to produce a mold that yielded a latex cast. Humphreys also admitted that in the original autopsy film he had himself played the role of the pathologist, whose identity was concealed by a contamination suit. The alien-autopsy hoax represented the culmination of several years' worth of rumors, myths, and outright deceptions purporting to prove that saucer wreckage and the remains of its humanoid occupants were stored at a secret facility—e.g., a (nonexistent) "Hangar 18" at Wright Patterson Air Force Base—and that the small corpses were autopsied at that or another site. Among the hoaxes were the following: • A 1949 science fiction movie, The Flying Saucer, purported to contain scenes of a captured spacecraft; an actor actually posed as an FBI agent and swore the claim was true. • In 1950, writer Frank Scully reported in his book Behind the Flying Saucers that the U.S. government possessed no fewer than three Venusian spaceships, together with their humanoid corpses. Scully had been fed the tale by two confidence men who had hoped to sell a petroleum-locating device allegedly based on alien technology. • In 1974, Robert Spencer Carr began to promote one of the crashes from the Scully book and to claim firsthand knowledge of where the pickled aliens were stored. But as the late claimant's son admitted, Carr was a spinner of yarns who made up the entire story. • In 1987, the author of a book on Roswell released the notorious "MJ-12 documents" which seemed to prove the crash-retrieval story and a high-level government cover-up. Unfortunately document experts readily exposed the papers as inept forgeries. • In 1990, Gerald Anderson claimed that he and family members had been rock hunting in the New Mexico desert in 1947 when they came upon a crashed saucer with injured aliens among the still-burning wreckage. Anderson released a diary his uncle had purportedly kept that recorded the event. Alas, forensic tests showed that the ink used to write the entries had not been manufactured until 1974. The most elaborate Roswell hoax, however, and the one that probably reached the largest audience was the "Alien Autopsy" film. It will be remembered as a classic of the genre. The truth about "the Roswell incident"—that the crash device was merely a secret U.S. spy balloon, part of Project Mogul, which attempted to monitor emissions from anticipated Soviet nuclear tests—continues to be obscured by hoaxers, conspiracy cranks, and hustlers. Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield now claim in 1992 that they originally saw 22 cans of film, averaging 4 minutes in length, shot in 1947 by a US Army cameraman in Roswell covering an alien autopsy. However, by the time he returned to purchase the footage two years later, the footage had degraded from humidity and heat with only a few frames staying intact. They now claim that they "restored the footage" by filming a fake autopsy on a fake alien "based upon what they saw". A set was constructed in the living room of an empty flat at Rochester Square, Camden Town, London. John Humphreys, an artist and sculptor, was employed to construct two alien bodies over a period of 3 weeks, using casts containing sheep brains set in jelly, chicken entrails and knuckle joints obtained from S.C. Crosby Wholesale Butchers in Smithfield meat market, London. In addition, John played the part of the key scientist undertaking the autopsy to allow him to control the body effects being filmed. After filming, they disposed of the bodies (there were two separate attempts at making the footage) by cutting them into small pieces and then placing them into rubbish bins across London. The "debris" footage of items from the crash site was also recreated by John Humphreys including the alien symbology and the six-finger control panels which Santilli admits to being "artistic licence on his part". As an additional decoy, Santilli and Shoefield picked up an unidentified man on the streets in Los Angeles and filmed him in a hotel reading a statement "verifying" his identity as the original cameraman and source of the footage. Santilli still claims that 5% of the film footage is genuine and intercut with the "recreation" though none of the contributors are able to identify which parts.
By Joe Nickell
Britain's Manchester Evening News (April 6, 2006) termed it a hoax that "fooled the world." Well, not exactly: Skeptical Inquirer magazine was on to the 1995 "Alien Autopsy" film from the outset. But now the reputed creator of the fake extraterrestrial corpse used for the "autopsy" has publicly confessed.
The film—purporting to depict the post mortem of an extraterrestrial who died in a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947—was part of a "documentary" that aired on the Fox television network. Skeptics and many UFOlogists quickly branded the affair a hoax.
Among numerous observations, they noted that the film bore a bogus, non-military codemark, that the injuries sustained by the extraterrestrial were inconsistent with an air crash, and that the person performing the autopsy held the scissors like a tailor rather than a pathologist (who is trained to place his middle or ring finger in the bottom of the scissors hole and use his forefinger to steady the blades).
Hollywood special effects expert Trey Stokes (whose film credits include The Blob, Batman Returns, and Tales from the Crypt) said that the alien corpse behaved like a dummy, seeming lightweight, "rubbery," and therefore moving unnaturally when handled. (See Joe Nickell, "'Alien Autopsy' Hoax," Skeptical Inquirer, Nov./Dec. 1995, 17–19.)
Belatedly, a Manchester sculptor and special-effects creator, John Humphreys, now claims the Roswell alien was his handiwork, destroyed after the film was made. He made the revelation just as a new movie, "Alien Autopsy," was being released, a film for which he recreated the original creature. As he told the BBC, "Funnily enough, I used exactly the same process as before. You start with the stills from the film, blow them up as large as you can. Then you make an aluminum armature, which you cover in clay, and then add all the detail." The clay model was used to produce a mold that yielded a latex cast.
Humphreys also admitted that in the original autopsy film he had himself played the role of the pathologist, whose identity was concealed by a contamination suit.
The alien-autopsy hoax represented the culmination of several years' worth of rumors, myths, and outright deceptions purporting to prove that saucer wreckage and the remains of its humanoid occupants were stored at a secret facility—e.g., a (nonexistent) "Hangar 18" at Wright Patterson Air Force Base—and that the small corpses were autopsied at that or another site.
Among the hoaxes were the following:
• A 1949 science fiction movie, The Flying Saucer, purported to contain scenes of a captured spacecraft; an actor actually posed as an FBI agent and swore the claim was true.
• In 1950, writer Frank Scully reported in his book Behind the Flying Saucers that the U.S. government possessed no fewer than three Venusian spaceships, together with their humanoid corpses. Scully had been fed the tale by two confidence men who had hoped to sell a petroleum-locating device allegedly based on alien technology.
• In 1974, Robert Spencer Carr began to promote one of the crashes from the Scully book and to claim firsthand knowledge of where the pickled aliens were stored. But as the late claimant's son admitted, Carr was a spinner of yarns who made up the entire story.
• In 1987, the author of a book on Roswell released the notorious "MJ-12 documents" which seemed to prove the crash-retrieval story and a high-level government cover-up. Unfortunately document experts readily exposed the papers as inept forgeries.
• In 1990, Gerald Anderson claimed that he and family members had been rock hunting in the New Mexico desert in 1947 when they came upon a crashed saucer with injured aliens among the still-burning wreckage. Anderson released a diary his uncle had purportedly kept that recorded the event. Alas, forensic tests showed that the ink used to write the entries had not been manufactured until 1974.
The most elaborate Roswell hoax, however, and the one that probably reached the largest audience was the "Alien Autopsy" film. It will be remembered as a classic of the genre. The truth about "the Roswell incident"—that the crash device was merely a secret U.S. spy balloon, part of Project Mogul, which attempted to monitor emissions from anticipated Soviet nuclear tests—continues to be obscured by hoaxers, conspiracy cranks, and hustlers.
Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield now claim in 1992 that they originally saw 22 cans of film, averaging 4 minutes in length, shot in 1947 by a US Army cameraman in Roswell covering an alien autopsy. However, by the time he returned to purchase the footage two years later, the footage had degraded from humidity and heat with only a few frames staying intact. They now claim that they "restored the footage" by filming a fake autopsy on a fake alien "based upon what they saw".
A set was constructed in the living room of an empty flat at Rochester Square, Camden Town, London. John Humphreys, an artist and sculptor, was employed to construct two alien bodies over a period of 3 weeks, using casts containing sheep brains set in jelly, chicken entrails and knuckle joints obtained from S.C. Crosby Wholesale Butchers in Smithfield meat market, London. In addition, John played the part of the key scientist undertaking the autopsy to allow him to control the body effects being filmed. After filming, they disposed of the bodies (there were two separate attempts at making the footage) by cutting them into small pieces and then placing them into rubbish bins across London.
The "debris" footage of items from the crash site was also recreated by John Humphreys including the alien symbology and the six-finger control panels which Santilli admits to being "artistic licence on his part". As an additional decoy, Santilli and Shoefield picked up an unidentified man on the streets in Los Angeles and filmed him in a hotel reading a statement "verifying" his identity as the original cameraman and source of the footage.
Santilli still claims that 5% of the film footage is genuine and intercut with the "recreation" though none of the contributors are able to identify which parts.