On the 28th of August 1995, ten million TV viewers in the US watched for the first time pathologists carefully dissect what appeared to be an extraterrestrial life form. In a series of grainy black-and-white film segments, the Fox Network documentary, Alien Autopsy: Fact Or Fiction, showed what was claimed to be archive footage from 1947. London-based film producer Ray Santilli had bought the autopsy footage for £100,000, while researching material for a music documentary in Cleveland Ohio, in the summer 0f 1993.
After successfully arranging a cash deal to buy some rare Elvis Presley footage, the cameraman offered Santilli some 'valuable footage' taken during his time in the forces. The film was alleged to show a UFO crash site and an alien autopsy. After viewing the film, Santilli was able to raise enough cash to buy the film in November, 1994.
When he returned to London, Santilli took the film to the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA), Where Director of Research, Philip Mantle stated, 'The footage is unique. It is the only known instance of aliens on film'. In a press release on 26th March, 1995, Mantle claimed that 'we have had the film checked by Kodak who confirm it is 50 years old... we now plan to have it examined by film experts at Sheffield'. However when Graham Birdsall of UFO Magazine checked this out with Kodak, no one had been aware of any tests being carried out on the film. In fact it was not until 5th July, 1995 that Kodak in Copenhagen were approached by someone acting for Santilli. The salesperson was asked whether a square and triangle found on the film-edge meant that the film was manufactured in 1947. The sales person checked references and confirmed that this was true. However, what the salesperson did not realize was that the same edge markings could be applied to film manufactured in 1927, 1947 or 1967. This obviously does not confirm the date when the film was shot or processed.
had offered to confirm the films date, all they needed were two frames
from the film, but by the time the film had had its television premier
in August 1995, Kodak had not received any footage. There are several other
features about this film that leaves us to believe that this footage is
a fake. What
about the cameraman? Santilli claims that the cameraman was flown to Roswell
from Washington DC. But Colonel Daniel A. McGovern, a motion-picture
project officer for the Air Force, who was stationed at Washington DC in
June 1947, says it would have made no sense to fly a cameraman from Washington
DC to Roswell, New Mexico, as claimed by Santilli.
Qualified cameramen with top-security clearances were stationed all over the country, including New Mexico. In the event of a UFO crash, a cameraman would have been dispatched from Roswell Army Air Field itself. Also autopsy films at that time would have been filmed in colour, with sound and not black and white. The standard of the camera work is also shaky, out of focus and hand held throughout, which is not up to usual military standards.
Santilli did eventually provide a few frames of film which were analyzed by Bob Shell, who was editor of the photography magazine Shutterbug and also a photographic consultant for the FBI and the US legal system. Shell concluded that the film was pre-1956, and was Super XX-Panchromatic Safety Film, an indoor, high-speed film with a short life span of no more than two years. The only problem was that the film did not show any actual alien. The label from the canister in which the film was stored also makes a brief appearance in the film. While it appears to be genuine, the Department Of Defence seal was not designed until long after the film was supposedly processed!
Finally, we come to the actual content of the film itself. Why is it that we never actually see the skin being peeled back from the chest or head, once cut? After the incisions have been made to the chest area, the film cuts to the pathologists opening the chest flaps. At no point do we see the skin being folded back. Is this because its skin is latex rubber which would wrinkle on bending? Also we see the surgeons sawing into the skull and then the film cuts to the removal of the brain. Is this to allow the placement of the 'brain' in the skull?
A student has also recently come forward, after being identified, saying that the year before the footage was 'found', he and others were approached by Santilli to make a similar film, but this time in a tent. Santilli apparently decided that the footage wasn't good enough so he went elsewhere to make a more 'lifelike' version.
Max Headroom creator claims he made Roswell alien autopsy film The Sunday Times - April 16, 2006
The creator of Max Headroom, a 1980s television cyber-presenter, has claimed he was one of the hoaxers behind the Roswell film, the grainy black and white footage supposedly showing a dead alien being dissected by American government scientists after a UFO crash.
Alien Autopsy, a movie about the footage, is currently on release across Britain. It stars real-life television presenters Ant and Dec. John Humphreys, a sculptor and consultant on Alien Autopsy who has also worked on special effects for Doctor Who, said it was he who made the models for the alien dissected in the original fake footage.
His confession, 11 years after the Roswell footage was first shown, will raise questions about the role of Channel 4, which unleashed Max Headroom on the world in the 1980s and bought the UK rights to screen the Roswell footage in Britain.
The footage was first exposed as a fake by The Sunday Times, but an estimated billion people still watched it around the world.
Rather than being shot in 1947 near Roswell in the New Mexico desert as previously claimed, the film was actually made at a flat in Camden, north London, in 1995. Philip Mantle, a UFO researcher and author who has been investigating the Roswell hoax for 10 years, said Humphreys had been a prime suspect but had never before admitted involvement.
Mantle, who next month will deliver a lecture at Glasgow University on the Roswell story, said: “I didn’t think it would take so long, but I am delighted this hoax has finally been exposed and the mystery has been solved.” Humphreys, who is based in Manchester, says he also appeared in the Roswell film as the chief surgeon. The bug-eyed alien models were filled with sheep brains, chicken entrails and knuckle joints bought from Smithfield meat market. After filming, the dummies were cut up and dumped in bins across London.
For a few short weeks the world held its breath after the 91-minute silent film was unveiled by Ray Santilli, a London-based video distributor. He claimed to have bought the footage, shot on 14 reels, from a retired American military cameraman.
Humphreys said the Roswell film was shot by himself, Santilli and three others. He said he spent four weeks fashioning the models from latex using clay sculptures. Humphreys, a graduate of the Royal Academy who has also created special effects for the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp, says he only told his wife about the hoax when he was hired to work on Alien Autopsy.
“It was a very, very strange feeling to know that I had played a key part in it,” he said.
Santilli, who is played by Declan Donnelly in Alien Autopsy, insists he was trying to “re-create” a real Roswell incident. He claims he bought genuine footage that was badly damaged when it was exposed to the air after 48 years in a can. “John was given very precise images to work with and what he did was sheer genius,” he said.
Editors comment: The article above confirms my
long-held belief that the alien autopsy footage was
fake. Over the years many readers have visited our
asked about the authenticity of the film. There is
even a topic about the footage on our messageboards. The
film has certainly stirred up a lot of debate
since its release in 1995. I remember a rather
heated discussion between myself and fellow CC
researcher, Andy, a few years ago, after just coming
out of Philip Mantle's lecture about the footage at
the UFO Magazine Conference, held at Leeds. Andy
believed without doubt that the footage was real but
I always had my doubts, and judging by this latest
release, it seems my argument was justified.
It's certainly interesting to read Mr. Mantle's change of heart in the Sunday Times article. Its rather odd that Mantle would suddenly claim “I didn’t think it would take so long, but I am delighted this hoax has finally been exposed and the mystery has been solved” when you consider that Mr. Mantle has written a book on the subject and also toured far and wide lecturing people on how he believed the footage was genuine!
He has been the main advocate for supporting the authenticity of Ray Santilli's story and the film since its release. Put in a word search into Google for 'Philip Mantle', and you will read the countless articles that quote him supporting the alien autopsy footage as genuine. I wonder why all of a sudden he has totally changed his opinion for the authenticity of the footage, after doing conference lectures and writing books telling everyone that the footage appeared legitimate?
There were many clues that pointed to a hoax for any viewer who cared to look carefully enough. For instance, the label from the canister which the film was stored in makes a brief appearance in the autopsy film. While it appears to be genuine, the Department Of Defence seal was not designed until long after the autopsy film was supposedly processed! Santilli claimed that he had sent a piece of the film footage in 1995 to Kodak for authenticity, but at the time, the editor of UFO Magazine, the late Graham Birdsall, contacted Kodak directly and found that Santilli hadn't sent any footage to Kodak at all. Santilli did release a piece of film for analysis to a little-known film studio but the film contained no images and so therefore could not be relied upon as being a part of the original footage. Santilli also claimed that he had footage of President Truman viewing the autopsy through the window of the lab. Santilli has never publicly released such footage for scrutiny.
With the latest admissions, I'm wondering if Mr. Santilli is willing to refund money to the many thousands of people who were duped by his hoaxed video footage? Its very frustrating when untruthful people surface onto the UFO scene just to make as much money as quickly as possible. It really doesn't help the credibility of the subject. No wonder so many people don't take the UFO subject seriously!
Cosmic Conspiracies Research Team
© Dave Cosnette
2000 - 2006