Ray Santilli is a London based collector of old films which he typically converts to short subject videos and offers them for sale.
While on a trip to Cleveland a few years ago in search of old home movies made of Elvis, he met a man who claimed to have 16mm movies of an autopsy on an alien. He bought it, converted it to video, and sold it to the FOX TV Network. FOX first publicly aired it in late 1995 and it's now available in most video rental outlets. If you haven't seen it you should. It's called "Alien Autopsy (fact or fiction?)".
Ever since, it's been the subject of heated debate around the world. The bottom line is the film hasn't been conclusively authenticated, NOR, in spite of the best efforts of all the skeptics, has it been proven to be a fake.
The following is a long but excellent summary of the circumstances and debate surrounding the "AA" film. I personally believe it's the real McCoy, but you should make up your own mind. You may want to save this and read it later.
The Manikin Who Fell to Earth
By James Eastman
In August of 1995, millions of viewers world-wide watched television broadcasts of some grainy black and white film, claimed to have been taken in 1947 and which documented an astonishing event, the dissection of an apparently alien creature.
The film was brought to public attention by London businessman Ray Santilli, a company director with a diverse involvement in the music, entertainment and publishing arenas.
He claimed, "As a result of research into film material for a music documentary, I was in Cleveland, Ohio in the summer of 1993. Whilst there I had identified some old film material taken by Universal News in the summer of 1955".
Santilli said he was "able to determine that the film was shot by a local freelance cameraman, who had been employed by Universal News because of a film union strike".
He continued, "The cameraman was located, following which a very straight forward negotiation took place for his small piece of film, i.e., cash for three minutes of film. Upon completion of this, the cameraman asked if I would be interested in purchasing outright very valuable footage taken during his time in the forces. He explained that the footage in question came from the Roswell crash, that it included debris and recovery footage and of most importance autopsy footage".
This was the information given in the statement released by Ray Santilli and he later told me that the cameraman, "freelanced for Universal News as most qualified film cameramen did during that time and filmed Elvis with his backing band, live on stage, in late 1955". He added, "It was a short clip of film, around ten minutes, but nevertheless very good and yes, we purchased it".
Although it was initially claimed that the "three minutes of film" had been shot in the summer of 1955, here it's claimed that the filming took place "in late 1955" and the length of the film was "around ten minutes".
Another account states that the Elvis Presley film was shot, "during the _early_ part of 1955", when, "over a particular weekend", the cameraman had filmed "a variety of rock concerts and so forth at different high schools", although Santilli also told me it was "not a high school performance, but an open air one".
Having then been offered the "Roswell" film material, Santilli states, "we took an internal flight to his house which was some distance away from where we met him, and he showed us on film everything that you have now seen and that everyone has become interested in".
As to why the cameraman was in Cleveland in the first place, Santilli reportedly explained that the cameraman's son lived in Cleveland and when the cameraman visited on the 4th July weekend, he saw one of Ray Santilli's advertisements and contacted him.
There are obviously a number of apparent variances in these accounts, but this is the general story of how contact was first made with the cameraman, who "was in his eighties".
Accompanying Ray Santilli on that Cleveland trip was Gary Shoefield, Managing Director of Working Title Television, a subsidiary of the successful Working Title Films, itself a UK subsidiary of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.
Santilli states, "While in Cleveland both Gary and Myself meet over 60 private collectors of photo/film and Rock & Roll memorabilia. We had placed advertisements and made it generally known to the music community we were there to buy anything of value. I have, since 1992 released over 5 music documentaries, all with rare early footage. It's my business. I have acquired private Elvis footage from a great many people".
"The whole reason for the trip was to meet collectors of primarily Elvis memorabilia. The fact is, myself and Gary Shoefield came back from that trip with 18 separate clips of film from 6 sources. One of those sources being the cameraman".
Santilli claims that whilst negotiations went smoothly, meeting the cameraman's asking price, rumoured to be $100,000, wasn't so easy and he eventually turned to a long time German business associate, Volker Spielberg.
"I first saw the film during my Cleveland trip and agreed to buy it, however I didn't have the money. A small down-payment was made in 92, but I couldn't raise the rest, which is why I turned to Volker, so he didn't pay the full amount. Volker put up most of the money on the condition he could have some film, and we pay him a percentage from any income we can derive from it".
Spielberg was based in Hamburg and his business interests included, "VS-Musik Verlag GmbH" and "Lollipop Musik Volker Spielberg KG". He has since moved to Austria.
In correspondence with Santilli, he revealed some more of the background relationship.
"Volker is one of the greatest extroverts you could ever wish to meet, he collects anything of real value, he is wealthy and has been a business associate and friend of mine for many years. That's how I know him. That's why I turned to him when I needed money".
In response to the question of whether Spielberg was therefore not only a collector of historic, archive film, but a collector per se, Santilli confirms, "Anything of real value, that's Volker, yes, per se".
During October 1995, French TV channel TF1 broadcast the results of their investigations.
Nicolas Maillard and Jacques Pradel revealed that whilst in Cleveland during 1992, not 1993 as had been claimed, Santilli and Shoefield met with Bill Randle, a prominent disc jockey in the 1950s. Randle had co-produced with Universal Pictures a film called "The Pied Piper of Cleveland", which contained archive concert footage taken during 1955 in Cleveland High Schools. The film featured Bill Haley and the Comets, Pat Boone and the then relatively unknown Elvis Presley, who had been invited by Randle.
Maillard confirmed, "They bought the option after 7 taped-hours of discussion for the contract".
Ray Santilli later explained, "In the final event Bill was paid some money for an option on third party film footage he purchased which we could never find at Universal Studios".
When Santilli first revealed details of the cameraman, he told a number of people that the cameraman's name was Jack Barnet(t). The TF1 broadcast also revealed that the "Pied Piper of Cleveland" film had been shot by director Arthur Cohen and a Chicago newsreel cameraman, called Jack Barnett.
Surely, this had to be the same person who had sold the film to Santilli.
But it was impossible. Barnett had never been in the army and died many years ago.
This was generally perceived to be an indictment of Santilli's story, but some further research reveals that Santilli had on a number of occasions, prior to the broadcast, confirmed that Jack Barnet(t) had been adopted as a pseudonym for the cameraman.
He subsequently explained to me, "I still maintain that the story of the film's acquisition is true, certain non-relevant details were only changed to stop people getting to the cameraman. Yes, the trip to Cleveland was 1992, Yes, during that trip I met Bill Randle, but he was one of many people we met. Yes, during that trip I met the cameraman and no, the cameraman's name is not Jack Barnet. I have always made it clear that the name had been adopted to protect the cameraman's real name.
In hindsight I could have handled the situation a little better, by not saying anything about the manner in which the film was acquired".
TF1 had also located Volker Spielberg's whereabouts in Austria and in a telephone conversation, he spoke with reporter Nicolas Maillard.
"I want to be left alone. I'm a collector, I want to be out, and I want to have no contact with nobody regarding this matter because this is my personal thing. Simply, I'm not interested. You see, the whole matter is of no interest to me, I have made up my mind. I have my belief and that's it and I got what I want. I'm happy and that's it".
"What have I to do with this? As to my knowledge, I'll keep all the cans, yes, as to my knowledge, that's all I can tell you. Well, as to my knowledge I possess all the film reels. Whether this is true or not, that's not up to me to judge, but that is my belief, yes".
During discussions with Santilli, he mentioned the magnitude of his success in acquiring Elvis Presley memorabilia during that trip.
"I came back with many hours of rare Elvis film, so rare that PolyGram commissioned a report by ex-BMG (RCA) director Roger Seaman".
Santilli also recalled a newspaper feature on the Elvis memorabilia and I was able to locate a copy of this. Dated 17 August, 1992, the Daily Mirror article is headed "ELVIS: his last amazing letter" and refers to Ray Santilli and one of his companies, "The Merlin Group".
The article also contains some pictures of Elvis Presley which had never previously been published and details some of the considerable memorabilia which was to feature in a forthcoming two-hour documentary, called "Private Presley".
* A First Viewing *
"The cameraman lost faith and thought I wasn't serious, it took a great deal of time and effort to turn the situation around.
The story stops there until November of 1994 when with the money in hand I flew over without warning and tried; this time I succeeded".
One of the first people to become aware of the film's alleged acquisition was Reg Presley, lead singer of the successful 60s band, "The Troggs". Presley's interest in "crop circles" and the subject of UFOs was well known and during some unrelated discussions with Presley's manager, Santilli wondered if Presley might be interested in seeing some of the film he had acquired.
Shortly after Christmas 1994, Presley saw part of the footage. He was already scheduled to appear some two weeks later on "Good Morning with Anne and Nick" and although ostensibly invited to discuss crop circles, he also revealed details of the film he had been shown. On the subject of the Roswell incident, he announced, "If you think that you aren't going to find out about that, I have some great information. I was speaking to a producer the other day who has just got hold of some film footage of the autopsy done on the aliens".
Santilli agreed to show the film at the forthcoming British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) annual conference, to be held at Sheffield Hallam University on 19 August 1995. David Clarke, a journalist with the Sheffield Star, offered to write an article on the story and via Clarke, it also came to the attention of White's press agency in Sheffield.
On 26 March 1995, The Press Association released the news that, "A top-secret film allegedly showing dead aliens will be screened for the first time anywhere in the world this summer - in Britain".
The story sparked a major global interest, sufficient to require a world premiere of the film and on the 5th May 1995, the "alien autopsy" was shown before an invited audience at the Museum of London.
The reaction of the audience was mixed, some thought the film was a fake, a few whispered their belief that it might be real, others simply weren't sure. But few, if any, laughed at some 18 minutes of film, purporting to show the dissection of a non-human entity.
London based writer and renowned "crop circle" creator Robert Irving, wrote in the Fortean Times; "Perhaps strangest of all was the sight of that awkward mix of known-believers in the ET hypothesis, known disbelievers, believed fakers of it, innocent ostentionists, and the downright disingenuous, all hissing "hoax" at a piece of evidence that seemed to me as impressive as any I'd seen.
But never in my lifetime had I expected to witness the subsequent co-operation between traditional adversaries, all seemingly galvanised into an unprecedented gush of agreement - adopting what one of them called, "a proper, sceptical attitude" - that the film was a transparent fraud. Uh...? For, whoever is responsible for the film has now provided ufologists with what I'd assumed they had always wanted; firm, enticingly inconclusive evidence that something _out there_ has somehow got here".
* Revealing the Footage *
Due to the snowballing interest, TV companies around the world acquired broadcast rights and began producing their own programs. Two major documentaries were to feature; "Incident at Roswell", commissioned from Union Pictures by Channel 4 as part of their "Secret History" series and "Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction", to be produced for the US market by Kiviat/Greene Productions and broadcast on the Fox network.
John Purdie was to produce the Union Pictures documentary and on 25th July 1995, he gave an interview to Talk Radio UK in which he confirmed, "All I know is that it's being shown first of all on Channel 4. We acquired part of this alien footage for our film. But our film was already scheduled to go out on Channel 4's Sci-Fi Weekend -which starts on 26 August and goes through to 28th. This footage came along at an opportune time. It's very exciting stuff to have, I won't deny that. But our film was scheduled and in place and we were continuing with our investigation of the Roswell incident".
During a telephone conversation with Ray Santilli, he advised that the agreement with Union Pictures and Channel 4 was that they would research the film story and if it wasn't proven to be a hoax, the "Incident at Roswell" documentary would be released on video together with a copy of the complete footage. Santilli's company would receive royalties on the resulting video sales.
Robert Kiviat, Executive Producer of the "Fact or Fiction" documentary, is an old-hand at bringing tales of the unusual to a television audience and it was no surprise he was one of the first to take an interest in the story.
In a recent Internet conference for OMNI on-line, Kiviat explained, "I met Ray by diligently researching a rumour that the film footage had surfaced in England. When you take this subject seriously, like I do, unlike many other journalists, you can track down anyone and anything and it was not as difficult as people may think".
"My first comments to Ray Santilli were, if you have a genuine film of an alien autopsy, then it should be treated in a journalistic fashion, call in the experts, and, no pun intended, dissect it. He researched me, saw that I had worked for Unsolved Mysteries on NBC, written for OMNI magazine, and also for newspapers, and that it seemed that I was the right choice of producer. I also had recently been Co-ordinating Producer of ENCOUNTERS on Fox".
The subsequent video sales of "Incident at Roswell" seem to have been a reasonable success, but nowhere near so successful as "Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction". On 18 November, 1995, Billboard magazine announced, "'Alien Autopsy' sales, now approaching 100,000 units at $19.99, could top 500,000 by early 1996".
"Such key chains as Best Buy, Musicland, and Blockbuster have bought thousands of copies, but "Alien Autopsy" has been racking up its strongest numbers in direct response, according to Gary Goldman, president of Goldhil Home Media in Thousand Oaks, Calif."
"It was simple to go out to major accounts and tout it. No pun intended, but the response has been out of this world".
Santilli acknowledged that, "the US video has sold around 100,000 units, and part of this is premium business".
A third video release seems to have little commercial success, yet as evidence, this was the most significant of all.
Santilli had previously explained his original objectives.
"Before we became involved with Channel Four it was my intention to make our own documentary based on the films we had acquired".
"Our plan was very simple, we would shoot a documentary and eventually release the footage in a controlled manner".
Santilli's company, Roswell Footage Ltd., produced a video called "Roswell: The Footage" and this was sold exclusively by mail order. It contains the "raw" footage, with each reel being preceded by a description. This is the only video which contains all of the "alien autopsy" footage and shows some sequences not found on the other commercial releases.
In addition to the UK and US documentaries, the film was featured in programs broadcast in a number of European countries and also in Australia, Asia and South America.
* Looking for Answers *
Asked what he would say to a potential critic who claimed that the "alien autopsy" film was his version of the Hitler diaries, Santilli responds, "I would say that they are wrong. I have never stated that the film is the autopsy of an alien creature. I have however presented it for people to examine and given it in good faith to many broadcasters around the world because they have the financial muscle and the ability to investigate it".
Initially, he fearlessly showed the video footage to a number of people with relevant expertise and confirmed, "Apart from a variety of medical experts world-wide, including three pathologists in Italy, one in Paris, one in Japan and three in the UK, the film has been examined by three special effects companies, one in Italy, one in Japan and by the Jim Henson staff here in the U.K."
"In addition to the above, the film was screened for the curator of mammals at the Natural History Museum, Mr Richard Sabin, and also for the senior surgeons at University College Hospital, London".
Santilli also claims to have shown the film to representatives from a number of religions and states, "We covered all faiths. The reaction was very bad, most walked out".
He certainly took the footage to Dr C. M. Milroy MBChB,MD,MRCPath, DMJ, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Pathology at The University of Sheffield.
In a statement dated 2 June 1995, Milroy concludes; "Overall the appearances were those of a white adolescent female with a humanoid body. There were six digits to each hand and foot and the body shape was dysmorphic. No accurate determination could be made of organ structure because every close up shot was out of focus. The injuries present to the body were less than those expected in an aviation accident. No injuries to account for the death were shown. Whilst the examination had features of a medically conducted examination, aspects suggested it was not conducted by an experienced autopsy pathologist, but rather by a surgeon".
This final comment is a view shared by Dr. Page Hudson, who retired as an emeritus professor of pathology at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., but remains a consultant on forensic pathology. Hudson concluded, "He looked reasonably comfortable with a knife, but he was very mincing with it. He used very short strokes, it's usually easier, cleaner, and simpler to take long strokes. It made me think he was a surgeon. Surgeons, of necessity, cut that way, as opposed to long cuts".
On the question of the film being hoaxed, Hudson believes, "Even with today's technology it would be pretty tough to create from plastic, whatnot, or non-human material anything that would look that good".
"I think somehow they had a running start, a peculiar looking body that they may have helped to look 'alien'".
It's perhaps a tribute to any creature effects artist that their work could deceive such eminent pathologists. A considerable number of experienced medical professionals also expressed the opinion that they were looking at a real body, human or otherwise.
Not all shared that view however. Dr. Ed Uthman, Diplomate, American Board of Pathology and author of "The Routine Autopsy: A Guide for Screenwriters and Novelists", considers the film to be a hoax, whilst Dr. Dominick Demaio, former Chief Medical Examiner of the city of New York, believes the film to be, "a lot of bull".
Also highly critical was an article written by Maurice Chittenden for The Sunday Times. It was claimed that, "Among the flaws found by The Sunday Times are:
"Security coding" on one film disappeared when its accuracy was challenged.
When footage of one autopsy was shown at a private screening in America, it was codemarked with the words "Restricted access. A01 classification". However, "restricted access" is not a recognised US military code and A01 classification has been dismissed as "pure Hollywood"."
The first film to be shown by Ray Santilli was the "tent examination", a short sequence of film which was given on video tape to some interested parties. The brief film shows two people, who are not wearing protective clothing, apparently taking swabs from a body lying on a table and covered by a sheet. The image quality is poor and very little detail is discernible, however, Santilli apparently has a "crystal clear" copy.
The "security coding" was an issue I had raised with Ray Santilli and The Sunday Times based these accusations on the public discussions which followed.
Santilli subsequently clarified, "We planned to show each segment of film with the information written on the cans reproduced in the bottom left hand side of the screen. It seemed a good way of representing the clip being shown, bearing in mind that a voice over or music seemed inappropriate. We never finalized a format we were happy with. In the final event we elected to let Channel Four show the footage and there was no need for us to continue down that path. However we may still do it on the uncut mail-order version".
The video which contained the "security coding" was not therefore film of an autopsy, "shown at a private screening in America", but the "tent examination" footage.
Additionally, researcher John Stepkowski had written to historian Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, asking for an informed opinion on the use of a "Restricted Access" classification in general.
Aftergood's opinion was that, "The term Restricted Access has sometimes been used interchangeably with Special Access, which refers to special dissemination controls above and beyond the classification level and the clearance level of the recipient".
"Classification markings from that era were not standardized or consistent. Every organization could use more or less whatever markings it wanted".
* A Very Special Effect *
"The point is, if we did this, I'd be pretty proud of it".
If the film is an example of the art of fooling people, such kudos from within the special effects industry would be praise indeed. This however was no ordinary acclamation, nor the endorsement of a mere mortal from that realm. Those were the words of Stan Winston, recipient of Academy Awards for the special effects work in Jurassic Park, Terminator II and Aliens.
Winston was asked to give his expert opinion as part of the research conducted for the Fox network production. Although Time Magazine subsequently reported Winston's opinion as, "Do I think it's a hoax? Absolutely", Winston and some of his colleagues have had considerable praise for the special effects expertise they see as being evident in the footage.
Union Pictures brought in C-F-X Creature Effects, based in London's Pinewood Studios, for their assessment and special effects director Bob Keen confirmed his conclusions; "In my opinion, I think it's a special effect. It's man made".
As for the cost of creating the film, Winston expressed the view, "If it's been done today to look like it was done then, it would be a many, many, multiple thousands of dollars". Bob Keen concurs; "It's a good special effect, it's not going to be a cheap item. It's going to be a few hundred thousand dollars probably".
And it's only one of a matching pair.
Barely referenced in the televised documentaries, there is also the enigmatic "first autopsy".
Few people have seen this footage, last known to have been screened privately in April 1995, but descriptions indicate a considerable similarity. It takes place in the same room, or film set as some would claim, with a similar anthropomorphic form on the table, it's stomach distended and with six digits on the hands and feet.
Santilli describes it as "a similar species", which is "slightly smaller and looks more wrinkled and blemished, but you can't see any wounds on it".
This footage begins with the dark "eye covers" being removed, an act which takes places later in the televised film. Once visible, the eyeballs are again rolled up into the head.
In general, the dissection seems to be much the same procedure, although as there are apparently fewer close-ups, the film does not go out of focus so much.
The "brain removal" is also present and the entire proceedings are again carried out by two people. In the film which has been broadcast, one of them is quite evidently female. They are wearing the same protective clothing in both films, although whether to protect themselves from a possible contamination, or simply to protect their identities, is all part of the debate. Apparently in no need of such protection is the person who stands behind a glass observation window, documenting the momentous events before him, yet, in both films, he wears a surgeon's mask.
One notable difference between the films is the "gynaecological examination". No more than a cursory examination in the film shown world-wide, Santilli explained the distinction to American documentary producer, Linda Moulton-Howe; "It's the same, except it's a little more graphic and a little more unpleasant for the squeamish, I'm afraid. It's the full 'pull-the-legs-apart and look'".
Stranger still, Santilli states that "a small, white organ of some kind with strings or tendrils was removed, but I couldn't tell you what it is".
Two "alien autopsies" at a few hundred thousand dollars each?
This doesn't seem to make much sense either as a mischievous hoax, or as a investment in a precarious fraud.
It could make some sense if we make two reasonable assumptions; the overall cost was significantly less than has been quoted and the "first autopsy" was a dress rehearsal.
American special effects artist Trey Stokes takes a less charitable view of the film and offers his assessment of the cost involved; "As for price, here's some realistic numbers. If everyone worked for free, the materials to make the alien should run about $5,000. If everyone - estimating three or four technicians taking a couple of weeks - got paid for their time, say a total of $30,000. And to shoot the film itself, get the props and costumes and all, I'd be comfortable bidding $50,000 for the whole package".
Although still a costly undertaking, that sounds more reasonable. However, he hasn't accounted for the other "alien autopsy" film and we're suddenly looking at a six figure sum again.
Or are we. As a presumed special effect, it's apparent that considerable planning and attention to detail went into the creation of this illusion and like any other staged production, a dress rehearsal would be an invaluable exercise.
Could this be the origin of the similar "first autopsy" footage?
In this scenario, the additional cost of the final product would not necessarily add significantly to the budget. It seems the same props are used and all that's required is another model with the finishing touches - the partially severed hand, gaping leg wound and the fine detail evident on the body.
One further explanation for a cost effective hoax would be if the materials were available at almost no outlay and much of the work undertaken by dedicated enthusiasts, possibly "after hours".
As a special effects creation, any other explanations seem difficult to rationalise.
Stokes cites an impressive list of his colleagues who believe the film is a special effect, including:
- Phil Tippett, Academy Awards: Jurassic Park, Return of the Jedi
- Dick Smith, Academy Awards: Amadeus
- Steve Johnson, Emmy Award: Special Makeup FX for Stephen King's The Stand
- Bill Corso, Emmy Award: Special Makeup FX for Stephen King's The Stand
- Joel Harlow, Emmy Award: Special Makeup FX for Stephen King's The Stand
"We have yet to find a creature FX artist who believes the autopsy is real", he claims.
Whilst some scenes in the film are believable, others are maybe not so convincing. The body is never moved to any significant extent, is tentatively handled and filming of some scenes which would be challenging, e.g., the opening of the chest and removal of the rib cage, has been "skipped" on the reels which do exist.
As Trey Stokes also notes, when the body has been opened up, there's no apparent evidence of the pelvis and thigh bones.
It is of course eminently sensible to take a sceptical view of the proceedings, but that scepticism should be consistent.
There have been some attempts from within the special effects community to recreate the footage, but by comparison the original remains in a different league and the recreations have avoided the impressive scalp reflection and brain removal sequence.
Perhaps it would take a leading studio to demonstrate how it could be duplicated. It's not in doubt that it could be done, but there are some questions which seemingly haven't been answered.
As Stan Winston commented in his analysis, "You see how uniform the blood is on the inside surface of the skin and the amount of drippage down the side where it's uniformly wet on the inside? ...I mean, we never were able to do that".
Theresa Carlson, a U.S. based Graphics and Imaging Specialist and active Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) member, has spent over a year analysing the footage. Working from a superior quality Beta copy of the film, offered to her by Ray Santilli, she reasons, "The special effects theory is certainly a possible explanation for what we see in this footage. But it's put together with considerable care and attention and is not a simple prank. The producers went to great lengths to try to convince someone that this was a real event. They went above and beyond what is needed for a simple money making scheme".
Ray Santilli remains confident; "I can tell you that every special effects company in town have contacted us to say that they can replicate it. I've not yet heard of any special effects companies that say they have shot it, however, if they have, please come forward and put us all out of our misery, and please show some evidence to prove it".
With the air of someone who knows, Santilli adds, "But I can tell you now, that's not going to happen".
* An Earthly Cause *
One person who claims to have the answer is Dr Thomas Jansen of the prestigious Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich. Der Spiegel reported that when Jansen saw the footage, he recognised it as depicting a "textbook case" of progeria, an exceedingly rare premature ageing disorder. Jansen believed he saw "all the typical identifying characteristics", a diagnosis reportedly endorsed by his colleagues at the University. Such was the conviction of the "one hundred percent watertight" case, that it was to be published in the Munich Weekly Medical Journal.
Jansen points out that in cases of progeria, only the skull bones grow normally, the growth of the other bones is retarded and the head is disproportionate.
A "beak-like" nose, stunted ears and mouth are all characteristics, the genitals are "not mature" and the stomach is swollen due to the manner in which the intestines form.
Polydactylism - extra digits - is also a feature of such rare deformities.
Jansen even has an explanation for the apparent absence of a navel. Because the subdermal tissue shrinks, the skin is pulled tight and the navel is not visible.
Whilst this appears to offer a possible explanation, there are a number of obvious problems with Jansen's theory.
As Theresa Carlson notes, "The reflected skin reveals no subcutaneous fat layer. While some diseases will diminish body fat considerably, the reflected skin shows no fat whatsoever. Also missing from this body are veins and arteries".
Furrthermore, neither the internal organs or the brain are human and Jansen offers no explanation for the extensive leg damage, partially severed hand, the dark eye coverings, or the need for protective clothing.
He is presumably also unaware that there is another body to account for.
Carlson asks, "How would a girl suffering from a rare disease get hurt this badly and no one know about it? Do we have twins with the same disease or defects? That would be even more of a wonder, that they never made it into medical textbooks, or that someone didn't know".
* The Roswell Perspective *
It isn't necessarily the case that the original intention was a hoax based on the Roswell story, the bow-legged, muscular, six-fingered, pot-bellied creature bearing no resemblance to perceptions of the bodies some spoke of seeing at Roswell.
Additional to the "alien autopsy" film, Santilli has released some "debris" footage, which shows six fingered "control panels" and "I-beams" with "hieroglyphics". This footage is the only tie-in with the Roswell incident, the I-beams with hieroglyphics being a unique and distinctive feature reported from the wreckage recovered from the Foster ranch in July 1947.
The "Roswell debris" footage could have been a subsequent addition to increase the market value of what was simply envisaged as an "alien autopsy", however, if it was never intended to relate to Roswell, that doesn't explain the use of contemporary 1947 props.
One of Ray Santilli's earliest explanations of the film's claimed origins was in an article for the French magazine Phenomena. On 8 April, 1995, Santilli told the magazine:
"Our cameraman states that the event in Roswell occurred about one month before it was announced in the press. What happened was that the vehicle did crash and they were sent there to film and to clear up the area. The whole area was totally cleaned up. And then, purely by accident, a small piece of debris was found in an area that had been cleaned up and when that was found, the military had to go back in to the area again. That was a couple of weeks after the main event happened".
Where the "cameraman's story" differs, is in the claim that the autopsies took place at Fort Worth, Dallas between the 1st and 3rd of July 1947 and before the dates given in various accounts of bodies having being seen.
Central to the belief that autopsies on small, four fingered creatures had been carried out at the Roswell base was the testimony of Glenn Dennis, the local mortician. Dennis revealed that an Army Nurse at the base had confided how she had been asked to participate in the autopsies of the severely damaged bodies. Shortly thereafter, she was transferred to England and he was later informed that the Army Nurse, a "close friend", had been killed in an air crash.
Dennis had always seemed the most reliable and conservative of witnesses, but recently Kevin Randle, one of the foremost researchers of the Roswell case, acknowledged, "We have been unable to confirm a nurse with the name Glenn Dennis gave her. More importantly, he has not said he didn't give any of us the right name for her because of the promise he made her. Sorry, I just don't buy that. The Glenn Dennis story is slowly, perhaps rapidly, falling apart".
If the claims of small, four fingered creatures are now in some doubt, perhaps Ray Santilli's timeline and film evidence are not so inadmissible after all.
As a hoax, the effrontery of the hoaxers in rewriting the script seems to have been justified, almost perceptive of them.
* The Forgotten Film *
"After filming I had several hundred reels. I separated problem reels which required special attention in processing. These I would do later. The first batch was sent through to Washington, and I processed the remainder a few days later. Once the remaining reels had been processed, I contacted Washington to arrange collection of the final batch. Incredibly, they never came to collect or arrange transportation for them. I called many times and then just gave up. The footage has remained with me ever since".
This is claimed to be the cameraman's own story of the monumental foul-up which allowed him to store the reels of "Roswell" film and eventually take them home with him.
As Santilli acknowledges, it's a unlikely story under any circumstances.
And some clues in the reel documentation reveal a different perspective.
According to the evidence presented in "Roswell: The Footage", the autopsy film consists of the following reels:
Reel No. 53 - Body No. 2 - 10:05
Reel Un-numbered - Body/Leg - 10:20
Reel No. 56 - Body/Leg No. 2 - 10:40
Reel No. 59 - Chest No. 2
Reel No. 61 - Chest No. 2
Reel No. 62 - Head/Eyes No. 2
Reel No. 63 - Head No. 2 - 11:30
Reel No. 64 - Head No. 2
Reel Un-numbered - Brain - 11:45
The time is taken from the clock visible at certain points in the footage.
The last reel isn't numbered on the video, but the content follows on from the previous reel and judging by the time on the clock, it would seem to effectively be "Reel No. 65".
The first reel, which does show the opening sequences, is "Reel No. 53" and the total number of reels used during the one hour and forty minutes of filming would therefore be 13. Ray Santilli has at least 9 of those reels and as the story claims none of them were never forwarded, then, at best, only 4 reels of film could ever have been.
It's evident that these are not just a few "problem reels", but effectively most of the documented film record which could have existed.
I illustrated this fact to Ray Santilli and he responded, "All I can do is go back to the cameraman and ask for further details regarding the reels that were sent back and why some were retained".
Descriptions of the "first autopsy" suggest that the same premise applies to that film also.
* Accounting for the Reels *
Santilli claims that he acquired from the cameraman, "22 reels of film - 21 safety prints and one negative".
He also confirmed to John Stepkowski, "There are 22 reels plus scraps, etc. The reels were 3 minutes in duration apart from scrap reel of 10 minutes approximately".
Reportedly, "the roll of negative film has nothing to do with the rest of the film and was apparently included by accident".
Part of the "tent examination" footage also allegedly originated on the "scrap" reel, and that leaves 20 x 3 minute reels to account for.
This seems to include the following:
Reel Un-numbered - Tagging
Reel Un-numbered - Tagging
Reel Un-numbered - Tagging
Reel No. 31 - Recovery
Reel No. 52 - Truman a...
Reel No. 53 - Body No. 2
Reel Un-numbered - Body/Leg
Reel No. 56 - Body/Leg No. 2
Reel No. 59 - Chest No. 2
Reel No. 61 - Chest No. 2
Reel No. 62 - Head/Eyes No. 2
Reel No. 63 - Head No. 2
Reel No. 64 - Head No. 2
Reel Un-numbered - Brain
The reels labelled "tagging", are the "debris" footage, the fragments of debris having tags tied to them.
Only photocopies of the alleged labels from Reels No. 31 and 52 have been made available, no images have ever been shown.
We still have to account for the "first autopsy" footage. Apparently, that footage is approximately a minute or so shorter than the "second autopsy" footage and as such, it would seem to account for most, if not all, of the 6 remaining reels.
Ray Santilli has stated that, "A good 50% of the footage we had, we were not able to retrieve an image from" and has confirmed this on other occasions. It's a claim which seems at odds with what can be documented.
This apparent anomaly was demonstrated and he responded, "In your calculation you have not taken into account the length of film contained within what we called the scrap reel".
The scrap reel had however been stated to contain "10 minutes approximately" of film and according to Ray Santilli contained film, "most of which has nothing to do with the event but will be of interest as it gives an insight to the cameraman (for example, on the scrap reel there is approximately 5 minutes of what appears to be a local American football game played in a field)".
It's an anomaly which remains unexplained.
* The Rank Controversy *
The 50 year old archive film was in poor shape, according to Santilli.
"For the great part, the footage was in dreadful condition. Unfortunately, some parts were so corroded we could only rely upon digital enhancement to retrieve the image", he states.
The delicate work of transferring the ageing film to video was said to have been carried out by a "facilities house" and Santilli confirmed to me, "The film was transferred here in the UK".
I had been pursuing this aspect for some time and Bob Shell, a photographic consultant who had offered his services to Ray Santilli, publicly confirmed, "Film to video transfer was done in London by Rank".
He added, "My understanding is that Rank first made a very high quality 16 mm film duplicate of the footage because it was damaged and in poor shape. The video was then made from the dupe".
"When I asked Ray who had done the copying of the original film to a 16 mm dupe, he said that he wasn't sure. He told me that they had gone to one company who had agreed to do the work while they waited, and that this firm had then changed their story and said they would have to leave the film and come back and pick it up later, which they certainly would never have done.
There was then a general conversation in the office as to who had ultimately done the work. Ray said something like, "We ended up having it done by Rank, didn't we?" and Chris (Cary) said something like, "yes, it was Rank. I'm pretty sure it was Rank."
They promised to provide me with documentation when they had a chance".
Having established from the Rank Organisation plc that Rank Video Services of Brentford, London would undertake any such work, I discussed the matter with Graham Birdsall, editor of UFO Magazine (UK) and it was agreed that Graham would take up this potentially significant information.
Graham first spoke with Paul Gooderham of Rank Video Services and Gooderham confirmed he had seen the footage, but only on TV. He knew of it, but confirmed that Rank Video Services had not been involved with it in any capacity. He suggested speaking with Roy Liddiard at the main laboratory as he was the person with overall responsibility for such matters within the company and may be able to assist further.
Liddiard was also very helpful and further confirmed his company had no involvement in any capacity.
Although Ray Santilli was made aware of Rank's refutal, no explanation has been offered.
* An Absence of Evidence *
Bob Shell, editor of the US publication "Shutterbug", had offered to help analyse any film samples which became available and in a statement dated 19 August 1995, announced:
"I have now physically examined a section of the film, a section showing the "autopsy" room before the body was placed on the table, but clearly consistent with the later footage.
The film on which this was shot is Cine Kodak Super XX, a film type which was discontinued in 1956-57. Since the edge code could be 1927, 1947 or 1967, and this film was not manufactured in 1927 or 1967, this clearly leaves us with only 1947 as an option".
This was a persuasive indication that the film might be authentic, however, subsequent events determined that a number of key issues had been taken on trust. Shell's film strip did not actually contain any edge codes as they had been torn away and the film type could not be identified as Cine Kodak Super XX.
Shell also later confirmed, "In correspondence with Clive Tobin, MUFON Field Investigator in Seattle, Mr. Tobin has established to my satisfaction that the strips I have are prints, not camera original film. While I can easily prove that these strips are pre-1957, that does not establish the date of the original film".
Further research by Robert Irving and image analysis by Theresa Carlson confirmed that the sample frames made available did not clearly show the autopsy room.
The frames contain jumbled images of stairs and a doorway. Visible through the doorway is what seems to be a carpet, on top of which is a low table covered by a cloth. The table is much too low to be any table seen in the film.
The only video which contains these images is "Roswell: The Footage". The frames are the very first images shown, there is a break in continuity and then the opening frames from the "autopsy" begin.
As the sample frames are not contained on any of the tapes given to broadcasters, they must have been added to the beginning at a later date and before "Roswell: The Footage" was released.
This was subsequently acknowledged by Ray Santilli and he explained, "The reason the frames were not included in the sell-through video or broadcast programmes is simply we could not make head or tail of the images and felt them irrelevant to the story and film itself. For that reason we only included the frames in the version of the film containing all the footage from the relevant reels.
The frames were contained on the outside edge of one of the reels and were in such poor condition they fell apart on handling. We did not falsely recompile the frames which we could easily have done we presented them on the video in their natural state which is why the frames jump. The frames are part of the film, however if people wish to think otherwise that's fine by me. They are wrong".
During June of 1995, Kodak in Hemel Hempstead, London were also asked by Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield, who were by this time business partners, to verify the dating of a blank film strip approximately 2 inches long. The edge codes indicated a date of either, 1927, 1947 or 1967, Kodak's codes repeating every 20 years.
Peter Milson, Marketing Planning Manager and Motion Picture and Television Imaging Manager, explained, "...and what he's done, obviously I can't blame him for this, is given me a bit of the leader, or given us a bit of the leader and said this is the same as the negative, this is from the same bit of film".
Kodak in Copenhagen were also asked to verify the dating of a similar blank strip. The film was forwarded to them by Tripple Entertainment, based in Denmark. It seems that Tripple Entertainment wished to have some film authenticated whilst negotiating with Ray Santilli's company.
Again, the edge codes indicated a date of either, 1927, 1947 or 1967.
Kodak in Hollywood were asked to verify what Ray Santilli terms, "film with image", however he did not clarify what the image was. Gary Shoefield took the film to Hollywood and was apparently accompanied by Don Linck, an American film producer. Laurence Cate, a salesman with Kodak, explained, "two gentlemen came into my office and they asked someone to look at a piece of film they have in a 16 mm film can, one of the old Kodak film cans that are very common".
Asked what he could say about the age of the film sample, Cate confirms he explained that, "I couldn't do a scientific investigation but I could look at the edge print".
The edge codes again indicated a date of either, 1927, 1947 or 1967.
As for the images on the film, he clarified, "I didn't really look at the image area".
"I didn't think we were looking at a scientific inquiry. There is no way I could authenticate this".
As to whether any meaningful film samples will be provided for scientific analysis, Santilli has been quite categorical, "Giving away film with the creature would be a last resort as the frames are far too valuable. I think it is also unnecessary as it is part of the same material already released".
In my correspondence with Shell, he confirmed, "I have no idea what kind of print film it is".
In summary, he accepted, "Really the only evidence for Super XX that we have at present is the cameraman's word and those film boxes".
* The Film Box Labels *
The film boxes are in fact photocopies of three labels, alleged to be from the film boxes. One of the labels relates to the "Truman" reel, Santilli claiming that the cameraman told him there was some film of President Truman at the "autopsy room" observation window.
Santilli states that no images could be retrieved from this reel as it was stuck together. The label notes that it is "Reel # 52" and as the first reel from the autopsy footage is alleged to be "Reel # 53", this would at least be consistent.
The film type shown on the label is Kodak SUPER-XX, a high speed film recommended for documenting medical procedures.
The labels are curious in one particular respect; each of them bears a stamp which shows the insignia of either the National Military Establishment (NME) or the Department of Defense (DoD)
The NME seal did not come into existence until October 1947 or later and when the NME was redesignated as the DoD in August 1949, the seal was retained.
However, although the stamp bears that insignia, the name of the organisation shown on the stamp does not appear to be either the NME or the DoD.
Unfortunately, the stamp imprint shown on each of the photocopies is of poor quality and the name of the organisation is illegible, however, the general consensus is that the last of three words shown is AGENCY. The second word could be INTELLIGENCE and this raises an interesting possibility that the organisation shown is the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, the letter spacing conceivably matching the stamp.
The CIA was part of the NME, which also encompassed the army, navy and air force. Both the CIA and the NME were formed under the National Security Act of 1947, a Congressional act signed into law on 26 July 1947. The NME seal was approved shortly thereafter, but the CIA did not have there own, distinctly different, seal until one was approved by President Truman on 17 February, 1950.
During the period from July 1947 to February 1950, could the CIA have used an unofficial seal, or stamp, which was effectively the seal of the NME with the name of the NME replaced by the CIA's?
My written query to the Chief Historian at the CIA brought a response from the Center for the Study of Intelligence which confirmed, "I have seen no instance where the CIA used a National Military Establishment seal prior to President Truman's 1950 approval of the present Agency seal".
One further possibility, and conceivably the "best fit", is the DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, however, the DIA did not became operational until 1 October 1961 and this would not equate with the story of the reel's origins.
* The Cameraman *
During August of last year, news leaked that the cameraman had agreed to answer some further questions. As Kiviat later confirmed, Ray Santilli had "arranged to have the cameraman answer 25 of my questions concerning the story".
It's understood that on 12th July, 1996, the tape was delivered to Robert Kiviat and Gary Shoefield at a prearranged hotel room in New York. Kiviat was allowed to watch the video three times, but was not given the tape.
The tape was handed over by a man who claimed to be the cameraman's son.
I asked Ray Santilli if he would like to comment on this disclosure and he replied, "I am sorry that news of the cameraman's interview is out, however please note at present there are no plans to use it".
He added, "The whole thing will be attempted again later this year".
During subsequent discussions, Santilli told me about his dilemma with the tape.
"The content of the cameraman's interview really wasn't the problem. The problem revolved around the way in which it was filmed. To cut a long story short he insisted on filming it himself as he wanted to be in control of the lighting and the style of the interview - he wanted his image in silhouette. However expert he may of been with film in the old days, he made a complete mess of the shoot on digital tape because by turning up the brightness of any viewer you could get a clear picture of the man himself. The other problem was his nervousness - for the most part you can see him shaking".
At the beginning of this year, Fuji TV in Japan were the first to broadcast the video. A copy of the program was speedily acquired by sources in the United States and using video capture equipment, images of the person claiming to be the cameraman were made available via the internet.
Ray Santilli's company, Orbital Media Ltd. - formerly known as Roswell Footage Ltd. - have written to a number of publishers strictly forbidding publication of these images.
As the lighting does not provide a complete silhouette, the person on screen is recognisable, although not necessarily identifiable. He's an apparently broad shouldered, elderly man and is wearing a dark coloured shirt and a baseball cap. He's seated and looking directly at the camera. Behind him and to the right is a large, bright light, directed towards his back with the intention of creating a silhouette.
The opinion from those in the US who have now seen this video, is that the person on camera has a mid-west accent.
A transcript of the video has also been made available and it does not contain any significant new information.
* Back in Time *
The Cleveland visit in the summer of 1992 is factual and it seems Ray Santilli did acquire a significant collection of Elvis Presley film clips and memorabilia.
One of the first people he spoke to about the alleged "Roswell" footage was Carl Nagaitis, a journalist with an interest in the Elvis Presley story.
Nagaitis was also to co-author "Without Consent", a book on the subject of "alien abductions". The co-author was Philip Mantle, at that time Director of Investigations for BUFORA.
I discussed the case with both of them and they helpfully clarified the background.
Via Mantle, Nagaitis released a statement explaining his involvement:
"This is to confirm that I first met Ray Santilli in l992 while researching an article for the Sunday People about some never-before-seen photos of Elvis Presley. Ray was interested in selling the rights to the story through a national newspaper.
Although we didn't do a deal, Ray and I got on well and he told me how he had made many trips to the USA in search of the material.
When I left Mirror Group Newspapers in January l993 I kept in touch with my contacts, including Ray, and I had several meetings with him about various possible projects. It was during one of these meetings, in February or March of l993, that he revealed that he had seen some remarkable material while in the USA. He did not reveal the nature of that material".
This could be an allusion to the film which was to surface almost two years later and is the first reference to any "remarkable material" that I'm aware of.
Nagaitis continues, "Later in the year, when Ray and I were discussing the possibility of a video on UFOs and alien abductions (another aborted project) he went on to add that the film he had managed to get from the USA was connected with the Roswell Incident.
I remember that he mentioned this to be before I actually introduced him to you (Philip Mantle)".
Mantle takes up the story:
"I was contacted by Ray Santilli in l993, the exact date of which I did not keep.
Ray may have located me via Carl Nagaitis or by some of the publicity that I was involved in at the time helping to promote the movie "Fire in the Sky". To be perfectly honest, I am not 100 % sure how Ray located me but it was probably via one of the two options above. At the time of my first contact with Ray Santilli it was immediately clear to me that he knew either very little or nothing about the Roswell case and UFOs in general.
The subject matter we discussed was mainly on abductions as I recall, this being my idea as I was in the process of writing a book on them at the time. However, I discussed many ideas none of which, at that that time, included or involved anything to do with Roswell or crashed UFO's in general".
"All I can say regarding Ray Santilli's "knowledge" of the Roswell event is that as far as I'm aware he knew little or nothing about it when I first met him. For example, for a long time he called Roswell "Rosewell" and was not familiar with any of the well known names of witnesses and/or investigators associated with the case".
It was Nagaitis who wrote the article dated 9 August, 1992, for the Sunday People newspaper, entitled, "Move over ET, the real alien is here...".
Essentially a story on the forthcoming BUFORA conference, which would feature the Roswell case, it was also mentioned that, "Hollywood golden boy Steven Spielberg plans a big-budget movie about the alien crash-landing...".
I asked Carl Nagaitis about the source of this claim and he confirmed it was a rumour from the United States.
By the time the Daily Mirror newspaper published an article dated 22 December 1993 and headed, "STEVEN SPIELBERG TO MAKE FILM ABOUT UFO CRASH MYSTERY", the story had grown to encompass the claim that, "Hollywood insiders say the director has got hold of previously unseen film footage of the flying saucer crash scene taken by a military officer".
It hasn't proved possible to confirm whether this was a reference to the film which Ray Santilli had by this time spoken of. Certainly, there's no known factual connection between Steven Spielberg and the "alien autopsy" film.
The same story also featured in the November 1994 issue of OMNI and the claims were formally denied by Amblin Productions, Spielberg's company.
It was shortly afterwards that rumours of alleged archive "Roswell" film, were proven to have some substance.
* Fact or Fiction? *
As a hoax, it's such an audacious and spectacular deception.
There are three people in the "autopsy" film, the person with apparent surgical skills, his female assistant and the person behind the observation window. At one point, another person enters the room for a short time and all four are visible. With the addition of the person filming them, this means there were at least five people involved. We also have to account for the special effects personnel, the video editing staff, the person who appears on video and who claims to be the cameraman, the person who delivered that tape and claimed to be his son and of course all of those responsible for the promotion of the film.
Even allowing for some dual roles, that still seems to involve an elaborate set-up, but as a hoax, that's the scale of involvement which it seems there must be.
It does of course remain infinitely less complex than would be the "cover up" of any such genuine incident.
As for likely suspects, Trey Stokes believes, "All we can do is point the finger away from Hollywood. It's because of the free-lancing nature of the FX biz in L.A. that I'm pretty sure it didn't come from there. Walk into an FX shop at random and pick any FX artist - he's probably got a friend working for Rick Baker, another working for Steve Johnson, another over at Rob Bottin's and so on. Everybody eventually knows what everybody's been up to. And there's no hint thus far of any Hollywood-based FX artist, famous or otherwise, having done this. So it's unlikely - though not impossible - that it came from Hollywood.
Which just leaves the rest of the country, and the planet. Everywhere movies are made, there'll be people doing the FX for them. How many suspects does _that_ add up to?"
Ray Santilli maintains his story is true and faced with the direct question of whether he has perpetrated a hoax, remains assured.
"I still go back to what I said before. If someone, even if it was our company, wanted to hoax a piece of footage, why not do the job properly, why not create something that really looks like an alien creature? Why come up with something where you've got these unnecessary hurdles of saying, well, is it human or is it not human, and in answer to your question, we didn't hoax it".
Whether intentional or not, as a special effects creation, the humanoid form was paradoxically perhaps the reason why the film held such intrigue.
In summary, for the case that the entire affair is a grandiose hoax:
- the various stories of how the film was acquired have significant differences
- the "autopsy" footage isn't a few "problem reels" kept back for further processing, it's a synopsis of the proceedings and many of the missing scenes are due to gaps in filming on the reels which do exist
- it was claimed that film clearly showing President Truman had been viewed
- the reels which can be documented do not seem to support statements that some 50% of the images couldn't be retrieved and the explanation given appears to contradict a previous statement
- there's no evidence than any archive 16mm film was ever processed and the unfounded "Rank in London" claims have not been explained
- no meaningful film samples have been provided for authentication
- there's no evidence that the cameraman has any authenticity
- there's no meaningful evidence to support the story of the alleged crash and the autopsies having taken place
- all of the footage which is known to exist is consistent with a staged environment
- conspicuously absent is any film showing the crash site or the vehicle recovery, the numerous military personnel and vehicles claimed to have been present, or any footage from the three weeks alleged to have been spent at Wright Patterson (Wright Field at that time), "working on the debris"
- there's no evidence of the film boxes from which the labels allegedly came and Bob Shell states that based on Ray Santilli's answers to questions about the film boxes, he is unconvinced that Santilli ever had them
- in response to my question, "Didn't anyone ever query what had happened to "reel 4 of 12", "reel 8 of 12" etc., i.e. over 20 missing reels?", it was explained that, "The reels were not labelled with a description of their contents. Just numbers". The labels which were later produced had descriptions, as apparently do all the reels documented in "Roswell: The Footage"
- The Cleveland visit is now acknowledged as being 1992, not 1993 as claimed and that leaves a year during which there was no apparent interest in finding out what the footage related to, despite having allegedly paid a deposit on it and attempting to raise the "significant amount" required to purchase it.
In support of the contention that, at least, it's not necessarily so straightforward:
- Volker Spielberg has confirmed the claim that he possesses all of the reels
- Ray Santilli did produce his own video which helpfully documented each reel shown
- he took the video footage to people who could offer relevant expert opinions
- when he noted that Theresa Carlson was working on image analysis, he offered a superior quality copy of the footage
- there is another "autopsy" film which has not been released
- even the more sceptical estimates of the cost suggest a substantial figure
- attempts to recreate some of the film have fallen well short, although none of these have as yet come from the larger special effects companies
- the overall relationship to the Roswell case is perhaps theoretically conceivable
- two people claiming to be the cameraman and his son have now been seen.
There's no apparent compromise with the story.
If the film was bought from an ex-military cameraman, now in his eighties, and it did originate on 50 year old 16mm reels in the "dreadful" condition stated, then it's likely to be genuine footage.
Conversely, if the film is not genuine, then all that comes with it is spurious and it's highly unlikely it was ever bought as claimed and that it ever existed on crumbling, archive 16mm film.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", is a quote attributed to Carl Sagan. In the absence of any corroborative evidence to support the film's claimed genesis and provenance, it remains an unsubstantiated claim by default and the apparent anachronisms do not lend credence to those claims.
But in essence, many of the fundamental questions remain unanswered.
What does that "first autopsy" film really show.
Who is the person on the "cameraman" video tape.
Who made the films, when and where.
How did they achieve some of the effects.
What was the original motivation.
The world-wide exposure and commercial success of the film must have been beyond the dreams of those involved with it, in whatever capacity, and for those who take an interest in the question of whether we are alone in the universe, this footage has arguably proved to be the most tantalising, controversial and extraordinary tangible evidence ever presented.
With material from the Fuji TV broadcast increasingly available on the internet, identifying the person who claims to be the cameraman is now a possibility and other avenues of investigation continue to be explored.
The truth is out there.