MY STORYby Ray Santilli
This information was posted on the Roswell site on the Paragon Computer Site and describes how Mr. Santill obtained the film in his own words.
AS A RESULT OF RESEARCH for a music documentary I was in Cleveland Ohio USA in the summer of 1993. Whilst there, I acquired early footage of Elvis Presley on stage. The film had been shot for Universal News in the summer of 1955 by a local freelance cameraman.
Following my purchase of the film from the original the cameraman he asked if I would be interested in any other type of film and he explained in 'short form' the events he found himself filming 1947. He explained that the footage he was offering to me came from the Roswell crash, that it included debris and recovery scenes and of most importance footage of an autopsy.
At the time I had no knowledge of the event, Roswell was not the household name it is today but when someone tells you they have real footage of an alien autopsy it is of course interesting.
The cameraman was in his eighties and seemed a genuine enough person, he explained that from 1942 to 1952 he worked as a cameraman for the Army Air force and special forces, that during his time with the services he filmed many events including the tests that were part of the Manhattan Project (Atomic bomb testing White Sands).
He explained that on June 2nd 1947 he received an order directly from General McMullan stating there had been a crash. He was to go immediately to White Sands and film everything. The cameraman had authority over and above the on-site commander and reported back only to McMullan.
The cameraman Flew to Roswell then was taken by road to the site he describes as being a dried up small lake bed.
After hearing the story I was taken to the cameraman's house and viewed the footage. The cameraman had one reel of film that he was able to show on an old projector. He moved the projector over to a wall and projected the image onto the wall itself.
The footage was remarkable. From his house I telephoned Kodak to ask their advice in checking the film. I was told to look for an edge code which would indicate the year of the film. The code I saw matched the code for 1947.
I quickly confirmed a cash offer subject to further checks and the cameraman accepted. I said I would require a few days and a small sample of the film to take back. The cameraman gave me around two feet of leader from the film itself which I brought back to the UK.
Unfortunately raising the money required became a problem and a few days turned into a few weeks, then a few months. This was made all the more difficult because the cameraman needed money for a family wedding. By now the cameraman was becoming very nervous and refused to take my calls. Each time I called, his wife would simply take a message. The story stops there until November of 1994 when with the money in hand I flew over without warning to buy the film and succeeded.
I believed the cameraman was genuine; he had been married to the same woman for over 50 years and lived in humble surroundings. I had the opportunity of going through old photo albums, his film collection, and personal papers. I am certain that the cameraman was everything he claimed.
I came away with 22 reels of film, 21 safety prints and one negative.
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