Revisiting the Alien Autopsy Hysteria
In 1995, a 17 minute black and white film made shock waves supposing to be the recovered footage of an autopsy performed on a retrieved alien body from the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico crash site. The Kodak Company even added to the mystery by giving an inconclusive answer to its possible authenticity, stating the footage could have been made during the time period but also stating it could have been made later.
London-based entrepreneur Ray Santilli claimed the footage was supplied to him by an anonymous retired military cameraman who would later be revealed to be a man named Jack Barnett. Santilli also stated that there were a total of fifteen reels of 16mm film, each about ten minutes in length, totaling 50 minutes of footage.
Fox television first aired the footage on August 28, 1995 to millions of viewers. The demand was so great it was aired again to millions more. Speculation about its authenticity began immediately and the film was analyzed by top UFO researchers, Hollywood filmmakers and special effects artists. Lending star power to the film was host Jonathan Frakes from Star Trek Next Generation fame.
Much of the investigation focused on validating the existence of the camera man. No military records could be found of anyone by the name or in that position during the said time period. Santilli's story began to waver and changed several times, later remembering the camera mans name as Barrett. Still, no match with any military records were found. Further analysis of the films "props" like the clock in the background and even surgical instruments used couldn't give a definite answer, but the overall feeling throughout the community was that the footage was fake, though an impressive one.
Of course a media an marketing blitz followed the films release, selling thousands of copies. Real or not, the producers had made their money and gained notoriety if not fame. The myth of the footage continued for years when in 2006 a British comedy was slated to be released under the title of Alien Autopsy. The film was to be a satirical behind the scenes look at the making of the film.
Santilli would again make headlines when on April 4, 2006, days before the release of the film, when he confessed that his original film from 1995 was actually a reconstruction based on "a few frames" from an original twenty-two rolls each averaging four minutes in length. He defended himself by saying that by the time enough funds were raised to purchase the originals very few intact frames were left. Most had degraded beyond the point of usability due to heat and humidity.
Most were not surprised by the lie, especially after so many holes in the story had been exposed. Others were angry by the admission, worried about the damage another misinformation scheme had caused in the public consciousness towards the field of Ufology. Some even accused the film of being part of disinformation propaganda. Further analysis of the film and its participants can be found on Grey Falcon. See the footage in its entirety here:
Comment below and tell us: Did the film, despite its credibility, cast a light on the field of UFO research and help thrust it into public eye, bringing new researchers to the topic? Or did it just serve to make UFO research another quack science?