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July 31, 2006 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Aliens, cover-ups, and autopsies. Oh my!

The truth is out there. That now infamous line was the premise of the cult television show the X-Files. It alludes to the notion that not everything can be explained by traditional science and logic. There are many things out there in the world that boggle the mind, defy reason and invite us to invest our belief in something that may or may not exist. When your own life is boring, believing in something abnormal, paranormal or extraterrestrial can help to blur the lines of your mundane reality. But is there really a secret world where the unexplainable exists?

One of the best examples of popculture’s fascination with the unexplained is the infamous alien autopsy footage. The autopsy supposedly showed a creature from another world being examined by military personnel, after a U.F.O crashed in the expanse of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The event has inspired books, movies, internet sites, and a series of TV shows that have, over the years, tried to uncover the mysteries of the Roswell cover-up and the autopsy footage. Over an estimated 100 million people around the world saw the footage after its release in 1995. The grainy footage drew people in with its silent, macabre realism. An alien, bearing a striking resemblance to the human form, lay cold and dead on a slab, illuminated by a glaring flickering light surrounded by men of mystery. The footage seemed to play on society’s deepest fears and mythologies. Men in white suits, bug eyed Aliens, and government conspiracy? The footage would have made a Hollywood movie maker proud. Since its conception the mystery has balanced on the line between fact and fiction, and the myth seemed destined to remain unexplained. That is until a new TV expose was released this year.

Alien Autopsy: The True Story began with a disclaimer: ‘We invite viewers to make up their own minds about the Alien Autopsy, based on all available information.’ The hour long programme draws on experts from different fields: authors, pathologists, autopsy experts, sci-fi experts, TV executives, eye witnesses, military personel, and film and special effects artists. It is the most detailed and professional attempt to explain the footage to date.

Both sides of the case for and against the footage are presented. There is not enough space to go into all the different points here, but the most striking and believable evidence seems to support the idea that the footage was indeed part of an elaborate hoax.

Alien Autopsy – The True Story explored the source of the footage in an attempt to discredit it. The footage was originally released by Ray Santilli. Santilli, a British filmmaker, supposedly acquired the footage in dealings with an American camera man, with “top military clearance”. Santilli, realising the importance/money making potential of the footage quickly, unleashed it into the world. The rest is of course history.

The footage itself has been examined and re-examined by experts from all of the fields I listed above. The majority could not, or would not say for certain whether it was a fake or not. Even a doctor with 50,000 autopsies under his belt was not convinced either way by the footage.

This is the point where every other TV expose hit the wall in the past. But The True Story not only moved past this wall, but blew the whole debate wide open. The answers lay not within the footage itself, but within the web of lies and cover ups surrounding the films origin.

Whilst investigating the story the show’s producers were contacted by a source claming to know all about how the footage was faked, and more importantly, who by. They were told in no uncertain terms that the footage was the work of an independent British film company, who employed the help of a masterful sculptor to create the autopsy illusion. With this information in hand the producers contacted this mystery sculptor and found out he was John Humphreys, a special effects artist who had worked on many film and television projects, including Dr Who in the 1980’s. Humphreys admitted to helping to stage the hoax, saying it was not filmed in Roswell in 1947, but in a flat in Camden England in 1995. He even admitted to being the lead surgeon in the autopsy footage. This is consistent with the footage being released out of England, and if anyone was to fool the world, including even the most credible experts, Humphreys was the man to do it. He is a master of his craft. One look at his website proves that he can mimic ‘real life’ with ease.

If all this is true. then the alien autopsy footage has been successfully proved as a fake. Millions of viewers all around the world were duped by a group of canny Englishmen.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this puts paid to the myth once and for all. However this revelation merely brings us full circle to the Roswell cover-up.

Humphreys claims he merely re-created scenes from the real alien autopsy, given to him by an un-named source. Quite remarkably he claims the original footage, which was of course real, was damaged after being exposed to the air after being stored in cans for decades. This sounds to me like a desperate ploy to keep the myth going, as finding out the entire thing was made in a flat somewhere in England is somewhat anti-climactic.

But no matter how you look at it, fake or a re-creation, the alien autopsy saga is one of the most prolific in modern mythology.

The footage, real or not transcended itself years ago. The point of the footage is not that it proves or disproves the existence of alien life, but it is a testament to human kind’s undying need to discover what else is out there. Sightings of UFOs have become part of pop culture. Quite recently the front page of a New Zealand Sunday paper was splashed with a grainy image of a supposed UFO We are addicted to the notion that we may not be alone.

This programme is not the last of its kind, as The True Story still left many things unexplained. As long as people continue to believe, and stories continue to arise of alien contact with our planet, the demand for investigations will exist. The question is, do you believe?


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