Eammon investigates - the Alien Autopsy
- This programme was shown on Sky one between 20:00-21:00 in the UK
on Tuesday 4th April 2006.
The programme jumped about a lot, so this isn't in chronological
order as it was broadcast.
It very briefly covered the background. In essence, Ray Santilli
and Gary Shoefield claim that they were in Cleveland, Ohio in
1992 trying to obtain rare home movie footage of Elvis Presley.
Santilli was contacted by an ex-US army cameraman, offering the
Alien Autopsy film for an undisclosed price.
Santilli travelled to Clearwater, Florida to meet the cameraman.
He didn't discuss this with Shoefield until he returned to
Cleveland. Santilli examined the film and was convinced it was
genuine, but he couldn't afford the price being asked.
3 years later, Santilli had sufficient funds, and purchased the
22 rolls of film, but found that the film had deteriorated in the
intervening time and was virtually worthless. Shoefield supports
this account, claiming to have been present in Santilli's office
when he opened some of the cannisters, and recalled that the film
smelled very strongly (he didn't specify what it smelled of).
When Eammon asked Santilli how much he paid for the film, he
replied "in your terms, not a lot of money". Santilli also said
that he supplied copies of the film free to broadcasters. Ray
Levine, editor of the "News of the World" in 1995 was interviewed
and he said that Santilli offered him the film for sale, and the
newspaper offered £50,000, but "There was a sort of a smoke and
mirrors type of conversation between us and Ray Santilli, where
he was coming up with all sorts of reasons why it couldn't be
produced immediately". When Santilli realised that the film would
need to be verified by experts and details published in the paper
before he would receive any cash, he ceased to communicate with
In order to recoup some of the investment, Santilli decided to
"Restore" the film (essentially recreate it, using dummies and
props). He claims that "less than 5%" of the film he released to
the media was from the original footage, and that he can no
longer identify which frames are from the original. He showed
Eammon a few frames of the original film (it wasn't shown in any
detail on the TV) The remainder of the original film is in the
posession of an anonymous backer in Germany. Santilli said "I
wasn't involved in the world of ufology, you know, my concerns
were strictly commercial at the time, because I thought it was a
great opportunity, and I was looking at footage which really was
a difficult sell, and I thought, well, if we're going to make any
money out of it, we need to find a different answer, which is why
we restored it".
The dummy was created over three-and-a-half weeks by sculptor and
SFX designer John Humphreys (who I thought bore an uncanny
resemblance to the "alien", perhaps he used his own face as a
model). The organs were made from sheep and chicken offal
(including the brain, which was a sheep's brain encased in
jelly), the leg injury made use of a sheep bone joint. The set
was a terraced house in Camden Town, london. The actors included
Santilli, Shoefield, Humphreys, and one of Shoefield's employees,
Props (including the camera) were carefully chosen so as to be
appropriate for the time-period, and care was taken to ensure
that they didn't appear to be "antiques". The "debris" was also
manufactured by Humphreys, according to him, based on usable
stills from the original footage, but according to Santilli,
"we're not expert enough to know [what] the original
heiroglyphics were and in fact the imagery wasn't that clearly
defined for us to be able to emulate it". The 6-fingered palm
print was "artistic licence".
The first attempt to "restore" the film failed, and a second
dummy had to be created. (In fact, Humphreys made no mention of
there being two dummies on-screen, only Santilli did). When the
dummies were finished with, Humphreys said it was disposed of by
being cut into small pieces and burnt. According to Santilli they
were cut into small pieces and placed in plastic sacks which were
dumped in different locations in London.
Santilli was quite insistent that "I didn't fake alien
footage.....no, we restored it", and compared it with the
restoration of the Mona Lisa and the Sistine chapel!
Santilli still refuses to name the cameraman, claiming that he
promised not to do so. During the "restoration", under pressure
from people to identify the cameraman, Shoefield faked an
interview with him in a hotel room in Los Angeles - just a
character picked up on the street.
Somehow, I doubt that the cameraman ever existed - Santilli could
easily have duped his co-restorers into believing that he did.
No-one other than Santilli saw the "original" film in good
condition. On the other hand, all of those involved in the
programme might have been "got at" by MI5 / CIA / MFI / C&A and
forced to debunk the true story.....