||Eamonn Investigates: The Alien Autopsy
Extraterrestrial Being or Hoax?
Ray Santilli hit
headlines with filmed 'evidence' of surgeons doing an autopsy on an
alien. Under questioning by Eamonn Holmes, Santilli reveals the truth
for the first time on camera. Some say it's the greatest proof of alien
life on other planets and others say it is the greatest hoax of all
Within the UFOlogical
community, an alien autopsy, a medical examination of an
extraterrestrial being is supposed
to have occurred in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico.
The supposed autopsy
first gained prominence during the 1990s when Ray Santilli, a
London-based video entrepreneur, promoted a 17 minute black and white
film purporting to be footage of the autopsy.
In 1995, the film was sold to television networks internationally and
broadcast with high viewer ratings in more than 32 countries.
Santilli admitted the film was not entirely authentic, claiming that it
was a reconstruction of lost footage of an actual alien autopsy film
that he viewed and that a few of the frames embedded in his video were
from the original. After this admission, Santilli's film is largely
considered a hoax.
While dismissed as fantasy by most people, belief that alien autopsies
have been carried out forms a core component of a number of UFO
conspiracy theories, though the term itself is used within UFOlogy,
fiction, and in popular culture, regardless of the factual status of the
imagery that is being presented.
In 2006, the events surrounding
the release of the footage were adapted as a feature film, Alien
Autopsy, a British comedy directed by Jonny Campbell and written by
The film gave a humorous reconstruction of the making of
the Santilli film based on Santilli's statements, without giving a
clear judgement about the veracity of his claims.
On April 4th, 2006—two days before the release of the film—Sky broadcast
a documentary, Eamonn Investigates: Alien Autopsy, presented by Eamonn
In this program, Ray Santilli and fellow producer Gary Shoefield
admitted that their film was only partially real (a "few frames," in
their words) and stated that the rest was a reconstruction of twenty-two
rolls of film, averaging four minutes in length, which Santilli had
viewed in 1992 but which had subsequently degraded from humidity and
heat. They said that only a few frames of the original were still intact
by the time they had raised enough money to purchase it.
In the documentary, Eamonn Holmes repeatedly refers to the film as a
"fake," while Santilli patiently insists it is a "restoration," because
he maintains that his film is a reconstruction of an actual alien
autopsy film he viewed in the early 1990s but has subsequently been
Santilli and Shoefield stated that they had "restored" the damaged
footage by filming a simulated autopsy on a fabricated alien, based upon
what Santilli saw in 1992, and then adding in a few frames of the
original film that had not degraded.
They have not identified which
frames or footage is original.
According to Santilli, a set was constructed in
the living room of an empty flat in Rochester Square, Camden Town,
John Humphreys, an artist and sculptor, was employed to
construct two dummy alien bodies over a period of three weeks, using
casts containing sheep brains set in raspberry jam, chicken entrails and
knuckle joints obtained from S.C. Crosby Wholesale Butchers in
Smithfield meat market, London.
Humphreys also played the role of the
chief scientist undertaking the examination, in order to allow him to
control the effects being filmed.
There were two separate attempts at
making the footage. After filming, the team disposed of the "bodies" by
cutting them into small pieces and placing them in rubbish bins across
Alien objects, supposedly items recovered from the crash site, were
depicted in the footage. These included alien symbols and six-finger
control panels, which Santilli describes in the Sky documentary as being
the result of artistic license on his part.
These artifacts were also
created by Humphreys. The footage also showed a man reading a statement
"verifying" his identity as the original cameraman and the source of the
footage. Santilli and Shoefield admitted in the documentary that they
had found an unidentified homeless man on the streets of Los Angeles,
persuaded him to play the role of the cameraman, and filmed him in a