Ray Santilli’s controversial Alien Autopsy film hit TV screens around the world in August 1995. In the USA it was broadcast on the Fox Network in the hugely successful show ‘Alien Autopsy – Fact or Fiction’, hosted by Jonathan Frakes and produced by Robert Kiviat. For those who don’t know the story behind the film, it was released by London businessman Ray Santilli. Santilli claimed he had stumbled across a former US military cameraman in l992 while in Cleveland, Ohio, looking for archive film of old rock and roll stars. It is claimed by Santilli that it shows the autopsy of a dead alien recovered from the crash of a UFO at Roswell, New Mexico in l947. It’s a long story so I’ll not go into it all here, but save to say it was hugely controversial. Controversy was not a bad thing as far as Santilli was concerned as it made him a lot of money. The film was debated around the world in many different forums and the search was on to try and find the answers to it.
The Alien Autopsy film soon became engrained in popular culture and it was mentioned in the US comedy show Seinfeld, The Simpson’s and of course The X-Files. It has become iconic in its own right. In 2009, for example, an item that was widely circulated on the internet was a recipe to bake your own Alien Autopsy cake for Halloween. Of course the ultimate in popular culture has to be the movies. In 2006 Ray Santilli’s controversial film did just that and Warner Bros released the big screen movie ‘Alien Autopsy’. Made in the UK by Qwerty Films it starred British TV performers known as Ant & Dec. They played the parts of Ray Santilli and his business partner Gary Shoefield. US actors were Bill Pullman and Harry Dean Stanton.
The movie version now depicted a different version of the story originally told by Ray Santilli. He still claimed to have bought the footage from a former US military cameraman, but now when he got it back to the UK it had deteriorated almost beyond repair. Having borrowed the money to buy it from someone in the criminal underworld Santilli & Shoefield set about ‘recreating’ it. Dummies were made and it was filmed in an apartment in London. The gangster fell for it but was then accidentally killed so Santilli & Shoefield released the ‘restoration’ as they called it and it raked in the money. Santilli & Shoefield even made a documentary in the UK backing up their claims to coincide with the movies release.
Part of the plot in the movie is that the alleged ‘real’ film footage that was damaged was taken to a film lab to see if they could do anything with it. As the movie progressed this part of the storyline is forgotten until right at the end of the movie. Here, a shaken film lab technician turns up on his motorcycle at Ray Santilli’s house and hands back a large canister of film. Santilli & Shoefield close the curtains; fire up the film projector and on the screen comes a short black & white sequence of film in poor condition showing the recovery of the dead alien at Roswell in l947.
After the movies release Santilli had hinted that this short black & white sequence is indeed the real deal although he has not come out and said that outright. When I asked him about this he simply said that he was under contract not to speak about the movie. I don’t believe this but that is what he said.
Some researchers wondered if this short segment of film could well be the real deal. I started to try and find out. My first stop after Santilli was the movie’s director Jonny Campbell. I quote his reply to me here in full:
“Apologies for taking so long to respond to your email but I had to confer with my legal advisors about my response. Like Ray and Gary, I too am bound by a similar non-disclosure agreement, but I can say that the end sequence to which you refer has always been of tremendous significance to me. Indeed, the first cut that we screened in London I used that sequence as the very end of the movie – where the story began – such was its importance. However, the debates that ensued post screening were considered too controversial and given the general comedic slant of much of the story that unfolds beforehand, it was felt that this was just too much of a twist and so the sequence now appears earlier and a more ‘lighthearted’ ending took its place.
Other facts about the now notorious b/w sequence are confidential but I am very pleased that you too were struck by its significance.
Again, like Santilli before him he seems to be towing the party line. Further questions have simply gone unanswered. My next stop was a chap by the name of John Humphreys. Humphreys is a UK sculptor whose work at times has overlapped into the movie business. He had made the dummies for Santilli’s ‘restoration’ and was hired by the movie company to make the dummies for them. I had tried several times to solicit a response from Humphreys and just recently he finally replied. Again I have reproduced his reply in full. I simply asked him if he know who had made this black & white section of film:
I made the alien for the Ant and Dec film I also preformed the effects. I hope this helps you can also check my name on the credits. Yes I made the alien and performed the effects for the black and white sequence in the Ant and Dec film.
I have checked and John Humphreys is indeed in the credits as ‘Alien designer and autopsy effects’.
For me this ends the debate. Humphreys has no reason to take credit for something he did not do. The evasiveness of Santilli and Campbell also speaks volumes. As far as I’m concerned the short black & white sequence at the end of ‘Alien Autopsy’ feature movie is not the real deal and is simply a cinematic special effect made by the movie company and John Humphreys.
No doubt in some quarters the debate will still continue. I was the first UFO researcher contacted about the alien autopst film by Ray Santilli way back in l992. In August of 2010, the 15th anniversary of the films release, I will publish my new book on this entitled ‘ALIEN AUTOPSY CASEBOOK – The Full Facts Finally Revealed’. It will be published by Healings of Atlantis in the UK. For me the publishing of this book will finally close the lid on the alien autopsy film and my involvement with it.