|Coroner's report: it's dead|
Aliens: the bread and butter of any unsolved mystery. Ghost ships, cryptid, missing plane, strange light in the sky? You can bet your hard earned money that somewhere, at some point, someone proposed that ET was the culprit. These theories however are almost always nonsense. While they may be fun, they have as much weight to them as a parakeet feather.
That said: there are instances where aliens are a more plausible explanation, such as the Rendlesham Forest Incident. Today's story however is one where there exists a deep divide among opinions. There are those that firmly believe that that the footage from Alien Autopsy is authentic, while others consider it to be one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.
Ray Santilli is an entrepreneur from London, and one with a story behind him. In 1992, he claimed to have viewed “real” footage of an autopsy on what were supposedly aliens recovered from the legendary Roswell incident in 1947. A military cameraman who said he was the one who filmed it offered to sell Santilli the film reel, which he accepted. For what reason, I cannot find, but let's assume that it was for good reason.
Fast forward three years to 1995—a year before I was born! It's in this year that Santilli debuted the footage to the world in a documentary that debuted on Fox. Over 11 and a half million people watched it. However, despite the convincing nature of the footage, not all were convinced. Some believed it to be a hoax, though Santilli denied this.
Some time later, the alleged cameraman was interviewed in Japan, though it was later revealed to be a homeless man that Santilli and his partner had picked off the street. According to Santilli, he “made the man's day”. He also said he faked this to “protect” the real cameraman's life. We'll get into why this is dumb in a bit.
Anyways, Santilli remained adamant about the genuine nature of the film for 11 years. Then, in 2006, he revealed that it was, in deed, fake. Well, the film was anyways. According to Santilli, the footage was authentic. However, by 1995, it had deteriorated. Not wanting to keep it a secret until he died, he opted to make a staged reconstruction. Though he also claims a few frames from the original footage were put into the reconstruction, though Santilli refuses to say which ones.
And that's the story. Now, theory wise: there's only two. Either the footage was authentic and Santilli recreated or that it's a hoax that was milked for money. Let's go over the former first: it's a recreation of a genuine autopsy performed on one of the aliens discovered at Roswell in ‘47.
Believers of this theory state that the US Air Force haven't denounced the footage and that Santilli's supposed seller would be in danger should he be named; in spite of the fact that the Air Force should have his name on file. Beyond that however, there's very little in the way of supporting evidence. Air Force officials have never publicly denounced the film and while that's sometimes used in favor of it being real, one can also argue that it wouldn't matter. If they did, that would be what they want us to think.
On the flip side, we have the theory that it's a hoax. The case here has a fair bit of evidence. Although there's been no official denouncement, one can argue it's a “damned if they do, damned if they don't” situation; the Air Force having us believe what “that” want is to believe or an indirect admission that it's real. The supposed cameraman for the recreation also stated that the plan was for Santilli to have a documentary made a few months after the “recreation” came out; the documentary showcasing how the “recreation” was made. Santilli has vehemently denied this and even said he'd take a lie detector test to prove it, though I'm unsure if he has at this point in time.
Another major talking point is the support military cameraman who sold this. Opponents to the idea this is real footage have stated that there should have been a way to reprimand him if he so much as had possession of what would undoubtedly been top secret footage. I'm not a military person, I know little about it, but I'm almost certain military cameramen aren't allowed to keep footage they shoot. If this man had the reel and it's legitimate, the US government should've been doing a 2 A.M. welfare check that involved a fun sized battering ram and happy lead dispensers of permanent sleepy time.
Arguably the biggest piece of evidence though—and one that I personally believe—is the mere fact that any US agency has let the footage circulate for 21 years as of the time of this writing. I understand agencies like the CIA are controversial; their mere existence being extraordinarily divisive. Some admire them, others wish for them to be liquidated and their assets sold off. No matter what though, whether or not you believe the CIA to be a shadowy force of super evil, there's no way they'd let anyone even contemplate televising something like this; let alone allow it to leak to the general public.
Alien Autopsy is something I could dissect for some time—and I may do so sometime down the line. Until then, it's a brilliant work of practical effects, but likely nothing else. If it does turn out there's more here than meets the eye though, I'll concede.