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Alien autopsy

The meaning of «alien autopsy»

The alien autopsy is a 17-minute black-and-white film supposedly depicting a secret medical examination or autopsy of an alien by the United States military.[1] It was released in 1995 by London-based entrepreneur Ray Santilli. He presented it as an authentic autopsy on the body of an alien recovered from the 1947 crash of a "flying disc" near Roswell, New Mexico. The film footage was allegedly supplied to him by a retired military cameraman who wished to remain anonymous.[1]

In 2006, Santilli admitted the film was not authentic but rather a staged reconstruction of footage he claimed to have viewed in 1992, but which had deteriorated and become unusable by the time he made his film. He claimed that a few frames from the original were embedded in his film, but he never specified which ones. The existence of an original filmstrip of the alleged autopsy has never been independently verified.

Fox television broadcast the footage, hosted by Jonathan Frakes, in the United States on August 28, 1995, under the title Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction. The program caused a sensation, with Time magazine declaring that the film had sparked a debate "with an intensity not lavished on any home movie since the Zapruder film".[2] Fox re-broadcast the program twice, each time to higher ratings, with the November 1995 broadcast winning its time slot again with 11.7 million viewers and a 14% share.[3] Although in the broadcast version some parts of the autopsy were pixelized or edited out because of their supposed "graphic nature", the earlier versions[clarification needed] contained, Santilli claimed, the complete and unedited film, in addition to the previously unreleased footage of the wreckage which was presented as the remains of the alien craft reported to have crashed in Roswell.

The Fox program features numerous well-known figures both in front of and behind the camera. Interviews with experts on the authenticity of the film include Oscar-winning special effects make-up artist Stan Winston, cinematographer Allen Daviau, and noted forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who considered the autopsy procedures in the film to be authentic but stopped short of declaring the being an alien.

Film director John Jopson was engaged by producer Robert Kiviat to direct several portions of the Fox special, including Santilli's interview. Jopson has stated that he became immediately suspicious upon meeting Santilli in London and, after conducting further investigation, told both Fox and Kiviat that he believed "the whole thing was a fraud". He described their response: "It was then made clear to me that if the footage was exposed as a hoax before the show aired, the ratings would suffer." Jopson then enlisted the services of his friend, well-known private investigator William Dear, but according to Jopson, Dear was held back by the producers for fear the hoax would be exposed before the air date, and he was limited to investigating the identity of the "mystery cameraman".[4] Two of the program's participants claimed their observations were distorted: Stan Winston and Kevin D. Randle (a noted UFO author and investigator) both claimed they clearly stated in their interviews that they believed the footage was a hoax, but their statements were not used.[2][4]

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Alien Autopsy (film)
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