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Enigma Issue 6: Roswell Autopsy Report

A look at the (in)famous Santilli footage by George Wingfield

As reported last issue (Enigma 5), it seems that some old film canisters have been found which pertain to show an autopsy being performed on an alien body recovered at the Roswell crash site in 1947.

During the last few weeks, extensive research has been carried out to test the authenticity of the footage shown. This has been amongst confusion and controversy, partly caused by the apparent existence of several different film segments.

The first segment, shown to a limited audience by the film's current owner, Mr Ray Santilli showed what appeared to be a tall (approx. 6 foot) humanoid 'being' lying on some kind of operating table inside what can only be described as a field hospital or tent. The lighting was quite poor and two people appeared to be removing parts of the left arm, whilst a suited gentleman looked on.

The quality of the film clip (which had been transferred to video) seemed to look an authentic age, although the film itself ran quite slowly - approx 8-12 frames per second.

However on May 5th, Mr Santilli held a more formal press-conference in London, allowing some 150 people to attend. At this event, a completely different film clip was shown, seemingly set inside a hospital with better lighting and a more thorough autopsy being carried out. One attendee was UFO researcher George Wingfield, who presents the following report on the proceedings:-

On May 5th 1995 Ray Santilli organised the showing, in a lecture room at the Museum of London, of part of the film footage he has acquired which is supposed to have been taken at Roswell in July 1947. Among 100 or so people present were press, TV, and radio journalists besides other film makers and several ufologists. Attendees were prohibited from taking cameras into the hall. The showing was subsequently reported in radio bulletins but it was almost entirely ignored by the British press which has been largely sceptical of the UFO subject for years.

The Film Retrieved!

Santilli and a German backer claim to have purchased the film footage about a year ago from an unnamed 80-year old, who worked as a cine cameraman for the US army in the 1940s and was specifically flown to Roswell from Washington D.C. in July 1947 to film the retrieval of a crashed flying saucer and its dead or injured occupants. The cameraman (whose name is rumoured to be Jack Barnett) supposedly took copies of the cine film on 16mm film-stock and kept about 14 canisters of it.

Apparently he was willing to sell it a year or two ago in order to raise funds to pay for his grand-daughter's wedding. Santilli reportedly paid him $100,000. It has been suggested, but denied by Santilli, that this Jack Barnett lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. (It is curious that Grady L "Barney" Barnett was the name of a witness who said he saw alien bodies at the Roswell/Plains of St Agustin crash site(s) in July 1947. He died in 1969)

The film segment shown on May 5th lasted about 25 minutes and was a videotaped copy of a number of the original spools. It was in black and white with no soundtrack, but had a few lines of scrolling text recently appended to the beginning explaining in the briefest manner its claimed origin.

In the Operating Theatre

Initially one sees the naked body of the dead alien lying face up on an operating table or similar horizontal surface. This appears to be in an operating theatre where the only other visible fixtures are a clock and a telephone attached to the wall. Additionally a microphone dangles high up above the body.

The Surgeon Examines

A surgeon and his assistant stand beside the corpse clothed in what appear to be white anti-radiation or anti-contamination suits with attached hoods all in one piece. The hoods contain visors in the form of rectangular slits. This is quite unlike what two doctors wore in a different segment of the film (not shown on May 5th) where they worked in a tent or temporary shelter at the crash site. Reportedly these two did not wear masks or gloves while working on the bodies. In the May 5th segment, a further figure is seen through a large plain glass window in a wall at the end of the operating theatre.

The Alien Body

The corpse is about 5 ft tall, possibly just a shade less. The head is proportionately large but not unduly so: perhaps 25% larger than one would expect a human head to be. The eyes too are large, but are not that large, or all black as has been described as a distinctive feature of "greys". They are round, slightly oval, and have pupils. They do not appear slanted or almond-shaped. The neck appears normal and not unduly long or thin. Ears are minimal but seem to be positioned lower down on the head. The mouth is in the shape of a small inverted crescent giving the corpse, unsurprisingly, a rather sad look.

The mouth seems open and so looks black inside, but it is hard to say whether the lips are thin or absent. The nose is small.

The head and body are completely hairless, though they could possibly have been shaved; there is a slight darkening in the pubic area. The body appears to be female, without external genitalia visible. The chest is flattish with no sign of nipples. The whiteness of the skin is the same shade as Caucasian human skin would be when filmed in monochrome.

The body is bulbous and the abdomen appears swollen. The arms and legs are not spindly as one might expect of an alien grey. The thighs in particular are quite thick, tapering towards the knees which are not much in evidence. The musculature of the limbs is certainly human-like and not what one might expect to find in an entirely alien species. However, the feet quite distinctly have six toes but with toenails which look like human ones. It is impossible to be sure whether the hands have a similar number of digits or not, due to the fact that these were alongside the body and cannot be clearly seen. However some of the audience say they counted five fingers plus a thumb on each hand which makes it seem these aliens have six digits on each extremity (useful, maybe, for duodecimal arithmetic!).

Lack of Detail?

Although the camera pans in on various parts of the body as the autopsy proceeds, detail is often obscured due to poor focus and the cameracraft is amateurish to say the least.

Alien Injuries?

The only visible injury is a long gash on the inside of the right leg extending from mid-thigh to almost mid-calf. Where the wound was gouged out the flesh appears black though this might be dark red were it to be shown on colour film. Likewise all incisions opened up by the surgeon merely reveal a blackness which renders it impossible to identify internal organs.

The Autopsy

The surgeon performs the autopsy, decisively cutting into the body with a scalpel along carefully chosen lines and opening up the body cavities. The initial cuts along the centreline of the body result in slight trickles of blood, or at any rate a dark fluid. The stomach and chest areas are opened up and organs in the dark interior are not easily discerned, nor the dark shapeless matter which is taken out. The surgeon removes various internal organs placing them in glass dishes held by his assistant. It is impossible to say what these organs are. At one point there appears to be a solid cylindrical object a few inches across, possibly hexagonal, positioned in the centre of the opened up body. Whether this is something internal revealed by the dissection or something which was placed there by the surgeon before the camera zoomed in, is not clear.

At some stage the surgeon uses tweezers to pull dark membranes from each eye which he places in a dish. This apparently leaves behind just the white eyeballs. All this is done swiftly as if it were standard procedure. The clock on the wall moves on from an initial time of 10.20 to nearly 11.00 and then later still. The filming is obviously not continuous and it seems that different short time segments have been pieced together with some stages of the autopsy being omitted. The camera moves about quickly, sometimes jerkily, and it is often difficult to discern what the surgeon is doing.

Dr Detlev Bronk

[From time to time the surgeon's assistant writes on a notepad. Philip Mantle of BUFORA, who has close links with Santilli in view of the fact that both have the same publicity agent, Mr Carl Nagatis (with whom Mantle co-authored a recent book on alien abductions, "Without Consent"), says that close viewing of the film shows the name "DR BRONK" written at the top of this pad. This undoubtedly refers to Dr Detlev Bronk, the only medical expert member of "MJ-12" and an internationally known physiologist and biophysicist. If the US government ever chose someone to dissect an alien after the 1947 Roswell crash it would surely have been Dr Bronk. Therefore, IF this claim by Mantle is true, it either validates the film footage - OR - it points to a very elaborate and insidious hoax by people with a detailed knowledge of the Roswell case who are closely associated with the present publicity circus.

Cutting away the Skull

The final stage of the autopsy is the cutting away of the top part of the skull to give access to the brain. The surgeon saws away for several minutes after first making scalpel cuts across the upper head to mark where he will saw. We do not see the skull opened but next we are shown the removal of dark matter from within the skull. This is placed in a dish or jar. Some of this matter appears black and jelly-like and, perhaps, not as one might expect to find light-coloured human brain matter. (Then, I do not have any medical expertise in this field and so this observation may well be misguided.)

At this stage the film segment ends with the autopsy probably having taken about two hours. My account of the autopsy may contain some inaccuracies since the details are recollected from memory of just the one showing of the film on May 5th.

The Verdict?

Although the creature in the operating theatre is supposedly an alien, it is not really that dissimilar to a human. One cannot definitely say that this is a completely different species. There is just a possibility that the body is that of a freak or deformed human (or maybe even a hybrid?). Equally it is just conceivable that a human body was "doctored" to make it appear like an alien. These suspicions are only natural in view of the extraordinary emergence of the film at this time without supporting evidence, so far, to back its authenticity. Descriptions of alien bodies at Roswell in 1947 certainly do not tally with what we are shown in this film sequence.

Nevertheless it does appear that this is a real autopsy procedure carried out on a corpse of some kind. It does not seem to be an early sci-fi "B" movie, as has been suggested. So, if this footage is not what it purports to be, what is it really, and what was the intention in making it? These are questions that critics must answer, and the key to whether it is the genuine article or not must surely lie in finding "Jack Barnett", the cameraman, if such a person exists.

Even if the autopsy is of an alien corpse there is nothing in the segment viewed on May 5th to link it with Roswell and July 1947. There have been suggestions that this autopsy was performed in Dallas which seems possible since the 1947 Roswell crash debris was taken initially to Carswell Army Air Forces Base in Fort Worth, just 40 miles from Dallas, before being taken on to Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB) in Dayton, Ohio. However there's no proof it's Dallas, though such a city might have special medical facilities. In fact there are three possible anachronisms in the film which suggest to me that the footage could have been made anything up to twenty years later.

The Coiled Phone lead

First, the telephone hand-set in the operating theatre has a black shiny coiled cable, seemingly plastic coated. These were not introduced in Britain until 1960; in the U.S. they may have been used earlier but surely not in 1947?

Secondly, the anti-contamination suits look very much like those worn by atomic power workers in the 1950s and 1960s. These were surely not available as early as 1947, though some kind of radiation suits must have been used at Los Alamos.

The Clock

Thirdly, the large circular electric clock with bold numerals on the operating theatre wall does not look like a 1940s style clock. I may be wrong, but all of these things look much more like the style of the early 1960s than just after World War II.

Kodak date the film

An interesting detail according to one researcher is that Kodak's date code symbol on at least one of the original film canisters is a square beside a triangle. Kodak's first reaction to a recent inquiry about this was that it signified a date of 1967. They then conceded that the date coding system ran in twenty year cycles and it could have been 1947. Santilli says that Kodak have confirmed the celluloid film is 1940s vintage but he has yet to produce any written report to this effect.

If this footage was made in the 1950s/1960s rather than 1947, does it still show an alien autopsy or has it just been staged to look like one? One possibility that might be considered is that this was a secret training film produced by the military for the military. There is no doubt that, following events in the late 1940s and 1950s (including, of course, the Roswell episode), many top military and government people believed most firmly, rightly or wrongly, that flying saucers were of extra-terrestrial origin. If this was the case, what could be more natural than to make a training film to be shown to special military units instructing them what was to be done in the case of a flying saucer crash retrieval? But would they have gone to such lengths to simulate a corpse with non-human appearance ?

Alternative Explanation

An alternative explanation could be that the footage was produced as deliberate disinformation to discredit the Roswell story and to confuse and mislead UFO researchers. If this was done in recent years when interest in the Roswell event has mushroomed, the makers have been clever in simulating what appears to be old film although this is certainly possible. But it doesn't fully explain the apparent alien corpse.

Although the present intention of those who own the film seems to be to make as much money as possible from it, it would be surprising if the footage was made with this intention originally. Santilli calls his outfit, set up to handle marketing the film's commercial potential, "International Exploitation Management" (40 Balcombe Street, London NW1 6ND. Tel: +44 (0)171 723 7331 Fax: +44 (0)171 723 0732). "Exploitation" in this context is an unfortunate word, implying that commercial interest outweighs considerations of authenticity. This perception of Santilli's operation has lead to the extreme suspicion with which most people have approached evaluation of the footage. Certainly a lot more investigation must be done before Santilli's film footage can be accepted as being genuine.

George Wingfield
13th May 1995

As you can see from this report, there is still a lot of research and investigation to do before we can reach a verdict on the authenticity of the film. We know that in recent years hoaxers have been using more and more elaborate ploys in order to muddy the waters of serious research.

Some UFO hoaxers were seen at the film's showing on May 5th. Could they have been judging the reactions of researchers? Could an organisation such as CSICOP be behind it if it is proved to be a hoax? What are the implications for mankind, if genuine?

Whatever the final verdict, Enigma readers will be kept up to date in future issues. Hopefully, I will be able to attend the next showing of the film and report further. In the meantime, I would like the film to be genuine, but my personal opinion is that it is a very carefully orchestrated hoax.

Paul Vigay
31st May 1995

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