Alien Autopsy Film

UFO experts who refer to the “alien autopsy film” are referring to a seventeenminute-long silent black-and-white film supposedly made in 1947 at a Texas military facility, the Fort Worth Army Air Field. The film depicts two men observing while two other men perform an autopsy on a naked, round-bellied, six-fingered humanlike extraterrestrial with a wound on its right leg. One of the men wears a surgical mask, but the others’ faces are concealed by the hoods of anticontamination suits. As a consequence, none of those seen on film can be identified.

Many people believe that such an autopsy actually took place after a mysterious object crashed in a field near Roswell, New Mexico. The government claimed the object was a weather balloon, but others insist it was really an alien craft—and some of these people said they were witnesses to the event or to a subsequent autopsy of aliens found in the wreckage. According to some of these witnesses, the alien bodies were transported from Roswell to Fort Worth, where the autopsies were performed, then to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and then to some unknown destination.

Although this supposed autopsy took place in 1947, the film did not come to light until 1995, when its owner, Ray Santilli, provided the footage to Fox TV. He claimed that he had purchased it in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1992 from an unidentified former U.S. Army photographer who said he had been present at the autopsy and had managed to retain possession of the film.

Controversy arose after the film was shown on television in August 1995 as part of a program called “Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?” In fact, both sceptics and believers questioned the film’s authenticity. Some believed that an alien autopsy had indeed taken place, but they doubted that the film had been made in Fort Worth since other reports indicated that the autopsy had been performed in Roswell. They also noted that eyewitness reports of the autopsy did not match the autopsy procedures shown in the film. Meanwhile, sceptics pointed out that the film’s images go out of focus whenever the camera zooms in for a close-up of the alien or its internal organs, and in some places the footage jumps, as though the filming was stopped and then started again, even though the images on either side of these gaps make the filming appear continuous.

In response to sceptic’s questions, supporters of the film circulated the rumour that the Kodak Company had verified that the film stock used for the footage did indeed date from 1947. Kodak then reported that its experts had made no such determination and that it had seen only two frames of the footage, neither showing the aliens. In 1998 Fox TV decided to address this issue as well and hired experts to examine the stock. These experts determined that the film was actually a videotape, shot in 1994. Moreover, new digital enhancement techniques made it possible to discern an additional person in a darkened area of the autopsy room; because his face was uncovered, he could be recognized as a known actor. Consequently, in a December 1998 program called “World’s Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed,” Fox TV declared the alien autopsy film a fake. Nonetheless, some people continue to believe that the film is genuine and that Fox TV fabricated all its evidence of fakery, perhaps in cooperation with a government conspiracy to convince the public that the Roswell aliens never existed.


  • The Roswell Incident


The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

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