Hoaxes & Rumors

Classic Hoax: Alien Autopsy

Photo still from Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction
Classic Hoax: Alien Autopsy
In 1995, Fox television featured a program allegedly showing a military autopsy of an alien recovered from a 1947 flying saucer crash at Roswell, New Mexico.  Over a decade later in 2006, several people involved in creating the film came forward to admit the footage was a hoax. Today we take a look back at Alien Autopsy.
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Alien Autopsy

In the mid 1990s, Ray Santilli, a British producer/promoter, claimed to have received authentic footage of an extraterrestrial autopsy from an anonymous cameraman whom professed to be a retired military man. The film was allegedly a government-produced dissection of an extraterrestrial recovered from a Roswell, NM flying saucer crash in 1947. Subsequently, Fox television aired the 17-minute black-and-white feature as part of a 60 minute documentary entitled Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction in the summer of 1995. The presentation stirred such excitement that it was replayed twice over the next three months to increasingly larger television audiences. The final of the three broadcasts, in November 1995, Alien Autopsy pulled in nearly 12 million viewers.

Suspected Hoax

At the time of the broadcast, numerous ufologists, investigators, and skeptics dismissed the film as a hoax. Some even stated their skeptical opinions in interviews during the filming of the Fox documentary, yet their comments were edited out (probably to make the footage appear more sensational). One clear voice of reason came from the Committee of Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), a critical, science-based organization whose founders included luminaries such as Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov. Senior Research Fellow of the CSI, Dr. Joe Nickell made the following astute observations:

  • Multiple witnesses to the beings at the Roswell crash site described them as having no ears or thumbs with four-fingered hands. The creature seen in the autopsy film has ears, thumbs, and five fingered-hands
  • Numerous journalists, ufologists, and scientists who had examined the footage recognized the film’s codemark to be counterfeit and non-military
  • The suits worn by those carrying out the postmortem appear to have no function other than obscuring the identities of the surgeons
  • Several pathologists came forward to state their belief that the footage was hoaxed
  • The injuries on the body are inconsistent with those of an air-crash victim
  • Close-up shots of the internal organs were routinely unfocused
  • Hollywood special effects creator Trey Stokes expressed his belief that the alien body was a prosthetic dummy

Alien Autospy: Fact or Fiction Video

Watch Fox’s Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction below:

The Hoax Revealed

Alien Autopsy, a motion picture based on Ray Santilli’s claims, was set to be released in Spring of 2006. Days prior to the release of the movie, Ray Santilli admitted to Irish journalist Eamonn Holmes that the autopsy film was a hoax. Conveniently, Santilli claimed the autopsy film he created was a remake of an authentic extraterrestrial autopsy film he had witnessed in the early 90s, but the original footage had been ravaged and lost by the passing of time.

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Around the same time, an article in the BBC featured an interview with John Humphreys, sculptor and prosthetic designer of MTV’s Max Headroom, who admitted he had crafted the alien body in Santilli’s film out of an aluminum frame which he covered in clay. When asked about Santilli’s claims of a authentic autopsy film, Humphrey replied, “Basically, they explained that they had some damaged film and they needed my help to re-create it. It wasn’t presentable in the form that they had… Whether there was a hoax or not… well that’s not for me to say.”

Despite these admissions, some believers continue to argue that the footage is authentic.

In 2013 another “Alien Autopsy” video surfaced, this time allegedly showing the autopsy of a deceased alien in 1969 by the Russian government. This blogger keenly points out that the gloves used in the “1969” video were not invented until the late 1980’s.

Google Trends History

The Google Trends graph below shows search interest in the term “alien autopsy” over time. As one can see, the largest surge of interest occurred in April of 2006. This peak coincided with public admissions by Ray Santilli and John Humphreys that the film was faked.

Bottom Line

British producer Ray Santilli claimed to have acquired footage of an extraterrestrial autopsy from an ex-military man in the middle 1990s. The film was aired by Fox in 1995 as part of a hour long broadcast called Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction.  Over a decade later in 2006, Santilli and John Humphreys (a sculptor who claimed to have created the “alien body”) publicly admitted that the alien autopsy film had been faked. We have ranked Alien Autopsy as the #3 hoax of the 1990s.

Do you think Santilli ever had footage of a real alien autopsy?

Updated February 3, 2016
Originally published May 2014

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