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An Interview with Alien Autopsy Film Owner Ray Santilli

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Author Topic: An Interview with Alien Autopsy Film Owner Ray Santilli  (Read 276 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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« on: July 01, 2007, 04:48:31 am »

An Interview with Alien Autopsy Film Owner Ray Santilli
?by Philip Mantle

Unless you have been hibernating in a cave since 1995, you probably have heard something of Ray Santilli and the alien autopsy film.
  In brief, in 1992, London businessman Ray Santilli was on a research trip to Cleveland, OH, with his friend and colleague Gary Shoefield. During the trip, they were approached by an elderly gentleman who said that he had been a freelance cameraman during the l950s and had film depicting a young Elvis Presley. They purchased the film for cash and shortly before heading back to the UK, Santilli was contacted again by this same man, who told Santilli that prior to being a freelance cameraman, he had been in the military and that in l947, he had been flown to Roswell, NM, to film the crash of a UFO and the autopsy of its alien occupants. Apparently, he had kept a few rolls of film for special processing, but the military had never collected them. He now wanted to know if Santilli was interested in buying the film for cash as long as Santilli would not release the cameraman’s identity.
  A deal was made and soon after, the alien autopsy film was released on TV and video across the world. It quite quickly became the most controversial film in the history of UFO research.
  At the time, I was the director of investigations for the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) and I saw the film in 1995, at a private screening at Santilli’s London offices. After seeing it, I asked Santilli to show it at the BUFORA conference in August of 1995, and he agreed. In return, Santilli asked if I would help research the film. Later that year, Fox broadcast Alien Autopsy—Fact or Fiction?
  In 2006, the movie Alien Autopsy (Warner Bros.) was released, along with a SkyOne documentary entitled Eamon Investigates—Alien Autopsy. In both, Santilli maintained that he purchased the film from the cameraman, but went on to add that the film he had previously released was a “restoration” of the original film.
  According to Santilli and Shoefield, it took quite a while to raise the money needed to purchase the film and by the time they had done this, the film had badly deteriorated. Not wanting to lose out on their investment, they hired UK sculptor John Humphreys to make dummies of the aliens, locate props, and film the “restoration.”
  It still is not clear as to whether Santilli’s alien autopsy film is a fake made purely for monetary gain or is a legitimate autopsy of a deceased alien. So I was thrilled to be able to interview Ray Santilli on March 20, 2007, to put some important questions to rest, about his testimony about the film and his supposed “restoration.”

How did the Alien Autopsy movie with Ant & Dec [well-known UK TV personalities] get off the ground?
Like most things in my life, it happened over a few drinks. Gary Shoefield introduced me to Michael Khun, the owner of Qwerty Films. I told Michael the story of us being in Cleveland, OH, meeting the cameraman, getting the film back to the UK, then our panic when we realized that large parts of the film had been destroyed and needed to be repaired.
  Michael called Gary the next day and said it was an amazing story. We were then called into their offices and Michael pitched the fact the he could turn this into a movie. From that point, it took two years before we got a scriptwriter onboard. The writer unfortunately dumbed-down the story a bit. We were a little disappointed because it was a shame that a lot of the real story did not come across in the movie.

Did you use vintage Super XX film for the restoration?
We used the closest film we could find that had the same attributes as the film used in 1947 and shot the autopsy with an original Bell & Howell camera. The restoration cost around £35,000 to make.

You claim that there are snippets of authentic film inserted into the restoration. Many filmmakers state that this is impossible to do in such a seamless manner.
Well, if you run the alien autopsy movie and the recreation that John Humphreys did side by side, you will see that they are pretty much the same; in other words, it is not impossible to do. We did not cut and paste the film together but instead digitally built on the original images that we had.

You have a few frames?
More than a few—a number of frames that depict the creature laid out on the slab in the autopsy room.
In the SkyOne show, you hold up a few frames but none of them depict anything that can be directly related to the alien autopsy film.
Some of the frames we have came from other material we bought from the cameraman, all of which are relevant to him, his work, and the era in which they were filmed. Eamon Holmes saw frames with the creature on. A lot of the Eamon Holmes show was also tongue in cheek to promote the movie.

When Humphreys was preparing to shoot this film, did he study any reference books in order to replicate the autopsy scene?
John had images of the creature to work from. The alien was based on these images, as well as my recollection of the film. And the physical characteristics that you see of the creature are entirely accurate. The six fingers, and the extended tummy are all correct.

What are your plans for later this year?
I know it’s also tongue in cheek but Gary and I love the idea for Alien Autopsy, the musical. We’ve secured most of the financing for it and hopefully it will turn into reality by …early next year. On top of that we have a TV special on the go for later this year, which will finally tell the full story and reveal the cameraman’s name for the first time.

Is the movie going to be released in the U.S.?
The film is due to come out this summer, to coincide with the anniversary of the Roswell crash in 1947. z 

  To see an interview with Ray Santillli and Philip Mantle about Roswell’s alien autopsy, check out the DVD Alien Autopsy at
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