The creator of Max Headroom, a 1980s television cyber-presenter, has claimed he was one of the hoaxers behind the Roswell film, the grainy black and white footage supposedly showing a dead alien being dissected by American government scientists after a UFO crash.
Alien Autopsy, a movie about the footage, is currently on release across Britain. It stars real-life television presenters Ant and Dec. John Humphreys, a sculptor and consultant on Alien Autopsy who has also worked on special effects for Doctor Who, said it was he who made the models for the alien dissected in the original fake footage.
His confession, 11 years after the Roswell footage was first shown, will raise questions about the role of Channel 4, which unleashed Max Headroom on the world in the 1980s and bought the UK rights to screen the Roswell footage in Britain.
The footage was first exposed as a fake by The Sunday Times, but an estimated billion people still watched it around the world.
Rather than being shot in 1947 near Roswell in the New Mexico desert as previously claimed, the film was actually made at a flat in Camden, north London, in 1995. Philip Mantle, a UFO researcher and author who has been investigating the Roswell hoax for 10 years, said Humphreys had been a prime suspect but had never before admitted involvement.
Mantle, who next month will deliver a lecture at Glasgow University on the Roswell story, said: “I didn’t think it would take so long, but I am delighted this hoax has finally been exposed and the mystery has been solved.”
Humphreys, who is based in Manchester, says he also appeared in the Roswell film as the chief surgeon. The bug-eyed alien models were filled with sheep brains, chicken entrails and knuckle joints bought from Smithfield meat market. After filming, the dummies were cut up and dumped in bins across London.
For a few short weeks the world held its breath after the 91-minute silent film was unveiled by Ray Santilli, a London-based video distributor. He claimed to have bought the footage, shot on 14 reels, from a retired American military cameraman.
Humphreys said the Roswell film was shot by himself, Santilli and three others. He said he spent four weeks fashioning the models from latex using clay sculptures. Humphreys, a graduate of the Royal Academy who has also created special effects for the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp, says he only told his wife about the hoax when he was hired to work on Alien Autopsy.
“It was a very, very strange feeling to know that I had played a key part in it,” he said.
Santilli, who is played by Declan Donnelly in Alien Autopsy, insists he was trying to “re-create” a real Roswell incident. He claims he bought genuine footage that was badly damaged when it was exposed to the air after 48 years in a can. “John was given very precise images to work with and what he did was sheer genius,” he said.
Editors comment: The article above confirms my long-held belief that the alien autopsy footage was fake. Over the years many readers have visited our site and asked about the authenticity of the film. There is even a topic about the footage on our messageboards. The film has certainly stirred up a lot of debate since its release in 1995. I remember a rather heated discussion between myself and fellow CC researcher, Andy, a few years ago, after just coming out of Philip Mantle's lecture about the footage at the UFO Magazine Conference, held at Leeds. Andy believed without doubt that the footage was real but I always had my doubts, and judging by this latest release, it seems my argument was justified.
It's certainly interesting to read Mr. Mantle's change of heart in the Sunday Times article. Its rather odd that Mantle would suddenly claim “I didn’t think it would take so long, but I am delighted this hoax has finally been exposed and the mystery has been solved” when you consider that Mr. Mantle has written a book on the subject and also toured far and wide lecturing people on how he believed the footage was genuine!
He has been the main advocate for supporting the authenticity of Ray Santilli's story and the film since its release. Put in a word search into Google for 'Philip Mantle', and you will read the countless articles that quote him supporting the alien autopsy footage as genuine. I wonder why all of a sudden he has totally changed his opinion for the authenticity of the footage, after doing conference lectures and writing books telling everyone that the footage appeared legitimate?
There were many clues that pointed to a hoax for any viewer who cared to look carefully enough. For instance, the label from the canister which the film was stored in makes a brief appearance in the autopsy film. While it appears to be genuine, the Department Of Defence seal was not designed until long after the autopsy film was supposedly processed! Santilli claimed that he had sent a piece of the film footage in 1995 to Kodak for authenticity, but at the time, the editor of UFO Magazine, the late Graham Birdsall, contacted Kodak directly and found that Santilli hadn't sent any footage to Kodak at all. Santilli did release a piece of film for analysis to a little-known film studio but the film contained no images and so therefore could not be relied upon as being a part of the original footage. Santilli also claimed that he had footage of President Truman viewing the autopsy through the window of the lab. Santilli has never publicly released such footage for scrutiny.
With the latest admissions, I'm wondering if Mr. Santilli is willing to refund money to the many thousands of people who were duped by his hoaxed video footage? Its very frustrating when untruthful people surface onto the UFO scene just to make as much money as quickly as possible. It really doesn't help the credibility of the subject. No wonder so many people don't take the UFO subject seriously!
Cosmic Conspiracies Research Team
(Извинявам се на всички за английския, но съм зарит от уърк, а темата не е особено актуална, но е хубаво да го отбележим тук, ако има достатъчно желаещи ще конвертна на бг!
Честно, не знам някога някой повярва ли, а как само додоха толкова пари да купят филма, ентусиасти (сигурно и аз бих купил филма, ако имах това обезпечаване!)