A most extraordinary online auction is currently in progress , at the digital art auction house Rarible. Up for sale is an NFT (non-fungible token) im
A most extraordinary online auction is currently in progress , at the digital art auction house Rarible. Up for sale is an NFT (non-fungible token) image taken from an alleged 68-year-old alien autopsy film.
The purported subject of this procedure was an alien corpse recovered from an unidentified flying object that had crashed in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947. The autopsy was allegedly performed by pathologists affiliated with the United States military. It would presumably have taken place at the Roswell Army Airfield, where the body and the debris from the crashed saucer were taken by a U.S. military retrieval team.
The NFT image, which was taken from a black-and-while photographic negative, shows what appears to be the full body of a deceased alien being, lying on its side on a medical table. Its appearance matches that of the famed “grays” of alien abduction lore.
The NFT has been put up for sale by the man who claims to own the original autopsy footage, London-based television producer Ray Santilli. He has set an opening bid price of $1 million (818,000 Euros), or 450 Ethereum in digital cryptocurrency, for the print, which Santilli claims will be the only one made from the original film and the only one made available to the public for purchase.
The winning bidder (if there is one) will receive all ownership rights to the digital print, plus the actual physical copy of the 16 mm film frame from which it was taken. They will also receive a copy of a memo released in 2019 that supposedly offers proof from a “CIA scientist” that the alien autopsy actually occurred, and that the image in question is of a real alien.
The image of the alien went up for auction on May 30 and will continue to be listed until June 6. As of this writing, no bids have been entered. This may not be surprising, given the image’s high minimum price and its association with one of the most infamous UFO-related hoaxes of modern times.
An exhibit of a dead alien from the Roswell UFO crash in New Mexico, USA. Looks real, doesn’t it? But just because it looks real doesn’t mean the alien autopsy NFT is the genuine article: technology makes hoaxes easier every day! ( Derrick Neill / Adobe Stock)
The True Story of a Fake or Real Alien Autopsy Film?
The story of the alien autopsy film begins in 1995, when the Fox TV network broadcast a special entitled “Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?” Hosted by actor Jonathan Frakes, the special featured extended clips from a 17-minute-long black-and-white film of what was claimed to be an actual alien autopsy, from 1947.
Santilli claimed he obtained this remarkable footage from a retired U.S. military cameraman, who’d filmed the procedure and kept a copy of the film in his personal collection for nearly 50 years.
The show was later rebroadcast twice, as Fox sought to take advantage of the high level of public interest the release of the film generated. While people were anxious to see the film, it was greeted with a large amount of skepticism by practically everyone.
As expected, it was derided and dismissed as a hoax by UFO skeptics. A vast majority of UFO researchers also believed it to be a hoax , although the UFO community remained receptive to the original story of the Roswell crash .
In the coming years, Santilli continued to insist the film was genuine. But with his claims almost universally rejected, Santilli changed his story in 2006.
He admitted to British journalist Eamonn Holmes that the 17-minute film was not authentic. However, Santilli claimed that it was a faithful recreation of a real film of an alien autopsy, which was no longer available because the original film stock had degraded. Santilli claimed only a few frames of the original film had survived, and that he had spliced those into the faked film at undisclosed points.
Two of the individuals involved in creating the hoaxed film featured on Fox have confirmed their roles in its production. British special effects expert John Humphrey and magician and filmmaker Spyros Melaris (the film’s director) have explained how they constructed the model of the alien body . They filled it with animal organs purchased at a local butcher shop, which could then be removed during the “autopsy.” The pathologists performing the procedure were all hired actors, and footage from the 1947 newsreels was added to make the film look much older than it actually was.
Unsurprisingly, most UFO researchers and aficionados found Santilli’s “confession” unconvincing. They believed the entire episode was a hoax from beginning to end and that no original film had ever existed.
Much of the current debate about what is real and not real, at least in the case of the alien autopsy film and its NFT, is based on what the CIA (and NSA) deems true or not true. And the problem, according to many, is that the CIA also likes a confused public. ( Dusan / Adobe Stock)
The CIA Memo: Is It Confirmation?
In defense of his modified assertions, Santilli has been hyping the 2019 release of a memo written in 2001 by an individual connected with the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). This private organization was formed by Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow, and was dedicated to studying topics related to UFOs, alien abductions, and paranormal phenomena.
The memo was written by NIDS physicist Eric Davis, who reported that a CIA-affiliated scientist named Christopher “Kit” Green had been shown photographs of the “real” alien autopsy during a 1987 Pentagon briefing. Green said these images matched what was shown on the Santilli film, and he therefore concluded that the alien autopsy footage shown on TV was real (or based on something real, at any rate).
“I have lived with this film and the story surrounding it for 30 years,” Santilli commented following the release of the memo . “When I first saw the CIA papers with their verification of the Roswell event and Alien Autopsy film, a massive weight was lifted from my shoulders.”
Santilli’s identification of the memo as “CIA papers” isn’t exactly accurate. The memo does not come from an official government source.
But Kit Green is a real scientist. He is currently a Professor of Forensic Neuroimaging at the Detroit Medical Center and the Wayne State School of Medicine in Michigan. Dr. Green has confirmed the contents of the memo, and his longstanding interest in UFOs probably explains why he was shown the provocative images during his briefing.
But even if Green was shown such photos, there is no way to know if they were authentic. Most UFO researchers believe government agencies routinely spread misinformation and disinformation about UFOs and alien contact , to create confusion around this issue. If Green was being used as a conduit for disinformation, he would have been unaware of that fact.
It’s amazing how much can be faked today, given the incredible advances in computer generated images and action scenes. This scene could picture real military personnel or film actors. How can we tell something is a hoax? We can’t really or not easily. That’s the problem! ( Gorodenkoff / Adobe Stock)
Hoaxes Within Hoaxes: But Even Fakes Make Money
The image Ray Santilli is currently trying to sell is alleged to have come from the original film, not from the recreation that he acknowledges is fake. That is why he is asking such a high price for it.
The director of the hoaxed film, Spyros Melaris, has disputed the notion that an original authentic film exists. He claims that Santilli showed him the so-called original film, and that Melaris recognized it immediately as a poorly done hoax.
Melaris says it was his idea to make the new-and-improved version of the original, so they could make money marketing it as real in a TV special. Later, they would make another TV special revealing the truth about their hoax, making even more money in the process.
Assuming Melaris’s account is true, Santilli’s desire to auction off the NFT image may represent one last attempt to profit off from this story before it disappears from the public consciousness for good.
Top image: The alien autopsy film NFT that is currently up for bids on the auction website, Rarible. Source: Rarible
By Nathan Falde