2 June 1995
Dear Roswell Fans,
Here is some info I recently pulled off the internet about the Roswell Reels. I posted it a few days ago, but apparently not all of it made it into the forum here is the text in full. If anyone is interested in the WEB site for this and other UFO info and news, leave me mail and I will happily send it to you.
UFO Buff, James T. Lillard “Mulder is GOD!”
ALLEGED ROSWELL FILM FOOTAGE TO BE SHOWN IN PUBLIC
On Sunday, March 26, CNN announced on Headline News that in August of this year at a UFO convention to be held in England a 16 mm film of an alien autopsy filmed by the U.S. military from a 1947 UFO crash in New Mexico will be shown to the public. The film is also said to show wreckage of the craft. No further information was given on CNN. The announcement was made between sports and entertainment news. However, similar stories were found in a number of newspapers around the country on the same day. These stories were apparently based on the following press release (original source not known).
Copyright 1995 The Press Association Limited
Press Association Newsfile March 26, 1995, Sunday SECTION: HOME NEWS
LENGTH: 429 words
HEADLINE: UFO EXPERTS TO SEE TOP-SECRET ‘DEAD ALIENS’ FILM
A top-secret film allegedly showing dead aliens will be screened for the first time anywhere in the world this summer – in Britain. It will also form the basis of a sensational BBC TV documentary due to be screened in August.
The 91-minute film, to be shown to an international audience of UFO spotters at a two-day conference at Sheffield Hallam University, has been classified as top secret for almost 50 years. It was shot by U.S. government officials in the desert of New Mexico, allegedly after a flying saucer crash-landed in 1947. U.S. Air Force officials sealed off the site and the film, shot by military cameramen, was immediately classified. UFO experts claim the truth has been covered up ever since.
But the 16mm black and white silent film, shot on 14 reels, was copied by a former military cameraman, now 82 and still living in America, who believed the cover-up was wrong and that the evidence should be publicly examined. He passed it to British TV documentary film maker Ray Santilli – who was in America making a documentary about Elvis Presley.
The film is alleged to show scientists examining a creature laid on a slab inside a tent at the crash site, guarded by military police. Scientists carry out an autopsy on the alien body and examine tissue samples. It is also said to show part of the spaceship wreckage – allegedly made from a material that could not be burned, dented or cut. Experts believe the cover-up was ordered to give U.S. scientists a chance to try to copy the engineering.
The UFO conference where it will be screened in August is likely to attract more than 500 enthusiasts from as far afield as Russia and South Africa. Conference organizer Philip Mantle of the British UFO Research Association said: “We have already had the film checked out by Kodak who confirm it is 50 years old, and we now plan to have it examined by film experts at the university.”
Mr. Mantle, director of investigations for the UFO association, added: “I have seen one seven-minute reel. The film is clear and very intriguing.
“Of course, any film or picture can be faked, but if this is a hoax, a lot of people were involved because they can be clearly seen on screen, and by now we might have expected that one of them would have let the cat out of the bag.
“Our intention is to show the film and then Mr. Santilli, who is convinced it is genuine, will speak about the film. Then people will have to make up their own minds.
“This film has never had a public screening before in the world and is already creating intense interest.”
This is just some cursory information on what some of the “reels” contain. This part also contains a list of some of the events that have transpired since the “reels” have surfaced.
James T. Lillard
ROSWELL AUTOPSY SHOWING IN ITALY
by Edoardo Russo
Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici
This is a report on the showing of the so-called Roswell autopsy at the Third International Symposium on UFOs and Related Phenomena, held by Centro Ufologico Nazionale (CUN) in San Marino (Italy) on May 20th and 21st, 1995, where Philip Mantle was invited to speak about the now famed alien autopsy film.
This report is being posted in the UFO newsgroups and mailing lists via Internet, in order to update colleagues all around the world on what Italian ufologists were able to learn first-hand.
Sources for the report are the following:
1) Direct viewing by CISU members Paolo Fiorino, Matteo Leone, Edoardo Russo and Maurizio Verga of seven slides taken from the same footage shown in the London Museum on May 5th, 1995, with comments by Philip Mantle (BUFORA Director of Investigations) and Chris Cary (associate of footage owner, Ray Santilli);
2) Interviews and discussions by Matteo Leone, Edoardo Russo and Maurizio Verga with Chris Cary, Philip Mantle and some members of CUN who were able to see one of more parts of the video footage, being shown in London and elsewhere;
3) Papers presented by Maurizio Baiata and Philip Mantle at the Symposium.
In several different moments across three days, we could ask the same details to different people involved, in order to cross-check information, were able to discuss among us about the collected answers and to ask more details as needed. We tried to clear some of the rumours spread in the UFO press and through the Internet.
Here follows a resume of what we learned.
1) DESCRIPTION OF PARTS OF THE FOOTAGE BEING SHOWN
Both Philip Mantle and Maurizio Baiata were shown three different footages. Mantle simply confirmed this to us, while we got most details from Baiata, an independent TV producer who has been working with CUN in the last three years and produced ten commercial UFO videotapes in Italy.
Baiata has been following the story since the first mention of the film in a news agency release on March 27th, 1995. He tried and reached Santilli a few days later in Cannes (France) where he was shown the first part of the footage, which we will call:
1.1 – “the Tent footage”:
7 minutes of black and white film showing an alleged alien body lying on a table within a tent badly lit by a lamp; the body is partly covered by a sheet, the head is badly visible in the dark, arms and feet are protruding from the cover, two white-dressed but un-masked men are examining the arms and seem to take a large piece of either skin or texture from an arm or the side of the body; the camera is fixed and sometime the back of the assumed operator is seen passing in front of the scene.
This is the same footage Philip Mantle was given a videotaped copy of by Santilli, and shown by either Mantle or Santilli to several different people in the last months. This is the only part of the footage Mantle has got as yet in his possession and he is not allowed to show it publicly.
1.2 – The “Second” Autopsy
On April 25th, Baiata flew from Rome to London in order to be shown a longer footage by Santilli. (Baiata offered to buy the rights for Italy, and arranged for the Italian national TV to take an interest in it.)
When he got there, he was told the laboratory had not yet finished its work, and asked to wait till the following day. He did so and on April 26th he was in Santilli’s office where Chris Cary showed him a 12 minutes footage (sum of 4 reels of 3 minutes each) showing an autopsy of a naked alien within an operatory room. The body is very similar to the one in the “first autopsy footage” (see later on), except that it seemingly is more decomposed. Doctors performing this autopsy do not wear protective coveralls as in the earlier one, but do wear surgeon masks.
Philip Mantle confirmed to us that he too was shown this footage.
1.3 – The “First” Autopsy
This is the 18 minutes footage more widely known, since it was shown in the London Museum on May 5th, before more than 100 invited journalists and UFO students. Italians attending were Maurizio Baiata, CUN director and UFO book author Roberto Pinotti, Italian TV Channel 2 (Raidue) director Gianni Minoli, and contactee/visionnaire/stigmatized Giorgio Bongiovanni with five of his followers (he, who usually see the Virgin Mary and talks about ETs as angels of the Lord, was later heard saying the alien was just the same as those seen by him!).
Detailed descriptions of this footage have been posted everywhere, so I won’t repeat them here: both Baiata and Pinotti confirmed us all such details.
But here we can add our first-hand testimony: from this footage came the seven slides shown during the Symposium, which we were able to see. Circumstances of the viewing are meaningful:
a) – the slides were not (and are not) in the possession of Philip Mantle;
b) – they were taken in San Marino by Ray Santilli’s associate Chris Cary on Saturday 20th and returned London with him on Sunday 21st;
c) – they could not be shown publicly for fear somebody could photograph or videotape them, so two private viewing were arranged.
The first show was on Saturday at lunch time (when the public had left), in the Grand Hotel: only official speakers at the Symposium, CUN directors, the press and local authorities were admitted; the Hotel was cordoned by policemen who checked every single person to verify nobody carried cameras or the like (this 007 scene was filmed by Italian TV and shown in the news on the following day).
The second viewing took place in an underground room at the Symposium, at 7.30 p.m. on the same day, allowing only the press and attending CUN members to enter (and be checked one by one by the policemen against unwanted cameras).
Attending CISU members were also invited to this second viewing by Pinotti and Baiata, probably afraid that we might do some negative PR action. You should know that CUN and CISU are rival organizations and do not keep good relations since 1985, when CISU was formed by former CUN members, CUN representing the ‘fundamentalist’, ET-believer approach, while CISU maintains a more skeptical-minded attitude. We were asked to keep a respectful approach (do not laugh, nor ridicule the film or the Symposium organizers, either on place or in later comments), which we agreed to.
Among other viewers (we counted 90 to 100 in all) there were Swiss ufologist Bruno Mancusi and Spanish UFO journalist Javier Sierra, whom we later exchanged opinions with.
Here follows a description of:
1.4 – The Seven Slides
1. A humanoid naked body lying on a table in a room; we were told female genitals were visible, but none of us was able to confirm this; the hairless head has two human-like ears in a lower position than us humans, two large Communion-style black eyes wide open, a very small nose, an open mouth. The belly is expanded and pregnant-like. The famed phone with a curled rope is plainly visible on a wall, as well as some surgical instruments in an open box. The right leg is badly wounded (scarnified), and lacks part of it, looking as if void inside.
2. A close-up of the head.
3. The black eye-cover being removed, showing white eye-balls (a small incision between chest and neck is already visible at this stage).
4. The body is being opened up with a L-shaped cutting from above chest to abdomen.
5. The opened body is exposed, with dark inside organs visible but not clearly distinguishable; no chest bones are found.
6. The whole body shown: six fingers are clearly visible on each hand.
7. The head skin is being removed, partly showing the brain. A doctor’s gloved hands and part of his white dress are visible.
a) – the black eye-cover is still on its place in slides 4 through 7: was it re-positioned after the removal shown in slide 3? Or is the correct order unrespected? (But then how to explain that in all slides after the fourth the chest is wide open, while it’s intact in slide 3?);
b) – though we were told organic liquids are visible as abundantly flowing in the video, nothing at all is visible in the slides; moreover, neither doctors’ gloves nor the table are dirty but white clean in all seven slides;
c) – according to Paolo Fiorino, who is a professional nurse with direct autopsy experience, the table wouldn’t seem apt (lacking any draining and visible instruments are too few to be sufficient; moreover, contrary to verbal descriptions, he noticeed no sign of rigor mortis in the body.
These notes are based upon viewing only slides, thus they may be overcome by a viewing of the complete video.
2. – RUMOURS, CONFIRMATIONS AND REBUTTALS
We were able to ask a lot of questions and tried to verify several rumours heard or read of (mostly on Internet exchanges). Here’s a summary.
2.1 – Phone cable: Mantle told that curled cables in use for telephones as early as the ’40s were found in a book.
2.2 – Truman visiting the body: Mantle and Baiata were adamant they never saw nor heard of Truman being visible in any part of the film.
2.3 – Detlev Bronk and MJ-12: Mantle told that two names are plainly visible on a note-book held by someone during the autopsy: Detlev Bronk (the well known physiologist allegedly member of MJ-12) and a Dr. Williams. On the contrary, Baiata was adamant that no name could be visible on any note-book, because of its position; the same as for the rumoured ‘MJ-12’ writing. But Baiata also told us that he saw a sort of introductory headline on the 12 minutes ‘second autopsy’ footage he was privately shown on April 26th: ‘Autopsy performed by Dr. Detlev Bronk’.
2.4 – Kodak analysis: Mantle denied that any analysis have been performed by Kodak. The company did only confirm that symbols and serial numbers visible on the film were real and recycled every 20 years, in particular in 1947, 1967 or 1987.
2.5 – Brazilian documentary: Mantle denied the story that an ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ reporter would have recognized the autopsy footage as part of a Brazilian UFO documentary.
2.6 – Vallee’s role: Mantle reported (we never heard it before) and denied that the footage was first offered to UFO researcher Jacques Vallee.
2.7 – Nagaitis’ role: Cary denied the rumour that Carl Nagaitis (press agent of Philip Mantle and co-author of his 1994 book on UFO abductions, ‘Without Consent’) was also the press agent of Ray Santilli, though he admitted they knew each other.
2.8 – Cary’s role: I asked Chris Cary (variously described as Santilli’s lawyer, accountant or partner) what his usual work activity was and what his role is in this affair: he replied he usually is in the film/TV documentary business, that he was acquainted with Santilli, and that Santilli called him to help cope with the growing media interest: he is now responsible for the marketing of the footage.
3. NEW INFORMATION
The following information emerged, that was as yet unkown to us:
3.1 – Exact chronology: Santilly got the footage from Jack Barnett (real name, officially confirmed by Mantle in his speech) in June 1993, but according to Cary Santilli had known about it for at least a year (if true, this contradicts in part the known version). Mantle learned of the footage in 1993, phoned Santilli and asked to view it but got a refuse so he dismissed it as a tall tale and forgot it; the first one to view it would have been pop singer Reg Presley, in late 1993 or January 1994, and wen he told the story in TV Mantle went back to Santilli and finally was able to view it and got Santilli’s promise to show it in Sheffield. Mantle confirmed that the world media explosion was casual: he told of the footage to a local journalist friend while promoting the Sheffield congress Mantle is organizing for BUFORA, but the news went on the national wires and soon he began receiving phone calls from over the world.
3.2 – Revising the Roswell time-line: Baiata told us he was told by Santilli that the footage consisted in several different recordings taken between June 5th and July 5th, 1947, in Roswell and Fort Worth: this would put back the Roswell crash about one month earlier than the original story. By the way, Mantle told that cameraman Barnett was allegedly ordered to Roswell from Washington officials.
3.3 – 91 minutes, not all good: Baiata was also told that some other short footages from the film have been viewed, but he was not shown them. Cary told that not all 91 minutes are as good as the three already shown parts.
3.4 – BUFORA attitude: Mantle confirmed to me that the other BUFORA directors are skeptical, and that not one of them has yet been able to view the footage, not even at the London Museum showing (as well as none of the American Roswell researchers, who claimed to be skeptical). He himself was very cautious in his public comments, and also told that he officially asked Santilli for a complete copy, offering BUFORA facilities for analysing it at best.
3.5 – Spielberg’s movie and the Roswell footage: Mantle told us that the famed early 1994 UK tabloid story of Spielberg planning a new movie on Roswell and MJ-12 based on real footage was actually originated by Carl Nagaitis, who had learnt of the Santilli’s film and hoped to force him to come public with it.
3.6 – Marketing strategy: we asked Cary what Santilli’s and his intentions are exactly as of showing/selling the footage. Cary explained the plan is to have public interest raised by gradual revelations (still pictures from the footage will be released in June) up to the climax with the footage showing at the 8th International UFO Congress in Sheffield, next August: at that moment they will sell the rights for each nation, so to gain a maximum price.
3.7 – Highest price offer yet: Santilli allegedly received and rejected an offer from the Israel TV for world exclusive rights on the footage: 7 million dollars.
3.8 – Santilli on WWW: Cary told us that Merlin (Santilly’s company) is planning a World-Wide Web server to be on the Internet with their own homepage soon.
4. – CONCLUDING REMARKS
I don’t want to comment this affair now, since most of the above reported information is second-hand or anecdotal, though I hope it may be of interest.
As of the slide showing, I was not impressed by the scenes as I was expecting from an autopsy. It did not give me the sensation of a (dead) living being, but you know, I had no previous experience of such kind.
This report, with its spelling and orthography mistakes and errors, was completed by Edoardo Russo on May 24th, 1995, based upon personal memory and a comparison with memories and notes by Matteo Leone, who also helped to revise the present text.
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