A poll by blogger Kevin Randle suggests that a high number of people still hold to a belief in a subject that has been fairly well established as being a hoax by those who first came forward with the footage in the first place as well as many other collaborators. The poll is a clear reminder to the rest of us that though the information that an iconic piece of footage may be a hoax, there is a serious problem with the dispersing of this information, and there will always be a few die-hards who believe in the most shocking story rather than the one that seems to be true.
It raises the question of why such opinions would still be widely held. Of course as with any survey there is always a margin of error, and the lack of a controlled environment in web polls makes them all the more likely to suffer from vast discrepancies when it comes to matters of high emotional interest to people and a strange nature. Additionally, the wording of many surveys is often confusing to participants. The logic here is not that any individual is not capable of understanding the survey question, but when answered 500 times (as was the case in this survey) it is possible for people to click without thinking or to misunderstand the wording only to later realize their error. Of course this shouldn’t account for as substantial a difference as was seen by the survey conducted on Mr. Randle’s site.
But let’s take a look at one other possibility. It has been observed by many in the field that the most fascinating things that can be compressed into a fifteen second sound byte and advertised easily are those that generate the most publicity. In the case of the alien autopsy video, one likely culprit for the footage’s staunch following is a program created in August of 1995 called “Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?” The program ran alongside an advertisement for the full alien autopsy video to those who were interested for around $20 plus shipping. Many, in a combination of morbid curiosity and excitement over the prospect of learning more about aliens and the cover-up after the crash at Roswell New Mexico shelled out the money for the full video. And this cover-up spawned another sort of cover up as would be explained by the director of the production John Jopsoni who was very suspicious of Santilli’s credibility as soon as he first met the man. According to an article entitled “Additional Insight into the Alien Autopsy” published in 1995, the article described Jopsoni’s conversation with Fox about the dubious nature of the whole project and was shut down. Fox’s special received higher ratings than any previous one they had created, and it aired several times in the coming months.
But when it became clear the Alien Autopsy video was, according to many experts, an obvious fraud, Fox did not run stories to this effect. Only serious researchers, or those wishing to follow up on the subject through periodicals or personal research were able to ascertain this information. As it stands today, many people will make their opinions based on whether or not the video “looks fake” and what they personally wish to believe. In the end, the mundane truth received less attention than the incredible story that could have been but in this case wasn’t.