While going through some videos made by the company responsible for that King Kong-inspired birthday party that I used in my last article, I noticed that they had done a video inspired by the infamous Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction? TV special. Although the slightly gory video was done as a tongue-in-cheek promotion of their Alien Autopsy party package, the fact that they almost nailed the look of the alien inspired me to look up more on the matter in order to see if any other recreation-type deals had been done. What I found was far more interesting...
First, I went to this site, which I had only briefly looked at in the past, which broke down how a model "alien" like the one seen in the film could be made. This page not only gives Stan Winston's real opinion of the film. In Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?, footage of Winston was apparently edited to make it seem as if he didn't think the footage was a hoax. It also seems that he might have been under the impression that the film was actually from the 1940's when he first looked at it.
This notes various signs in the film that point to it being a hoax and makes some notes about "hot frames" while this page lists several alien autopsy "recreations." I suspect that the reason so many of the "recreations" don't look exactly like the subject of the "Alien Autopsy" film (although they look more realistic) is due to fears of copyright infringement lawsuits. Speaking of which, I remember back around the time the film had first been shown on TV, an episode of Sightings played some footage and noted that, if the footage really was authentic, then it being filmed by the government in the 1940's would've made it automatically public domain and therefore they weren't paying for use of the footage. It wouldn't surprise me if they were only bluffing, but it still amuses me to this day.
Some of you might remember how the man behind the footage (Ray Santilli) and the man who created the alien (some content is NSFW) confessed to the hoax in 2006. But, as you can see in this interview, the confession seems to have been done solely to promote a movie inspired by the hoax. Also, the "Okay, the film you saw was faked, but it was based on a real film that got mostly destroyed" is laughable (and strikingly similar to the story Frank Hansen gave about his Minnesota Iceman exhibit). I think that the various goofs highlighted by Trudang.com negate any claim that what little remained of the so-called original film was present in Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction? Well, that, and the fact that nobody can say for sure which frames are the "real" ones. Santilli needs to "put up or shut up" if he really expects people to believe his claims.
Of course, those who saw the 1999 TV special, The World's Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed know why he won't: There was nothing to recreate. You see, the producers (including one who had worked on Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?, Robert Kiviat) found the people Ray Santilli contacted to do the film prior to his teaming up John Humphreys (who provided special effects on Doctor Who during the 1980's). They had even filmed some test footage that included an actor pretending to be Harry Truman, although it wasn't as good as the version we're all familiar with. The fake Truman is very important, since Santilli was claiming that footage of him had convinced him the film was authentic back when he was promoting Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction? However, no scenes of "Harry Truman" were ever seen in it! It looks like he forgot the script was revised. On top of that, the people behind the rejected first attempt made no mention of being told to recreate anything. In fact, they were basically given free reign over the design of the alien!
Another blow to the "recreation" claim is that an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico. Although it's a lengthy read, this excellent website attacks every single Roswell crash claim from all possible angle, leaving any reasonable person to conclude that it was a weather balloon that touched down in 1947. Think that nobody could ever mistake something like that for a flying saucer? Think again. In other words, if the alleged Roswell crash never happened, then any claimed footage of bodies recovered from said crash have to be a hoax. Perhaps as a result of that, some have started claiming that the film is from a different UFO crash. However, proponents of that theory fail to realize that the revelations made by The World's Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed make that theory untenable. It doesn't help that the US government has a very poor track record in keeping secrets, as shown in jmercer's humorous post made on June 27th 2005 at 1:26 PM here.
Even though it's a hoax, Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction? has made a huge impact on American pop culture, inspiring everything from haunted house scenes to toys. Although it should be noted that Mattel released a "Dissect an Alien" toy as part of their "Mad Scientist" line in the 1980's, long before the special was conceived, it was the hoax that popularized the idea. It even inspired some imitation films, such as the one used in The Secret KGB UFO Files (which used a decaying sea turtle and plastic limbs) and a chupacabra autopsy using a mangy canine carcass! What's next, "Loch Ness Monster Autopsy?"