by George Wingfield
The "Alien Autopsy" circus still attracts the attention of a few determined believers. Mr. Santilli continues to figuratively dangle the carrot... and, although the promises which have been given are never fulfilled, hope, it would seem, springs eternal.
There have been several promises of meetings with the mysterious alleged cameraman. Michael Hesemann was to have met him in February when he travelled to the U.S. Bob Kiviat, who made the dramatic Fox TV documentary "Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?" has been promised the first exclusive interview with the cameraman. All of these meetings have yet to materialise. Bob Shell and Michael Hesemann had what was described as a teleconference with the cameraman -- but we find that this consisted of them being on one line to Santilli and the alleged cameraman being on another. This can hardly be called an interview. As I have predicted previously, the cameraman will no doubt sooner or later suffer an unexpected demise which will bring an end to this charade.
The actual number of "cameramen" also seems to be multiplying. A media company called Orion has allegedly found another cameraman, different from Santilli's. Others have identified a certain "Jack Snow" who was a U.S. military cameraman at that time with a high level security clearance, though we have yet to hear what became of him. The number of alleged crash sites for Mr. Santilli's flying saucer has also multiplied. Months ago he told me that the saucer crashed just outside the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation (perhaps 85 miles west of Roswell), and last summer Michael Hesemann was directed, "by the cameraman", to a site further west near Socorro. Bob Shell has more recently been pointed, "by the cameraman", to yet another site to the west of Magdalena nearly 200 miles west of Roswell. A further site in that area has been been identified by yet another researcher. It seems that the cameraman's memory of where he went and found the "crashed saucer burning in the desert" is anything but consistent.
Mr. Santilli had said he would appear and speak at the Ozark UFO Conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on April 12-4, together with Bob Shell. Bob was going to be given a copy of the "First Autopsy" footage, which had never before been seen in public, to show at the conference. However, in the event, there was no Santilli and no new autopsy footage. It was said that Volker Spielberg had blocked any move to make available the videotape of this footage. More unfulfilled promises.
At a lecture on "Area 51" which I gave to a BUFORA audience at the University of Westminster in London on February 3, the notorious Gang of Three -- [Robert] Irving, [John] Lundberg and [Rod] Dickinson -- were seen to be sitting in the second row of the audience. [Irving, Lundberg and Dickinson are prominent among the known British crop circle fakers. Dickinson even gives public lectures on how he does it. - ed.] This was not unexpected, and inevitably the subject of [the autopsy film] was raised and discussed at the end of the session. I said that I believed these three were involved in the making of the film, and after turning up the lights in the lecture theatre and pointing them out to the rest of the audience, I specifically accused them of just that.
Never has one seen three more uncomfortable looking individuals. Initially they made no reply at all. If body language was anything to go by, the three were undoubtedly guilty as charged. Irving finally launched into a heated verbal attack on me, and three times I interrupted him to say, "Did you, or did you not, take part in the making of Mr. Santilli's Alien Autopsy footage?". He avoided any denial of this accusation and so did John Lundberg. Afterwards, Rod Dickinson came up and did make a denial of involvement, but immediately spoilt this by stating that he had never set eyes on Ray Santilli. That, I said, was patently untrue, since I had seen Rod myself within a few feet of Santilli at the inaugural showing of the Alien Autopsy film, when it was presented by Santilli in the Museum of London on May 5, 1995. To the best of my knowledge, Rob Irving and John Lundberg have yet to make any public denial of their involvement in the making of the hoaxed footage. This is a very peculiar omission on the part of an innocent party.
I have corresponded via e-mail with Chris Kenworthy, a small-time circlefaker. Some months ago he contacted me and suggested that he could find out more about the involvement of the Gang of Three in the making of the Alien Autopsy footage since, being a circlefaker, he was on fairly close terms with them. I certainly encouraged him to do just that, but remained wary.
However it was not long before he began to relay supposed details of how the footage was made at a large private house in north London, and of the other people supposedly involved, which was transparently untrue. I never published any of this material and rated it as one would rate information supplied by any dubious source such as a petty police informer. He produced various names which he now admits were contrived (such as John Marek, Clare Wilson, Greg Prentice, etc.) and tried to imply that [Bufora investigator] Philip Mantle was part of the scam, which is something I have never believed.
Whether Kenworthy was always in cahoots with the Gang of Three or whether he was duped by them is hardly relevant, since the basis for my [accusations] did not rest on anything Kenworthy had said. The accusation that Irving, Lundberg and Dickinson were responsible for creating and filming the autopsy is based on all sorts of considerations and anything contributed by Kenworthy forms the very least part of it.
If these people are truly innocent of the charge, let them say so in public -- clearly and specifically. In the same way that they have failed to deny authorship of a large number of specific crop circles which I've accused them of making in the last four years, it seems that they will avoid denying that they made Alien HILDA [Wingfield's term "HILDA" is his acronym for "Hoaxed Irving Lundberg Dickinson Alien" - ed].
Rob Irving contributed an article to the Dec '95/Jan '96 Fortean Times (Issue 84) entitled "Boom! time for UFOs". It concerned a mysterious explosion or shockwave which had been heard in the vicinity of the NATO Air Force Base at Aviano in NE Italy. Very likely this was a sonic boom made by some military aircraft, but for various reasons it was elevated to mystery status, together with other fairly banal happenings at Aviano, and made the subject of this article. This has no direct bearing on the Santilli affair but what follows well illustrates Irving's all-consuming penchant for deception.
What has upset many readers of Fortean Times is that the article included a photograph taken by Irving of what appeared to be a UFO peeking out of a hangar at the base. The caption posed the question of whether this showed a "spacecraft" or a jet fighter, clearly implying that it was a UFO. The photo was said to have been "enhanced by computer."
Here was a blatant example of a forged photograph intended to trick the readership. In an instant, the Fortean Times, which is widely regarded as an honest and respected journal of bizarre and anomalous events, sank to the level of "Weekly World News," which makes up its news and forges its photos in the editorial offices. A lame apology by Fortean Times editor Bob Rickard in the latest edition explains that Irving's "trick photo" was done by scanning his actual photo of the Aviano hangar into a computer and then using appropriate software to insert a photo of a "Bob Lazar UFO" model in the open doors of the hangar. OK, but why did the magazine allow this to be presented as a supposedly genuine photo? And the question must arise whether Irving is capable of publishing anything other than hoaxes.
The police, when confronted with an unusual and distinctive crime, look in their files and sometimes come up with records of crimes of a similar nature and who was responsible. The UFO community only has to do likewise in this case and it will see that the Gang of Three perfectly fit the required profile for the hoaxers. And, as I've said previously, such hoaxers are never invisible: they cannot resist hanging about in the wings watching the effect of their deception and adding to the confusion which they have caused. Nor can they resist taking part in the ensuing debate (which these days will be mostly on the Internet), speaking as skeptics but firmly trying to place the blame other than where it really belongs.
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