[Rebecca S. Keith has closely followed the "alien autopsy" controversy since it first came to light in early 1995, and has frequently written on this subject for CNI News. (She also compiles and edits the weekly CNI News Media Watch.) Rebecca was one of the first American researchers to acquire still photo images of the alleged "cameraman" in mid-January, and she has now also acquired a copy of the interview videotape shown on Japanese TV. This is her report, written exclusively for CNI News.]
by Rebecca S. Keith
On January 16, a picture surfaced on the Internet of the man who claims to have originally filmed the "alien autopsy." The "cameraman's" picture came from an interview videotaped by the man's son, in which the man answers questions supplied by Robert Kiviat, U.S. producer of "Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?" The cameraman's interview was aired on Japanese television on December 19, 1996. During the same program, Roswell researcher Kent Jeffrey, former military cameraman Lt. Col. Dan McGovern, producer Robert Kiviat, and "alien autopsy" film owner/producer Ray Santilli also appear. The English-language interviews are sometimes difficult understand as Japanese translation is dubbed over them.
Readers of CNI News may examine a still picture of the cameraman at several internet locations. America Online members will find a picture posted at Parascope (keyword Parascope, then click "Nebula," then click icon for picture). Parascope is claiming the right to post the image under the legal term "fair use," which enables reviewers and others to use selected frames or text from movies or books for review purposes without violating copyright. A picture is also currently posted on the web at: www.uforeport.com/unusual.html. In these pictures, which were taken from the Japanese television broadcast, the "cameraman" appears to be an elderly man, somewhat heavy set, wearing glasses and a baseball cap. While age is hard to judge, he does not appear to be as old as Ray Santilli has intimated (over 80) -- nor, on the video, does he act or sound at all like a man that old.
If anyone viewing these pictures thinks they know the identity and whereabouts of this man, please report without delay to CNI News (email CNINews1@aol.com, or phone 805-682-8185).
In the videotape soundtrack, the cameraman speaks in a baritone voice, quite slowly and with a distinctly American accent, probably Mid-western. He is very plain-spoken, uses almost perfect grammar (he is evidently an educated man) and enunciates clearly. It occurred to me that he could be an actor.
The Japanese video provides the cameraman's spoken answers to twelve questions, but does not provide the actual questions in English. Robert Kiviat says on the video that he supplied 25 questions. Though the cameraman characterizes the questions as "precise," his answers are short and fairly vague.
The cameraman begins by saying he is reading from notes and that his son helped him. He then says, "I am the person who shot the film. I will not tell you my name, but I want you to know that I am not happy that I have betrayed my country. Our United States of America is the greatest country in the world, and I am proud to be an American. I do not want that to change."
His statements provide little new information for those who have been following the story closely. Nevertheless, there are a few interesting answers, one of which addresses a question about the protective suits worn by the people conducting the autopsy in Santilli's film. The cameraman says, "The protective suits made my job very difficult. Also, the air feeds into the feet on those things, and the surgeons were always getting in the way, but I expected that."
We already knew that the suits made his job difficult: it has been previously reported that he removed the suit part way through the filming of the second autopsy (the one widely shown on television). As for air feeds connecting through the feet, that is about the only place they could have connected, since there is no visible breathing gear on the suits, but the feet are never shown. I am told -- though I don't know it to be fact -- that protective suits with air feeds through the feet were common in the 1940s. I hasten to add that Mr. Santilli knew this as well, because the information about the suits was posted on the Compuserve Encounters Forum months ago, a forum that Santilli sometimes visits. We don't know at this time if Santilli briefed the cameraman on this important detail, or if the man knew it from personal experience.
Another interesting facet to the camerman's televised answers is how they differ from the printed "Cameraman's Statement" issued many months ago by Ray Santilli. The cameraman's statement, presented by Santilli on "Roswell: The Footage," clearly sounds British -- and not just because a British announcer is reading it, but because of the frequent use of "British-isms" such as "I fast learnt" and "no messing," and his reference to "the forces" when speaking of the military. It has been suggested that Santilli wrote the statement himself, drawing on information given to him by the cameraman. In any case, the man who speaks on the new video uses a distinctly American idiom.
As previously noted, the cameraman speaks with a Mid-western sounding accent. This does not square with an earlier report of British researcher Philip Mantle, who says he has spoken by phone with a man who claimed to be the cameraman. The call, Mantle says, was arranged by Santilli; and Mantle reported that the cameraman spoke with a Brooklyn accent. Such a distinctive accent would be unusual for a man who (it has been claimed) has lived most of his life in Ohio and some in California. The cameraman on the new video does sound as if he has lived in such places -- but is he just the latest actor that Santilli has rounded up for the part?
The new cameraman videotape must come as an unpleasant surprise to Robert Kiviat. As recently as last November, Kiviat claimed on the US-based afternoon TV talk show "Leeza" that he did not have permission to show the footage in the United States. Santilli had told Kiviat he could not show the footage because the cameraman's face was visible.Why then did Santilli provide the footage to FUJI television in Japan? Why wasn't the face digitally scrambled or obscured in some way? Maybe the Japanese would not have bought the footage under those conditions. Kiviat has reported that he would not air footage that obscured the cameraman's face. But Santilli, who has so far remained "true" to the cameraman, has now gone against the cameraman's wishes. I have been told by someone close to Santilli that money was needed and that is why the footage was sold. This seems odd to me because there are numerous people who would have paid to just to have the name of the cameraman -- and paid more than the Japanese paid for this footage (reportedly, not very much). I was also told that the cameraman refused Santilli's request to do another Q&A videotape that obscured the man's face, and that Santilli then sold the footage. If this scenario is true, then Santilli gave the old man up pretty easily. But why not to Kiviat?
I attempted to contact Robert Kiviat several times for a comment, but he has responded neither to my email nor my phone calls.
One of Santilli's companies, Orbital Media Ltd. (which holds the copyright to the cameraman interview), sent a letter to the UK-based "Fortean Times" magazine threatening legal action if the copyrighted images are printed. This prompted FT editor Bob Rickard to remark, "We will of course comply, as we have no wish to flout the laws of copyright, but we deplore, generally, a situation in which data that can help clear up the complex mysteries that abound in ufology today are commercial property. It makes genuine research and progress towards answers and understanding very difficult."
Indeed, it is a complex world we live in, but Santilli is proving once again just how dubious he can be. Not only did Kiviat report that the cameraman's interview was embargoed by Santilli, but U.S. researcher Bob Shell and German researcher Michael Hesemann did as well. They were both shown the footage in Mr. Santilli's London office, along with Philip Mantle. The information contained in the video interview they saw (and apparently it is the same as the interview shown in Japan) was said to be confidential. But should it still be confidential, now that at least part of the interview has been sold and broadcast? So far, Shell, Hesemann, and Mantle aren't really talking. They characterize themselves as part of the "International Research Group," claiming to investigate the film, but one wonders how unbiased they can be when they appear to accept Santilli's money for their "research expenses."
Will we see the cameraman interview in the U.S.? Probably in pirated videotapes passed among researchers. Kiviat apparently is scrambling to do something, but the rumor is that the networks aren't interested in the cameraman interview story. But then again, researchers have been contacted recently by a major network which is very interested in the Roswell story, including a possible expose on the alleged autopsy. Stay tuned.
The cameraman ends his "interview" on an ironic note, fitting for the end of this story: "Frankly, I wish I had never sold the film. He came back to me until I sold him the film. I sold the film because I needed money. I'm not proud of it. Santilli took about 25 rolls. That's it. I'm going to bed. No more questions. Turn it off. No more questions."
Original file name: CNI - Cameraman.Rebecca.edit
This file was converted with TextToHTML - (c) Logic n.v.