Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Alien Autopsy Poll

This poll, unscientific though it is, certainly opened my eyes and made me ask, "Are 78 of you crazy?"

Here is a case in which nearly everyone involved has admitted to making it up. Ray Santilli told us all, years ago, the tent footage was faked. We have people who were involved in all levels of this thing coming forward to tell of their roles in creating the various footage. Why, they even explained how that English word, "video" ended up on a rather crude I-beam that was supposed to have come from a wrecked flying saucer.

And 78 of you still think that some or all of the autopsy footage is real. What will it take to convince you otherwise?

Almost every UFO researcher or investigator who has expressed any opinion on this said that it was a hoax. There are so many red flags flying over the case that it looks like a May Day parade in Moscow. The story has changed so often that you need a scorecard to keep up. If there were any more twists in this tale, it would look like a deformed pretzel.

And 78 of you still think there is something real here?

I thought this one would be a slam dunk for rational thought. I believed that there were be a couple of people who wanted to hang onto the belief there was something of value in the autopsy footage... but 13% of the respondents in the poll?

Well, the results showed that 39 people (7%) thought it was real. Ten people (1%) thought it was mostly real. Twenty-nine people (5%) thought it was partially real. Thank goodness for the 466 (85%) who said that it was a hoax.

I mean, how much evidence do you believers in this require? Admissions don’t seem to be enough. Evidence of fakery isn’t enough. Photographs of the process of creating the hoax don’t do it. Just what do you require?

I will note here, quickly, that there are some other great UFO hoaxes that have yet to be wiped from the field. Admitted hoaxes that don’t seem to convince the diehards. Carlos Allende said he made up the Allende Letters, but there are those who won’t listen. Frank Kaufmann was exposed when his real documents were found but there are those who think he was a disinformation agent. Gerald Anderson admitted to creating a fake telephone bill, was caught with other forged documents, and people still believe his nonsense.

Anyway, those are the results of the poll. I am stunned that so many still believe in this autopsy nonsense, but then, there is no convincing some, regardless of the facts.


starman said...

I never read Hesemann, but didn't he have a favorable view of the "autopsy"? He could've misled a lot of people, and others saw only the film without the critical followup research.
Btw, from what I remember, Kaufmann was shown to be a phony when documents he had altered were found after his death.

Gilles. F. said...

Greetings Kevin and all,

I'm very sorry to be out the topic, but wanted to share this "info" (at least for a modest french^^)

In another topic, it was invokated (in short) by some ET Roswell proponents that Radar-Targets and Toy's manufacturers depends mainly on Moore "gangs".

I have presented in my book that it was probably Merri-Lei Corps as many know, but in Brooklyn in 1947, and not Mahattan, due to a 1947 newspapers and some investigations.

Today, my french friend "Nablator" found another Toys manufacturer in charge of ML307. Alox, Saint Louis Missouri.

In essence, Radar-Targets and Toys manufacturers have nothing extraordinary or surprising, as we can sometimes read here or there by some ET proponents.

Sorry for this "out topic".

Best Regards,

Gilles F.

Lance said...

Apologies also Kevin for me responding to Gilles' excellent post. I think many of us have come to regard your site as one of the few places (mostly) reasonable discourse on this topic can take place--so please forgive me for digression below.

Before I get to that I wonder if the results from this poll give you more understanding why skeptics can be so dismissive of the whole topic? There are so many nuts out there willing to believe anything that supports their conspiracy/paranormal beliefs that it becomes easy to do (and is usually warranted). For instance, whenever I hear someone talk about disinformation agents, I know as a rule of thumb that virtually all of the following discussion will come from the crazier side of things and my eyes start to glaze over.

Now in regards to Gilles' post:

I have often wondered about the supposed toy manufacturers and their tape with symbols. It would be so helpful to find an example of this stuff.

I wonder if it is possible to find other toys produced by the same manufacturers that would have used this tape? Toys are vociferously collected and there might still be existing examples if we knew what else the heck the tape was used for.

Thanks and apologies.


starman said...


"There are so many nuts out there willing to believe anything that supports their conspiracy/paranormal beliefs..."

As the poll made clear, they're a small minority. And there are nuts or fanatics on both sides. Some believe everything, others will never believe anything. Mack once got a skeptic to admit as much.

Gilles. F. said...

Last out topic comment, in order to reply to Lance.

Such those tapes (candy tapes) are present in some US 40's publicities. I use time to have some using ebay, etc. They appeared too in a National Geographic TV emission which is in youtube, and a friend made me screens captures to pictured my book.

You can take a look in this video :

At 7'30 you have such candy tapes with symbols (in french translation, but document well known in USA with Kevin, Michael Shermer, etc) to see such candy tapes and some symbols ;)

In other words, Toy's manufacturer made the fabrication of ML 307 (Merri-Lei and "now" Alox.

Candy tapes exist in Toys. They are 3M tape-like.

The ML 307 blueprint indicates in nota 22 + in the figure to reinforce the sticks + foils with 3M tapes or similar.


Sorry for the out topic, I considerated it was "important". Maybe we could speack about it in another thread.

Best Regards,

Gilles F.

Jerry Clark said...

The simple, sad fact of the matter is that there are individuals -- not just on the UFO scene by any stretch -- who believe in everything but the existence of hoaxes. Consider how long George Adamski thrived. Look at how many consider Philip Corso credible. Some individuals define an extraordinary claim as one that asserts somebody just made up something.

The world is densely populated with persons born with no critical filter.

Lance said...

Yes, thanks Gilles!

Those are all Christmas tapes (which makes more sense to me as to the existence of such tape in the first place). At least one of the designs is somewhat similar to that described by witnesses.

Kevin, feel free to to tell us to pipe down with the off-topic stuff! I would love to hear your take on this little aspect of the Roswell story sometime.



Gilles. F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gilles. F. said...

BTW (oups, sorry Kevin, so much off topic)

At 7'52, below in the publicity, we can see the mention Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) as such candy tapes manufacturers... in the ML307 blue Print,it is precised the use of MM & MC scotch tape to reinforce the sticks + foils in nota 22 (right marge)...


Gilles F.

cda said...

The reason why the alien autopsy is still accepted as genuine (in whole or in part) is that the Roswell crash is so thoroughly ingrained into people's belief systems that it adds another piece to that belief. The people who accept the autopsy as genuine are probably the same ones who still accept Glenn Dennis's tales, Kaufmann, Anderson, Corso, etc. In other words each and every piece of Roswell pro-ET evidence is accepted as another small part of the whole fabric. Such people cannot admit any part of this fabric is phony, only that maybe 'certain doubts' exist about this, that or the other, but that taken as a whole it all fits together and forms a true narrative, i.e. that ETs crash landed on earth that day in New Mexico.

Had the autopsy hoax turned up in, say, 1950 it would have been promoted as confirmation that Scully's crashed saucer tale was true (and would have had many more believers). In fact it would have been more convincing then as it was in black & white and would not have needed to be set back in an earlier time era.

KRandle said...

Lance -

To your comment about the "true believers" making it easier to be dismissive, I say two words. Kal Korff. He gives skepticism a bad name... I could also say, "Phil Klass." He was not above attacking people at their place of employment. Dirty pool, I'd say.

Gilles -

I don't think anyone disputes that 3M made various types of decorative cellophane tape. But then, none of the examples match either the descriptions by the Marcels or that of Charles Moore.


Sorry, no. I don't believe that those who accept the alien autopsy see it as keeping the Roswell case alive. Those who believe take pains to separate it fromt the Roswell case. They seem to live in their own little world where even all the admissions of those who created it seem not to exist.

Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

Happy 4th!

In regards to Kal Korff, if you can use him as an example of a skeptic, can I use George Adamski as an example of a UFO supporter?

Korff showed great promise initially (I have his early white paper on Meier, done with Bill Moore, I believe) but obviously he has some severe mental issues.

To be blunt, he is a nut.

In regards to the designs on the tapes, I saw at least one that could be seen as a somewhat similar. I think it is great folly to (as so many UFO supporters do) take the exact descriptions given by folks remembering long past event as a precise depiction.

"pastel flowers or designs"

"purplish figures or hieroglyphics"

"flower patterns"

"purplish-pink tape with flower and heart symbols"

I certainly see tape that matches this enough for my satisfaction that the tape could be what is being described. Are you honestly saying we have a total mismatch? I would be sorely disappointed in you if that was the case (and then where would you be?).



KRandle said...

Lance -

Those at the other end of the spectrum often trot out Adamski... and van Tassel and Silas Newton and a host of others and use them to tar all of us. You mentioned that those 78 people who think there is something real about the autopsy film were just 78 more examples. Those of us who attempt to argue from a rational position are often smeared with that brush. It only seems fair that I can point to Korff and Klass (though with Philip he wasn't crazy, just mean spirited) in this discussion.

The problem with the tape and all the arguments about it is that you must accept the Mogul explanation as real to use it. But Mogul simply doesn't cover all the facts and many of them have been overplayed. Mogul wasn't super secret, the launches were announced, pictures appeared in the newspapers and Charles Moore told me that he and a couple of his colleagues travelled to Roswell to enlist the aid of the 509th in tracking their balloons.

And no, I don't want to turn this discussion into another Mogul vs alien (hey, that might make a good movie as in Alien vs Predator, but I digress) discussion. We'll say that for another time, though we have gotten off topic here.

cda said...

We all have our levels of acceptance, i.e. what we are prepared to accept or where we draw the line between that which is false and that which is true. Some of us have a large grey area where the distinction between black and white is hazy.

The autopsy film is a hoax, MJ-12 is a hoax, Piltdown man is a fake, The Cardiff Giant is a fake, The Turin Shroud is a medieval forgery, and so on. Yet believers exist and will continue to exist for almost anything outlandish, even when the fakers or forgers have admitted to it. But even these believers have certain limits (limits within limits!). As, for example, those who claim that even if the MJ-12 docs are phoney, there are statements in them 'that could well be true'. Even if Adamski, Lazar or Corso are frauds, 'some of their utterances could well have a basis in truth' and so on. In other words, people always have a get out clause, or an excuse, for partly accepting, but at the same time partly rejecting, the craziest claims.

Ufology abounds with such people. Many revise their views, many do not. But in the end we all have our limits of acceptance.

I have never been a creationist and find it beyond my comprehension that anyone could be. Yet there are vast numbers of people who will tell you that the earth is only 10 thousand years old, and that evolution scientists are really government 'disinformation agents' And so it goes on. And on.... and on...

KRandle said...


I find very little in your statement with which to disagree. You forgot to mention Kaufmann and how there are those who believe he was a disinformation agent when he was just an opportunist.

We are on the same page here... My point was simple that there are some on the skeptical side of the fence who are so dogmatic in their views that they refuse to look at evidence... or make it up so that it conforms to their point of view.
I have document many instances of Korff doing just that... and I can do the same for Klass... and both of them attack people at their places of employment and smear their characters.

But here we have, in the autopsy film, nearly everyone involved now saying it is a hoax and there were still 78 people in my poll who thought it was real...

Lance said...

While I don't doubt that you are right, Kevin, that there are dogmatic skeptics, I think they are very few and far between.

The thing you seem to gloss over is that the evidence (even when seen from the best viewpoint) is still pretty lousy for UFOs, mostly anecdotal, ambiguous, incomplete or even disconfirming. It's hard to argue from that position.

What do I, as a skeptic, have to gain by dismissing high quality evidence (if there were any)? I personally would love for the whole story to be true.

On the other hand, believing in the story, supporting it, etc. is understandable--it's an exciting story full of adventure and wonder and I am sympathetic towards those who do uneducatedly support the idea.

The idea (often parroted by paranormalists) that dogmatic believers are equal in number to dogmatic skeptics is unlikely and, it seems to me, a fictional construct that comforts paranormal supporters.

It's almost no fun to be the party pooper!

Happy Fourth!


edithkeeler said...

Kevin, I've never posted before, and this is slightly off-topic of the Alien Autopsy, but related to hoaxes and the fractured state of ufology that you mentioned in an earlier blog, even within organizations like MUFON. You may be aware of the recent resignation of James Carrion, both as the International MUFON director and from MUFON itself. He has just launched a new website
where he intends to investigate only officially released documents and historical records in an attempt to prove his hypothesis that that the entire modern UFO era was launched by the US government to cover Cold War covert projects and that purported UFO crashes are explainable as covert government events. You can check out the website for more details. Also, if anyone has an interest, you can read more about his "crisis of faith" with regard to the state of Ufology investigations and the egos involved in UFO investigations on his blog on the MUFON message board under the topic "The Magic Thread"

terry the censor said...

There are youtube channels dedicated to posting videos of airplanes but calling them "fake planes," that is, alien spacecraft disguised as airplanes. I've been kicked off some of these channels for leaving the one-word comment: "Airplane."
There are lots of people who actively do not want to know about facts and distrust rational thought. To them, they already know the truth and they must defend it from the rest of us, we deceivers.
In a lot of ways, this mode is like that of creationists and devil-fearing religionists.

starman said...


"..the entire modern UFO era was launched by the US government to cover Cold War covert projects and that purported UFO crashes are explainable as covert government events."

I don't believe any informed person would seriously propose this. How does it square with debunking?? Carrion would have to be insane to say the above, but he couldn't be...I know "disinformation agent" is a dirty word around here but the field is full of looney ideas which nobody in his right mind would go for; ergo, there must be a deliberate campaign, utilizing skeptics and believers alike, to muck up the whole field. What's so unbelievable about that?--we know the government has tried to openly debunk UFO reports, why not also undermine belief by spreading ideas like the above? It may not fool the informed, but the public is another matter....

Lance said...

Carrion's claim is not supported by the evidence either and comes across as rather stupid.

There is not a solitary explanation for UFO's.

I know that using the dogma of the True Believers (that evil skeptics will debunk at at all costs) this might come as a surprising position for a hard core skeptic but, unlike many paranormal enthusiasts, a real skeptic, sort of takes that scientific method stuff seriously.


cda said...

Do I get you right?
Are you saying that the government (i.e. a few high up people within it) was debunking UFOs but at the same time encouraging a belief in them to cover up its own secret military developments? This is as dotty as the idea promoted some time ago that the government (presumably US again) was slowly encouraging a belief in UFOs and ETs through secretly promoting the SF films of Steven Spielberg. I even read once that the UN was doing this.

It was not that long ago that someone assured me that Timothy Good was a government disinformation agent. (This was soon after Good himself speculated that Dr. J.Allen Hynek was one).
And away we go.....

KRandle said...

Lance -

I'm not sure the dogmatic skeptics are all that few in number... These would be the people we attach the Debunker label to. Being a skeptic is a good thing. Being a debunker is not.

I mentioned two... how about some more. Donald Menzel who wouldn't even listen to Clyde Tombaugh when Tombaugh rejected Menzel's explanation for his sighting.

How about Edward Condon, who hide beneath the mantel of scientific methodology but who had his mind made up when he accepted the job of "studying UFOs."

This sort of commentary does little to advance thought... just points out there are those on both sides who refuse to look at the evidence.

Lance said...

Ok, with Condon or the others, can you name the one piece of slam dunk evidence he was exposed to that should have changed his mind.

I think I am aware of most the "best" evidence for UFOs. At best, the stuff is lackluster in evidentiary value. Some is interesting, some is tantalizing, some is mysterious but none is conclusive and most is crap.

Many paranormalists operate as though these mythical debunkers have seen great evidence and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge it. This is a fiction that serves to comfort believers in what is increasingly a religious rather than reality based worldview.

Note: not talking about you, Kevin, above but it does apply to MANY MANY folks in the field.


KRandle said...

Lance -

Condon didn't even look. He was told by the Air Force what to find and to say some nice things about the Air Force investigation and he did just that. He wasn't interested in finding evidence of alien visitation. He was interested in saying that UFOs posed no threat to national security and that the Air Force had done a good job.

This is all shown in the documentation that has come into public hands since the end of Blue Book... including a letter from Lt. Col. Hippler spelling out exactly what was to happen... not to mention Condon's remarks in Corning that he wasn't supposed to find his answer for another 18 months.

I would have thought that the Shag Harbour case, which happened during the Condon investigation would have merited more than a telephone call to the RCMP... I would have thought that he would have been more interested in this case and while not possessing the "wow" factor you want, Chris Styles and Don Ledger have produced some very interesting, and once classified documents.

I would think that the evidence, while maybe not proving that aliens have visited, suggest something is happening that would warrant scientific investigation. A rejection of everything because we don't have one in hand... yes, I know what you're thinking here but I'm making a point... or available for examination by scientists, does smack of following the dogma. "They can't get here from there, therefore they are not here."

It was the same with Menzel... he didn't believe they could get here and therefore didn't. Any evidence that showed otherwise was the result of a hoax. He labeled the Lubbock Lights photograph as a hoax with no evidence to suggest that...

And what about Phil Plait... He says that he knows that there is no alien visitation because amateur astronomers don't report them, and when we offer case reports from those very people, he changes the dynamic of the discussion.

I freely admit that we, on the visitation side of the fence are out own worst enemies, but I would think that science, when presented with a puzzle would rather investigate than pronounce. Rocks don't fall from the skies. A rocket to the moon would collapse under its own weight. Heavier-than-air flight is impossible... and on and on...

I was only suggesting that the other side had their problems with the debunkers who reject everything without scrutiny... just as the believers accept everything without evidence.

terry the censor said...

I think Kevin has it right in his most recent comment, though I might put it differently: there are strict partisans on both sides; I'm sure they wrestle with contrary evidence in their private moments, but in public they always support the true and right side, as if anything less would be treason. And you certainly can't sell books and get page views by being fair and temperate, anymore than you can get into a political party hierarchy by lauding the good policies of the opposing party. The other side is ALWAYS evil, not sometimes good and sometimes evil!
But I disagree with "debunker" used as a pejorative. It just means to expose bunk. Debunking is an honourable and active skeptical enterprise; to redefine the word to mean dishonest explanation is a rhetorical trick meant to smear all skepticism as dishonest. This is a mere partisan trick: the other side is ALWAYS evil, not sometimes good and sometimes evil!
Let's just use "dishonest" to describe explanations that merit it. Debunking is not inherently dishonest, though some dishonest people have tried their hand at debunking.
And I give my vote for "Mogul v. Alien," though I fear it will be bloodier than "Beezus and Ramona."

starman said...


"Are you saying that the government....was debunking UFOs but at the same time encouraging a belief in them to cover up its own secret military developments?"

No, no no..the latter part is CARRION's position. I meant that debunking was inconsistent with it.

David Rudiak said...

James Carrion's position is no different than James Oberg's or CIA historian Gerald Haines in his official CIA UFO history: allegedly UFOs are nothing but a disinformation ploy to cover up secret government projects. Oberg has gone further. Not only were we allegedly playing this game, but so were the Russkies.

What's at least one big hole with this logic? Disinformation only works if the target audience buys into it. In this case, whoever you are trying to convince that UFOs are real must believe it, otherwise their usefulness as cover stories for secret projects is zero.

Thus nobody would attempt to convince the Russians that UFOs were Santa Claus and his flying reindeer or Dumbo the flying elephant, because they weren't going to believe it. And vice versa for the Russians.

But if there is nothing to UFOs, they are merely inventions of counterintelligence, then why should the Russian or U.S. intelligence agencies buy the fantasy for any length of time? What exactly was appearing on radar, hovering over missile silos, being chased by jet interceptors, appearing on gun camera film, knocking out electrical systems, leaving behind trace evidence such as burnt foliage and landing impressions, activating radiation monitors, etc., etc.?

These theories must be able to account for how both sides were somehow able to fool each other for decades that UFOs were real exotic craft. That's one helluva long con!

But in the real world, the militaries and intelligence agencies of both sides would quickly determine the physical reality to UFOs through the many means at their disposal (radar, jet interceptors, etc.). Nobody could con the other side for very long.

The irony here is that UFOs can only work as occasional effective covers for your own projects if UFOs are indeed real and the other side knows it. Only then might we be able to fly our newest spy thing-a-majigger into enemy territory and confuse them about origins.

starman said...

I've been brawling with Carrion on the MUFON board, undeterred by his "global moderator" status. Thanks for the post, David Rudiak. As you know, Lance is here and your posts put him in a bad Moody. :) Stay cool.

Lance said...

LOL--what doesn't put me in a bad mood?

Actually I understand Rudiak's viewpoint on this and (while I disagree with some of his premises) he is right that Carrion is way off base.

See, as skeptic I can't choose to support stuff just because it works against something I think is nonsense. The new idea must be supported by facts, too. This is one of the bummers of being rational!


KRandle said...

terry the censor -

In the world of the UFO, debunker (which is a good thing... meaning to remove the bunk) has com to mean someone who is not open to discussion or new ideas. A debunker here is not a good thing.

The meanings of words evolve and new meanings attach. Once, if I said I was gay, you would assume I meant happy. Now, not so much.

So I'll stick with the meaning of debunker in this arena which is not a good thing. Donald Menzel was a debunker. Phil Klass was a debunker. Lance I see as a skeptic. There is a difference.

terry the censor said...

Kevin, I could agree with the shifting change of meaning of "debunker" if it followed your strict usage, but that's not what I see in the wider world. Often "debunker" is just a smear used against anyone who is skeptical. You carefully apply it when it can be shown someone has lied. Most enthusiasts apply it to anyone who disagrees with them, because they possess The Truth, therefore contrary opinions are lies, QED.

My point is: if we are to define words by their most common usage, debunker is a smear and not a useful description. We can't stop that from happening, but I also don't think skeptically minded people should encourage this process by using the word in a similar fashion.

I do like the use of "skeptic" for anyone who is a critical thinker -- whether they believe in aliens or not -- because it is a fair description of their way of thinking. But again, we tend to see it used in a strictly partisan sense by both sides of the debate, to describe a rigid party line, not a mode of thought. For instance, I think you and Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman are skeptical thinkers, however, people who self-identify as skeptics would say you aren't skeptical because you all hold "wrong" views. I don't think we should encourage that kind of usage either.

starman said...

KDR says 78 people believe in the "autopsy" to some extent or other but none has attempted to defend their views in the comments. Maybe they were just putting us on.