Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for the 'Aliens' Category

A Fishy “Space Monster”


Mikhail Gershtein, from St. Petersburg, Russia, sent me the “beautiful” alien scan above, from James Moseley’s Saucer News, Vol14 N4, 1967-68.

It’s a “’Space Monster’ allegedly found recently in Russia by a farmer named Vasily Dubichev”. The source for such spectacular story? “The Feb 26 edition of the National Examiner”. Not exactly (or perhaps exactly) where you would expect this kind of news to come from.

I first thought the image could be a montage, so common to such tabloids, or perhaps even an outtake from a B-Movie. For instance, the movie Screamers (aka Island of the Fish Men) has some similar “fish men”, but the problem is not only that there are large differences, but this movie is from 1979, more than ten years after the photo was first published.


As it turns out, there was something fishy, but the photo is probably authentic. As Biologist Gabriel Cunha quickly pointed to me, it’s simply a dead Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola). A bizarre-looking but nevertheless very real fish.




Note that the National Examiner fish was dead and dried, so its skin is wrinkled and it looks more asymmetric. You can compare it to this stranded Sunfish. Pay special attention to the mouth too.

And if you look closely at the original Examiner image, you can even see the pectoral fin of the Sunfish on the side. Or perhaps it was a Martian ear.

[With special thanks to Mikhail Gershtein and Gabriel Cunha]

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Pickled Aliens


A prop decorating the desk of Hellblazer. And also a prop that’s been speculated as the real thing, commonly associated with the Salinas case, which in fact involves another, similar but clearly different alleged alien. Which is not pickled.

The association of this toy with the Salinas case is interesting because Jorge Martin, one of the main promoters of the Salinas case, also promoted in 1997 a case involving a pickled alien, which was later found out to be a toy. So we have three cases here: the alien prop shown in these images, the Salinas case which doesn’t involve a prop, and the case involving an alien toy, specifically a keychain, the later two of them associated with Martin.

No reason for confusion, huh?et_salinas'80

The prop here is made with latex and latex webbing, it can be bought for less than fifty dollars and is everywhere. That is, the three photos you see are not of the exact same object – you can notice there are three different jars – but they were all made the same way, all bought for a couple dozen bucks.


Aliens in jars are a recurrent theme. Another popular image is this one:


Which is yeat another prop, this one even cheaper. It comes with an “alien in bottle keychain”:



If you pay close attention you can see that the original image had not only the exact same jar, but that it was also made of plastic – noticeable from the seem running across it.

In 2006, Barney Broom promoted the “mysterious discovery of an alien in his attic”, a story that made it to The Guardian but didn’t resonate that much. It was a bigger, exclusive prop, but somehow it didn’t resonate.


It’s easy to see why pickled aliens are so popular: capturing monster inside bottles is an archetypical image deriving from centuries-old wonder-rooms. And another recent case illustrates the connection nicely.

Also in 2006, Piotr Cielebias promoted this story:

jenglotalien “Location. Kuala Pahang, Pahang, Malaysia
Date: February 20 2006    Time: daytime
A fisherman, Ahmad Affendi, 22, and a few friends found a small bottle on a beach. After shaking the bottle he realized that there was a small figure inside, measuring about 15cm in height. However the tiny figure, which was greenish in color and had a pair of red eyes did not move. The tiny being was wrapped in a black cloth and tied with a white string. Ahmad Affendi took it to an elderly man, Ismail Omar, 94, who then opened the bottle. He claimed that the being was still alive. The witness then took it to the police station but was advised to hand it to the museum. While at the museum over 600 people managed to have a look at the strange figure but unfortunately due to superstitious beliefs they threw it away into the sea less than 24 hours later. It is a common belief in Malaysia that such creatures have bad spiritual effects and should not be kept.”

It looks like a bottled alien doesn’t it? Certainly that’s the context in which the story was promoted.

But as Luis Noguez noticed, the tale is actually related to a Malyasia’s folklore. The creature is a Jenglot. Other photos make it clear it’s actually simply a black doll.


From Malaysian vampires to Pickled Alien keychains, such is the current state of affairs of Aliens in jars.

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Not. In 2004 that photocopy (remind you of something?) circulated along with Dan Burisch’s story. In fact, most people in the field had already seen the image and knew it was a special effects prop. It was already widely circulated in the web:


The most interesting bit, however, is that this wasn’t simply a very nice prop circulated on the web. It was actually created by professionals Steve Johnson and Trey Stokes, and aired in the USA at the 20/20 TV show, ABC, April 4, 1997. It was a recreation of Santilli’s Alien Autopsy, with a lot more sophistication – this one doesn’t hide its problems behind poor film quality. It’s all there, in color.

The video of the recreation must have been seen by millions of viewers.


It didn’t stop it from circulating, just seven years later, as an alleged real alien.

A Photoshopped version of the 20/20 alien autopsy also go round the web:


You can see that it’s just the pasting of the alien’s face over a corpse. A real, human corpse. The original photo of the corpse has been located, but we will not post it here.

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The Alien Autopsy


Yes, “The Alien Autopsy” has already been more than autopsied as the hoax it is. There won’t be any news here, but the “Alien Autopsy” is certainly the most successful hoax in ufology. Ever. You could measure that by the number of people worldwide that saw it, the money it generated for its creators or the repercussions it had on the field.

We couldn’t leave it out of this Alien November. We won’t deal in detail with the whole story, though.

As a summary of current events, you can either watch this long documentary where Ray Santilli finally admits, more than ten years later, that the alien was made with latex stuffed with sheep brains and chicken entrails:

Or this quick and entertaining clip from the movie “Alien Autopsy” (2006), of which Santilli was a producer, and reason why he made the confession above (it was to promote this comedy movie):

Regarding the creation of the dummy, although not acknowledged, I think that John Humphreys was probably inspired by an illustration of the “Aztec UFO Crash” published in 1987, by William Steinman:


Note the face profile. An almost exact match.

The footage inspired a series of similar creations. Luis Ruiz Noguez, as usual, is our source, and he has compiled more than a dozen other alien autopsies (including the one Santilli created before his magnum opus).

Our kind collaborator internos also comments in more detail about the “Yugoslavian” autopsy, which was actually created in Italy as part of CICAP’s contest of hoaxes. It won the contest.

Last year a very tiny alien autopsy also circulated on Youtube, proving Alien Autopsies are an enduring genre.

Santilli also shows what we all should be doing. How many other people could say they became millionaires thanks to ufology? Some have gone crazy or actually taken their lives due in great part to their involvement with the field.

Obviously they were not doing the right thing.

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The Alien Interview


Almost three minutes of video, known (and sold) as the “Alien Interview”, allegedly smuggled out of Area 51 by an anonymous source who refers to himself as “Victor”. As you will remember, anonymous source means, a priori, hoax.

It first came to light on the Art Bell radio show on 13th March, 1997 when ufologist Sean David Morton was interviewed. Morton claimed the interrogation was fairly recent, sometime in 1996, and that Bob Dean apparently cried at the advanced screening of the film.

As the video is still being milked, more than ten years later, it’s unlikely we will know who the hoaxers were too soon. We hope they will eventually come clean – hey, hoaxers, you may profit from the revelation too, as Santilli did!

Even believers have a hard time believing it, and two very interesting indications of hoax were discussed around. One claimed that “Victor” was none other than Bob Dean himself. Perhaps, perhaps not. I don’t think a clear conclusion can be drawn.

The other was this image:


It looks like the interrogated alien, but with much more detail. Unfortunately, here too, no definite match can be drawn because the original alien interview was of so poor quality. And then, there’s this:


Can you see how the man’s hands are mangled? It’s a terrible Photoshop job. Even the alien puppet could be a digital creation, made from the original video to portray a backstage photo.

Or not. This “backstage” image shows the alien with a lot more detail and definition. It could have been a hoaxed hoax, with texture added over, but if they did such a terrible job with the man’s hands, would they be so good in creating the fake fake alien?

My bet is that’s indeed an actual photo of the puppet used in the Alien Interview, but why would they Photoshop a man in there? In any event, it’s just a bet.

If you know from where this image came from, or obviously, more details about the “Alien Interview”, do send your comments or a private email. [via ATS]

UPDATE 04/17/2011: Over in the comments below, Bayne identified the prop as coming from an episode of “Dark Skies”. And a recent thread in ATS, in a post by “freelance_zenarchist” nailed it without a doub.

So, we’re back to where we were regarding the Alien Interview video, as this backstage prop has no relation whatsoever to it. Why the hands of the Dark Skies artist seem mangled is yet another mystery to me.

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