“For me, it was just a joke, a bit of fun but I have learned my lesson.”
With those words, Spyros Melaris hopes he has put the demons of his 1995 “alien autopsy” footage — touted as secret government film from the 1947 “Roswell incident” — to rest.
Of course, true believers dismiss this.
The “government” has got to him. It’s just more evidence of cover-up. Or so they say.
But, for Melaris at least, the case is now closed.
And, according to the Metro, the 58-year-old magician and filmmaker has explained to a West End audience how he pulled off the hoax.
All it took was some offcuts from a local butcher, some outdated medical equipment from film and theater prop shops, vintage newsreel footage, a friend who worked in the special effects department of hit television series “Dr. Who” – and a budget of $39,000.
And it all came together in a London flat.
“I would like to say now that there is a big part of me that feels remorse,” he told Metro.
“I underestimated the response. The reality is that everybody in the UFO community took this film as the smoking gun, proof of UFOs and aliens.”
The bloated, pale-skinned asexual alien was the creations of John Humphreys, otherwise known for his practical effects work with “Dr. Who.” He stitched cows gizzards, a leg of lamb and three sheep’s brains into the foam-latex carcass molded from his own 10-year-old son.
The lead roles of “government pathologists” were played by Melaris’ friends and girlfriend, wearing outfits sourced from op shops or hand-made for the scene. His brother helped behind the scenes.
Melaris says he managed to fool Kodac as to the film’s authenticity by shooting the scene in 16mm film before carefully splicing it with an old Pathe newsreel of a 1947 baseball match in Roswell.
It’s not the first time Melaris has admitted the film was a fake.
Though it is the first time he’s admitted it’s a hoax.
In 2007 he took to the stage and contacted an author to concede the footage was not authentic. Instead, he said it was a reconstruction of an original film he had seen.
Melaris says he was contacted in Cannes by businessman Ray Santilli. He said he’d “obtained” film footage of an alien. He insisted he was serious and wanted Melaris to make a documentary about it.
Once the very poor quality footage emerged, it was immediately evident it had been shot on VHS videotape. The game was up.
But Melaris says he hatched a plan with his friend John Humphreys to sculpt an alien, make the documentary – and then later release another showing how they created the hoax.
Santilli’s business partner Voker Spielberg put up the cash.
But not everything went to plan.
After the first footage was completed it was noted some of the autopsy procedures were clearly incorrect. So they had to mold another alien and shoot a “second autopsy.”
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