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Volume 35

The Skeptics UFO Newsletter

Philip J. Klass

September 1, 1995

This volume is available as a PDF file. Download »

Telephone In “Alien Autopsy” Reveals Film Is Hoax

The “Alien Autopsy” movie, which purports to show a 1947 autopsy of an extraterrestrial creature recovered from a flying saucer that (allegedly) crashed in New Mexico, could not possibly have been filmed before 1956. The “modern-design” wall telephone visible in the autopsy room was not introduced by American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (AT&T;) until 1956. (The “Alien Autopsy” film aired on the Fox TV network on Aug. 28 and was repeated a week later, on Sept. 3 [SUN #35/Sept. 1995]. The film also has been broadcast on British and other European TV networks.)

This significant anomaly was spotted and brought to SUN’s attention by Tom Holzel, who formerly worked for AT&T; and is now a vice president of a Northern California electronics company. Holzel, who chanced to see “Alien Autopsy” in a hotel room, doubted that the modern wall-telephone was in use in 1947. Holzel confirmed his suspicions when he located a book on the history of the telephone, titled “Once Upon a Telephone,” co-authored by Ellen Stern and Emily Gwathmey. The book was published in 1994 by Harcourt Brace.

The colorfully illustrated book reports that in 1949 AT&T; introduced its Type 500 desk set, designed by famous industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, which was the first to use a coiled phone cord. And the Dreyfuss designed wall- telephone (including coiled phone cord), which is visible in “Alien Autopsy, did not make its debut until 1956— NINE YEARS AFTER THE FILM ALLEGEDLY WAS SHOT. (Illustrations from page 35 of the book are shown below.)

“Alien Autopsy” Owner Refuses To Provide Film Sample For Tests

London movie distributor Ray Santilli, who reportedly agreed to provide a 2-inch film strip to Robert Shell who had arranged for it to be analyzed by Eastman Kodak [SUN #35/Sept. 1995], recently informed Shell that he will be unable to do so. The reason, according to Santilli, is that he has been overruled by the man who (allegedly) owns the film, Volker Spielberg, of Hamburg, Germany. (Shell is editor of “Shutterbug” magazine.)

Santilli, who claims he spent two years trying to authenticate the movie, failed to take advantage of a similar offer made earlier by Eastman’s British affiliate, Kodak Ltd. Confirmation of the earlier Kodak Ltd. offer was provided to SUN by Christian R. Page, who is chairman of O.C.I.P.E. (Organization de Compilation D'Information Sur Les ET Phenomenes Etranges), St- Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, after reading about Shell’s arrangements in SUN #35. Page provided copies of his correspondence with Peter G. Milson, a Kodak Ltd. official in London, which clarifies claims made that the film might be of 1947 vintage.

In a letter dated July 12, 1995, Milson said: “So far, we have NOT seen any of the footage which allegedly shows the autopsy of aliens....we have received a small piece of the leader film (which is allegedly from the front of the Roswell footage). There was an edge code on this leader which suggested that either the leader or the negative from which it was printed, was made in either 1927 or 1947 or 1967. But this was difficult to ascertain as we only had a small sample. We have also offered to examine the Roswell film here in Kodak and to offer an opinion as to its date. So far we have yet to receive the film.” [Emphasis added.] In a follow-up exchange between Page and Milson via FAX on Aug. 30-31, the Kodak Ltd. official indicated that Santilli had still not provided a film sample to permit further analysis.

Omni Magazine Exposes Roswell Researcher Schmitt’s False Claims

The Fall issue of Omni magazine reveals that Roswell researcher/author DON SCHMITT knowingly resorted to falsehood to accuse the Government of cover-up of key information. This has prompted his long-time partner and co-author KEVIN RANDLE to issue a public statement in which he characterized Schmitt as “a pathological liar.” The Omni article, entitled “The Case Of The Vanishing Nurses,” was authored by Paul McCarthy, a writer with a long-time interest in UFOs.

Roswell mortician Glenn Dennis claims that a friendly nurse at the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) revealed to him that she had participated in a preliminary autopsy on July 7, 1947, on three strange creatures, presumably recovered from a crashed UFO [SUN #31/Jan. 1995; SUN #32/Mar. 1995]. Dennis claims he gave the (alleged) nurse his “solemn oath” that he would never reveal her story or identity—a solemn oath which he decided to violate six years ago. When Roswell researchers Schmitt, Randle, Stanton Friedman and Karl Pflock expressed interest in trying to locate “Nurse X,” Dennis gave them her name: Naomi Maria Selff. The names of five nurses based at RAAF in 1947, shown in a group photo in the 1947 RAAF Year-Book, did not include Naomi Maria Selff. But if one or more of the five nurses listed could be located, they should remember her—IF Nurse X really existed.

In McCarthy’s article, he reports that during a 1994 interview, Schmitt claimed that despite his rigorous efforts he had not been able to locate military records for Naomi Maria Selff or for any of the five nurses known to have been based at RAAF in 1947. Seemingly, this substantiated Randle/Schmitt’s claim of a government cover-up. McCarthy wrote: “When I told my editors at Omni this intriguing tale, I proposed writing it up as an example of investigatory diligence and the lengths to which UFO researchers would go to uncover witnesses. To my surprise, Omni saw something entirely different. It was an opportunity to doublecheck Randle and Schmitt’s claims....Could I find the nurses’ records? And...the expense budget being small, could I do so from my desk in Hawaii, without leaving home.”

McCarthy Locates “Missing” Nurse Records In Only Three Days

Within three days, McCarthy reports, he had located the records for the five nurses by contacting the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Within three weeks McCarthy had those records in hand. It took a little longer for McCarthy to track down each of the five nurses and to learn that only one— Rosemary Brown, age 78—was still alive and living in a nursing home. McCarthy interviewed her by telephone and reported: “She remembered the other four year-book nurses, but not Nurse X, and not Glenn Dennis himself.” [Emphasis added.]

When McCarthy told Schmitt how easily he had obtained the “missing” records for the five nurses, Schmitt then “did an about face. In a total reversal of his position, he told me he'd known about the St. Louis records,” and claimed he himself had interviewed nurse Rosemary Brown. Schmitt offered the following explanation, according to McCarthy: “It is not that we were putting out misinformation, it is just that we were denying that we found anything.” [Emphasis added.] McCarthy says that Schmitt “believes that Brown may actually be Glenn Dennis’s nurse...even though her name is not the same as the one Dennis gave him...” [Nor does nurse Brown’s 1947 photo resemble Dennis’s description of Nurse X.] Schmitt explained that this is “why I haven't publicized the fact that we have found her.”

This prompted McCarthy to comment: “All well and good, but then why make an issue of the missing nurses in the first place, as if their very absence were proof of a government attempt to perpetrate conspiracy, erase information (and even people), and be sinister in the extreme?” When McCarthy sought evidence from Schmitt that he had really located nurse Brown via the St. Louis records center, Schmitt referred him to an "assistant,” named Brad Radcliffe, who allegedly had done the search. But when Radcliffe was contacted, McCarthy reports he obtained only an evasive run-around.

Randle Sharply Criticizes Former Partner, Severs Relations

Initially, McCarthy reports, Randle tried to defend Schmitt’s claim of “missing” records for the five nurses, as Randle earlier had done when Schmitt was accused of falsifying his academic background and employment [SUN #33/May 1995]. Although SUN believes Randle was an unwitting victim of Schmitt’s tall tales, McCarthy blames both: “Not only do they say they fabricated their ‘vanishing nurses’ claim, which they hoped would be published in Omni, they also cited evidence that just didn’t stand up to inspection.” [Emphasis added.]

On Sept. 10, shortly before publication of McCarthy’s article in Omni, Randle issued a “To Whom It May Concern” letter which lambasted Schmitt and revealed an irrevocable split with his former partner. After briefly discussing Schmitt’s false claims about his education and employment, Randle said: “I had believed that his lying related only to his personal life. Now I learn that it doesn't. Research that he claimed to have been done was not done by him but by an ‘assistant.’ He claimed that he had searched for the Roswell nurses but their records were all missing. That is not even close to the truth....Instead of going through the front door in the search, he chose to have his assistant go through the back doors. When that failed to produce any results, Schmitt declared that the records were all missing. Lies.

“These lies to not appear in either of the books I wrote about Roswell. Yes, I did the writing. Schmitt would review the rough draft of chapters for the first book and then add his comments. Sometimes I would use what he wrote, if I had verified it....He did contribute one chapter which was the ‘Conclusions.’ In it, he claims that he had searched for the records of 11 men [who had been based at Roswell in 1947]. He could not find those 11 records. The Air Force researched the names and found the ‘missing’ records for most of them. The others were of men with such common names that no determination could be made [SUN #30/Nov. 1994]. I asked for the documentation from Schmitt to prove this. He said he would send it but never did. I wasn’t surprised.” Randle’s Sept. 10 letter defends the credibility of the two Randle/Schmitt Roswell books as follows: “Every-thing I put into the books, I knew to be the truth because I had researched it myself, or I had checked to make sure the documentation existed...”

Randle’s Sept. 10 statement concludes: “The search for the nurses proves that he [Schmitt] will lie about anything. He will lie to anyone....He has revealed himself as a pathological liar....He has destroyed his work and badly damaged mine....I will have nothing more to do with him.”

THE CRUCIAL QUESTION: If Randle was so easily fooled by a person he had worked with closely for more than FIVE YEARS is it reasonable to expect that he could distinguish fact from fantasy in the tales told him by persons he scarcely knew—such as Frank Kaufmann, Jim Ragsdale and former mortician Glenn Dennis— especially when Randle sorely wanted to believe their tales? ["A CREDULOUS MAN IS A DECEIVER"....Francis Bacon.]

Roswell Researcher Pflock Provides Latest Version of Mortician’s Tale

The Fall issue of Omni also provides the latest version of the Glenn Dennis’s tale of his (alleged) experience with “Nurse X,” authored by Roswell researcher Karl Pflock, who has become a close confidante of Dennis. Pflock has critically questioned the crashed saucer/ET body tales told by other Randle/Schmitt "star witnesses,” such as Frank Kaufmann, Jim Ragsdale and Frankie Rowe, but Pflock endorses Dennis’s veracity. Although Pflock, Randle, Schmitt and Stanton Friedman sharply disagree about many Roswell Incident issues, they ALL endorse the tale told by Dennis.

Pflock’s Omni article carries the headline: “STAR WITNESS: The Mortician of Roswell Breaks His Code of Silence.” In reality, Dennis broke the “solemn oath” of secrecy he allegedly gave to Nurse X more than six years ago. His tale has been recounted in many books and articles and he has appeared on numerous TV shows. When significant changes in Dennis’s tale are spotted, he claims he was misquoted or misunderstood. [Dennis’s statements in Pflock’s article are based on a tape recorded interview.]

Did The (Alleged) Pathologists Come From Walter Reed Hospital?

When Dennis was interviewed early this year by Associated Press reporter Tim Korte, the subsequent AP story quoted Dennis as saying: “She [Nurse X] said there were two pathologists from Walter Reed Hospital” who were performing the autopsy. This was a very important new detail (whose significance will be discussed below), which was reported in the March issue of SUN. When Pflock read this in SUN, he called Dennis who indicated that the AP reporter had misunderstood. (Dennis claims that when he received a call on the afternoon of July 7, 1947, from the RAAF base mortuary officer, asking about the effect of embalming fluid on human tissue, that Dennis had suggested he consult with pathologists at Walter Reed Hospital.)

So when Pflock called me on March 15 after his discussion with Dennis, Pflock suggested that the AP reporter had erred and thought Dennis said the nurse had said the two pathologists had come from Walter Reed Hospital. Pflock said he planned to check with AP reporter Korte, adding: “if this is an accurate quote, we have an interesting situation.” Seemingly, Pflock recognized the significant implications of this "new” Dennis claim.

Fortuitously, SUN had chanced to obtain a video tape of a Roswell-related show which included an interview with Dennis, produced by Carl Day of Dayton TV station WDTN, which had been broadcast on May 20, 1994. After learning from Pflock that Dennis questioned the accuracy of the AP article by Korte, SUN wrote to Carl Day on March 25 to ask if he would review the transcript of his interview to see if Dennis had mentioned the two pathologists and where they were from. On April 10, Day called and read me the following transcript of what Dennis had said on-camera: “The guys—they were in with the nurse—they were flown in from Walter Reed hospital out of Washington and they were in there doing a partial autopsy.” This was reported in the May issue of SUN. A similar statement about the pathologists having come from Walter Reed hospital was contained in a report entitled “The Glenn Dennis Story,” which I had purchased at Roswell’s International UFO Museum. Dennis is a vice president of the museum.

Pflock talked with the AP reporter, who said he was confident that his quote was accurate, and Pflock went to the trouble of contacting WDTN’s Carl Day who provided further confirmation that Dennis had said the two pathologists had come from Walter Reed Hospital. Surprisingly, this did not have any noticeable effect on Pflock’s confidence in Dennis’s veracity.

Instead, in Pflock’s letter of May 9, he now claimed that Dennis had not denied making the statement about the two pathologists having come from Walter Reed but rather that Dennis had said “he didn’t recall making such a statement to Korte. A fine distinction, but an important one.”

In the recent Omni article, Pflock asked Dennis: “Did the nurse know who the doctors were or where they came from?” Dennis responded: “I asked her, and she said she'd never seen them before. She told me she heard one say to the other that they'd have to do something when they got back to Walter Reed Army Hospital.” [Emphasis added.]

The Walter Reed Hospital Claim Torpedoes Other Dennis Claims

If two pathologists had been flown out from Washington D.C. and were engaged in a preliminary autopsy on the ET bodies by mid-afternoon on Monday, July 7, 1947, as Dennis now claims, they would have had to depart Washington no later than early Monday morning. This means that RAAF officials must have learned of the crashed UFO and ET bodies at least by late Sunday, July 6—the day BEFORE rancher “Mac” Brazel drove to Roswell to report discovery of the unusual debris—which triggered the whole “Roswell Incident.”

With this new Dennis scenario, chief intelligence officer Maj. Jesse Marcel and counter-intelligence officer Capt. Sheridan Cavitt would certainly have spent Monday, July 7, at the crash site, inspecting the UFO and ET bodies and supervising their recovery. But according to Marcel, he was having lunch at the Officers Club Monday noon when he received a call from sheriff George Wilcox telling about rancher Brazel. Marcel and Cavitt then spent several hours that afternoon driving back to Brazel’s ranch to inspect and collect the unusual debris.

According to the Omni article, in the early afternoon of July 7, Dennis said he received several telephone calls from the RAAF base mortuary officer. During the second call, according to Dennis, “he wanted to know about embalming fluid: what chemicals it contained, what it would do to bodies that had been lying out in

the open. Would it change the stomach contents? Would it change the tissue, the blood. He also wanted to know about our procedures for removing bodies from a site...” [Emphasis added.] If Walter Reed pathologists were flying out to Roswell, the answers to such questions could await their arrival. FURTHERMORE, THE (ALLEGED) ET BODIES WOULD BE EMBALMED ONLY IF THEY WERE BEING READIED FOR BURIAL AND NOT FOR AN AUTOPSY.

The most incongruous question that Dennis claims he was asked in the early afternoon of July 7—how to remove bodies from a site—indicates that the (alleged) bodies were still at the crash site. YET BARELY AN HOUR LATER, WHEN DENNIS CLAIMS HE ARRIVED AT THE BASE HOSPITAL, THE BODIES HAD BEEN RECOVERED AND THEIR AUTOPSY WAS UNDER WAY.

Dennis Reports Seeing One/Two Debris-Filled Ambulance(s)

Dennis first went public with his tale on Aug. 5, 1989, in a taped interview with Roswell researcher Stanton Friedman. In that interview, Dennis said that when he drove a slightly injured airman to the base hospital on the afternoon of July 7, he parked alongside “one of the old military, square ambulances....There was (sic) these two MPs and the door [singular] was open to the military ambulance [singular] there and that’s where some wreckage was....I just looked and glanced in and I just kind of kept going and I went on in (the hospital).” [Emphasis added.]

In a sworn statement by Dennis, executed on Aug. 7, 1991, and included in Pflock’s own lengthy report "Roswell In Perspective,” Dennis provided some new details from his original account to Friedman [SUN #29/Sept. 1994]. He said he drove the injured airman “around to the back of the base infirmary and parked it next to another ambulance. The door [singular] was open and inside I saw some wreckage. There were several pieces which looked like the bottom of a canoe, about three feet in length....There was some strange-looking writing on the material resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics. Also there were two MPs present...” [Emphasis added.]

But in Pflock’s Omni interview, Dennis reports there were at least two military ambulances filled with debris. “When we got to the first ambulance, one of the rear doors was open....I saw something in there that looked like half of a canoe, leaning up against the side near the open door....I remember markings on the canoe-shaped thing....They were about four inches high....I saw the same kind of wreckage in the second one. [Emphasis added.] The doors were closed on the third ambulance, so I couldn’t see what was in it.” [Neither rancher Brazel, Maj. Marcel nor Capt. Cavitt ever reported seeing canoe-shaped objects.]

If any of these versions were true, at least one ambulance had been used to transport the debris and ET bodies from the crash site, and by the time that Dennis arrived the bodies already were inside undergoing autopsy. Yet the ambulance(s) with precious crashed debris was/were still sitting outside the hospital. Why hadn’t they been driven to a nearby hangar where the curious debris could be examined and studied?

If neither of the MPs knew how to drive and no other drivers could be found at RAAF, why didn’t the officer who ordered the two MPs to guard the ambulance(s) think to close the door(s) to keep the crash debris secret from unauthorized persons like Dennis?

When Pflock asked Dennis: “Why do you think the nurse and everything about her seem to have vanished,” Dennis replied: “This is just my surmise, but I think when she was transferred [immediately after the incident], they discharged her and arranged for her to join an order, enter a convent. Everything was covered up with the church’s help.” [SUN Comment: An alternative explanation is that Nurse X is a figment of Dennis’s imagination.]

MUFON Analysis Offers Valuable Insights Into UFO Abduction Tales

The results of an analysis by MUFON’s Dan Wright of the UFO abduction stories told by 142 subjects, which he reported at MUFON’s recent conference in Seattle, SHOULD DEMOLISH THE CLAIM THAT THE SIMILARITY OF THEIR TALES SHOWS THEIR REALITY. But, ironically, the data that Wright presented do not seem to have raised any doubts in his own mind because he devises ingenious explanations for the differences.

Wright analyzed 560 transcripts of tape recorded sessions with 142 subjects, provided by 15 different “abduction therapists,” including David Jacobs, John Carpenter, Richard Haines, Richard Hall, Joseph Nyman, Dr. John Miller, Yvonne Smith, and Karla Turner. Wright’s recent report was an update to an earlier one, based on 95 different subjects, published in the February and March, 1994, issues of the MUFON UFO Journal [SUN #27/May 1994].

Wright reported that 32% of the subjects said that they and/or the ETs were able to pass through solid walls or windows during the incident. (Presumably the other 68% used more prosaic means of ingress/egress.) Nearly 53% of the subjects reported they were “floated up” into the UFO, and nearly half of these were “levitated” via a beam of light. However, 9% of the subjects reported that “they were mentally compelled to walk from their home or car to a nearby isolated location. There, a small ship rested or hovered a few feet off the ground” which they boarded by means of steps or a ramp. This prompts Wright to speculate that "the level of technology at the disposal of certain entity groups is less advanced than that employed by others.” Skeptics

Wright’s Data Shows That ETs Come In Many Shapes And Sizes

In an effort to explain the wide variation in descriptions of ET appearance—ranging from short- bald to very tall with long blond hair, as well as ETs that resemble lizards and giant insects, Wright concludes that UFO-abductions are carried out by teams that typically consist of a variety of different types, each with a special mission. For example, the physical abduction is carried out by “very short whitish, greyish or bluish beings.” Aboard the UFO, the proceedings are supervised by a tall ET, whose skin color may be white, gray, green or brown. Additionally, according to Wright, there are numerous reports of extremely tall human-like ETs with long blond hair. And in a “significant number of cases, a heavily wrinkled ‘old one’ has made a brief appearance during the procedures.” Wright only briefly mentions two other types of ETs, one of which resembles a giant lizard while the other resembles a giant insect.

Nearly 29% of the subjects reported that ETs probed their brain, in some cases using needles or drilling instruments, and in a few cases their brains were “laid open.” For the remaining 71% of the “abductees,” the ETs showed no interest in their brains. [Having seen many “abductees” on TV talk shows, SUN is not surprised.] About 20% reported that ETs took samples of blood, tissue, bone marrow or bodily fluids while 80% reported no samples taken.

A total of 30 subjects (21%) reported they had received alien implants, some through the nose, some in or behind the ear, in the eye socket or in an arm or leg. But Wright provides no breakdown of how many of each. Those who believe in the reality of UFO abductions suggest that alien implants are small radio transmitters which ETs use to locate the subject for later abductions. If so, it seems strange that they are installed in so many different locations.


Despite the popular theory that the objective of (alleged) ET abductions is to obtain sperm and ova for the creation of ET-hybrids, only 44% of the subjects reported “sexually-related intrusions,” according to Wright. [SUN Comment: How disappointing to learn after being abducted that one’s ova or sperm is not up to ET standards!] Roughly two thirds of the subjects were female. Some reported removal of ova, some reported insertion of a new fetus, and some reported removal of a fetus. Wright reports that “In three incidents, a woman was forced to have sexual relations with a male abductee....Two subjects recounted that they were mounted and raped aboard a craft—a woman by a taller figure with greyish-white skin, and a man by a short yellowish-grey female. In a third case, a woman awoke in bed amid the throes of sexual passion to discover scaly claws at her private parts—indicative of a reptilian type.” [Emphasis added.] [SUN Comment: Too bad it wasn’t a tall blond ET.]

No Abduction Tale Is Too Wild To Be Credible

Wright’s 39-page paper, published in the MUFON conference proceedings, demonstrates what’s wrong with UFOlogy today: Almost no abduction tale is too wild to be dismissed by “Abductologists” as a dream-fantasy or a concocted hoax. If an “abductee” reports his/her ET abductor resembled a hippopotamus or a chipmunk, this is no grounds for rejecting the tale. Abductologists will rationalize that the ET came from a different planet or that it implanted a false image in the subject’s mind.

Four decades ago, “serious UFOlogists” were embarrassed by the wild tales of George Adamski, who claimed he visited a giant “mothership” equipped with elevators and a swimming pool. Today’s “abductees” tell tales that would make the late Adamski cringe. Three decades ago, NICAP—then the nation’s most prominent pro-UFO group—was suspicious of reports from persons who claimed several UFO sightings, i.e. “repeaters.” Today, one of Dr. John Mack’s subjects claims she has been abducted more than 100 times.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its Editor—unless otherwise noted—and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.

Philip J. Klass

Phil Klass was a UFO researcher with a background in electrical engineering. He was author of seven books on UFOs, including UFOs Explained and UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game. He was also editor of the SUN newsletter, a UFO-related publication.