Monday, April 11, 2016

SANTILLI FILM CONFERENCE: Report of Impressions by Bruce Maccabee

A conference was held on the 7 and 8 of September in the Republic of San Marino, which is a city-state in Italy, about a hundred miles southeast of Bologna. The attendees were internationally known UFO researchers and scientists to discuss the present status of the film of the SUE (Santilli Unidentified Entity). The conference title was “New Perspectives on Roswell.” However, it was pointed out by several attendees that the Santilli film, according to the cameraman via Santilli, really stands apart from Classic Roswell because (a) the date is different (early June rather than early July, (b) the creature seems different from what has been reported before and (c) there is only one witness (so far).

The attendees included

myself (film analyst and Roswell/government cover-up investigator)

Stanton Friedman (Roswell investigator and book author)

Philip Mantle (British UFO invstigator)

Chris representing Ray Santilli (whose wife was about to have a baby)

Maurizia Baiata (Italian journalist)

Linda Howe (UFO cover-up investigator)

Michael Hesemann (German UFO investigator)

Roberto Pinotti (Italian UFO investigator)

Don Schmidt (Roswell investigator and book author)

There were also several doctors and pathologists and a chemist.

What follows is more of a summary of my impressions than a complete report on the conference since I did not take notes throughout and, in fact I was barely able to stay awake for some of the time because of the poor travel arrangements (14 hours of travel with only a couple of hours of sleep and having my biological clock attempting to cope with a time shift of six hours.)

I arrived when the morning session of Sept 7 had nearly finished. During this session the attendees spoke to each other and discussed their impressions of the film, etc. The general public was not present. Since I was not there at the time I don’t know what was said by Philip Mantle, Maurizia Baiata, Linda Howe and Roberto Pinotti and anyone else who might have spoken. (Perhaps Michael Heseman can fill in gaps or correct errors in this discussion of the conference.) I did hear Stanton Friedman and Michael Hesemann. Stanton emphsized that there is no independent confirmation of the cameraman’s story and that he is still investigating the possibiity that the film shows a real autopsy/dissection of a deformed human. Michael repeated many of the things he has posted in this forum. He also showed slides and a video of his investigation of the desert near Socorro where the cameraman says the crash took place. It is obvious from the film that he did, indeed, find a place that seems to agree with the cameraman’s statement. However, many areas in the southwest have features similar to what Michael showed. (I would suggest sending the cameraman photos from several areas near Socorro, each of which has a rock “gate” – a cleft or gap between large rock outcroppings near areas that could be dry lakes – to determine whether or not he can recognize one particular such area. I would also suggest that a UFO investigator near Socorro visit the site identified by Michael to (a) provide independent confirmation (TRUST BUT VERIFY) and (b) to find out if there are any CHANGES which might be caused by persons (UNCLE?) who might want to be sure that future excavations in the area will turn up nothing!

In the afternoon there was a public session which began with a showing of the Channel 4 – British documentary on Roswell. This was quite good in summarizing the Classic Roswell, although the accuracy of the statements of some of the witnesses can be questioned. Unfortunately, however, as with the FOX documentary and probably with other documentaries shown on Aug. 28, the Channel 4 documentary made little or no distinction between Classic Roswell and the SUE film. The Channel 4 documentary, unlike the FOX documentary, did show the debris. The narrator also mentioned that some people thought the symbols on the “H” beams spelled out the word “video.” The documentary provided pro and con opinions from experts on human bodies and on theatrical creations (“dummies”). If I recall correctly the pathologist agreed it was an autopsy on a real body, but the body of a deformed human. A special effects person suggested that it was a dummy. However the closing comments indicated that there was, as yet, no firm answer on the validity of the film. After the film was shown the speakers listed presented to the audience gave their impressions of the “New Perspectives on Roswell.” Since I hadn’t spoken in the morning I was invited to speak first. Naturally I concentrated on the analysis of the film itself, but I did try to provide a short overview of the context of the film, i.e., the cameraman’s story, and I pointed out the clear distinction between the SUE film and the Classic Roswell story. I determined by a poll (hands raised) that everyone in the audience had seen the autopsy/dissection film before. Hence I did not have to summarize what the film shows.

I presented many of the conclusions which are in the paper “Analysis of the Dissection ” in the MUFON library here which, I gather, most of the people on this forum have read (it has been downloaded nearly 400 times). I discussed many of the aspects of the film which Bob Shell and I have presented over the last few weeks, including the information about the film type, speed, manufacture dates, the probability that it is 1947 film exposed and developed in 1947 or within a few years afterward, etc. I pointed out that numerous features of the film are CONSISTENT WITH but do not necessarily prove the cameraman’s story, viz.: “flash” frames (excessively overexposed frames) every several minutes corresponding to the beginnings and endings of 100 spools of film operated at 24 frames/sec (roughly 2 3/4 minutes per spool) which are caused by speed-up and slow-down of the spring wound camera combined with the fact that the rotating shutter can stop in a open position; obvious film noise consistent with large grain, fast film (ASA 200-300); lack of scratches and dust indicating that the film has not been shown many times; lack of focus on close up indicating no zoom capability but rather that the camera was set at some fixed focal distance – I estimate 7-8 feet – with the consequence that when the camera was within 3 – 4 feet of the body during closeups the images are out of focus. I alluded to, but did not go into depth, about the fogging effects of storage and how this affects the black levels – making blacks less black (reducing the black density of the reversal film).

I stated that after carefully analyzing certain parts of the film I now believe that there probably are nipples. The left nipple appears as a small area on the far left of the chest which is only slightly darker than the surrounding skin. I then pointed out that, using the same analysis techniques which lead me to believe there are nipples, I have still failed to find a navel, even though I know roughly where it should be on the corpse. My “professional” opinion is that I should have been able to see any normal navel. I pointed out that I had gone so far as to track the film noise (random small black “dots” which are the unexposed or underexposed film “grains”) from frame to frame in the sections of the film where the navel should be apparent. Occasionally I would see a pattern that MIGHT be a very undeveloped navel in one frame and then move to the next frame and find nother pattern which did not indicate a navel. Unlike the faint nipple image which repeats frame after frame in a certain section of the film, I could find no navel image that would repeat. (Moreover, it is my opinion that any navel should be immediately obvious and should not need such sensitive detection techniques to find it.) I remarked that the lack of a navel had not been mentioned by the doctors and pathologists who appeared in the documentaries. I concluded by pointing out that perhaps the best outcome of the worldwide showings of the film before it had been confirmed as real would be that other witnesses to the SUE story would come forward to support the cameraman.

After I spoke the audience heard from Philip Mantle, whose story of how he learned of the film and what he saw has been posted in the Library and in threads on this forum. Stan Friedman reiterated his point of view that Classic Roswell is real (crashes of two saucers, one in the Roswell/Corona area and one in the Plains of San Augustin) but the SUE film has yet to be proved true. He raised numerous questions about the short history of the film and how Mr. Santilli has presented it to the world. (These questions have been raised over and over in the threads in the forum during the last three weeks.) Linda Howe discussed another possible “MJ-12” type document which would be consistent with government cover up. Chris presented the Santilli side of the story which basically is that Ray proceeded as would a businessman with some property that he feels could be valuable in the right market but he just didn’t understand the UFO “market.” Ray is apparently willing to work with researchers as best he can.

Since I was barely able to hold my head up during this afternoon session I must confess that I don’t recall what Baiata and Pinotti said. However, I know that in general they are very intent on “getting the word out” and have discussed the importance of providing the citizens of the world with the best evidence possible. Don Schmidt, who arrived during the afternoon session (minus his luggage, which wasn’t even in Italy yet at that time!) managed to stay awake long enough to provide his perspective as one of the most diligent researchers of the Classic Roswell case. He basically seconded Stanton in declaring Classic Roswell to be real, whereas he has doubts about the SUE film. He reiterated my hope that perhaps the showing of the film would cause other witnesses to come forward.

Then two pathologist/doctors spoke. It was difficult for me to understand everything they were saying because of the urge to “fall over asleep” combined with the difficulty in understanding the simultaneous translation (from Italian). It is my impression that they agreed that the autopsy looks real. They attempted to find an explanation based on human deformity which agrees with the image of the alien in the film. What they said seemed consistent with what we have heard from other experts in the field, namely that there are features consistent with a deformed human and features which are not consistent. Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was to hear the elder pathologist say that a colleague of his used sophisticated computer-based methods (FFT and color contouring for you technoweenies) to determine that there IS an navel. However, he said that this conclusion was based on analyzing only one frame of the film since they did not have a video copy to work from. (As I pointed out above, if you look at certain frames you can see “structures” in the film noise which you might think is a navel if you have only one frame to look at.) He said that they intended to repeat the work using more frames of the video. (Note: I have proposed using a frame-summing method to reduce the contribution of grain noise. After several frames, say 4 – 6 have been added, with appropriate shifting to align images, the summed frame would then be analyzed to determine whether nor not there is any evidence of a navel. Then the experts on navels can comment on whether or not any navel thus discovered is consitent with navels on deformed humans.)

The last person who spoke was the chemist who emphasized that we have film of only part of the autopsy (18 minutes out of about 1 hr, 40 minutes) and that therefore we don’t know what was left out. He emphasized that we don’t want to reach any premature conclusions either yea or nea regarding the validity of the film. I guess that everybody left with the impression that, whereas the film has not yet crashed, it also does not yet stand as proven. There is more work to be done.

During the short conference session on the second day Dr. Pinotti raised the question of why the general news media worldwide has mostly ignored the film and really the whole subject. He asked how to improve the situation. The answer seemed to be more work in publicity.

Some new (to me) information became available at the conference: copies of three labels from the film boxes. These labels add a measure of credibility to the cameraman’s story for a number of reasons. The handwritten notes (presumably by the cameraman; it would be valuable o make a handwriting check) indicate that these boxes contained rolls 31, 52 and 64. Each label has been stamped PROCESS INTERNALLY which presumably indicates that the film processing would not be contracted out to a film lab but rather that the film would be developed by the military itself, possibly even by the person who shot the film. Each label also has an organization stamp which appears to be the insigia of the 509th Bomb Group! Roll 31 has the title “June 1947 Recovery.” This label also contains the following (handwritten) statements: “underexposed for the first 50 ft Force x 2 stops flairs in gate Do not discard” These are typical types of statements that tell the film developer how to get the most out of the film. The person who wrote these statements evidently felt that the first 50 feet of this roll was underexposed by an amount equivalent to two “stops” (referring to the f/stop on a camera lens; it controls the amount of light reaching the film while the shutter is open). Here he is telling the developer of the film (perhaps himself) to effectively increase the sensitivity of the first half of the film – to “force” the film – during the developing process. The statement “flairs in gate” (perhaps the word should be “flare”) probably indicates that there would be the overexposed “flash” frames mentioned in the above discussion.

The box which is marked “Reel #52” has the label torn just after the “52”. Below that is the word “Truman’s” and the rest of the sentence has been torn away. At the bottom of the label the cameraman has written “85 filler 2/3 stop.” Just after the word “stop” the label is torn. Below that is “Force x 2 stop – Possible” and again the tear in the label interrupts this last sentence. The “85 filler” might refer to fill light used to illuminate features that are within the shadows caused by the main light source (this is a guess on my part). The same film box had a label put on by the factory which reads “Cine-Kodak High Speed SUPER XX Panchromatic Safety Film” manufactured by Kodak (etc.). This provides strong evidence of the film identification proposed by Bob Shell (Super XX). The same label says “Warning: The high speed of this film makes it generally necessary to use a neutral density filter (N.D.#2) when exposures are made in bright daylight. See instructions.” In other words, this film was more sensitive to light than the typical film of the day and therefore when used to film bright scenery with the typical cameras of the day it was necessary to block a portion of the light with a Neutral Density 2 filter. As I pointed out in the above discussion, high speed film has large grains and therefore appears “grainy” (it has lots of black specks that appear to move around from frame to frame; film grain is especially apparent in blowups of areas of the film). Since the cameraman has written “force x 2 stop – possible” it appears that again the lighting of the scene was, in his opinion, too dim even for t he fast film to produce good images.

The third label is marked “Reel #64 July 1947.” (This label is not torn.) Below that is the statement “Autopsy #2 – Head.” Below that is “Exposure for key light could be dark on fill side – can be brought up and highlight can burn.” This indicates that the cameraman expected that shadows caused by the bright “key light” would cause loss of details and that therefore the developer could “push” the film (“overdevlop” it) to increase the brightness in the dark areas, even though this “pushing” would cause the bright areas to “burn” or become overexposed.

In a manner similar to the previous discussion, the information provided by these film labels does not prove that the cameraman’s story is true. However, the information is consistent with the story.

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