Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Roswell Slides Alien is Just A Mummified Child

UPDATED! The original article on the Roswell Slides alien from the night of the big show appears below. Following that there are two updates, the last of which is conclusive. This author turned out to be right about everything...not that anyone noticed. I was particularly disappointed with some big name paranormal podcasters (who will not be named here- changed my mind, at bottom) who got a heads-up on this the night of the pay per view, but waited several days for people like Nick Redfern to finally get a grip on the information before coming out with it. Congratulations on backing the celebrities over the little people, guys.

Yes, I admit it, I got suckered into watching the live event known as Be Witness! In my defense, how else am I going to write about happenings in the paranormal world? So this is what the hype was all about: After more than a year-long build up to a pay per view event in Mexico City, the infamous Roswell Slides were revealed. And what you see above is what we got. The image appears to be a child, maybe two years old, turned into a desiccated mummy. The museum card on the glass case is conveniently unreadable (but WOULD BE READABLE ON THE ORIGINAL SLIDE! see below), but a quick web search finds several examples of child mummies, and you'd be hard pressed to find any difference.

Just as an example of a mummified child:
Licensed from Getty Images

But you can find many other examples on the web. You may look at several below before you decide that yes, this is indeed a mummified child. And well before the big over-hyped reveal, enough had leaked out that others had written about child mummies, suspecting that this was the case. For example.

For the "alien" mummy of the Roswell Slides caper, a  simple increase of brightness and contrast reveals a mummy in a double museum case:

You can see the white bracket runs up the middle of the double museum case. The child mummy is in the foreground, while in the other case on the far side of the bracket you see an animal head and two snakes.

Now the build up in the pay show was endless.... they retold every tale of aliens and speculative ideas about them that they could think of, droning on for hours.  I was impressed that the audience didn't start booing at some point, because it was rather clear they were stalling.

When the reveal finally came, we saw what you see in the first image at the top of this page: It looks to be a mummified child in a glass case in a museum. There's nothing particularly weird about it. Oh, that didn't stop them from making something weird out of it though....

Expert after expert appeared to point how how the proportions were all wrong for a human .... ... adult male. That's the ONLY comparison they made. It looks like a child, but they never once made that comparison. Instead, over and over they would show us the skeleton of an adult male human and point out that the "alien" was so different from that. Yeah, it is - because it's a kid, not an adult male!

The stupidest one was when they brought up the guy who pronounced this "alien" to be some type of reptile!  Yeah... I couldn't make this shit up. He said it couldn't' be a mammal, like us, because it lacks mammary glands.  ...It also lacks skin, eyeballs and internal organs, so that probably means it came from outer space too, right?  (The Getty  photo from a museum above also "lacks mammary glands" and for the same reason).  Maybe all these mummies are reptiles then, and we just thought they were human mummies.

Okay, maybe the guy who said the child mummy was some kind of  lizard because he couldn't see mammary glands on the shriveled corpse wasn't the stupidest one. Maybe it was the anthropologist who said it had more ribs than a human. Not because you can count extra ribs, but because he inferred ribs you cannot see, based on (AGAIN) the proportions of an adult male human and that therefore some of that mummified flesh must have more ribs under it, etc.

Let's be real here: They went out of their way to avoid comparing their evidence to a mummified child. Didn't come within a mile of that, in fact. They only compared it to an adult human male. Period. To me, this strongly suggests that they knew very well that it was a mummified child but were hoping their audience wouldn't notice that. ...And that's almost criminally scummy, in my opinion.

VERDICT: Nothing to see here. Except maybe scam artists at work. The slide is a real and old, but it doesn't show anything weird or unusual - just a visit to a museum that had a mummy. The two "alien" slides came from a pack of slides taken on the original owner's vacation. To their credit, these hucksters admitted that much. So normally there wouldn't be any reason to see this as anything other than another souvenir of that trip - until you insert promoters of crap into the picture.

The only argument to the contrary would be something along the lines of: If these were part of that trip (and they were) then why did the old lady hide them in the box lid?  This seems fairly straightforward: The mummy picture is the only photo that polite conservative society of the 1950's might find objectionable/gross. She probably hid them because she didn't want to show them to visitors but didn't want to throw them away because her husband took them. Everyone has vacation pictures they'd rather not have others see. What's the big deal? Nothing.... except (again) for the insertion of pecuniary purveyors of hucksterism into the story. And that is a story unto itself.
Here are some more mummified children ...er... aliens. Yeah...

And last and probably least, once again, the "Roswell Slides alien" mummy child:

By the way, there IS information on the museum card. I did a little Photoshop curves and channel isolation. I can't read it because the highest resolution version online is still pretty small at only 1200 pixels wide (a bit less than ~1Mpx), but those who have the original slide can do so. At 1200 pixels, the letters on the card are only 1 to 2 pixels wide - not enough to read anything, but the slide will have about 24Mpixels of data, making the card quite readable. And I'm guessing they probably did read it (because anyone with a little Photoshop knowledge can enhance to this level), but didn't want you to know about it. Or put it another way; they know exactly what it is and where it is/was - and chose to hide the truth. In my opinion.

UPDATE May 7, 2015: Well, this stuff has now been reproduced everywhere using other methods and analysis, but I still see defenders, vainly trying to hang on to the illusion. These all revolve around experts who looked at the low res photo and made judgments about its structure (compared to an adult male). I've covered that and won't repeat myself. The only additional points I've seen are along the lines of, "Yeah, but the alien has giant eyes!" ... No it doesn't. The promoters' graphic illustrations and animations have giant eyes, but look again at the photo. There is no justification for that in the photo. It has normal child-sized eye sockets. Seriously, look at it!

And this brings me back to the fact that the museum card would readable with a full resolution scan of the slide. Are you seriously telling me they put all that time and money into having CGI animations done - animations in which they gave the skeleton giant eyes and gray-blue skin without any justification in the source material - but they didn't bother to have a full resolution scan made? Seriously? That lacks even a shred of credibility, unless you say they didn't have a full resolution scan made because they knew they would be able to read the museum card and that would have spoiled the fun. That I can believe.

As I predicted, you have the usual debunkers calling the photo a fake - because they are misreading it. I knew that was going to happen because I too had trouble interpreting the visual data at first. Once I realized it was a double case with a center support bracket, it all fell into place. But for the debunker crowd, who always assume everything is fake, there is little interest in accurate analysis. Tl;dr it's not fake, just a relic of a couple's vacation where they visited a tourist trap and saw a mummy. That's all.

UPDATE May 13, 2015:  Thank you to Greg Bishop of Radio Misterioso for his show about the solving of this mystery. (ADDITIONAL: here is the iTunes podcast link since we're currently slamming his web site into non-existence)I listened to the podcast last night  and was delighted to hear my predictions come to fruition, thanks to a team of much more dedicated UFO researchers. The show itself was pretty messy with lots of people talking over other people, but it's worth listening to, if you want to learn about how the mystery was solved - and also how beneath contempt the promoters of the Slides have been.

I was the first to cover the event, but I lost interest in pursuing what was obviously a museum mummy. But others did not, and they got a better image than the one offered to the general public, and they read the museum card. As I predicted would happen.  At the time it was photographed, the mummy was in the possession of the National Parks Service at Mesa Verde National Park. The card says "MUMMIFIED BODY OF TWO YEAR OLD BOY" on the title line. The bottom line says that the the mummy was donated by a  Mr. Palmer of San Francisco, California in 1938. He had originally removed it from a historical site but was now returning it. It's a mummy of a 2 year old boy. A HUMAN CHILD. Well, I got everything right - EVERYTHING - (and first) but kudos to those who took this home. They did their work despite threats and accusations of fraud hurled by the shameless and scummy promoters of this hoax. I'm glad they did that because the threats and vicious attacks probably would have stopped me from going further, had I had any inclination to do so. You can read all about their work at The Roswell Slides Research Group.

The group explains how anyone can read the card posted on the scammer's own web site using Smart Deblur. I just used Photoshop to enhance a bit. Try their method and figure it out for yourself.  Here's my slide card using just the Smart Sharpen filter with motion blur setting in Photoshop (you have to do it twice for X and Y axes, but Photoshop will do it), and taking the yellow channel and some adjustments, because some color channels are less blurry than others!. Thank you again to the Roswell Slides Research Group people. Good job, man.

I'm glad the hoaxers lost this one. I'm sure they planned to make a good living for years to come off of their hoax. But now the truth is out there.  Honestly, though, it's not over. The promoters will continue to make money off of their hoax (just maybe not as MUCH money as they were going to make) and true believers will continue to shower them with cash and keep them in business. It's just human nature; people want to believe so much that they are willing to ignore conclusive proof. So there's nothing to cheer for, here. Congratulations to those who dug up the facts, and shame on the con men who foisted this upon us - but the hoax machine will grind on, because that's just a sad part of human nature. Another sad part is how all the podcasters and bloggers held back on this information, waiting for it to be endorsed by celebrity UFO speakers instead of just confronting the facts head on. That celebrity-worship is yet another sad fact of human nature. It might help you get those celebrities on your shows...maybe... but you might not be providing the best service to your audience. I'm still glad that the Roswell Slides group did what they did. I would never consider going on radio shows or fighting the fight with the true believers. That's not my thing. I don't even like blogging about this stuff. It was a dirty job and they stepped up to the plate and did it. For that, I am immensely grateful.

EDIT June 1, 2015. On second thought, I'm going to name the podcaster culprits who kept this information from their listeners: The guys of Mysterious Universe. I used to like them. I used to be a Plus subscriber. When I did this analysis the night of the event, I posted it to their web site and a day later to their Facebook page. They DELETED both my posts. Deleted! I later noticed that they had also blocked me from ever posting again on the FB page. TAKE NOTE: They deliberately kept their listeners in the dark until Nick Redfern was ready to come on their show and talk about the whole thing, springboarding off of the Roswell Slides Research Group's work. Un-fucking believable. I consider this unforgivable and proof that they don't really care about facts, just entertainment. Needless to say, I am no longer a subscriber. The Mysterious Universe guys should be ashamed of themselves.