Aug 13, 2021 I Brent Swancer

The Strange Story of the “Alien Interview” Footage

There have been plenty of videos and footage taken of UFOs over the decades, to the point that such pieces of footage are a dime a dozen, but rarer are those of the actual alien entities themselves. There have been from time to time pieces of footage allegedly showing aliens, but these are mostly quickly dismissed and forgotten. However, sometimes one makes a rather big impact, going on to become controversial and much discussed. One such video appeared in a documentary, on this occasion a film showing what was claimed to be an actual interview with an actual living, breathing alien, which would capture the imagination and is still talked about to this day.

In 1997, a documentary called Area 51: The Alien Interview was released by the small film company Rocket Pictures. The title might strike many as like something off of a tabloid article, but it starts off very seriously and right away pulls the viewer in. There is an immediately familiar face in the doc, that of actor Steven Williams, who played Fox Mulder’s informant from the second season of The X-Files, and with his serious expression, urgent tone, and the suitably desolate New Mexico highway he is standing on lets the viewer know this program means business. As the wind whips by and the low mountains loom in the background over the desert scrub, Williams stares very soberly and gravelly at the camera, and makes the amazing statement:

Interest in UFOs and Area 51 is at an all-time high. Last year a highly rated T.V. special and best-selling home video purported to show an actual autopsy of an alien being from the famous Roswell, New Mexico crash of 1947. Many people, and even some experts, believe that autopsy footage was genuine. If that was indeed the body of an alien being from another world, could the footage in this program be the first hard, visual evidence of an actual living and breathing alien being? An alien being communicating in an interview with a highly covert arm of the U.S. government? If the footage we’re about to show you is genuine, then this could very well be the most important video in the history of mankind.

It is enough to have any viewer hooked at this point. Could this be real? Are we about to see actual secret footage of an alien being? These are the questions likely going through everyone's minds at this point. The documentary then teases the audience for awhile, building up tension with various spooky pieces of footage of UFOs and re-enactments, before we finally get to the star of the show, the actual alien footage, supposedly smuggled out of Area 51 by a shadowy man called “Victor.” The completely silent clip shown in the documentary is only about 3 minutes long, although the original is claimed to be about 12 minutes long, and what it shows is either spooky or laughable, depending on who you ask.

The video shows a gloomy interrogation room containing a metal table, at which sits the eerie visage of the bulbous pale head of what appears to be a grey alien in the right-center of frame, complete with large black eyes and slit-like mouth, bobbing about spookily in the dark as if it is having trouble keeping its head up, a spotlight always trained on its outlandish face. The alien is claimed to have been captured when his craft crashed in 1989, and has supposedly been held captive ever since. This apparent alien entity is shot through a partition of glass, with Victor describing the room as a “biocontainment area" that is kept dark for the comfort of the alien, and two television monitors can be seen reflected in the glass. The room has various pieces of electronic equipment about, including some device on the table right in front of the “alien.” In the foreground to the left is a shadowy, barely-glimpsed human figure in dark clothing, who Victor claims is in telepathic communication with the being and is the one actually conducting the interview, while a military aide is claimed to be stationed behind the camera in a seating area.

The entire scene is very dimly lit, the surroundings only vaguely frosted by the light from that spotlight, which continuously holds the spooky alien face hovering there and only occasional hints at its torso in the gloom. At first the head sort of bobs and looks around, its movements almost bird-like, its eyes pitch black, the small mouth unmoving. This goes on for quite some time and there is no way to tell what is really going on as it is all silent. All we know is that there is some sort of telepathic exchange supposedly going on between the alien and the military man. Then something strange happens. About halfway through the video, the alien suddenly seems to be very distressed. It seems to panic, after which it begins to spasm, wretch or choke, and go into some sort of seizure. It appears to be having some sort of medical incident. It is then immediately surrounded by a group of men who look like doctors. One of these doctors grabs the entity’s head and shines a flashlight into its mouth as another wipes its foaming mouth. Cut to black. The end. Adding to the mystery of the tape are the characters “DNI/27” burnt into the bottom line of the frame next to the timeline, often speculated as being an acronym for the Department of Naval Intelligence, who supposedly run Area 51.

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A still from the footage

The documentary and footage are interspersed with interviews with the mysterious Victor, who is interviewed by the president of Rocket Pictures, Tom Coleman, in which he gives a sort of commentary on what is being seen and provides more information. Victor, who wears a disguise and has his voice electronically altered to hide his identity, is generally evasive and difficult to interview, often refusing to answer questions and the answers he does give being often cryptic and raising more questions than answers. Victor also shows contempt towards the interviewer, and even walks out on one occasion when pushed for too much information, although he is coaxed back, and is generally tough to get much information out of. However, there are some things that he reluctantly divulges. He claims to have been involved with Area 51, although he refuses to ever mention in what capacity he was there, only to say that he had been there on more than one occasion. The video itself he claims to have managed to secretly procure when the facility was digitizing its analogue records, putting it in a less secure state and allowing him to take advantage of this to take it, after which the footage had been accepted by Rocket Pictures for an undisclosed fee, but not before all of the audio was removed, according to Victor in order to protect the identities of the men in the video.

He says that he does not know if these interviews still occur or not, but that at the time he was there at Area 51 interviews with the alien were conducted about twice a month, with the one shown in the documentary being one of the later ones. He says the alien mostly divulged hints on how their craft worked and other technological wonders that were both amazing and baffling, with many scientists from various disciplines lining up to ask questions. He says the interviews were conducted telepathically and generally lasted between 3 and 5 hours, and also says that that their extremely evolved intellect and advanced technology made interviews with them difficult because what they had to say was simply impossible for use to wrap out heads around. Victor says of this:

The physicists and engineers are, frankly, frustrated. Possibly concepts are getting lost because all the information has to come through a telepath, but also it may be that the bulk of their scientific knowledge is just too advanced to be translated into our primitive conceptual framework. It’s analogous to a human scientist trying to translate quantum mechanics into the grunts and screeches of a chimpanzee. Frankly, there’s a high attrition rate for scientists in the program. You’d think they’d be energized by the challenge, but a lot of them take the ego deflation very hard.

Victor as he appears in the documentary

He further elaborates by saying that, although they were the captives, the aliens were judgmental of humans and considered us to be far inferior to them. Their attitude towards us, he claims, is indifferent at best and antagonistic at worst. He describes them as testing us and judging us, but not taking us very seriously and rather disdainful of us, with their overall attitude towards us not particularly positive. He would explain:

You’re not going to have much luck making your dog understand calculus. But if you pet him on the head and say ‘good dog’ aren’t you communicating spiritually? And doesn’t the animal control officer say ‘good dog’ when he comes to put some poor stray to sleep? When you’re dealing with beings whose intellect is so far beyond your own, I don’t think it’s safe to assume they have your best interests at heart.

He also gives theories as to what the aliens actually are, saying that no one at Area 51 really knew where they were from, and that it had not even been established if they were actually from outer space at all, speculating that they may be from some other dimension. Throughout all of this, Victor lets us know on a few occasions that his life is in possible danger for giving out this information and releasing the tape, emphasizing that he is not suicidal and that if he dies it is because he was silenced. After the footage is shown, the rest of the documentary is devoted to various experts analyzing the video, including photographic experts, UFO researchers, and special effects whizzes, whose opinions range from leaning towards it as being genuine to stating that it is a likely to definitely a hoax, although a well-done one. John Criswell, a Hollywood make-up artist, appears on the program to say that its “a pretty decent puppet,” and that the person who did it could get a job in Hollywood easily. Hollywood special effects legend Rick Baker also appears on the program to quickly shoot it down as a hoax, even humorously saying that he could build better and has built better. However, others accept it more readily, like UFO expert Robert Dean, who goes into detail on why he is convinced that it is all genuine. To the show’s credit, it never insists that the footage is real, never promoting it as genuine, but rather offering just as much skeptical feedback as that which supports it as possibly being real. You can see the documentary here and see what you think.

Another still from the footage

The documentary made waves when it was first released, as no one had ever heard of this footage before, and it was causing a similar uproar to the notorious Alien Autopsy footage released just the year before. As for Victor, he would shortly after the release of the documentary appear on the hit paranormal radio show Coast to Coast AM on May 23rd, 1997, with the legendary Art Bell. On the show, Victor mostly just rehashes what he had originally said in the documentary, sometimes practically word for word, but he does offer some new insights. He spends quite a lot of time whining about his dealings with Rocket Pictures, complaining that they had been too demanding and wanted to much disclosure, which he was not willing to give, and that they were terrible at keeping schedules. As with in the original documentary, on Coast to Coast Victor proves to be less than the ideal interviewee. His entire interview on Coast to Coast AM with Bell is tense, argumentative, and confrontational, with Victor’s voice rarely little more than a disdainful growl filled with the hiss of static. He regularly refuses to answer questions and threatens to cut the interview short when asked questions he feels go too deep. Nevertheless, the interview goes on, and Bell even gets him to admit how he felt during his own meeting with an alien, of which Victor says:

I suppose I felt sorrow. I felt anger. I, like everyone who has ever come into contact with these beings, felt an intense presence within me that was utterly foreign to my experience before that time. I must say that this has changed me. It-it has had an effect that I did not choose.

Victor also went into some amount of new detail on the aliens themselves. He told Bell that their bodies were mere shells, only “representatively biological,” and non-functional, more like a meat puppet, equipment to be animated by the alien's spirit like a vehicle or piece of machinery. However, their bodies could still give out and die, as he claims happened to the alien shown in the video not long after the interview, something he did not answer when asked about it in the original documentary. He also said there were other aliens that had been captured and interviewed, and that they had all at some point suffered some sort of chronic, unidentifiable illness in captivity. However, after they die, he says they simply move to a new vessel, like reincarnation but instantaneous. He also went a bit into the government’s motives for the interview program, saying:

The government’s motive is control. The people at the top of this program are intellectually very average. They’re not capable of making proper use of what’s been handed to them, but they have no intention of letting anyone else ever get a chance to solve the puzzle.

After his appearance on Coast to Coast AM, Victor would do an interview with Rocket Pictures in 2008 as a sort of follow-up for the documentary, in which he appears in the dark in a disguise once again. The interview itself is, similarly to the interview with Bell and the one he originally gave, tense and confrontational. He often flat-out refuses to answer questions, and the answers he does give are often cryptic and evasive as before. What he does say is often meandering and contradictory, and he steadily devolves into religious talk and nonsensical statements. He is also generally very grumpy, and also spits venom about the documentary, openly trashing it and saying:

My contempt for the viewers of this documentary over the last eleven years knows no bounds. They’ve been like children, mocking it or, on the other hand, credulously accepting it with no attempt to evaluate the material on its own merits or to discover any new material to support or debunk it!

The rocky interview ends with him sort of derailing into raving nonsense, and then that’s that. Victor hasn’t said anything on the footage since, sort of disappearing from the radar. Whoa, boy, where to even start with all of this? The “Alien Interview” footage and the mysterious Victor have been the subject of debate and controversy ever since, often deeply dividing opinion. There are those who claim that the footage can’t have possibly been faked, while even more have pointed out that, well, the alien looks kind of like a puppet. There is also the fact that Victor’s answers often make little sense, he provides no corroboration of his claims or evidence of his credibility, and he often seems to be obviously acting, rather badly in fact. It seems like this must all surely be a hoax, and nowadays it is largely considered to be a fake, but there are still people who entertain the fact that it might be real. Whether it is real or not, it is another example of a mysterious video that appears to be obviously a hoax making the rounds as real and further muddying the waters between what is real and what isn't, and it is a pretty weird piece of footage nevertheless.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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