Skinny bob videos?

MclachlanM

Active Member
More info here (ignore the title, the original claim was debunked):

The Russian documentary here actually seems to imply that this is footage from the US air force, here is what they are talking about when it is shown:
"Contact with alien race had begun a long time ago. The US establishment had their first contact in the previous century at North Carolina."
"Researchers believe that in October 1941 in North Carolina an alien egg-shaped craft had crashed there. [SKINNY BOB FOOTAGE STARTS PLAYING] The crew consisted of 4-high humanoids with milky-white skin. Those who survived were taken to a secret bunker where they died a few weeks later."

The North Carolina / Cape Girardeau 1941 story seems suspicious (I am surprised that there isn't a dedicated thread here) but the Skinny Bob footage certainly feels related.

I think the gist of the story is a UFO crashes, 3/4 (depending on where you read the story) aliens are found on the scene, one is kept alive for some time by the air force and the rest die. All evidence, footage etc. was taken away by Area 51 people and the only thing that remains is the testimony of a lady's grandfather, a pastor named William G. Huffman, retold by the lady with some photographic evidence with unknown origins.

Strikingly the aliens in the photos from this event and similar ones look a lot like the Ivan YouTube stuff (this might not be ground-breaking as they look like fairly classic aliens):download.jpg
1624659959804.png

Here's is what we know about them:
In fact, the "alien" in Koi Alien Photo 10 is a prop produced by Don Post (apparently dubbed by many as "The Godfather of Halloween" most famous for creating rubber masks for commercial sale and use in movies - including the Star Wars and Halloween film series), as discussed below.

The photograph was taken at the "Aliens: Worlds of Possibilities" exhibition developed by the Pacific Science Center, which opened in Seattle in 1998 and has been traveling the country ever since.

The Manager of Exhibt Development of the Pacific Science Center was kind enough to generously answer a few questions I posed to her about the photograph back in 2007, including:
(1) Stating that the "alien" was purchased for $160 in 1997 at a local party supply store.

(2) Indicating that, prior to my email in 2007, the Pacific Science Center was unaware that a photo of their alien was being used as "evidence" of extraterrestrial life.

(3) Stating that the relevant exhibit was designed with a chain link fence/corrugated metal fence surrounding the space so visitors could not get near the case. This caused her to suggest that the individual in the photo may have been someone would have had access to the set before it was completed and sealed off from the public.

Her comments also included the following:

"I imagine someone posted the image as a joke and it has just taken off. The thing looks so incredibly fake it’s hard to believe any serious discussions have taken place as to its authenticity. I can tell you I have personally always been disappointed this cheap and tacky doll has been the focus of newspaper photos and stories about the exhibition since we opened the show here in Seattle. We spent considerable time, money and effort to create 5 incredible, imaginative robotic aliens (1 no longer travels with the show), that are grounded in scientific theory, and they hardly ever get photographed." (Email to Isaac Koi dated 1 May 2007).
https://www.isaackoi.com/alien-photos/koi-alien-photo-10.html

From Don Post's Wiki:
Donald Post (March 14, 1902 – November 17, 1979), dubbed by many as The Godfather of Halloween, created and sold some of the first latex masks, which remain popular today.

Knowing that a very similar looking prop made by the 'Godfather of Halloween' has been making the rounds since at least the 90s makes these scenes from Skinny Bob less impressive.
1624660236202.png1624660305391.png


As for the blinking video I'm not sure how that was made but it would seem pretty easy with puppetry, here is a guy doing a pretty good blinking in 2015.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUl6Y6KbyuU


The alien does move quite strangely but so do puppets, if you play with speeding up and down this video you can start to get a sense of how they can look similar (who knew I'd be spending my Friday night looking at puppet videos).
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E8Xz5VnNIQ


The footage has clearly been slowed down to 0.5x to give this weird movement effect:


If I were making an alien puppet I'd probably not want to go to all the work of making an entire body. Probably why this alien is wearing a turtleneck!
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
I hadn't heard of this case before, or forgot about it. I punched ivan's youtube channel into the internet archive and found some comments on the original videos claiming Ivan was actually somebody previously called 351NOVA who had uploaded similar videos that ended up being from a movie or something. Can't find much mention of 351NOVA in Google or the sub reddit. Has anyone here looked deeper into this connection?

https://web.archive.org/web/20110507124352/https://www.youtube.com/user/ivan0135

Edit to add: there are a fair amount of mentions of 351Nova on google after all, but most are pretty old. To me the similarity of the usernames is too much of a coincidence.
Did you come across this thread on godlikeproductions?

A user called Mr351Nova signs up to post a single message admitting he was responsible for previous hoaxes, but is unrelated to ivan0135.


This person is slandering me across the net based on a hunch ! Based on the fact that my videos 4 years ago where done in black and white and ivan0135 videos are B&W and in both videos the alien has blinking eyes , thats it nothing more , if you look at both sets of videos you can see my old videos were made with windows movie maker , ivan0135 videos are completely professional.
Content from External Source
 
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NilbogBackwards

New Member
Did you come across this thread on godlikeproductions?

A user called Mr351Nova signs up to post a single message admitting he was responsible for previous hoaxes, but is unrelated to ivan0135.


This person is slandering me across the net based on a hunch ! Based on the fact that my videos 4 years ago where done in black and white and ivan0135 videos are B&W and in both videos the alien has blinking eyes , thats it nothing more , if you look at both sets of videos you can see my old videos were made with windows movie maker , ivan0135 videos are completely professional.
Content from External Source

I did read that. Do you believe him? To me that sounds like what I would say if my previous hoax attempt was exposed and I was liking that my latest one has a lot of people fooled.
 

Rotauge

New Member
This seems to be the unredacted version of the logo frame:

kgb.jpg

I can't find the original russian ufo crash/autopsy documentary in which I recognized this image but there are a few minutes on Youtube
 

NilbogBackwards

New Member
The Russian documentary here actually seems to imply that this is footage from the US air force, here is what they are talking about when it is shown:


The North Carolina / Cape Girardeau 1941 story seems suspicious (I am surprised that there isn't a dedicated thread here) but the Skinny Bob footage certainly feels related.

I think the gist of the story is a UFO crashes, 3/4 (depending on where you read the story) aliens are found on the scene, one is kept alive for some time by the air force and the rest die. All evidence, footage etc. was taken away by Area 51 people and the only thing that remains is the testimony of a lady's grandfather, a pastor named William G. Huffman, retold by the lady with some photographic evidence with unknown origins.

Strikingly the aliens in the photos from this event and similar ones look a lot like the Ivan YouTube stuff (this might not be ground-breaking as they look like fairly classic aliens):download.jpg
1624659959804.png

Here's is what we know about them:

https://www.isaackoi.com/alien-photos/koi-alien-photo-10.html

From Don Post's Wiki:


Knowing that a very similar looking prop made by the 'Godfather of Halloween' has been making the rounds since at least the 90s makes these scenes from Skinny Bob less impressive.
1624660236202.png1624660305391.png

To me the space craft looks really tiny in this crash scene. They show it just before this scene of him lying on the ground and all they do is pan down a bit...no zooming to reveal his body. Are the aliens lying down when flying it? It doesn't look very tall at all and barely longer than the alien.
 

gabelewis

New Member
I'm glad to see someone support the theory that some live action elements are at play in the main Bob video.

You're not the first person to suggest that. There is a VFX artist on Reddit who took a stab at what elements he thought might be necessary and surprisingly mostly convinced that the character work is some kind of puppetry or a mix of puppetry and digital effects.

The post claims to be by Ben Philips (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1592943/)

They also find the work impressive and assume it would take a budget to pull off:

I work in special effects, creature effects and visual effects for the film industry. IMDB me... Ben Philips. I and those I work with could fake this. The problem is I would need a small crew and would have to spend a lot of prep time and money to pull it off. The clips of Skinny Bob and ‘family vacation’ are one thing... and arguments over frame rate and whether it’s 16mm footage is irrelevant, it’s the creation of the supplemental footage that people tend to ignore and overlook, all of which are totally unique to Ivan 0135’s uploads. None of the other clips have been seen before or since. They comprise of....

  • A saucer being filmed from a moving vehicle hovering over what looks like a steam boat - digital composition using filmed footage and composited UFO with fantastic tracking.
  • Cockpit footage showing a saucer flying beside it - again an edited video with an inserted UFO.
  • An alien walking towards camera - this could be entirely digital but I think not because the camera shake isn’t added as an effect. This means it would be a makeup (mask) and performer or a digital edit with a CG alien.
  • A panning shot of a crash site in a desert - this is a physical effect shot... meaning the camera was filming an actual thing. This could have been a location build or a miniature model. I don’t think it’s a miniature though because the camera operator is walking while panning which would require the camera being motion controlled to simulate someone walking.
  • Autopsy footage - this would require a model alien and performers.
The last 3 clips I mentioned take the faking of this to a whole new level of expertise and professionalism. For a start the crash footage would need a location to film and a crew to either build the crashed saucer and bodies in a workshop or out on location, which appears to be a desert. This means money and people to pay, including transport to get the model saucer to location. The autopsy footage is interesting for a few reasons. One being that it’s not the same alien as Skinny Bob and is very short. it is very similar to the Ray Santilli autopsy footage that was admitted to be faked by Santilli himself. However, he claims to this day that he faked it because the original footage he bought degraded due to elemental exposure. This could possibly be a short clip of that original footage or if faked, the creators were hinting at it.

So.... if Skinny Bob was faked he’s either an animatronic puppet or CGI... or a blend of both. If it’s digital then it’s outstanding and the creator was a professional. If it’s digital then it wasn’t key frame animation but motion capture. If it was motion capture then it would need a studio set up. A studio set up means money and more people. If it was a puppet then it’s not only a stunning design but the puppeteers were top of the pile; the way he shifts his stance and looks down when he’s having his height measured is beautifully done and one of the reasons why if it is a computer generated character it was done using motion capture and not key frame animated.

I’m not saying it isn’t faked. I am proposing that if it was, then it was done by a multidisciplinary team of effects professionals. They spent a lot of time and money building physical models for extremely short clips that weren’t even the main subject matter of the video; Skinny Bob.

If faked none of those involved have broke silence since May 2011 to lay claim for their work.

I don't agree with Ben on everything and in the comments it's clear that he would enjoy knowing that they are real. I do think it illustrates the point that you can't just say "somebody made this in a weekend using Clip Art." There is enough meat to spark the interest of a few video professionals at least.

The major thing that people tend to miss: Lighting CG characters is hard, motion tracking is hard, key frame animation is HARD, making skin detail look convincing is HAAAARRRD. This is all true on brand new equipment.

Once again since we're on a skeptical forum: I believe the Bob videos to be the work of one or more professional VFX artists created for currently unknown reasons. I believe it took more than a few days, and a high level of skill to make - doubly so considering the year of release.

Another VFX artist (Richard Allan - Post Production Technical Instructor at Staffordshire University) commented in 2011 that it's obviously CGI because camera's of the era the footage is pretending to come from could not handle the level of detail on the character model:

The fifth shot is of the head of the alien, and this is where they give the game away. he footage is made to look old through the use of sepia, dust and noise on the print, and the accompanying audio of a projector. A slight blur has been added, but even this can’t disguise the notion that this alien has too much detail to have been filmed on a cine camera in the 1940s to 1960s timeframe! Look at the veins in the forehead, and the tendons in the neck – there’s no way a camera of that era would have picked out that level of detail in that lighting. The ‘alien’ is a CGI model, with the footage ‘distressed’ to make it look authentic.
 
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NilbogBackwards

New Member
I'm glad to see someone support the theory that some live action elements are at play in the main Bob video.

You're not the first person to suggest that. There is a VFX artist on Reddit who took a stab at what elements he thought might be necessary and surprisingly mostly convinced that the character work is some kind of puppetry or a mix of puppetry and digital effects.

The post claims to be by Ben Philips (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1592943/)

They also find the work impressive and assume it would take a budget to pull off:



I don't agree with Ben on everything and in the comments it's clear that he would enjoy knowing that they are real. I do think it illustrates the point that you can't just say "somebody made this in a weekend using Clip Art." There is enough meat to spark the interest of a few video professionals at least.

The major thing that people tend to miss: Lighting CG characters is hard, motion tracking is hard, key frame animation is HARD, making skin detail look convincing is HAAAARRRD. This is all true on brand new equipment.

Once again since we're on a skeptical forum: I believe the Bob videos to be the work of one or more professional VFX artists created for currently unknown reasons. I believe it took more than a few days, and a high level of skill to make - doubly so considering the year of release.

Another VFX artist (Richard Allan - Post Production Technical Instructor at Staffordshire University) commented in 2011 that it's obviously CGI because camera's of the era the footage is pretending to come from could not handle the level of detail on the character model:

Does anyone suspect it was made by Ben Philips and friends? He would be the perfect candidate.
 

NilbogBackwards

New Member
Managed to find reuploads of the Mr351Nova (now 'Wade Nova') hoax attempt.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKNiAoJQk0U

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNJiGuSZQFQ


Looks like the same MO to me, slowed down footage with a filter on top. The first video apparently comes from this TV documentary; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3978114/.

I'm 95% sure "Mr351nova" is involved with Skinny Bob. He's a strange character...his youtube channel has changed a lot over the years and so has his name. Is it Wade or Billy? My guess is neither. I noticed he posted a fair amount on foreign tube sites like this Kazakh one:

https://kzclip.com/video/eQEYuSBikog/an-exclusive-interview-with-erin-gray.html

Kind of weird for a guy named Billy from Missouri.
 

MclachlanM

Active Member
I'm 95% sure "Mr351nova" is involved with Skinny Bob. He's a strange character...his youtube channel has changed a lot over the years and so has his name. Is it Wade or Billy? My guess is neither. I noticed he posted a fair amount on foreign tube sites like this Kazakh one:

https://kzclip.com/video/eQEYuSBikog/an-exclusive-interview-with-erin-gray.html

Kind of weird for a guy named Billy from Missouri.
Good find! A strange character indeed. As far as his names go I have heard the following:

Mike Ward
Mike Ward.jpg

Billy Cruise, 42y.o.
Billy Cruise.jpg

Wade, from Clearfield
wade 43.jpg1625001930886.png

Looking at the comments from some of the people who were online with him in the gaming days it seems he started to become less involved with novaworldgaming about nine years ago. (he was still Mr351Nova here)
1625002289025.png
1625002304240.png

Then seemingly got back into UFOlogy about 5 years ago?
1625002240111.png

Unfortunately I think a lot of this has been lost to time and even though I'm pretty sure this is our guy we're unlikely to get definitive proof.
 

gabelewis

New Member
Good find! A strange character indeed. As far as his names go I have heard the following:

Unfortunately I think a lot of this has been lost to time and even though I'm pretty sure this is our guy we're unlikely to get definitive proof.
I would love to see the videos being referred to in these posts - it sounds like they are not necessarily of comparable quality? Comparison might not reveal much because the limits of different programs are such that there would not necessarily be an artist signature so to speak. It would be an interesting puzzle piece nonetheless.

EDIT: Sorry I missed the videos! I would say that comparison doesn't yield much but his denial is also not credible. He's a decent candidate.
 
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NilbogBackwards

New Member
I would love to see the videos being referred to in these posts - it sounds like they are not necessarily of comparable quality? Comparison might not reveal much because the limits of different programs are such that there would not necessarily be an artist signature so to speak. It would be an interesting puzzle piece nonetheless.

Scroll up...he linked to them.
 
Quite a discussion about this video. The movements of the alien give it away as CG, although we don't know how an alien would move... It better be not like a CG puppet. Adding noise is a common way to hide effects and defects, because it gives the brain free rein to connect the dots.
 

Eiskind

New Member
Great Thread. I would like to add some points.

- Old Movie Overlay etc.
The Old Movie effects are from Sapphire for BorisFX. And they are not the only ones. Almost all effects shown in this reddit posting are from Sapphire. These include the ghosting effect from the first UFO clip, the pillar boxes, the diagonal Rainbow Moire pattern etc. Visually, the different clips are streamlined as a result. It should be noted that the use of filters decreases over the videos. While the first Ivan video looks very poor in quality due to all the effects and filters, the use of filters in the other Ivan videos decreases steadily.


- Timecode
The timecode is fake much like the filters, the font is Consolas from 2006 and there is a "glitch" in the Skinny Bob video. Interestingly, someone took the trouble to use different redactions anyway. Additionally, the "case" numbers mentioned in the preamble to the videos have been included in the time code.


- MrNova351
He has nothing to do with the Ivan0135 / Skinny Bob video. The only thing he did was to take the above linked Alien clips from a TV show, overlay them with Windows Movie Maker and then upload them to Youtube. The Ivan0135 videos, on the other hand, have been massively edited and the origin of the very different clips is unknown to this day.


- CGI / Practical Effects
Opinions on how Skinny Bob could be faked vary widely. What stands out is that people who work in the CG field think that Skinny Bob is CGI while people from the film field tend to practical effects (puppet, animatronic, stop motion).

The analysis of Ben Philips was already linked above. So here are two more opinions:

Karlee Morse:
hmmmm... it looks like it could've been made as a stop motion puppet? more likely so than someone in full costume/make-up. it reminds me a lot of Ray Harryhausen creatures. Even the way it's rendered in black and white is reminiscent of this work. The way it moves is very stop-motion-like, and they've rendered the videos with a grainy overlay, so that's a way to blend the movement and make it more life-like.or it could be real, who knows? I can't say. it's well-executed and entertaining either way. :)

Mike Johnson:
"I don’t know if that’s a stopmo puppet. In my opinion it doesn’t look like stop-motion. It might be CG, or possibly live action with an animatronic mask, sort of like what Guillermo del Torro did in Pan’s Labyrinth. Or, it might be real footage of an alien. But I’m guessing it’s a hybrid of digital effects combined with a sophisticated animatronic mask."


What is also often overlooked is that Skinny Bob is not the only video. The clips from the first Ivan0135 video e.g. are real life shots and would have to be faked in different ways than "Skinny Bob" or "Family Vacation". The UFO crash scene, for example, could be a miniature shot. In addition, the autopsy sequence is a real life shot which shows an optically very similar "alien" as in the Skinny Bob clip.

In the case of a hoax, quite different techniques would have to be used for the many different clips.
 

Fin

Member
For me, the blinking is actually the WORST part of this and the most obvious hallmark of CG. When the blink takes place anyone who's ever UV wrapped a head will surely see the issue where the eyebrow part of the skull is stretching, rather than the LID extending. i.e. there is essentially no lid-flap hidden when the eye is open, so when bob blinks the skin pulls down too tightly around the eyebrow area of the skull where it should not.

I don't think it's just a happy coincidence, and somehow actually this race of aliens just has no eyelid flaps, so when they blink it looks stretchy. This is a classic UV wrapping/stretching issue!!
 

gabelewis

New Member
For me, the blinking is actually the WORST part of this and the most obvious hallmark of CG. When the blink takes place anyone who's ever UV wrapped a head will surely see the issue where the eyebrow part of the skull is stretching, rather than the LID extending. i.e. there is essentially no lid-flap hidden when the eye is open, so when bob blinks the skin pulls down too tightly around the eyebrow area of the skull where it should not.

I don't think it's just a happy coincidence, and somehow actually this race of aliens just has no eyelid flaps, so when they blink it looks stretchy. This is a classic UV wrapping/stretching issue!!

This is not how it appears to me (accidental or not.) To me it appears that the eyelid is folding under the eyebrow. I can identify both elements separately on any frame.

To me it just looks like a sharp brow line with an eyelid that folds further under the eye brow than it does on a human.

Also, in terms of creature design, brow/lid combos like this are not unheard of in nature. 1629683946719.png
 

gargamel

Member
I think this is "geo-locatable". I don't think the hoaxer used publicly available footage though, because in one of the videos he/she appears to enjoy, almost being proud of the non-traceability. Own, personal footage is my guess. Could be wrong though.

UFO1.gif

Looks like central Europe to me, small-ish town or suburb, with agricultural fields close to a small industry with smoking chimneys. Probably by a river (the lighter band towards the horizon). My guess is that the footage before the saucer was added was taken from the window of an airliner on landing approach.

The ridiculously heavy filtering and added FX (scratches etc, that were already positively ID'd) makes it tough, but somebody out there ought to recognize the scene.

My hunch is that everything will start to slowly unravel once the first geolocation is done.
 
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gabelewis

New Member
My curiosity on this topic has been satisfied more or less by this excellently argued thesis that it is indeed the work of Ben Ben Philips, possibly in conjunction with other puppetry/stop motion professionals.

It turns out that Ben has been making puppets that look extremely similar to various Bob images since at least the 1990's, and collects movie props. One of the puppets from the film Mars Attacks could easily have fallen into Ben's hands: Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/SkinnyBob/comments/rhl40z/evidence_that_skinny_bob_puppets_props_and_videos/


This subreddit is aimed at discovering the origin of the Skinny Bob videos. The origin will lead to names and in that spirit I'm naming names to allow the research to continue.

Huge thanks to my co-researcher on this case u/Virtual-Pudding9409, who is equally responsible for the work and ideas that went into this. I’m going to attempt to keep it brief and there are details I’ve omitted that I may get to in the comments. Please click on the links and images and make your own assessments.

This is the evidence I've put together to support the theory that the Skinny Bob videos were created by modeler and visual effects artist Ben Phillips (u/Bedeekinben). (Ben Philips, single L, on iMDb.)

The sections below cover Ben’s comments about the videos between 2011 and 2019; his skill set; and models he’s made in the past that are similar (or identical) to the various Skinny Bob aliens.

Ivan
Ben Phillips was already interested in Skinny Bob back in 2011. Only six days after Ivan0135 uploaded his last video, Ben re-uploaded them to his YouTube channel as one long video.

Not only did Ben find Ivan’s channel quickly, he then checked it for 3 years and noticed Ivan never logged back in:

“Back in 2011, 12 and 13 you could see whether a channel was active... if the uploaded had logged onto their channel. Ivan basically uploaded ‘family vacation’ and never logged into his account afterwards.”

Still in 2011, Ben quickly discovered a possible reference to the Skinny Bob incident in the SERPO files: “Project SERPO... The human/Reticulan exchange programme… Project SERPO (if real) describes a meeting with 3 aliens... one was female. What is interesting is that in the SERPO files, there is an entry by a guy calling himself Ivan who claims to be retired KGB.” [from his YouTube upload comments]

It’s possible Ben actually got the idea to make (or repurpose) the Skinny Bob videos after finding this reference. He slapped a KGB badge on the footage and uploaded it as Ivan.

In the comments on his video (2011-2014) Ben made suggestions about how the videos might be faked: “motion capture... good 3D modelling software... a couple of people who are adept at a number of disciplines and then maybe After Effects for the bits of editing used to introduce the clips.” (At that time, the stock overlays had not been discovered.)

He praised the work, if it turned out to be fake:

“If it is animation... it's some of the best Ive seen... and I work in movie effects.”

“To me.... as a professional special effects technician and creature effects maker... it seems real. More real than any other videos.”

“Normally when we look at good fakes they impress on first viewing but somethings not quite right and under scrutiny, breaks down. This has worked in the sense that it was a 'wow' moment... slightly uneasy... excited... and after careful scrutiny just seems to get better.”

So, does Ben Phillips have the skills to make the videos?

Ben Phillips' skills
There's no denying Ben is an awesome model maker who has worked in the industry on many well-known movies. In late 2012 he posted examples of his work on his blog.

Aside from practical effects, he knows how to use ZBrush (for 3D modeling): “I was advised to buy Zbrush by a potential employer so I could work on his next project… The cool thing is that after learning it I got so into it that I had inadvertently learned enough to understand more advanced CGI programmes like Maya or Blender.”

Reddit post
With the username u/Bedeekinben, Ben Phillips posted about the videos in April 2019.

The gist of his analysis is that the videos could be faked but it would require a team (with non-disclosure agreements) and be prohibitively expensive. And rather than the “couple of people” he proposed in 2011, he now said an entire team would be needed at a cost of £220,000.

It's very rare for somebody with the talent to be able to create the Skinny Bob clips not to have owned up to it. It's extremely convincing work… Someone that good has a creative ego that wouldn't be able to resist claiming their work simply to be noticed… It's becoming more popular lately because it's beginning to stand the tests of time. No one I know would try to recreate it because of the time and effort.”

What struck me as odd is that despite decades of professional work with model-making and CGI, Ben didn't include the possibility that existing puppets, props, and equipment could be repurposed, reducing the cost immensely. What people don't say is usually important. This seemed like a misdirect.

Ben swung between believing it was fake in May: “Its most definitely faked... but I can't fault it technically... and like I said... I do this for a living.”

…and being fairly sure it was real by September (although he went back and forth unpredictably): “I don't believe it was faked, but can't rule it out totally. Time will tell.”

Ben did not seem happy with the suggestions that the videos were easy to make or that the footage is purely CGI. Instead, he praised the filmmaker and defended the skill required to use practical effects and puppets.

It could be faked and I have a good idea of how it could be done,” he wrote in 2019. From this (and similar) statements it seems likely his professional “opinion” on how the videos could have been made give us clues on how they actually were made.

He says Skinny Bob could be "a digitally augmented puppet" animated with the help of motion capture.

“I would create him using an animatronic puppet, maybe augmented with a bit of digital editing.”

If it’s digital I can confidently say it’s not hand animated. It’s been motion captured or rotoscoped using the natural movements of a person.”

By 2019 the editing flaws and aging filters had been pointed out, although Ben had failed to notice them in the preceding 8 years. He surmised this post-production work was not done by the “masterful” animator (if indeed the footage is faked): “I don't believe that someone with the wherewithal to create such a masterful digital animation would be so stupid and lackadaisical as to make such a crappy edit with obvious flaws.”

If Ben made the footage, it could be that he handed it off to someone else who let him down on the filters, or perhaps he did the post work and it’s just not his forte. He thought nobody would notice, and once they did, he distanced that part of the job from the footage itself.

Bedeekin vs Crash Site Bob
Ben's Reddit, YouTube and old blog handle is “Bedeekin”. Who is this alter-ego? He's an alien creation of Ben's featured in photos (often composite/CGI enhanced) on social media and forums from about 2010-2014. (Bedeekin's second name Oobe relates to Ben's interest in out of body experiences.)

In a 2010 Facebook post, Bedeekin wears a CGI silver suit with a Mandarin collar.

Ben clothed his aliens in the same jumpsuit for a small Roswell diorama he was commissioned to make in the 90s.

The clothing of Skinny Bob at the crash site seems to have been inspired by this jumpsuit.

Is Bedeekin the alien we see in the crash scene video? Both have a distinctive wide ridge down the center of the skull not seen in the other aliens I'll be talking about, and both have large black “alien Grey” eyes. Having said that, the footage is so “decayed” it could be a thin person in a Bedeekin-like mask.

Roswell Prop vs Autopsy Bob
Unprompted, Ben Phillips tells us: “The autopsy footage is interesting for a few reasons. One being that it's not the same alien as Skinny Bob…”

On his blog and Reddit, Ben talks about an older job he did: “Roll on 1995 and I found myself involved with an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary [1997] of the alleged Roswell crash.”

“The brief was to create about 12 life-size models of aliens that have been witnessed throughout history. I managed to get a few famous ones... including a full sized Roswell crash complete with 25 foot saucer and a set of the arroyo it had ploughed into.”

(I've been unable to find images of this flying saucer from the Expo. Would be interesting to know if it matches the one Ben made for the Expo. If so, this is evidence that the crash site scene was a practical effects shot using life-sized props. However, there’s no reason to think the shot couldn’t have been achieved with miniatures.)

On the blog you'll also see sketches for Betty & Barney Hills' alien in tight black clothing. Ben himself points out that Skinny Bob wears similar clothing in two videos.

This is Ben's final Roswell alien prop.

…and here it is compared with Ivan’s autopsy footage. Autopsy Bob has no obvious eyelids but otherwise looks like Ben's Roswell alien - note cheek fold, eyes, mouth and nose shape, and the matching shading on the brow.

Mars Attacks Puppet vs Skinny Bob
If Skinny Bob - sitting, standing, and walking - is a modified Mars Attacks puppet, did Ben have access to one?

In 2012 he posted: “I collect movie memorabilia... but with a difference.”

Mackinnon & Saunders, the studio that made the puppets, is in London. Ben lives/lived in London. He told us “the film industry's visual and practical effects workforce is very tightly knit.” It seems likely he could've come into possession of the puppet. Parts of the head have been altered - a clay or latex neck, face and scalp - while some of the structure along with movable brows and eyeballs were retained.

A few more points of interest
Quality frames: Does Ben have access to a better quality version of the videos than anyone else? He was able to reveal SkinnyBob’s eyes with the magic of Photoshop, which nobody else has accomplished. (These match the Mars Attacks puppet’s eyeballs, coincidentally.)

Painted eye shadows: In what looks like another attempt at deflection, he wrote: “The shadowing however IS synonymous with the way a 16mm camera would act in that lighting. Deep shadows are actually the reason why it’s probably real. High contrast.” Since these shadows don’t move when Bob moves his head or is filmed in a different location, this statement is nonsense on the face of it. The dark shadows are rather obviously painted on. Why does Ben want us to think that’s just how 1940s cameras work?

Creator slip-up: Repeating the same idea, he said the footage “probably wasn't faked” becausethe creator put the eyes in [total] shadow.” It’s his choice of word that’s odd here. The statement is in the context of the footage being real, so why “creator”? A 1940s KGB cameraman is not a “creator”. It also goes without saying that a cameraman choosing to put Bob's eyes in shadow is not evidence Bob is real, it’s evidence of an animator hiding Bob's unrealistic glass eyeballs. (See the next paragraph for the correct use of “creator”.)

1995 autopsy: Ben said the autopsy clip might be an outtake of the infamous alien autopsy hoax (also made by British artists) released in 1995. Incidentally - or not - this was the same year Ben was working on his Roswell alien. (The aliens are not similar at all, so any Bob shot showing the alien cannot be from the 1995 hoax; Ben must be referring to the set.)

it is very similar to the Ray Santilli autopsy footage that was admitted to be faked by Santilli himself… This could possibly be a short clip of that original footage or if faked, the creators were hinting at it.”

Facts
  • Ben reuploaded Ivan's videos within a week of the original posting, and defended them as brilliant fakes.
  • On Reddit, Ben said he knew how to make the videos (motion capture, puppets, CGI), but given how expensive it would be he now leaned toward them being real.
  • Ben’s previous work matches many aspects of the videos, both in design concept (Bedeepkin, silver suit) and created props (Roswell alien).
  • Ben has decades of experience working in creature creation, 3D modeling, and CGI.
Fabricating realism
It seems likely there's a mix of techniques used for the videos - at least three aliens in two sizes, animated traditionally or with animatronics or stop motion, along with digital effects using motion capture. Everything has been enhanced with CGI and degraded with filters.

Ben Phillips' posts on YouTube and Reddit demonstrate someone with a “creative ego” (his term) who: promoted the realism of these videos and the “masterful” skill required to achieve them, was defensive about the methods used, and was for some reason aware of what Ivan was up to and who he might be.

It would be a very big coincidence indeed if a talented guy working in the industry for decades had a history before 2011 of creating or acquiring various models that appear to be exact matches in every facial fold and shaded knuckle of a real alien species that nobody knew about (although he discovered it within a week) until 2011. Can Ben Phillips explain why Bedeekin and his 1997 Roswell alien look like Skinny Bob? Or why Bob wears a jumpsuit like the one Ben designed? If so, I believe there’s $30,000 with his name on it.

I’ll finish with Ben’s comment on his YouTube video: “Some people have 'an eye' for certain things, mine is realism. and I use 'the eye' for my career; constantly striving to fabricate realism.”
 
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