We present a detailed analysis of allegedly leaked UFO and alien footage. This time it's not about lights in the sky or anecdotal reports but unambiguous imagery.
This sounds too good to be true, right? What are the odds you're stumbling upon authentic evidence of extraterrestrial visitation on some website on the Internet? But how exactly do you expect disclosure to happen? A president making a surprising announcement? Mobile phone videos trending on Social Media showing UFOs landing publically? Or perhaps a slow process of leaks from encounters accumulating and leading to eventual admission? This could be one of these leaks.
If your initial reaction is dominated by disbelief and ridicule, you are equipped with a properly tuned BS detector for living a healthy life in a complex world. This investigation peeks into a rabbit hole requiring dangerous detector adjustments because of the space it explores being far away from the mundane episodes of our daily lives. Many got lost in this maze, so better stay safe and shallow!
What motivates us to dive deeper is the prospect of this material qualifying as the most significant piece of photographic evidence imaginable to mankind. The stakes could not be higher! In the worst case, however, the whole thing turns into a puff of smoke and we are left with memories of a collaborative detective story that brought inspiration and excitement for many years.
We might be irresponsible. A proposal for authenticity is essentially an extremely fringe conspiracy theory. What could be more unbelievable and outrageous than the knowledge about extraterrestrial, intelligent life being withheld from the public by secretive actors for decades? By considering a leak rather than hoax we give credence to sinister corners of society that preach theories of similar gravity but with potential to cause harm in the real world. Compared to other fringe communities, the UFO people have always had the bonus of harmlessness although the usual allegations of governmental suppression of disclosure do entail distrusting institutions and ultimately society itself. A healthy society is built on trust, so we hope you consume this investigation with caution and keep in mind that it's not necessarily "the government" and much less elected officials that guard extraordinary secrets.
We might be biased. Spending a lot of time on the investigation and knowing the material on a single frame basis is not ideal for maintaining an objective view on the matter. We try to preserve intellectual honesty by choosing our words carefully, explicitly warning about excessive speculation and embracing sceptical objections for possibly unfounded claims. There is a binary resolution to this mystery but insufficient evidence for a verdict and so we remain fundamentally undecided.
You might be wrong. Be careful with quick and overly confident assessments based on cursory inspection of the material and preconceived notions about the topic. Both credulity and premature rejection could mislead you. Promoting the possibility of Skinny Bob being authentic is a bet against all odds and bears the danger of getting carried away by a fantasy. But since unlikely things happen every once in a while, what if the truth is actually right in front of you?
The answer to the big question if we are investigating something authentic or an elaborate hoax is still unknown. Although the material has undergone extensive vetting by laymen and experts around the world, it remains an inconclusive mystery for quite a while now:
Use our RSS feed to stay up to date and get informed about major new discoveries.
The claims and statements made on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinion of other individuals or groups participating in this investigation, specifically the extensively sourced r/SkinnyBob community on Reddit.
The editor attempts, on a best effort basis, to curate what he believes to be the consensus among an abstract investigative body formed by contributing volunteers on various platforms. Keep in mind that this is an ongoing process. As new discoveries are made and discussions evolve, previous assumptions can become invalid.
The videos were uploaded to a YouTube channel named ivan0135 in 2011. The channel was created the same day the first video was uploaded, on the 13th of April. According to the channel description, the creator is from Russia and was born in 1969.
We can't verify if the channel creator and/or uploader is in fact a single individual and really named Ivan. For the sake of simplicity however, we continue to refer to the uploader as Ivan and address him as a single individual throughout this website.
According to the information provided, the uploaded clips are small samples selectively taken from a larger collection of video material. The original footage is apparently spread across several physical tapes. Ivan provides detailed lists of tape numbers and timestamps for all the clips presented, even embeds an animated timestamp into the first two videos to indicate where in the original footage the sequence was taken from.
When uploading videos to YouTube it is possible to specify keywords to describe the content and improve discoverability. Ivan has set many keywords for each video and we believe this was done solely for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Those are the keywords all videos have in common:
ufo, crash accident, alien, extraterrestrial, life, et, zeta, reticuli, grey, desclassified, top, secret, cosmic, sighting, leaked, disclosure, confidential, autopsy, intelligence, service, rosswel, incident, new, mexico, South, Africa, Kalahari, Desert, army, navy, air, force, defense, agency, department, abduction, old, footage, 1947, space, aliens, flying, military, video, airplanes, interview
Note the misspelling of "rosswel" and sloppiness with spaces, causing for example "top" and "secret" to become separate tags. It was u/chester20080 that originally had the idea to extract the tags which triggered a lengthy discussion about their meaning.
u/toukoqouko pointed out that the misspelling of "declassified" as "desclassified" could be due to the portugese equivalent being "desclassificado".
We recommend watching the original videos uploaded by Ivan before diving into our analysis:
First video published on April 14, 2011 at 02:04:26 (UTC) titled
"Disclosure leaked ufo alien case video confidential documents old footage":
The video track starts with a still frame of a KGB logo and censored text above and below. The first moving picture scene shows a house and a mysterious object behind it in the air. Switching to an aerial view, a saucer-shaped UFO is filmed – first from a distance and then zoomed in. Next, we see a badly lit humanoid looking creature standing and looking towards the camera. The next scene shows what appears to be a crashed UFO with an alien lying on the ground nearby. Lastly, we see an autopsy being performed on an alien body with a closeup on the alien face and the hands of the physician being at work.
The audio track is a continuous rattling sound typically generated by old film projectors. It changes slightly with each scene switch.
Additional keywords set for this video:
Second video published on May 2, 2011 at 05:21:51 (UTC) titled
"alien grey extraterrestrial zeta reticuli ufo leaked footage":
The video track starts with several paragraphs of text providing background information about the material. Behind the text are two still frames from the alien shown in the next scenes. First, there is a side-view of an alien moving his head and arms. Then a whole body scan from bottom to top shows it standing in an idle posture with slight movements. The last scene shows a mysterious circle and what appears to be a shadow of something.
The audio track is again a continuous rattling sound typically generated by old film projectors, changing somewhat as the scenes switch.
Additional keywords set for this video:
planet, earth, moon, exclusive, science, predator
Third video published on May 9, 2011 at 05:09:51 (UTC) titled
"Ivan0135 about ALIEN and UFO documents":
The video track shows text messages from Ivan0135 and address negative reactions he has received about the previous two videos. In the background is a handprint from a hand with four fingers. In the end, a final sentence fades in and out.
The audio track is mute.
Additional keywords set for this video:
reply, Ivan0135, planet, earth, moon, exclusive, science, universe, outer, galaxy
Fourth video published on May 18, 2011 at 00:35:43 (UTC) titled
"alien grey extraterrestrial zeta reticuli tape 06 - family vacation":
The video track starts with text paragraphs about historic events with extraterrestrial visitors and ends with a shaky recording of aliens walking. In contrast to all other videos, this one is a color film.
The audio track is mute.
Additional keywords set for this video:
planet, earth, moon, exclusive, science, predator, shuttle, universe, area, outer, galaxy, invasion, astronomy, planets
u/Data_Pure compared the upload dates of the videos to important events in the history of the Soviet Union and speculated that together with the name Ivan and the KGB logo, the publishing dates could have been chosen intentionally to further imply a Russian origin.
The very first video Ivan uploaded starts with an image showing the insignia of the KGB, the main security agency of the Soviet Union. Above and below are black bars, seemingly censoring something:
It turns out this still image was taken from the documentary The Secret KGB UFO Files released in 1998. It featured a crashed UFO and an autopsy of an alien body. This Komsomolskaya Pravda article and especially this page (thanks to u/Jazzlike_Squirrel) debunks the documentary sufficiently, making it a commercial hoax.
The original image looks like this:
Ivan tampered with the original footage by applying various effects, such as a damaged film overlay like this:
As an excellent investigatory achievement, u/BrooklynRobot managed to track down the exact film damage overlay Ivan used. It is available as a stock video clip on the Internet. u/Jazzlike_Squirrel found the Software that was likely used to apply not only the film damage but other post-processing effects as well: Sapphire Plug-ins for After Effects by Boris FX.
Additionally, u/BrooklynRobot visualized an effect stack and commented on possible causes for the various image degradation steps. By now there is generally a consensus that all the effects have been applied digitally to presumably clean, underlying footage.
The timecode has also been embedded digitally. u/BrooklynRobot discovered that the Microsoft font Consolas (released in 2006) was used with additional distortion effects:
In a response to claims that timecodes did not exist for 8mm film and the videos are thereby debunked, u/RedDwarfBee pointed out that there are multiple occasions where the timecode does not follow a temporarily shifting frame, thus proving that it was not originally embedded and added later.
The black rectangle in front of the "case" number is probably supposed to be a mysterious, redacted part that hides something sensitive. This is ridiculous because the timecode was likely added by Ivan in the first place. This leads us to an important question:
What could be the motivation for these edits? Perhaps one or a combination of the following reasons:
|Spicing up bland footage: Imagine getting hold of highly sensitive, leaked UFO and alien footage from the 1940s and it does not even remotely look like you or the general public expect it to look like: Meticulously assembled clips of clean recordings for scientific documentation and archival purposes. Ivan might have thought that at least for the initial release it has to conform to certain visual expectations to gain traction.|
|Incompetence and naivety: Never underestimate human decision making and the possibility of bizarre reasoning like "I thought it looks cooler that way".|
|Planned degradation: The effects could have been an integral part of a hoaxing project to hide imperfections and limit production costs.|
|Blackmail: The leaker might have wanted to show just enough to make the original owner aware of the extent of the leak with the implicit threat of an uncontrolled release.|
|Responsibility: Ivan might have tampered with the footage to initially keep it in a gray zone and gauge the reaction of the general public to determine how to move forward.|
|Damage control: If the material was stolen from the Pentagon or defense contractors, they might have decided to release heavily edited parts to jeopardize claims of authenticity in anticipation for the full material to surface at some point.|
|Ego: Ivan might have received a portion of the original footate with the condition to publish it only in an edited form, so that releasing the full material remains a privilege of the actual source.|
|Power: Ivan might enjoy the feeling of being in possession of material other people would die for to get hold of and created a teaser to feast on the begging for more content.|
|Ambiguous provenance: Intentional obfuscation as a layer of abstraction and de-watermarking attempt in case of multiple distinct copies circulating among those in the know.|
In any case, this investigation is mainly focusing on the underlying footage. We claim this separation is justifiable by the quality differential suggesting unrelated sources for footage and effects.
Lastly, there are some black frames in the videos that contain a barely visible dot pattern, as u/RedDwarfBee originally discovered:
Dots with an RGB value of #020202
These dots might simply be remains of post-processing effects. A fancier alternative would be a watermark of some sort. The pattern is probably too regular for other steganographic purposes.
Ivans videos are either mute or emulate the sound of an old film projector to create the illusion that what is shown has been captured from a screening of old film reels. We are pretty sure this was not the case, as shown in the previous section. The audio might be just another stock effect.
u/RedDwarfBee discussed it rudimentary but without a conclusion. The problem is its simplicity and low information density with arbitrary tampering potential. It could come from anywhere and is as easy to drag&drop on an audio track as the other effects. If the stock film damage effect was not discovered, tracking down matching stock projector noises would be interesting but now that we already know stock effects were used, it is probably of no additional value.
Tin bird is a poetic description of the classical UFO looking like a metallic saucer we see in the very first video clip. Contrary to what people think when watching the shaky video for the first time, the UFO is not flying along a trajectory but actually hovering statically in the sky, as u/Shtudi discovered. Image stabilization reveals this fact:
Without context, the hovering object could be an oval, tethered balloon. At first glance, it could also be mistaken for a blimp at a distance:
Blimps have fins and various protrusions that we would expect to see at least partially. Furthermore, blimps are typically huge and the object we see is not much wider than one of the trees it is hovering above.
Given the context, the object is an alien spacecraft. If Ivan presented the videos in chronological order, we hypothesize that the UFOs we see in the clips are actually identical. First it's in the air as shown in tin bird and flying twin and later crashed on the ground in blue boys. The topology of the hull can be seen accurately in blue boys and allows for a comparison with the few good zoomed-in frames of flying twin, revealing obvious similarities and thus supporting this hypothesis.
Besides the UFO, the house is also interesting to analyze and could help narrowing down the geographic location the encounter took place.
We present a 3D reconstruction of the house with an estimated path the camera could have travelled to record the video:
Note that at least in the few seconds of the clip we get to see, the camera is aiming at the house and not the UFO. This makes sense if the UFO was (digitally) embedded into originally mundane footage. However, being on a moving platform such as a car or train and trying to capture a comparatively small object in the distance using camera equipment of the 1940s, aiming at an object nearby which is easier to see and track would be a reasonable thing to do.
Counting the columns and following the slope of the roof, we claim to see the balcony extending further to the east. Assuming the northern hemisphere, the sun's reflection indicates that the visible long side of the house is likely oriented to the south.
Such balconies typically have a balustrade of some kind and we believe to see it causing a darkening on the eastern balcony extension, exactly where it overlaps with the part going to the north. Therefore we assume a balustrade of rather thin rods invisible at a distance when viewed from the front.
For the front view we make the possibly unfounded assumption that the house is symmetrical, meaning that it has a balcony on both long sides. The eastern part of the balcony might be the porch with the main entrance on ground level. There is no obvious gap or door segment visible in the southern fence that suggests a main entrance, but it might just be closed and not visible due to low resolution. Note that especially the fence surrounding the house in a rectangular shape is pure speculation.
The western and presumably back side of the house is totally in shadow. We are pretty confident about there being no balcony as the side of the floor from the southern balcony can (barely) be seen in a darker shade ending at the south-west edge of the house. Again, the symmetry assumption may be unfounded, as this example of a smiliar house illustrates:
No balcony on this side, but also no extension beyond the edges of the long side
u/Data_Pure pointed out that apparently there are no power lines going to the house, at least not at the sides we see. The Rural Electrification Act increased the electrification of farm homes in the United States from 3% in 1930 to 90% in 1959. The house lacking electrification would therefore be plausible if we assume the video was recorded in the 1940s.
The architectural style of the house looks acadian or cajun, which is popular in the south of the United States. Use the following search terms to discover photos of such buildings:
There are many different ways these houses are built, usually they have steep roofs with all faces angled but there are also examples matching our house:
u/BrooklynRobot found an example of a plantation house with a similar balcony extension:
Symmetrical balcony extension without balustrade
Our roof is somewhat puzzling because it is unusually flat and the dormers seem more slit-like than portrait style, also uncommon for an acadian house:
A singular black spot behind the left dormer is probably a chimney. Originally we believed the black spot to be a shadowed part of the left dormer but it's too far up and the right dormer lacks such a spot. It's also possible that the two white spots are actually chimneys but then the black spot would remain a mystery.
No black spot
Trees in the background
When analyzing the house in the video, care must be taken to not mistake artifacts from post-processing effects as actual features of the house.
Ghost images due to post-processing effects
An important clue for location finding could be the vegetation around the house. Originally pointed out by u/Data_Pure and further presented by u/RedDwarfBee, at least some trees in the background could be windbreak tree typically found in windy farming areas:
These particular trees are called Tower Poplar and Swedish Aspen.
As a byproduct of aligning the 3D model with the video, we get an estimation of the path the camera travelled and thus a rough shape of the street or railroad track near the house:
The track is somewhat curved and as the camera travels, it moves away from the house.
During the clip we see two objects zipping by in front of the camera, both not immediately recognizable:
The reason the objects appear to be leaning to the left is because the mechanical shutter of the camera takes a while to close. In modern CMOS cameras this effect is known as rolling shutter skew. Vintage cameras are also affected but for said mechanical reasons:
Correcting for this effect, the objects appear straight now and we can try to figure out what they are.
Wire appearing as smeared line due to motion blur
Mysterious scaffold subject to motion blur
Irrelevant line from film damage post-processing effect
Potentially multiple wires subject to motion blur (see below)
Possibly chipped arrow or intentional shape of an arm pointing left
Wires going up at an angle
Arm pointing right, possibly same size or smaller due to perspective
There are only a few frames available that contain at least parts of the objects and looking at a different one with the mysterious scaffold reveals more details:
Thin parallel attachment of some sort with a slightly thicker part on top
Possibly wooden pole with markings or ribbons
Simulating the effect of horizontal motion blur for different wire systems shows how the wires probably look like:
Overlapping parts of smeared parallel lines causing characteristic dark banding at the center
The initial guess of what the objects could be was railroad appliances, implying that tin bird was filmed from a moving train. There are plenty of different structures along railroad tracks. The objects could be power or telegraph poles, semaphores or tilting target signals.
The problem with semaphores is that their shape is standardized and carries meaning. The tip of the arm pointing left does not seem to match any real semaphore and the arm pointing right suggesting to act as a counterweight does not seem to exist anywhere else. No photo of a real semaphore shows another arm, counterweight or lever on the other side.
So-called tilting target signals extend to both sides and their shape seems more arbitrary. Looking at the pole with the ladder and the bar on top, it could theoretically be a match for both objects. Only the wires (or control rods) seem to be mounted differently and there is no explanation for the wires going up at an angle.
Furthermore, semaphores and tilting target signals are typically mounted high up and at least the left object we see in the video seems rather low, unless the person filming stands on top of a train wagon.
Another guess was fingerposts:
Possible bulges consistent with termination parts above, between and below the blades
Those posts are common in the United Kingdom and Ireland near streets and footpaths and have blades with all sorts of differently shaped arrow tips. The problem is that our object appears to have two blades at the same height pointing into different directions, which is not how such posts are constructed. It could certainly be a custom design but another thing such a post cannot explain is why there should be wires attached like that.
Another guess was totem poles:
Such decorative poles can be found in America and bear resemblance to the second object as they can have arbitrarily shaped "arrow" tips depending on the wing design and have both wings at the same level. The bulges and different parts seemingly attached to our object could be explained by the embellishments of totem poles. Unfortunately, they also do not explain the wires. Stabilization could be a reason but that still does not explain the upper wires.
Another (somewhat fringe) guess was boat masts:
A furled white sail attached to a wooden sailboat mast, possibly with a ladder or climbing ropes in front could theoretically explain the first object. The second one could also be a T-shaped support mast on a ship with a bit of imagination. It explains some cabling but raises additional questions. Can there be a body of water between the camera and apparent grassland visible in the clip? Are there boats parked on land?
The most promising guess is shortwave antenna:
This is an overlay with an illustration of a shortwave antenna by LBA Group.
Such an antenna setup consists of a wire under tension between a small and large pole. The distance between the poles and wire properties must be carefully tuned for sending and receiving on the desired frequencies.
It explains everything down to the angle of each wire. The first object being the large mast with a guy-wire anchoring it to the ground somewhere on the right side. The second object being the small pole with a balanced arm to keep the wire under tension. The wire segment going up at an angle does so in the right direction where it would connect to the antenna coming down from the large mast.
The only thing not entirely clear is why the large mast looks so bright. It could simply be due to diagonal, metallic scaffold rods reflecting the sun but we would need to see photos of actual installations to figure this out.
Such shortwave antennas can be used for military services and temporarily deployed where needed, as advertised by LBA Group. What if this is what happened? The UFO might have hovered there for a while – enough time for the military or an agency to show up and erect communication equipment. Or it was the other way around and the UFO showed up at a military site? What if the UFO wasn't filmed by a stranger riding a train but military or agency personell being in the area driving by their own equipment?
This time the UFO is not filmed from the ground as in tin bird but from the sky, presumably from an airplane or early helicopter.
The name flying twin is a bit mysterious. It might refer to the situation in the sky where the aircraft is being accompanied by the UFO in close proximity. When pilots report UFO encounters they often claim the UFO was mirroring their movements while maintaining a constant distance. Such maneuvering might have lead to the title.
Maybe there were two UFOs flying in formation, also something commonly observed in alleged UFO sightings.
u/ItsTheBS pointed out that the United States Air Force used Beechcraft Model 18 planes nicknamed "Twin Beech" and specifically the F-2 model was used for photographic reconnaissance:
In 1942 the first long-distance flight of a Sikorsky XR-4 helicopter took place in the United States. What if this historic flight has attracted someone or something? If flying twin was actually filmed from a helicopter, it was not necessarily during this particular historic flight. For location finding purposes however, it might be interesting to follow the route described in the recollection of the pilot.
This video shows the shaking a camera operator experiences during flight:
Source: Vertical Flight Society
The validity of the helicopter theory depends on how high and fast (or rather slow) the aircraft was flying while filming the UFO. At least the camera reconstruction properties suggests a height and speed incompatible with an early helicopter. u/Data_Pure noticed that at no point airplane wings are visible but similar aerial recordings taken from planes show that this argument is probably moot.
The two flying twin scenes show the same landscape and reveal a more detailed version of the UFO we (presumably) see in tin bird from beneath:
The following image is a stitched panorama of the better flying twin frames, showing the area we hope to eventually track down with the help of the Internet community:
Note the specular reflection on the UFO. Together with shadows cast by objects on the ground such as the isolated trees and the white little structure at the bottom center we can infer the position of the sun and estimate cardinal directions. This is important for narrowing down the search space when browsing possible locations.
Unfortunately we don't know if the landscape is on the northern or southern hemisphere of the globe. In case of the former, the presumed bridge is opposite to the sun and could have a northern alignment considering the shadows not being overly long.
The second scene contains a few more frames that would extend the panorama even further but as time has passed and perspective changed, stitching does not work anymore.
Same eye-catching structure in both scenes confirms same area
Same building with special appearance
Same building shifted with respect to other building due to parallax
Figuring out details in the busy background is a challenge. We created a fast, oscillating loop stabilized at a white spot in the distance, hoping that it helps:
To aid location finding, we present a speculative yet plausible 3D reconstruction of the landscape:
The following images are renderings of the 3D scene from a top-down perspective. Note that those are purely synthesized images and were not found like that on a map. When looking for a real-world counterpart, keep in mind that besides the general reconstruction uncertainty, a lot of time has (presumably) passed since the original recording and only major landmarks might still exist.
Assumptions needed to be made for the reconstruction in certain areas based on surrounding structures and intuition. This map illustrates the confidence region of the upper renderings:
In this reconstruction the camera travels about the length of the white strips during 19 frames. If we assume the length to be about 100 m and a recording rate of 16 frames per second, the aircraft is flying with a ground speed of roughly 300 km/h (190 mph) at an altitude of 300 m (1000 ft). This is within the performance envelope of a low flying contemporary aircraft such as the Beechcraft Model 18. The distances could explain the shakiness and difficulty for the operator to zoom in:
Some areas are hard to interpret. We cannot really tell if the dark parts are actually water as shown in the animation or rather vegetation and darker soil.
Supporting arguments for water and a pier:
|Water already on the table due to presumed existence of arch bridge|
|Defined edges north-west explainable by curved bay and straight cliff (could actually be rectangular pond)|
|South-west objects could be landing stage with various boats|
|Defined edges of box-shaped object south-west suggests water rather than obstructing vegetation|
|Possible faint reflection below the bright white spot south-west|
|Aligned white spots at the very border in the west could be boats|
Supporting arguments for continous soil:
|Undisputed patches of trees nearby might as well extend further|
|Brighter soil visible through sparse trees could explain the faint "reflection" away|
|Aligned white spots at the very border in the west could be generic buildings or even more sets of parallel white strips|
There could also be a combination of both.
The two long and bright buildings might be greenhouses covered with foil reflecting the sunlight:
Alternatively, it could be heaps of industrial or agricultural feedstock covered in foil:
u/AndrewEire pointed out that polyethylene plastic was invented in England in the late 1930s. It remains to be researched when it was put to use for industrial or agricultural purposes. If those structures are in fact covered in foil and it turns out the material didn't exist like that in our suspected timeframe, u/AndrewEire might have discovered an anachronism.
Those water reservoirs (or rather dairy farm wastewater ponds, thanks to u/pepperonihotdog) could be an explanation for the suspected body of water in close vicinity to the buildings:
Dark patch possibly pond
Irrelevant censor bar overlay
Possibly ingress canal
At the top left might be a bridge. We conjecture this by looking at a frame from the short second flying twin scene:
Dark strip with bright patches below resembling an arch bridge, dark smudges above may be scaffolding
Ramp to the bridge, possibly embraced with scaffolding
Unrelated but interesting appearance of something dark in a single frame, perhaps the cabin wall of the aircraft the camera was filming from
The tracks might be a road and the moving train wagons might be automobiles instead. There seems to be a string of multiple entities moving in a linear fashion, but so much traffic is unlikely for a 1940 timeframe and a train perhaps a more reasonable assumption – unless it's a military convoy. Previous speculation about left-handed traffic would become invalid if it's actually a train.
Opposing traffic or misinterpreted artifact
Automobiles or train wagons
There is a long, unrecognized building or wall of several hundred meters (about 1000 ft) similar to the white structures but less reflective and either with holes or protrusions casting a shadow on top:
Given the possible nursery structures around, it could be yet another but differently constructed greenhouse with venting hatches on top.
It could be helpful to approach the location finding from a different angle: Collecting historical reports of UFO sightings and matching their environment with tin bird or flying twin:
In this clip we see alien beings for the first time and the UFO in great detail.
The title blue boys is another mystery. Assuming a German origin it could be the translation of Blaue Jungs, an informal term for marines of the German navy, as u/Data_Pure discovered:
u/ShinePsychological87 discovered that this moniker is actually referring to Project Blue Book staff. A report by Loren E. Gross from 1971 cites a NICAP publication on page 5, containing the following paragraph:
[…] I duly noted the myriad 'Explanations' given out by the Blue Book staff-widely referred to as 'The Little Blue Boy Blues' or 'The Little Blue Boys' --of sightings which they evaluated as mistakenly identified stars, planets, meteors ---birds, reflected lights, mirages, marsh gas --or as delusions, hoaxs, publicity stunts, ect.' […]
Note that Project Blue Book was created in 1952, but the material in Ivan's possession allegedly covers a span from 1942 to 1969. It's possible that the blue boys and blue boys meeting scenes were recorded after 1952, that precursory projects already had field investigators with this code name or that Ivan came up with the names independently, not realizing a slight anachronism.
The first impression of an alien being suffers from bad lighting conditions:
Identifying elements in the background is hard due to the bad image quality. One thing we are pretty sure about is there being a tree or larger plant on the right. Another thing is the assumption that the environment we barely see here resembles the one shown in the panorama below.
Since the next scene shows an apparently crashed UFO in a similar area, one could assume a suspiciously looking thing in the background being this very UFO seen from a different angle, as u/Jazzlike_Squirrel suggested:
Possibly smoke plumes from the burning wreckage (see below)
The problem here is that the possible orientations (C, D) are ambiguous and change with time. Altough the camera is moving and vegetation in the background shifts due to parallax, the region we're trying to reconcile with the UFO shifts rapidly towards the end.
A better explanation could be a person sitting on a rocky cliff and moving as the cameraman approaches:
The thing sticking out on top could be a rifle or antenna from a military backpack radio. If there is one person on the left there might as well be one on the right:
Silhouette resembling a soldier
The next scene shows what we believe to be the UFO we saw in flying twin (and possibly tin bird) but this time as burning wreckage on the ground. As if this wasn't enough, there is also an alien body lying nearby:
u/RedDwarfBee had the idea of piecing camera frames together and assembling a large panoramic view:
We think this is a beach with vegetation that looks like marram grass:
Around the alien seem to be footprints coming from the direction of the UFO behind, telling the story that the alien climbed out of the wreckage, managed to walk away but eventually collapsed:
Contrary to the first impression, the alien lying there might not be dead. A closer look reveals that it is still moving:
A finger of the right hand is likely contracting (A). The head appears to be rolling slighly to the left before the rotation of the camera accelerates (B). The left hand appears to be twisting (C).
Only in blue boys we see a whole alien body with legs and feet. This is helpful for roughly estimating the height of Skinny Bob. We start by creating a coarse digital model of the alien based on the proportions of Skinny Bob standing under the stadiometer. Then we estimate a camera and sun position and align head, torso and feet with the 2D image. This process involves some guessing limiting the accuracy of the result.
Straightening the rig reveals full body proportions:
u/rorz_1978 was first to suggest utilizing the lower left leg from this scene to derive proportions.
Lining up every extraterrestrial being we see across Ivans videos suggests that they are either identical or at least of the same "alien race", as their proportions match:
Artistic completion of the legs based on straightened 3D model
The thickness and shape of the lowest leg part we see in the stadiometer scene suggests that this estimation is a bit exaggerated. Claiming the legs to be too long based on human aesthetics is probably misguided but we can actually measure a slope of about 8 degress of the visible lower legs. Continuing this slope and stopping at a width that corresponds to the crook of the arm gives us another estimation that is shorter:
As both results are estimations we conclude by interpreting them as lower and upper bounds, essentially remaining unsure and claim Skinny Bob's feet are somewhere within the uncertainty range shown as blue stripes.
See blue boys meeting below for an interactive height calculator that asks you to enter a value within these bounds.
We are seeing an autopsy being performed on an alien body. Assuming the original tape is longer than the few seconds Ivan provided, there might be more going on that causes the title blue boys meeting to make sense. See above for a discussion about the name.
Applying u/RedDwarfBees panorama idea to the first autopsy scene reveals the corpse as a whole:
Note the table in the background and that it is covered with a bright table cloth. This is notable because film productions featuring and faking alien autopsies often show bare metal tables and trays to support the cold and uneasy atmosphere of medical environments with prevailing stainless steel interior. u/RedDwarfBee assembled comparable images of tables in operating rooms from the 1940s, all displaying such cloths.
There is a dark spot on the glove the physician is wearing on his left hand. One single frame is focused just right to reveal more details:
It could be random stains or perhaps two digits resembling the number 98. In case of the latter, the (right-handed?) physician might have scribbled a measurement on his glove.
The first autopsy scene allows us to estimate the size of Skinny Bob's body parts and ultimately his height. This is due to the physicians hands being visible near the corpse, which was originally pointed out by u/rorz_1978. This is actually the only time an object with roughly known size is visible near an alien. u/RedDwarfBee already took this into consideration for his assembly of four different ways to estimate Skinny Bob's height, each with different error margins. The average height resulting from his methods agrees with the following calculation.
The lower arm is conveniently positioned straight in front of the camera:
We base our calculation on the proportion between the lower arm and the width of the physicians hand:
Specifically, we estimate the distance between the forefinger and pinky knuckle. For the average middle-aged male a value of 80 mm (3.15 in) should be reasonable.
The perspective projection of cameras makes objects in the distance appear smaller than those closer to the camera. This applies to the hand as well, so we need to correct for that by estimating how much larger the hand gets if the physician grabbed the arm in front:
We have not yet done any 3D reconstruction or camera calibration for the autopsy and can therefore only offer the vague guess that the hand might appear about 20% larger, resulting in a perspective correction factor of 120%:
The last variable is the length of the lower legs. As we have determined in the blue boys discussion above, there is a lower and upper bound of how long the legs likely are:
We define 100% as the height of the stitched full body panorama of Skinny Bob which is missing the lower portion of the legs. Therefore, the actual height should be somewhere between 112% and 125%. Our default guess is 118%:
The following calculation updates automatically when the numbers in the input fields above change:
distance between forefinger and pinky knuckle
perspective correction factor for knuckle span
23% knuckle span to lower arm ratio without perspective correction *
knuckle span to lower arm ratio with perspective correction
lower arm length
25% lower arm length ratio to full body panorama with incomplete legs *
lower arm length ratio to selected height estimation
estimated height of Skinny Bob
* constant value determined by pixel measurement
Knowing the lower arm length, we can also estimate the hand length, with even greater accuracy than the full body height because of one less degree of freedom.
A major source for discussion has always been the eyes. Unfortunately, no single frame shows Skinny Bob's face exposed sufficiently to allow for a direct and unambiguous revelation of the eyes by adjusting contrast and brightness levels, as attempted here, here, here and here for example. The problem is that people suffer from confirmation bias when stepping through the frames and suddenly seeing the noise forming a patch at the location the eyeball is intuitively assumed to be. We claim that the size and location of Skinny Bob's eyes can (only) be determined indirectly.
Gray aliens are typically described as having large, dark, almond-shaped eyes. At first glance, the beings we see in Ivans videos conform to this description. The resemblance to the classical alien is often a reason people immediately reject the idea of the material being authentic because what are the odds that extraterrestrial visitors look exactly like popcultural media is depicting them for decades? See the FAQ for a possible answer.
It turns out that Skinny Bob's eyes may not conform to the stereotype after all. Looking at the frames that show the eyes in the autopsy scenes we can identify and track the specular highlight of both eyes, indicating that there is a round, reflective surface:
Symmetrical specular highlights stable across multiple frames
Especially the side-view suggests that the alien has either large, bulgy, possibly almond-shaped eyes or is wearing some kind of protective cover. Lots of theories and speculations build on these assumptions and perhaps people derived them from this particular scene because it looks so obvious.
We claim that there is no such cover and all theories involving them are invalid.
Looking closer at the edge of the dark area suggests different things getting fused together:
Dent suggesting no singular, continuously smooth object
Likely cheekbone in shadow, see below
Looking at the face shown in the second autopsy scene, the area around the alien's right eye appears oddly shaped. The first assumption was that this being an autopsy, the physician might have been in the process of opening the skull, removing the eye and what we are seeing is an empty eye socket. But it turns out that it is almost certainly a shadow an external object casts on the face.
Straight segment as primary shadow indicator
Shadow wrapping around cheekbone into depression below the eye
To illustrate further, have a look at how the shadow from an object between the face and the light source creeps over the cheekbone:
Note that the uncovered area is an artistic recreation and has not been recovered from the original image, which is impossible. Also note that this is the only scene where the lighting conditions would allow for one of Skinny Bob's eyes to be clearly visible. Coincidentally there seems to be an object placed in a way to cast a shadow right at the most interesting spot. This would be highly suspicious.
Another scene from blue boys meeting shows the physician's hands in surgical gloves at work and below a presumably stained towel with markings:
The following re-enactment illustrates the position and movement of the gloved hands, presumably above the alien body. The quality of the original clip is too bad for determining what exactly the physician is handling. He or she might be extracting organs from the chest cavity or touching the alien's head, if those brighter spots between the hands show teeth from an open mouth:
We have extracted the frames showing the markings and encourage everyone to try and decipher them. As the video could be mirrored and the towel upside down, there are four versions:
There is one additional good frame at the end:
If the markings are characters, they appear to follow a curved baseline. They might have been inscribed like that or the fabric folds in a way to create this illusion.
The result of our attempt to figure out what might be written on this towel is to be taken with a grain of salt.
We believe A/E is the correct orientation and that the symbols are grouped. Assuming a left-to-right reading direction, there seems to be a two-letter word followed by a five-letter word. Further assuming a cursive script and the way letters could have been written in the 1940s (see character table below), the first word might be the english abbreviation for ounces (oz).
The second word probably starts with SA followed by numbers. Only the second number is somewhat discernable and perhaps an 8. Some frames suggest the first number is 4 and the last one has a closed counter.
In cyrillic script there is no character that resembles the S that we claim to see. In german Sütterlin script only the z matches. English script fits best.
There might also be an arrow, perhaps drawn to indicate what the inscription refers to. Unfortunately, the camera does not capture what the arrow is pointing at.
SA486 could be the designation of SALTER® SA 486 mechanical scales (the model versions 484/486 seem to differ in terms of metric/imperial units on the dial). The company produces housewares since 1760 and sells such scales to this day. If the particular model was already available in the 1940s remains to be determined – a customer support inquiry has not been answered so far.
oz could be the unit of a measurement made with such scales. If this was the case, the noisy dark patch before the oz in the last frames of the autopsy closeup would be the quantity digits the unit refers to.
We have seen aliens in the previous clips already but not as detailed as in skinny Bob. This time the alien is apparently standing in an idle pose indoor and the camera is scanning it from bottom to top.
Ivan might have reversed the playback direction for dramatic effect, so that the head appears last. One clue is the shaking of the camera which could have been caused by the operator touching and preparing the camera on a tripod for pivoting. We take the liberty of showing the clip in reverse here, despite having no conclusive evidence that the playback direction has been tampered with:
Close inspection of the blinking could further support or refute our suspicion of reversed playback. (A) shows the original direction from Ivans clip and (B) the reversal:
Judging based on human and animal eyelids, the muscle contraction for closing the lid should generally be faster than the relaxation for opening it again, which (B) displays. The literature on alien eye physiology is sparse, so this is all somewhat speculative.
Skinny Bob is wearing a tight fit jumpsuit of some kind with a crease on the chest. For a more convenient analysis, we stitched the video frames together to create a vertical panorama, as u/RedDwarfBee originally came up with:
u/MantisAwakening commented that this particular posture is called contrapposto.
Comparing the outfit with the one the alien from blue boys wore, the collar style is notably different:
As another little detail, there appear to be three dots on the alien's right shoulder:
According to the mysterious e-mail correspondence from Will, "human clothes were provided" and Skinny Bob does not wear the original outfit here. Maybe it was him in blue boys where he still wore the original outfit with a wider collar?
Directly above the alien's head is a wedge-shaped object. This appears to be a so-called stadiometer, commonly found in a doctor's practice and used to measure the height of a human being:
Segment copied from below with better lighting conditions, showing a possibly wooden board used as vertical stand
Presumably a lever to adjust the position of the horizontal plank
Rectangular tip of continuously tapered horizontal plank
Browsing photos of vintage stadiometers shows that there is a wide variety of different models. We attempted to look for our specific one with the continuous tapering and adjustment lever in the corner but were unable to find a match. In fact, no vintage stadiometer we found looked alike:
Regarding the stadiometer, there are two issues to point out:
If hoax, the person tasked with constructing a stadiometer prop might have been unfamiliar with how such devices work and made plausible but unrealistic assumptions. It is also entirely possible that this is a custom model with custom positioning and adjustment logic. There is also no indication that at the time of filming a height measurement was performed, making the rotation a non-issue anyway.
There is some concern about how exactly Skinny Bob was filmed as he is standing there in an idle pose. The problem is that such a scanning camera movement is expected to introduce certain effects:
The problem is that we neither see perspective distortion nor parallax. The reason could be that the camera is simply set up in a way that these effects become small enough to be unrecognizable. u/RedDwarfBee spared no effort and set up an experiment using a Skinny Bob mockup to test different configurations.
A panning camera shows that parallax is hard to get rid of unless the camera is far away and the subject is very close to the wall:
When pivoting, the expected distortion is reduced the farther away the camera is from the subject:
A vertical pan seems unlikely due to the total lack of parallax in the original clip. Additionally, there is perfectly smooth linear motion that is hard to achieve by manually raising or lowering a camera without a guiding rail of some sort.
A camera pivoting on a tripod as in (G) is our primary guess but unlike the original video filling the frame with the alien and stadiometer stand on the very left, this demonstration has it centered. The stadiometer apparently remaining straight, suggests (G) to conclusively show it could have been filmed this way. However, the door frame being at the image border (where originally the stadiometer stand is) does get skewed.
A different theory claims that Skinny Bob was filmed as a whole and the body scan scene generated by means of analog or digital post-processing. The final shaking of the camera suggests something analog going on.
The second scene shows Skinny Bob from the side as it moves and apparently interacts with something:
We think the alien is sitting on a chair:
Chair back rest lit from above
It does also not seem to be alone in the room, as u/RedDwarfBee has originally suspected:
Suspected arm of a person standing nearby
Lower part of the person's jacket appearing
The posture with the hands on the back looks like a perfect match. Even the jacket curvature due to fabric tension is there. Looking closer at the edge of the presumed cloth reveals that there might be seams at exactly the location so-called Eisenhower jackets have them:
Ribbon sewed onto jacket, causing seams
According to the mysterious e-mail correspondence from Will, "the scene is cropped", the full scene shows Skinny Bob sitting at a table "looking through what looks like star maps" and "government officials are also seen at the opposite side of the table in clothes of the time".
We cannot verify these claims but have already suspected that Skinny Bob is sitting due to the back rest and that he has company. Interestingly, there are actually signs of cropping beneath the feathered edges around the frame:
Gradient ends with sharp edge
Physical frame border falling off smoothly
People trying to evaluate the authenticity of Skinny Bob by close inspection of his movements often claim to "clearly see" some bad underlying Bézier curves used for digital animation. There are in fact occasions where the head moves in a jerky way:
There are several reasons we think this does not necessarily give away a CG origin:
* observable in tin bird with objects zipping by
We have shown in blue boys meeting that there is likely no such thing as an eye cover and the dark area left and right in Skinny Bob's face is "not all eye". Skinny Bob being indoor and looking towards the camera while blinking allows us to make more detailed claims about the eyes.
Lower lid involved when eyes close
There is an upper and lower lid that moves to close the eye. u/rorz_1978 found a nice example of a Sphynx cat with similar lid movements:
Light coming from above illuminates the upper lid as it closes:
Area getting progressively brighter as skin tensions, further suggesting "not all eye"
Upper lid covering and wrapping around eyeball, suggesting diameter
Instead of tweaking brightness and contrast levels on a single frame basis, following the upper eye lid closing continuously over multiple frames increases confidence significantly. The lid's deformation as it covers the eyeball, allows us to roughly estimate its location and size:
Skinny Bob might show signs of injuries, especially if we hypothesize a temporal connection to the UFO crash in blue boys. Not knowing how healthy alien skin looks like, we can't be sure if those dark patches are in fact the human equivalent of lesions:
Possible bruises and cuts on the forehead
Corresponding darker skin patches under different lighting conditions
Skinny Bob appears to have black fingernails:
This is a remarkable detail because as u/Jazzlike_Squirrel pointed out, black fingernails are part of obscure, old UFO lore from 1995.
Lastly, the blotch. There is dark stain on the wall behind Skinny Bob with a distinct shape:
Dirt or chipped plaster perhaps
Some assume this scene to be full CG, meaning that there is a chance this exact blotch can be found in a texture pack if the artist was sloppy and used a stock wall texture.
One of the more obscure scenes named how to drive shows something barely recognizable. Given the context, title and that we have seen a UFO before, this thing could be a control device for maneuvering an alien spacecraft. A closer look suggests it being some kind of glass plate with something casting a shadow on it.
A 3D reconstruction attempt assuming that the plate is lying on a table with something static casting a shadow while the camera is moving (C) does not match the original (A). There are two possibilities of what is actually happening:
What exactly casts the shadow is unknown. Given the title how to drive, the four little spots on the panel and the fact that Skinny Bob has four fingers lead u/RedDwarfBee to the initial hypothesis that it might be a hand hovering between the panel and a light source, demonstrating how to place it on the panel. A closer look at the lower border with the shadow getting progressively stretched out could also indicate a person's shoulder and head with an officer cap casting the shadow.
The camera filming (and/or its operator) casting its/their own shadow is another possibility, perhaps even the most promising one since the shadow movement appears to match the camera movement.
The four spots looking like smudges at first glance are actually symbols, as u/Data_Pure speculated:
We are pretty confident about symbol 1 and 2 but 3 and especially 4 are hard to recognize.
This peculiar alphabet is supposedly a fictional creation by Judy Fältskog aka James Van Greunen. We are currently trying to obtain the full alphabet in the hope to find more matching symbols besides the 8.
To speculate further about the physical shape of the symbols we claim to observe a familiar effect when bumps or embossings of transparent materials are subject to lighting or view angle changes:
Symbols entering shadow show bright surroundings, indicating slope bending light
This could affect the symbol identification in a way that we might accidentally interpret a border slope appearing dark, rather than the actual symbol:
If the plate is lying on a table, an edge of the table appears to have a step or imperfection of some kind:
The third video Ivan uploaded shows a photograph of a handprint in the background. It has four long fingers, one of which is an opposable thumb. Given the context, it shows an alien handprint:
Edge of the paper showing signs of wear
Line presumably framing the paper areas to be used to put prints on
Perhaps markings, redactions or pieces of tape
The visual quality of this picture is pretty good, suggesting that it might not originate from a scanned film frame or if it does, that the original footage is of high quality. It is also possible additional paperwork was attached to the films, including this photograph.
The paper cards police departments use(d) to take prints actually show such framed spaces for all sorts of human hand segments:
We assume government agencies order such template papers in bulk from a handful of manufacturers. Given the line structure we see next to the alien print, knowing where a paper edge is and that the space must be large enough for a handprint to fit, it may be possible to narrow down the country the print was taken in.
The actual hands of Skinny Bob can be seen in several clips and when we try to straighten the fingers and compare a hand to the print side-by-side, it looks like a good match, as first demonstrated by u/RedDwarfBee:
Having an estimation for the lower arm length thanks to the autopsy scene, we can also estimate the size of the hand from the base of the palm to the tip of the middle finger.
The estimation is updated automatically if the interactive height calculation from blue boys meeting changes:
14% hand length ratio to full body panorama with incomplete legs *
25% lower arm length ratio to full body panorama with incomplete legs *
estimated hand length of Skinny Bob
* constant value determined by pixel measurement
Alternative explanations for the handprint range from digital creation to animal or human birth defects. The photo being static and Photoshop having reached Creative Suite version 5.5 in 2011, it is absolutely possible for a talented individual to manufacture such a handprint. The only reason this picture is notable is the context of its presentation.
This clip being the only one in color and therefore presumably from a later production date features multiple alien beings at once. They are walking alongside a wall and are accompanied by humans.
The name family vacation could refer to the aliens in a sense that they came and visited as a group. Another possibility is a connection to the infamous dentist visit of Dwight D. Eisenhower on his vacation in Palm Springs on February 20, 1954.
It is challenging to keep track of how many entities we see in total:
Alien counter (3 total)
Human counter (4 total)
A few frames show the floor and one frame is focusing the wall, revealing its surface structure:
The wall looks like it's made of rough concrete with a vertical stripe pattern:
Ivan provides metadata associated with the video clips. He uses the YouTube video title, description and keyword fields and also embeds text directly into the video frames. The titles and keywords suggest an intent to optimize for discoverability and sensationalism in the spirit of social media platforms. Ivan wants his videos to attract public attention.
The first upload has the following text set in the description field:
Leaked air force ufo footage. Confidential. Classified document.1942-1969.
The video contains a sample edited fragments of tapes 01, 03 and 04
Tape duration: 180 min
Total recorded duration: 1.260 min
Case 07/Tin bird 00:08:41 - 00:08:47
Case 15/Flying twin 00:27:11 - 00:27:13
Case 15/Flying twin 00:27:34 - 00:27:39
Case 23/Blue boys 00:42:50 - 00:42:51
Case 23/Blue boys 00:48:09 - 00:48:16
Case 24/Blue boys meeting 00:47:30 - 00:47:32
Case 24/Blue boys meeting 00:56:12 - 00:56:14
Case 24/Blue boys meeting 00:58:26 - 00:58:28
The leaked material allegedly covers a span of 27 years, starting in 1942.
It appears to be divided into seven tapes and those are again divided into cases. If tape refers to Video8, Hi8 or Digital8 cassettes, the tape duration of 180 minutes suggests PAL, which is a European video standard. NTSC cassettes used in the United States have only a capacity of 120 minutes. If tape refers to VHS or Betamax, we cannot make any assumptions because of the wide range of tape lengths across all standards.
A total duration of 1260 minutes means that the capacity of all seven tapes (see next upload description) with 180 minutes each would be completely exhausted. That seems unlikely. Maybe it is meant in a different way but Ivan specifically wrote "recorded duration".
Ivan lists a reference to the individual clips with names and timestamps from where they were extracted from. He even went through the hassle of embedding dynamic timestamps into the video frames. Except for the names, the exact timestamps are completely irrelevant and useless information for the viewer. See the discussion about possible motivations above.
The second upload has an empty description field but contains text directly embedded into the video frames:
Filtrate for declassification and dissemination through the Internet and media. 7 video tapes with material recorded between 1942-1969. Material containing UFO incidents, recovery and study of extraterrestrial life forms. Due to the importance of these documents, maintain the anonymity of the sources. The video contains a sample edited fragments of video tape 05.
Tape duration: 180min.
Total recorded duration: 1.260 min.
Tape 05 edited fragments:
Case 25/skinny Bob 00:08:42 - 00:08:50
Case 25/skinny Bob 00:27:36 - 00:27:45
Case 26/How to drive 00:55:07 - 00:55:12
Ivan declares explicitly what we suspected from the wording of the video titles and keywords: The material as presented on the channel is intended for public distribution. By sources he means the original leaker(s) of the material. This means Ivan is a middleman that edited and published videos he received from someone else.
Another thing this text reveals is that he is not a native speaker of English.
The third upload is a personal response from Ivan addressing the negative reactions he received for the previous uploads:
Ivan0135: In response to posts about the Documents:
The material is an edited compilation of the documents that we have.
Your opinion and the conclusion you draw from this material do not depend on us.
Maybe you are looking in the wrong direction.
You are the ones who reject this material.
Sources will not be revealed.
Information that may involve any agency or people will not be disclosed.
There is not any reference which may link the material to any organization that is working today in the material exposed.
However, you are speculating and making conjectures about its origins.
The material does not belong to any film, video game, television series or other commercial products that have been revealed to date or which are currently in production.
No one who is out of this may prove to be the owner of this material.
No one who is out of this can prove he has in his possession the original material.
The revelation of further material will depend on the events and people.
You are the ones who create your own misinformation.
The feedback made him post a somewhat emotional response containing a list of sentences clarifying basic facts about the material. Posting such videos on a Social Media platform with the most heterogeneous audience imaginable ("everyone") and expecting something else than disbelief and ridicule for edited bits of allegedly leaked alien footage is incomprehensible.
He seems to be annoyed by people speculating about the origin of the tapes. Curiously, he was the one that put the insigna of the KGB in front of the first clip and is now claiming that "There is not any reference which may link the material to any organization that is working today in the material exposed.". He is either contradicting himself here or added "working today" on purpose to indicate that at least the modern KGB is not involved anymore.
Ivans claim about the material not belonging to any film, video game, etc. holds to this day. So far, not a single frame has shown up anywhere else. People occasionally claim they saw segments of the videos without cropping before but always fail to provide proof.
Hinting at further material being released if certain conditions are met makes us wonder what those could possibly be. Pandora's box has already been opened, so why holding back the rest of the material and participating in this game of secrecy? The obvious reason would be that no additional material exists.
Let's not underestimate the human factor: Assuming someone sitting on a treasure trove and deciding to slowly release it to the public, expecting overwhelming reactions and gratitude but receiving the opposite. The person now being upset decides to cancel disclosure for the "undeserving public".
Nine days later, Ivan uploaded the last video with the following text:
Tape 06 Family vacation
From the first contact in 1942, a series of diplomatic visits to discuss matters of mutual concern were planned.
Under the treaty 23/04, these meetings would take place in secrecy, a limited number of special agents would escort visitors and they would only meet high ranking officers.
According to the document 072/E, at the meeting of 1961 there was an incident involving 3 subjects due to the violation of the agreement by the officers at the military base when they discovered that their arrival was been filmed with a hidden device without their consent.
Under the treaty 23/04, the meetings would be confidential and filming or taking photographs would not be allowed.
After the incident, the treaty was revised.
The shakiness of the video accompanying this text suggests that it might have been the one secretly recorded as described. If so, why wasn't it immediately destroyed upon discovery?
Ivan is overly specific about treaty and document designations, which is highly problematic. The specificity of "document 072/E" doesn't make any sense and is a sign of deception.
Will from PLANETunderATTACK claims to have contacted Ivan or at least someone affiliated with the videos via e-mail on June 17, 2014 and received a response two days later:
This is purely anecdotal and unverifiable. We still decided to include this e-mail exchange because at least to our knowledge, it is the only documented communication with someone allegedly affiliated with the source. It also mentions details partly new and partly suspected or confirmed by careful analysis (sitting alien, left cropping, additional personell in the room and change of clothing).
u/Jazzlike_Squirrel pointed out that the claim about sock channels could never be confirmed. The first video was mentioned nowhere else until about two weeks later the second one finally gained traction. The early uploads to other channels were partly of lower bitrate and without sound, possibly due to ripping, re-encoding and re-uploading them from the ivan0135 channel.
The person replying claims the original footage is 12 minutes long. In previous descriptions a total recording duration of 1260 minutes is mentioned and most of the timestamps exceed 12 minutes. This is a significant discrepancy.
The timestamps being suspiciously and overly specific just like the document designations in the family vacation description makes us consider all timing information to be completely made up.
We recommend watching films provably recorded in the 1940s using camera equipment of that time in order to assess if at least the visual impression of Ivan's material supports authenticity.
There is a chance that Ivan's videos were produced using vintage camera equipment in the present, thereby achieving a perfectly authentic look. Only if we manage to find the location flying twin was filmed at, a historical comparison of the buildings could set limits for possible dates of production.
u/RedDwarfBee has discovered that the US National Archives have a YouTube channel with historic films from around the time we are interested in:
Source: US National Archives
A notable discovery was made in the 1997 documentary Area 51: The Alien Interview. Various scenes with re-creations of Area 51 related UFO lore are remarkably similar to some of Ivan's clips:
An alien sits on a chair at a table and interacts with a human interrogator. It is lit from above and the whole scene is black and white to indicate a recording from the 1950s.
We see strange symbols apparently used as a communication aid and remember that how to drive likely includes alien symbols as well.
The alien's health is deteriorating and a physician is called to examine the patient. Such a contemporary physician wearing a white coat and white gloves is also featured in Ivan's autopsy scenes.
There is a short sequence of a military police member filming the alien using a small, handheld camera. This is part of the story behind the family vacation clip where the aliens were allegedly filmed without consent.
The documentary re-creates the meeting of aliens with humans in front of a wall on Area 51. It's the 1970s now, so this clip is in color. The similarity to family vacation is striking.
u/Jazzlike_Squirrel pointed out that the timecode format with the letters-slash-number prefix is identical to the timecode embedded by Ivan:
If Ivan's material was hoaxed, this documentary might have served as an artistic template. If it's authentic and Ivan's clips are depicting the reality UFO lore is vaguely describing, similarities might be inevitable and coincidental. It's also possible that Ivan's material is much older and was known to the creators of the documentary or their advisers.
Many claim the material is "obviously fake" but usually fail to elaborate for why exactly that is. Others find it "totally authentic" and base this claim on "how Bob blinks". We approach the big question in a more rigorous way by compiling a list of pros and cons first:
|Unresolved for more than a decade|
|No credible claims of authorship so far|
|Highly diverse content|
|No commercial use despite production costs|
|Underlying footage essentially flawless|
|Quality preventing consensus among experts about hoaxing techniques|
|Hoaxer would have taken an unnecessary risk by showing a potentially recognizable house and aerial view|
|Irrelevant yet costly details presented in a barely recognizable way|
|Not a single unresolved hoax contender of comparable quality|
|Occasionally jerky movements of Skinny Bob|
|Stereotypical presentation of UFO artifacts with alien symbols|
|Extremely short and shaky clips with signs of intentional eye obfuscation, limiting hoaxing effort|
|Convenient placement of alien body next to UFO wreckage looking staged (see comments by u/Data_Pure)|
|Skinny Bob's physique being suspiciously compatible to human child|
|Both plot and aesthetic similarities to documentary aired 14 years earlier|
|Potential overestimation of production costs|
|Possible fallacy of mistaking circumstantial for planned details|
Everyone weighs these arguments differently. The quality and diversity of the content in relation to the presumed production effort and fact that it hasn't been used commercially for over a decade, is a compelling combination for some to lean towards real. In contrast, the short and notoriously bad looking visuals together with the storytelling elements and production technologies available in 2011, make leaning towards anything else than hoax appear far-fetched.
So what would need to happen for skeptics to change their mind?
And what would require those leaning towards real to reevaluate a possibly foolish belief?
Parts of the footage show a professional environment (autopsy room, examination room with stadiometer, aircraft), suggesting that it's not a collection of amateur home video clips but rather a documentation produced by a government agency, branch of the military or corporation.
It could have found its way on the Internet by a whistleblower with legitimate access leaking it. In this case, cropping and obscuring the origin might have been done to deflect heat, prevent people from pinning down the actual source and causing a stir.
Alternatively, it could have been stolen and leaked by the thief. In this case, blackmail is a reason to consider for all the editing: Signaling the extent of the leak to the original source without revealing it. The thief might have made demands, wanted to show off his achievement or needed an insurance.
u/Data_Pure pointed out the suspicious coincidence that Ivan posted the first video one month after a foreign adversary launched a cyberattack on the Pentagon and stole sensitive data. The RSA breach also happened around that time. If the videos were among the files stolen, it is conceivable the Pentagon itself released the edited clips in order to control the damage and narrative. The intention might be that in case the original footage surfaces, a previous publication in a lame wrapping inflicts enough damage to the credibilily that further releases have little impact.
If the material was faked, the general consensus is that multiple people, multiple techniques and possibly but not necessarily a lot of money was involved. It is unlikely for a single person pulling this off due to the complexity and variety of the scenes.
Claims frequently made by individuals about the clips being "easy to reproduce" remain to be demonstrated. We disagree but encourage people that have the time, skill and motivation to give it a try and submit the result. Just don't forget about the 71% of content beside the skinny Bob closeups!
At least for tin bird, u/Shtudi has actually managed to create a nice addition to the video series by using the same BorisFX effects:
Source: The Roadrunner
Comparing the material to known commercial alien hoaxes and related film productions allows for cost estimations by people working in the industry. They range from five to six digit budgets and assume combinations of various cinematographic techniques:
The problem is that different scenes would likely have required different techniques, each adding to the overall costs. If we assume that what we are seeing in the skinny Bob clips is an animatronic puppet and compare it to similar creations, we are already in a six-digit budget category for those two scenes alone. u/AlienAnonymoose commented that, according to this article, Disney's animatronic "Shaman of Songs" has a price tag of $10,000,000. u/Jazzlike_Squirrel found another example of an animatronic alien created by Todd Masters in the 1990s costing about $80,000.
As a cheaper alternative, Skinny Bob might just be a kid in a costume, as Nick Pope has suggested already:
It is suspicious that exactly the lower part of Skinny Bob's face matches a human head (prohibiting subtractive sculpting there) very well and the upper part, where additive build-up can be done arbitrarily, becomes this huge bulb. Some claim that it's barely or not at all possible for a human body to fit but this is false. Even for the side-view that shows how long and bent the neck is, it's possible to fit an average human being in a slightly stretched but anatomically valid pose (the person's neck appears unusually long but it really isn't):
There is plenty of room for mechanical eye lids and the elbows could either match exactly or have an arbitrary offset which wouldn't matter because of the limited movements. The fingers also move so little that the simplest robotic hand props should do the job. We suspect the eye lids to be the only challenging thing for a prop maker to integrate. The head could be made of latex and the specific neck muscle movements some claim to see might just be an inherent property of the rubbery material.
The costume could have been reused for blue boys, blue boys meeting and possibly family vacation. Interestingly, the latter shows three aliens but only one blinks. Could it be that it was the one with the expensive eye lids and the other two were simpler, static versions?
u/SuccessfulRadish3 found an example of a person wearing flexible makeup, demonstrating that such cosmetics could be a viable alternative to an expensive animatronic puppet or CG character:
Comparing Skinny Bob to other aliens such as the grotesque Mars Attacks! puppet or costumes from The X-Files episodes "Paper Clip" (1995) and "One Son" (1999) as discovered by u/RedDwarfBee, shows some similarities of body proportions:
The skinny appearance, long arms and finger ratio of the Mars Attacks! puppet resembles Skinny Bob to some degree, as u/SoCalledLife described in detail. The problem is that these are generic features of gray aliens and several other counter arguments by u/Jazzlike_Squirrel make a connection seem unlikely. More interesting is a visual comparison to the children featured in The X-Files wearing alien costumes and showing that a skinny child with lower arm extensions could potentially fit.
Putting ourself in the position of a hoaxer and assuming minimal CG use, the TODO list for this project could have looked like this:
If cost, time and effort in relation to the poor release and non-commercial use of the material is a fundamental decision factor and it turns out that a bunch of students could actually have pulled it off, leaning towards real might not be justifiable anymore.
Even if it took a lot of effort we could think of several more or less plausible reasons for a hoax:
|Demo reel of students, film or prop maker(s)|
|Advertisement of special effects company|
|Preproduction material for an abandoned film project|
|Long-term social experiment from academia|
|Government-funded production for psychological operations|
Isn't this obviously fake?
After extensive investigation and observation of people's reaction we can tell you that if it is fake, it is certainly not "obviously" so. Usually people judge based on superficial, personal opinions formed after a glance at the two skinny Bob closeups, accounting for only 29% of the entire material. CG being ubiquitous in motion picture productions nowadays also causes people to have a distorted view on what it takes in terms of effort, time and money to create such a hoax. The reason some propose authenticity is a combination of supporting aspects and the lack of direct evidence for fabrication.
Wasn't the material debunked with the discovery of post-processing effects and overlays?
No, because what matters is the underlying footage the effects and overlays were applied to. Video editing software allows effects to be applied by drag&drop within seconds, whereas the creation of the footage is a completely different category in terms of effort, time and money. No matter if hoax or real, in both cases it seems unlikely the same person(s) responsible for producing the footage also decided to slap cheap stock effects on the video track to finalize their precious work. We assume this decision was made by someone else in the chain. See the discussion about possible motivations above.
What are the odds of a real alien looking like the Hollywood stereotype?
The question is how the stereotype was created in the first place. If extraterrestrial beings have been visiting for a long time, people have occasionally taken note and the stories handed down by the witnesses converged into what we now call the typical gray alien. So what are the odds of Skinny Bob looking like the statistical average of alien descriptions in a space of uncertainty?
Why don't you use AI to enhance the material?
It depends on the methods and objectives. Using AI to upscale things and make Skinny Bob look less noisy is useless for analysis because new information synthesized by AI might be incorrect and misleading. However, using machine learning algorithms to reconstruct or match the aerial view from flying twin for example, could be fruitful and we would love to see somebody attempting this.
Why do you reject colorizations?
If you as an artist manually colorize images, you guess and make assumptions about what color might have been there originally. Unfortunately, your beautiful result does not help and may even obstruct further analysis because of arbitrary, personal interpretations now distorting everything. If you perform an automatic colorization using machine learning algorithms, things are even worse unless you had millions of authentic alien photos at your disposal to train the algorithm with.
We can think of a few things that can happen or can be done in order to push the investigation forward:
|Relying on crowd intelligence to eventually find the location flying twin or even tin bird was filmed at, allowing further research on-site and narrowing down the year of production.|
|Discovering related material in old UFO media collections, thereby proving a pre-2011 production and significantly decreasing the likelyhood for CG being involved.|
|(Social) Media coverage causing people having more information or additional footage to come forward.|
|(Social) Media coverage causing people involved in hoaxing the material to come forward.|
|Finding a catastrophic blooper in the material that reveals it being a hoax.|
|Rogue YouTube employees or people with access to big data being able to search for related, possibly uncropped videos by content fingerprinting.|
|Offering a cash reward for additional footage or substantial background information. u/RedDwarfBee is currently offering $5,000 to $30,000. See his terms and conditions for details.|
|Waiting for Ivan to upload more videos.|
The chance for progress is proportional to the amount of people getting exposed to this investigation. You can help by sharing this website on Social Media and ask people you suspect knowing answers to our open questions to have a look.
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