Published: 6:11 PM 5/11/2015
Spot the difference: The top image is a mummy at the Smithsonian. Is the second an alien?
By Jasper Hamill
World-famous researcher admits photographs do NOT show an extraterrestrial who crash-landed on Earth.
The UFO 'believer' community has been rocked by an admission that a photograph of an alien was actually the mummified remains of a dead child.
An image taken from the so-called Roswell Slides was unveiled last week in front of a worldwide online audience at an event called Be Witness.
Ahead of the big reveal, researchers said the picture was a "smoking gun" which proved aliens had crashlanded on Earth.
But these claims are now in tatters after Tony Braglia, a "principal investigator" who analysed them, issued an astonishing public apology.
He said the dead alien was actually a Native American child who lived in the abandoned ancient city of Mesa Verde.
The Roswell Alien: Experts claimed the white placard was deliberately blurred by an unknown person
Braglia insisted the incident was "a serious case of mistaken identity" rather than a "hoax", but issued this confession:
"I must offer my sincerest and deepest apologies to the Native American people of the Southwestern United States.
"One of their children, a dead child from well over a century ago, was made a spectacle. Whoever you are, you deserve to be extended dignity and respect."
The official story was that the images showed an alien who had crashed to Earth near Roswell in 1947.
A "well-connected" couple called Bernerd Ray and Hilda Ray took the images, before filing them away secretly until their recent rediscovery.
The images were probably taken in 1947 - the year of the infamous Roswell incident.
They had also been shown to a "Roswell vet from 1947 who actually personally viewed the dead bodies found fallen at Roswell did see similarities between what he saw and the being shown on the slide", Braglia added.
"All of this must be a series of extraordinarily incredible coincidences," he continued.
"My guess is that Hilda hid the slides of the mummy child within the chest because she felt some sort of guilt that they were in some way exploitive. She was a childless woman."
Researcher Floren Cabrera de Teresa insisted the images were actually of a three or four-year-old mummified child kept at the Smithsonian Museum.
He also suggested some unknown party had doctored the images and said this unnamed person's actions had compromised the work of the entire UFO research community.
"There are deep questions to ask of those who dare derail our search for the real disclosure of the existence of extraterrestrials," he told Mirror Online.
He also pointed us to the work of photo-editing experts who had used software to "unblur" a white placard which featured on the alien image, to show a sign which read "mummified body of a two-year-old boy."
It is not clear who decided to pass off the photograph as a dead alien and at this stage it cannot be proved the incident was an organised scam.
However, it would appear there was big money involved, although organisers told us they had made a loss.
Mirror Online understands 6,000 paying customers went to Mexico to see the unveiling of the films, whilst many thousands more paid $20 to watch the event on a special online pay-per-view channel.
The images were first obtained by a former sports journalist called Adam Dew, who is understood to have started up a new company called Slidebox Media to release a film about the photographs.
After we first covered the alien photo claims, Dew sent us an angry direct message on Twitter.
Although he refused to comment on new evidence suggesting the image actually showed a mummy, he insisted "experts in forensics and anthropology" had proven the photographs were genuine.
"Canadian anthropologist Richard Doble [has given] an in depth analysis - not knee jerk so so many others - about why it can't be human."
Dew has refused to comment on the new allegations and has gone totally silent on Twitter.
Journalist Jaime Maussan, one of the key organisers of the Be Witness event, refused to concede defeat and said the saga was "far from over."
"This could be true," he conceded when we asked if the alien was actually a dead child.
"But there are so many anomalies that is impossible that this is a human being."
Although many people are calling the whole affair a "hoax," UFO researcher and former Ministry of Defence investigator Nick Pope has a different explanation.
"This could be a terrible misunderstanding by people who dearly want to believe," he told Mirror Online.
"I know some of the people involved and they not bad people or scammers.
"I see some of them as victims: their reputations are in shreds because they were arguably a little credulous."