Post-mortem on the autopsy or autopsy on the post-mortem?
Post-mortem undoubtedly. There could hardly be a deader duck than the supposed Roswell autopsy film, whatever species of being or inanimate object we saw being carved up.
I will leave to others discussion of the murky provenance of this film, and the many anachronisms said to infect it. Instead, I offer some thoughts on biological aspects.
The cadaver pictured, if genuinely extra-terrestrial, represents perhaps the most important piece of biological material ever to come into human possession. To merely carry out the crude dissection shown would be only the tiniest beginning of any investigation which researchers of fifty years ago would have carried out. One might almost say that anatomists, histologists and biochemists, both then and now, would kill for the possession of a few grams of the “meat” on that slab.
By the late 1940s, the essential similarities of all terrestrial life-forms had been established — the aqueous environment necessary for cellular activity, the universal genetic code of nucleic acids, the cellular machinery of proteins built up from a few L-amino acids, the resemblances in energy metabolism, and many other features. Were the object the body of a genuine extra-terrestrial, I cannot conceive that the medical and scientific people involved in the autopsy would not have seized on this, the first opportunity in human history to investigate such a thing, and make a thorough microscopic, chemical and biochemical analysis of what they had in the hand. If the autopsy was genuine, where is all this information? Are we to believe that someone has been sitting on it for nearly fifty years, when publication, either official or by a “leak”, would yield instant fame and fortune?
Some knowledge of extra-terrestrial biology could be expected to confer an advantage on those holding it, by offering a different perspective on how we ourselves work. There appears no evidence of this in American research publications; scientists in the US, as everywhere else, are groping at the frontier between the known and the unknown, using only our knowledge of Earth-based biology.
Should mankind ever have the opportunity to investigate extra-terrestrial life-forms, scientists the world over would say with Wordsworth “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive …”. The prospect is vastly grander and more exciting than anything seen in the Roswell “autopsy”.