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Koi Alien Photo 16

Koi Alien Photo 16 has appeared on numerous UFO websites since about 2003, usually without any accompanying text or explanation.  In some cases, it is just accompanied by the word "Chupacabra". Sometimes some completely bogus story is attached to it, such as one website's statement next to this photograph that : “… there will always be those people that are more interested in destroying things they don't understand than in trying to understand them. This alien picture comes from the streets of South America where the locals apparently found an alien body and tore it apart until all the was left was this alien head.”

Koi Alien Photo 16 was in fact an art piece by a graphics artist, Charlie White. The piece is entitled "Highland Park" and it formed part of a series entitled “In A Matter of Days” (1999).  It has since been published in a book of Charlie White's work entitled "Monsters" (available on Amazon USA and on Amazon UK).

The photograph features a severed reptilian "alien" head created by artist and sculptor Jordu Schell.

Sections below:

1. The relevant image

2. Stories and claims relating to this image

3. The real background to this image

4. Relevant online forum discussions

5. Further references and resources

6. Other material

 

 

1. The relevant image

 

 

 

2. Stories and claims relating to this image

Koi Alien Photo 16 has appeared on numerous UFO websites, usually without any accompanying text or explanation. Sometimes some completely bogus story is attached to it, such as one website's statement next to this photograph that : “… there will always be those people that are more interested in destroying things they don't understand than in trying to understand them. This alien picture comes from the streets of South America where the locals apparently found an alien body and tore it apart until all the was left was this alien head.”

 

3. The real background to this image

The severed reptilian "alien" head shown in Koi Alien Photo 16 was in fact an art piece by a graphics artist, Charlie White.

The piece is entitled "Highland Park" and it formed part of a series entitled “In A Matter of Days” (1999).  It has since been published in a book of Charlie White's work entitled "Monsters" (available on Amazon USA and on Amazon UK).

 

Charlie White's own website includes that image in the sample of his work.  The section of that website about his books says the following about his book "Monsters", which included the "Highland Park" image:

 

"Monsters catalogs White’s photographic work from 1999 to 2006 in full detail.In series such as In a Matter of Days (1999) and Understanding Joshua (2001), White created monsters that stand as surrogates for human fragility and the internal demons that haunt our experiences of self and other. In And Jeopardize the Integrity of the Hull (2003). White’s work began to critique photography’s role in popular culture by mimicking and heightening the veneer of the commercial image to reveal the tension below the gloss. White’s most recent series, Everything is American (2006), reveals the violence-tinged eroticism of the American psyche through portraits of both historic and mythic figures. From assaulting scenes to meditative studies, White’s powerful, disturbing, and revelatory photographs create fiction to understand reality and reconsider history to critique the present."

 

Charlie White is shown below in the photo labelled "koi_ap_16_f":

 

One article about Charlie White, "The Wizard of Id" by Jenn Shreve which appears on the website of Wired Magazine in relation to its February 2004 issue, includes the following:

"White is a member of the Post-Photography School of Photography, where the hyperreal reigns and the idea of an unadulterated image seems quaint. "A picture is just a million questions now," says White. "Did it really happen? Do I believe it? The picture doesn't lie. It is a lie." His work has appeared in major museums, but he rejects the mainstream photojournalistic approach. Like Post pioneer Cindy Sherman, White favors cinematic staging and elaborate makeup. He isn't afraid to borrow Tinseltown's props or Silicon Valley's computing power.

For White, 31, software is just a tool, like a paintbrush or a camera. A sci-fi fan who fondly remembers seeing Blade Runner when he was 10 and playing Zaxxon on ColecoVision, he says he wasn't much of a techie growing up because his family couldn't afford a computer. That all changed in 1991 when he entered New York's School of Visual Arts and began exploring digital techniques. "Things that were previously not accessible, attainable, executable, were becoming so," he recalls."

 

Various other art websites include images by Charlie White (including Koi Alien Photo 16 - i.e. "Highland Park"), such as the "Art in Context" website.

I emailed Charlie White about this image in 2010.  His studio provided the following information:

"Highland Park is one in a series of nine narrative landscape photographs chronicling an urban overtaking by creatures. The goal of Highland Park was to create an updated version of a 19th century hunting photograph (see [photo below labelled "koi_ap_16_h"] as example) which would often stage the kill at center with the hunting party surrounding it. The title comes from the area of Los Angeles where this event took place, each photograph in the series notes a location within the city and it outlying areas. Highland Park is unique within the series as it is the only work that regards the camera and is staged to be a photograph." (Email to Isaac Koi dated 19 December 2010).

 

 

The response from Charlie White's studio also included the following:

"To clarify how Highland Park was realized, the creature head was created by artist Jordu Schell, a premiere special effects artist who worked with White on the 1999 series. White worked with Schell on a number of photographs between 1999 and 2005. Schell most recently worked as lead character designer on Avatar."(Email to Isaac Koi dated 19 December 2010)

 

The "head" shown in the photograph was created by artist and sculptor Jordu Schell (with, I understand, assistance by Mario Torres and Mark Villialobos) and was shot in either LA or Pasadena. The photographer was Craig Ashby.

Jordu Schell is shown beow (in the photo labelled "koi_ap_16_g)

 

Jordu Schell's website includes the following:

"Jordu Schell has been in the film and television industry since 1987. His talent as a designer and sculptor is world renowned, and his credits include: “Avatar”, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”, “300”, “Hellboy”, “Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem”, “Men in Black”, “The Mist”, “Batman Returns”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Alien: Resurrection”, “The X-Files Movie”, “Predator II”, “Galaxy Quest”, “Evolution”, “Babylon 5-The Series” (on which he designed an emmy award-winning creature make-up and the first fully digital creature for a television series), and many more."

"Schell Sculpture Studio is a full service sculpture and design facility with a wealth of talent to match the need of any project. Our studio specializes in creature and character design, props, prototypes for toys and model kits, general special effects work, and creature design classes."


 

 

4. Relevant online forum discussions

This photo has been discussed on the AboveTopSecret.com discussion forums in several threads, including at the following.  In the earliest threads on that discussion forum , several individuals expressed the view that the image may be real while others suggested it may show a skinned dog's head (or, according to one suggestion, a decayed tiger's head while another suggested it was "a seals head that had some photo shopping done to it"). In another early thread one individual stated that it was a movie prop, but he could not remember its name. More recent discussions have generally quickly pointed to Charlie White's work:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread6019/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread34269/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread39486/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread51383/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread116433/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread126503/pg1/

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread165401/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread328685/pg1

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread584666/pg1

It has also been discussed on other UFO discussion forums, including at the following link (where it was posted by someone that commented that "The people in the photo dont look the sort to have an extensive prop studio to hand! The head was recovered from a hunting trip"):

http://www.alien-ufos.com/ufo-alien-discussions/2853-photo-severed-reptilian-head-mildly-graphic.html

 

The photo has also been discussed on David Icke's discussion forum. A "senior member" of the David Icke forum posted the following after it was suggested the photograph was created by Charlie White:

"I've contacted the gallery that the website you posted lists as an exhibitor of Charlie White's images and they said they've never heard of him before. I then called again from a different number (Google Voice) this time posing as a potential buyer and inquired specifically about Charlie White's images and how I could purchase them. Again, they told me that they did not have any work by Charlie White for sale and that they've never heard of him before. They did however offered to special order me the works if they were available on the market by the artist provided they could locate him."

"So I then called the library whose website link you posted that hosts the Charlie White images, this time posing as an art gallery owner and asked to be put in touch with Charlie White in hopes of acquiring some of his work for a very wealthy customer. After a few minutes of being put on hold, someone on the other end of the line finally told me that they did not have any record of Charlie White in their systems."

"Let me remind everyone who reads this thread that any url link can be easily faked or tampered with just as some photos can easily be photoshopped. And because of the photoshop allegations against the photo, I took a copy of it to a special effects wizard who just happens to be one of the original beta testers of Photoshop before Adobe acquired it. After he ran some computerized analysis on the image, he told me that he couldn't detect anything unusual that would indicate the photo had been digitally altered in anyway. He said that both computerized and visual analysis show that the photo is original and has not been digitally altered in any way." 

Also, in a discussion on the Godlikeproductions.com discussion forum the person that posted this photograph doubted that it was created by Charlie White.  That individual stated :

"Supposedly a job of a plastic artist named Charlie White that would work to "Art in Context - Center for Communications". What's way curious is that there's NO Charlie White in the board of members, as you can check here: [link to www.artincontext.org]  Also I didn't find nothing about this picture, on this website what makes more obvious that it was NOT proven a hoax."

 

 

5. Further references and resources

The Snopes website has a webpage relating to this photograph, indicating that this photograph has been circulating on the Internet and by email since about 2003 and that it is in fact a piece by Charlie White entitled "Highland Park". 

 

6. Other Material

 

 

 

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