The name Skinny Bob kept coming up on Twitter. Every time I googled the name, I ended up at YouTube videos depicting alien creature sightings with titles like: "This looks like Skinny Bob."
But who was Skinny Bob?
I figured the name was a generic term for emaciated Grey aliens, taken from American pop culture perhaps. When I was finally directed to the correct videos, I realized I'd seen the footage a while back but evidently not paid much attention. "Skinny Bob" is the name given to the alien by the video uploader. Despite being anonymously in possession of this earth-shattering footage courtesy of the KGB, Ivan0135 had no qualms about giving his details to YouTube - the videos are monetized.
This case interests me for two reasons - the passion with which fans of Skinny Bob support his reality, and my personal (admittedly limited) interest in animation. I've written an ongoing thread on Twitter looking at the 37 seconds (from a total of 5 minutes across 4 videos) that show Skinny Bob alive and moving. My conclusions, that he is a modified Mars Attacks stock motion puppet, come from work done on Reddit last year mostly by two users, BrooklynRobot and RedDwarfBee.
I did some further research on the puppets to understand how they were built and used. (In the end, Tim Burton's Mars Attacks movie used CGI based on the puppets, not stop motion animation.) Comparisons between the puppet and Skinny Bob only convinced me further. Some of the similarities:
Additionally, it looks like the Skinny Bob footage was shot in such a way as to hide any shortcomings of the animation:
There's lots more information on my Twitter thread - including speculation about where the Skinny Bob footage may have been shot - and I'll update that as new information comes in. I've also started a discussion at r/SkinnyBob on Reddit.
Why would anyone modify an expensive puppet, make an animation, and then compile it with UFO footage, slap on some filters, and upload it to YouTube with a narrative about a crashed saucer in Russia? I can't say, but if I had the skills and equipment to do it for fun... I just might.