Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 23

Monster: Atmospheric Life Forms

Appearance: "Night Lights" The X-Files #18 and #19. June 1996. "Meal Worms" Cartoon Network Action Pack #40. October 2009. 

Charles Adlard: Artist, John Workman: Letterer, Digital Chameleon: Color Design & Rendering, Jim Salicrup and Dwight Zimmerman: Editors / Scott Jeralds: Penciller, Mike Manley: Inker, Heroic Age: Colorist, Travis Lanham: Letterer, Sean Ryan: Editor. The Secret Saturdays created by Jay Stephens. 

I became interested in the idea that flying saucers might actually be living, atmospheric jellyfish-like creatures when I discovered the above comic as a kid. The idea stuck in my mind somewhere and resurfaced when I was hired to take over the writing chores on The X-Files comic book series and wound up being the basis for my second storyline. 

The history of this intriguing concept is recounted in this two page sequence:

My story combined the atmospheric lifeform concept with the unexplained phenomena known as the Brown Mountain Lights, unexplained luminous phenomena spotted on Brown Mountain in western North Carolina. Meteorological researchers were inadvertently attracting one of these atmospheric lifeforms through transmissions used to track weather balloons. The life forms, here depicted as something of an electrically based phenomena, would then devour the researchers. 

Years later the idea came back to me when I was writing The Secret Saturdays about a family of cryptozoologists. Atmospheric jelly fish had already appeared in a central role on the television episode "The Swarm at the Edge of Space" seen below. 

In my story the atmospheric jellyfish were reduced to a supporting role as the Saturdays investigated a cave full of flying rods (a phenomena of flying insect like rods with multiple pairs of wings caught on video tape that has been disproven, although I pretended they were real for the purposes of the story). The Saturdays, and the villain, Piecemeal, soon discover that the rods are the natural prey of the atmospheric jellyfish, but that they'll happily eat other things too. 

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