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Creatures of the Sky

Posted by: Nick Redfern on September 18th, 2012

Dr. Karl Shuker notes in a new post at his blog that he had earlier “documented one of my favourite if very radical theories appertaining to mystery creatures. Namely, that some UFOs may actually be living entities – i.e. highly-specialised, undiscovered species of atmosphere-inhabiting sky beast, adapted for an exclusively airborne existence in a vast rarefied realm in the uppermost reaches of our planet where, very oddly in terms of evolutionary diversity, no species endemic to it have ever been formally disclosed.”

Well, there’s now a new development in this saga…

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


6 Responses to “Creatures of the Sky”

  1. springheeledjack responds:

    While this clearly falls into the Fortean (at this point), or even sci-fi, it still intrigues me. Life has evolved in every other environment on earth, so why not the skies. Many will argue that birds, bats and owls are part of that environment, but I think Shuker was thinking more in terms of actually living in that environment instead of just visiting it.

    While a really cool idea, I have several problems with it and at least a hundred questions….

    1) If there are creatures then I would expect more sightings–especially if they are large like some of the sky dragons reported

    2) How come they don’t show up on radar

    3) Other than a few unidentified sightings of anomalous objects what proof or evidence is there to support it–I mean living creatures have to eat in some manner and they also have waste

    And then there’s the questions: how do they stay aloft, large or small, food, a whole ecosystem of predators and prey?, the list goes on.

    At this point, while interesting, I’d have to relegate it to a sci-fi novel.

  2. oldphilosopher responds:

    OK, to be clear, I do not remotely believe in such beings; but just to hypothesize the existence of such:
    1. Vertebrates could not possibly survive, perpetually aloft. Rather, they would have to be the equivalent of “sky jellyfish”, only far, far more “filmier” of substance; likely having little more density than the clouds themselves. Hence, virtually invisible. Hence no meaningful number of “sightings”.
    2. Also, hence no appearance on radar.
    3. Such beings would have to take their sustenance from the very elements of the air, and water vapor from clouds. Hence, the would have to possess phenomenally efficient metabolism. Hence no (or virtually no) waste …. and whatever “waste” their was would be little more than gas and dust.

    The stuff of science fiction, yes.

  3. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Forget about on Earth; I have wondered the same thing about hypothetical critters that might live in the upper levels of gas giants.

    I think the big problem has already been aluded to. If an animal dies on land or in the sea, it will settle or drift, and other creatures can eat it and recycle its materials. Not only would a sky beast find the menu limited, it would probably only be able to float when alive and healthy. Gravity wins out in the end.

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    Yep I’m with both of you–while a cool idea, there’s little next to nothing to substantiate such a critter…and if there was such a whispy creature it will probably take another century to come up with the ability to detect it and realize there’s some sort of “ethereal” creature that fits with our standards of what is “living”.

    I think the idea of something like that living in another environment is a better possibility–a planet where gravity is less than earth where creatures could spend their entire existence in the skies–and that’s what we’re really talking about here–not just birds, bugs and bats that visit the sky environment, but actually live their entire lives there as most fish do in the water.

    For earth purposes we’re talking science fiction in my opinion.

  5. DWA responds:

    Only so much idle speculation can go on without evidence before it becomes, well, REALLY idle speculation.

    While something like this isn’t exactly inconceivable, all the evidence indicates is that folks are seeing something in the sky. There is no consistent indication of what that something is, ergo, nothing to search on.

  6. mystery_man responds:

    I did a piece on this very same phenomenon here on Cryptomundo awhile back concerning the link between these sky beasts and earthquakes.

    If we are to say that some UFO sightings (or even all) could be attributed to atmospheric organisms, then a bit of freaky data can be seen in the spike in the number of UFO sightings that follow very large earthquakes. At least in the cases of the Fukushima earthquake in Japan and the earthquake that caused the Indian Ocean tsunami, there was a significant spike in UFO sightings reports. If sky beasts were real, and are indeed the culprits behind UFO sightings, there could be a possible biological reason behind this.

    If atmospheric life forms exist, then they could possibly use some sort of navigation system to find their way. This is not a far fetched notion as it is a well established biological function in a range of known animals. It has been suggested in the past that such sky creatures could have had such navigation systems scrambled by 20th century radar, which might disorient the creatures and bring them down lower to where they would be more readily observable.

    The link with earthquakes is as I mentioned in my own article on Cryptomundo:

    The thing is that earthquakes and tsunamis influence more than just the Earth and the seas. When the powerful earthquake hit Japan on March 11, it not only jolted the Earth, but also shook the skies above. When earthquakes and tsunamis occur, they generate surface motion that in turn can trigger waves that can shoot up all the way to one of the highest parts of the upper atmosphere, to what is known as the ionosphere. These events are known as seismotravelling ionospheric disturbances.

    Recent research done in Japan has shown that the March 11 earthquake generated the largest such atmospheric disturbance ever recorded. It was an estimated three times more powerful than the next largest, which was recorded during the 2004 Sumatran earthquake. The March 11 disturbance created waves of large amounts of electrically charged particles travelling 720 to 800 kph (450 to 500 mph) that reached up to around 350km (220 miles) above the Earth.

    One effect of these disturbances is their ability to disrupt radio and other signals, which is in fact one of the ways scientists use to measure them. If atmospheric beasts do exist high above us, and if in fact they do use some sort of navigation system that can be disrupted by things such as radar, then what might such a large, earthquake induced atmospheric disturbance do to them?

    It seems to me that such a massive atmospheric disturbance could hypothetically disorient the creatures, bring them out of the upper atmosphere, and thus make them more likely to be sighted, perhaps reported as UFOs. It makes the data that UFO sightings spike with large earthquakes pretty interesting when considered in the context of atmospheric organisms.

    I don’t see any reason to really suppose these things likely exist, but it is an interesting exercise in speculative biology nevertheless. I enjoy throwing these kinds of ideas around.

    oldphilosopher- Yes, such creatures would most certainly not be vertebrates. I would also say that these sky beasts would be most similar to something akin to a jellyfish.

    As for sustenance, I wouldn’t go as far as to say they would have to derive their nutrients directly from the elements. It could be that if such large sky creatures exist, then there could be a whole food chain of such organisms. For instance you could have some version of something small like plankton floating around up there, and up you’d go; a veritable ecosystem of different sky creatures. This hypothetical ecosystem could support a wide range of niches as well, including scavengers that might consume any dead ones before they ever reached the earth. This could explain why none would ever reach the ground as Fhqwhgads rightly points out would invariably happen otherwise.

    We have found no evidence whatsoever for anything like atmospheric plankton or any real reason to suppose these things should be there, but it is intriguing to speculate on nonetheless.

    I’m not sure I can agree that this is “science fiction.” Let us remember that no one ever thought that whole ecosystems could survive around deep sea thermal vents either. There was a time when it was considered a bizarre, alien concept, and could be thought of as “science fiction” as well, yet there these communities are thriving. The same thing could apply to whale fall communities (whole ecosystems that are based on the carcasses of dead whales), where some of the fundamental organisms involved in driving the communities are sulphur based.

    When we consider extreme ecosystems like these, it is becomes harder to really completely disregard the notion that creatures could have evolved to live in the atmosphere as well. There is no evidence to suggest they are there at all, and I am not trying to argue that they are, but I would not completely discount even the very idea that such a thing is possible.

    Anyway, like I say, I’m not advocating that these things are real, but this is a cool topic to throw ideas around on.



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