Mar 01, 2019 I Brent Swancer

Strange Encounters with Flying Jellyfish, Walking Squids, and Octopod Monstrosities

I often like to look into reports that truly skirt around the periphery of the paranormal and cryptozoology, the cases that stand out as being particularly odd and baffling. Such cases truly tax the imagination and leave us scrambling to try and explain just what in the world could be going on, and challenge our notions of what we think we know. Here I have collected together an eclectic mix of very weird encounters with everything from jellyfish floating through the sky, to squid-like beasts and octopod monsters roaming the wilderness, so sit back, buckle up, and enjoy this journey to the other side of the bizarre.

One of the stranger things one could see soaring through the skies is a jellyfish, but there are actually numerous reports throughout the world of just that. These incredibly bizarre entities are often reported as looking very similar to a typical jellyfish one would find bobbing about in the sea, only in this case soaring through the air, and in some accounts they are described as being able to change density, color, or size, and to be able to go almost completely transparent, and there have even been cases of some sort of bioluminescence present. They are variously reported as moving about on their own through some unknown form of propulsion or merely at the whim of the air currents, and they are always just about as otherworldly as can be.

There have been particularly strange accounts of encounters with flying jellyfish going back decades. In the 1950s a police man in England claimed to have had a run in with a low flying sky jellyfish as he was riding his bicycle on patrol. He claimed that it drifted right down in front of him and that he actually bumped up against it, describing the sensation as similar to brushing up against a soft blanket, and that it had a slightly unpleasant smell of mildew. In 1958 there was also report from Florida, where a policeman named Faustin Galegos found a translucent purple blob about the size of a soccer ball outside of his house. He claimed that when he had approached it seemed to be some sort of dying creature, and when he picked it up the thing just sort of evaporated in his hands.

A more recent account was given on the site Phantoms and Monsters, and comes from a witness in Perth, Australia, who is referred to merely as “BD.” The witness claims that in 2012 he was out in front of his house one evening having a cigarette when his attention was drawn to the curious sight of the light patterns of the stars being disrupted by something passing over them. At first he thought it might be a plane, but it soon became apparent that this was no aircraft. The witness explains:

As it got closer, the way it moved resembled the way a jellyfish would swim if it was horizontal. It was hard to describe, but it looked to be expanding at the front like a balloon, then using that air to propel itself along. It was roughly 100 meters above me and I watched it for 10 minutes. After that it was out of sight. This was during a clear night sky in Australia. I am very familiar with aircraft as I live relatively close to Jandakot airport and we see/hear them all the time. It was certainly not a machine of any kind.


I yelled out to my Mother-in-Law who was staying at the time to come out and look. She also saw it. I filmed it on my smartphone, but being 8pm at night it was pitch black and you couldn't see anything. If I had to guess, I would say the feeling I was left with is that it was some kind of creature. It moved gracefully and gradually in large deliberate movements. Like a large bird would do with a large flap of its wings, then gliding for a bit, although this was unlike anything I could describe. It appeared to be translucent in parts and remained at the same altitude and speed but just completely silent.

Amazingly, there was a follow up report from a different witness, who claims that he and a friend saw what appears to be the same or a similar creature around Perth at around the same time as this sighting. The witness says of the creature:

I would like to confirm the story of the flying jellyfish like creature as described on your forum by "BD," There were two of us actually not just myself. We were in Perth CBD actually having a glass of wine on a quite loud jazz music playing balcony about 10 meters from the ground. I am so thrilled to find out there is another person who has seen this. The creature was behaving exactly as described by "BD" so basically like jellyfish but without any long tentacles - about a size of a balloon.


It was kind of changing according to the different colored lighting attached to the balcony and it was flying upwards so effortlessly. It is really precious I have finally found this. I have been searching for so long. I have to be honest I don't recall the exact day but it must have been the same night as "BD" mentioned. We had seen it around 9-10pm either friday or saturday. The creature wasn't too shy either meaning it didn't fly in a hurry. Would gladly put my hand on my heart on this one and now may actually try to find it again, but who knows how often do they appear.

A very odd claim was posted on the site Norcalblogs, from a commenter calling himself Pie Guevara, who claims that his uncle, an Oscar Guevera, had taken part in a scientific survey of these sorts of creatures in the 1950s and 60s. The remote areas north of San Fransisco had apparently experienced a spate of sightings for over a decade of what were usually referred to as “Space Jellies,” which would congregate in the upper atmosphere along the coast, after which they would soar up into the upper atmosphere out of sight. Pie provides a letter that he allegedly received from his uncle, which outlines the phenomenon and his study of it, and reads:

This coalescence of “space jellies”, as we called them, was assumed to be part of a seasonal migration pattern in and about the western Pacific. With a small joint grant fund from several philanthropic scientific organizations (which shall remain unnamed), I developed a small, high altitude, long distance ultralight aircraft (the first of its kind) assisted by an in-flight deployable and detachable ovoid helium balloon. This platform was developed as it had become evident through observation and experimentation that the behavior of these creatures was disturbed by the approach of larger aircraft. It was not by coincidence that the craft bore a distinct resemblance to the large, presumably mature form, of “space jelly” creatures themselves.


Working within a shoe-string budget, I deployed a modified aqualung attached to a motorcycle helmet and a small forge bellows that was fashioned into a crude but effective and light weight re-breathing system for high altitudes. For warmth I wore a gorilla suit (procured from a costumer’s auction in Emeryville) and had it fitted with a lining of goose down. From below the aircraft was lowered a fair sized grappling hook with several large mackerels tied to it with bailing wire. Inside of six weeks in the fall of 1973 I had snagged most of these diaphanous jelly fish like buggers. None of the captured survived the experience and within minutes dissolved into an odd steamy smoke. On my final expedition, as per standard operating procedure, I reached the specified location at an altitude of 9500 feet, deployed the balloon, and floated up into the remaining few of these creatures which, apparently, died of fright on the spot, dissolving into threadlike wisps before me.


Besides the regrettable loss of the subjects under study there was one more unfortunate circumstance. On the last mission, after jettisoning the balloon, I was flying in from the Pacific over the Farallons at about 5000 feet towards my hidden base of operations in a remote area of [redacted]. I was spotted by a US Navy crew on a practice and shakedown cruise flying a restored antique Consolidated Vultee PB2Y Coronado that was to be displayed in a few days at a Fleet Week exposition near Fisherman’s wharf. They veered off course, followed me, and executed a close and slow pass-by over San Francisco Bay. So close I could see the faces of the pilot and crew. The flying boat then abruptly dropped altitude and beached near the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in what, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be an emergency landing.


Weeks later I learned, through some Navy sources in Vallejo who hung out Fridays at the [redacted] Bar and Grill, that the pilot and crew recovered from the plane had babbled incoherently and for days all they could get out of them was, “Flying fish bear … flying fish bear …” Needless to say this story has never been declassified and likely never will be. The only reason I relate it now is lay to rest any fears that may still exist about these creatures and confident in the knowledge that no one in their right mind would ever actually believe it.

This is truly a far-out and spectacular account, and one can't help but wonder how much veracity any of it holds. A guy in a gorilla suit collecting flying jellyfish from the upper atmosphere? Flying Fish Bears? It is all quite beyond bizarre. You can't make this stuff up, folks. In December of 1999 there was a rather unusual sighting of something like this at Vitebsk, in the Republic of Belarus. The two witnesses described the object as being somewhat tubular or cigar-shaped, with a front part that was rounded and asymmetric, and a rear part that seemed blurred. It was apparently a blue and red color, and exhibited a somewhat transparent quality, as well as what looked to be some sort of flickering bioluminescence. Whatever it was moved with a sort of undulating movement and made no noise during the sighting, and after a while it was reported as just vanishing into thin air. The witnesses would claim that it was not an aircraft, and that they had had the distinct impression that it was a living creature, saying it somewhat resembled an animal known as the glass squid (Cranchiidae).

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Glass squid

What could such creatures be? One idea is that they are a type of theoretical organism known as an "atmospheric beast." Atmospheric beasts, or atmospheric life-forms, as they are often called, are said to be organisms that live their entire lives floating high in the atmosphere, undetected by humans. These creatures are most often described as having bodies that are semi-solid, or almost insubstantial, with some reports even claiming that they are able to adjust their density from almost immaterial and invisible to more solid, depending on as yet unknown factors. Numerous theories have been posited as to how such seemingly fantastical organisms could manage to stay adrift in the air, such as air bladders or very low body densities.

The appearance of these atmospheric beasts varies wildly. Accounts have variously described them as amorphous and cloud-like behemoths, finned squid-like creatures, floating jellyfish, translucent, vaporous blobs, flitting rods, amoeba-like organisms, gelatinous oddities, and even dragons. The sizes of atmospheric beasts likewise run the gamut from tiny and bird-like, to gargantuan monsters hundreds of feet long. Although these enigmatic creatures are said to typically lurk too high in the atmosphere or to be too insubstantial to see with the naked eye, there are instances when one might become observable for some reason. Indeed, there has been a substantial amount of sightings reports over the years from all over the world describing unusual flying monsters that do not fit into the typical mold of thunderbirds or other flying cryptids. These atmospheric life forms have even allegedly been photographed, and there have been reports of the gelatinous remains of dead ones on occasion. Are such sightings evidence of this type of lifeform?

While flying jellyfish are weird enough, let's move on to something just about as strange. One thing that one would not typically expect to find out walking around on land is an octopod beast, but there have been some downright surreal reports of these as well. One earlier and very weird case comes from the battlefields of World War II, in particular the Battle of Okinawa, in Japan. Lasting from April until June of 1945, the 82-day-long battle was envisioned as the first step in a planned eventual invasion of the Japanese Okinawa Islands and on to the mainland. It was the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific Theater, and saw some of the fiercest, most intense, and bloodiest fighting of the entire war. From here among the many scattered dead bodies strewn about in the aftermath of the fighting come some odd tales of encounters some Japanese troops allegedly had with something very bizarre indeed.

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Fighting at the Battle of Okinawa

There are some scattered stories of Japanese troops surveying the smoking battlefields and telling of seeing what appeared to be very large octopuses picking through the corpses. These creatures were said to be around 4 feet in height, and rather than slither about like one would expect a normal octopus to do, they were said to walk about on their tentacles with their heads held above the ground. When one of the beasts was startled or on alert, it would apparently stretch its tentacles up to hold its head higher, like a camera mounted upon a tripod. Making it all more sinister is that the soldiers who saw these creatures claimed that they seemed to be actually coming to feed upon the corpses of the fallen. It is hard to know what to make of these reports, and one wonders if it just wasn’t a spooky forgotten wartime legend of the battlefield.

Then we have what has come to be known as the "Octosquatch." In the summer of 1961, a 29-year-old truck driver named Arquimedes Sanchez was driving along a precipitous mountain road through the Basque mountains in Spain at around 11PM, along with an unnamed companion, on their way to the town of Puerto de Barazar. As they rounded a bend, their headlights hit a bizarre and rather monstrous being standing upon an embankment nearby, which prompted the pair to stop their vehicle.

When they peered through the murk ahead of them they claim that they saw a “hairy octopus,” which stood around 4 feet tall, with glowing eyes and “tentacle-like” arms. The witnesses and the thing apparently sat there completely frozen and immobile for several minutes, both parties probably just as startled and scared as the other, before Sanchez snapped out of it and slammed the accelerator, which caused the weird apparition to scurry backwards away from the threat, after which Sanchez backed up and tried again, apparently intent on running it over. Interestingly, the otherworldly intruder refused to take off into the night, instead always just managing to avoid being run over, as if it were all a game. Finally the two men, neither who were willing to step out of the vehicle to investigate, drove off to leave the being behind, never to be seen again.

In more recent years, in December of 2014 there was a very odd report taken by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), concerning an outlandish bipedal creature that was sighted and almost hit by a car in the vicinity of the sleepy town of Carmel, in Highland County, Ohio. The witnesses, a former Marine and his wife, had just moved to the area, and one evening they were driving along the rural road through a wooded area towards their home when a 7-foot-tall creature with muscular, very bendable, tentacle-like legs, and a tubular body without any arms or head ran in front of their car and into the woods on the other side of the road, narrowly avoiding being hit by the vehicle in the process.

It would later be described as being a dull, sickly grey in color and looking sort of like a “walking squid,” and after the report was featured in the local paper there was a lot of speculation as to what it might be. One of the most popular ideas is that this was merely a misidentified deer that had just happened to be witnessed in a strange, bipedal pose. This sort of makes sense, as white-tailed deer are known to rear up on their hind legs and even take a few steps in that position, but it seems odd that one would walk so far, and it doesn’t really seem to totally match the witnesses’ description. Interestingly, the witnesses also claimed that there was a large sphere of grass near their house that is always greener than the surroundings and where snow does not gather, so make of that what you will. Whatever it is, the “Walking Squid” Of Carmel, Ohio, is a truly bizarre case that can’t easily be explained away.

Here we have looked at an array of utterly bizarre tales of jellyfish, squid, and octopus-like creatures popping up in the oddest of places. These obviously could not be considered normal examples of these types of animals, so what were they? Some sort of undiscovered species? Aliens? Interdimensional interlopers? Are they just tall tales or hallucinations? No matter what the answer may be, these are certainly highly odd cases that go beyond the strange, and elude any easy classification.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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