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Surreal Encounters with Flying Jellyfish, Sky Squids, and Other Utterly Bizarre Beasts

There are plenty of reports of UFOs to go around, and they are mostly described as mechanical craft of some sort, whether that be alien, manmade, or something else. But there is a subspecies of UFO reports that doesn’t get nearly as much attention, and that is of strange things in the sky that seem to almost be living, bioluminescent creatures of some sort. Such creatures have appeared sporadically throughout the history of UFO sightings, and typically appear as glowing, translucent jellyfish, squid, or other creatures that seem to belong in the domain of the deep rather than the air, and here we will look at a selection of such completely bizarre sightings.

Sightings like these have supposedly gone back for years. 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.

From the same era, 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. One quite strange sighting from later years that is really hard to classify but seems to be a type of sky squid allegedly occurred on December 24, 1999, in the country of Belarus. On this day, two witnesses in the remote Vitebsk region saw in the sky an enormous cigar-shaped object that was blue and red in color like “the color of a clouds at sunset,” with a slightly angular quality to it and with a round and asymmetric front and a rear section that was described as blurry. It appeared as brighter than the early evening sky and looked to be slightly fluorescent, semi-transparent, and seemed to pulsate as it moved along, as if swimming rather than flying, completely silent the whole time. The sky was otherwise completely clear, and the witnesses both described having the feeling that they were not looking at any type of aircraft, but rather a living creature of some sort. Rather oddly, after observing the object for a short time, one of the witnesses would say that it had suddenly seemed to “disintegrate into dots” before vanishing. In an interesting twist, there would be another report by an Aeroflot pilot who claimed to have seen the same thing while flying over the area in 1985.

From the area of Groningen, Netherlands, we have the case of a similarly bizarre object seen by a witness by the name of Harry Perton, who was outside of his home taking pictures of the sky at the time. It was apparently just after a storm, and the clouds and sky had been beautiful, but something stood out as very odd. Moving across the sky was a pulsing, flashing green light that appeared for a short time and vanished. At first he thought it must have been just a weird-looking lightning strike, some remnant from the retreating storm, but when he got home and checked his photos he saw that one of them had actually picked up a strange object in the sky that looked like a jellyfish with an eerie green luminosity around it. The picture was soon doing the rounds online, sparking much speculation as to what it could be, including that it is a camera artifact, lens flare, a small meteorite, space debris, some meteorological phenomenon, or even a hoax, although the photographer himself has stated that he thinks there is a rational explanation for it and has made no effort to play it up as some sort of UFO. It hasn’t been explained.

Harry Perton’s Sky Squid

Another mysterious photo was captured in Andenesm, Norway by witness and amateur photographer named Per-Arne Milkalsen. As he was going through photographs he had taken of the Northern Lights, he noticed in one of the images a strange green glowing jelly-fish shaped object hovering over the landscape, and it did not seem to be a lens artifact or trick of light, but rather a solid floating object in the sky. It was so strange that he posted the photograph online, and a deluge of responses came in, with many suggesting that it was the Northern Lights reflecting off of something such as a satellite or cloud, but it was also pointed out that such a reflection was unlikely to be green. It still hasn’t completely been solved, and Mikalsen himself has said “I have never seen an object like this before, and I am eager to find an explanation to the phenomenon.”

In 1998 there was a mass sighting of some sort of sky jellyfish in China. On October 19 of that year, four military radar stations in Hebei province picked up a strange radar signature hovering near a military flight training school in Changzhou, about 90 miles northwest of Shanghai. When no other known civilian or military aircraft were shown to be in the area, it was alarming enough that a Jianjiao 6 jet fighter was scrambled and sent to investigate, and when they approached both the pilot and radar officer on the jet would claim they saw a mushroom or jellyfish shaped object with a bottom section “covered with bright, dangling lights.” Whatever it was proved to be very evasive, suddenly beginning to ascend as the fighter approached, with the pilot even at one point requesting permission to fire on it, which was denied. The object seemed to toy with the jet before suddenly ascending at a rapid pace, and the jet then chased it to an altitude of 39,600 feet before being forced to return to base due to lack of fuel. Two more jets were sent out, but by the time they arrived on the scene the object was gone. It would later turn out that 140 witnesses on the ground had seen the object as well, including many cadets and officers at the flight school, all of who described the exact same thing. Considering that the original report ran in a respected newspaper, the Hebei Daily, it is considered to be credible due to the fact that mainstream Chinese newspapers hardly ever mention anything to do with UFOs or the supernatural.

A very weird report comes to us from December 3, 2004, from two witnesses who were driving from Point Pleasant to Huntington, West Virginia, along the Ohio River, when they saw something that is really hard to categorize. As they drove along in the early evening, they noticed a movement over the road in front of them, before out of the gloom came a “greyish, smooth-winged shape” that they described as looking like a “flying manta ray,” with grey translucent skin and a wingspan “wider than a 2 lane road.” The outlandish beast sort of glided towards them and then performed a figure eight maneuver and swooped right over their car to disappear. Not long after this sighting there would be a separate report from a woman and her daughter near Blackwater River, who also saw what they called a “manta ray -shaped creature” glide over their car on a lonely rural road. What could this have possibly been? Who knows? 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 have been 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.

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 UFOs, thunderbirds, or other flying cryptids. Are these anomalies some type of lifeform? Or are these some sort of rare type of alien craft, an atmospheric phenomenon, or something else altogether? It is hard to say, and such cases remain lodged into the very fringes of the world of the weird.