Mikhail Gershtein, from St. Petersburg, Russia, sent me the “beautiful” alien scan above, from James Moseley’s Saucer News, Vol14 N4, 1967-68.
It’s a “’Space Monster’ allegedly found recently in Russia by a farmer named Vasily Dubichev”. The source for such spectacular story? “The Feb 26 edition of the National Examiner”. Not exactly (or perhaps exactly) where you would expect this kind of news to come from.
I first thought the image could be a montage, so common to such tabloids, or perhaps even an outtake from a B-Movie. For instance, the movie Screamers (aka Island of the Fish Men) has some similar “fish men”, but the problem is not only that there are large differences, but this movie is from 1979, more than ten years after the photo was first published.
As it turns out, there was something fishy, but the photo is probably authentic. As Biologist Gabriel Cunha quickly pointed to me, it’s simply a dead Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola). A bizarre-looking but nevertheless very real fish.
Note that the National Examiner fish was dead and dried, so its skin is wrinkled and it looks more asymmetric. You can compare it to this stranded Sunfish. Pay special attention to the mouth too.
And if you look closely at the original Examiner image, you can even see the pectoral fin of the Sunfish on the side. Or perhaps it was a Martian ear.
[With special thanks to Mikhail Gershtein and Gabriel Cunha]
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