A prop decorating the desk of Hellblazer. And also a prop that’s been speculated as the real thing, commonly associated with the Salinas case, which in fact involves another, similar but clearly different alleged alien. Which is not pickled.
The association of this toy with the Salinas case is interesting because Jorge Martin, one of the main promoters of the Salinas case, also promoted in 1997 a case involving a pickled alien, which was later found out to be a toy. So we have three cases here: the alien prop shown in these images, the Salinas case which doesn’t involve a prop, and the case involving an alien toy, specifically a keychain, the later two of them associated with Martin.
No reason for confusion, huh?
The prop here is made with latex and latex webbing, it can be bought for less than fifty dollars and is everywhere. That is, the three photos you see are not of the exact same object – you can notice there are three different jars – but they were all made the same way, all bought for a couple dozen bucks.
Aliens in jars are a recurrent theme. Another popular image is this one:
Which is yeat another prop, this one even cheaper. It comes with an “alien in bottle keychain”:
If you pay close attention you can see that the original image had not only the exact same jar, but that it was also made of plastic – noticeable from the seem running across it.
In 2006, Barney Broom promoted the “mysterious discovery of an alien in his attic”, a story that made it to The Guardian but didn’t resonate that much. It was a bigger, exclusive prop, but somehow it didn’t resonate.
It’s easy to see why pickled aliens are so popular: capturing monster inside bottles is an archetypical image deriving from centuries-old wonder-rooms. And another recent case illustrates the connection nicely.
Also in 2006, Piotr Cielebias promoted this story:
“Location. Kuala Pahang, Pahang, Malaysia
Date: February 20 2006 Time: daytime
A fisherman, Ahmad Affendi, 22, and a few friends found a small bottle on a beach. After shaking the bottle he realized that there was a small figure inside, measuring about 15cm in height. However the tiny figure, which was greenish in color and had a pair of red eyes did not move. The tiny being was wrapped in a black cloth and tied with a white string. Ahmad Affendi took it to an elderly man, Ismail Omar, 94, who then opened the bottle. He claimed that the being was still alive. The witness then took it to the police station but was advised to hand it to the museum. While at the museum over 600 people managed to have a look at the strange figure but unfortunately due to superstitious beliefs they threw it away into the sea less than 24 hours later. It is a common belief in Malaysia that such creatures have bad spiritual effects and should not be kept.”
It looks like a bottled alien doesn’t it? Certainly that’s the context in which the story was promoted.
From Malaysian vampires to Pickled Alien keychains, such is the current state of affairs of Aliens in jars.
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- Noguez, L, “Enlatados: Extraterrestres en Conserva”, pp 87-124, Extraterrestres ante las cámaras, vol 2, Lulu, 2009.
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