On a sunny morning in 1975, a science teacher was “attacked” by a bizarre being that was hovering above his Long Island home. This aggressive and nebulous creature shocked this young father and almost certainly changed the way he would look at the sky for the remainder of his life.
Most of us would agree that of all the horrifying things (known and unknown) one might bump into on this tiny blue orb we call home, the least threatening of these would be a small fluffy cloud. Bearing that in mind, one can only assume that when Garden City Junior High School science teacher, Tom D’Ercole, woke up that bright, warm morning, the last thing in the world he probably expected to confront would be a malevolent — or at the very least mischievous — cloud-like critter.
This undeniably unusual event occurred during the summer of 1975, and was first chronicled by the prolific Jerome Clark in his book: “Unexplained! Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena”
On the morning in question, D’Ercole had just stepped out of his Oyster Bay home and was about to climb into his car when he noticed something unusual suspended just above his house. It was what appeared to be a very small, dark cloud floating far below the scattered cumulocirrus clouds that drifted at a much higher altitude.
Naturally, as a man of science, D’Ercole was intrigued by the odd, vaporous object that seemed to be defying meteorological laws by traveling against the prevailing wind. He stared in wonder as “the cloud seemed to move and slightly enlarge as [he] watched it.”
D’Ercole later described how the enigmatic cloud-like “thing” changed shape with the kind of acumen one would expect of a science teacher:
“This basketball-sized cloud floated back and forth across the peak of the roof, changing in shape from a small globular mass to a larger ovoid and finally becoming an abstract, multi-curved, dark, vaporous ‘something.’ It finally measured about six feet in height and one and a half feet in width.”
Already perplexed by this undulating anomaly, D’Ercole would be traumatized by what happened next. According to the mystified educator, this sentient cloud-like creature seemed to open its’ wispy maw and “inhale.”
As if this weren’t strange enough, the thing then pursed what D’Ercole described as “lips” and expectorated a deluge of water down upon the teacher and his vehicle.
The now drenched D’Ercole could only watch in bewilderment as the cloud creature simply dissolved before his eyes. Wasting no time the teacher ran into his house, bagged the wet shirt — which contained the only tangible evidence of his fantastic encounter — and changed into dry clothes.
Whatever plans D’Ercole may have had for that sun-drenched day were postponed as the he made a beeline to his lab at Garden City Junior High.
Once there, the teacher ran a pH test on his soaked shirt and found — to both his relief as well as consternation — that the substance that he and his car had been exposed to was nothing more exotic (or toxic) than H20.
While there are more than a few cases of ATMOSPHERIC MONSTERS and floating fiends like the DARK BABY and the GHOSTLY SCARECROW OF CHIANG RAI, sightings of cloud-like apparitions are fairly rare — likely due to the almost perfect camouflage Mother nature has provided them with — and even fewer of them include human/cryptid interactions.
As absurd as this account may seem to be, one must assume that whatever it was that D’Ercole saw, his testimony should be believed; not only because of his academic background, but also due to the fact that a teacher would have very little to gain (and a lot to lose) by coming forward with a story as bizarre as this
Still, if D’Ercole’s observations are accurate and this UNCLASSIFIED UFO-like entity is actually a sentient being, then biological science as a whole is going to have to reevaluate their definition regarding what constitutes a living organism. Perhaps sky dwelling gaseous beings are the most abundant form of life on Earth and we just never bothered — or possessed the right scientific tools — to notice.
So the next time you look skyward, take a moment to ponder the nearly infinite varieties of life as we know it, and contemplate all of the possibilities that science has yet to consider. The skies above us may well be full of intelligent life. But be cautious that your gaze doesn’t linger too long… because while you’re staring up, it just may be that something is staring back.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto chronicler / pod host / cult movie lover and co-founder of American Monsters.