June 2015

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Tuesday 30th June 2015
1) Added page about the filming the scene of The startled cat on the seat in Alien.
2) U pdated Alien: Life cycle of the alien with quotes from American Cinematographer, August 1979, p842 and Telerama n1548 12 Septembre 1979. Still the information seems slightly fragmented but I suppose they were just playing with general ideas. It might have been interesting to be able to listen in on the conversation about the whole thing that Ridley must have been having after the days shoot with Gordon Carroll  and others about where the life cycle and the background of the alien should go.
3) Updated Little Rascal with information from Michael Seymour about how they referred to the grown up third stage of the Alien life cycle, as The Little Rascal from American Cinematographer, August 1979, p805.
4) Updated "Guillermo Del Toro & Lovecraft's influence on Alien" with a little note about his mention of the alien as a "totemic god" in the New Yorker interview.
5) Added section on film director Jan Kounen and his relationship with Alien, copying out and translating interview fragments.

Monday 29th June 2015
1) Added a page full of mostly ancient images of Kokopelli. A question remains about how this character permeated Giger's art
2) Ed Arent shared with Weylan-Yutani Bulletin images showing Dark Horse Alien comics influence  on a couple of scenes in Alien Resurrection.

Sunday 28th June 2015
1) Updated Necronom III with information about the mysterious figure with tendrils coming from the back of his head most possibly being a mythological Hopi deity named Kokopelli. Many thanks to Wesley Stamper for identifying it.

Saturday 27th June 2015
1) Initial summation of the information about the God Light concept for the cinematography of Alien Resurrection. 

Monday 22nd June 2015
1) Added Vincenzo Natali's Stagenstein sequence from Hannibal season 3, episode 2

Sunday 21st June 2015
1) Added Gutalin's homage to Tron's MCP face? 

Saturday 20th June 2015
1) I've had a go at creating a star map based on the one that came with the online version of the Alien script and this one goes with the idea that if the Nostromo is still to arrive within this version of the outer rim, then Zeta II Reticuli is simply the nearest noteworthy star still some light years away within 'The Outer' rim and the planetoid is in some part of unexplored space around a star that might just be another catalogue number. I can only wish for something more to add to it. This has been added to this page Galactic Geography of Alien (I have used the star map from atlasoftheuniverse.com and acknowledge that there seems to be another four light light years to with stars to consider beyond the map used. http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/50lys)

2) Separated the origin of the Weylan-Yutani name from Industrial Conglomerates and Their Ships to create Origins of Weylan-Yutani which also leads from the index page for HP Lovecraft since Weylan possibly is partially inspired by the name Wayland used by Lovecraft in one of his stories and there's a novel at the time that perhaps brought to the surface the idea of these odd industrial conglomerates. Monday 15th June 2015
1) Updated Organic box like thing with comments made by Mike Matessino about what he saw when compiling the extras for the Alien Laserdisc
Thursday 11th June 2015
1) Added information to Industrial conglomerates and their ships about the alternate origin of the name Weylan from Weylan-Yutani
Wednesday 10th June 2015
1) Added an explora tion of Necronom I 
2) Added an exploration of Necronom II
3) Added an exploration of Necronom VI
Monday 8th June 2015
Added comparison between Necronom III's cartoon figure lost in the details and cartoon duck

Sunday 7th June 2015
Added an exploration of the painting Necronom IX
Saturday 6th June 2015
Added an exploration of the painting Necronom III
Friday 5th June 2015
Added more to Reaching Prometheus 2 with words taken from Ridley's closing thoughts on the continuation of Prometheus for a sequel from the director commentary for Prometheus
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Re-edited Alien treasure room / temple environment

Alien: Startled cat on the seat

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a) Idea of the cat in the seat startled
They had a scene where they needed to shoot Ripley, the last surviving crew member desperately looking for the cat to rescue, to take along to the shuttle since they are going to blow the whole ship up . So there was a scene where the cat was sleeping in the control seat, and she comes crawling in and finally sees it and startles the cat by touching a button that made the seat fly forwards, a cheap thrill but what this kind of genre wanted just to keep the viewers attention and the cat runs off, and she has to grab it, put it into this little box, and run out.

b) Getting the cat on the chair
They had to get a cat to sleep on a small chair. Ron Cobb went to watch the situation take because there was the crew on this entire spaceship set, the control room, the lights, the camera, the dolly , the director, the assistant director, and the makeup people and all the actors and there were assorted little cat cages that they had full of cats for different takes because once the cat got startled, they had to use a different cat, and so they all looked alike

c) Filming the shot
They would all sit around there very tense and quiet, waiting, and everybody is being very quiet while someone is trying to get the cat to go to sleep on this control seat.
Finally an assistant director with his loud megaphone is staying "Stand by!"
Everyone's getting ready and finally he says, "What? It's asleep! It's asleep!"
Someone says "Go!" and someone comes out and does the scene they shoot
"Here kitty kitty. Here kitty kitty." goes on until they startle the cat and they had to do this all over again, and get another cat to be calm and wait for it to go to sleep so they could startle this as well.


Source Quote
  1. Ridley Scott: Sigourney does the extraordinary thing of going back for a cat, where maybe her only real relationship on the space ship is the cat.  (alien-20th-anniversary-dvd-ridley-scott)
  2. Ridley Scott:Ah, yes Sigourney oddly enough, erm, going back for a cat, well, she's looking for Jones, is interesting because it shows a side of Sigourney which is er, softer and er, it's never really been introduced in the film up to now, but I think was interesting because you started to suspect the cat, so I wanted to keep the paranoia going in every direction now, particularly at the end because when you get to the end the cat is in the coffin with her or the hypersleep or the... with her... er one.... I think most of the audience were convinced that the cat had an alien...er the next alien inside it.
    (Ripley enters the control room)
    There's even low key life.. light levels, it's very tricky, because we're pretty well wide open on spherical...o-on I'm sorry, anamorphic, and erm, we saw a little bit of out of focus there. It just shows how few takes I was doing. At this point, I was really running against the gun. Great key now, we got a great cue coming in. And at.. course here, I wanted to promote the idea that Sigourney was next. It'sh is pretty obvious thing to be doing at this point. We want to put her in direct jeopardy, and I was always concerned about would the audience think, "why the hell is she going back for the cat?", but nobody seems to question it. Show's we got a whole bunch of animal loves out there. (1:28:00)
    (Sigourney finds the cat)
    She touched a seat button, that's what made the seat fly forwards, a cheap, a cheap thrill, but that's what this kind of genre needs, is you've got to keep coming up with original, ways of keeping sustaining of attention.
  3. (1:27:31) (1:29:15) Ridley Scott: Again would I buy Jonesy today? I didn't even think about it in those days,  I thought why not, you know, you have a cat, she'd be attached to the cat, like I've got dogs, I'd do anything for my dogs, would I go back for my dogs, absolutely.  (alien commentary from alien quadrilogy)
  4. Ron Cobb: They had a scene where we wanted to shoot the last surviving crew member desperately looking for the cat to rescue, to take if they are going to blow the whole ship up, and she's looking for the cat. So they had to have a scene where the cat was sleeping in the control seat, and she comes crawling in and finally sees it and startles the cat by touching a button and the seat jumps a little and the cat runs off, and she has to grab it, put it into this little box, and run out.

    The whole thing, of course, was to get this cat to sleep in this little chair. So I just went out there one day and saw this ludicrous situation because here is the crew on this entire spaceship set, the control room, the lights, the camera, the dolly, the director, and the assistant director, and the make-up people and all the actors, and the assorted little cats cages that they had full of cats for different takes because once the cat got startled, they had to use a different cat, so they all look alike. 

    We're all sitting around there very tense, waiting, and everybody is being very quiet while someone is trying to get this cat to go to sleep on this control seat. So you're sitting there  and everybody is being very quiet, and finally the assistant director with this very loud megaphone - -  the public address system was shot -- saying, "Stand by!

    Everybody's getting read and ready, and finally he says , "What? It's asleep! It's asleep!!" and somebody says, "Go!" and everybody comes out and does the scene, and they shoot, "Here kitty kitty. Here kitty kitty, " going along until they startle the cat. And they have to do this all over again, and they have to get this other cat, and they have to be calm, calm and wait for this cat to go to sleep. It was amazing. Just amazing because the whole deck of the spaceship was filled. (Rocket's Blast Comicollector # 148) 

Giger's Alien Monster III, homage to Max Von Moos' "Devil's Kitchen (or Stalingrad)" ?

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Photograph of HR Giger painting Alien Monster III, as printed in Total Film Summer 2014
Giger's Alien Monster III, 1978
a) Long wondering
For many years since I bought a copy of Giger's Alien back in the late eighties, I have wondered about the painting HR Giger's Alien Monster III. I observed the serpentine vision of Giger's Alien creature coming out of a sacrificial stone , with octopus like suckers running along its grey translucent body with it's tale poking out through a blood drain down the corner. The thing stares at the light coming through the circular window and multitudes of decrepid gnome like lemures reminiscent of the clay sausages that HR Giger was known to have used in making the alien eggs and perhaps the alien nest as well. They are pouring out of the crevices to surround this trapped alien being, they swim through the air like a shoal of seahorses, they are there to hear its every utterance, and in this small world it rules. The worm like Alien is an ancient creature inhabiting the sacrificial chamber waiting waiting for an ageless time to make its escape as it bathes in the ethereal starlight. It might be something of great danger to others should be be released. A giant disconnected hand gives away the idea that this image is abstract are we talking about Cocteau or Picacco? The chamber would have been loosely inspired by the birthing temple interior described in Dan O'Bannon's original Alien script, seen also in Ron Cobb and Chris Foss's illustrations of the scene.

b) Discovery
So I had the idea some years ago that I realise that Alien Monster III must have been inspired by something slightly Picasso-esque as a homage to some sort of an artist,  just as I worked out that Giger's Alien Monster IV was a homage to Jean Delville's Treasures of Satan in the 1990s

HR Giger's Alien Monster III, 1978 along side Max Von Moos' Teufelsküche (auch: Stalingrad), from 1944

c) Realisation after a passing
After HR Giger had finally passed on, I took a look at an article from in Kunst Nachrichten from Feb 1973 where Giger in an interview mentioned the names of some people that inspired him, and so my attention was drawn to Max Von Moos's name and his artwork fit the bill, something almost Picasso-esque, and then suddenly on Friday June 2014 I discovered this painting by Von Moos called Teufelsküche (auch: Stalingrad from 1944, and there are enough interesting similarities .

heads from Giger's Alien Monster III and Max Von Moos'  
Teufelsküche (auch: Stalingrad), from 1944, with similar 
pointed ear like shape
comparison between clay sausage gnome like lemures 
and side pipes from Teufelsküche turned on their side
comparison between other clay sausage lemures and
strange black bent pipe like thing with single red eye

d) Items to see
The painting in question shows a semi Picasso-esque  composition , including large hands, a block as a platform and serpentine or elongated forms stretching across and the lower back part of the person's hat or hood shows up in the form of the exposed area behind the jaw of the alien creature with the piping. 

Max Von Moos' Teufelsküche (auch: Stalingrad), from 1944

Swiss painter, Max Von Moos 1093-1979

Alien: Physicality of the Alien humanoid creature

Alien: Physicality of the Alien humanoid's head.

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a) Seeing organ
Giger's first design for the alien had large slanted black eyes that resembled motocyclist goggles, but they came to a decision where the monster had no eyes, but could see find exactly what it wanted, so the translucent shell upon the head somehow served as the creature's eye.  There wasn't an exact answer as to whether it could actually see or not with this as an eye or whether it could just as it were sense like an insect, Ridley didn't have the answer (See: "No, no eyes")

b) The Brain area
Ridley also would imagine the transparent dome of head as a gelatinous mass, a sort of thick aspect jelly and it is all brain. He thought about how the head in a way was almost like a horse's head but if it was touched, it would be soft like a firm jellyfish and this would be its brain

Quote sources
  1. Ridley Scott: I always thought that the head was remarkable. I always thought it was a gelatinous mass, thick aspic like jelly and it is all brain. It is almost like a horse's head but if you touched it, it would be soft, like a firm jelly-fish and that was its brain. (Ridley Scott Alien: The Director's Cut - Interview released on the internet on a site now long gone to promote the release of the director's cut)
  2. Ridley Scott: The first thing I wanted to see was something you didn't understand, so when Harry Dean Stanton goes after the cat, I figured I'd just bring him in from upside down, which was basically just a tail coming down behind his back, then a kind of jellified almost like aspic forehead. Then he turns around , then it comes up and you see its face, and then you knew you were in real trouble. (Alien Saga documentary)
  3. Ridley Scott: I loved the, what I call the jelly, the jelly bag, I always thought the head should be look, should be like aspic, you know what I mean by aspic, it should be like an aspic, erm, which, in , in itself was an eye, whether the alien could see or whether the alien could sense like an insect I didn't even ever have to answer that question. (Alien Legacy documentary)
  4. HR Giger: My first design had a large black eye, but then we thought it would be more frightening to have a monster that was blind, but could still find exactly what it wanted. So the eye became instead a translucent shell that covered the top of its head.  (Alien: The archive p71)

Dead body of a captain found but crew missing

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The mysterious Space Jockey from Alien fused to his seat.

a) In Alien, we find the mysterious remains of the Space Jockey in the alien derelict ship and perhaps there were other crew members who had gone missing.

b) The idea appears to have its origins in the 1897 Gothic horror novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker. There is a part in the story where Dracula leaves his castle to go to England,  and boards a Russian ship, the Demeter, taking along with him boxes of Transylvanian soil, which he needs in order to regain his strength. During the voyage to Whitby, a coastal town in northern England, he sustains himself on the ship's crew members. Only one body is later found, that of the captain, who is found tied up to the ship's helm. The captain's log is recovered and tells of strange events that had taken place during the ship's journey and Dracula leaves the ship in the form of a dog.

Dead Captain of the Demeter as portrayed in Nosferatu

Dead Captain of the Demeter as portrayed in Nosferatu

From Chapter eight of Bram Stoker's Dracula:


(Pasted in Mina Murray’s Journal.)

From a Correspondent.
ONE greatest and suddenest storms on record has just been experienced here, with results both strange and unique. The weather had been somewhat sultry, but not to any degree uncommon in the month of August. Saturday evening was as fine as was ever known, and the great body of holiday-makers laid out yesterday for visits to Mulgrave Woods, Robin Hood’s Bay, Rig Mill, Runswick, Staithes, and the various trips in the neighbourhood of Whitby. The steamers Emma and Scarborough made trips up and down the coast, and there was an unusual amount of “tripping” both to and from Whitby. The day was unusually fine till the afternoon, when some of the gossips who frequent the East Cliff churchyard, and from that commanding eminence watch the wide sweep of sea visible to the north and east, called attention to a sudden show of “mares’-tails” high in the sky to the north-west. The wind was then blowing from the south-west in the mild degree which in barometrical language is ranked “No. 2: light breeze.” The coastguard on duty at once made report, and one old fisherman, who for more than half a century has kept watch on weather signs from the East Cliff, foretold in an emphatic manner the coming of a sudden storm. The approach of sunset was so very beautiful, so grand in its masses of splendidly-coloured clouds, that there was quite an assemblage on the walk along the cliff in the old churchyard to enjoy the beauty. Before the sun dipped below the black mass of Kettleness, standing boldly athwart the western sky, its downward way was marked by myriad clouds of every sunset-colour—flame, purple, pink, green, violet, and all the tints of gold; with here and there masses not large, but of seemingly absolute blackness, in all sorts of shapes, as well outlined as colossal silhouettes. The experience was not lost on the painters, and doubtless some of the sketches of the “Prelude to the Great Storm” will grace the R. A. and R. I. walls in May next. More than one captain made up his mind then and there that his “cobble” or his “mule,” as they term the different classes of boats, would remain in the harbour till the storm had passed. The wind fell away entirely during the evening, and at midnight there was a dead calm, a sultry heat, and that prevailing intensity which, on the approach of thunder, affects persons of a sensitive nature. There were but few lights in sight at sea, for even the coasting steamers, which usually “hug” the shore so closely, kept well to seaward, and but few fishing-boats were in sight. The only sail noticeable was a foreign schooner with all sails set, which was seemingly going westwards. The foolhardiness or ignorance of her officers was a prolific theme for comment whilst she remained in sight, and efforts were made to signal her to reduce sail in face of her danger. Before the night shut down she was seen with sails idly flapping as she gently rolled on the undulating swell of the sea,
“As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.”
Shortly before ten o’clock the stillness of the air grew quite oppressive, and the silence was so marked that the bleating of a sheep inland or the barking of a dog in the town was distinctly heard, and the band on the pier, with its lively French air, was like a discord in the great harmony of nature’s silence. A little after midnight came a strange sound from over the sea, and high overhead the air began to carry a strange, faint, hollow booming.
Then without warning the tempest broke. With a rapidity which, at the time, seemed incredible, and even afterwards is impossible to realize, the whole aspect of nature at once became convulsed. The waves rose in growing fury, each overtopping its fellow, till in a very few minutes the lately glassy sea was like a roaring and devouring monster. White-crested waves beat madly on the level sands and rushed up the shelving cliffs; others broke over the piers, and with their spume swept the lanthorns of the lighthouses which rise from the end of either pier of Whitby Harbour. The wind roared like thunder, and blew with such force that it was with difficulty that even strong men kept their feet, or clung with grim clasp to the iron stanchions. It was found necessary to clear the entire piers from the mass of onlookers, or else the fatalities of the night would have been increased manifold. To add to the difficulties and dangers of the time, masses of sea-fog came drifting inland—white, wet clouds, which swept by in ghostly fashion, so dank and damp and cold that it needed but little effort of imagination to think that the spirits of those lost at sea were touching their living brethren with the clammy hands of death, and many a one shuddered as the wreaths of sea-mist swept by. At times the mist cleared, and the sea for some distance could be seen in the glare of the lightning, which now came thick and fast, followed by such sudden peals of thunder that the whole sky overhead seemed trembling under the shock of the footsteps of the storm.
Some of the scenes thus revealed were of immeasurable grandeur and of absorbing interest—the sea, running mountains high, threw skywards with each wave mighty masses of white foam, which the tempest seemed to snatch at and whirl away into space; here and there a fishing-boat, with a rag of sail, running madly for shelter before the blast; now and again the white wings of a storm-tossed sea-bird. On the summit of the East Cliff the new searchlight was ready for experiment, but had not yet been tried. The officers in charge of it got it into working order, and in the pauses of the inrushing mist swept with it the surface of the sea. Once or twice its service was most effective, as when a fishing-boat, with gunwale under water, rushed into the harbour, able, by the guidance of the sheltering light, to avoid the danger of dashing against the piers. As each boat achieved the safety of the port there was a shout of joy from the mass of people on shore, a shout which for a moment seemed to cleave the gale and was then swept away in its rush.
Before long the searchlight discovered some distance away a schooner with all sails set, apparently the same vessel which had been noticed earlier in the evening. The wind had by this time backed to the east, and there was a shudder amongst the watchers on the cliff as they realized the terrible danger in which she now was. Between her and the port lay the great flat reef on which so many good ships have from time to time suffered, and, with the wind blowing from its present quarter, it would be quite impossible that she should fetch the entrance of the harbour. It was now nearly the hour of high tide, but the waves were so great that in their troughs the shallows of the shore were almost visible, and the schooner, with all sails set, was rushing with such speed that, in the words of one old salt, “she must fetch up somewhere, if it was only in hell.” Then came another rush of sea-fog, greater than any hitherto—a mass of dank mist, which seemed to close on all things like a grey pall, and left available to men only the organ of hearing, for the roar of the tempest, and the crash of the thunder, and the booming of the mighty billows came through the damp oblivion even louder than before. The rays of the searchlight were kept fixed on the harbour mouth across the East Pier, where the shock was expected, and men waited breathless. The wind suddenly shifted to the north-east, and the remnant of the sea-fog melted in the blast; and then, mirabile dictu, between the piers, leaping from wave to wave as it rushed at headlong speed, swept the strange schooner before the blast, with all sail set, and gained the safety of the harbour. The searchlight followed her, and a shudder ran through all who saw her, for lashed to the helm was a corpse, with drooping head, which swung horribly to and fro at each motion of the ship. No other form could be seen on deck at all. A great awe came on all as they realised that the ship, as if by a miracle, had found the harbour, unsteered save by the hand of a dead man! However, all took place more quickly than it takes to write these words. The schooner paused not, but rushing across the harbour, pitched herself on that accumulation of sand and gravel washed by many tides and many storms into the south-east corner of the pier jutting under the East Cliff, known locally as Tate Hill Pier.
There was of course a considerable concussion as the vessel drove up on the sand heap. Every spar, rope, and stay was strained, and some of the “top-hammer” came crashing down. But, strangest of all, the very instant the shore was touched, an immense dog sprang up on deck from below, as if shot up by the concussion, and running forward, jumped from the bow on the sand. Making straight for the steep cliff, where the churchyard hangs over the laneway to the East Pier so steeply that some of the flat tombstones—“thruff-steans” or “through-stones,” as they call them in the Whitby vernacular—actually project over where the sustaining cliff has fallen away, it disappeared in the darkness, which seemed intensified just beyond the focus of the searchlight.
It so happened that there was no one at the moment on Tate Hill Pier, as all those whose houses are in close proximity were either in bed or were out on the heights above. Thus the coastguard on duty on the eastern side of the harbour, who at once ran down to the little pier, was the first to climb on board. The men working the searchlight, after scouring the entrance of the harbour without seeing anything, then turned the light on the derelict and kept it there. The coastguard ran aft, and when he came beside the wheel, bent over to examine it, and recoiled at once as though under some sudden emotion. This seemed to pique general curiosity, and quite a number of people began to run. It is a good way round from the West Cliff by the Drawbridge to Tate Hill Pier, but your correspondent is a fairly good runner, and came well ahead of the crowd. When I arrived, however, I found already assembled on the pier a crowd, whom the coastguard and police refused to allow to come on board. By the courtesy of the chief boatman, I was, as your correspondent, permitted to climb on deck, and was one of a small group who saw the dead seaman whilst actually lashed to the wheel.
It was no wonder that the coastguard was surprised, or even awed, for not often can such a sight have been seen. The man was simply fastened by his hands, tied one over the other, to a spoke of the wheel. Between the inner hand and the wood was a crucifix, the set of beads on which it was fastened being around both wrists and wheel, and all kept fast by the binding cords. The poor fellow may have been seated at one time, but the flapping and buffeting of the sails had worked through the rudder of the wheel and dragged him to and fro, so that the cords with which he was tied had cut the flesh to the bone. Accurate note was made of the state of things, and a doctor—Surgeon J. M. Caffyn, of 33, East Elliot Place—who came immediately after me, declared, after making examination, that the man must have been dead for quite two days. In his pocket was a bottle, carefully corked, empty save for a little roll of paper, which proved to be the addendum to the log. The coastguard said the man must have tied up his own hands, fastening the knots with his teeth. The fact that a coastguard was the first on board may save some complications, later on, in the Admiralty Court; for coastguards cannot claim the salvage which is the right of the first civilian entering on a derelict. Already, however, the legal tongues are wagging, and one young law student is loudly asserting that the rights of the owner are already completely sacrificed, his property being held in contravention of the statutes of mortmain, since the tiller, as emblemship, if not proof, of delegated possession, is held in a dead hand. It is needless to say that the dead steersman has been reverently removed from the place where he held his honourable watch and ward till death—a steadfastness as noble as that of the young Casabianca—and placed in the mortuary to await inquest.
Already the sudden storm is passing, and its fierceness is abating; crowds are scattering homeward, and the sky is beginning to redden over the Yorkshire wolds. I shall send, in time for your next issue, further details of the derelict ship which found her way so miraculously into harbour in the storm.
9 August.—The sequel to the strange arrival of the derelict in the storm last night is almost more startling than the thing itself. It turns out that the schooner is a Russian from Varna, and is called the Demeter. She is almost entirely in ballast of silver sand, with only a small amount of cargo—a number of great wooden boxes filled with mould. This cargo was consigned to a Whitby solicitor, Mr. S. F. Billington, of 7, The Crescent, who this morning went aboard and formally took possession of the goods consigned to him. The Russian consul, too, acting for the charter-party, took formal possession of the ship, and paid all harbour dues, etc. Nothing is talked about here to-day except the strange coincidence; the officials of the Board of Trade have been most exacting in seeing that every compliance has been made with existing regulations. As the matter is to be a “nine days’ wonder,” they are evidently determined that there shall be no cause of after complaint. A good deal of interest was abroad concerning the dog which landed when the ship struck, and more than a few of the members of the S. P. C. A., which is very strong in Whitby, have tried to befriend the animal. To the general disappointment, however, it was not to be found; it seems to have disappeared entirely from the town. It may be that it was frightened and made its way on to the moors, where it is still hiding in terror. There are some who look with dread on such a possibility, lest later on it should in itself become a danger, for it is evidently a fierce brute. Early this morning a large dog, a half-bred mastiff belonging to a coal merchant close to Tate Hill Pier, was found dead in the roadway opposite to its master’s yard. It had been fighting, and manifestly had had a savage opponent, for its throat was torn away, and its belly was slit open as if with a savage claw.

Later.—By the kindness of the Board of Trade inspector, I have been permitted to look over the log-book of the Demeter, which was in order up to within three days, but contained nothing of special interest except as to facts of missing men. The greatest interest, however, is with regard to the paper found in the bottle, which was to-day produced at the inquest; and a more strange narrative than the two between them unfold it has not been my lot to come across. As there is no motive for concealment, I am permitted to use them, and accordingly send you a rescript, simply omitting technical details of seamanship and supercargo. It almost seems as though the captain had been seized with some kind of mania before he had got well into blue water, and that this had developed persistently throughout the voyage. Of course my statement must be taken cum grano, since I am writing from the dictation of a clerk of the Russian consul, who kindly translated for me, time being short.
Varna to Whitby.
Written 18 July, things so strange happening, that I shall keep accurate note henceforth till we land.

On 6 July we finished taking in cargo, silver sand and boxes of earth. At noon set sail. East wind, fresh. Crew, five hands ... two mates, cook, and myself (captain).

On 11 July at dawn entered Bosphorus. Boarded by Turkish Customs officers. Backsheesh. All correct. Under way at 4 p. m.

On 12 July through Dardanelles. More Customs officers and flagboat of guarding squadron. Backsheesh again. Work of officers thorough, but quick. Want us off soon. At dark passed into Archipelago.

On 13 July passed Cape Matapan. Crew dissatisfied about something. Seemed scared, but would not speak out.

On 14 July was somewhat anxious about crew. Men all steady fellows, who sailed with me before. Mate could not make out what was wrong; they only told him there was something, and crossed themselves. Mate lost temper with one of them that day and struck him. Expected fierce quarrel, but all was quiet.

On 16 July mate reported in the morning that one of crew, Petrofsky, was missing. Could not account for it. Took larboard watch eight bells last night; was relieved by Abramoff, but did not go to bunk. Men more downcast than ever. All said they expected something of the kind, but would not say more than there was something aboard. Mate getting very impatient with them; feared some trouble ahead.

On 17 July, yesterday, one of the men, Olgaren, came to my cabin, and in an awestruck way confided to me that he thought there was a strange man aboard the ship. He said that in his watch he had been sheltering behind the deck-house, as there was a rain-storm, when he saw a tall, thin man, who was not like any of the crew, come up the companion-way, and go along the deck forward, and disappear. He followed cautiously, but when he got to bows found no one, and the hatchways were all closed. He was in a panic of superstitious fear, and I am afraid the panic may spread. To allay it, I shall to-day search entire ship carefully from stem to stern.

Later in the day I got together the whole crew, and told them, as they evidently thought there was some one in the ship, we would search from stem to stern. First mate angry; said it was folly, and to yield to such foolish ideas would demoralise the men; said he would engage to keep them out of trouble with a handspike. I let him take the helm, while the rest began thorough search, all keeping abreast, with lanterns: we left no corner unsearched. As there were only the big wooden boxes, there were no odd corners where a man could hide. Men much relieved when search over, and went back to work cheerfully. First mate scowled, but said nothing.

22 July.—Rough weather last three days, and all hands busy with sails—no time to be frightened. Men seem to have forgotten their dread. Mate cheerful again, and all on good terms. Praised men for work in bad weather. Passed Gibralter and out through Straits. All well.

24 July.—There seems some doom over this ship. Already a hand short, and entering on the Bay of Biscay with wild weather ahead, and yet last night another man lost—disappeared. Like the first, he came off his watch and was not seen again. Men all in a panic of fear; sent a round robin, asking to have double watch, as they fear to be alone. Mate angry. Fear there will be some trouble, as either he or the men will do some violence.

28 July.—Four days in hell, knocking about in a sort of maelstrom, and the wind a tempest. No sleep for any one. Men all worn out. Hardly know how to set a watch, since no one fit to go on. Second mate volunteered to steer and watch, and let men snatch a few hours’ sleep. Wind abating; seas still terrific, but feel them less, as ship is steadier.

29 July.—Another tragedy. Had single watch to-night, as crew too tired to double. When morning watch came on deck could find no one except steersman. Raised outcry, and all came on deck. Thorough search, but no one found. Are now without second mate, and crew in a panic. Mate and I agreed to go armed henceforth and wait for any sign of cause.

30 July.—Last night. Rejoiced we are nearing England. Weather fine, all sails set. Retired worn out; slept soundly; awaked by mate telling me that both man of watch and steersman missing. Only self and mate and two hands left to work ship.

1 August.—Two days of fog, and not a sail sighted. Had hoped when in the English Channel to be able to signal for help or get in somewhere. Not having power to work sails, have to run before wind. Dare not lower, as could not raise them again. We seem to be drifting to some terrible doom. Mate now more demoralised than either of men. His stronger nature seems to have worked inwardly against himself. Men are beyond fear, working stolidly and patiently, with minds made up to worst. They are Russian, he Roumanian.

2 August, midnight.—Woke up from few minutes’ sleep by hearing a cry, seemingly outside my port. Could see nothing in fog. Rushed on deck, and ran against mate. Tells me heard cry and ran, but no sign of man on watch. One more gone. Lord, help us! Mate says we must be past Straits of Dover, as in a moment of fog lifting he saw North Foreland, just as he heard the man cry out. If so we are now off in the North Sea, and only God can guide us in the fog, which seems to move with us; and God seems to have deserted us.

3 August.—At midnight I went to relieve the man at the wheel, and when I got to it found no one there. The wind was steady, and as we ran before it there was no yawing. I dared not leave it, so shouted for the mate. After a few seconds he rushed up on deck in his flannels. He looked wild-eyed and haggard, and I greatly fear his reason has given way. He came close to me and whispered hoarsely, with his mouth to my ear, as though fearing the very air might hear: “It is here; I know it, now. On the watch last night I saw It, like a man, tall and thin, and ghastly pale. It was in the bows, and looking out. I crept behind It, and gave It my knife; but the knife went through It, empty as the air.” And as he spoke he took his knife and drove it savagely into space. Then he went on: “But It is here, and I’ll find It. It is in the hold, perhaps in one of those boxes. I’ll unscrew them one by one and see. You work the helm.” And, with a warning look and his finger on his lip, he went below. There was springing up a choppy wind, and I could not leave the helm. I saw him come out on deck again with a tool-chest and a lantern, and go down the forward hatchway. He is mad, stark, raving mad, and it’s no use my trying to stop him. He can’t hurt those big boxes: they are invoiced as “clay,” and to pull them about is as harmless a thing as he can do. So here I stay, and mind the helm, and write these notes. I can only trust in God and wait till the fog clears. Then, if I can’t steer to any harbour with the wind that is, I shall cut down sails and lie by, and signal for help....

It is nearly all over now. Just as I was beginning to hope that the mate would come out calmer—for I heard him knocking away at something in the hold, and work is good for him—there came up the hatchway a sudden, startled scream, which made my blood run cold, and up on the deck he came as if shot from a gun—a raging madman, with his eyes rolling and his face convulsed with fear. “Save me! save me!” he cried, and then looked round on the blanket of fog. His horror turned to despair, and in a steady voice he said: “You had better come too, captain, before it is too late. He is there. I know the secret now. The sea will save me from Him, and it is all that is left!” Before I could say a word, or move forward to seize him, he sprang on the bulwark and deliberately threw himself into the sea. I suppose I know the secret too, now. It was this madman who had got rid of the men one by one, and now he has followed them himself. God help me! How am I to account for all these horrors when I get to port? When I get to port! Will that ever be?

4 August.—Still fog, which the sunrise cannot pierce. I know there is sunrise because I am a sailor, why else I know not. I dared not go below, I dared not leave the helm; so here all night I stayed, and in the dimness of the night I saw It—Him! God forgive me, but the mate was right to jump overboard. It was better to die like a man; to die like a sailor in blue water no man can object. But I am captain, and I must not leave my ship. But I shall baffle this fiend or monster, for I shall tie my hands to the wheel when my strength begins to fail, and along with them I shall tie that which He—It!—dare not touch; and then, come good wind or foul, I shall save my soul, and my honour as a captain. I am growing weaker, and the night is coming on. If He can look me in the face again, I may not have time to act.... If we are wrecked, mayhap this bottle may be found, and those who find it may understand; if not, ... well, then all men shall know that I have been true to my trust. God and the Blessed Virgin and the saints help a poor ignorant soul trying to do his duty....

Of course the verdict was an open one. There is no evidence to adduce; and whether or not the man himself committed the murders there is now none to say. The folk here hold almost universally that the captain is simply a hero, and he is to be given a public funeral. Already it is arranged that his body is to be taken with a train of boats up the Esk for a piece and then brought back to Tate Hill Pier and up the abbey steps; for he is to be buried in the churchyard on the cliff. The owners of more than a hundred boats have already given in their names as wishing to follow him to the grave.
No trace has ever been found of the great dog; at which there is much mourning, for, with public opinion in its present state, he would, I believe, be adopted by the town. To-morrow will see the funeral; and so will end this one more “mystery of the sea.”

Dan O'Bannon on Alien from Moebius Redux documentary interviews on Disc 2 of DVD set.

leading from 
Information from interview used in

Dan O'Bannon: Well, this is it, this is the book I borrowed from Giger in 1975. When Dune fell through, I came back to LA, I brought this book with me, not much else. I didn't know the picture was going to be cancelled, I came back here for Christmas, to see my friends, and I had a phone call, Dune was cancelled, so I lost all my clothes and my luggage and everything but I did have this, and erm, I had to do something with myself so I did Alien, and the idea for Alien, a lot of it came from inspirations I had when I was working on, on Dune with Jodorowsky and er, with Rudi. In particular, I had the idea for Alien as a movie for a long time, but I knew that I needed... the monster had to be something completely original that no one had ever seen before, and erm, when i saw this book I suddenly realised that this was the artist that I needed. Very simply, I looked at this and I said "If I could get this guy to design the monster in a monster movie, it would be something that no one had seen on a movie screen before, and at that point, I was in no position to hire Hans or do anything accept write the script, and I did write the script, and er, when we did eventually make a deal with Fox , arm, I just kept pushing Giger at them, I kept saying "Giger... Giger". They put me in charge of doing preliminary design before Ridley was hired on the picture, and I got them to erm, to hire Ron Cobb who's a local artist, and to fly in Chris Foss from England who I had just met on Dune, and erm, I used the same technique that Alejandro did, I set them up in the same room together and I sat with them. The idea being again that they would stimulate each other creatively by being together, and they did, they turned out wonderful designs, wonderful artists doing wonderful work, but Fox would still not hire Giger, because Giger wasn't a movie artist, he was some crazy fine artist from Europe or something. They wanted an art director, they wanted a production designer, this was in 1975. Star Wars had not come out yet, they wanted a movie designer. When er, when Ridley was finally hired, ah, to direct it. The first time I met him, I brought, I don't know if it was this book, but I brought a book of Giger and handed it to Ridley, and erm, Ridley immediately fell in love with the work, and so Giger was hired on by Twentieth to do it. (Moebius Redux documentary interviews on Disc 2 of DVD set)

Origins of Weylan-Yutani

leading from 

a) Dreams of Japanese industrial conglomerates
In 1977, Robert Asprin's novel Cold Cash War was released, a satire of business, war and politics that dealt with industrial conglomerates in the future and n this future, The book starts with a conflict between a communications conglomerate and an oil company involved in war simulations. Soon negotiating tactic results in non-military personnel becoming targets. Fake warfare immediately becomes real assassination. Soon there are other players involved as well. A Japanese zaibatsu representing a community of Japanese-based corporations prepares to get involved as well.  Information brokers and spies flit around the outskirts of the conflict, trying to figure out what's going on. And most ominous of all - the Communist nations (the "C-Block") sit silently in the background, biding their time as the capitalists kill one another off.
(Click here to read The Cold Cash War)

b) Leyland-Toyota
Since Ron Cobb might well have gone ahead and called the company Leyland-Toyota, but using those names would have invited trouble for the production. He came with a different version of such a name, he changed Leyland to Weylan, basically just changing the first letter and perhaps he wasn't sure about the spelling. Toyota had to be changed, and so Ron Cobb used the surname of his neighbour Yutani instead which still had the Y and the T.

British Leyland logo
Leyland had a tendency to be mutable.  Originally Leyland Motors which started off in the town of Leyland in North West England, would do things such as have a joint venture with an Indian company Ashok Motors to create Ashok Leyland in 1954 building cars in India until 1975.
However 1968 Leyland Motors merged with British Motor Holdings to become the conglomerate British Leyland. At the time, one might wonder what other transformations the company might undergo. Perhaps a company such as Toyota seemed like a good idea.

Toyota Logo

c) Going ahead with the Egyptian Motif
Ridley got to a point where he wanted to use the Egyptian motif that would be used with Weylan-Yutani logo and soon the words were dropped so that it was the Egyptian motif by itself and the joke got lost unless you looked closely at details such as labels on underwear, stationary and beer cans.

d) Weylan's origins in Lovecraft
However the named Wayland could also be found to be the middle name of Francis Wayland Thurston, a character who is the narrator of the story "Call of The Cthulhu" by HP Lovecraft , an author whose work Dan O'Bannon was very very familiar with. And a Francis Wayland in turn was president of Brown University from 1827 to 1855, a place which HP Lovecraft wished to attend.

Francis Wayland, president of Brown University, 1827-1855
Source Quote
  1. Review of The Cold Cash War: The Cold Cash War (1977) was Robert Asprin's first book. Asprin was later to establish a name for himself with humorous fantasy - the Myth Adventures series probably being his most impressive and longest-running contribution to the genre. However, in 1977, Asprin seemed to have a much more grim look at things.

    In The Cold Cash War, corporations are using military operations as a bizarre way of settling contract negotiations. Armies - all wearing special suits and using non-lethal weaponry - muck around in the wilderness (mostly Brazil).

    By employing armies of mercenaries to zap one another in this advanced form of lasertag, the corporations resolve their disagreements without having to deal with things like 'courts' or 'laws'.

    The book starts with a conflict between a communications conglomerate and an oil company, but its focus quickly expands. A negotiating tactic results in non-military personnel (e.g. 'Jan in Corporate') becoming fair targets. Fake warfare immediately becomes real assassination. It doesn't take long for the government to notice the sudden spate of dead executives, and fake warfare soon becomes dangerously real...

    There are other players involved as well. A Japanese zaibatsu - for no discernible reason - is preparing to get involved. Information brokers and spies flit around the outskirts of the conflict, trying to figure out what's going on. And most ominous of all - the Communist nations (the "C-Block") squat silently in the background, biding their time as the capitalists kill one another off.

    The story is told through a half-dozen disparate points of view. A corporate negotiator, an information broken, a mercenary commander and even one of the marketing team assigned to 'sell' the war to the public. Although some of these characters are only tangentially related to the story, Asprin does an excellent job of making these (thumbnail sketches of) characters interesting, if rarely empathetic, through the old-fashioned use of cinema-style smack-downs. I'm not sure I ever cared very much about Captain Tidwell, but his ability to punt a knife into a charging samurai is pretty cool, and certainly kept me reading.

    The book concludes with a bizarrely improbable resolution that neatly ties everything together while still managing to leave the reader slightly dissatisfied. The first half of The Cold Cash War is far superior - mercenaries blundering around in an adult version of Ender's Game is much more interesting than the vaguely Dystopian preachings of the inevitable corporate-government conflict. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Cold-Cash-Robert-Asprin/dp/0441113826)
  2. Ron Cobb: One of the things I enjoyed most about ALIEN was its subtle satirical content. Science Fiction films offer golden opportunities to throw in little scraps of information that suggest enormous changes in the world. There's a certain amount of potency in those kinds of remarks. Weylan-Yutani for instance is almost a joke but not quite. I wanted to imply that poor old England is back on its feet and has united with the Japanese, who have taken over the building of spaceships the same way they have now with cars and supertankers. In coming up with a strange company name, I thought of British Leyland and Toyota, but we obviously couldn't use Leyland-Toyota in the film. Changing one letter gave me Weylan, and Yutani was a Japanese neighbour of mine. I also thought it would be fun to develop a log using the W and Y interlocking. We tried a lot of variations and came up with some very industrial looking symbols, which were to be stenciled all over the ship. By that time though Ridley was already set on using the Egyptian wing motif. We tried some combinations, but they didn't really work. Weylan-Yutani now only appears on the beer can, underwear and some stationary, so the joke sort of got lost. (Alien Portfolio)
  3. John Mollo: Weylan-Yutani was Ron's invention and we all liked the sound of it. The name and the Egyptian wings were hotly pursued at the beginning, but we eventually dropped the words and just used the wings as a logo. (Alien Portfolio)
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Wayland
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Call_of_Cthulhu 
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashok_Leyland