.a. The whale skeleton
In the "Swiss Family Robinson" novel, the family had earlier discovered a beached whale and proceeded to cut it up, and much later they return to the island, in one version of the book, we discover a scene where the skeleton of a whale is found, and because the person who discovers it doesn't realise it is a whale expecting a whale's skeleton to be like that of a fish, decides that it must be an unknown mammoth creature,
|picture of the dead whale's half eaten remains|
(i) Swiss Family Robinson: chapter 26.
Jack discovers a skeleton
Jack discovers a skeleton
“Presently jack came back, shouting loudly, “Father! Mother! Do come and look. There’s an enormous skeleton lying here; the skeleton of some fearful great beast - a mammoth, I should think.”
“Why jack!” returned I laughing, “have you forgot our old acquaintance, the whale? What else could it be?”
“Oh no father, it is not the whale? This thing has not fishbones, but real, good, honest, huge beast bones. I don’t know what can have become of the whale - floated out to sea, most likely. This mammoth is ever so much bigger. Come and see!”
We hurried to inspect Jack’s mammoth skeleton, which, of course proved to be neither more nor less than that of the whale. I convinced him of the fact by pointing out the marks of our feet on the ground and the broke jaws where we hack out the whale bone
“Ernest put it into my head father. He said there seemed to be the skeleton of an antediluvian monster there, so I ran to look closer, and I never thought of the whale, when I saw no fishbones. I suppose Ernest was joking.”
Ib Melchior in his treatment for "Swiss Family Robinson In Space" developed the idea of the discovery of a giant humanoid skeleton in a cave filled with high technology and alien artifacts. The series was never made.
The scene involves the family taking shelter in a valley of stone pillars demonically carved by erosion, on Titan one of the moons of Saturn. One night from their treehouse, they see a light and the boys sojourn to discover the source of light which culminates in discovery of a cave, before which lies a giant alien skeleton. The cave itself is full of alien artifacts including a technological archive, strange glass tubes which revive a fearsome creature, a vat that gives birth to a monstrosity and a machine that causes the younges boy of the family to disappear.
- See "Ib Melchior: Man of Imagination", p212
|"Planet of the Vampires" poster|
Ib Melchior wrote the film script "Planet Of The Vampires". He includes the idea of skeletons of giants and in this case the remains of skeleton giants are discovered around a derelict spaceship. This managed to turn up in the final film made by Mario Bava.
|"Planet of the Vampires"' giant skeleton|
The scene in "Planet Of The Vampires" featuring the discovery of the alien giant skeletons is noted by the scriptwriter Dan O'Bannon, and he uses the idea in his script for the movie Alien, featuring the remains of a giant pilot skeleton fused to it's seat in a giant derelict space craft.
- Dan O'Bannon: "I stole the giant skeleton from Planet of the Vampires" (Something Perfectly Disgusting by Dan O'Bannon, Alien Quadrilogy DVD disc 2)
|comic book panel from The Eternals #1|
In 1976, Jack Kirby released a comic series called "The Eternals" that reveals in the first part of the story, a group of adventurers journey beneath the high planes of the Andes to a secret place the discovery of a giant statue of an ancient spacegod piloting a vehicle carved in stone. And around the chamber they discover other artifacts , outer space technology translated in terms of mythology., including a three passenger descent vehicle, three giant suits armed with with weapons attached by supports to a disc shaped craft. Jack Kirby a well known illustrator was known for drawing a comic book story about adventurers discovering an ancient face on Mars back in 1958 long before a photograph was taken by the Viking probe showing something that has continued to be described by many people as a Face on Mars. Some might argue that Ridley Scott's final Space Jockey design had been inspired by this picture but on the other hand, we can trace Giger's design for the entity back to 1967.
Now read: Development of the Space Jockey