"Clouds of Madness"
Countdown #49, January 22, 1972
Art: Brian Lewis
The aliens jettison canisters of gas down
to Earth's surface, turning those who come into contact with it
Read the story summary at Technodelic
NOTES FROM THE UFO CHRONOLGOY
At the end of the story Straker proclaims that one Interceptor in
every flight will now carry a missile containing several small
individual shells that will spread out on launch like shotgun
pellets to stop the gas canisters released by a UFO. There is no
evidence of this change in the televised episodes of UFO,
so one might assume this story takes place after the TV series
This is a 6-page, self-contained story in
Countdown #49, January 22, 1972.
Though the strip is in black-and-white, on the last panel of
page 1, it appears that one of the purple-wigged Moonbase
girls is manning a station at Earthside SHADO HQ. In the
televised episodes, the females only wore the wigs while on
Moonbase, as part of their uniform.
A batch of the alien gas canisters lands upon the grounds of
the Duke of Brandon. The title of Duke of Brandon is part of
the Peerage of Scotland and was created in 1711. The holder
of the older title of Duke of Hamilton is the also the
holder of the Duke of Brandon title. In the 1980s of the
real world (when this story takes place, but written in
1971), the Duke of Brandon was Angus Douglas-Hamilton
(1938-2010), the title held from 30 March 1973 – 5 June 2010.
On page 5 of the story, the Duke's herd of highland cattle,
under the influence of the alien gas, attacks Straker and
Freeman. Highland cattle are a Scottish breed of cattle with
long coats and horns, just as depicted here.
What did the aliens hope to accomplish by using gas that would make
humans (and other mammals) on Earth become suddenly violent? Was it
meant to keep SHADO and other military forces busy while UFOs raided
other parts of the planet for human bodies?
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