Real Name: Albert Cotter

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: George Boyle, Walter Nevins (see comments)

Known Relatives: Elvira (wife)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed; temporarily trapped in "The Room of Mystery"

First Appearance: Uncanny Tales I#55/4 (July, 1957)

Powers/Abilities: Cotter was a normal human with no paranormal abilities; he enjoyed hunting with a rifle in his spare-time.

Cotter unintentionally became an astronaut when he unknowingly took shelter inside an experimental satellite during a blizzard; he was subsequently launched into space for an unspecified period of time before returning to Earth.

While in orbit, Cotter became accustomed to maneuvering himself in a low-gravity environment.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown

(Uncanny Tales I#55/4) - One winter day, Albert Cotter went alone into the woods to hunt; but while he was deep in the wilderness, a surprise blizzard suddenly began. Unable to see where he was going, Cotter became lost in the blinding snow as night fell.

   Cold, hungry, and tired, Cotter felt despondent as he wandered in the frozen darkness; but then he bumped into a door--he opened it, stepped inside, and was overjoyed to find a warm, fully-furnished, windowless room that was stocked with food. Closing the door behind him, Cotter figured that the room was a shack put there by the Forestry Service to help out lost people. The wind howled wildly outside, and the whole room seemed to lurch from its force, so Cotter decided to stay there until the storm was over. He stretched out on a bed to warm up, but the exhausted hunter fell asleep almost instantly.

   When Cotter awoke some time later, he couldn't tell how long he'd slept, but the storm outside sounded even worse. Cotter's stomach growled for want of food, so he decided to cook some of the supply of rations to eat--but as he pushed himself up from the bed, he was shocked when he didn't stop going up until he hit the ceiling! He quickly found that the least movement sent him forcefully in any direction, but a slight downward shove brought him back to the floor; thinking there was something very wrong with the mysterious room, Cotter wanted to get out as fast as he could, but he quickly changed his mind when he heard the shrieking wind outside and decided to stay.

   Learning to move cautiously, Cotter made his way to the stove and began to fry himself some eggs, but as he tried to flip them over in the pan with a very gentle movement, the eggs remained floating in midair! It was a maddening and frustrating experience for Cotter, for everything he touched either went to the ceiling, hung inches over the table, or crashed to the floor.

   Cotter finally found that by being very careful, he was able to make his way to some food boxes stored on the floor--by that time, he was so hungry that even dried foods from cartons tasted good to him.

   At some point later, when he no longer heard the awful wind roaring, Cotter opened the door and stepped outside to see that the blizzard was over--the night was calm and peaceful, and best of all, there was a bright full moon to light his way. Figuring he'd now be able to recognize his surroundings, Cotter left the mysterious shack and hurried back home, because he thought his wife would be frantic with worry.

   An hour after Cotter left, two scientists--Walter Nevins and George Boyle--entered the room to find it a complete mess, although they were pleased to see that the oxygen tanks had functioned properly. The scientists attributed the disorderly condition of the room to the loss of gravity--but that didn't explain the fried eggs, the opened cartons, or the eaten food.

   As they walked away from the "shack" (which was no shack at all, but actually their recently returned test satellite), the scientists theorized that perhaps there were creatures in space who got into the satellite while it orbited 5,000 miles above Earth...

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Angelo Torres (artist).

This 4-page story--Trapped in the Room of Mystery!--was done with a surprise ending, so the reader didn't learn that Cotter had actually been aboard an orbiting satellite until the last story-panel.

Although I have them listed as his enemies, there was no indication that Cotter even knew of the existence of Boyle and Nevins (nor they of him), so any enmity between them was purely anonymous and unintentional.

Since the satellite didn't appear to use conventional chemical rockets, my guess is that it was a revolutionary design developed by Boyle and Nevins that used some form of anti-gravity/magnetic propulsion. And since they launched the satellite secretly from the wilderness rather than a military base, the two scientists were probably working independently from the government. Since the Cold War was going on at the time of this story, maybe Boyle and Nevins were working on some way to flee Earth in the event of atomic warfare.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Albert Cotter has no known connections to:

George Boyle has no known connections to:

Walter Nevins has no known connections to:

George Boyle and Walter Nevins

Two scientists, they built an experimental satellite and launched it from the wilderness during a blizzard (see comments).

When the satellite returned from its test-flight, they found the furnished interior in a state of disarray--Boyle attributed the mess to the loss of gravity while the satellite was in orbit, and Nevins said they'd have to take that problem into account in the future. Boyle was pleased to find that the oxygen tanks had functioned perfectly. But they were both troubled when they found fried eggs and opened boxes of food inside.

As they walked away from their satellite, Boyle theorized that creatures in space had gotten inside the satellite while it was in orbit, and Nevins agreed with him--they were unaware that Albert Cotter had been a reluctant stowaway aboard their satellite when he unknowingly went inside to take shelter during the blizzard.

--Uncanny Tales I#55/4

"The Room of Mystery"

It was actually an experimental satellite built by George Boyle and Walter Nevins. Its air-tight, windowless, and heated interior included furniture and kitchen appliances, and it was equipped with oxygen tanks and a supply of food rations. It flew by some unrevealed means of propulsion (see comments).

While Albert Cotter was hunting in the woods, he became lost during a blizzard and unknowingly took shelter inside the satellite; the exhausted Cotter fell asleep when the satellite was launched into orbit 5,000 miles away from Earth.

Cotter awoke and immediately experienced problems caused by the absence of gravity, but he still managed to eat some of the food. When the satellite returned to its launching point, the blizzard was over, so Cotter left to return home--he was completely ignorant of the fact that he had traveled into space.

An hour later, Boyle and Nevins inspected the interior of their satellite and found it in a state of disarray--they attributed the mess inside to the loss of gravity, but that didn't explain the open boxes of food (...eaten by Cotter).

As they walked away from their test satellite, Boyle theorized to Nevins that creatures from space had eaten the food.

--Uncanny Tales I#55/4

images: (without ads)
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Albert Cotter walking in blizzard)
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p2, pan3 (Headshot - Albert Cotter inside "room of mystery")
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p2, pan7 (as he climbs out of bed, Albert Cotter hits his head on ceiling of "room of mystery")
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p3, pan5 (while frying eggs in "room of mystery," Albert Cotter experiences effects of zero gravity)
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p4, pan2 (Walter Nevins (left) and George Boyle (right) inspect interior of "room of mystery")
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p4, pan3 (Walter Nevins (left) and George Boyle (right) wonder how boxes of food were opened)
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p1, pan3 (Albert Cotter enters "room of mystery" (interior))
Uncanny Tales I#55/4, p4, pan6 (George Boyle (left) and Walter Nevins (right) leaving "room of mystery" (actually their test satellite) (exterior))

Uncanny Tales I#55/4 (July, 1957) - unidentified writer, Angelo Torres (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 04/27/2019
Last updated: 04/27/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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