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DOUGLAS ERROL

Real Name: Douglas Errol

Identity/Class: Human (pre-World War II era)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: J.C. York (Daily Bugle staff reporter)

Enemies: Ruby Tucker

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
   formerly lived in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.A., Earth

First Appearance: 1939 Daily Bugle#1 (August, 2009)

Powers/Abilities: None described

Limitations: Believed to suffer from alcoholism

Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

History:
(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Douglas Errol was a longtime resident of Morristown, New Jersey. However, almost nothing else has been revealed about his life prior to certain events that occurred in the year 1939.

(Fantastic Four I#91 (fb)/1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) <1935> - One night, John "Machine Gun" Martin, a convicted killer and reputed mobster who was serving time in an unspecified state prison in upstate New York, broke out of that prison. As searchlights illuminated him, Martin fled on foot even as the guards opened fire on him. Under the cover of darkness, Martin managed to elude the pursuing guards and their dogs for a time. Now the subject of a countywide manhunt, Martin made it to a remote marsh where the authorities came to believe they had him cornered.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - As they were closing in on Martin in the marsh, many officers of the law who were present on site observed a dimly lit, disc-shaped vehicle rise from the ground and take off at fantastic speed until they lost sight of it. These officers reported their sighting and, when Martin was never found, the vehicle was initially assumed to be some sort of getaway craft arranged by his fellow gangsters.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Over the next few years, as dime-novel science-fiction stories of moon men and spacecraft rose in popularity, more fanciful explanations for the craft's origins were suggested. Douglas Errol was one of those who believed in such an explanation for Martin's disappearance.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) <early October 1939> - Douglas Errol was one of several Morristown residents who reported a rash of sightings of a large cylindrical metallic object flying through the air. Errol, who reported sighting the object near his home on four consecutive nights, described it as resembling a "flying saucer...about fifteen or twenty feet across, rotating and making odd humming sounds."

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Douglas Errol made several attempts to speak to Morristown's city council about the matter but was unsuccessful.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Errol also claimed that he had seen the craft land in the backyard of his neighbor, the widow Ruby Tucker, and that a "little green man" had emerged and transformed into the shape of Ruby Tucker.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Errol's claim about Ruby Tucker caused him to lose most of his credibility. It was probably not a coincidence that he was cited for public drunkenness.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Errol was interviewed in his home by Daily Bugle staff reporter J.C. York. When it was suggested that the craft might be some sort of small Zeppelin, Errol disagreed, stating that the ship's speed far outstripped that of any Zeppelin. When the craft's similarity to the descriptions of the disc-shaped vehicle sighted in 1935 in the remote marsh in upstate New York where escaped convict "Machine Gun" Martin had disappeared was mentioned, Errol revealed that he was one of those people who believed that the supposed getaway craft was not actually of Earthly origin. Instead, Errol stated, "It's men from other worlds. I've no doubt about it. They took Martin then, and they've come back for more of us! They've come back for me!"

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - On Friday, October 13th, 1939, after there had been no "saucer" sightings on the previous two nights, reporter J.C. York returned to Errol's home to ask his opinion about its absence but was unable to locate him.

(1939 Daily Bugle#1 (fb) - BTS) - Later that day, York's article about the recent "flying saucer" sightings in Morristown was printed on page 6 of the Late City Final edition of the Daily Bugle in the Local News section. York's story included the prevailing assumption that Errol had left town to visit relatives and calm his nerves, and ended by stating that the paper would be seeking a follow-up.

Douglas Errol has not been seen since.

Comments: Created by Jeph York (a.k.a. Daily Bugle Staff Reporter J.C. York)

   This may be stating the obvious, but I think the story pretty clearly implies that "Ruby Tucker" was actually a Skrull and that Douglas Errol, as an inconvenient witness, would not be coming back home...ever.

   However, one thing was left unclear: Was Errol right about seeing a "little green man?" Or was it really a little green WOMAN?

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Douglas Errol has no known connections to:

Ruby Tucker has no known connections to:


Daily Bugle article

   On Friday, October 13, 1939, the Late City Final edition of the Daily Bugle included a "Local News" item on page 6 about recent sightings of "flying saucers" in Morristown, New Jersey.

   An image of that article is presented on the right. The text of that article has been reproduced below in a larger size so it can be more legible to some readers. Information about the two pictures from that article is available in the Notes beneath the article.

 

"FLYING SAUCER" SIGHTINGS WORRY NEW JERSEY TOWN
CONNECTION SOUGHT TO PREVIOUS INCIDENT?
By J.C. York - Bugle Staff Reporter


      MORRISTOWN, NJ - Local residents have recently reported a rash of sightings of a large metallic craft flying through the New Jersey skies. Several residents have described it as cylindrical, with a round flat underside, a large raised bump on the top and multiple lights ringing the sides, moving at great speed, or hovering in place over various wooded areas.

      Longtime resident Douglas Errol, who has reported sighting the object near his home on four consecutive nights, described it as resembling a "flying saucer...about fifteen or twenty feet across, rotating and making odd humming sounds." Speculation immediately ran to some sort of small Zeppelin, but no landing strips in the area still service the cumbersome vehicles, and Errol maintains that the ship's speed far outstrips that of a Zeppelin. Local police and military officials report that they are "looking into the sightings," but deny any involvement and declined to make any further statements.

      Interestingly, descriptions of the craft match those recorded by prison officials and policemen four years ago in upstate New York, during a prison breakout by convicted killer and reputed mobster John "Machine Gun" Martin. Martin was the subject of a countywide manhunt after his escape, but just as authorities believed they had him cornered in a remote marsh, many officers of the law on site reported seeing a dimly lit, disc-shaped vehicle rise from the ground and take off "at fantastic speed...straight up until we lost sight of it." Martin was never found, and the vehicle was assumed to be some sort of getaway craft arranged by his fellow gangsters - although over the years, as dime-novel "science-fiction" stories of moon men and spacecrafts have risen in popularity, more fanciful explanations for the craft's origins have been offered.

      Errol ascribes to the latter interpretation. "It's men from other worlds. I've no doubt about it. They took Martin then, and they've come back for more of us! They've come back for me!" Errol has made several attempts to speak to Morristown's city council, but lost much of his credibility when he claimed that the craft landed in his neighbor's backyard, and a "little green man" emerged and transformed into the shape of his neighbor, the widow Ruby Tucker. Errol was cited for public drunkenness and city officials are urging calm.

      The "saucer" has not been seen for the last two nights. However, when this reporter returned to Errol's home to ask his opinion about its absence, he was unable to be located. It is assumed that Errol has left town to visit relatives and calm his nerves, and this paper will seek a follow-up

Story continues in Fantastic Four Masterworks Vol. 9 HC and Secret Invasion: The Infiltration TPB.

 

Notes: The image at the top right of the article is a black-and-white photograph of Martin that is almost identical to the main profile's main image. The caption below the photo reads Missing mobster "Machine Gun" Martin.

 

   The image at the bottom of the article in a black-and-white illustration instead of a photograph. The caption below it reads Artist's conception of Morristown's "flying saucers."

 

   Both of these images originated in Fantastic Four I#91, with one from the last panel on page 12 and the other from the third panel on page 3. While I approve of the idea of using images from the original story, their use is unfortunately problematic because neither of these images would have been available to any newspaper on Earth. The "photo" that shows Martin being held at gunpoint is actually a cropped image of him being held at gunpoint by the Skrull slaver aboard the Skrull slave ship, an event that no human photographer was present to capture on film.
   As for the "artist's conception" of the flying saucers, this supposed drawing happens to look exactly like a cropped image of the Skrull slave ship fleet as they travelled through space to the planet Kral.

   In retrospect, it might have been better if new images had been created for this article, ones that an Earthly newspaper could conceivably have obtained. Martin's official mug shot would have been a good alternate choice.

 

   The Marvel Database wiki contains a VERY edited version of this "newspaper story" on its webpage for 1939 Daily Bugle #1. I have to wonder why, if they were going to include the story, they didn't bother to copy it word-for-word, like I did.

--1939 Daily Bugle#1


Ruby Tucker

   A widow who lived in Morristown, New Jersey, Mrs. Tucker was a neighbor of Douglas Errol. No further personal details about her or her late husband have ever been revealed, and no photographs or physical descriptions of either of the Tuckers are known to exist.

   In early October of 1939, Douglas Errol and several other Morristown residents reported sightings of a large metallic cylindrical object flying through the sky, with Errol claiming to have seen the object near his home on four consecutive nights. However, Errol damaged his credibility when he further claimed that he had also seen the "flying saucer" land in Mrs. Tucker's backyard and observed a "little green man" emerge from it and then transform into the shape of Ruby Tucker.

   How Ruby Tucker reacted to what Douglas Errol claimed he had seen in her backyard has not been revealed.

--Mentioned in 1939 Daily Bugle#1

Also perhaps stating the obvious, but it would seem like Ruby had either been replaced and impersonated by a Skrull, or perhaps there never was a human counterpart for the Ruby identity taken by a Skrull--Snood


images:
1939 Daily Bugle#1, left half of page 6 (1939 Local News story)
      page 6, panel 2 (illustration of flying saucers)


Only Mention:
2939 Daily Bugle#1 ([August] 2009) - John Rhett Thomas, Jess Harrold, Sheila Johnson, Dug Trodglen and Jeph York (writers), Chance Fiveash (penciler), John Rhett Thomas (editor)


First Posted: 12/14/2019
Last updated: 12/14/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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