Since the return of Star Wars and Jurassic Park, as well as the emergence of all the new Marvel films it’s abundantly clear that nerd television is coming back to our screens, it’s kind of a big deal these days.
As a big nerd when it comes to detective/drama/Cryptozoology/aliens the X Files fit the bill just right, and with a six part mini series that aired in January I was more than excited when the X Files decided to take advantage of the nostalgia.
Having watched the X Files since it was first aired (my parents didn’t seem to mind what me and my brother watched on the TV), I constantly had to remind my young self that it was just a TV show, that none of these monsters were going to get me… when in reality more than one X Files episode was based on real stories, and here is a list of five X Files episodes that were inspired by true events.
The truth is out there.
1. The Erlenmeyer Flask
The Episode; Mulder and Scully have been given some information from Deep Throat about a missing fugitive that has something to do with an extraterrestrial virus. Whilst investigating, Mulder comes across the fugitive (Dr William Secare) and Secare collapses due to blood loss, whilst in the ambulance a poisonous gas emits from Secare and overcomes all of the paramedics, whilst Secare makes a run for it.
The Truth; During the early 90s a woman, named Gloria Ramirez, was taken into the Emergency Room, in a Californian hospital. Doctors worked tirelessly on her but unfortunately she died, due to cervical cancer. Other than that her case was perfectly normal, but what made Ramirez a true X File was that the nurses and doctors who worked on her soon passed out after being with her. Doctors began noticing strange occurrences with Gloria, that weren’t related to her illness, for example her body had a soft luster to it – almost as if she had a thin layer of oil on her skin. Her breath had a scent of garlic and when a nurse drew blood from Gloria there was an ammonia-like smell coming from the blood.
The Episode; This is one of the X Files most famous episodes, mainly due to the fact that many networks refused to air it (and the creators having to cut a quite gory scene in which a couple get beaten to death). Having spent most of their time dealing with aliens, Mulder and Scully are quite stumped at the case of a deformed baby they have found buried alive. The main suspects are three brothers, who usually keep themselves to themselves – or so the Sheriff would have them believe, when in reality they are extremely interbred and are wanting to, let’s say, keep it in the family.
The Truth; This is maybe the episode on this list with the least credibility, but I wanted to add it anyway because if it’s true it’s a fantastic, albeit creepy, story. It’s two stories woven together. The writers of the X Files were inspired by watching a documentary called ‘Brother’s Keeper’ which was about four New York brothers (with low IQs), one of which was accused of murdering a brother (but was later acquitted due to insufficient evidence). The second part comes from a story from none other than Charlie Chaplin, who stayed at a home where the family had a quadruple amputee living under a bed. It’s a genuine story that Chaplin had written in his autobiography from his early days on the road, when he would stay in the cheapest lodging’s he could find. His book reads;
A half man with no legs, an oversized, blond, flat-shaped head, a sickening white face, a sunken nose, a large mouth and powerful muscular shoulders and arms, crawled from underneath the dresser … “Hey, Gilbert, jump!” said the father and the wretched man lowered himself slowly, then shot up by his arms almost to the height of my head.
“How do you think he’d fit in with a circus? The human frog!”
I was so horrified I could hardly answer. However, I suggested the names of several circuses that he might write to.
3. The Jersey Devil
The Episode; An early episode of the X Files, and one of the first episodes to stray away from aliens, Mulder and Scully are investigating the death of a person in New Jersey that have been found without their arm or shoulder. Whilst investigating, a homeless man shows Mulder a drawing of a ‘beast’ that has been roaming around, and killing people, in New Jersey since the 1940s. The ‘Jersey Devil’ in question ends up being a feral couple.
The truth; Whilst feral children and adults have been widely reported throughout history, and haven’t ever really harmed anyone, the X Files took it to another level where they mixed the idea of a feral person and reports of a creature known only as ‘The Jersey Devil’. The Jersey Devil has been reported as being a creature that was the 13th child of a mother, and when it was born it looked hideous, so she did the only thing a mother could do in that situation and dump the baby in the woods – only for it to come back and begin to attack people and their cars, as reports say.
The Episode; A team of soldiers arrive at an abandoned leprosy research compound. One patient watched in horror as the soldiers shoot the rest of the patients, which included alien-hybrids, into a mass grave. Scully finds patients who have escaped, who go on to tell her that they were part of some sort of inhumane experiments, and since Zama (whom experimented on them) had left them there were ‘deathsquads’ sent to erase all the patients that had been left.
The Truth; This episode is actually named after Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army. The unit was responsible for human subject research on POWs and even civilians. The creator of the X Files, Chris Carter, felt as though the story was like a real-life X File after he learnt about the atrocities that befell these poor individuals who were raped, tortured, and were made to be subjects of biochemical warfare agents -throw in some aliens and you’ve got an episode of the X Files.
The Episode; A dangerous pesticide has hit a small town in America which effects people into the paranoid delusion that monitors and other electrical are telling them to kill. The residents of the town begin to get increasingly violent, and the murder rates of the town build up. The climax of the episode features one of the victim climbing up a clock tower and shooting the unsuspecting public below.
The Truth; In 1966, at the University of Texas, Charles Whitman began opening fire on the top of a clock tower and murdered sixteen innocent people, in cold blood. Whitman told the detectives that he was getting messages to kill people, and it became to intense to ignore. Whilst this wasn’t due to a pesticide, rather it is suspected that Whitman had a brain tumor at the time which gave him the paranoid delusions, it is an eerily true to life episode of the X Files.