‘Files Of The Unexplained’ Episode 7 “Bizarre Blobs of Washington” Recap

If you’ve watched Russell Chuck’s 1988 movie The Blob as a kid, my sympathies. Anybody who has seen the movie is bound to be uncomfortable at the mention of blobs throughout their lives. Netflix’s Files of the Unexplained takes you to a small town in Washington where mysterious blobs fell out of the sky in the early 90s.


What Happened In Oakville?

From August 7, 1994, a series of rainy days began in Oakville. Oakville residents Sunny Barclift and her mother noticed small, transparent, gelatinous blobs falling from the sky along with the rain. Sunny and her mother thought the rain looked ‘thick.’ When her mother fell ill after touching the substance, Sunny decided to conduct tests on it. The blobs float in water, dissolve in alcohol but don’t break down, and have zero flammability. Soon after Sunny’s mother fell ill, reports of other people in town falling ill with the same flu-like symptoms started coming out. Sunny’s kitten, along with a few cattle and other animals, died after coming into contact with the blobs. Desperate for an answer, Sunny decided to get to the bottom of it. 

What Are The Mysterious Blobs?

Sunny collects samples of the blobs and sends them to the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Ecology, and the USA Weather Service. Nobody took the matter seriously at first, but when people fell sick all over the town, the issue turned into a serious one. According to a lab technician in the local hospital, the blobs contained white blood cells. The Department of Ecology discovers the presence of cells in the blobs, indicating it originates from a living thing. The speculation was that the blobs were the remnants of jellyfish. The Air Force had dropped bombs in the Pacific Ocean when the blobs started to appear off the Washington coast. The jellyfish theory was debunked soon after the blobs fell out of the sky again. Mike McDowell from the United States Health Department did the most research about these blobs, and he called them a Matrix. He figured that the blobs can work as an envelope, and germs or viruses can be inserted into them, and they’d work like carriers. 


Where Did The Blobs Originate From?

A few days later, reporters visited Sunny’s house for an interview. It starts raining, and the blobs are back with them again. To everybody’s surprise, the blobs kept falling from the sky six times over the next three weeks. Many tried to pass the blobs off as blue ice (human waste from the aircraft). Blue ice can be toxic to humans and animals, and there have been incidents where blue ice has fallen from above. The FAA sternly refuted these allegations and made it clear that they don’t dispose of human waste from aircraft. The mystery around the blobs was still unclear. Is there something more sinister behind it?

Was The Blob A Man-Made Phenomenon?

Months before the people of Oakville witnessed the blobs, strange black helicopters were roaming above their heads. Sunny’s mother recorded a black helicopter for evidence if needed. A few days after the blobs, a group of men wearing suits walk into a diner in Oakville. Their lead guy asked the waitress about the blobs and if anyone saw black aircraft. Their presence in the town was suspicious, and that’s where you start to think the appearance of the blobs might be a way bigger issue than it seems. During the Second World War, the USA was concerned about possible bioweapon attacks from Germany and Japan. The military conducted various open-air tests; some of the tests were over the human population. Over 200 tests were performed around San Francisco, San Diego, Panama City, Honolulu, and Norfolk, Virginia. These tests were part of “Operation Seaspray.” 


Was The U.S. Government To Blame For The Blobs?

People suspect that the blobs are a test of some kind, which the government denies. Many say that if the US actually tests a biological weapon of such scale, the effects will be far worse. You probably won’t be able to see, touch, or feel anything in such a scenario. Richard Nixon enacted a complete ban on the testing of biological weapons in 1969. The biowarfare system was totally terminated after this. 

What Happened To The Samples Of The Blob?

Mike McDowell found out that the samples had been taken from his lab. He told his sons that it was one of his biggest regrets in life. McDowell appeared in the TV show Unsolved Mysteries in 1997, and he never managed to complete his research on the blobs. According to his office secretary, the sample was taken by men in black suits. Ring a bell? That’s the only time in McDowell’s long career that a sample has been removed from his office. Sunny shipped the samples to get them tested in various places, and there came a time where she just ran out of the samples. The scientific explanation for the blobs remains incomplete. 


Will We Ever Get To Know The Truth About The Blobs?

The creepy blobs remain a mystery to this day. For people in Oakville, it’s something that they’ve experienced, but they never got to know the reason behind it. Sunny kept the good fight going, and she made sure that people asked questions about the blobs. Blobs don’t just fall out from the sky in her reality, and she spent her life trying to find a logical explanation behind it. There have been a few similar incidents in other places later on, but the scale was so small that people researching the blobs couldn’t really get a hold of it. Nobody takes something like this seriously unless there are health implications, and that’s what happened in this case too. The mysterious men in suits, strange helicopters, and living blobs all in a matter of a few weeks suggest that there were people who knew about it. It’s one of the coverups that’s not popular because there’s not much information. Some mysteries last through time, and the blobs of Washington remain just that. 

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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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