Can you imagine the surprised look on tourist faces, back in the mid-90’s, when they first noticed this gargoyle, on this beautiful, 12th century Scottish Abbey? I’m sure back then, many tourists at the Paisley Abbey in Scotland , who never saw any of the “Alien” movies, probably wondered if aliens roamed the beautiful Scottish countryside centuries ago. Back in 1997, this gargoyle did receive some attention, when it’s image appeared on the internet for the first time.
but it failed to attract such attention and the whole thing remained relatively unknown outside of the small Scottish town of Paisley.
Soon afterward, a picture showing the “Paisley Abbey Alien”, went viral on Facebook and Twitter. In 2013, this gargoyle received an increased amount of media attention, when some speculated, that the Swiss artist, H. R. Giger, drew his inspiration for his famous “xenomorph” alien from it. Many people began to think that the alien creature in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi, horror “Alien” movie, was based on the Paisley Abbey gargoyle.
The truth behind the gargoyle sculpture became known, when Reverend Alan Birss, the minister of Paisley Abbey, was interviewed by the BBC. He stated that 12 of the 13 original gargoyles, from the 12th century, were totally refurbished in the early 1990’s. It would seem that the stonemason, who redesigned one of these gargoyles, was perhaps a fan of the “Alien” movies and used his artistic license to incorporate some design elements from the movie, with his own imagination.
At first, a photograph depicting Paisley Abbey Alien went viral on Twitter and Facebook, which soon led to media attention. An investigation was inbound. Amidst the growing hype, the BBC interviewed the minister of Paisley Abbey, Reverend Alan Birss, who put a stop to all the fan theories which were getting out of hand.
It turned out that the Paisley Abbey gargoyles went through refurbishment in the early 1990s, after which the famous xenomorph appeared. Only one out of 13 gargoyles remained in its original form, while the other 12 were built from scratch.
Here’s another gargoyle, that’s on the Chapelle de Bethléem (Bethlehem Chapel), a Medieval chapel in Nantes, France, that shows an “unorthodox” decoration, based on the Alien movie franchise. Can you imagine the look on a future archeologist, who discovers these strange gargoyles for the first time?