Strato Gremlins - [Latin: Strato-Gremlinicus.]
• About this Gremlin: The largest of High Altitude Gremlins which inhabit the stratosphere: very rare to find one under 35,000ft as they like to stay cold (below -65) Their bodies are lined with soft, pale-blue fur inside and out, making them essentially invisible in the skies! Their big noses are filled with nitrogen. Most famous for attacking Boeing airships & often blamed for giving those aboard the 'bends' or causing their ears to 'pop' as they descend. The young Strato-Widgets were to blame for oil leaks, foggy windows, sucking oxygen tanks dry and 'blowing cold bubbles' in the plane's oil lines as they ascene... Observers on the ground, seven miles down, even if they might not see the plane itself, could see these strato-gremlins' breath, leaving a very cold trail behind the plane...
(Although they do behave similarly, and occasionally work in tandem with similar High Altitude gremlins such as 'Spandules' & 'Icy Gremlin.' - they should not be confused! )
• History: The gremlin was included in "Gremlin Americanus" [Sloane, Dec 1942] with alleged correspondence from Lowery L brabbam, the entry goes as follows:
"Strato-gremlins are seldom found under 35,000 feet. The rarified atmosphere in which they live makes them much larger than ordinary gremlins. They are proof against the extreme cold of their native region because they are lined inside and out with soft blue fur. This shade of blue is called "stratosphere blue" and is just a shade lighter than "Elanor blue." (Pantone.)
The Strato-gremlin illustatred is rather like the one painted on the fuselage of the Boeing high altitude ships. Boeing pilots where surprised that the american public was not fully aware of gremlins, the flyers having known them for years.
Aside from his inner and outer coats of blue fur, the strato gremlins distinquishing mark is his large nose that looks very much like the oxygen mask breathers bag.
The strato gremlin enjoys a most active and mischievous youth, frequenting the highest altitudes. as he grows older, however he contracts an asthmatic condition and gradually loses altitude.
These older gremlin clutter up the tropopause area and when pilots descend too quickly they are butted in the stomach and hear popping noises in their ears as they run into them.
it is a well know a fact that the temperature decreases as we descend, but no gremlin can stand a temperature below -67 degrees so the strato gremlin keeps his world at this temperatiure.
Dear Eric – the strato altitude gremlin is well know to the high flying republic of P.47 One of by biggest jobs is dealign with the little so-and-so. you can take a test pilots word for it – there are Gremlins. – Lowery L brabbam chief test pilot republic aircraft, farmingdale, L. I. "
...News Articles about the Strato-Gremlin & the Boeing plane they'd attack, titled "Meet the Gremlin, War aviators gift to folklore." were published in various papers & magazines in November of 1942. - The story goes that another 'Strato-gremlin' emblem was added along the nose of the "B17-E" - The "Nemesis of Aeroembolism" as a “friendly gesture to salute the little gremlins as they went aloft."- Another gremlin was added to the aircrafts nose for each time it flew over 40,000 ft. (The plane reached a record high of 45,000 ft in 1943!) - at such great hights, the 'nemesis' would often develop an oil leaks in its turbo-engines, messing up the lubrication, or one of the crew members would develop a case of "Altitude decompression sickness" ( aka the "Bends." [a similar horror is experienced by deep sea divers as well.]) - these gremlin where also said to inhabit the ship's experimental cold chamber called the 'laBURRRtory' (You can learn much more about the Airplane in question by Clearance Simonsen on his website over here.]
[The crew 'talks things over' with the gremlin before going to the stratosphere. image from 1943 publication Flying Fortress by Thomas Collison, New York]
[a young Strato-gremlin blowing bubbles into the oil lines. 1942]
["Adult Strato-Gremlins Are Pale Blue, to Make Them Invisible, Fur Lined Inside and Out. Their Icy Breath Streaming Behind the Flying Fortresses at High Levels Creates Smoke Trails Which Enable Observers to Follow the Great Bombers. Left: Members of a Boeing Flight and Aerodynamics Crew, Ready to Go "Upstairs," Pay Their Respects to the Strato-Gremlin Painted on the Side." - Source: https://www.newspapers.com/image/874649981/?terms=Strato-gremlin&match=1 ]
[Stratogremlins at play, the source is Boeing magazine.]
• Pop-culture: at one point you could buy a model of this very plane, complete with (sadly inaccurate) strato-gremlin decals!