An English osteopathologist, Dr. David West was attempting to woo Toni Merrill when his colleague Dr. Brian Stanley arrived with a Dr. Reginald Landers in tow, with a strange story about a corpse discovered on Petrie's Island that had no bones in it. Although skeptical, West agreed to accompany the two men back to Petrie's Island to examine the body (that of Ian Bellows), initially fearing it was a disease, but when oncologist Dr. Lawrence Phillips and his colleagues were found dead in their mansion laboratory, West and Stanley immediately ruled out disease because the reclusive Phillips had had no physical contact with Bellows.
Studying Dr. Phillips' notes revealed to West that the late cancer specialist had accidentally created a species of silicon-based monsters, the silicates, in his quest to cure the dreaded disease. West and Stanley eventually got their first good look at the silicates while looking for the missing Constable John Harris, and West soon discovered almost nothing could hurt the creatures: molotov cocktails, bullets, dynamite, even an axe wielded by Dr. Landers failed to harm the creatures. But West and Stanley soon discovered the silicates were vulnerable to Strontium-90, an isotope that settled in bone matter.
It was West who came up with the desperate plan to retrieve Strontium-90 from Phillips' lab and contaminate cattle with it, then feed them to the silicates. His plan almost didn't work, as the silicates divided after eating the poisoned cows, meaning the radiation was similarly halved among the creatures and would take much longer to kill them. But, after West and the others endured a lengthy siege in the town meeting hall, the Silicates finally died, and man was victorious over monster.