R.C. Whitley was a U.S. Military Colonel and Blake's superior. The character appears in the 2002 video-game The Thing, where he served as the primary antagonist, and was portrayed by actor William B. Davis.
Whitley collaborated with the bio-engineering company Gen Inc to research on an extraterrestrial being known as "The Thing" that was discovered in Antarctica, he secretly established a hidden research facility in order to improve on the development of the Cloud virus. He assigned Blake and his team to investigate the U.S. Outpost 31 and ordered it to be destroyed, Whitley ordered Blake and Bravo Team to return to base, however Blake insisted on assisting Alpha Team after losing contact with them at the Norwegian Outpost, which got him unintentionally involved in Whitley's plot. After Blake rescued Faraday, Whitley confronted Blake and revealed that he was behind everything, Blake tried to fight back, but Whitley sedated him. Whitley offered himself to serve as a test subject for the B4 strain of the Cloud virus, however Faraday insisted that Whitley was not suitable as a test subject, Whitley personally killed Faraday and took off. Whitley plan to get the Things out of Antarctica via cargo planes, but his plan was foiled by Blake. Whitley then set his Military Outpost to self destruct, but Blake manage to survive and chased him through the snow field and fighting off Whitley's Black Ops unit. Whitley injects himself withe the B4 strain of the Cloud Virus and briefly confronts Blake at the Test Field, Blake shot a couple of nearby barrels but Whitley is hardly affected by the explosion, he later tells Blake that an evacuation team is on its way to rescue him and he intends to infect the whole world with the Thing. He later mutates into a massive creature, but is defeated by Blake with the assistance of R.J. MacReady.
Whitley Squad Member Bug
More of an oversight than an actual bug, there is a way to get Whitley into your team: at the start of the mission do not go outside, as the cutscene where he runs will activate. Use the Grenade Launcher equipped with Stun Grenades (sometimes other grenades get his attention just as well) and shoot them at the wall and try to hit him on the bounce. If you manage to get him as a squad member he's designated as a Soldier, and he has full trust in the player (his trust will decrease by using the grenade trick, as it counts as an attack; also, he will go from 100% trust to 0% if the player attacks him even once). Whitley doesn't talk, and can be killed like any other NPC. If given a weapon, he does fight against the Black Ops soldiers.
If going further in the level past the narrow pathway at the beginning of the level, Whitley disappears, and one or two Black Ops soldier spawn almost immediately. The explanation for this is probably that, in order to make him disappear, the developers programmed him to cross a scripted line, which the player is not meant to see (since Whitley runs far away from the player in the cutscene and reaches this area quickly, fooling the player into believing he's gone when in reality he disappears altogether).
Surprisingly, if acquired in your squad, Whitley passes the Blood Test if tested, even though he's the B4 Cloud Virus carrier.
There is a second version of the Whitley Glitch: once you get to the Dome, you can bypass it completely by squeezing through the gap between the storage container (on the far right) and the ice. You can then either go directly to the final boss via the gorge or enter the dome base via the rear entrance, where you will eventually encounter Whitley and do what you will with him (see comments below for video links).
Another bug can be triggered with Whitley in your team: simply kill him and then run to the entrance of the Dome to play the cutscene where Blake shoots at the barrels to incinerate Whitley. Whitley will be gone from the cutscene entirely, yet the cutscene will play as normal, with even Whitley speaking. Note his body will still show if you killed him near where the cutscene plays.
- Whitley is voiced by William B. Davis who also portrayed the Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files.
- It seems that the Whitley's desire to be infected with the virus is due to an unspecified illness, possibly terminal cancer.
- In one of the computer journal entries, Faraday refers to Whitley as Commander instead of Colonel, which is his actual rank, although he might have referred to him as Commander because he was the leader of Gen Inc's entire operation in Antarctica.
- Whitley's name is misspelled frequently throughout the game (as Whitely, Whiteley, among others) in the game's objectives screen, in the game files and in computer journal entries.
- His full name is stated as being "R.C. Whitley." It's unknown what his initials stand for, but they're probably a joke by the U.K. developers, since it makes his name sound like "arsey," a common British swear word meaning difficult, unpleasant or belligerent behaviour. The initials could also be a nod or jab at R.J. MacReady.
- Whitley somewhat resembles Weyland from the "Alien" and "Alien vs. Predator" franchises.