The UFO Welcome Center, for Tired Extraterrestrial Travelers

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
July 24 2014 12:39 PM

The UFO Welcome Center, for Tired Extraterrestrial Travelers

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

On Sunday, creationist Ken Ham—who gained fame in February by debating Bill Nye—had some harsh words for NASA and its ongoing search for extraterrestrial life.

"I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life," Ham wrote in a blog post on answersingenesis.org. "Even Bill Nye 'the Science Guy,' in our recent debate, happily gloated about tax dollars being spent toward this effort."

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For Ham and anyone else who balks at the idea of spending money on interplanetary diplomacy, there is a much more economical option out there: the UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, South Carolina.

The center, designed to attract and accommodate extraterrestrial visitors, consists of two stacked, saucer-shaped structures made of scrap wood and metal. Both were built by local alien enthusiast Jody Pendarvis, who began the project in 1994. Clutter, bits of wood, and fallen pieces of saucer surround the center.

Inside the 42-foot-wide bottom saucer is a bed, television, air-conditioning unit, shower, and toilet. The motel-like amenities are intended to offer respite for extraterrestrials who feel a little zonked after racking up frequent light-years of travel.

The smaller saucer, added in 2003, contains an air mattress and a communication system for attracting alien attention: flashing Christmas lights. 


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