Down-to-Earth UFOs: 7 Homegrown Spaceships - Atlas Obscura
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Down-to-Earth UFOs: 7 Homegrown Spaceships


The Evoluon (Photo: Daniel Volmer on Wikipedia

Logic tells us that UFOs are going to come from another planet, but given that they haven’t yet, it seems increasingly unlikely that some space-faring discus is going to show up on our planetary doorstep. However this may be just as well since we’ve got more than enough flying saucers right here on Earth.

Spurred on by alien mania, UFOs have popped up all over the world in the form of junky outsider art, whimsical water towers, and even a McDonalds. Put on your tin foil hats and take a look at eight of the Earth’s homemade spaceships.


1. STARSHIP PEGASUS
Italy, Texas


Those aliens are leaving each other hangin. (Photo: Jason Eppink on Flickr)

Created as a roadside ode to Star Trek, Texas’ Starship Pegasus once operated as a restaurant. The faux ship is modeled like an off-brand Enterprise with a rounded dome in the front (which housed the restaurant) and a pair of long nacelles attached to the back. The space-themed eatery in the ship closed years ago, leaving the ship derelict, but as of 2010 the creator of the Pegasus has reopened the space as a farmers/flea market.


To boldly go where no rest stop has gone before. (Photo: Adam Bartlett on Flickr)


2. NAVE ESPACIAL DE VARGINHA
Varginha, Brazil


We can all claim to have seen a flying saucer now. (Photo: Oluap2512 on Wikipedia)

The Brazilian city of Varginha is a South American version of Roswell, New Mexico, forever linked to a supposed alien happening. Supposedly an alien being was spotted moseying around town in 1996, and as the story spread people quickly began spotting UFOs in the skies, and spreading rumors of a government cover-up. As the city became a hotspot for alien hunters and their ilk, a water tower was erected that was topped with a flying saucer. Should aliens ever return to the area, reports of people seeing flying saucers will be a bit easier to swallow, because everyone passing the water tower sees one every day.

 I’m not sure people should be drinking anything that was stored in a UFO. (Photo: ubirajararodrigues51 on Wikipedia)


3. UFO WELCOME CENTER
Bowman, South Carolina 

 
Aliens may be welcome, but I can see how this might seem a bit creepier to humans. (Photo: mogollon_1 on Flickr)

Many of the Earthbound ships on this list were created as a kind of welcome wagon for potential alien visitors, however South Carolina’s UFO Welcome Center is unique for being the work of one man. Jody Pendarvis created the welcome center out of scrap metal, wood, and random pieces of detritus. The stacked saucers were cobbled together in the hopes that should extraterrestrials ever make it to our planet, they could find a friend in Pendarvis (who is also known to sleep in the ships as they have better air conditioning than his bedroom).


The writing on that pontoon says “UFO-MAN.” (Photo: mogollon_1 on Flickr)


4. EVOLUON
Eindhoven, Netherlands


See, now that looks like it could actually be a spaceship. (Photo: Tnarik Innael on Flickr)

The beauty of a flying saucer is that it is really easy to draw. In fact this UFO-inspired museum-cum-conference-center was initially designed on a napkin. From that circular sketch the Evoluon was born. A space-age tribute to the future, the center was created as a museum but eventually closed, only to be reopened as a state of the art conference center. Unlike some of the other creations on this list, the Evoluon actually looks like it might be space-worthy.


Yes. Even UFOs have back parking lots. (Photo: Playing Futures on Flickr)


5. SPACESHIP HOUSE
Signal Mountain, Tennessee


Check out this swingin’ space pad! (Photo: Atlas Obscura)

Who wouldn’t want to live in a spaceship? The blank house-ship hidden in the woods of Signal Mountain, Tennessee looks like a UFO from a black-and-white movie. It stands on four stilts and features a staircase entryway that drops down from the underside in dramatic fashion. The vessel was built in 1972 and despite its general ship shape, it still projects the era in its actual construction. Should aliens ever find this house, they’d probably think it looked, “groovy.”

 Just a cozy little cottage in the woods that might also be from the retro-future. (Photo: Atlas Obscura)


6. UFO LANDING PAD
St. Paul, Alberta


We’re gonna need a bigger pad. (Photo: Heterodyne on Wikipedia)  

The welcome center for this centennial monument to the future is shaped like a flying saucer, but really the incredible part of this spot is the landing pad. Set-up in 1967, the center hopes to welcome alien life with a (rather small) spot to put down their ship. The circular tourist center itself offers a peek into the world of alien speculation. Perhaps most amazingly the landing pad has its own phone number (1-888-SEE-UFOS) where Canadians can call in and report their sightings.


7. ROSWELL MCDONALD’S
Roswell, New Mexico


I’m lovin’ it. (Photo: Ben Barnett on Flickr)

As possibly the hub of extraterrestrial mania in the United States, just about everything in the city of Roswell, New Mexico has some kind of alien theme. Thus it comes as no wonder that when McDonald’s decided to create a flagship restaurant there, they built their own flying saucers. Covered in neon lights, the franchise comes to life at night, looking surprisingly vibrant for a fast food joint. Should the first UFO to land on our planet come looking for reasonably priced food product in a family-friendly attitude, the Earth is prepared.


This restaurant seems pretty outlandish for a franchise that prides itself on sameness. (Photo: AllenS on Wikipedia