Driving through the In-Ko-Pah Mountains of southern California, just north of the Mexico border, you may jokingly remark that the dry, rocky landscape looks quite Martian. Then you pass through Ocotillo, California, and spot saucers with colorful lights on them, traffic cones covered in alien sketches, and a man named Coyote driving inside a vessel with a plastic bubble over his head.
This is Coyote’s Flying Saucer Retrievals and Repairs Service, a UFO junkyard featuring several life-size saucers, many of which can actually be driven around once Coyote is finished with his handiwork. To make the scene even more extraterrestrial, Coyote has decorated the lot with signs reading “Landing Zone,” a van with an alien dummy inside, and skeletons in the backs of trucks.
Coyote loves to share his passion for flying saucers with others and will typically allow visitors to take a spin in his cart. He also occasionally screens drive-in movies like ET and the X-Files, projected onto an “asteroid” (actually a huge boulder) that he says the aliens “dropped off” for him.
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L.A. Science Weekend: Natural History and Space
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning in Los Angeles, focused on natural history and zoology or space and aviation. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and special access to scientists and venues to get up close to everything from telescopes and taxidermy to dinosaur skeletons and space artifacts.