Stopping at the Bonneville salt flats on our road trip to California naturally got The Ten-Year-Old thinking about alien planets and the beings that travel away from them.
“Mommyo,” she asked when we were back on the road. “Is there an official landing pad for UFOs?”
I have often boasted that I’m comfortable googling anything. But I’ll admit I was little worried about asking this. Somehow, inquiring about UFOs on the Intertubes just doesn’t feel as safe as asking Dr. Google whether the iron in squirrel’s teeth makes them rust.
(Ironically, I was able to find an answer to the UFO landing pad question on the first try. Multiple searches later, I still can’t figure out whether squirrel dental hygiene issues include rusty teeth. I assume the answer is no, due to the rust-proof properties of enamel, but I can’t even find confirmation that squirrel teeth are orange because they contain iron. And that seems like a basic fact I need if I’m going to answer the question “does all that iron make squirrel teeth rust?” I may have to deploy a librarian to figure this one out.)
Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of official UFO landing pads lurking about.
The World’s First Official UFO Landing Pad and Center (St. Paul, Alberta, Canada)
The UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta. Photo courtesy of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, via Atlas Obscura.
According to Atlas Obscura, the world’s first UFO landing pad was built in St. Paul, Alberta in 1967. It features a stone map of Canada in case the visitors need directions to Ottawa, and boasts a time capsule designed to be opened on the landing pad’s 100th anniversary in 2067.
The center also maintains a toll-free hotline in case a UFO gets lost on the way to Alberta. People who spot UFOs wandering off somewhere else are invited to call 1-888-See-UFOs (1-888-733-8367) to report them.
The Palacios Municipal Airport (Palacios, Texas)
Not to be outdone, the city council of Palacios, Texas issued a proclamation on October 19, 1973 formally granting UFOs landing privileges at the existing Palacios Municipal Airport.
In announcing the proclamation, Mayor Jackson of Palacios, which is located on the Texas Gulf Coast between Houston and Corpus Christi, somewhat inaccurately said, “It just occurred to me that no one has ever made those little fellas welcome. So we – the Town Council – issued a proclamation to make it official.”
Article announcing the UFO fly-in day at Palacios Municipal Airport in the Denton Record-Chronicle, October 19, 1973 (p. 3)
Urantia (Del Rio, Texas)
Del Rio businesswoman Barbara Petsch, who ran Dilly-Dilly Art & Gifts on Highway 90 West, thought welcoming UFOs to Texas sounded like an excellent idea. She and two of her closest friends started Skylight 606 to construct a UFO-theme park named Urantia outside of Del Rio, Texas. The theme park was never finished, but the group did complete a 60-foot circular concrete UFO landing pad in 1977. The area is closed to the public now, but you can still see Skylight 606’s landing pad on Google Maps.
The UFO landing pad built by Skylight 606 in Del Rio, Texas. (Image: Google Maps.)
The Nunes Sand & Gravel Pit (Hutchins, Texas)
After considerable thought, 73-year-old Wesley Nunes decided that it would be a fine thing to build an octagonal UFO landing pad of his own just outside of Dallas, Texas. In 1992, he converted a patch of his 120-acre sand and gravel pit in Hutchins, Texas to a concrete landing pad. Mr. Nunes died in 2006, but his landing pad endures. Again, since it’s on private property, your best bet for viewing it is a trip to Google Maps.
Wesley Nunes’s landing pad just southeast of Dallas, Texas. (Image via Google Maps.)
The UFO Landing Pad and Star Visitor Sanctuary on Hawaii’s Big Island
According to the Wall Street Journal, The Lawful Hawaiian Government, an independence group working to restore the old Hawaiian Kingdom, has an official UFO landing pad all its own. The UFO Landing Pad and Star Visitor Sanctuary is located on a field of lava on Hawaii’s Big Island.
No doubt there are more UFO landing pads lurking about, but since I’m not actually in charge of writing The Star Visitor’s Travel Guide to Planet Earth, I’m going to stop there.
Just out of curiosity, where’s your favorite UFO landing pad?