Awhile back, the former Canadian defense minister revealed that not only have we been in contact with aliens since the Cold War, they're already here. But don't worry, you don't need to be a defense minister or high-ranking government official to contact extraterrestrials... just visit these weird locales. We can't guarantee an E.T. experience, but we can promise that you'll have some kind of weird encounter.
When Judy Messoline, of Hooper, Colorado realized that people from all over America were flocking to her property to view strange lights in the sky, she had an idea - an elevated platform built with the specific purpose of viewing UFOs.
The first of its kind, the UFO Watchtower is a haven for those looking to come into contact with extraterrestrial life. Hooper's lack of light pollution makes it a prime location for skywatching, and you're bound to run into an abductee or two, in case you want to have them relay some messages for you.
The Very Large Array (VLA) is a wide-scale radio astronomy project based in New Mexico, which is fitting,considering the state's rich history of UFO crashes. The project makes use of an array (imagine that) of very large (you don't say?) state-of-the-art antennas to explore the outer reaches of the galaxy.
The VLA has managed to turn up black holes, quasars, and even planets, and while the project's researchers go out of their way to claim they aren't looking for extraterrestrial life, there's a good chance they'll stumble on to it anyway.
Whether you call them aliens, little green men, extra-terrestrials, or Zeta Reticulans, the International UFO Museum and Research Center has them all. Since the early 90s the UFO Museum has been informing, educating, and scaring the crap out of those of us who look up into the night sky and wonder… Are we alone out there?
Founded by Walter Haut and Glenn Dennis, two honest-to-goodness Roswell Incident participants, the Museum and Research Center is a hub for all things UFO. The museum came about after Haut, who was a public information officer during the Roswell Incident, decided that there needed to be a place that could gather all the information known about the incident, and UFO phenomena in general for anyone to discover.
The Roswell Incident occurred during 1947 when, what the government said was a military Air Force surveillance balloon, crashed to Earth at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico... but an earlier report to newspapers had already stated that it was a UFO, and the flying saucer theory stuck. Of course, a visit to this museum will give you all the details on the Incident.
The International UFO Museum and Research Center has extensive exhibits with information on crop circles, Area 51, abductions, ancient astronauts, sightings, and of course the Roswell Incident itself. It’s such a UFO hotspot that people come from all over the world to explore the exhibits, hit the UFO library to do a little research, or grab a flying saucer keepsake from the UFO gift shop.
In 1994, Jody Pendarvis had a disturbing thought. If visitors from another planet decided to swing by for a visit, we were grossly unprepared. So he did what any hospitable neighbor would do - he built them a welcome center in his back yard.
The giant silver object, built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic, is meant to be a relaxing space for intergalactic travelers to take a load off after a long trip. It's loaded with sleeping quarters, satellite television, air conditioning, and a full bathroom.. because god knows there aren't many rest stops on the way from Koldas.
In the summer, Jody likes to live in the saucer because it's cooler than his mobile home, but for a few bucks, he's more than happy to give you a tour. If you can convince him you're from outer space, he might just let you crash for free.
Long before the white dudes ever took over (Happy Thanksgiving!), the early Native Americans residing in North Carolina's Linville Gorge would speak of strange "ghost lights" rising out of the nearby Brown Mountain, but they didn't stay ghosts for long.
Twenty years after the Roswell, NM saucer crash in 1947, a man named Ralph Lael claimed he was abducted by Brown Mountain's lights, and whisked to another world by alien beings who shared with him the secrets of the universe. When he returned, he wrote a book about his experience and turned a portion of his furniture shop into a museum where he proudly displayed the dead body of one of these creatures.
After Lael's death, the alien body mysteriously disappeared, but the stories of the strange lights didn't. To this day, rumors of underground bases and alien abduction are common in the Linville Gorge, and even if you don't believe Lael's tale, you can see the weird balls of light for yourself. Fall evenings are best to view the lights from Wiseman's Lookout, so right now is prime time for E.T. peepin'.
Dedicated in 1967, this giant concrete landing pad was created by the town of St. Paul, Alberta as a way to welcome Martians to Earth.
The sign beside the pad reads:
"The area under the World's First UFO Landing Pad was designated international by the Town of St. Paul as a symbol of our faith that mankind will maintain the outer universe free from national wars and strife. That future travel in space will be safe for all intergalactic beings, all visitors from earth or otherwise are welcome to this territory and to the Town of St. Paul"
Hey, it's a better tourism draw than a thriving agriculture industry.
Also known as Nevada State Route 375, the 98-mile stretch of road has had so many reported UFO sightings that the state eventually started referring to it as the Extraterrestrial Highway. That, to me at least, is pretty much as good as an outright admission from the government that aliens are totally real.
The Extraterrestrial Highway also has tons of supposed UFO crash sites along the way. Naturally, these aren't much to look at now (because, depending on who you ask, the government scrubbed the areas of evidence years ago, or nothing happened), but maybe being in the area will improve your chances of a sighting. Keep your eyes peeled at all times! One alleged site is in Ely, Nevada, another is in Kingman, Arizona, and two are in New Mexico.
The Little A'Le'Inn (puntastic name, by the way) is one of the most famous stops along the Extraterrestrial Highway. The diner is adorned in all kinds of alien kitsch, and you can browse the gift shop for loads of UFO-themed merchandise. And, if you chat up the waitstaff, they'll probably tell you about various alien encounters along the road, the craziest conspiracy theorists they've had stop by, and maybe, if you're lucky, the best way to check out Area 51. Also, do yourself a favor and order the “Alien Burger.”
Even though the government admitted that Area 51 is real, it's still super tricky to visit it. There's a bus tour that takes you around the perimeter while providing some pretty basic info on the mysterious government base... or, if you're looking to get a little risky, hike to the top of Tikaboo Peak yourself and look for strange lights in the night sky1
Based in Mountain View, California, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project began as an official government search until 1995, when the feds cut their funding. Despite meddling by the Men in Black, their search has continued as a non-profit organization.
SETI uses a wide variety of methods to send and receive messages to and from the cosmos, including radio transmissions, lasers, and even gamma radiation bursts. Heck, you can even load up SETI@home and donate your computer's processing power to the search.
So far, the project hasn't turned up solid proof of alien life, but that doesn't mean they can't hear us.
BONUS: Use our UFO sighting hotspot map to find the region closest to you where you're most likely to have a close encounter of the third kind!