Category:
Aliens

Cosmic Welcome Mat

The latest from artist Jonathon Keats: a "cosmic welcome mat" to greet visitors from outer space. The mats will be placed at various locations around the Bedford Park campus of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, to coincide with the 68th International Astronautical Congress that will be taking place nearby. The mats will be examined periodically to check for signs of extraterrestrial visitation.



From a press release:

"Years ago, Fermi famously questioned the existence of intelligent life throughout the universe," says experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats. "Fermi asked, 'Where is everybody?' Maybe the reason we've never encountered aliens is that they never felt invited. From an outsider's perspective, human behavior can appear pretty unfriendly, and that impression has some truth to it."

To counter the hostility of his species, and to communicate hospitality to aliens, Mr. Keats enlisted the most welcoming of human inventions. His cosmic welcome mat, developed in consultation with Flinders space archaeologist Alice Gorman, translates the concept of welcomeness into a visual language that all sentient beings can potentially comprehend.

"In fact, the mat comes in four different versions," says Dr. Gorman. "Since we can't make any assumptions about beings we've never encountered, and certainly can't assume that they're versed in human culture, it's important to present them with different options built on different premises." For instance, one version of the mat expresses welcomeness in terms of geometric fit, while another does so by biological analogy, evoking room for growth.

Dr. Gorman and a team of Flinders students will rigorously monitor use of the intergalactic doormats, employing standard archaeological sampling techniques. The carpeting will be regularly vacuumed for sediment. Comparison of sedimentary deposits can provide important data about how effectively welcomeness has been communicated by each design. These data will inform future iterations of the mat, slated for distribution worldwide, and potential future deployment on the International Space Station.

The concept reminds me of the various UFO landing ports that have been constructed throughout the world, such as the one in Lake City, PA. Also relevant is Douglas Curran's book, In Advance of the Landing, about objects built by people in anticipation of the arrival of extraterrestrials.

More info: flinders.edu.au

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 23, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Aliens, Art, Furniture

In Advance Of The Landing

Back in 1977, photographer Douglas Curran began taking photos of objects built by people in anticipation of the arrival of extraterrestrials. Eight years later, he collected these photos together in his book In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space.

He said the following about the book in a 1982 interview (Popular Photography - Nov 1982):

"The words in the title," [Curran] said, "came to me in a dream in 1975. I wrote them down and carried them in a book for two years before I had any ideas as to what I was going to do with them."
Curran was asked how the people he photographed received him. Were they suspicious or secretive? He replied that they were open to him.
"I arrive on their doorstep," he said, "tell them my name, and explain that I heard about their work and want to talk to them. They're usually surprised that somebody from so far away heard about them. Also, they feel I'm ordained to do this. I've become great friends with many of them."

I haven't had a chance to read the book, but it seems like it belongs in any library of weird reading material. You can get a copy either via Curran's website or from Amazon.




Curran also made a documentary film of the same name that he released in 1993.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 04, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Books, Documentaries

Lake City, UFO Port

In 1976, as part of America's bicentennial celebrations, the residents of Lake City, Pennsylvania raised $6000 to build a UFO Landing Port. They thought it was the first such landing port in the world, though it wasn't. Explained Jim Meeder, the businessman who organized the effort, "We said to ourselves, 'Let's not look backward 200 years. Let's look forward 200 years.' Everybody else was restoring railroad depots and things like that. We wanted to do something different."

The landing port consisted of "a grass-covered mound five feet high and 100 feet in diameter, bordered by red and blue lights." A representative from the Tucson, Arizona Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization checked it out and said approvingly that he was relieved it wasn't "a schlock thing."

Twelve years later a reporter from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune checked back and found that the landing port hadn't been visited by a UFO yet, but the town was using it as a helicopter landing pad for lake rescues. I haven't been able to figure out if the landing site is still there. I can't find anything on google maps.

Update: I used the contact form on the Lake City website to ask if they've still got the UFO port. Almost immediately got a reply back that yes, it's still there!

The Philadelphia Inquirer - July 5, 1976



via ufopop.org



The Meriden Morning Record - Mar 1, 1976


Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 01, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Aliens, 1970s

Captain Sky




His Wikipedia page.




Posted By: Paul - Mon May 15, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Aliens, Eccentrics, Music, 1970s

Gary Numan Unicef Concert:  1979



This is exactly the kind of performance that evokes for me the tragedy of starving Third World children.


Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 19, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Aliens, Charities and Philanthropy, Eccentrics, Music, 1970s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

The Wookie Boogie


Neon Werewolf Presents - The Wookie Boogie from neon werewolf on Vimeo.



Thanks to Frank Phillips for the tip!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 16, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Aliens, Music, Science Fiction, Reader Recommendation

Flying Saucers Are Real

A great new book by my talented and weird writer pal Jack Womack.

Read a piece on it here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 23, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Aliens, Eccentrics, Conspiracy Theories and Theorists, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy

Yogi’s Space Race





Here in the fortieth anniversary year of Star Wars, let us pause to consider all the ways in which it elevated the genre of science fiction, inspiring such followers as Yogi's Space Race.

Wikipedia page here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 05, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Aliens, Anthropomorphism, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, Cartoons, 1970s

A Cosmic Christmas



Hideous aliens learn and reveal the true meaning of the holiday.

Hope all WU-vies experience the same!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 25, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Aliens, Holidays, Television

Page 1 of 8 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›



Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •