When I saw the UFO Welcome Center billboard, a hokey Route 66 style trinket shop came to mind. If I was really lucky, I thought, perhaps I’d find a curtain that could be brushed away for $5 a glimpse to reveal a shriveled grey body. Then I recalled, this wasn’t a UFO themed welcome center at all. It was Bowman S.C.’s legendary docking point for alien spaceships on earth.
The edifice eschews architectural conventions, contemporary or classical. Its imposing appearance is supplemented by cautionary signage. The way the floor gives and the wall shakes affords those who enter a sense of slight danger; adventure, as the ancients called it.
There was a deep stillness in those first moments, save a television silently relaying the black and white programming of a serial western. I sensed that this place’s sexton would present himself abruptly, as would only be appropriate. And suddenly, he emerged. Jody; an old, thin man with long hair, a Hawaiian shirt, and a beard.
“Do you want to go up?” He asked.
Overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, I was reminded of the cathedral. The environment envelops man and takes him somewhere fresh and new. As I climbed ladder after ladder behind Jody, I sensed the ascension that the architect sought to convey. When we reached the penultimate floor, pictures from the windows were encouraged. “We’re having fun!” he observed.
“Did you make this place?” I asked, knowing the answer
“Yes. Human hands.” He showed them to me. I admire the pride in his species. The human hand is a comparatively rudimentary technology, but even the most ardent futurist finds it is most useful in overcoming alienation from his daily surroundings.
“For our otherworldly friends?”
“Yes for the aliens.. yes the otherworldly. If they ever come back again.” He exaggeratedly clasped his hand to his mouth. “I’ve said too much.” he said with a grin.
“What are you going to do in your life?” he asked me
I stood silent. I’m very familiar with the question. It feels like an insurmountable weight at times. However, in Jody’s kind face I saw the dissolution of the egoism that typically drives the interrogation. It was as if he asked “What are you going to do in your life… disregarding Babylon.”
“Have fun!” He implored before leaping back into the hull. In climbing to the highest level, we found ourselves in a small cylindrical disc covered in Pyrex saucers. I felt tremendously welcome, and believe any ET worth his salt would concur.
Upon exiting the spacecraft, we saw a clan of pilgrims resting outside the walls of the sanctum, newly joined by Jody. Two children left an old woman’s side to approach us, showing the front pages of two local newspapers prominently displaying the feat.
After some pleasant conversation, Jody excused himself.
“I have a date!”
I thanked him for his hard work before he left.
“Don’t worry,” he replied, “It’ll still be here when you’re ready to go.”
My feelings regarding the alien grey are as complicated as the technology and intelligence that it signifies. It is easy to sense the spiritual or extra-dimensional progression of things.
Greys are reported to illumine, to rape, to give purpose, to manipulate. When pondering technofuturism, I consider the ways that paradigm-shifting intelligence does all of these things to the human spirit.
But in the microcosm; in Jody’s shuttle, filled with ancient, expended technology, far removed from Crowley’s invocations of Lam, far removed from L Ron Hubbard’s social manipulation through the use of alien archetypes, far removed from the extraterrestrially inspired self destruction of Heaven’s Gate, I felt an angelic hope. A feeling that, in earnest, when I’m ready to go, the joys of ascension, fun, pure creation, and ultimate revelation will be waiting.