A UFO welcome center in Bowman, South Carolina is open and ready to greet any extraterrestrial visitors that might come calling. Apparently the center has already welcomed visitors from three other worlds–and a man is ready and waiting in case more show up. Local station WIVB adds:
"Aliens can fly from the north or the south and just land in the parking lot and come and chit chat with me, guys," Jody Pendarvis said.
Pendarvis blames an alien landing in 1999 for killing the grass in a nearby field.
A UFO Welcome Center blog describes the Welcome Center in more detail:
The UFO Welcome Center is a tourist curiosity located in Bowman, South Carolina, built in the back yard of Jody Pendarvis. It consists of a 42-foot wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, plastic and probably a fair amount of paper-mâché.
On October 13th, 2008, two friends and I traveled an hour and a half from Florence, SC to meet Jody and visit the center. I read about Jody and his endeavor online, which stated to call and schedule a visit with him in order to receive a tour. I called him every day for three weeks straight, never receiving an answer or a call back; needless to say I was disheartened.
We arrived around 10 PM on a Monday night and discovered flashing Christmas lights and approximately 1000 stray cats in and around the center, but still no answer from Jody. We began to take a look around the perimeter of the center, but Jody’s recently acquired dog, Brutus, kept a watchful eye on us—keeping us a reasonable distance from the saucer.
Almost about to leave, I made one final call to Jody, his phone’s ringer could be heard from where we were standing but alas, no answer. Then suddenly! A window opened atop the saucer and out poked the head of none other than Jody Pendarvis! I yelled to him, and asked if he was accepting visitors to which he apprehensively replied, “you never know…”, and disappeared back into his saucer.
Unsure whether to approach the center or run for our lives out of fear of being abducted, being eaten by Brutus, or worse, getting cat scratch fever, we waited for Jody to make his way out of the center’s front hatch. Out poured Jody, and 10 more cats, while Brutus stood guard. I asked if he received many visitors, he paused for a moment and asked me to clarify; “…from Earth?”
After subduing Brutus with a handful of cat food (note that he repeatedly said "Hey Brutus, wanna cookie?") we made our way towards the center and began our tour. Jody entered a key into and outside wall and tried to lower the hatch for us. Thankfully, it only took about 30 minutes. Once lowered roughly two inches from where it originally hung we entered the front room and were greeted with the inviting smell of garbage and cat urine, Jody explaining that since the centers conception in 1994, he has only seen a UFO once, in 1998.
However, our co-workers later told us that walking onto the wrong property in Bowman could result in being shot at, as the locals are very protective of their trailers, mosquito lanterns and rusted lawn mowers—so be absolutely sure that you’re visiting the right UFO welcome center!
However, the travel site Roadside America says that Pendarvis welcomes visitors and co-believers:
"All spaceships got to have at least one door," said Jody Pendarvis, flicking a hidden toggle switch. A motor groaned, and the gangway into the UFO Welcome Center lowered to the ground — very, very slowly. Jody grinned. "That oughta do it! Tall aliens, watch your head!"
The saucer-shaped UFO Welcome Center stands in Jody's yard. He began building it in 1994, intending it to be a place where aliens could be comfortable meeting people from Earth (it's 46 feet across, the same diameter as most UFOs, according to Jody). He later added a second, smaller saucer on top so that the aliens can take Jody with them when they leave.
Casual visitors to the Welcome Center might think it's abandoned. The lower saucer sags to one side, with un-aerodynamic lumps and bulges. Its bottom appears to be collapsing. The ground outside is littered with scraps of metal, mossy cinder blocks, extension cords, car batteries, plastic lawn furniture, empty jugs of antifreeze, and pieces of saucer that have fallen off. Local officials have toured the Center and been unwelcoming.
Jody doesn't mind. "They came around and inspected, wrote me up for about ten violations," he said. "But it's regulation for the aliens — not for Bowman."
Jody welcomes everyone — alien and human — and cheerfully led us inside, which was even more chaotic than outside. Electronic parts and handyman litter were everywhere, power cords drooped across walls and doorways, layers of fallen debris made the floor crunchy. It's not a UFO Welcome Center for the human faint-of-heart. Jody apologized for the mess. "It looks like a barn," he admitted, "but I had to take all the real instruments out so you wouldn't see what the future age of space travel looks like."