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UFO Welcome Center, Bowman

#1638 of 1,949 in Things to do in South Carolina
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The UFO Welcome Center is a tourist curiosity located in Bowman, South Carolina, United States, built in the back yard of Jody Pendarvis. It consists of a 42-foot-wide flying saucer (13 m) built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic. The structure, entered via a powered ramp, is mounted on four columns, designed to raise and lower with motors. In addition to a labyrinth of mechanical and electronic salvage parts, the saucer is furnished with a bed, satellite television, air conditioning, toilet, and shower. Pendarvis envisioned himself as being an ambassador to aliens and wanted to provide a facility where they could rest after a long journey on UFOs.

The saucer had begun to be built in 1994 and became a local tourist attraction, with a $1 entry fee. The center was the subject of a 2001 segment in The Daily Show, in which Stephen Colbert presented a caricatured tour of the attraction. In 2003 Pendarvis added a smaller saucer, about 20 feet in width, to the top of the original structure and began living in the saucer during the summers when the saucer is cooler than his nearby mobile home. In lieu of an admission fee, there is a painted blue wooden container that says "Tips" near the entrance.

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UFO Welcome Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
23 reviews
  • I had originally visited Jody 5 years ago. He gave me a tour of his saucers and told me a little bit about his life (running for mayor as "UFO Man") and his thoughts on ETs (what happened between...  more »
  • We had a trip to Europe planned but due to Coronavirus we had to shift gears. Should we go to a beach resort? Four Seasons? We made the right choice and spent a full week at the UFO welcome center.....  more »
  • We evacuated from Florida due to Hurricane Dorian and came to Beaufort South Carolina before they too were under mandatory evacuation. While traveling further into South Carolina we came through this small town and were surprised to see a UFO. What a funny and interesting site in small town America. Our kids loved it.
  • Cool spot to see in person. Hand made in a guys yard. Next to a gas station too if you need to fill up.

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