The UFO Welcome Center is a tourist curiosity located in Bowman, South Carolina, built in the back yard of Jody Pendarvis (b. 1951). It consists of a 42-foot wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic. The structure, entered by 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 a 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 was built sometime in the late 1990s 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. The admission price had risen to $20 by 2005.
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