Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Alien Hitchhikers Welcome


While researching space museum locales for the most recent Pillownaut Space Map, I inevitably came across a few on the "fringe" of space science.

And when I say "fringe", I mean something I would still voluntarily visit, but with slightly less enthusiasm than, say, Fox Mulder.

International UFO Museum, Roswell
Yes, that's me in a crashed flying saucer next to a Grey.
(Roswell, New Mexico - 1999)

I'm always glad to see healthy interest in space exploration, be it rocket science, shuttle launches or science fiction... (perhaps a tad less enthused with hard sci-fi these days because it leads children to think true space exploration is bland, but I know it has a place in pop culture and may keep some interest alive at least.)

So, I've included many "novelties" I know of in the United States and Canada, each marked with a blue flag. Ever heard of the the Aurora, Texas UFO Crash of 1897? How about the New Jersey Martian monument?

I kinda wish I was kidding, but I'll admit these are pretty funny.

View Pillownaut Map: Space Museums in a larger map

In addition, I tripped over a number of internet links to a tremendously fun site called Roadside America, upon which many brave travelers listed novelties such as the Sci-Fi Hall of Fame, the Alien Research Center, space-themed lodges or inns... and my favorite, the large model of the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta.

Then I came back to my senses and included Galileo's house, the birth home of Isaac Newton, and so on.

Moon Wok Restaurant
Moon Wok Chinese Restaurant Menu
(French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana)

Another interesting and unexpected task was mapping all the restaurants with space themes! Most are terribly kitschy, such as the Red Planet Diner and the Flying Saucer Drive-In... but if you are road-tripping this spring to any of the states listed, these are too good to pass up!

One themed northern restaurant called the Space Aliens Grill & Bar has quietly blossomed into a chain of seven eateries in two states! Sure hope I can visit someday and try their Rockets or the Martian Munchies platter.

Pegasus Star Ship - Italy, Texas

There are also a few Easter Eggs on the map, which is to say there are funny markers on the map itself, but not on the Map Index web page... so only the cleverest Trekkies and Browncoats with time on their hands may find them ;)

Happy hunting! Be sure to tell me if you visit any spots...