It's safe to say that, in terms of roadside attractions, the UFO watchtower in the San Luis Valley is out of this world. The structure, dedicated to keeping eyes on the sky, has been attracting visitors from all over the world for 20 years and reports that hundreds of visitors have sighted UFOs.
"I just tell folks, look up once in a while. Stop looking down at your cell phone," said Judy Messoline, owner of the watchtower.
A celebration was planned for two decades of spectating the skies just north of Hooper, but it had to be postponed due to the ongoing COVID crisis. However, that doesn't mean that this alien-centric outpost has any fewer stories to share after two decades of watching, waiting, and recording.
The watchtower was built by Messoline after hearing years of locals' stories about odd traffic sighted up the wild blue yonder.
Since the tower was erected, guests have stopped by from all over to see the tower, look for UFOs, write down their own otherworldly accounts, and often leave something behind in the garden that sits in front of the watchtower.
Over 20 years, the eclectic hodge-podge of donated items left by visitors has grown to be massive, forming a unique testament to how far the reputation of the watchtower has spread on planet Earth.
Since the watchtower opened its doors back in 2000, Messoline reports that more than 260 UFO sightings have been made just at the tower, and all those stories have been recorded in a book that can be viewed in the room under the scaffold.
"I don't know how many people have seen something and haven't written it down," she said.
There are more stories and more accounts of interesting and bizarre phenomena surrounding the tower that can be found on their website.
If you want to check it out for yourself and experience a little bit of the out-of-this-world uniqueness and weirdness of the locale, be aware that the attraction is only open on the weekends during the winter.