There’s a noteworthy anniversary today if you’re from St. Paul, in east central Alberta.
St. Paul describes itself as “A People Kind Of Place,” but over a half century ago, the community decided it was also a place for other beings.
St. Paul, you see, is home to the world’s first UFO landing pad.
This all got started around 1967.
Canada was marking its 100th birthday, and St. Paul was looking for a way to really put itself on the map.
And the space race was on between the United States and the Soviet Union, with a goal of putting astronauts on the moon.
Earthlings were trying to go up into the cosmos, and St. Paul was thinking, what if the cosmos came here and didn’t have a place to land?
So they built a landing pad, which was formally dedicated on this day in 1967.
It has certainly brought some notoriety to the town, not to mention tourists, especially after locals added some spots for souvenir photos and other related attractions.
Queen Elizabeth II is said to be among those who have dropped by.
But it’s not all just about money.
Two years before Apollo 11, about a decade before Voyager’s Golden Records intended for extraterrestrials, this small town in Alberta dedicated a spot they said would serve as a symbol of the faith that, even as we headed into space, we could “maintain the outer universe free from national wars and strife.”
And in case we do come across anyone in that outer universe, there’s still a St. Paul telephone hotline you can call to report a UFO.
And now that we’ve covered landing, we’ll tell you about an invention that never quite got off the ground.
Today in 1941, a man called Richard Burgess received a patent for exercise wings.
These looked a lot like the ones Icarus wore in Greek myths, only the idea here wasn’t to get people in the air.
The flapping was for cardio and strength training; plus, Burgess said, flapping around wearing big artificial wings was “very diverting and accordingly attractive.”
Exercise Wings (Weird Universe)