A UFO "Welcome Center" in South Carolina

Welcome To Planet Earth from Mikey Livingston on Vimeo.

Hopeful cloud-gazers will love the strange new documentary by Michael and Morgan Livingston, WELCOME TO PLANET EARTH. The film, which clocks in just under ten minutes, tells the peculiar tale of Jody Pendarvis, a self-proclaimed “alien ambassador” who maintains an enormous UFO Welcome Center on his front lawn in Bowman, South Carolina. Pendarvis clarifies his mission to the crew during the film’s opening shots, in case they’d somehow missed the giant, wooden spaceship behind them. ”I welcome people from other planets – not this one, k?”

The rest of the film follows Pendarvis through a tour of his spaceship, from the Command Center – an amalgam of plastic lawn chairs, christmas lights and old TV monitors – to the Lookout, a circular room on the top level with a porthole window in the ceiling. “This used to be a bedroom, where the aliens could come and stay and sleep,” Pendarvis explains. “This is an air bed so they can just blow it up and be comfortable.”

Over the course of his tour we learn that Pendarvis, a graying gent with a terrific moustache and penchant for printed shirts, began construction on the Welcome Center after running for mayor of Bowman in 1994, a race he claims to have “lost terribly.” Since then, Pendarvis seems to have completely abandoned his political ambitions to become the alien visitors’ official liaison to Planet Earth, or a Concierge to the Stars, so to speak. Perhaps the most striking revelation in the film is the real empathy and admiration that Pendarvis seems to feel for his alien comrades. “I really like the females,” he admits at one point. “Oh, wait, I can’t tell ya about that.”