Some locals voice concerns about alien debauchery, lost time
Look up! Is it a bird? A plane? Nope. It's intergalactic space tourists visiting The Scenic City.
And local tourism officials say these visits are here to stay.
Since May of 2020, Chattanooga Tourism Co. has been quietly working on an experimental multi-million-dollar space tourism marketing campaign. The target audience? Extraterrestrials. Specifically, ones with disposable incomes.
“We’re constantly trying to get ahead of marketing trends,” said marketing director Sean Phipps. “Nobody is going after these space travelers. If we could only figure out a way to say, “hey there! Come on down!” we’d be doing more than any other city.”
Some of the revolutionary marketing tactics include digital space billboards with phrases like “CHATTANOOGA! COME ON DOWN NOW!” and “SEE ROCK CITY — A rock is an earth meteor.”
The company bought a $400,000 “radio wave beamer” that is powered by moonstones. The beamer sends out strategic clips of Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” to entice the beings to land in the region.
“Yeah, we’re throwing things out and seeing what’s gonna stick,” Phipps said. “That’s good marketing. Cast a wide net and throw out the squids and krill. Does that analogy make sense? I’m not married to that one.”
Phipps said aliens — little grays, especially — travel in groups of 20 to 40 individuals on each spacecraft.
“That’s a lot of dollars going right back into the county,” he said. “The E.T. is a savvy and sophisticated traveler, probably. They love to eat tchotchkes and display chocolate and whiskey.”
To date, about 300 of these beings have visited Chattanooga on six different spacecrafts. Most visits are unannounced with Coolidge Park being the preferred landing pad.
This unpredictability has irked some residents and business owners who wonder why Chattanooga Tourism Co. is marketing to extraterrestrials in the first place. And several incidents have been reported coinciding with these visits.
Scorched grass, radiation burns on buildings and abducted pets. One pedestrian saw a group of aliens surrounding the blue rhino — “Blue Boy Pull Toy #2” — and taking turns riding it like a rodeo bull. Some who have interacted with these beings report physiological changes including memory loss and scarring. And several said they are afraid of these beings.
“The receipts say I sold 400 ice cream cones … and the security footage shows me hovering there — even smiling — but I have zero recollection of those hours,” said McKayla Clower, an ice cream super scooper at The Ice Cream Show. “It’s like my mind was erased. Scary stuff.”
Brock Dundelport was fiddling with his devil sticks and yo-yo collection when he saw the spacecraft arrive. Curious, he decided to approach the vessel and flashed a peace sign with his fingers. That was his last memory.
“They just landed in Coolidge Park and scorched everything like … man … apocalypse or something,” said Dundelport, a self-proclaimed ultimate frisbee demigod. “Big fire light just like The Communion. Their little eyes peeking out. I said “We love you! I come in peace” and then they shot me with the spotlight and my clothes came off.”
Dundelport believes these beings stole his devil sticks, pummeled him for their own amusement and discarded his nude body like trash.
“I woke up naked on that mermaid horse thing at the carousel … just going round and round,” he said. “It was not a very peaceful experience.”
Despite the backlash from the community, Phipps says these marketing efforts are going to continue.
“We’re looking into buying our own branded spacecraft,” he said. “It would be a way for us to take our visitors center — and Chattanooga’s message — to the outer reaches of our own galaxy and beyond.”
He did admit there is some work to do as far as educating these extraterrestrials.
“Do I love that a big metal frisbee arrives unannounced, shoots beams of radiant light onto helpless pedestrians, paralyzes them on-the-spot and lifts their helpless bodies into a vessel for invasive experiments and then just tosses them back into weird places? Absolutely not,” he said. “But it’s better than not having them here at all.”