The True Story of The Seymour Highway UFO
Yesterday we told you about the multiple UFO sightings over Dallas. Years ago we told you about the 28 times UFOs have visited Wichita Falls. Today we're wondering why there is a UFO parked on a nicely manicured lawn just off Seymour Highway in Wichita Falls.
Where did it come from? Why is it there? Who made it?
I set out to find the answers to these questions.
First, I reached out to some friends of mine who've lived in Wichita Falls for decades. These are people who know people. They're connected. They know things. They all knew about the UFO but nobody knew where it came from.
After hitting a dead end there I reached out to a noted Wichita Falls historian thinking if anyone would know the back story to this thing, someone who'd led countless historical tours and written Wichita Falls history books would. She didn't. Her husband thought perhaps it was a real flying saucer that had run out of fuel and simply decided that Wichita Falls would be a nice neighborhood to settle down in.
It's a fun theory, but I wasn't buying it.
I even reached out to an anonymous source inside the Wichita Falls Police Department. Again, she instantly knew what I was talking about but had no clue about where it came from.
Finally, I posted my query on a history page in Facebook and someone said to check with Greg Ciuba's Paint and Body. Their shop is just down the road from the UFO and I figured it couldn't hurt so I gave them a call.
It turned out to be a very good tip. No, Greg Ciuba is not an alien from outer space. And no, he didn't build the UFO replica. But he was instrumental in getting it to our fair city.
As Greg tells the story, he was on his way back to Wichita Falls, driving through Throckmorton in the dark of night when a blinding beam of light shined down on him. Not really, I just made that up. He was driving through Throckmorton on his way back to Wichita Falls, but it was broad daylight and he spotted this scruffy little UFO shaped thing by the side of the road. He stopped to check it out and started chatting with the man who'd built it. That man turned out to be the noted North Texas sculpture artist, Joe Barrington. The UFO wasn't actually one of Joe's artistic projects, those are much more polished and refined, it was just something he'd thrown together 'on the fly' as it were to mark a corner to help people find that year's Throckmorton High School Art Show. He had literally grabbed some pieces of metal and welded them together into this little UFO sculpture in one day's time. He didn't even paint it. He wasn't planning on having it around for long, it was just for the weekend.
Greg mentioned that he'd like to buy it and bring it to Wichita Falls but didn't have a way to transport it and Joe said he was headed our way in a few days anyway and would deliver it.
There you have it. That's how it got to Wichita Falls. The UFO spent several years at the Ciuba residence and Greg and his wife, Pam, even got their then teenage daughters to put some silver paint on it to make it look a little better. A few years ago it landed at its current location at the corner of Seymour Highway and Allen Road, across from the entrance to Tanglewood.
At some point the Ciubas even attached some Christmas lights to the outside of the saucer so they could light it up for the holiday season. Greg says that will happen sometime after Thanksgiving.
The little green figure underneath was just something they found that seemed to fit.
There you have it, the whole story of how Wichita Falls came to be the home of one of the coolest little UFOs most of us will ever see. No space aliens. No abductions (that we know of). No implants under the skin or lost time. Just some cool people enjoying artistic creativity for the fun of it.
Thank you, Joe Barrington, for the artistic vision to create this sculpture even if you didn't plan on it being around this long. And thank you, Greg Ciuba and family, for maintaining it and sharing it with our community all these years.