Think you're good at suspending disbelief? The latest story from Phil Hill, aka UFO Phil, will put you to the test.
The vigorous self-promoter, who says he's been abducted by aliens "my whole life," now has a plan to generate free electricity for all by building a giant pyramid on Pikes Peak. Too bad the gift shop and observation deck are in the way.
Hill's website, UFOPhil.com, contains information about plenty of projects, including UFO Phil: The Movie, released in 2008 -- and most of them come off as good-natured goofs. It's no surprise that many of his clips can be found at Will Ferrell's FunnyOrDie.com. But when discussing the path that led him to Pikes Peak, he speaks in a guileless deadpan -- his version of seriousness, no doubt.
Back in 2008, "I was living on a mountain in Spokane, Washington -- Mount Spokane," Hill says. "I enjoy being around mountain peaks, because of the unobstructed view of the sky and the ability to send and receive radio transmissions. But I found out where I was located was government land and, basically, they came in and ran me off. So I went to the coast of Oregon for a while -- but then I started looking into Pikes Peak, and I realized that a lot of the topographical features of the region were just perfect for what I was trying to do.
"Initially, what I wanted to do was to figure out a way to generate electricity," he continues. "With the cost of everything rising, it's getting more and more difficult to be a human being on this planet. And one of the ways I feel I can help, with the information I'm getting from the aliens, is to alleviate the pressure on the planet by generating electricity in a clean way -- and that led me to the pyramid idea. I was looking at several different ways aliens are able to generate power, and one of the things they've shown me is how they were able to do it using pyramids thousands of years ago on this very planet. They used to be able to move more freely here and not have to hide, and they did this back in the days of the ancient Egyptians."
How is this accomplished? Hill keeps that part of the equation to himself, saying the aliens have asked him to remain mum on details for a while. But the pyramid itself needs to have four sides, each of them 755 feet in length, with the structure as a whole requiring 2.3 million limestone bricks weighing approximately two tons apiece.
But there's a problem. "Where I want to put it is right where the visitors center is, on the summit of Pikes Peak," Hill notes. "The gift shop will have to be demolished, as well as the observation deck."
At this point, Hill says he hasn't fully described his concept to the visitors center personnel, "but they know I'm up there taking measurements. There was a point where they got a little upset, because I laid out orange cones and wouldn't let people park there. People got to park there when I was done, but [center personnel] demonstrated some aggression -- so I decided to go over their heads and talk to public officials."
Unfortunately, said politicos haven't been that interested in speaking with him. He says he's left several voicemails for the mayor of Colorado Springs, but he's yet to get a call back -- and the folks at NORAD have been similarly disinterested in listening to his theories about pyramid power. So he's going public. "I'm hopeful a little media exposure will help them understand what I'm trying to do," Hill notes, "and show that that it will be mutually beneficial to everyone involved."
His press blitz is also intended to spark what he calls "a grassroots movement" of average folks interested in making his dream come true -- not just a company to donate all the limestone, but also individuals willing to carry it to up the mountain. "It takes about sixty men to lift one stone, so it would conceivably create a lot of jobs," he allows. "I can't pay them anything, but it will look good on their résumé." He encourages people interested in volunteering to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer as lifters and toters. That way, he can show the list to government types to prove people want the pyramid.
Nice idea. But come on, Phil: Isn't your campaign really just a publicity-seeking joke, albeit a pretty amusing one?
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"Well, it may bring publicity to the mountain -- and the pyramid will make it 480 feet taller than it is now, which can't be bad," he says. "But I'm certainly not interested in anything other than that."
Disbelief still suspended? Then page down and check out several super-shticky UFO Phil videos: an introduction of the pyramid plan, a home movie talking about Hill's boyhood in (naturally) Roswell, New Mexico, a news clip about his movie and an "alien jam."
More from our Politics archive: "Jeff Peckman considering legal action after UFO-friendly Initiative 300 fails at polls."