UFO Welcome Center (Bowman, SC)

THIS ATTRACTION IS NO LONGER WITH US. IT BURNED TO THE GROUND ON 05.09.24. "I would never tell you the truth or a lie, and maybe n...


"I would never tell you the truth or a lie, and maybe not either one." During the hour or so I spent with Jody Pendarvis, he told me a lot, but this sentence stuck with me more than anything else that came out of his mouth. Some might think he's crazy--after all, he did build a UFO in his front yard. But he seemed more like an entertainer to me, someone who knew exactly what he was doing, someone who was in on the joke. He would talk about aliens and spaceships, tiptoeing right up to the line to "appear" crazy, but always stopping short. A smile would emerge, a twinkle would appear in his eye, and he would negate everything he had just said with a "that's all a lie," "or maybe not," and so on. To me, he was like a rural Willy Wonka. And while he did take us inside his spaceship, even all the way to the top, we never blasted off into the sky like they did in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

So when did you start building the UFO Welcome Center?
The Welcome Center was made in '94. The second one, the ship, was made in 2001 after I saw my first UFO in '99.

So it took them five years to come here?
That's right. I can't explain it to you about when they come or if they did. But I saw the first one from about three blocks away. It wasn't dipping real, real low. Going about 50 MPH, maybe.

What made you put the second addition up there?
That's why I put it up there, because I saw it. I didn't know they existed.

Do you believe in aliens?

I'd like to think there's something smarter than us out there.
We don't say that now. They're not smarter than us. Some of them might be dumb.

What is the multi-colored object you're building?
The top secret one in the front yard? When it's finished, it's going to be a sphere because the one I saw that night was a sphere.

So you're building a spaceship like theirs?
I'm building a spaceship like theirs. Hopefully, maybe it'll work but maybe it won't. It might attract more of them down here.

When are you hoping to have it completed?
End of this May.

We might have to come back down to see it.
Whenever you write that, you can write that in 2023 and it'll be the same thing.

Every year, I can run the same interview.
And everybody can say, "This year? Yeah!"

What's that machine over there do?
The radar? It detects UFOs within an area of fifteen miles. The sky is about 15 miles to 30 miles up to the atmosphere. And then it'll bounce off and come back down.

Oops. I'm sorry. I wasn't supposed to tell you that. Top secret stuff.

How do you see the UFOs?
You have to look good. If you don't look good then you can't see it until it gets real dark like a lunar eclipse, when it gets a little dark but you can still see. They did that in Mexico once and had 20 UFOs flying around. They didn't see them until the lunar eclipse.

So what do your neighbors think?
My neighbors won't talk to me. They all think I'm crazy, which I don't mind. In fact, I don't invite Bowman people in. In fact, I don't invite people in. They just have to come on in.

Like the aliens. If they did come, they would never ask. They'd just walk on in. And I'll say, "Hey! You want some extra parts? I've got some of that in there." You never know if they've got any damage on the outside of their ship. Repair work!

I mean, if they ever had repairs to be done. I have to watch the recording.

How much time per day do you spend working on this?
Actually, I'm retired now so it's my hobby from sunup to sundown except for when I'm going out with my girlfriends.

Are they humans?
I'm pretty sure they're humans, though some don't act like it. I've #1 girlfriend who only lives 10 miles away. I've got to go see her today. I just got back from seeing #4. When I turned 60, I had to start numbering my women. Sometimes i'd forget their names.

Is there anything you want everyone to know about the UFO Welcome Center?
Not a thing! Nothing! You know, this is only one that looks like a spaceship in the world.

Incidentally, the radar and the gas tanks were all bought by my dad in '67. Who would htink I would need it over thirty years later? I said, "Dad, I ought to borrow your tanks again because the jets quit flying over." Actually, one day the jet flew over from that way, coming this way and he dropped part of his missile launcher and it hit a house about two blocks away. I said, "You missed me!" Undoubtedly, he was supposed to drop it here but he didn't want to hit the gas pumps.

We loved our visit with Jody Pendarvis and would encourage you to drop by his UFO Welcome Center if you find yourself near Bowman, SC.

What To Know Before You Go

GPS Coordinates: (33.351791, -80.684619)
Location: 4004 Homestead Road, Bowman, SC



  1. How can we donate to this man to help him rebuild this amazing attraction?



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Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat: UFO Welcome Center (Bowman, SC)
UFO Welcome Center (Bowman, SC)
Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat
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