Couple Happy to Have Flying Saucer in Front Yard
People decorate their front yards in various ways. I visited a house near Girard that may have the most unusual display of all.
It’s a flying saucer that sits smack dab in the front yard of John and Patty Puline's property on Route 20 just west of Girard. John and Patty purchased the craft in 1976. Back then, they heard the town of Lake City was building a UFO landing port as a different way to celebrate the nation's Bicentennial. The Pulines figured the landing port could use a flying saucer so they contacted a man named Jim Meeder who was coordinating the project.
"He was looking for attention for Lake City and to have something to remember the Bicentennial for Lake City,” remembers Patty.
The landing port was truly memorable. The Associated Press published a newspaper article about the project that went nationwide. There were post cards and bumper stickers promoting the site. The Puline's gift of the flying saucer added greatly to the gimmick. People came from all over to see it.
"People remembered going to Lake City because that would sit out in the park in Lake City. It was in a prominent space in Lake City so the people could see it when they drove through,” says Patty.
The flying saucer would be taken to parades, fairs, and other public activities throughout the area.
"What they did, they mounted it on a trailer and they would take it around, says John. “It had a light system and speaker system on it. They would take it around to different functions."
After a few years, the Lake City UFO Landing Site was taken down. The flying saucer was placed in storage where it sat for decades. But a few months ago, the owner of the storage unit gave John a call.
"He said, 'We're going to get rid of it. Do you want it back? It's yours,” remembers John. “I said, Sure, I'll take it.” I took it back and I thought, ‘What am I going to do with it?' Well, I just put it in my yard,” says John.
The flying saucer, that provided much joy to Lake City visitors in the 1970s, is now creating smiles in the Puline's front yard near Girard.
"It was serendipitous that it came back to us because this is where it started. So, it's very nice that it came back,” says Patty.
The people of Lake City raised $6000 to build the UFO Landing Port in 1976. It was five feet high and 100 feet in diameter. By the way, the Pulines say they paid $500 for the flying saucer 47 years ago. They spotted it at an outdoor sale in Ohio.