WALTON, Ky. – That’s no UFO in Tom and Michelle Ballard’s yard – it really is a flying saucer.
When it came time to make Halloween decorations, Tom decided to outdo himself this year, his wife said.
“It was all his idea,” said Michelle. “Last year he built one that crash-landed in the backyard. He got a lot of good feedback from the neighborhood. This year he wanted to ramp it up and make it fly.”
That explains the flying saucer at 12186 Farmer Dr., in Walton, complete with an alien (“a costume mask”) peering out of the bubble on top. There are blinking lights on the sides (“I did the lights”), smoke (“a fogger machine”), music from a popular movie and the sound of whirring engines from a slightly less than Warp Drive propulsion system.
“It’s a pulley system,” said Michelle. “Bless his heart, he tried to get it higher. It’s just very heavy and it kept falling down. We’re not engineers. It’s lower than he wanted, but at least little kids can see it.”
After all, that was the whole idea.
The Ballards’ subdivision, Wildcat Run, is filled with little kids, she said.
“We probably handed out candy to 400 kids (on Halloween) last year,” Michelle said.
The flying saucer is already getting a lot of attention.
People walk by and stop. They drive up to the house and walk into the yard to get a closer look. The neighborhood dogs bark at it.
“Everybody really likes it,” she said.
“We fenced it all off so nobody would get hurt from the pulley system.”
The pulleys are connected to the fence and trees, she said.
Tom works in IT at Western & Southern Life.
“He’s pretty creative,” Michelle said.
The only question they get from kids is: “What is that music?”
It’s the five notes the scientists use to hail the aliens in the 1977 hit movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
“A lot of kids don’t know that music and they say, ‘Can you change it?’” Michelle said. “I say, ‘No, it’s classic.”
The Ballards welcome people to stop and see their flying saucer.
“You get the full effect at night, after 6:30,” she said. “We keep it running a little later as it gets closer to Halloween.