We Are Not Alone

On April 18, 1961, in a story that made national headlines, a Wisconsin plumber named Joe Simonton stepped outside his house to investigate a strange noise in his yard. He told police later that he found a reflective, silver-colored disc measuring 12 feet high and 30 feet wide hovering above the ground. A hatch on the craft’s exterior opened to reveal three human occupants in blue uniforms, none of whom spoke English. One man handed Simonton a metal canteen, motioning to indicate that he needed water. After Simonton filled and returned the canteen, another of the craft’s occupants handed him four pancakes. According to the report he filed with local police, the hatch closed seamlessly, and the craft accelerated rapidly into the sky. The pancakes were turned over to the Air Force’s Project Blue Book as physical evidence of the encounter. Lab analysis revealed that they were buckwheat pancakes.
Tonight at 8 p.m., the Shuttlecock
Cinema series presents Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The screening is at the Kansas City Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, 816-751-1278). Watch Spielberg’s gripping tale of quotidian suburban reality transformed by encounters with alien intelligence. Experience John Williams’ musical score, by turns taut and otherworldly. Then look up to the heavens, and ask yourself: Wouldn’t you have eaten those fucking pancakes?

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art