By Tim Binnall
Tourists visiting New York's famed Battery Park over the last few weeks were no doubt quite confused to see a monument purportedly dedicated to a mysterious UFO event. The remarkable-looking statue, which depicts a man seemingly looking up at an ET craft with a downed alien at his feet, has been revealed to be the work of an artist named Joe Reginella. He told the New York Times that the piece is "a social experiment" and that he enjoys "that moment when people actually believe it — and it just blows my mind that most people do."
A big part of why the monument may be fooling people is that Reginella put an incredible amount of work building a backstory to the 'UFO event.' Featured beneath the statue is a plaque which tells the tale of a 1977 incident in which the crew of a tugboat in New York Harbor mysterious vanished while investigating what they thought was a downed airliner, but turned out to be an alien craft. Taking the elaborate piece even further, Reginella has even created a website, complete with a mini documentary, devoted to 'exposing the truth' about the fictional incident.
For those wondering how he is able to pull off the feat of leaving a statue at such a high traffic area of New York City at a spot overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Reginella explained that the process is as clever as the prank itself. According to him, he actually brings the 300-pound monument, which can be easily disassembled and trucked in one trip, to the spot on weekends and, after spending the day watching people react to the strange statue, packs it up with him when he heads home to Staten Island for the night.
This method, he said, prevents the piece from being stolen, vandalized, or removed by city officials, although he noted that, so far, he has not had any trouble with workers who notice his weird work. We're guessing that Reginella ability to swiftly remove the statue also serves to seriously confound people who may spot the monument and then later bring their friends to see it only to find that the piece to have mysteriously vanished.