Abandoned 'space capsule' causes stir along highway

Passing motorists wondered if either NASA or some alien visitors lost a space capsule near an Arizona roadway.

Culture

If you happen to be driving near Casa Grande, Arizona, on Interstate 10, you might see signs of what could be either an alien invasion or a NASA mishap. A silver space capsule sits in the dirt on a field near the highway.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety went in to investigate the strange sight, and tweeted its findings on Monday: "It appears an artist got creative near Casa Grande and turned a cement truck drum into a space capsule! Caused a stir on #I10 this morning."

Artist Jack Millard is the man behind the transformation of the mixer into a space capsule. Millard posted on his Voices Through Art Facebook page on Saturday about moving the mixer closer to the highway. He later shared an image of himself painting the capsule with this note: "In the creative zone with inspiration raining down on me from above."

It's easy to see how the mixer drum would appear to be the real deal from a distance. The paint job even includes details such as numbers and burn marks from an imagined re-entry. Hoses and a cargo parachute extend from one end and the capsule is inscribed with "United States," "Capt. J. Millard" and a small American flag, making it look like a NASA creation.

Millard told the Arizona Republic the mixer had been sitting in the field for several decades. He thought it looked like a space capsule and got permission from the owners to turn it into an art installation.

A Facebook follow-up on Monday shows Millard with a group of police officers who came to question him about the capsule. He says the "encounter turned out peaceful" and they even had some laughs about it.

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