Myth Monday: The Man Who Breakfasted with Aliens

By Kara Newcastle



Once again, life got in the way, so I wasn’t able to prepare the blog I had wanted to write, but hey, I promised you a blog, I (more or less) promised you a blog with an alien theme and here it is—one of the weirdest alien encounter stories I’ve ever heard of.


Sixty-one-year-old Joe Simonton wasn’t anybody particularly special. He was a chicken farmer living in Eagle River, Wisconsin. He wasn’t a military official, astrophysicist or politician. No, he was just a chicken farmer … and that didn’t seem to bother his visitors any.

On April 18, 1961, Joe was sitting down to begin a late breakfast when a strange noise drew his attention outside. It sounded like a low flying jet—a very low flying jet, prompting Joe to get up and go outside to see what was going on. As he emerged out of his house, Joe was astonished to see a huge, silvery disc hovering in the air. He later described it as being shinier than chrome with a lot of pipes sticking out here and there, and likely measured 30 feet across and 12 feet high. It dropped down into his yard but apparently didn’t land; it just hung in the air a few feet above the grass.

As Joe stared at the strange craft, he saw a hatch on the side suddenly slide open and a being of some sort leaned out. This being … alien … well, Joe described it as looking “Italian,” if that helps at all … whatever it was, held out what looked like a pitcher. It waved Joe over, and made motions towards the pitcher, then held it out for the perplexed chicken farmer. Seeming to understand that the Italian-looking alien wanted water, Joe took the pitcher, hurried over to his water pump and filled it. As he handed the pitcher back to the … guy … Joe peeked inside the ship. He saw at least two more of the aliens, again describing them as looking Italian (due to their dark skin and hair), all wearing dark colored jumpsuits with knitted hats that looked like the kind jet pilots wore under their helmets. Each alien was roughly five feet tall, about 125 pounds, and seemed to be in their mid-twenties, though I can’t imagine how Joe was able to take all that detail in. I think I’d just be standing there, thinking, “WHY ARE THERE SPACE ITALIANS IN MY YARD?”

As Joe looked inside, studying the aliens and their ship’s flashing instrument panels, he noticed one of them was working at what looked like a stovetop, flipping some tannish colored pancake-looking things over. What possessed him to do this I don’t know, but Joe pointed to the objects, and then pointed to his mouth. The alien he had given water to immediately understood, scooped up four of the things and kindly handed them to Joe. The alien then saluted Joe by touching its index and middle fingers to the side of its head. Joe saluted back in kind and stepped back as the Italien—Italian-alien—closed the ship’s hatch and fired up the repulsors or hyperdrive or whatever it is swarthy aliens of Roman persuasion use to move their UFOs, zipping off into the sky.

And then—and I must say, Joe is a braver person than I—Joe, hungry from missing his breakfast, ate one of the Martian pancakes.

Image result for where are the joe simonton pancakes
Joe Simonton with one of the space pancakes.

He was not impressed. He said it tasted like cardboard.

At some point, Joe apparently realized what the hell had just happened, and a phone call was made to the police. The officers came out to interview Joe, and while, space pancakes aside, they found no evidence of alien visitation, they were impressed by Joe’s earnestness—he really did seem to believe that he had been gifted a stack of Venusian hot cakes by a trio of olive-complexioned aliens.

Of course, the story spread like wildfire and soon attracted the attention of the U.S. Airforce. To be exact, it was Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Project Blue Book (the USAF’s project researching, recording and proving/debunking UFO and alien sightings) who was dispatched to investigate, and Joe Simonton had no qualms providing Dr. Hynek with one of the pancakes. Hynek took the pancake back to be analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration, but tests showed that it was made of nothing more than buckwheat flour, grease and water … any rumors that it was some kind of “unknown” flour are only rumors right now.

In the end, the Air Force classified the encounter as “unexplained,” and suggested that maybe he had hallucinated the whole thing. Many skeptics challenged Joe Simonton’s account, accusing him of fraud, while others suggested that somebody had played an elaborate hoax on the chicken farmer. Either theory doesn’t make sense; it seems that Joe had nothing to gain from faking the story, and why would anybody go through all that hassle to pull a prank on some farmer out in the middle of nowhere?

Me personally, I just can’t understand why aliens who can build a ship capable of flying millions of lightyears through space could be such bad cooks.

Unless my info is wrong, it seems that at least one of Joe Simonton’s intergalactic flapjacks is still in existence. You can see it at the United States Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Airforce Base … that is, if it hasn’t already been swapped out by a spooky government official who doesn’t want the delectable truth to be known!

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