Jul 21, 2020 I Paul Seaburn

UFO Mini-Golf Course Opens and the Real Florida UFO Incidents That Inspired It

If any sport seems made for extraterrestrials – especially 4-foot-tall Grey – it’s miniature golf. It’s the perfect size, it requires little skill, they can sneak into courses after hours and it provides a fun couple of hours for stretching their short legs after a long trip from their home galaxy. And what better place for aliens to play golf than a miniature course built in their honor? That would UFO’s, a newly-remodeled former Tiki bar-themed putt-putt course that is meeting customers returning from the coronavirus shutdown with a design modeled after the Gulf Breeze sightings of 1987 and the Gulf Breeze Six incident of 1990. What? You don’t remember them? Let’s bring you up-to-date.

In 1987, a local contractor named Ed Walters contacted the Gulf Breeze Sentinel with photographs of a UFO he claimed were taken from his yard in the small town of Gulf Breeze on November 11. (You can view them here.) Over the next few weeks, Walters provided more unusually clear UFO photos reported and documented a series of UFO sightings over a period of three weeks. The photos and Walters’ account were analyzed by ufologists at the time and many believed them to be real.

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Did you see that?

On July 20, 1990, six American soldiers AWOL form their base in what was then called West German were arrested in Gulf Breeze. The soldiers claimed they had come to the UFO hotspot on a secret mission to “kill the Antichrist.” Some of the six were familiar with the ares because they had done their basic training at Curtiss Station in Pensacola. Unbelievably, the soldiers were at first let go without penalty, but later demoted and docked two weeks pay. According to one account, 1400 of the 1600 pages on the incident were not released when they were declassified. There was a UFO conference in Pensacola at the time and many people found dots to connect to convince them this was related to the UFOs of Ed Walters. (A long account of the connection of a lot of dots can be read here.)

Back to Ed. Even Fox Mulder got involved in this case. In the X-Files episode "E.B.E.," FBI Special Agent Mulder (David Duchovny), investigated the Gulf Breeze sightings, wrote an essay on them for Omni magazine and admitted:

"When I first saw the Gulf Breeze photos, I knew they were a hoax.”

Fox (well, the show’s writers) had the advantage in 1994 of knowing that in 1990, Ed Walters had moved out of his house in Gulf Breeze and the new owner discovered in the attic a model of a flying saucer made out of foam pie plates, cardboard, paper and tinted plastic gel. (You can see it here.) Local reporters attempted to redeem themselves from earlier “We believe!” reports by staging photos similar to Walters’, who claimed the model was a plant to discredit him. That hasn’t stopped others from still believing in his story and seeing other UFOs, many of which could be linked to that Navy air base in Pensacola.

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You must be this tall to play this course

Which brings us back to UFO’s. Jason Nicholson, vice president of Innisfree Hotels which the putt-putt course is a part of, told the News Journal he remembers working at a hotel hosting a UFO conference in the 1990s and thought there would still be an interest in UFOs – enough to bring visitors to a UFO-themed miniature golf course. The UFO’s Mini Golf, Ice Cream and Arcade has a UFO theme with green aliens on the course (gallery of photos here) to act as fans until the crowds can come back.

The course is opened from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Adult tickets are $13, with children and military pricing at $10, and children under 4 are free.

As are ETs.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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