Once upon a time, before my sister developed a knack for crafting tin foil bikinis as well as tin foil hats of both superb and enormous proportions molded into the Neo-traditional style of Alpha Centaurian design, there was Ricky Joe. Ricky Joe’s significance to the cultural history of Emily’s amazing foil bodyware is linked to the UFO sightings in the northern part of Alabama occurring from the 1970s lasting through the Y2K scare of early 2000. My sister, along with some guy named M. Night Shal la something, discovered the pseudo-science behind this aluminum foil alloy. This common household kitchen material has the ability to act as a physical shield in order to keep aliens from reading human brain waves. Anyone who has had the misfortune to find themselves within the city limits of Montevallo, as well as other small towns of the dirty South, will recognize the importance of a durably constructed tin foil hat.
Ricky Joe is a real person currently contributing to the gene pool of The Great State of Alabama today. Along with his current contributions of his trucking service and genetic donations to the pool of humanity, Ricky Joe is also known for impersonating one of these aliens – that’s right – an Alpha Centaurian. (Okay, for all you non sci-fi fans out there: Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to Earth and can best be seen in the Southern skies. Thus, Alabama is a logical choice for contact.) Ricky Joe, with the assistance of then police chief, Jeff, wrapped his entire body in tin foil and with arms akimbo posed for a half-ass photo shoot on the dirt road behind Falkville High School. Chief Jeff circulated the pictures of this alien that he’d spotted during patrol one night and was completely amazed and somewhat in medically diagnosed shock over this “alien.” NOTE: In the region alien is pronounced ALE – YUN. Jeff lives to tell the tale of his close encounter in his thick, Deep South draw.
This sighting and/or prank still remains an unsolved mystery to many UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists of today. The Alabama Alien made national news in the late ’70s and pictures of Ricky Joe wrapped in foil can still be found in magazines of questionable reputation such as UFO Reader. And of course the internet: http://www.ufocasebook.com/tinfoil.html
NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY….Ricky Joe was a classmate of my homosexual uncle Randy’s and second cousin Debbie’s. The sighting occurred in my Dad’s home town of Falkville, about thirty minutes outside of Huntsville. FYI: NASA’s Space and Rocket Center is appropriately located in Huntsville. Redstone Arsenal, the immediate top secret neighbor to the Center, is affiliated with this branch of NASA. Reportedly, in the 1970s, new models of aircraft were tested by both entities resulting in UFO sightings across the state and Southeast. According to Debbie, Ricky Joe was a known prankster and Jeff was particularly low on brain cells. Debbie is extremely adamant that we are not related to Ricky Joe. (Emily will breathe a sigh of relief here.) However, the penchant for dressing up in tin foil and wearing uber fashionable tin foil hats lives on in the folks of Alabama’s unique gene pool.