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photo by John Cornice

The green, lizard-Iike "aliens" spotted all around Seattle for the past few weeks days have been identified as performers in an acrobatics show taking place daily on top of the Space Needle. These "creatures" -with the "help" of professional theatre company UMO Ensemble-will be conducting daily acrobatic shows on the rim of the Landmark, 520-feet above the ground, giving new meaning to the term "high wire" act. At 10 o'clock each morning, seven days a week, from July 5 through August 28, two "aliens" will enter the Space Needle Observation Deck and migrate to the outer ring of the tower, where they will begin their routine.

As the story goes, apparently in search of a new home, the aliens have chosen the Space Needle as their new abode, as the Landmark's golden ring is reminiscent of those from their home planet, Ringula. To communicate with their home planet and to establish a connection with Earthlings, the Ringulons will perform various acrobatic feats, counterbalances and unison movements atop the Space Needle. Each creature has its own unique way of trying to communicate-some humorous, some involving more physical challenges. After landing on the observation deck they begin discovering the world of the Space Needle. Once secure, the aliens traverse the "rungs"until they finally land on the rim itself. A short pause to look at the city below gives them a chance to assess their surroundings, and to see and discover this world in which they now live. Quirky and inquisitive, the aliens gaze the horizon and soon discover the audience watching from the Space Needle's Observation Deck.

Because the aliens are just learning to communicate verbally, as they make their way around the edge of the Space Needle, the aliens will "report" their discoveries to their home world through their movements. They throw out signals and pause to receive messages back. With mimicry and play, they spontaneously engage the audience, as well, eventually descending back to the interior Observation Deck, where they spend time with the humans in attendance.

The shows begin daily at 10 a.m. and are included with the price of admission to the Space Needle Observation Deck. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 206-905-2100 or 1-800-937-9582.

Speculation as to the authenticity of the aliens had been growing since June 15 when the creatures were first spotted at Kerry Park by the fictitious Douglas Peavy, a tourist supposedly in town from Montana. Since that time, the creatures were spotted and photographed at the Fremont Fair, at Pike Place Market, along the Seattle waterfront, riding the Monorail, at SAFECO Field, at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit at Pacific Science Center, and in the Fun Forest at Seattle Center. In addition to these sightings, a fictitious "newspaper" called the Seattle Observer was created and three issues distributed to locals and tourists alike throughout the Seattle area, helping draw attention to and create speculation about the "aliens." UMO Ensemble, a professional physical theater company was approached by the aliens to help them create their Space Needle performance. As the Ringulons did not know how to communicate with Earthlings and because they do not speak human languages, alien leaders thought it best to seek help from the professionals.