First landing in Hatteras village in 1972, the Frisco UFO was one of the island’s most famous roadside attractions until it was destroyed by a fire on October 19, 2022.
Within 24 hours of the fire, there were thousands of social media comments and dozens of national news stories on the incident, simply because the Frisco UFO was recognized by millions of Outer Banks vacationers. The UFO was also equally famous for its resident alien, Leroy Reynolds, who would jump out of the UFO to the delight of visitors.
The UFO was actually a “Futuro House,” a prefabricated home designed in the 1960s by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, and the Frisco version was almost one-of-a-kind. Only 100 of these flying-saucer-like homes were built during the late 1960s and 1970s, and today, less than 20 are left in the United States, with roughly 60 left in the world.
However, the devastating fire coincides with the global re-introduction of the Futuro House, as the recently-established Futuro Houses, (a subsidiary company of the Ohio-based US Lighting Group), is launching the first mass production of Futuro houses in five decades.
In a recent interview, Anthony Corpora of Futuro Houses stated that the company would consider allowing Frisco to claim the prototype and/or the very first new and official Futuro house in 50 years.
“We would love the opportunity to bring something back that was taken away beyond your control, and to replace something you love,” said Corpora. “The Futuro house has a following like no other, and we respect that, and would love to make you another.”
The fundraiser was launched on Monday morning, November 7, and was created by Reynolds and partner Wesley Snyder of Wes Synder Photography, who is known for his iconic photos of the UFO, and who considers the site one of his favorite Outer Banks landmarks to shoot.
“I got involved by asking if there was any way I could help,” said Synder. “I’ve been photographing the UFO for years and really love the piece. So many others I know really enjoy it as well, and it’s a shame what happened to it.”
“I wanted to help any way I could, [and] I thought organizing a fundraiser would be the best way,” he added. “Even if we can’t raise all the money, maybe we can raise enough to replace a similar-type structure for people to enjoy. It’s the very least I could do to help.”
The cost to purchase a yet-to-be-built Futuro house is $179,500, and the prototype is expected to be unveiled in the next few weeks, with the first Futuro houses hitting the market in early 2023.
Highway 12 shirts will also be selling UFO T-shirts in the near future to help raise funds for a replacement.