Artists seek inspiration from many sources, but if seeing is believing – Tom Jensen creates UFO models after an incredible southern Missouri triangle sighting in January 2,000.
Most ufologists are now familiar with the January 5, 2000, case of a slow moving triangle that crossed southern Illinois with multiple police agencies following the silent object. Bill Birnes and the History Channel show, UFO Hunters, featured the case. Our Illinois State Director Sam Maranto investigated.
Jensen was an assistant fire chief with two police officers who saw the same craft in nearby southern Missouri about an hour and-a-half before reports began in Illinois.
“It was a life changing event,” he said. “I will never forget the details of that night.”
But Jensen did not immediately begin building UFO models nor did he discuss the case much as he worked for state government, and like other professional positions in corporate America, talking about a UFO sighting was not considered acceptable behavior.
Now in semi-retirement he and his wife are living in Minnesota, where he built his first UFO model as a prank during the Halloween season.
“I built a semi-full size model as a Halloween display,” he said. “Then the guys from MUFON in Minnesota and North Dakota were fighting over it – and I was thinking who was going to get here first with the check to buy it? Well, the guys from Minnesota got here first. And then we set it up in a banquet room at a Minnesota MUFON meeting and one of the members commissioned me to build a second one just for him. The cost for that second one was about $3,500 to build it. It even had a chrome dome on it.”
Jensen said he has only built two of the larger models, but has completed a dozen or more of the smaller, desktop models. Some of them include LED lights that are battery operated. He mainly builds the saucer-shaped UFO, but has also completed other shapes including the triangle.
But after seeing a large, triangle-shaped object close up, does Jensen believe we’re dealing with extraterrestrials?
“I’m not a firm believer that these crafts are from outer space,” he said. “Somehow I think that our government has something to do with it.”
Long before he created UFO models, Jensen completed a lot of water color paintings, but arthritic joint pain over the years caused him to instead take up woodworking.
He has created many kinds of children’s toys, including a fire engine and a San Francisco trolley car.
Jensen currently only builds with cherry wood and he does take orders – for toys and UFO models. If you have an interest in having something built, contact him at email@example.com.