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Did you know the Pier was the source of a viral UFO conspiracy?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The St. Pete Pier is the main theme of an international Internet sensation called “Box of Crazy.” And to non-UFO chasers and conspiracy theorists, it is, indeed, pretty darn crazy.

A man allegedly found a worn and tired box sitting next to a dumpster in Ashville, N.C., in 2008. Inside were a series of interesting drawings of maps, mythical beings and, yes, the inverted pyramid.

The contents of the box were later uploaded to the popular news-sharing site Reddit, where it jumped to the front page. For anyone who considers themselves a Redditor, that’s a big deal.

The image of the inverted pyramid was drawn with a light-beam emitting a tornado touching down upon its rooftop. The next photo is of a space ship with the Pier depicted much smaller below.

News of the so-called “Box of Crazy” circled through UFO forums worldwide and still gets some online Reddit action to this day. The Tampa Tribune even debunked claims that the drawings, purportedly by a man named Daniel Christiansen in the late ’70s and early ’80s, were evidence of some sort of space invasion.

Instead, the Tribune reported what Christiansen may have been describing in his drawings were an innovative new art style for the time that included prisms shooting laser light beams from atop the inverted pyramid into mirrors placed strategically on buildings in downtown. The result was a web of light casting over the city.

The drawings also made numerous mentions of the date July 7, 1977, 7-7-77 for anyone who finds intricate meaning in its numeric form. According to the Tribune, that was the day a tornado touched down in Polk County. That’s a lot of weird for one guy to digest in one day, especially if he didn’t know about the lasers.

The “Box of Crazy” even made its way to the Business Insider Australia, where it was described as a possible viral hoax.

The drawings are relevant today not because there has been a break in the story, but rather the most oft cited of the drawings bears a slight resemblance to one being circulated on Facebook by pro-Destination St. Pete Pier folks who are desperately engaged in an effort to save the inverted pyramid.

In that photo, the inverted pyramid is depicted as an odd, futuristic building with robotic legs lifting itself from its perch at the Pier head and chasing visitors away, shooting none other than lasers.

Pier alien

At first glance the image seemed weird. What are these people trying to accomplish by depicting the structure they are so desperately trying to save as some sort of futuristic spider-bot causing destruction and otherwise mayhem?

As this author pointed out in a previous post, the visitors running from the Pier look terrified of the building, not of the mindset that it must be saved at all costs.

The group points to the structure’s historical significance as a shining icon representative of St. Pete. It’s to the ‘burg as the Eifel Tower is to France or the Statue of Liberty is to New York and the U.S. No one would presume to demolish those icons, the group argues.

Whether or not the creator of the space-age graphic of the inverted pyramid or those sharing it are aware of the “Box of Crazy” and its ties to alien encounters in downtown St. Pete is unclear.

What is clear is that it’s another “historical” tie. The Eiffel Tower has an illuminati conspiracy that the structure is somehow sending out signals and the Statue of Liberty is some sort of Masonic Goddess.

Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be too many reasons to circulate Illuminati conspiracies about the Pier. Unless of course you want to delve into the symbolism of its shape (think One Dollar Bill and Davinci Code here people), but that’s for another post.

For those interested in investigating further, the transcribed text from the Christiansen depiction of the St. Pete Pier in 1981 is below. It’s thought that there are also references to the Book of Ezekial. You can read more about that here.

“An extraterestrial [sic] visitation by an identifiable flying object, treated at some length in the scriptures of old, when the son of man claims he had a like visitation twice – once at the river Chebar and then again out in the plains, as he again saw what appears to be on the order of what is represented in the above – barring, of course, the pier and the many twentieth century vehicles, together with other construction of a late date.  From the account it appears that the visitation took place in the night-time as lamps or lanterns were let down from and hoisted up into the overhead cloud, incidentally, which appeared to be on fire.  The author therefore take [sic] the liberty to disclose the millenniums old apparition as it would appear in the daytime.  That such a visitation actually could take place here in St. Petersburg in the near future is believable when considering that a related extraterrestrial event took place only a few hundred miles from here at the city of Mobile Alabama in connection with the shooting of the movie Close Encounter of the Third Kind, for a period of the duration of the filming.  Daniel Christiansen, March 1981.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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