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Bait Box UFO | by samfeinstein
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Bait Box UFO

There is a 26-foot diameter "UFO" down near the Bait Box restaurant in Hancock's Harbor below Greenwich, NJ. Someone is now in the process of restoring it so that it is suitable for habitation. It will be about as accomodating as a small trailer, which is okay for occasional use at the marina.


I had previsualized this shot with more of an orange sky, but once I got on the site, I saw that the sun was setting too far to the left of the UFO to get justwhat I wanted. I thought that adding the flash from the left side would make it look sort of like the sun was shining into the pod. The effect is okay, but I should have gelled the flash with an amber gel. If I OWNED any gels, maybe I would have done this. Come to think of it, I guess I should have tried the tungsten balance gel that came with the flash...


On the map, you can actually see the pod from overhead, right next to the pink dot. I think it's pretty cool that you can see "The UFO" from a satellite photo.


I metered manually for the sunset and then let the camera take care of the flash using the SB800 as a remote and the pop-up as the commander with both in TTL mode. The SB800 is located camera left just out of the frame. It is on a tripod aimed into the open hatch to illuminate the inside of the Futuro home.


Camera: Nikon D300

Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)

Lens: Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8

Aperture: f/5.0

Focal Length: 24 mm

ISO Speed: 800

Flash: SB-800 off-camera



Matt Damon’s UFO will be taking off from the Bait Box at the equinox.


No, it’s not THAT Matt Damon. It’s not THAT kind of UFO. And it won’t really be “taking off.”


Matt Damon is a “vintage modern” furniture dealer who plans to move the unusual residence to West Chester County, New York, after some fiberglass and metal repairs have been completed.


Project manager Joe Pepin, from Danbury, Connecticut, explained that it is practical to do the fiberglass and metal work here in Greenwich, because the Hancock Harbor Marina is well-equipped for this kind of work. After the first phase of the restoration is done, which should be sometime in late-September or early-October, the fiberglass shell will be moved to a permanent site in New York. Once it is there, the electrical work and plumbing can be completed and tied in with the local utilities.


After the 26-foot diameter structure is renovated inside, Damon will live in the UFO. It will be tight but livable with over 500 square feet inside. This is the size of a small apartment.


The local UFO is rare, but it is not unique. The “Futuro” home was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968 to serve as a ski cabin or vacation home. Once production of the “Futuro” was started in 1969, there were 96 identical futuristic homes made and sold in the United States and Europe. There are only 14 known examples remaining in the US and perhaps 30 or more in the rest of the world. Architect Suuronen has visited the Greenwich example of his work twice during the restoration work, even though he is now living in California. Damon will most likely be living in the only UFO on his block.


This particular “Futuro” home was once part of the “Planet of the Apes” attraction on Morey’s Pier in Wildwood. It was sold and removed from the pier in about 1970 and placed in a scrap yard with the remains of several other amusement rides. Scott Gifford purchased the “Futuro” about ten years ago, but he did not move it to the present site at the Bait Box restaurant until March 2003. He originally wanted to open a clam bar inside of the structure, but without a liquor license it did not seem to be economically advisable.


For more information on the history of the fiberglass UFO’s, see the book “Futuro: Tomorrow’s House from Yesterday,” written in 2003 by Marko Home and Mika Taanila. You can also check out Taanila’s documentary on DVD called “Futuro – A New Stance for Tomorrow.” An internet search for “futuro house” will turn up several resources, including, where there are several photos of the living quarters.


(See this article at )


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Taken on July 15, 2009