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Saucers and aliens revive Geneseo
gort public domain
In the 1951 film “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” aliens visit Earth. Statues of Gort, left, and Klaatu from the movie are coming to the Geneseo City Museum on July 6. The statues are being built by B & B Metal Arts in Hoisington.
geneseo museum
Photo by Max McCoy, Kansas Reflector

GENESEO – There is something strange going on in a small town smack dab in the middle of Kansas. The unusual activity hinges on a little-known collection that the town had kept secret for over forty years. 

On July 6, the third annual Kansas UFO Day celebrates flying saucers, aliens, and all things outer space at the Geneseo City Museum in Rice County. The legendary images of Gort and Klaatu from the 1951 movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” are coming to the museum. Gort will be installed on the grounds at a full height of 8 feet, accompanied by “photo op” statue that museum-goers can stand behind, representing Klaatu.

With a 40% contribution from an Attraction Development Grant from the Tourism Division of the Kansas Department of Commerce, the museum directors have moved forward to bring Gort & Klaatu to the UFO Capital of Kansas. The statues are being built by B & B Metal Arts in Hoisington (see adjacent story).

Why UFOs?

Like so many small towns across rural America, Geneseo (Pop. 200), is crumbling from economic decline. Downtown business is all but gone. Consolidation had robbed the town of its schools, people moved away, and businesses failed. Today little remains to build toward the future. But Geneseo had that secret ...

If anything could draw attention to the fading little town on the Kansas plains it was the collection no one wanted to talk about. It all began with Dr..E. D. Janzen, a man with a passion for learning. He had graduated from the Moody Bible Institute, learned ventriloquism and brail, and obtained degrees in Chiropractic, Naturopathy, Swedish massage, and auctioneering. Janzen loved his hometown and took up the task of chronicling its history. He collected thousands of photographs from local family albums and turned them into slides for programs at churches, clubs, and schools.

But it was his passion for one special collection that branded Doc Janzen as a crackpot. The nearly forgotten 1950s – ’70s UFO cultural collection procured in an uncertain era of atomic bombs and rumors of secretive government knowledge of flying saucers was languishing on the walls and shelves of this little-known museum in small-town Kansas. 

The Roswell Compass adds an air of mystery. Spend a moment of wonder contemplating the origin of the 1947-era flying saucer compass etched into the concrete outside the museum. 

The Kansas motto “To the Stars,” takes on a new dimension within Dimension G in the middle of Kansas. 

Join in the fun at Geneseo, Kansas for Kansas UFO Day, July 6, 2024.

Geneseo City Museum contacts: Facebook @ Geneseo City Museum; website; email; phone 785-531-2058.