You see, Medlin's humble abode has the distinction of being the only landmark for 40 miles along Route 375—aka Extraterrestrial Highway—outside of the infamous Area 51 Air Force base that UFO enthusiasts believe houses an alien spacecraft (even Bill Clinton has had his suspicions). And given that Area 51 is strictly patrolled, what better place for the conspiracy-inclined to meet up and/or contact life in space?
Indeed, when a supposed former base employee went national with his claim about the hapless alien vessel in 1989, people began filling the Medlins’ personal mailbox with messages for aliens. Some even stole the Medlins’ mail, thinking it could contain clues to the crashed spacecraft and secrets of Area 51. After all, that’s just the sort of vital information that aliens like to hide in credit card promotions and telephone bills. The Medlins’ knew they needed to take matters into their own hands when someone shot holes into their mailbox. So the box got a bullet-proof, pad-locked makeover, and the aliens received their very own box.
And while that has since stopped the mailbox abuse, extraterrestrial believers still use the marker as a gathering spot—sometimes even a camping spot—to scan the starry skies. Even more cynical, I-don't-really-believe tourists can't resist a photo opp at the storied mailbox as part of their UFO roadtrips.
But it’s not all bad for Steve Medlin: many pilgrims put money in the box to pay homage to our intergalactic brethren. Let's just hope the aliens don't find out he's been pilfering their donations.