From IPOs To UFOs

Joe Firmage was a Silicon Valley whiz kid with a golden touch on the Web. Then he met an alien

It was the morning after Joe Firmage had his revelation about gravity and quantum mechanics that the alien showed up. The clock radio went off in his Los Gatos, Calif., home at 6:10, and he'd just hit snooze when the image of a dark, bearded man appeared over his bed. "Why have you bothered me?" the visitor asked, sounding rather annoyed.

"I want to travel in space," Firmage replied.

The being chuckled skeptically. "Why should you deserve that opportunity?"

"Because I'm willing to die for it."

The visitor bowed his head, and a blue sphere of light...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!