Is this a sign from above?

A Port Richey man buys a piece of pine wood that he says resembles the famous movie character E.T.

By JODIE TILLMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published January 17, 2008

PORT RICHEY - Thomas Ploss looked into a $7 piece of pine wood he bought from Lowe's and saw something alien.

"I showed it to my brother and said, 'You want to see something?,' " Ploss said. "It's E.T."

His brother, Jim, saw the same thing: Outlines of two big goggle eyes reminiscent of those of the lovable alien movie star.

"We stood the board up in the garage," said Jim, "and he looked right at you."

"I was going to cut it up, but he Jim told my wife," said Thomas Ploss, who lives in Regency Park. "And my wife told me not to cut him up. Cut him out."

Which explains why Ploss had to buy another piece of pine wood to use as a frame for the cedar chest he is making. And why he got permission from his wife, Judy, to transport E.T. to the Pasco Times office. He thought it could compete with the recent Tampa Bay sighting of the image of Jesus on a slab of granite.

They're not sure what they'll do with E.T. Maybe put it on eBay, they say.

"People will pay a lot of money for it," said Jim Ploss.

Jim Ploss also brought along another part of the piece of wood that he believes shows a different side of E.T. One of the eyes is long and droopy.

"It's E.T. after a bar fight," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.