In A Nutshell
Three bored men came up with a plan to entertain themselves: They would use a combination of blue paint and battery-powered lights to convince their town that there was a mysterious blue creature haunting their town. Surprisingly, it worked.
The Whole Bushel
When three bored young men came up with the idea for “Blue Man” in Elkton, Minnesota in 1958, they most likely had no idea how effective their character would be. They created a costume out of long underwear, sheets, gloves, and a football helmet covered in Christmas lights operated by a battery pack worn on the hip. Something was missing so they took inspiration from a popular song at the time (“Little Blue Man” by Betty Johnson) and spray-painted the costume with glow-in-the-dark blue paint.
One man would wear the costume and lay in wait of the trunk of their car while another would drive to some secluded place. The man in the costume would then get out and “appear” to passing motorists, hiding in a ditch until their cars came along and then running alongside them before disappearing into the backseat of the getaway car. This is something they repeated off and on for a few weeks.
Reports soon came in of various alien sightings. One person claimed they’d seen the blue man sitting on top of a telephone pole. Another said the blue man could “run faster than any human.” Stories about the mysterious blue man were all over town, and the situation looked to be getting serious. Pretty soon, the men began to get scared. So they approached the police and admitted the prank. The police thought it was hilarious and sent them home with a warning.