Built on an island not that far, far away, is a house - but not as we know it. That is because with its blinking, strobing, technicoloured lights, the metal saucer-shaped home of retired industrial arts teacher Roberto Sanchez Rivera, 58, is meant to look just like a grounded UFO.

Resting on the slopes of Juana Diaz in Puerto Rico, the otherworldly house exists only to prove a girl wrong after 40-years, and all because Rivera suffered the same fate of many geeks across the planet - he was dumped.

As a love-struck teenager, Rivera was an artistic student from a poor family and he would send his girlfriend love notes with little UFO's drawn round the side. He promised he would one day build a home for the two of them that resembled the flashing flying saucers of the B-movies that they used to watch in the local movie theater.

However, one day, after three months of seeing each other she unceremoniously ended the relationship with a Dear John note, sending Rivera to the brink of suicide as he contemplated jumping from the 13th floor of his apartment.

'It ended because she wrote him a letter saying she did not want to continue the relationship, because she didn't love him anymore,' said Maria Martinez, the 56-year-old current girlfriend of Rivera who lives with him in the UFO home and translates English for him.

'It was the mother who explained to him that her daughter had said that he would never amount to anything in life. He was shocked. He used to live on the 13th floor, and he wanted to throw himself off, but he held himself back and said, ‘No, I’m going to show her, this person, I’m going to work that much harder to show her who I am.’ 

Completing his studies at Pontifical Catholic University in Ponce, Rivera studied design and fine arts, and resolved to build his UFO house and make it with his own hands.

Purchasing the land in 2002 for $95,000, Rivera spent the next ten years and $150,000 constructing his unusual futuristic home - even wiring it up to emit the famous five tone signature theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The spot he picked is visible for miles around by drivers on the passing highway and Rivera intentionally chose the hillside so that the unnamed girl who broke his heart would see the UFO home and know that he had amounted to something.

Scrimping and saving over the ten years it took him to build the house, Rivera fitted out his home not with expensive high tech appliances, but with dollar-store ashtrays made to resemble antennae and used $1.99 salad bowls for his flashing light fixtures.

As the fame of his alien house on the hillside grew in the surrounding area, Rivera received an unusual visit four years ago in the dead of night - the girl who had broken his heart 40-years ago.

During those years he had married, had two children and divorced himself, but his first love called him up out of the blue and he invited her to see the home which he had built with any piece of scrap metal he could find.

The octagon home was in its final stages of completion and the girl was so impressed she told Rivera that she wanted to get back together with him, but Rivera knew that finally his feelings for the girl had gone and turned her down.

Satisfied that he had completed what he promised himself he would, Rivera, who claims he has no interest in science-fiction has advice for anyone who finds himself in the same predicament. 'You should never say to any human being, 'You can never accomplish anything in life.'