City, The UFO Capital of the World, Home of the Annual UFO
Festival. This is NOT the kind of place that The GypsyNesters
can just pass by. Oh no, we had to stop and investigate.
the center came to town, little was known about The
Incident. As their website proudly proclaims, there
were no alien eyes on the lamp posts, no space based logos
for the local car dealer and no city of Roswell logo with
a spaceship before
they opened up. Roswell was just an unknown dot on the map.
International UFO Museum and Research Center proudly points
out their contributions to civic growth by noting that six
UFO related businesses have opened downtown, six hotels
have been completed, and Roswell now has a Home Depot, Super
Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Sams Club, PetCo, Famous Footwear,
a Chili’s and
an Applebee’s just in the past eight years.
won’t go into a detailed description or analysis of The
Incident, but suffice it to say that the museum has
every piece of information that any human (or alien for
that matter) could ever dream of.
The centerpieces of the collection are the 1947 newspapers
General of the Eighth Air Force stated that, in fact, a radar-tracking
balloon had been recovered by the RAAF personnel, not a flying
disc. No wonder there are conspiracy theories.
prominent are eye witness accounts and expert testimonies
and, perhaps most compelling, signed affidavits from some
of the military personnel who were actually involved in
the crash clean up. It was getting a bit creepy in Roswell.
the time we had finished studying the displays and information,
we had some serious doubts as to the validity of the official
government explanation. We’re not saying we believe it
was a UFO crash, but we’re not buying the weather balloon story
the exhibits about The Incident, the museum takes a turn
toward the less credible. A lot of the standard, grainy,
blurry and cheesy UFO photos are featured along
with artwork and some very questionable science.
was some fairly reasonable evidence that the Nazi war machine
had developed a flying saucer referred to as a Foo Fighter.
The museum has a nifty little display that depicts what
one may have looked like. Perhaps
our Air Force was messing with a captured one after the war. Personally,
we like the Foo Fighter explanation more than little green men
and yes, that is where the band got their name.
we had absorbed the museum, it was time to check out the
research center. Yeah buddy, this is where they keep the
good stuff! Nothing
is too farfetched or bogus to make it into this library. Books
expounding outlandish theories, incredibly questionable scientific
journals and a
video collection any UFOlogist (their word, not
ours) would die for. Every bad Sci-Fi movie that even mentions
an alien is here, many that reside on every worst movies of all
truly serious researchers, a complete set of every “Lost
in Space” episode is included. The scientific knowledge
hidden away in those gems is priceless.
continue our immersion into all things alien, it was time
to step up the goofy a notch and walk across the street
to The UFO Roswell Space Center to take a little trip through
their SpaceWalk. Billed as a walk-through blacklight
art experience, this was not to be missed. Seriously,
here’s the description direct from their
future unfold, becoming a spectacular panorama of
outerspace viewed from the deck of an alien starship.
never been a better description of a series of glowing blacklight
charged diaramas — one that even includes scenes from I Love
Lucy — in the history of the universe. Oh, and one other note
from the brochure, Free Alien Money With Any Purchase.
Stop, please, I can’t take anymore!
absolutely no way we were ever going to top that on the goofy-cheesy
scale, so we decided to take in some of the actual historical
sites of Roswell. Even before the aliens got all out of control
and crashed, real space age history was being made here.
1930, Robert Goddard, the inventor of the liquid fueled
rocket, came to Roswell to pursue his experiments in rocketry.
The wide open spaces were perfect for launches without endangering
the public. Often called “The Father of Modern Rocketry,”
Goddard worked in secrecy here throughout the thirties,
building ever larger and more sophisticated rockets until
World War II diverted most of his attention to developing
rocket engines to assist aircraft in takeoffs.
The Roswell Museum and Art Center, just
museum in a launch tower ready for lift
Goddard was working for the war effort, German prisoners
of war were being held at a camp in nearby Orchard Park.
The prisoners often were sent to work in Roswell and during
one of those trips a group of POWs inlaid an iron cross
with stones while
paving the bank of the North Spring River. Unhappy
locals covered the cross with concrete.
In the 1980s the cross was uncovered and the small park on the
became known as Iron Cross Park. Later, in 1996,
the park was renamed POW/MIA Park and displays a chunk of The
Berlin Wall, donated to the city by the German Air Force.
the confluence of the whole German military, World War II, Foo
Fighters, Spacecraft, Rockets, Aliens and Roswell comes together
in this one place. X, or the iron cross, marks the spot. Who
to decipher a lot of the fact from fiction in Roswell. One thing
we do know, we left town no more sure about the existence
of visitors from outer space than when we came here.
But no less