Whatever the truth about the 1947 Roswell Incident, one thing is certain – today, Roswell is a town obsessed.
It’s impossible to spend any time here without encountering a large number of aliens – they are everywhere! In shop window displays, on lamp-posts – the local McDonalds even provides parking for them ;-) It is apparent that whatever you want to promote or sell in Roswell (t-shirts, ice cream, , the best way to do it is to attach an alien to it!
Depending on your viewpoint this is either an endearing example of American kitsch at its best, or a desperate attempt to attract visitors to a town that would otherwise be well off the beaten tourist trail. We fell firmly into the former group, as anyone who has read my other US pages might have guessed. Thus we spent several happy hours poring over the exhibits in the town’s UFO museum, and more time on its streets, photographing our own “alien encounters”.
One thing is clear too; the Roswell Incident (which in fact took place 70 miles away!) has elevated a fairly ordinary town into a major destination for visitors looking for the unusual or quirky, like ourselves, as well as for die-hard UFO aficionados. It’s all rather fun, and added to our very positive impression of New Mexico as a state with a huge variety of sights and experiences.
There are more alien encounters in my travelogue.
problem is - the aliens that came to Roswell probably died in the crash. 'Tis better to party with the hybridz that live next door to 'ya. Roswell offers so much more than alien stuff - take a little time to dig deeper. It has some great art museums and historical museums, and the New Mexico Military Institute. It's also a great jumping off point to explore Carlsbad Caverns.
Fondest memory: Walking into the Roswell Art Museum and being completely blown away by the caliber of talent shown. Walking into another room and seeing the actual rockets that Robert Goddard launched.
Visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center. It will be the highlight of the trip.
Fondest memory: The Alien Zone! They have an area where you go in and pose with little alien figures and take pictures. We used a disposable camera with a flash and got some GREAT photos. Plus the kids had a BLAST in there!!!! They also have a really great selection of alien souvenirs and are priced really low - so the kids can spend $5 in there and feel like they've gotten a lot.
Visit the UFO Research Museum. Great history of the town and UFO research. Also, the Chamber of Commerce has some awesome stuff on the town. It's in alittle building downtown (about 3-4 blocks from the UFO museum).
Fondest memory: The 4th of July celebration and fireworks can't be beat. At the old air force base, they have great music, fireworks, singers, Veterans speak and tell stories, parashute jumpers, and in 2001 had a great fireworks show. It's work going on the 4th just for this.
Favorite thing: The New Mexico Military Institute is a High School and Junior College, founded in 1891. For information about the school write to 101 W. College Blvd., Roswell, NM 88201. Phone: (505) 624-8050.
Fondest memory: Roswell is very small and most of the town is alien themed. When we drove downtown to go eat, we were very amused to see that they project a spaceship onto the Bank of America Building!
Visit The International UFO Museum and Research Center.
Fondest memory: Christmas shopping in the tacky alien souvenir shops on Main St.
Favorite thing: Get some sort of alien T-shirt (if you're into that kind of thing). I didn't get one because I am already an alien, without advertising it :-)