It probably seems as if I think every place that we go is my “favorite” place, and, sometimes I feel as if that might be the truth. Admittedly, I have a proclivity for becoming over-enthusiastic – I’m a fire sign, what can you do? In the case of Roswell, New Mexico, however, I feel nothing disingenuous about clearly stating my love for this place and all that it represents. This may be surprising when you learn that I am actually a huge skeptic of alien-sightings and alien-conspiracies.
Spencer, on the other hand, is a big fan of scifi, alien stories, and all the little green men-sightings and conspiracies around which Roswell has made its fame. He wasn’t in need of any convincing about this place and needed no hard-sell tactics in order to become excited about this stop on our trip.
We arrived late at night and, while perhaps apropos for the aliens, it wasn’t the most desirable time to visit any of the museums or novelty shops that make up the major sights here. Nonetheless, my travel companion was far too excited to simply sit in a hotel room (actually we were jeep-sleeping in this location) and miss out on the city simply because it was passed closing time. So, we walked around and took pictures with the aliens. That’s right, we got pictures with real aliens! Granted, they were really made of wood or plastic and resembled looney-tunes characters more than overlord invaders, but they were enough to satiate our thirst to indulge in the extraterrestrial-vibes of Roswell.
After a night’s sleep in the Jeep, we were ready (if not entirely well-rested) to uncover the mystery of alien activity that had centered on Roswell since the alleged crash of a UFO here in 1947. To truly get to the bottom of this event and the government cover-up surrounding it, we had to head to the International UFO Museum and Research Center here in Roswell. This place is part museum, part library, and part giant science project attempting to provide as much information as humanly possible on everything and anything alien or UFO. They have a massive room of reference materials for any magazine, pamphlet, or scientific article ever to even mention extraterrestrials. You can also check out the main atrium where they have a walk-through exhibit on the 1947 crash here at Roswell and the subsequent government cover-up. Of course, there is also a bit of tongue-and-cheek kitsch, such as the flying saucer and aliens placed at the center of this main room which periodically makes “landing sounds” and emits dry-ice fog.
We learned a lot, and even taking it all with a grande-sized grain of salt, it was interesting and left me curious to know even more answers. After the museum, we visited one of the novelty shops next door. There wasn’t much to see here as it was maybe one-third alien materials and two-thirds other, unrelated crap.
The coolest part about Roswell is the way in which almost the entire city has embraced its strange alien-reputation. Every shop, whether they sell electronics or hand-made soaps has found even the smallest way of incorporating the little green guys into their aesthetic and offerings. The residents here are welcoming to the odd tourists that come here due to the town’s reputation and everyone simply has a fun time with the whole thing.
It’s a fairly inexpensive location to visit, the museum was only $5 per person for adults. I wouldn’t advise bringing kids if you can avoid it – there isn’t much to keep them entertained. And don’t expect advanced multimedia presentations or anything fancy. This is a place for hardcore fans and the bookworm set. If you don’t like to read then I say you may wanna pass on this one, but if you love alien’s or are simply an inquisitive person open to the mysteries of the universe, check it out. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to unravel the truth behind it all!