Something happened — or did it? A quick peek into Roswell, New Mexico.

Greeting us at McDonald's in Roswell, New Mexico

Greeting us at McDonald’s in Roswell, New Mexico

Oh, sure — we’d heard of Roswell.  That’s where aliens descended upon the US back in the 40s. Right?  Well, maybe.  Maybe not.  But when I signed on for a day of training teachers in Clovis, New Mexico, my husband and I decided we couldn’t pass up a chance to see what all the hoopla was about in nearby Roswell.

Even if other-world creatures hadn’t stepped foot into Roswell, you’d never know it just driving down the main streets where lifesize replicas and painted versions of outer space beings pop up everywhere.

This alien won a saucer-shaped award as seen in upper left corner!

This alien won a saucer-shaped award as seen in upper left corner!

From the alien street lights . . .

IMG_8917

to hand-made fabric versions . . .

IMG_8914

to stylized, make-you-smile renderings — aliens have landed, at least downtown.

IMG_8937

We needed straight talk on this matter, so we parked our car and bought a ticket to the International UFO Museum and Research Center on North Main in the former Plains Theater building.

IMG_8919

A worker taking a break was seemingly conversing with one of the foreigners, but more encounters of the third kind awaited us inside.

IMG_8920

Opened in 1997, the museum houses artifacts and primary sources pertinent to the events of 1947.

IMG_8922

Here’s a brief timeline of what “happened” in 1947 and what may have been covered up.

  • July 4 — Mac Brazel, a rancher, heard a loud noise; two nuns saw what they believed was an airplane crash.
  • July 5 — Brazel and his neighbor’s seven-year-old son discovered a debris field 300 yards wide and 3/4 mile long.  Brazel picked up a sackful of “stuff” from the field.
  • July 6 — Brazel takes “stuff” to Sheriff Wilcox in Roswell.  Wilcox calls Intelligence Officer Jesse Marcel.
  • July 7 — Funeral director Glenn Dennis gets a call about the number of child-size caskets he has in stock and how to preserve bodies exposed to the weather.
  • July 8 — Press release was issued concerning the site and the lack of debris, limiting exploration by the public.
  • July 8 — Debris that was spread on the floor in front of Intelligence Officer Jesse Marcel is replaced by weather balloon debris when Marcel is asked to step out of the room.
  • July 8 — Glenn Dennis’s nurse sketches what she saw on the examination table — a big-eyed alien.
  • Incidents were silenced for 30 years until Stanton Friedman started investigating the
    Roswell Incident in 1979.

(Information from “Roswell Incident Timeline” at the International UFO Museum and Research Center.)

The museum houses witness statements, copies of newspaper articles, even furniture from the office receiving the “news.” And we have to admit, it’s really interesting — even if you think it’s just “hooey”!

IMG_8924

At one point, we were reading the documents in veritable silence since few visitors were there.  All of a sudden, a startling swoosh almost carried us off! It came from the saucer above the animatronic aliens in a display designed by Distortions Unlimited!

We jumped, then moved around the corner to take a closer look at a fairly “cheesy” display, but one with a chilling effect.  Puffs of smoke swirled around the beings while colored lights flashed above. You can’t help but smile at this ship that takes off and lands every hour!

IMG_8927In the middle of the room is a horse covered in news clippings. At the head, one headline caught our eye: “It’s a Weather Balloon”!

IMG_8928

One corner touts the existence of aliens as noted in pre-historic drawings.

IMG_8932

And another corner is dedicated to the many comic strips published on the subject.

IMG_8935

Imagine our surprise when we saw a cartoon drawn by fellow Knoxvillian Charlie Daniel, an award-winning and much-loved Knoxville News-Sentinel cartoonist!

IMG_8934

Consider these museum stats:

  • During the summer of 2001, the museum recorded its one-millionth visitor.
  • An average of 150,000 people stop by each year.
  • The museum’s library houses the second largest collection of UFO info in the world.

We headed outside as puzzled as ever since there’s just enough information to make you wonder. And we both agreed with what’s published in the brochure given to us with our admission ticket: The primary goal of the Museum is to provide information so the visitor is able to make up their mind about the Roswell Incident, the UFOs and other possible extraterrestrial phenomena.

Whatever that “incident” was — it’s definitely had an impact on the town and people of Roswell!

IMG_8921

By the way, if you’re in Roswell in early July, catch the Annual UFO Festival the weekend prior to or following the 4th of July.  You’ll meet researchers, science fiction celebs, and fans of all things UFO.

IMG_8939

So were “they” here?  Or not? You’ll just have to go to Roswell and decide for yourself!

(If you’ve already been and have an opinion, we’d love to read your comments.)

International UFO Museum and Research Center

114 N. Main Street

Roswell, NM 88203

575.626.9495

www.roswellufomuseum.com

Facebook: Click here for International UFO Museum and Research Center

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
This entry was posted in Destination, Museum, New Mexico, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Something happened — or did it? A quick peek into Roswell, New Mexico.

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us. I like the cartoon, “You’re right Captain xxx,…..” PS. Can’t read the signature of the illustrator at the bottom and wondering who wrote it?..

  2. How fun is that!? I sure don’t know the truth of it, but I think it’s pretty much a given that something definitely happened.

Please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s