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Little Green Men in Roswell, New Mexico

by Thomas Schueneman

Did aliens visit Roswell?“UFO Parking Only” the sign says; “That’s us”, I declare and turn the car into the lot.

On the road early, we make Roswell by 9:30 a.m., thirty minutes before the UFO Museum and Research Center opens, so we make our way instead to the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Admission is free and we are, apparently, the only visitors present. We enjoy the recreation of viewing Robert Goddard’s workshop and the many exhibits pertaining to this pioneer of modern rocketry. I had not realized that Roswell was home to much of his career. There are also exhibits of western art and artifacts, and three modern art exhibits. But time is of the essence; we have two hundred miles to cover to make the Star Hill Inn outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and before that is our original reason for stopping in Roswell – tales of alien encounters!

I am dubious when I see the converted movie theater adorned with images of alien eyes, green plastic men, and window displays full of “alien” t-shirts and all manner of UFO tourist junk.

It is a pleasant surprise to find that admission is free; you are, however, told to place a pin on a large hanging wall map to indicate your home. Briefly, I toy with the notion of saying, “Ma’am, this map is only of earth..."

Such is the tongue-in-check atmosphere of the place. There are plenty of things to read amongst the exhibits; numerous affidavits from eye witnesses of the “Roswell Incident” of 1947. There are also exhibits that appear only to take up space – An anthropomorphic dummy circa 1947... Yeah, so?

Or a mock-up of the radio station that conducted an interview with rancher W.W. "Mac" Brazel, who collected parts from the now famous crash of either a weather balloon or an alien spacecraft, depending on whom you choose to believe.

I just don’t get it. The place is mildly interesting, and I am told that something besides pandering to curious tourists goes on in the “research” section of the facility, but I am skeptical. There is an audio tour ) available for one dollar, but I don’t recommend it. Most of what is valuable here is the stuff to read. My head almost exploded trying to listen to the tape and read the exhibits at the same time.

Of course, the final stop is the gift shop, full of screaming seven-year-olds wanting an alien necklace, or glow-in-the-dark pencil eraser head, or some such tripe. There are a selection of books on UFO’s, space, and the Roswell Incident; the impulse to buy another book always near, I move back amongst the screaming seven-year-olds until I am thoroughly disgusted and finally leave...

Disappointed but no poorer for the experience.

Did a UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947? That’s a question that the UFO Museum and Research Center doesn’t answer. Could be, who knows?

Something did crash, and the military clearly did attempt to cover something up... Hmm... The military trying to cover something up – now there’s a novel idea! I do know that those little green plastic men hanging around downtown Roswell would surely scare away the real aliens if they came back today!

I suppose it’s just fine to spend a short time here, but to make your visit to Roswell even better, check out the very nice – and very uncrowded - Museum and Art Center. Little green men to modern art; don’t let anyone tell you that Roswell doesn’t have it all!

But, alas, Jayne and I realize that our goal of alien abduction while visiting New Mexico isn’t going to happen in Roswell, so we head North to the Star Hill Inn –

Maybe there...

Tom lives in San Francisco and works as a sound engineer, freelance writer, and entrepreneur. He enjoys traveling, nature, reading, photography, and music.


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