I have a confession. Watching alien documentaries is one of my guilty pleasures.
And I am not even sorry for it.
From Albuquerque, New Mexico, we are only about 11 hours from our destination, Austin, Texas. My dear husband, who once in a while tolerates some of my quirkiness, asked if I wonder where we are heading to. I naively replied, “Austin”.
“Roswell”, he corrected. I nearly cried from excitement.
The first time I heard about Roswell is from a TV series that some of my high school friends talked about in between classes years ago. I had never even watched a single episode of the show but the name Roswell stuck. However, I am a huge fan of History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. Disregarding Giorgio Tsoukalos’ whimsical hair, the show is at worst ambivalent yet provocative. For the record, Ancient Aliens is not my religion. Whether aliens exist or not, I am thoroughly enchanted.
The International UFO Museum and Research is located right in the heart of downtown Roswell in a former movie theater from the 1930s. Surprisingly, Roswell town does not necessarily capitalize on the alien buzz, except for some gift shops across the museum and a few fast food chains like Arby’s exploiting on “Welcome Aliens” and McDonald’s spaceship-like architecture. The museum, however, is largely focused on the 1947 Roswell (Alien) Crash and some alleged UFO crashes around USA and elsewhere. The very instant we stepped inside the museum, extensive articles and exhibits about aliens and UFO encounters greeted us. The rancher, W. W. “Mack” Brazel who sparked the UFO buzz when he discovered metal debris near a trench outside of the town of Roswell, was of course popular in the museum. My favorite was the mechanical aliens with a spacecraft and an alien sound in their background. I felt my heart jumped when I stood in front of the life-size aliens and they moved! Nobody warned me that they move!
Unfortunately, since we have to be at Austin, Texas before midnight, my husband and I had only few hours to spare at the museum. I tried to read as much conspiracy theories as I could like a little kid forcing all the cookies into my pockets until told to stop.
Road access to Roswell is via US 285 from north or south and US 70 or 380 from east or west. It is literally in the middle of nowhere and driving will mainly consist of endless nothingness. Was it worth it?
Yes, if you render no judgement to what other people believe, and you explore the beautiful parts of Roswell town outside the comfort zone of UFOs. My husband never fails to chuckle every single time I talk about aliens and UFOs. But he clearly loves me and wanted to see me happy so he brought me there. He pouts when I wanted to have a photo with the alien models but he did it anyway because he knows it makes me happy. Had we had extra hours to spare, we would stayed a lot longer. We had an incredible and unforgettable time, I was elated for the rest of our drive. That puts a new meaning to New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.
Ha! I can finally say I had a close encounter.
For more information about the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico, please visit http://www.roswellufomuseum.com.