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“The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?” Ellie Arroway in the 1997 movie Contact
I like to think there’s life out there. In fact, I’m rather convinced of it. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars and a staggeringly unimaginable number of planets. Statistically the odds are in favor of life having evolved. What that creation looks like, whether it wobbles, transmorgrifies, squeaks or travels is anyone’s guess, but I for one, am keeping an open mind. It was thoughts like this, if you may, that prompted us to take our rolling home into Roswell NM. Here at last I had the chance to encounter the outer-worldy, experience the extraterrestrial and perchance reach the dizzying heights of international photographic UFO fame (you never know, after all).
Now, for those of you who haven’t heard about Roswell, many consider it the center of modern UFO and alien interest. Alien citings can be traced back to early civilization, but the modern theory of little green men is forever linked to July 1947 and the suspicious debris found by William “Mack” Brazel on the Foster homestead just north of Roswell, NM. The find made the sensational headline “RAAF captures flying saucer on Ranch in Roswell”, which was almost immediately followed by what looked like a hasty military cover-up. That day and the activity around it sparked many decades of speculation on UFO’s, aliens and the government. What actually happened?
Well, for those of inquisitive mind the UFO museum in Roswell tracks the 1947 incident, as well as streams of other reported alien encounters in a minutiae of details. It’s the single best resource I’ve ever seen on the topic and provides a balanced presentation of both the original radio broadcast, news clippings, affidavits, reports, quotes from military personnel, top secret documents and scientific theories and investigation of the debris and area. It’s a fascinating visit and easily worth a few hours.
I won’t tell you exactly what my own conclusions were (you’ll have to make your own), but there’s no doubt the incident was an amazing one and it sparked both popular interest in extraterrestrial life as well as conspiracy theories, (Majestic-12, anyone?), interesting science (Project Mogul, perchance?) and lives forever changed.
As for our own alien encounters? Well, we did our honest best. Despite antennas up, foil hats on and a large inviting sign (with flowers) on the RV roof saying “take us please” we failed to establish contact. On the second day we even sweetened the deal with a second sign of “open bar here”, which I was convinced would attract even the most reclusive alien, but alas it was not mean to be.
Now, that’s not to say our trip was uneventful. We thoroughly enjoyed the couple of “UFO-dedicated” blocks in Roswell, were surprised at how modern and large the rest of the city is (the Art Center, especially is worth a visit) and spent many relaxing hours at Bottomless Lakes. We can also claim some suspicious activity. Our car GPS died suddenly and inexplicably on the lonely road into Roswell and several saucer-like clouds did form on the horizon. Far from convincing I must admit, but both were rather a nice touch nonetheless.
Until next time, my little green friends….you know where we’ll be…
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