In 1982, I went to a movie theater for the first time. The movie: E.T. I was only two years old, and that was the beginning of my lifelong fascination with all things extraterrestrial. I've always loved reading books about aliens (mostly nonfiction) and have been particularly interested in the Roswell incident of 1947 (weather balloon, my ass!). My husband wanted to visit some relatives in Colorado this summer, so we decided to visit a place that I wanted to go to as well: I was finally going to Roswell. I've wanted to visit Roswell for years, so I was really excited to attend the Amazing Roswell UFO Festival and go to the International UFO Museum and Research Center; I'm not usually too interested in the history of the cities I visit, but Roswell has the kind of history that keeps me interested. Cover-ups, conspiracies, death threats by the military against those who knew the truth? Why couldn't we have learned this kind of history in school?!
We arrived at our hotel around midnight on Friday, July 5th and were greeted by an alien welcome sign, so I knew I had made the right decision when I booked the Comfort Suites.
We looked over the UFO Fest schedule, circled everything we wanted to do, and went to bed since we had a long day ahead of us. When we made our way to the Roswell Civic Center, we were lucky enough to find a shady spot where we could watch the Alien Pet Contest. The mostly canine contestants (there was one cat) were dressed as various aliens, and they were all adorable; it was obvious that their owners put a ton of time and effort into making these impressive costumes.
This cute little guy is Jackpot, who came in second in the costume contest.
After the cutest costume contest ever, we checked out the UFO Festival vendors and some of the shops on Main Street. We went to Alien Zone, where I bought a stuffed alien toy for my dog and had my picture taken with an alien display at the front of the store. We also went to Star Child, Third Rock from the Sun, and every other alien-themed shop we came across.
Then it was time to go somewhere I'd wanted to go for a long time: the International UFO Museum and Research Center. The exhibition hall was full of the festival's lecturers, who sat at tables and signed books, DVDs, and posters for fans. There was a really cool display featuring a UFO and some aliens, so we both had our pictures taken in front of it. When I was taking my husband's picture, one of the aliens turned its head, which caught me off-guard since we'd been there for about twenty minutes and I hadn't seen any of them move before that. We looked at everything in the museum, then checked out the gift shop. I spent too much money there, but now I have alien socks, so it was totally worth it!
We decided to go back to the hotel to relax and charge my camera for awhile, and then we went to Peppers Grill and Bar for dinner; my shrimp and crab enchilada was delicious, and our dinner cost just over $20, so I definitely recommend it. After dinner, it was back to Main Street for the Electric Light Parade. We got there early, so we walked to the Roswell Civic Center to get pictures of the floats while they were lined up on the street. I'm glad we did because those pictures turned out much better than the ones we took during the parade, while the floats were moving.
We had to drive to Albuquerque on Sunday, but we wanted to attend one of the UFO Festival lectures, so we chose one called “Crop Circles, Balls of Light, and Orbs.” The lecturer was Patty Greer, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has visited dozens of crop circles. The lecture was fascinating, as was the documentary we watched, which showed that crop circles are created by orbs of light. I’ve always wondered how crop circles were made and knew that humans don’t have the ability to make something so amazing and perfect in a matter of hours (usually in the dark), so I found the lecture very interesting and informative. If you have any interest in crop circles, you should really check out some Patty Greer DVDs!
I’m so happy that I finally got to visit Roswell, and I missed it as soon as we left. I wish I could go to the UFO Festival every year…it was a wonderful experience, and I came up with some new play ideas that I can’t wait to write. Thanks, Roswell!