It was our fifth day on the road when we arrived in Roswell, New Mexico; the cosmic G-spot for all UFO enthusiasts as well as the inspiration for this entire trip in the first place. The three hour journey from Albuquerque was actually kinda bland as we’d leave picturesque mountains in favor of dull flatland. Fortunately we had decent conversation to help carry us through. We knew we’d finally reached our destination when we spotted a gas station (the first one we’d seen in about 75 miles) featuring a flying saucer on it. There were a few other not so subtle hints as well.
As far as first impressions go, it was pretty obvious that thanks to goofballs like us this once small, unassuming ranch community was on its way to becoming a tourist mecca. Now that threats from Government men in black have subsided, the locals are fully prepared to share their legacy with the rest of the world. Considering the number of ghost towns we’d passed on our way in, they’re wise to do so. Clearly, whatever happened that fateful July 1947 night, it may very have granted Roswell an immortality that most small, Southwestern communities could only dream of.
Unfortunately, by the time we rolled in, it was 6:30PM and the fun stuff was all closed. We checked into our hotel and then walked over to a restaurant next door called “Cattle Baron Steak and Seafood” for dinner. I was actually surprised they didn’t have any UFO themed restaurants but the only places that seemed to take advantage of Roswell’s reputation were fast food chains like KFC, Dominoes, and McDonalds.
We woke up early the next morning anxious to experience all that Roswell had to offer! David wasted no time uploading a photo of our complimentary newspaper, The Roswell Daily Record, to social media as it was the same publication that reported the crash nearly seventy years earlier. It no sooner debuted on Facebook when one of my friends commented how, after all these years, it was still featuring aliens on the cover. This was a hilarious reference to shots of this year’s Presidential contenders – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
We had a couple of hours to kill before the International UFO Museum & Research Center would be open for business and decided to use the opportunity to drive up and down Main Street and photograph virtually anything Extraterrestrial we could find.
When we reached the vicinity of the museum itself, we lit up at the sight of numerous UFO themed gift shops and businesses. At last our nerdy fantasies about visiting of Roswell were finally coming true!
Lucky for us, one of the shops had early morning hours!
I ended up purchasing a cool alien corkscrew for $19.99 but would later see the same item five dollars cheaper at a neighboring store. Jeez, they sure knew how to bilk us early birds! Since many of the shops carried similar goods, the smart ones enticed visitors via clever window displays or dioramas.
One place you could really show your alien spirit was a shop called “Area 51.” Along with alien themed goodies, they offered a room full of photo ops (for a nominal fee) courtesy of props and scene layouts. Naturally, we had to do it…
We made a mental note of all the other shops we still needed to visit before rushing back towards our car. The museum was now open for business and visitors were already pouring in…
Coming Up…The International UFO Museum & Research Center!
Photos by both Terror Daves (Fuentes & Albaugh)!