I wasn’t sure when I’d ever make it back to New England until the lure of the other Dave’s recent surprise birthday party (featured in my last post) unexpectedly made it this year. Sure, the timing could’ve been better but I was grateful for a chance to return; not just to see friends but also more of Massachusetts which has intrigued me since my first visit back in 2010. And how could it not? “The Old Colony State” is rich in American history with some of our country’s oldest and most sinister roots stretching just below the surface of its otherwise beautiful landscapes. It’s a State with the type of scenic countenance and coastal charms a Midwesterner like myself often pines for. Yet, despite its allure, Massachusetts unnerves me with a subtle creepiness I can feel if not adequately explain. I’m not sure why that is considering I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and am certainly not naïve to my own city’s spooky tales and violent past (nor present I might add). I guess for me visiting New England is like stepping into an old attic loaded with strange relics, musty memories, and a glimpse of an ominous history we grazed over in school. In keeping with that metaphor, Massachusetts is like the old, locked trunk sitting in its darkest corner. This year I decided to pull back some of the cobwebs and use the party as an opportunity to covertly visit and explore a series of sites in Massachusetts that are all part of its infamous Bridgewater Triangle. If you live outside of New England, you’ve probably never heard of it but, for many of the locals, it’s arguably more notorious than Salem itself.
Last summer we Daves had the privilege of visiting the Southwestern United States and stopping at many of the hotspots of modern UFO lore. We checked out the UFO Watchtower in Hooper, Colorado, sought out the alleged crash site at Aztec, New Mexico, celebrated the other Dave’s birthday at the ET Diner in Sedona, stopped by the Little Ali’Inn in Rachel, Nevada (near Area 51), and spent a day in Roswell. I remember shortly after returning to Chicago going out for a drink with my friend, Marisa, who wanted to hear all about it. As soon as I started talking about those aforementioned locales, she suddenly arched her eyebrow and said, “Wait a minute…you don’t actually believe in any of that crap, do you?” Her question would be mirrored by many, if not most, of my other friends soon after.
“Seriously, Dave?” they’d say in one form or another. “How can anyone actually believe that UFO’s and aliens are routinely visiting the Earth while somehow evading any proof of their existence?”
“Well, maybe they haven’t,” I’d argue. “Have you even looked at any of the evidence that’s out there?”
The fact is, both of our arguments may likely be boiled down to a matter of faith; I can’t prove they exist and skeptics can’t prove they don’t. However, before you start walking away while shaking your heads, I ask that you first check out a few documentaries on the subject I’ve hand selected just for you. I feel their worthy of your time and, even if they don’t convince you of anything, at least you’ll have an easier time taking folks like me a little more seriously.
The drive from The Grand Canyon to Las Vegas was just over four hours, not taking into consideration rest stops. Places to refuel, however, were pretty sparse though Dolan Springs, Arizona sure offered a colorful one.
Just before crossing the Nevada State Line was Uranus Gas; offering travelers air-brushed photo-ops, snacks, and southwest souvenirs. They also took full advantage of their moniker by posting subtle taglines such as, “Got Gas? Uranus is Always Open.” At $4.69 a gallon, however, their prices were decisively less amusing and I couldn’t help but wonder if the name wasn’t also a reference to where they planned on sticking it to us long-distance drivers.
My fellow Terror Dave, David Albaugh, celebrated his birthday just a week shy of our road trip. Since we’re rarely within nine hundred miles of each other during special occasions, I offered to treat him to dinner while we were on the road. My plan was to find something fun and unique; ideally in Roswell, New Mexico. Unfortunately, while the UFO capital of the world was chock full of gift shops they came up decisively short in terms of gimmicky food places. Not to worry because, as fate should have it, there was an alien themed restaurant right down the street from a hotel we were already booked at. And so, just two weeks after David’s special day, we’d celebrate at the E.T. Encounter Diner in Sedona!
The International UFO Museum and Research Center is appropriately nestled on Roswell, New Mexico’s Main Street. Back in 1947 when the famous “Incident” occurred, the building served as a movie theater while likely going on to show many of the science fiction films its city would one day inspire. The museum opened in 1991 and not only features information on the Roswell Incident but the history of UFO sightings and alleged encounters worldwide. After spending the earlier portion of the morning perusing the local gift shops while taking full advantage of any and all goofy photo-ops, we were now ready for a more serious approach.
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.
It was only our second day on the road when we’d hit our first snag of the trip. The original plan was for us to leave Colorado Springs that afternoon and arrive at a unique attraction in Hooper, Colorado sometime in the evening. Unfortunately, our GPS couldn’t find the listed address no matter how many different ways we tried entering it in. Making matters even worse, neither of our cell phones could get any service unless we were near a metropolitan area. So much for Google Maps! I dug into the glove compartment and retrieved an old school, paper one but, with our eyes crossing from fatigue and unsure where to even look, it wasn’t much help either.
We’d already completed a full day of activities including the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, as well as the May Insect Museum. At this point we were understandably starting to lose steam and opted to just go straight to our hotel in Alamosa (three hours south) with the intention of resuming our search the next morning. Our hope was that the human element would prevail where technology fell short and that one of the locals could point us in the right direction. After all, in the sparsely populated San Luis Valley, surely someone will have heard of the UFO Watch Tower.