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.
The 50’s must have been an amazing time to be a film fan, especially if you liked science fiction. Thanks to pilot Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of nine flying discs on June 24, 1947, the possibility of alien invaders became an all-too-real reality. America had just come out of World War II two years earlier and I am sure that people were still paranoid and tense. Nationwide reports of unidentified flying objects would only add to this paranoia and the film industry took full advantage by playing off of these fears.