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Feature Articles: Welcome to Aliens-ville, USA

Feature Articles: Alien Abductions, Cattle Mutilations, Conspiracies, Roswell, UFOs

Welcome to Aliens-ville, USA

Are you afraid of the dark? Maybe of spiders? Or perhaps your fears stem from unknowns, magic, mortality, or other mysteries of the terrestrial world?

If you’re like us, a little loony but adventurous, you might get an adrenaline rush from fears especially those unexplainable fears. Fears that stimulate your mind, and make you ponder the cosmos. Appetites for thinking tinker with time, space, and even life outside our precious Milky Way galaxy. Nah, could it be?

Out there is space, in Captain Kirk’s final frontier, are there galaxies full of alien beings? Some say they beam us messages or even visit us. Is the cosmos a club-med for aliens? Do these Martians fly in spaceships or unidentified flying objects or UFOs for a closer look at us peewees?

Questions like these pique curiosity seekers from young to old, and from all walks of life And the one place they go to get definitive answers—the most scientifically valid answers is none other than where alien study has become a booming tourist industry. Welcome to Roswell, New Mexico.

You may be wondering, like I was, why visit Roswell? After all, Roswell is four hours south of Albuquerque, in an oasis among the arid, flat tundra stretching for miles without a blimp of civilization. A one-time incidental town to the notorious Walker Air Force Base, a WW II boiling room for A-bomb research. If only a speck on the map, why does this city hypnotically compel the average person to hit the dusty trail and make annual pilgrimages there?

What are its attractions? It’s no New York, Paris, or Rome. You go to these hyperactive metro-cities for roaring excitement, microbreweries, and late-night carousing. You go to Roswell if you believe what Fox Mulder from the X-Files believed in—the truth is out there.

Ever since that 1943 headlines in the Roswell Times read, “Spaceship Crashes" Roswell earned an indelible place on the New Mexico map as the central leader in UFO intelligence. The controversy stirred about a crashed alien ship, inspired by first-hand accounts, radio broadcasts and a botched Air Force investigation, has turned from urban legend to fact. Skeptics and believers alike, flock to Roswell for the cerebral challenge, or pure amusement of witnessing a city in love with its symbolic mascot—the alien—seen in store after store on T-shirts, mugs, key chains, posters, mouse-pads, and even the food. Is it that addictive? You better believe it.

And in Roswell, unlike any other place on Earth, you can experience a close-encounter of the first-kind about the government cover-up, and burgeoning UFO technology.

We’re not rustic, and really hated the idea of traversing the empty desert without ample gas stations, an accessible bathroom or places to eat. Call us Holiday-Inn people, if you must, but we figured the fun is arriving, not the journey there. So, we booked a 45 minute flight on MESA Airlines, the only commuter jet service from Albuquerque to Roswell.

For a reasonable price, you too, can enjoy the intimacy of the co-pilot doubling as flight attendant for us 20 or so passengers. You land at Roswell airport, a stone's throw from Main Street, the artery that runs through town. As obvious out-of-towners, loaded with cameras and luggage, we clumsily moved along to the car-rental counter, and experienced the first of many yet-to-come hospitalities from the Roswell people. The Avis agent went out to the parking lot and drove the car up to us at the curb. As a frequent flyer from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, I have never had an Avis agent cater to me that way.

Where to eat and sleep

There are plenty of great places to sleep with two more inns under construction when we were there. The Holiday Inn Express where we stayed posted a Yahoo weather map in the elevator everyday to inform tourists of the anticipated day's weather.


Popular fast food restaurants featured alien menus with alien faces on their signage out front. The natives swore the Cattle Baron's steak house was the best place to eat in town. For those who want to save money, there is Cici's with its combination pizza and salad bar with prices so low you'll be able to feed the whole family without blowing your souvenir budget.

The UFO industry

Reminders of the UFO industry abound everywhere around Roswell. Storefronts feature alien faces. Street lights are painted with menacing alien eyes that follow you up and down Main Street. Some of the UFO shops sold treats or desserts to famished visitors.

Real estate offices and government buildings have alien signs as well. Many UFO stores do double duty by selling food and souvenirs in order to earn your money.

Probably the most visited landmark is the Roswell International UFO Museum with its free admission to a host of fascinating things you may have read about or always wanted to see. The adjoining bookstore caters to the enthusiast as well as the family wanting to buy T-shirts or alien glasses for the kids.

AAER meets Guy Malone of Alien

Across the street is the ever-popular Alien Resistance Organization which pulls double duty by renting computer time for natives to access their e-mail or surf the web via a rapid cable connection. Proprietor Guy Malone has many stories to share with tourists regarding alien visitors.

The biggest event of all in Roswell is the July 4th anniversary when the town gathers popular international speakers for its holiday festivities. The downtown district relies heavily on tourist traffic to support local businesses. Some of the shop owners retired from other parts of the United States and came to Roswell to sell souvenirs and hang out with other Roswellians intrigued with the subject of aliens and UFOs.

Street lights with alien eyes watch Roswell tourists, so pack the camper or motor home and plan that next super vacation to Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone in Roswell has something to sell or stories to tell. You'll never know who or what you may meet around the next corner.

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