My first solo sojourn after my surgery and my long recovery period, both physically and mentally, was to Roswell, New Mexico. I am endlessly enthralled with the wide range of beliefs and experiences with extraterrestrials that permeate our culture. (Side note, ever heard Fermi’s paradox? SO FASCINATING! Seriously, Google it.) I live only six hours away from Roswell, so one hot June afternoon I set off in search of alien culture. What I found was nothing short of magical, but in a surprisingly goofy way.
I knew that I was in the right place when I saw alien paintings, logos, and diners lining the small streets. The whole city has a very small town feel to it which I generally enjoy because the pace of those cities allows for me to converse with locals. I always love asking people why they live in the area. Are they going to stay? Why?
I spoke to a woman who owned a downtown antique store, on the main drag of Roswell. She told me that she lives in Roswell because her whole family lives there and it’s always been her home. Sure, she’s visited some “far out” places, but she feels that she belongs in Roswell.
After visiting Whataburger for the third time since arriving the day before (we don’t have it in Colorado. Have you had their spicy ketchup?! ), I set off to explore the International UFO Museum. Because of the “Museum” in its title, I assumed it would be like any other museum, with artifacts and actual facts. Instead, what I found was an enchanting amalgam of reports and suspected alien encounters, landings, and abductions. Peppered throughout the museum are alien autopsy reenactments, life size alien statues with which patrons can pose, and even a full fledged landing site recreation. Though I’m not sure if I learned any hard facts, the evidence presented, though some of it cheesy and kid-oriented, made me question what we know about aliens on the entire drive back.