Wednesday, May 28, 2014

US Hwy 70: Roswell, NM

Roswell, NM, has long been on my list of places to visit, primarily for its alien lore. Now that I'm here, I have to admit it's a bit disappointing.

Everywhere you look are alien and UFO themed enterprises, everything from ubiquitous souvenir shops to restaurants, laundromats and whatnot.

The centerpiece of it all is the Roswell UFO Museum, a cavernous building divided into a large number of semi-thematic alcoves.

Its full name is the "International UFO Museum and Research Center" which proves that titles can be more than a little misleading.

The main attraction -- I suppose you could call it that -- is a "life-size" display of aliens, standing under a model of their intergalactic transport.

One or the other is clearly not to scale, or the aliens must have to really scrunch themselves up to fit in their spacecraft!

Mostly, the museum is an overwhelming collection of letters, testimonials, transcripts, schematics, photos, etc. A pretty big deal is made about photos that have been proven to be hoaxes, as if that somehow lends credibility to those that have not been similarly debunked. It doesn't.

After reading/reviewing a respectable amount of the posted literature, I was reminded of the old "fact vs. truth" problem. It may be a "fact" that many people have reported UFO sightings, but that doesn't make their existence the "truth." I didn't believe the earth has ever been visited by aliens when I walked in the door, and I still didn't believe (or even question) when I walked out. Frankly, the whole thing is pretty sophomoric.

Thankfully, there are other attractions in Roswell. A much better bet is the Roswell Museum and Arts Center which offers a wide array of exhibits. In-depth presentation of Robert Goddard's pioneering rocketry work -- including his entire workshop and many artifacts -- is complemented by informative displays of the area's history and culture. There's even some fine art thrown in for good measure.

Another worthwhile attraction is The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art which houses a fine collection worthy of its name. I'm not an especially big fan of contemporary art, but I enjoyed it.

I've seen enough of Roswell to check it off my list and turn my attention to other exploration in the area... Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

James said...

Well done, (for a non - believer)