Monday, July 8, 2013

MY ROSWELL SLIDE SHOW (Someone get the lights!)

Road Trip!!
This past holiday weekend, I met up with old friends and we journeyed to the UFO capital of Roswell, New Mexico for its annual UFO festival, which celebrates the alleged crash of a flying saucer in 1947.  The festival is equal parts UFO conference, street fair, and calorie fest. C'mon, how could one even think of passing up both stuffed sopapillas AND the requisite funnel cakes?

The festival is a melange of characters that stands in stark relief against the small town demographics of southeastern New Mexico. Head-scratching farmers and ironic hipsters rub elbows with wide-eyed kids and die-hard enthusiasts clad stiflingly in metallic fabrics and purple wigs.

The beating heart of the festival was undoubtedly the famous UFO Museum, a kitschy conglomeration of artifacts cobbled from years of effort on the part of tireless researchers and enthusiasts. It's a historical walk through the events surrounding the now-famous crash as well as a chronicle of other important UFO events. Scattered among these are seemingly countless UFO models, life sized animatronic aliens, and posters celebrating Roswell's impact on pop culture.

It was here at the museum that visitors were able to meet up close and personal such legendary figures as Travis Walton, a man famous for his well-documented abduction from a Arizona mountain top in the 1970s. The story went on to be made into the film, Fire in the Sky, which starred D. B. Sweeney and Robert Patrick. Knowing that many of the loggers involved in the incident were early on quite reticent about embracing the event (himself most of all), I asked Mr. Walton if he thought that his experience was something of a double-edged sword, a necessary evil. With a heavy sense of resignation, he admitted as much. While the tale has brought him a degree of respect and has given his life a new trajectory, it requires him to continue carrying the weight of his experience--and all its implications. Later, we listened as Walton relayed his experience in a talk to a room overflowing with attendees.

I also was fortunate to chat at length with Aaron Sagers, a journalist and TV personality that has worked with the likes of Travel Channel, CNN, and MTV to report on the paranormal in pop culture. Sagers authored the book The Paranormal Pop Culture Collection. You can learn more about Sagers and his work at To explain the pic better, he was quite fascinated by the metal mug I picked up at a root beer stand outside. I'm holding a copy of his book, which I look forward to reading soon.

For three days, the events were piled on: lectures by the likes of Stanton Friedman, costume contests (including one for pets), live entertainment, carnival rides, a parade... And did I mention the junk food. Seriously, if you've never made the trek to Roswell, you should. Makes for an awesome road trip--especially during the UFO Festival.

See more from my trip HERE.

1 comment:

YONKS said...

That looks so much fun. I must add this to my bucket list. It looks like it could be the kind of geek-fest my husband would love :-)

Is there a pervasive atmosphere hangs over Roswell? I always imagine it to have a strange aura about it.