4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Roswell, New Mexico

Display of alien, Rowell
Display of alien, Rowell

Located in the Pecos Valley, Roswell grew up around large cattle ranches on land previously occupied by Mescalero Apaches. From the development of Fort Stanton in 1855 to the closure of the Walker Air Force Base – home to the world’s longest runways in the ‘70s – the town had always had a strong military presence.

Fort Stanton was first founded as a frontier outpost to protect settlers from Indian raids. But it owes its fame to having later stationed the infamous Buffalo Soldiers.

Today, the economic well-being of the town no longer depends on either ranchers or the military, but is derived mainly from the thousands of tourists who come to learn about the 1947 Roswell Incident. What began as a solo sighting of an alleged alien spaceship crash is now a multi-million dollar tourism attraction. It is not the crash to which the “Incident” refers, however, but rather to the subsequent cover-up of the recovery of the craft and occupants.

The military officially maintained and still maintains that the hoopla resulted from the crash of an experimental, and classified, high-altitude surveillance balloon. Thirty years later, in 1978, retired personnel that had worked at the supposed crash site began contradicting the official claim, effectively resurrecting the famous, controversial UFO mystery just in time to revitalize the depressed town that only a few years before had lost half its population with the closing of the Walker Air Force base.

Driving the main drag, there is visible evidence of the success of this marketing scheme. With names like “Not of This World Coffee Shop,” replica flying disks mounted on roofs and pillars such as the one at the local McDonald’s, and giant green plastic inflatable aliens looming in almost every shop window, it’s easy to doubt and even mock the verity of the original incident for which Roswell is best known.

Not surprisingly, I had to practically drag my friend through the doors of the UFO Museum and Research Center, whose mission is to provide an educational resource pertaining to UFO phenomena.

If not grudgingly, certainly with his tongue firmly planted in cheek, he accompanied me as we paid for our tickets. As he made his way from one exhibit to the next, he became less and less cynical and more and more absorbed in the mystery that had captured my interest as a wee lass.

Exhibits included information on the Incident, of course, as well as on crop circles, other UFO sightings, the mysteries of Area 51 (a military airfield in Nevada where experimental aircraft and weapons systems are tested), and abductions.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Display of alien, Rowell
Display of alien, Rowell

Located in the Pecos Valley, Roswell grew up around large cattle ranches on land previously occupied by Mescalero Apaches. From the development of Fort Stanton in 1855 to the closure of the Walker Air Force Base – home to the world’s longest runways in the ‘70s – the town had always had a strong military presence.

Fort Stanton was first founded as a frontier outpost to protect settlers from Indian raids. But it owes its fame to having later stationed the infamous Buffalo Soldiers.

Today, the economic well-being of the town no longer depends on either ranchers or the military, but is derived mainly from the thousands of tourists who come to learn about the 1947 Roswell Incident. What began as a solo sighting of an alleged alien spaceship crash is now a multi-million dollar tourism attraction. It is not the crash to which the “Incident” refers, however, but rather to the subsequent cover-up of the recovery of the craft and occupants.

The military officially maintained and still maintains that the hoopla resulted from the crash of an experimental, and classified, high-altitude surveillance balloon. Thirty years later, in 1978, retired personnel that had worked at the supposed crash site began contradicting the official claim, effectively resurrecting the famous, controversial UFO mystery just in time to revitalize the depressed town that only a few years before had lost half its population with the closing of the Walker Air Force base.

Driving the main drag, there is visible evidence of the success of this marketing scheme. With names like “Not of This World Coffee Shop,” replica flying disks mounted on roofs and pillars such as the one at the local McDonald’s, and giant green plastic inflatable aliens looming in almost every shop window, it’s easy to doubt and even mock the verity of the original incident for which Roswell is best known.

Not surprisingly, I had to practically drag my friend through the doors of the UFO Museum and Research Center, whose mission is to provide an educational resource pertaining to UFO phenomena.

If not grudgingly, certainly with his tongue firmly planted in cheek, he accompanied me as we paid for our tickets. As he made his way from one exhibit to the next, he became less and less cynical and more and more absorbed in the mystery that had captured my interest as a wee lass.

Exhibits included information on the Incident, of course, as well as on crop circles, other UFO sightings, the mysteries of Area 51 (a military airfield in Nevada where experimental aircraft and weapons systems are tested), and abductions.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Why June gloom besets San Diego

Wild mustard, chamise, buckwheat
Next Article

Virtual Roots: Portugal, P.O.D. Satellite Over Southtown, Tinyfest: Tiny Houses, Simple Living

Events May 13-May 14, 2021
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close