See the Spaceship Crash Site in Roswell, New Mexico
By Bonnie and Bill Neely
My hobby is watching "Ancient Aliens" and "Project Blue Book" on TV. I love to imagine the "What ifs?" of satellites and space explorers -- human and otherwise. In Roswell, New Mexico, locals claimed that in 1947 a spaceship crashed on a nearby rancher's property and five space beings were found, one of them alive. After the first rash of newspaper headlines that declared a UFO had crashed there, the U.S. government rushed in and declared the "spaceship" was a weather balloon and the stories were wild myths. For decades the top secrets were carefully guarded on threat of death if any eyewitnesses told what they actually saw.
So naturally I was fascinated by the little UFO museum we found years ago in Roswell and then on three subsequent trips visited again. What happened there that July night in 1947 was supported by people around the world who reported hundreds of sightings of UFOs, and convincing personal accounts were on the walls of this small-town, amateurish UFO Museum. This year we returned again to Roswell and were delighted at the newly rebuilt and renamed International UFO Museum.
Now the same little museum is a large, modern museum with interactive displays throughout, including videos of personal testimonies. There is a wall of sworn affidavits of locals who were there in 1947, Air Force personnel who were formerly forbidden to talk and many others.
The two I found most convincing were hand-written papers on the wall of the old museum. One was the account given by the mortician about being contacted after the crash to bring five child-size caskets to a local ranch. There he saw the crashed flying saucer and four of the beings, each about 4 feet tall with slanted, almond-shaped eyes and silvery-gray "skin," who seemed to have died upon impact when the craft landed. An autopsy that was performed is depicted at the museum in a life-size diorama, faithfully rendered to the exact size and description of the small beings, including four digits on their hands and feet. One more of these beings who was severely injured was taken to a then-undisclosed location for surveillance. The other eyewitness account that seemed true was written by the nurse who attended the autopsy.
In the museum center is a fun exhibit of a saucer-shaped spaceship with life-size silver creatures nearby. Turn a hand crank and the entire scene comes to life with movement, noises, lights and smoke. The rest of the museum is divided into sections that include photographs of Air Force personnel, scientists, eyewitnesses, Army officers, local citizens and others with reliable and convincing statements of what they knew to be true but were for decades forbidden to mention.
One section features UFOs that have been seen around the world. A large display presents accounts of archeological findings as described and investigated on "Ancient Aliens." One of the most profound in this display is the large panel of carved wood from the Mayan culture (between A.D. 400 and 600) depicting a humanoid figure, "The Palenque Astronaut," driving a spaceship. This wood panel was found to be covering the remains of the being who was depicted.
Another section explains the classifications of encounters with UFOs. A Close Encounter of the First Kind is seeing an object or mysterious light in the sky within less than 500 feet and appearing to have no interaction with the witness. The Second Kind is watching an object in the sky that has a measurable physical effect on either animate or inanimate matter on earth. The Third Kind is when a witness sees a humanlike being but usually no direct contact is made.
A Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind is when the occupants of a UFO make direct contact with people, either communicating with them or taking them for examination before returning them to the original location. Some accounts are by people who have had each of these encounters, including the frightening Fourth Kind ones by Betty and Barney Hill, Derrell Sims, Travis Walton and others who were captured temporarily.
The museum contains movie posters and TV images of iconic films that have delighted and scared audiences through the decades when no government personnel were allowed to discuss the top-secret investigations taking place through CIA, Air Force and other branches of the U.S. government. However, the museum has a wall of world leaders who believe UFOs are real and have seen them: Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and various astronauts and U.S. pilots.
One must-see is the Roswell UFO Spacewalk and Gallery. Another is Space Sport Roswell, a virtual reality attraction with realistic space travel experiences for UFO enthusiasts. The first week of each July UFOlogists and fans from all over the world gather in Roswell for the annual AlienFest, a UFO festival for families, scientists and anyone interested in learning the fascinating stories of UFO Encounters. Mark your calendar now for next year. It will be worth the trip.
WHEN YOU GO
International UFO Museum: www.roswellufomuseum.com
Roswell, New Mexico: www.seeroswell.com
Bonnie and Bill Neely are freelance writers and photographers. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate, Inc.