Whether you have a genuine curiosity about UFOs, or are just a fan of the absurdly fascinating, the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico is worth a visit.
The headline in the Roswell Daily Record on July 8, 1947 read: RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region. (RAAF stands for Roswell Army Air Field). So began one of the most controversial, high profile incidents in the annals of Unidentified Flying Objects.
The U.S. military claims that what was recovered was actually the debris of a high-altitude, experimental balloon. Other UFO proponents say that the military covered up not only the recovery of a crashed spacecraft, but also of alien bodies. As time went on, both public interest and scientific study escalated. By the early 1990s, well-known researchers had interviewed hundreds of people who were connected to the Roswell incident. They also reviewed internal documents by exercising the Freedom of Information Act, some of which are purported to be counterfeit.
The International UFO Museum and Research Center retells the story well, although it is certainly a bit biased. Don’t let the words “international” and “museum” lead you astray. The state of New Mexico boasts some of the world’s finest small museums, but the location of the Roswell facility inside an old movie house should be your first clue.
The Museum is definitely low tech. Exhibits include murals and dioramas (complete with alien dummies) depicting the Roswell crash. Not surprisingly, movies have been made about the incident and many items used in filming are also on display.
There are videotapes of eyewitness accounts, including one of the most interesting from mortician Glen Dennis. Dennis claims that a nurse at the military hospital gave him drawings of aliens and that he was asked odd questions by the military about embalming bodies.
There are several exhibits that document other sightings of spacecraft and alien beings. And whimsy not withstanding, there is also an extensive research library on the premises with extensive works on UFOs. And by all means, don’t miss the gift shop. It is full of all sorts of chachkies that are irresistible.
The Museum has plans to build a new multi-million dollar facility just a few blocks north of the current site. The futuristic building will occupy an entire city block and feature many new displays. No opening date has been set.