ET Phone Home

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For anyone who is not aware, Roswell, New Mexico, is famous for “the incident” in 1947.  A rancher and a friend were riding on his property looking for his livestock the day after a very severe thunderstorm when he came across a large area of debris of a tin-type material and other substances. The debris field stretched a couple hundred feet wide and went on for a distance of about 3/4 mile. The ranchers gathered up a bunch of the debris, brought it home and showed it to some neighbors, one of whom had heard that there was a $3,000 reward offered for anyone showing credible proof of a flying saucer. The rancher contacted the Army and showed them the debris, and that’s when all hell broke loose!

Pictures from the International UFO Museum in Roswell.

A couple of days later, the Army Air Force issued a press release stating that the remains of a crashed flying disc had been recovered in Roswell. A day later, a second press release stated that the first one was a mistake, and the debris was that of a weather balloon. As this was all going on, a local mortician received a call from the AAF morgue inquiring how to get hold of some small, hermetically sealed coffins and asking how to preserve bodies that had been exposed to the elements for a few days to avoid contaminating the tissue. Next thing you know, witnesses were being threatened with violence and even death if they discussed the incident. The whole story is really quite incredible.

In a short time, the story lost steam and people forgot about Roswell, except for people who live here. The whole UFO thing has given this town the only fuel it really has to keep on going. There’s a UFO museum devoted to the 1947 incident as well as other evidence from Mayan carvings and petroglyphs to modern photographs. There are statues of green aliens all over town (even though the bodies that were supposedly recovered in 1947 had grey skin), there is a giant alien holding up Dunkin Donuts’ sign and McDonald’s is shaped like a space ship. Sadly, the town doesn’t have much else going for it, so they may as well use what they have! Carlsbad has it’s cavern, and Roswell has aliens. 

Come to think of it, I’m surprised that they have not claimed that the lakes at Bottomless Lakes State Park, where we are camping, were created by crashed UFOs! (They are actually a string of sinkholes created when underground caverns, like the one in Carlsbad but smaller, collapsed and filled with water. The deepest is 90 feet! They came to be known as the Bottomless Lakes when cowboys tried to figure out how deep they were by attaching several girths from their saddles and lowering them to the bottom; they never did hit bottom.)

We’ve really been enjoying this park. We’ve got the best site, we think, as it’s tucked into the corner so it has some privacy, it’s on the side of a hill to block the wind somewhat. We get a full view of the sunset every evening, and we are right across from the bathhouse which has the WiFi mounted on the roof, so good WiFi signal! A great bonus is the hiking trails. We did a great hike of almost 6 miles the other day past all of the lakes, and there’s a short wetlands walk where migratory birds gather. The rocks and lakes are really beautiful.

And in yet another small-world incident, one of the camp hosts here was born and raised in Thompson, CT, just up the road from Plainfield, where I grew up for the first 12 years. There are a lot of Viens’ in that part of Connecticut

We’ll be leaving here and heading a couple hours west to see some petroglyphs, mountains and White Sands National Monument. Stay tuned!

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