For many, Roswell, New Mexico is an essential piece of the American UFO narrative because of an infamous UFO crash that may have happened there in 1947. UFO enthusiasts visit Roswell as a part of personal pilgrimage. So, if you love UFOs, the Roswell incident is one you should know, and the town is a great place to visit for those wishing to experience a significant piece of UFO history.
Why Roswell Is Synonymous With UFOs
On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record reported that William Ware "Mack" Brazel ranch foreman of the Foster Ranch had discovered a debris field of unknown material. It was reported that Brazel had pieces of a flying saucer that the military had recovered. The Foster Ranch was around 75 miles northwest of Roswell in the small town of Corona.
The story became a worldwide news, but the following day it was retracted. Instead of a flying saucer, the military stated they'd recovered nothing more than a weather balloon and had a photo op with the material they claimed was what had been found by Brazel.
Roswell's claim to fame in all this was the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) where the crashed UFO and alien occupants were supposedly stored as the military scrambled to handle the remains of the crash site. Major Jesse A. Marcel, Sr. was the intelligence officer in charge of collecting the debris. Years later, he claimed what he'd originally witnessed was not a weather balloon but debris from a UFO.
His son, flight surgeon Jesse Marcel, Jr., stated that his father brought some of the UFO debris by the house that night to show his family. Among the debris was a strange foil-like material that could not be damaged, cut, or burned. Another artifact was a small beam covered with purplish hieroglyphic-like writing.
Other UFO Crashes Near Roswell
There have long been several tales of other UFO crash sites at the same time as the famed Roswell crash. In fact, there have been claims of other UFO crashes that same night. According to UFO researcher, Chuck Wade, who gave a presentation to the Highlands Ranch Historical Society on June 17, 2017, there were a total of four other UFO crashes in addition to the known Roswell UFO between mid-June and July 4 in 1947.
He believes there was a UFO crash in 1945 and another one in 1948, making a total of seven UFO crashes in the vicinity. He theorizes that the U.S. military had a mobile high-powered radar unit that was relocated near Roswell. He believes the radar not only tracked these UFOs, but the radar beam was responsible for the multiple crashes.
He described how eyewitnesses reported brilliant flashes of light just before each UFO crashed. Wade presented a map of the downed UFO locations and reported on the interviews he conducted with the eyewitnesses to the other UFO crash sites.
One of the Biggest Cover-Ups in UFO History
During the years that followed, eyewitnesses claimed the U.S. military was covering up what really happened at Roswell and other sites. Local people who'd assisted in the retrieval of the crash debris and its alien occupants were intimidated into keeping quiet about the true happenings. It was rumored that the military took the UFO and the alien bodies to Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio and stored them in Hangar 18.
UFO Crash Site
In 2018, a new attraction gave even veteran Roswell visitors a reason to rush back one more time. For the first time, UFO enthusiasts were able to take a bus tour to the actual ranch where the UFO was reported to have crashed. The 1947 UFO Crash Tour was presented as part of the annual Roswell UFO Festival. However, the ranch was sold soon after the 2018 event and is no longer open to the public.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Foster Ranch crash site is actually on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property. BLM property is public land and open to the public. Unfortunately, access to the crash site can only be made through this privately owned ranch. You would need permission from the ranch owner to go through the property. (Never trespass on privately owned property.)
Roswell UFO Pilgrimage
So, if you're a UFO enthusiast who wants to explore UFO history, a visit to Roswell may sound like the perfect vacation or road trip. And there's more to see here for UFO enthusiasts than just a commemorative sign. Roswell has embraced its identity as the UFO capital of the United States and provides visitors plenty to do.
Certainly, you want to take in the must see tourist sites when you visit Roswell. No visit is complete without visiting the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Another must is local UFO researcher, Dennis Balthaser's famous UFO Tour, that includes Hanger (Building 84). This is reportedly where the crashed UFO and alien bodies were stored until they could be transported to Wright-Patterson Airforce Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Helicopter Ride Over Roswell
One of the best-kept secrets of Roswell is seen from the air via Roswell Helicopter Tours. The agricultural industry uses the technique of circle fields. This is an irrigation conservation technique that also conserves farmland. From the air, the city looks as though it has been invaded by hundreds of green and tan saucers that landed in fields.
Robert H. Goddard Planetarium
Renowned rocket inventor/pioneer, Robert Goddard made Roswell his home some years before the Roswell Incident. It was here that Goddard built and launched his rockets just outside of town. Don't miss this full dome digital theater and the photo op with his statue outside when you visit the Roswell Museum and Art Center.
Annual Roswell Galacticon & SciFi Film Fest
Held at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center during the annual Roswell Festival, the Roswell Galacticon & SciFi Film Fest is a must for any Roswell UFO fan! Any fan of cosplay, zombies, role-playing games and anything scifi or fantasy should plan to attend this festival!
The SciFi Film Fest features juried short and full SciFi and fantasy films shown at the Roswell Museum and Arts Center. The Galacticon part of the dual fest hosts Vendor Hall. This is a hub of activities that include all types of items for sale, numerous workshops, panel discussions, celebrity guests, role-playing games, such as Zombie Invasion, Cosplay Karaoke, Costume contests, and a popular annual Steampunk Ball.
Photo Op Locations
You'll have plenty of photo opportunities when you pose by one of Roswell's globe streetlights that features aliens painted on the globes. Wait until nighttime when the green faces are all lit up! Only a few of the Main Street lights are adorned with the slanted dark alien eyes.
You can't miss snapping a few great shots of the famous Alien Print Shop Mural of Hall-Poorbaugh Press building. The mural features various aliens posed with different robots. The building/mural is located at 250 N. Richardson Ave., Roswell, NM.
You may have to hunt for it, but a stealth designed UFO is known to show up in various areas of the city. The faux UFO is permanently on a trailer that is easily hitched up and moved about to keep visitors guessing where it will show up next. You definitely want to get a photo with this iconic Roswell UFO replica.
Roswell Dirt in a Bottle
A Roswell enthusiast would never go home without a little Roswell dirt. For many making the pilgrimage to Roswell, they come prepared to take a little dirt back with them. Most real UFO pilgrims collect the dirt in a plain jar. The choice of vessel is up to you, but your journey isn't considered complete until you go home with just a little Roswell dirt.
UFO Enthusiasts' Guide for Exploring and Visiting Roswell
If you're a UFO enthusiast, you'll quickly discover there's a lot to explore in Roswell, New Mexico. Take time to investigate these featured places and always take photos. You never know what or who you might capture in the background!