Moments & Misadventures :: Take Me To The Mothership

I drove through the desert of New Mexico on my way to Roswell to see if they could make a believer out of me. I knew I was getting close when I started seeing aliens plastered on billboards and businesses everywhere I looked. Even McDonald’s was paying tribute to the local legend. I pulled into the parking lot and looked up at the sign- International UFO Museum and Research Center.

Roswell became known world wide when in 1947 something crashed into a field outside of the city. Many people believed that this was a crash landing of aliens. In a press release soon after that, the Roswell Army Air Field commented that they had recovered some kind of flying disc which just cemented the idea of aliens in everyone’s mind. Later they retracted that statement saying it was a kind of weather balloon that they had recovered. But it didn’t matter, the people had heard the original statement and stuck with it. From that point on, Roswell became the epicenter of an entire culture of extraterrestrial ideology. Then in the late 1970s, a retired colonel told a UFO researcher that the weather balloon story had been a cover up of the government. Conspiracy theories abounded after that and the alien culture boomed in popular media.

Walking into the museum, the first section was dedicated to the reports and eye witnesses from that eventful night in 1947. The walls are covered with newspaper articles and pictures of metal parts that were recovered in the same field as the supposed UFO. They have recorded messages of people calling the police and reporting what they saw. Hundreds of accounts cover the walls, all claiming that what they saw in the sky that night did not belong to anything of this world.

Another part of the museum was dedicated to a more anthropological aspect of aliens. They showed artwork and artifacts of ancient cultures and how they were given guidance by some kind of ‘divine beings’ In the pictures it shows these beings coming down and teaching the people ideas and implementing concepts that were very technologically advanced for that time. Included in this is a large carved wood piece that depicts Aztec people receiving this instruction from another being as they create a complicated mechanism for industry.

But this is not only a museum, but also a research center. They have the largest collection of extraterrestrial material in the world that visitors are encouraged to peruse. Any book, any movie, any program that has come out about aliens and UFO’s can be found here. The first movie to ever reference aliens was in 1902 called ‘A Trip to the Moon’. But after the crash in 1947 alien movies and television programs boomed. There are people who work in the research center that are no only believers but also dedicated to sharing that with those who come seeking answers.

The museum is actually very interesting to walk through and see the different ideas and perspectives that exist about these things we can’t understand. To be fair though, there is also a good amount of kitsch and Hollywood about it too. But regardless of where on the spectrum of belief you fall, this museum is a key point of Roswell and spending some time here is an important part of understanding the area. While the museum didn’t convince me, it did at least open my mind a little to possibilities of the unexplained.

19 responses to “Moments & Misadventures :: Take Me To The Mothership”

  1. Ah I’ve seen quite a few articles about this place and have always wanted to visit. It looks like a lot of fun, plus I’ve always wanted to drive through New Mexico’s otherworldly landscapes. Nice piece!

    • Thanks Leighton 🙂 The museum is definitely worth a visit to see the many different perspectives there have been on aliens. And a drive through New Mexico is a fantastic way to spend a few days! Here’s hoping you make your way there one of these days.

  2. Hi Meg, loved reading this post. I remember first reading about the Roswell Incident as a teenager; it triggered an interest and for several years I avidly read everything I could find about unexplained events, from UFOs to teleportation to showers of frogs. I still have some of those books to this day! I think I would be stuck in that museum for HOURS!!

    • Oh I think you would LOVE this museum and you could probably give the researchers a run for their money 🙂 I would sign up for teleportation any day! But what was the shower of frogs about???

      • Aha! There are literally hundreds of examples of strange falls from the sky, but the most common is huge numbers of frogs apparently falling in a rainstorm. Google it and you will undoubtedly find examples. I actually met someone once who had witnessed such an event.

  3. I’d love to visit here. Obviously, most of it is probably fanciful fabrication, but we don’t know what’s out there and need to keep an open mind. That’s why being an agnostic is such a good idea. I was amused by the idea of “the largest collection of extraterrestrial material in the world”, though; if that’s the case, the debate is over!

    • It was pretty interesting to see the different ideas people had…but some of it was definitely more kitsch. But if nothing else the drive through that area of New Mexico is incredible! 🙂

  4. I found this place totally fascinating. There’s such an odd mix of kitsch, as you point out, and ‘scientific’ research. In places I was almost convinced myself as I read the witness statements and looked at the displays. The truth is out there!

    • I thought the ancient carving of “aliens” coming down to help the people in building with technology far beyond their time was really interesting. And I’m with you on reading some of the witness statements made me pause with that idea of maybe. And maybe that’s the best part of a place like this is taking you from a resolute ‘no way’ to the more open of ‘maybe’. 🙂

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