Time to get spooky: An alien experience

Alien photo at the International UFO Museum in Roswell.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Special to the Daily

Editor’s Note: “Time to Get Scary” is a story in the Vail Daily that explores the scary, weird and magical..

Short of attending Roswell’s annual UFO Show in the summer, the only way to fully experience Roswell, New Mexico, in my humble opinion, is to go outside – far away. Walk the streets in your favorite alien costume, take camping photos with the various wooden, inflatable or gargantuan plastic alien statues that line the streets, read the reports at the UFO museum, Immerse yourself in the reality of the 1947 landings and government. Wrap up and top off the trip with a drive to White Sands National Park (green canister in hand, of course).

On October 22-23 I celebrated my birthday in Roswell and White Sands with believers and non-believers. As an “Ancient Alien”, my mother and I fall into the first camp, while my father and husband disagree with the idea of ​​little green men. I agree, the theorists on the History Channel’s Ancient Kings make ridiculous jumps with wide gaps between their coverage of historical sites and their idea that visitors are describing each of the different types, including the pyramids of Egypt. But considering that we’re the only ones playing in the galaxy seems a little egocentric, so I’m thinking more about the end of the spectrum.



Kimberly Nicoletti ‘thinking’ under the Roswell UFO photo.
Pat Mauk/Photo courtesy

My husband refuses to look at the rug, but he teases me all weekend by wearing a green onesie that we picked up at a thrift store the weekend before and gave away. the squid, or, as we like to think of it, the crown, I. sold in 2020, when we originally planned to go to Roswell for my birthday – and found out the state was closed to tourists due to COVID. My father, a decorated Vietnamese doctor living in the world who knows more about building buildings and repairing mechanical equipment, walked out of the International UFO Museum and Research. Center thinking “something happened,” but his story is about the military doing something wrong. and created a cover story, which became stories about aliens and UFOs after the military had little to entertain themselves after WWII, so alien stories .

A model of a visitor at the International UFO Museum.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Special to the Daily

In fact, I think my father and my husband will become believers, or at least get very excited about the possibility of aliens, after spending an hour at the UFO Museum. Personally, I find it powerful: the military sees technology they can’t explain, government officials risk their lives if they say that Roswell was just a balloon type – many stories of seeing the country is enough for me. something else is happening. And, one goes through a related research library filled with books upon books and reports that add up to great reports.



Despite extensive research and evidence, Roswell doesn’t take itself seriously, which is a relief. The UFO Museum, full of stories of sightings and abductions, has a UFO that is animated every now and then, puffed up with smoke and aliens talking in their native language ( that is, if they have a language).

It’s a pilgrimage

The first stop to make your Roswell tour is The Roswell Visitor Center and Store, where you can start your camping photos (or, you might want to pick up some other visitor glasses – the visitor center is your cheapest option too). This includes a seasonal photo shoot (this time of year, picture yourself smiling under a “Believe” sign, among bales of hay, scarecrows and, of course, (Also, the guests who remain, will be dressed in fall clothes at this time). Printed photos come out as the perfect souvenir.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is a must-see to fully familiarize yourself with Roswell culture, as well as NASA data and research. There’s a lot to read on the walls, but it’s worth it. Pictures, films, various short videos and various guest appearances provide an option for reading documents, explanations and meetings, resulting in a fun, interactive, creative experience.



On the short walk from the Roswell Visitor Center to the museum, take a few minutes to take a few thoughtful photos or videos on the UFO’s big screen, with the hot red headline: “ROSWELL … believe us!”

Dylan and Kimberly Nicoletti hang out on UFO footage in Roswell.
Pat Mauk/Photo courtesy

Along the historic downtown, you’ll pass decorated and painted shop windows; if you’re a shutterbug like me, they all deserve a photo. Foreign shops are fun; In addition to funny t-shirts and mugs, you’ll find everything from weird water cannons to baby Yoda cookie cutters and dog collars customized by guests. Speaking of dogs, Roswell is a dog-friendly town. Most stores allow four-legged pets to sniff around for visitors.

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Spaceport Roswell features some of the most memorable and exciting activities, in terms of real-life experiences. Our receptionist, dressed like a futuristic flight attendant, didn’t bat an eye at our clothes – all she wanted to know was if we had flex capacitors in them. our cargo or cargo or any extraterrestrial goo, slime, mucus or glop on our body (because this is forbidden) before showing us to our pod.

Experiencing virtual reality inside the pod at Spaceport Roswell.
Image courtesy

There we fixed our VR goggles and went on a wild ride, rocking the 1947 alien crash in our swiveling chairs. The journey takes you face to face, body to body with the aliens before their ship crashes and lands in the hands of the military authorities. This is a must-see, even if you don’t opt ​​for space travel: Spaceport Roswell also hosted Apollo 11 and other intergalactic tours. One word of advice: Take the included, removable earphones provided, because you never know if you’ll be sitting in a pod like us, with four people oohing, whewing a wow when they go; You want to be able to focus on your own reality, and headphones add that ability.

Visitors can buy tickets to BrickTown, which features an alien, a pirate, a moon landing, a railroad, a city and other wonders of the world built before 250,000 game stones. Press the button and another section will light up, while the World Buildings section will tell you everything about the structure through video.

Across the street, the Roswell UFO Spacewalk and Gallery takes you through an artistic, family-friendly black-light adventure into another world. Pets are allowed, and you can go as often as you want and take as many photos as you want. Tip: Wear something bright and shiny for the best photos.

Dylan Nicoletti and the four-legged Hani at the Roswell UFO Spacewalk and Gallery.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Special to the Daily

If you like laser tag, check out the 15,000-square-foot Area 52 Tactical Laser Tag.

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In addition to “printing,” you’ll find great photos. Dunkin’ Donuts offers a big green alien, while, on the other hand, McDonald’s competes for attention with its own UFO-style fast food restaurant, complete with red lights and silver aliens (if you will tired of green.variety). Down the street, you’ll find a few more galleries, mostly related to the Invasion Station store.

I found the people in Roswell to be friendly and welcoming; There was never a time when I felt “inappropriate” in clothing. In fact, both passers-by and shopkeepers were pleased. A 5 or 6 year old boy yelled out the window, “alien!” as his parents ran through us; Tourists wanted to take pictures with us, or at us (even one jokingly asked my husband if he lost a bet) and people kissed and kissed (in a friendly way, I think) us. four (and two dogs) , all dressed in alien costumes, placed at the feet of the almighty green Dunkin’ Donuts.

We ended our day with a leisurely tour of the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium’s fully digital theater; a $5 purchase (discounts available to seniors, children and military) for a 45-minute film on a variety of topics. We put ourselves in it Open the invisible cloudappropriate to the subject, with its exposure to x-rays, gamma rays, neutrinos, black holes and cosmic rays.

The next day, we took a 2-hour 20-minute drive to White Sands National Park. This time, my dog ​​and I wore a Yoda onesie, because the wide white sand dunes were perfect. Star Wars background. Of course, I didn’t stay in clothes all the time; I didn’t want to get my oh-so-sexy pjs (yes, so I only wore them as underwear – until now) full of sand while I was skiing and snowboarding. (with wine colored Volants, of course) underneath the. mountains That day, the first snow of the season hit Colorado, and southern New Mexico was very windy, so I didn’t get as much skiing, running or hiking as which I wanted, since I was able to carve a sand angel. . My clothes protected me from full-body exfoliation, but my eyes were wrinkled, and my hair felt like windblown grass. So, if you plan a visit, try to avoid a windy day.

A long weekend to explore Roswell and the national park. Located about 8 ½ hours from Vail, Roswell is a different world in which to land, train your mind or find yourself transported.



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