Time to get spooky: An alien experience

Alien painting at the International UFO Museum in Roswell.
Kim Nicoletti / Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: “Time to get spooky” is a Vail Daily series exploring the spooky, alien and otherworldly..

Short of Roswell’s annual summer UFO Festival, there’s only one way to experience Roswell, New Mexico, in my opinion, to go all out — far, far away. Walk the streets in your alien costume, take plain pictures with a variety of carved wooden, inflatable or gargantuan plastic aliens lining the streets, read the testimonies in the UFO museum, fully immerse yourself in the virtual reality of the 1947 alien landing and piloting. coverup and top the trip off with a drive to the other worldly White Sands National Park (plastic bowl in hand, of course).

I spent October 22-23 celebrating my birthday in Roswell and White Sands with both believers and non-believers. As “ancient alien” aficionados, my mother and I fall into the first camp, while my father and husband balk at the idea of ​​green men. I agree with the History Channel’s claimants Ancient Aliens They make ridiculously big leaps with some gaping holes between their coverage of historical sites and their conclusions that aliens explain about every amazing phenomenon, including the pyramids of Egypt. But thinking we’re the only game in the galaxy seems a little egocentric, so my mind leans more toward the curious and open end of the spectrum.

Kim Nicoletti ‘meditating’ under the Roswell UFO mural.
Pat Mauk/County photo

My husband refuses to watch the refugee, but every weekend I wear fashion in a green onesie, we picked up in the thrift store before the weekend and the squid skin, or, as we like to think, the alien hat, I bought in 2020, when I first for my birthday We planned to go to Roswell — until we discovered the state was closed to tourists due to COVID. My father, a decorated Vietnam vet who lives in the more tangible world of building houses and tinkering with mechanical things, walked out of the International UFO Museum and Research Center thinking “something’s done,” but his story revolves more around the military messing around with something. up and creating a cover story that he found himself buying stories about aliens and UFOs after the military guys, when he had little fun after WWII, hence into alien alien stories.

Alien model at the International UFO Museum.
Kim Nicoletti / Special to the Daily

I honestly thought for sure my father and husband would become believers, or at least seriously interested in the ability to entertain aliens, after spending an hour in the UFO Museum. I personally found it compelling: military men couldn’t explain the technology they encountered, government agents threatened their lives if they claimed the Roswell crash was nothing more than a balloon storm – just the sheer volume of stories from the nation’s research was enough to convince me. that something strange is happening. And walking through the associated research library full of volumes upon volumes of books and reports added solid evidence.

Despite all the serious research and evidence, Roswell doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is quite refreshing. Even the UFO Museum, full of reports of sightings and abductions, has a funny UFO that every so often is animated by smoke and foreigners who speak in their native language (uh, that is, if they have languages).


The first stop to make in Roswell is The Roswell Visitor Center and Storage, where you can start your photos (or, maybe you want to pick up a cool pair of tourist glasses — the visitor center is the cheapest bet). These include a seasonally themed photo (this time of year, picture yourself smiling under the “Believe” sign, among hay bales, scarecrows and, of course, always the aliens, now dressed in fall clothes), in which book-type photos pop dry as the perfect souvenir.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is an absolute must for you to fully familiarize yourself with the culture of Roswell, as well as NASA data and research. It’s a lot to read on the walls, but it’s worth it. Pictures, films, various short appearances and various foreign scenes provide fun reading documents, interpretations and encounters, resulting in a fun, interactive and imaginative adventure.

On the short walk from the Roswell Visitor Center to the museum, take at least a few minutes to take some creative photos or videos on the giant UFO mural, bearing the pink slogan: “ROSWELL …we believe!”

Dylan and Kimberly Nicoletti hang out at the UFO mural in Roswell.
Pat Mauk/County photo

In the city’s historic strip, you’ll find plenty of creatively decorated and painted windows; if you’re a shutterbug like me, all you need is a snapshot. Aliens are also a fun theme; beyond funny t-shirts and mugs, you’ll find everything from alien-themed water guns to baby Yoda cookie jars and alien-themed dog houses. Speaking of dogs, Roswell is a super dog friendly town. Most stores allow furry four-legged friends to sniff around for strangers.

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Roswell Space features some of the most memorable and exciting activities to experience in virtual reality. Our reception staff, dressed in futuristic flight attendants, won’t pry our eyes – all we want to know is if we’ve got some capacitors bent in cargo or trains or extraterrestrial goo, tar, slime or glop. to our persons (for they are forbidden here) showing our vessel before us.

Experiencing virtual reality in a spaceship at the Roswell Spaceport.
Courtesy photo

Once there, we fitted our VR goggles and went on a wild vertigo ride through 1947 alien crashes on the wheels of our seats. The amazing adventure takes you face to face, body to body with aliens before you crash your ship and search the fields in the hands of military officials. This is truly a must-have experience, even if you don’t choose alien adventures: Roswell Space also features Apollo 11 and other intergalactic adventures. One last tip: Take the complimentary offer of earplugs, because you never know if you’ll be sitting next to our pod with four people. oohing, wheezing and wow going; You want to focus on your virtual reality, and add the ability to give it an ear.

Visitors can also purchase tickets to BrickTown, which features aliens, pirates, a moon port, a railroad, a city and wonders of the world built from more than 250,000 toy bricks. Push the button and the portion will flash while the World Buildings section tells you all about the structure via video.

Along the way, the Roswell UFO Spacewalk and Gallery takes you through an artificial black light, family-friendly atmosphere of another world. Care is allowed, and you can go as many times as you want and take as many photos as you want. Hint: wear something like an album that shines for the best photo ops.

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

If you’re into laser tag, get the 15,000 square foot Area 52 Tactical Laser Tag.

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Beyond the “spoils” you will find more great photo resources. Dunkin’ Donuts flaunts giant green aliens, while, next door, it competes for McDonald’s attention with its UFO fast-food restaurant, complete with spilled lights and silver aliens (if you’re just bored of the green. variety). Further down the road, you’ll find two more photo ops, particularly attached to the Invasion Station store.

At Roswell I found the people very friendly and benevolent; At no time did I feel “out of place” in my outfit. In fact, they seemed to be entertaining passers-by store owners. One boy, 5 or 6 years old, shouted from the window, “Alien!” like his parents besides us; tourists wanted to take pictures, or of us (granted, he jokingly asked my husband if he had lost a bet) and people honked and waved (friends, I guess) as the four of us (and two dogs) dressed in all foreign clothes, walked to the Dunkin’ Almighty Green Donuts after placing

We rounded off our day with a relaxing visit to the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium’s full digital theater; the deal is at $5 (seniors, kids and military discount) for about 45-minute films on a variety of subjects. we ourselves were baptized Unveiling the Invisible Universewhich seemed to fit the theme, with the picture of x-rays, gamma rays, neutrinos, blacks, and cosmic rays.

The next day we took a 2-hour 20-minute drive to the White Sands National Park. This time, my dog ​​and I were dressed in a Yoda onesie, as the giant white sand seemed perfect. Star Wars we went out Granted, I did not remain in habit the whole time; I didn’t want to get my oh-so-modest pjs (ok, so I was wearing just a dress – only) full of sand when I jumped in and took off (with flying silver heels, of course). the hills That day, I hit the first snow of the season in Colorado, and southern New Mexico was badly windy, so I didn’t do as much skiing, rock climbing, or walking as I wanted, but I did manage to carve out Angel Sand. . My clothes prevented me from exfoliating my whole body, but my face was completely stoned, and my hair felt like straw beaten by the wind. So if you plan to visit, try to avoid a windy day.

It will make a long, packed weekend to see Roswell and the national park. A little over 8 hours from Vail, Roswell is a completely different world where you can exercise your imagination and perhaps find yourself transported to the ground.


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