Time to get spooky: An alien experience

An alien painting at the International UFO Museum in Roswell.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Special to the Daily

Editor’s Note: “Time to Be Scary” is a series in the Vail Daily that explores the scary, weird and supernatural..

Short of attending the annual Roswell UFO Festival in the summer, the only way to truly experience Roswell, New Mexico, in my humble opinion, is to go outside — far, far outside. Walk the streets in your best alien costume, take camping photos with various carved wooden, plastic or plastic alien statues on the streets, read the exhibits at the UFO museum, immerse yourself in in the virtual reality of an alien and government landing in 1947. cover and top the tour and drive to White Sands National Park (green saucer in hand, of course).

I spent October 22-23 celebrating my birthday in Roswell and White Sands with believers and non-believers alike. As “Old Fashioned” enthusiasts, my mom and I fall into the first camp, while my dad and husband reject the idea of ​​the little green men. I agree, the theorists on the History Channel’s Ancient Gentiles make very elaborate leaps and gaps between their information about the past and their conclusions that aliens explain all the different things, including the pyramids of Egypt. But considering we’re the only game in the galaxy seems a little egocentric, so my mind leans more toward the curious, open end of the spectrum.



Kimberly Nicoletti ‘thinks’ under the Roswell UFO picture.
Pat Mauk/Courtesy photo

My husband doesn’t like to watch the couch, but he made me laugh all weekend by wearing the green dress we picked up at the thrift store the week before, wearing an octopus, to our idea, an alien hat, was bought in 2020, when we planned to go to Roswell for my birthday – until we found out that the state was closed to tourists due to COVID. My father, a decorated Vietnam vet who lived in the very visible world of building and fixing all things mechanical, went outside the UFO Museum and Research Center of the Ao thinks “something happened,” but his story revolves around soldiers destroying something. up and created a cover story, which turned to stories about aliens and UFOs after the military found that they had little entertainment after WWII, so the alien stories .

An alien model at the International UFO Museum.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Special to the Daily

Honestly, I really thought my dad and husband would believe, or at least entertain aliens, after spending an hour in the UFO Museum. Personally, it’s exciting: soldiers encounter technology they can’t explain, and government officials risk their lives if they say the Roswell crash was just a weather balloon — the big one. just the stories of sightings across the country have been enough to encourage me. something else is going on. And when one walks through a research library filled with books upon books and reports that add up to great evidence.



Despite the weight of research and evidence, Roswell doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is great. Even the UFO Museum, full of stories about sightings and abductions, is a set UFO, always, animated by smoke and aliens speaking in their native language (heh, if there is their language).

A pilgrimage

The first stop on your Roswell tour is the Roswell Visitor Center and Shop, where your camping photos will begin (if you just want to get some alien sunglasses – the visitor center is your best bet ). This includes the seasonal photo stage (this time of year, picture yourself smiling under the “Believe” sign, in bales of grass, dreads, and normally, the foreigners who are still there, are wearing autumn clothes at this time), it is free. printed photos turn out to be perfect souvenirs.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is a must-see to fully understand the Roswell culture, as well as NASA data and research. It’s a lot of money to read on the walls, but it’s worth it. Photographs, film posters, short videos and different types of alien characters are an alternative to reading texts, explanations and events, resulting in a fun, interactive and imaginative experience.



On the short walk from the Roswell Visitor Center to the museum, take at least a few minutes to capture some creative photos or videos at the large UFO wall, which bears the hot pink slogan: “ROSWELL …we believe!”

Dylan and Kimberly Nicoletti are ‘hanging’ on the UFO picture in Roswell.
Pat Mauk/Courtesy photo

Along the valley of the city, you will pass many decorated and painted shop windows; if you’re a junkie like me, it’s all worth the photography. Community-themed stores are also fun; in addition to funny T-shirts and mugs, you’ll find everything from weird water cannons to Yoda cookie jars and weird themed dog leashes. For dogs, Roswell is a great city. Most stores allow four furry legs to smell for strangers.

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Spaceport Roswell presents one of the most memorable and exciting virtual reality experiences. Our receptionist, a future flight attendant, didn’t bat an eye at our clothes – she wanted to know if we had any soft bits in our carry-on or luggage, any other goo, slime, mucus or glop. on our people (these are reserved) before you show us to our pod.

Experience virtual reality in a laptop at Spaceport Roswell.
Photo courtesy

Once there, we fixed up our VR headsets and went wild, reliving the 1947 alien crash from our rocking chairs. The journey brings you face to face, body to body with aliens before they crash their ship and land in the hands of investigative military officers. This experience is a must-see, even if you don’t choose a tourist trip: Spaceport Roswell also hosted Apollo 11 and other intergalactic missions. One tip: Bring disposable headphones, because you never know when you’ll be sitting next to a band like us, four people. oh, wow a oh while they were going; you want to focus on your own virtual reality, and the headphones add to that ability.

Visitors can also buy tickets to BrickTown, which features aliens, pirates, a moon landing, a train, a city and other wonders of the world built from more than 250,000 play bricks. Push the button and a part will light up, and the World Buildings part will tell you about the structure in a video.

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

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

If you’re interested in laser tag, check out the 15,000-square-foot Area 52 Tactical Laser Tag.

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In addition to “the wrap,” you’ll find other great photos. Dunkin’ Donuts has a giant green alien, right next door, competing with McDonald’s for attention with its own UFO-style fast food restaurant, complete with neon-colored lights and silver aliens (if you’re feeling tired in green. species). Along the way, you’ll find a couple of other photo booths, both of which are attached to the Invasion Station shop.

I found the people of Roswell to be very friendly and welcoming; there was never a time when I didn’t feel “out of place” in the clothes. Of course, those who travel with the shop owners are quite entertaining. A 5- or 6-year-old boy shouted out the window, “Stay away!” when his parents kicked us out; Tourists wanted to take pictures with us or us (well, one asked my husband as if he had lost a bet) and people shouted and welcomed (in my opinion) the four of us. (and two dogs) , all in fancy dress, set on the heels of a mighty Dunkin’ Donuts.

Our day ended with a relaxing tour of the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium digital theater; it costs $5 (seniors, children and veterans pay) for a 45-minute film on various topics. We dived in Uncovering the Invisible WorldIt’s a good subject, and shows 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 dressed up in Yoda onesies, because the big sand dunes are the perfect look. Star Wars background. Of course, I didn’t stay dressed all the time; I didn’t want to get my oh-so-sexy pjs (which were fine, so I just wore them – for now) full of sand in my skis and skis (and the old silver Volants , of course) down the hill. That day, the first snow of the season fell in Colorado, and it was very windy in southern New Mexico, so I didn’t get to ski, skate, or hike in my wanted, although I also managed to carve a sand angel. . My clothes prevented me from exercising at all, but my face was badly bruised, and my hair was like straw after being beaten by the wind. So, if you are planning a trip, try to avoid a windy day.

It’s been a long, busy week, seeing Roswell and the park. Just over 8 ½ hours from Vail, Roswell is a different world to explore, stir your imagination and transport you.



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