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Down on Main Street, Roswell USA, the vendors had closed down by noon on Sunday. We tried to make it to the designated area of UFO-themed commerce to make some last-minute purchases, but the room was dark. A city worker in the lobby told me that this year’s conference was less exciting than last. I said that this might be due to outrageous gas prices and the general downturn in travel, as well as the romance of a 60th anniversary as opposed to a 61st. Roswell is the one of the only places in the country (and certainly the largest) where an entire town is turned into a UFO convention.
We tried the always-open UFO museum and came away with a few silly gifts to pass out back home, as well as prizes for future Ufomystic contests. The “Alien Zone” store, a block south of the museum, is like one of those themed roadside stores that used to dot the highways like a giant string of fool’s gold nuggets. Signs outside the door promise a “BLACK LIGHT ALIEN EXHIBIT,” and they aren’t lying. A large section of the store is tented over to block almost all ambient light, and the price is right: it’s FREE, Everything under the tent is painted in day-glo colors: guts spilling out of an alien on an autopsy table, goblin-looking things in cages and pickled thingamajigs in jars. A badly produced recording of a man with a heavy southern accent solemnly intones the Roswell crash story and warns “Girls, hold on to your boyfriends!” It’s so good to see that this sort of homespun kitsch is still alive.
UFOMystic » Roswell 2008 Day 3