March 10, 2013
Once I arrived in Roswell about at 3:30 pm, I was already on my hunting gear (my beloved Canon and the Roadside America map) for the aliens.
Roswell Wal-Mart, 4500 North Main St.
The local Wal-Mart in Roswell got into the spirit of the town by decorating its exterior with a blub-headed green alien and a flying saucer as I read on Roadside America reported. I arrived and I was like “wtf, that’s it?” That’s all what they showed outside. I didn’t get out of my car because there was a pretty boring window decoration, really. I just learned that it is just reported undecorated in April 2013. Good. It was not worth your trip seeing it.
Alien Sentinel at KFC, 2423 North Main St.
There is a large green alien, carved from a tree trunk, is positioned outside its front door. The juxtaposition of this bug-eyed sentinel with Colonel Sanders’ kindly face is one of the more incongruous sights in downtown Roswell. The alien carries a staff, lighted at night, and stands at least 12 feet tall. If aliens this size believed the Colonel was our Great Leader — and also appreciated our fried chicken — perhaps our two races could forge a lasting peace. [Roadside America]
Western Inn Flying Saucer & Green Aliens, 2331 North Main St.
A flying saucer and a large green alien with a can for photo tips. Also there is a wagon with an alien on it. The flip phone in the alien’s hand is now old technology. Is it probably the refugee from a T-Mobile store planet? And, I should have photoshopped the Green Bay sticker stuck on the wall. I’m not a fan of the team but I am leaving it alone for the sake of Paul, Rosey and Kala from Austin and Mary Beth from Utah. Ha-ha. 😉
Flying Saucer McDonald’s, 720 North Main St.
With silvery exterior and neon trim, an appropriate theme for the UFO-happy burg of Roswell. Even the McDonald’s, which is a somewhat standardized franchise has given into the alien theme, making the front of it in the form of a space ship.
Alien Streetlights of Roswell, The eye-embellished streetlamps stretch intermittently north and south along North Main.
There are some eyes on the streetlamps, there are some missing or broken parts too. Good thing I was there to get an opportunity whether they would replace them with regular lights or some new pair of eyes in near future.
Alien Print Shop Mural, 250 North Richardson Ave.
A mural covers a big wall in the heart of downtown Roswell, depicting print shop aliens who never got the paper-is-dead e-memo. That.
The Mural, Boys and Girls Club of Roswell, 201 S. Garden
Cute. I bet these kids painted the mural. I think they are between 14 to 19 years old from my observation when these kids wandered in the front entrance. I opted out of showing these kids in the picture.
My personal note: I was looking for the Stealth Saucer on Wheels that has been moved to different locations, no luck finding it, the last location was at the Super 8, and was reported to move to the other location, dang, well, there was another one: the Aliens on Senior Center Tree Trunk at 845 North Missouri Ave, thinking it was a building. I didn’t realize that it was the park between the buildings where the aliens were hiding in the dead cottonwood tree trunk that has been carved, totem pole-like.
So my hunting down the aliens ended my adventure but there’s more….
Area 51 Museum, Alien Zone, 216 North Main
Inside of the zone, there are some dummy aliens in about twenty different life-size dioramas: a crashed saucer scene (you can crawl into the saucer), an alien in an upside-down room, an alien at a bar-b-que, in a jail, in an outhouse and the “alien autopsy” scene, complete with bloodied plastic meat cleavers that you can hold aloft. The exhibits are more for fun rather then education and history at International UFO museum, and its perfect for photography laughs, this is the place to go. There are bunches of hands-on props where you can take pictures with aliens in various settings. It opens on Mondays-Saturdays 10AM – 5PM, and Sunday 1PM to 5PM. $3 per person. (My personal note: I haven’t gotten there by the time it was closed)
Spacewalk at Roswell Space Center, 116 E. 2nd Street
The Spacewalk is is a mysterious walk-through “machine”, an immersive art installation in black light transporting the viewer through time and space, following the future from the past into outer space and beyond. Moody, spacey music plays as you grope your way past glowing dioramas of the first atomic explosion, the arrival of Roswell’s aliens, and a September 1953 broadcast of I Love Lucy from Akron, Ohio. It will take you at least 10 minutes to go through funky art. 8AM -7PM Daily. $2 per person. (My personal note: it was awesome, I had forgotten to bring my Canon inside, but it was great to see black light glowing everything in sight. It was worth my money even though it was short!)
International UFO Museum, 114 North Main.
Its motto, “The Truth Is Here,” applies not only to its displays about the thing that crashed nearby in 1947, but to other related areas of study: crop circles, alien abductions, Area 51, etc. A replica of an ancient Mayan sarcophagus lid from Mexico, which supposedly shows a man blasting off in a spaceship, backdates the truth timeline to well before the it-was-just-a-weather-balloon era. Visitors can examine a container of dirt collected from the UFO crash site, and several small models of the terrain and its half-buried space roadster. Many of the exhibits have an impermanent, homemade feel; much of the museum consists of paper displays hung on pegboard walls. On the other hand, one of the museum’s star attractions is a prop alien corpse dummy from the 1994 Showtime movie “Roswell: The UFO Coverup,” lying on a hospital gurney inside a glass-walled room. It opens from 9 AM to 5 PM Daily. $2 per person. (My personal note: I missed it by 5 minutes. Oh well, next time, I hope! )
Save for the Best for Last…..
Tree of Knowledge, Roswell Public Library Grounds, 301 N. Pennsylvania Rd.
One of my favorite roadside attractions has been the “Tree of Knowledge” that stands outside of the public library in Roswell. The 17-ft. tall sculpture was designed by artist Sue Wink and it was put on her creation on October 27, 2008 . The branches and leaves of the tree are made of metal, and form various words that relate to books and the benefits obtained through reading. The trunk of the tree is covered with custom-made tiles that display both the titles of popular books and famous words and phrases that are contained within them. The Tree of Knowledge has more than 2,800 custom-made tiles made by community members and library patrons to show their love for the library. Artist Sue Wink, designed the tree and set up workshops for the public to make their tiles. The tiles were used for the bark of the tree, while the branches and leaves are metal. Inside many of the leaves is a word that relates to what a library provides in terms of reading, learning and nurturing creativity.
After leaving Tree of Knowledge around at 5:45 pm, I drove on 2nd street, becoming onto I-70 West/I-380 W.
When I was in Roswell, I spent $47.35. Gas for $40.61 (way from Hereford, TX) , $2 admission to the Spacewalk, and some snacks for $4.74.
Off to the “magical” highway…you will see why. Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog!!