Tag Archives: Roswell

Roswell, New Mexico


Roswell, New Mexico

The “All-American City” or so it is branded by themselves, Roswell was a hometown to me from the 3rd grade until senior year of High School. Oh the fond memories of this dust-bowl of a town who’s prime entertainment for the high school youth was “dragging’ main street” every weekend to see who was “out and about” and hanging out in the Sonic drive-in. Of course many shenanigans went on making out at the Lover’s lane hill overlooking the city, or making love in the rocks at Bottomless Lakes State Park when our parents thought we were at the library or prom. Of course those mischievous few of us spent many days (and evenings) partying or exploring the Missile silos on the outskirts of town. Bonfires in the control room was a special kind of ambiance. Of course, we all heard the legends and rumors of the “UFO crash”, alien abductions, alien autopsies, and secret military bases – but that’s all they were … legends. Now these green or gray skinned aliens don the cities light-posts and is a theme park attraction to every gift shop, fast food joint, hotel, and wal-mart. The downtown theater we once partied to “Rocky Horror” has mutated to its own science fiction picture show as one of the world’s magnets for UFO experts, enthusiasts, and crazies as the International UFO Museum.


Roswell represents and is in the county seat of Chaves County fluctuating annually in population growth as business boom, close, die, diminish or become reborn. It now boasts a population of 48,000 inhabitants in 2012 celebrating its standing as being New Mexico’s fifth largest city. Outside of UFO’s and aliens, Roswell’ites make their living with irrigation farming, dairy farms, ranching, petroleum, manufacture, and distribution. It was never really a tourist trap, UNTIL … the aliens arrived. It was however home of Bottomless Lakes State Park, Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and the New Mexico Military Institute (1891). The 1947 UFO crash made it the most popular, other than that it was a central point for some very famous people including Robert H. Goddard who invented the Rocket. No wonder those “hush-hush” secret military bases set up shop in this small hick town of tumbleweeds. Other famous inhabitants were Patrick Garrett the Sheriff, John Chisum the Pioneer, Demi Moore the Actress, John Denver the folk singer, Nancy Lopez the LPGA golf pro, Austin St. John the first Red Power Ranger, UFO Phil the singer, and Tom Brookshier the Pro Football player.

The UFO crash has much lore, legend, and news stories surrounding it – taking place just outside of town to upwards of 75 miles away near Corona. Whatever crashed there, was hauled into the local Roswell Army Air Field, the “then” secret military base for much dark mysteries … or so they say. On July 8, 1947 the Roswell Daily Record reported the “capture” of a “flying saucer” by the U.S. Government, hauling the ship and its inhabitants to the Walker Air Force Base. the U.S. Government to this day maintains it was debris from an “experimental” high-altitude helium weather and surveillance balloon. A high level military official from the base apparently came on to record to state it was actually a spaceship crash with alien bodies captured. It has been believed to be one of the U.S. Government’s most infamous cover-ups.


Roswell was first inhabited by Native Americans who were pushed out by Euro-American Aliens – a group of pioneers from Missouri who started up the first Euro-American settlement 15 miles southwest of present day Roswell in 1865. They ran out of water however, so had to abandon this “Missouri Plaza”. Hispanics moved in from Lincoln, New Mexico as did John Chisum with his famous Jingle Bob Ranch 5 miles from Roswell’s current downtown. In 1869 two business-men from Omaha, Nebraska named Van C. Smith and Aaron Wilburn set up shop in what is now downtown Roswell building two adobe buildings – the general store, post office, and make-shift hotel. This gave birth to the “True” Roswell. Van’s father was Roswell Smith, whom he named the town after. By 1877, Captain Joseph Calloway Lea and his family bought out Smith and Wilburn, becoming the largest land-holders of the area. The town survived the Lincoln County War from 1877-1879 and by 1890 local merchant Nathan Jaffa struck clear gold when he sprung water tapping a major aquifer while digging a well in his back yard giving major growth and development opportunities for the area. The Railroad came through town by 1893. When World War II struck the country, the military set up a prisoner of war camp near Orchard Park holding Germans forcing labor on them to build Roswell’s infrastructure, especially paving the banks of the North Spring River. A iron cross can be found on the north bank built by the Germans in the Roswell Spring River Zoo. By the 1930’s, Robert H. Goddard popularized Roswell with his early rocketry work bringing in the military heavier from 1941 to 1967. Ruined by alien autopsy conspiracies and economic down-turn, the Walker Air Force base was finally DE-commissioned as were the 22 missile silos surrounding the city.

Located on the high plains, Roswell experiences the four seasons with cold winters, mild warm springs, very hot summers. Monsoons are common during the summer months with torrential downpours, thunderstorms, high winds, hail, and tornadoes.

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Roswell UFO Museum

Roswell UFO Museum and Research Center
* Roswell, New Mexico *

A whirlwind of change since the days when I grew up in Roswell, as quickly as I moved out of town the city was infected with an alien craze over the legendary UFO crash that took place there in the 40’s. The Center throws an annual UFO convention as well as talks, workshops, archives, and resources that attracts over a million tourists a year to this small little town. The Museum has a pretty complete archive of all UFO crashes, sightings, and investigations in the area as well as an extensive reading library for any visiting researchers. The Center focuses on solving the mysteries of all things alien and extraterrestrial. The admission is rather steep for the size of the museum, but is worth a gander for any alien enthusiast. The gift shop has expanded since the last time I visited, but the shops along main street have more souvenir offerings than the museum does. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. ~ Thomas Baurley.


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Roswell Spring Hill Zoo

photos 09/11/12 125-145

Spring Hill Zoo, Roswell, New Mexico

Spring Hill Zoo
* 1306 E. College Blvd., Roswell, NM 88203 *505-624-6760 *

Spending elementary, middle, and high school in Roswell, this was our local “Disneyland” outside of Carlsbad Caverns. A nice sized park for picnicking and outdoor activities, a free zoo, a petting zoo, duck ponds, cycling/jogging/walking trails, and green space. A five mile hard surface recreational trail that runs along the Spring River from west to east. The zoo is the only one of its kind and the only free zoo available in New Mexico. It also has its own youth fishing lake (age 15 and younger only can fish). There is an antique carousel and miniature train that runs through the park. The zoo features a prairie dog town, longhorn ranch, and children’s petting zoo. There are also exhibits of native and exotic animals, birds, and critters including bobcats, foxes, bison, owls, raccoons, antelope, deer, mountain lions, and black bear. Fun filled for children, its quite dusty and hot to visit. On more than once when I’ve visited, I’ve found it a bit unsanitary which is sad as I don’t remember it being that way. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.


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Bottomless Lakes State Park (Roswell, NM)


Bottomless Lakes State Park
* Roswell, New Mexico, USA *

Our swimming hole playground while living in Roswell, New Mexico – Bottomless Lakes provided much cooling off during the hot and dry summers of the desert. Only Fifteen miles from Roswell, the Lakes are Located along the Pecos River, and are a series of natural caves and sinkholes forming lakes used for recreation. The parks were established in 1933 and was the first State Park composed in New Mexico. There are nine small deep lakes along the escarpment of the Pecos River Valley that represents the remains of an ancient limestone reef. Caves formed within this limestone and eventually collapsed via erosion creating sinkholes or “cenotes” as round circular lakes or swimming holes. One of the largest lakes is Lea Lake and Lazy Lagoon, providing a large sandy shoreline that outdoor recreational visitors can use for picnicking, camping, outdoor sports, and swimming. Lazy Lagoon is the largest of the lakes and spans over 26 acres as a single lake but is made up of three interconnected sink holes. The lagoon is level with the salt flats which gives it an appearance of being very shallow, where in contrast, it is actually quite deep – over 90 feet deep. As opposed to the old days, Lea Lake is the only lake in which swimming is allowed, due to accidents that occurred in the others, especially Devil’s Inkwell.


The shallowest is Pasture Lake with a depth of 18 feet and a surface of .76 acres. The deepest are Lea Lake (90 feet deep – only one that allows swimming) and Lazy Lagoon (90 feet/ 26 acres). The smallest of the lakes, is the darkest, known for its color, steep sides, and algae growth, called “the Devil’s Inkwell” and is approximately .36 of an acre. Figure 8 Lake is actually two lakes separated by a thin beach that seasonally gets covered making it look like one lake at times. The circular shapes connecting create the figure 8 symbol. Cottonwood Lake is 30 feet deep, and Mirror Lake at 50 feet. The Lakes are fed by underground streams and aquifers perculating through the rocks up into the catchment holes. The lakes are home to various endangered species and all of the park’s lakes are protected. The four known endangered species found at the park are the Cricket Frog, Eastern Barking Frog, Rainwater Killifish, and the Pecos Pupfish. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Thomas Baurley and Leaf McGowan.


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The Roswell Alien Crash Site

Me at the crash site
Roswell, New Mexico
photos ©2006 technogypsie.com

It was 1947, on July 4th, when William Woody saw a brilliant object plunge to the ground from the sky. They tried to explore where they thought it came down, and was sent away by a military barricade. a NM rancher named WW “Mack” Brazel was out for a ride with his friends checking on their herd after a terrible storm the night before – and they discovered on the ground, unusual pieces of metallic debris and a several hundred foot long shallow trench emblazened into the ground. They brought home some of the metal in order to try to figure out what it was, and his neighbours, the Proctors, told him he might be in possession of wreckage from a government project or a UFO. He reported the wreckage to the local sheriff, Wilcox, who reported it to Major Marcel of the 509 bomb group. The military explored the crash area, and closed the area to public access until all wreckage was removed. He was amazed by the weird nature of the metal and took some home to show his family. A press release was put out shortly after stating that it was the wreckage of a crashed disk by Roswell Air Force Base’s Public Information Officer. It was published in the Roswell Daily Record. Hours later, the press release was retracted, and a new one released, stating it was a weather balloon that they mistakenly identified as a flying saucer. The military tried hard to convince the local news that it was nothing other than a weather balloon and a big mistake by their department to say otherwise. During all of this, the local mortician, Glenn Dennis, received calls from the morgue on the air force base, stating they needed some small hermetically sealed coffins and needing information about how to preserve bodies that have been exposed to the elements for a few days without contaminating the tissue. He drove out to the base hospital and saw scattered pieces of weird metal with strange markings sticking out of one of the ambulences in the parking lot. Upon entering the hospital was threatened by military police and told to leave. The nurse that he knew there told him the next day about the bodies and drew him pictures of them on a prescription pad – the next day she was transferred to England, and was never heard from again. Future research on the incident had determined that the military was watching a strange object for 4 days in Southern New Mexico and on July 4th, discovered the object to have crashed down somewhere 30-40 miles northwest of Roswell. Since then, many movies, many books, and documentaries were created to publicize the incident even though the Military has removed all documentation and covered up most of the information that would validate their involvement. You can read more about the incident Here. In 1991, Glenn Dennis the mortician above, Walter Haut a military public information officer and original writer of the first news release, teamed up with Max Littell to form the Roswell UFO museum and the IUFOMRC. Within the first 4 years of the opening of the museum, Roswell has increased tourism 5x their small city population with UFO visitors.

Alien crash site – Roswell, New Mexico
photos ©2006 technogypsie.com

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The Roswell Missle Silos

“Can I fit in that hole?”
Hwy 285 Silo, Roswell, New Mexico
photos ©2006 technogypsie.com

Many memories of Roswell, New Mexico’s abandoned missile silos swarmed through my head as I recently explored them on a recent visit to Roswell. In the 80’s we used to throw big high school parties in them, partying in what we thought was once the control room, but appears by online research to have been the living quarters of the soldiers who were on call ready to push buttons. There are 12 silos, now abandoned, that surround the town of Roswell, New Mexico. Hidden from public view, all one can see from the highway, in the middle of nowhere, is a small, blending into the environment, grey concrete rectal-triangular block, that encases a stairwell that enters into a 3-7 level complex of circular rooms and chambers, leading to a circular tunnel that goes to the giant silo tube where the missiles would be launched. Above ground are pits where the fuel storage tanks once were located, such as liquid nitrogen and oxygen. Large missile silo doors rest flat against the ground. The entire structure is built to survive missile attacks upon them. Each missile was stored on alert with RP-1 on board, and was fueled with liquid oxygen prior to launch countdown just as the missile was raised on the elevator. The small hatch-hole (missing hatch) in the pictures below was a guidance antennae to help navigate the missile in flight. The hatch would pop open prior to launch and would raise the antennae. The large doors on the ground surface, shown in the pictures below, would raise open prior to launch as well. As you proceed down the top stairs, and turn two corners, there is a massive air-tight sealed ‘blast door’. Most of the abandoned silos have these welded shut so no one can venture further below. Previous visitors have apparently weld-cut a hole in them to crawl through. Through more hall walls and a set of stairs, you can enter through another blast door, and then down into the living area (that I thought was where the control room was located), following down the stairwell another few levels, are more circular rooms, some used for control rooms, others kitchens and work areas, in the ceiling are emergency escape hatches through a vertical tunnel filled with sand, once opened the sand would fall to the ground, and the ladder would tumble down. The tunnel at the bottom of the stairs, a hard hat area then and especially now, leads to a sealed room and to the actual silo itself. Each entrance is capped with a blast door. The silos range in depth from several stories deep to over a dozen stories deep. The bottom of the silo is filled with water. There is a launch tunnel deck with spiral and vertical ladders that go to the bottom of the silo. This particular silo is located approximate 3/4 miles north of the Alien Crash Site, around mile marker 133. Apparently the 12 silos surrounding Roswell were constructed between 1960 and 1964 because of threatened relations between the U.S. and the USSR. Most Americans were frightened by nuclear attack, as was the US government. These silos were built for defense of the local air force base. As the US attempted to build a network of launch sites for missiles capable of rocketing nuclear explosives to the enemy, and these silos were used to launch the Atlas F missiles. By 1965 they were DE-commissioned, considered obsolete, dismantled, and abandoned. Apparently Abilene, Texas; Oplin, Texas; Bradshaw, Texas; was also surrounded by similar silos. Browsing around the web, I’ve found some great silo stories and Information pages about them.

Missle Silo Doors – Roswell, New Mexico
photos ©2006 technogypsie.com

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07.30.06: Part I – Roswell, The Alien Crash Site, The Missle Silos

C.S.I. Crash Site Investigation
Roswell Crash Site, Roswell, New Mexico
photos ©2006 technogypsie.com

Sunday, 30 July 2006
Roswell, New Mexico
Part I – Delving into the Past, Alien Technology

We slept in a bit, then wandered down for the Holiday Inn Express breakfast bar, packed up the room, and caravaned out of town. Got gas at $2.83/gallon – cheapest I’ve seen for ages in the West … and the southwest. I think Colorado Springs is about $3.15/gallon. Aliens must have some cheaper technology for finding fuel I suppose. We then hit the dollar store to purchase a couple of flashlights. Then drove up Hwy 285 north, to Mile marker #133, and pulled over to walk around the Roswell Alien crash site. We both bought Roswell souvenir t-shirts “C.S.I. Crash site investigator” and donned them for the day’s explorations. David wore his bluetooth phone and shades. As we were poking around the Crash site, two elderly tourists drove up, was nervous about getting out of their car, and finally the husband was brave enough to approach us, thinking we really were official, and asked … “sorry to bother you, but where is your crash site?” and I replied … “Its down the road a ways … or so I’ve heard …” As we were locking up our cars, grabbing our flashlights, and proceeded to walk to the highway to walk down 3/4 mile to the abandoned missle silo. I could hear the husband/wife talking:

husband: “I think they are here investigating the crash site. They are doing what we are doing.”
Wife: “Noooo … I don’t think they are doing what we are doing. They are investigating something else.”

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (PG13, 2008)

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (PG-13: 2008)

Director: Steven Spielberg. Starring: Harrison Ford … Indiana Jones, Cate Blanchett … Irina Spalko, Karen Allen … Marion Ravenwood,
Shia LaBeouf … Mutt Williams, Ray Winstone … ‘Mac’ George McHale, John Hurt … Professor ‘Ox’ Oxley, Jim Broadbent … Dean Charles Stanforth, Igor Jijikine … Dovchenko, and many more.

Hmmm … where would one begin? I was totally dissatisfied with this film, and I am a big Indiana Jones fan. It was flaky, stupid, and literally had a dumb plot. The plot: Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls. The mere fact that “crystal skulls” historically are most likely fakes, should give you a hint. As follows the rest of the alien plot. The acting was also very so-so. Sorry Harrison, but you need to re-think this role. Certainly none of the Indiana Jones films have an ounce of reality, but this one was extremely far-fetched and the Aliens from Roswell crystal skull and skeletons having magnetic powers was just idiotic. Most of the film was parody and nostalgic in-jokes. It had a few laughing moments, but overall, i just felt like leaving and demanding a refund. Don’t waste your money, not even at the video store. Rating: 1 star out of 5. Don’t see. Viewed 5/23/08.