Monday, September 14, 2015

White Sands to Roswell, New Mexico

Our goal had been to visit White Sands, then head a bit north and east over to Roswell to visit the UFO Museum and then go down towards the south to tour the Carlsbad Caverns, before driving down into Texas to get us situated closer to Austin for the next day.  I'd reserved a hotel in Fort Stockton as I could find no decent campgrounds below Carlsbad and we needed to get south of there before nightfall.

Because we were delayed at White Sands, we felt it was going to be a close call to make it to the Caverns before they closed, but we gave it a good try.  We toddled into Roswell, got on Yelp and found a well rated diner to have a hearty lunch.  We found it at Big D's.

Their hamburgers were really good, as were their fries.  We knew we'd only do some light snacking later in the evening, so this was our main meal for the day.  Not exactly healthy, but hey, this is vacation!

Fortunately, the UFO Museum was just down the street, so after filling our bellies full of burgers and fries, we went down the street and into the museum.  We were a bit pressed for time, but allowed ourselves about 45 minutes in the museum, which was just barely enough to walk through and read many articles and placards about the 1947 incident and the ginormous coverup that followed.

While the museum is a very serious display about the incident that took place ( do you all know what I'm talking about?), there were a few cute displays.....

And some more serious ones.....

A little synopsis of the July 8, 1947 incident --- there was a very severe lightning storm in the evening, and the next morning, when scouting his farm land for damage from the storm, a farmer named Brazel found a bunch of odd debris lying about in one of his fields.  He gathered up the materials and brought them back to his house and laid them out on the floor.  He saw some of these materials as made out of what looked like some weird and odd plasticky stuff, as well as some materials that looked like tin foil, very light, but so strong it could not be cut or torn.  He tried to put some of the tin foil pieces together, but was not able to piece enough to create anything.  

He went into town to the local military people and told them about it, on the advice of some of his neighbors.  The next day one of the military officers announced that a UFO debris had been found on Brazel's farm.  However, the day after that, another article appeared in the papers and said that it was a mistake, that it was really a weather balloon.  Farmer Brazel was held by the military for 5 days, not being allowed to go home, nor be visited by his wife and daughter.  When the military finally released him, he adamantly refused to be interviewed further, and only said that he had been mistaken in his belief that the materials were from a UFO - he said it was a weather balloon.  He also suddenly had come into quite a bit of money, he bought a brand new car, and soon left town with his wife and daughter, selling his farm.

The incident was hushed up for a long time, but in the 80's and 90's a number of locals to the area began giving interviews about things they saw that night, and in the immediate days after, eyewitnesses to medical facilities that non-human bodies were taken to - a nurse that worked there, etc.  Dedicated to the truth, the UFO Museum was opened, and research still goes on there today.

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