10 Fun Alien Things to Do In Roswell, NM

What is Roswell, New Mexico, famous for – The Roswell Incident – Was the Roswell Incident a crash an alien spaseship or was it a weather balloon – 10 alien places to visit in Roswell, including the International UFO museum, Roswell Crash Site, fun attractions and other curiosities – Non-alien places to visit in Roswell

No one would argue that Roswell is the capital of the modern UFO scene. This city in the Southeastern part of New Mexico is the home of the yearly UFO Festival, which takes place 1-3 July. After the pandemic, it finally resumes attracting tourists from all over the world.

Tourists come here not only for the Festival, but all year around, to experience the unique atmosphere, where no one will look at you funny if you say you believe in aliens, and to learn hands-on about what is probably the most famous UFO crash on the planet. Much is written about it, so I will only summarize it here.

The story of what is now officially called the “Roswell Incident” starts on the night of July 2nd, 1947, when during a powerful storm a rancher named William “Mac” Brazel heard a loud crash near Corona, New Mexico.

Mac Brazel's Ranch
Mac Brazel’s ranch and the land around it

The next morning, he and his neighbors went to investigate and found some strange debris. They shared the news with local authorities. It was only by July 6th when the army got involved, namely an intelligence officer named Major Jesse Marcel. Very quickly the military arrived and cordoned off the area, to the point that some of the ranchers couldn’t even get to their cattle. They collected all the evidence and transported it to military facilities.

However, some pieces of the debris were still in Marcel’s possession. His son Jesse Jr. remembers seeing pieces of metal with strange hieroglyphs on them. Marcel had to give up the pieces, but they were forever etched in the young boy’s memory. Later Jesse Jr. tried to recreate the symbols he saw.

Hieroglyphs on Roswell Crash debris
The hyeroglyphs on the pieces of the Roswell Crash debris

On July 8th several newspapers published the story about the crash of a flying disk. My guess is they were still truthful about what they think they had found since no one told them otherwise.

Roswell Daily Record, July 8,1947
An article in Roswell Daily Record, July 8th, 1947/Public Domain

But as soon as the next day, the military started the campaign to debunk the flying disk story, saying that it was only a weather balloon. All the witnesses were forced to confirm the same. Jesse Marcel Jr. remembers how his father came home one night and told him and his mom to never mention the story again. And he didn’t joke: some of the people who were closely involved in the research of the wreckage (and supposedly saw the alien bodies) later conveniently “committed suicide”…

Only in 1978 Jesse Marcel Sr. admitted that the weather balloon was a cover-up and that the debris was something else. He was a trained intelligence officer, so no one could accuse him of illogical thinking, but even he said that the material he saw and held in his hand was not something from this Earth. Ironically, in July 1994, the US Air Force released a report where they confirmed that the weather balloon story was bogus. I guess they couldn’t contain it anymore, so they had to say something. They, however, didn’t say it was a flying saucer, either. Instead they insisted the wreckage was some top secret spying gear against Soviet Union, and it explained why they couldn’t tell the truth back in 1947.

But what about the alien bodies? There were still witnesses, who claimed to have seen them. Well, the government claims that those were parachute test dummies… (read the complete publication here) . I wonder how this confusion was possible, because if the following dialog took place, they were definitely not dummies…

Dialog at Roswell

The speculations about the Roswell crash continue to this day. There is much controversy, but with more and more UFO incidents becoming known (think about all the Navy videos of “Tic-Tacs” and similar craft that are all over the news) more and more people believe the fallen debris might indeed have been of extraterrestrial origin.

So, if you are in Roswell, New Mexico, and you want to believe, here is a list of things for you to do:

1. Explore The International UFO Museum

International UFO Museum and Research Center
The International UFO Museum and Research Center

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is, of course, the no. 1 attraction of the town. The museum is surprisingly large and covers a lot of different alien aspects from the ancient past (including the Palenque Astronaut and Anasazi Petroglyphs) to the modern day.

Anasazi Petroglyphs
Anasazi Petroglyphs and Pictograms
UFO Sightings
Modern UFO sightings

There is even a place for art, cinema and humor!

Alien Humor at the UFO Museum
Funny alien jokes

But of course, the major section is dedicated to the Roswell Incident and covers it in amazing detail.  I have read and watched a lot about Roswell, but after seeing the materials with my own eyes, I don’t have any doubts that whatever it was, it was something a lot more extraordinary than the military spy craft, let along the weather balloon. And I encourage you, if you are a believer, come to the International UFO Museum and see this exposition by yourself.

2. Walk Around Downtown Roswell

Walking in downtown Roswell, you can’t forget where you are! As soon as you get here, you are surrounded by many reminders that you are in the alien capital of the world. Even the street lights have alien eyes! Alien figures are everywhere, as well as colorful murals portraying space travel.

Roswell Downtown
Downtown Roswell/photo by Phil Campbell/CC BY 2.0

3. Eat at the UFO McDonalds

Yes, you heard it right! There is a McDonalds in Roswell built in a shape of a flying saucer. Inside there are aliens offering burgers and kids can enjoy climbing around an alien-themed playground. We happened to be in Roswell during chili season, so we really loved green chili burgers. They should make them national!

UFO McDonalds

So, not everything is serious in Roswell. There are some fun spots that offer you simply good entertainment.

4. Have a Laugh at Roswell UFO Spacewalk

The Spacewalk is a blacklight walkthrough where you can see original retro space art and some weird alien props. Some people consider it a bit goofy, but it was fun!

Sad Alien at UFO Spacewalk
A sad alien at the UFO Spacewalk

5. Experience Roswell Spaceport

Roswell Spaceport is a 3D 360-degree virtual reality ride that allows you to experience the Roswell crash…. from aboard an alien ship. First an attendant meets you and gives you a rundown of the safety rules, kind of like on a plane, but for a space ship. It’s actually really funny! Then you take you seat, put your 3D helmet on and enjoy the ride as a member of the crew of that same spaceship that crash-landed on Earth in 1947. Needless to say, even though a lot of details are fictional, it’s really cool to imagine how it could have been (and also to experience a bit of a Star-Trek’ish environment :).

6. Search for Roswell Crash Site

There are actually three sites, the final crash site and so-called skip sites where the crashing saucer touched down and jumped up again. All the sites are located on private lands, so they are not available to the general public. Just north of Roswell there is a small intersection that used to have a sign “UFO Crash Site – No Trespassing”. It’s no longer there, but the posts remain. Even if like us, you decide not to venture any farther, you can have an idea of the location where the actual crash occurred: a pretty desolate empty New Mexico desert…

Roswell Crash Site Sign
What’s left of the Roswell Crash Site sign
Road to the Roswell Crash Site
The road to the Crash SIte is private property

Directions to the sign: on the west side of US Hwy 285 at the corner of CR 39/Bitterroot Rd. It’s 23 miles north of downtown Roswell, or 103 miles south of I-40 exit 277.

According to the online search, the GPS coordinates for the final crash site (William “Mac” Brazel’s ranch) are: 33º56.35’N, 105º18.41’W. I don’t have a confirmation that these are correct, so if anyone has any updated info, please share in the comments!

7. Take a UFO Tour

If you don’t want to explore Roswell yourself, you can take a UFO tour. During our visit to Roswell in 2020, all the tours were cancelled due to the pandemic, but they are slowly starting to reappear. You can check them out on Tripadvisor (it seems that the main UFO tour guide has retired, but keep checking for updates and possibly they will have an alternative soon)

8. Take a Photo with Roswell Entry Signs

Roswell has cool entry signs in all four directions and it is fun to take a photo with them.

Roswell Sign

9. Visit Alien Zone/Area 51

Alien Zone was built in 1998 by Randy Reeves, who saw that young kids were generally too bored with the UFO Museum. So he created a place with about twenty fun life-size dioramas, where kids would be part of the action: a crashed saucer scene (you can crawl into the saucer), an alien in an upside-down room, an alien at a BBQ, in a jail, in an outhouse, and even “an alien autopsy” scene. New scenes are constantly being built!

10. Get a Souvenir at a UFO Store

There are plenty of stores in Roswell that sell UFO-related merchandise. Some of the big ones are Hangar 209, Alien Zone and Invasion Station, but there are many small ones as well. Surely, you can find some cool alien stuff to take home!

Aliens are Everywhere!
In Roswell, aliens are everywhere! This one is looking at me at our RV Campground, the Red Barn

Explore Some Non-Alien Places in Roswell

Even though my list is about alien and UFO-related places, if you are in Roswell anyway, take some time and explore some of the non-alien spots.  There are great museums such as Roswell Museum and Art Center, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Walker Aviation Museum, beautiful nature preserves such as Bottomless Lake State Park and Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and many other attractions worth visiting. Hope you enjoy your time in Roswell, New Mexico!

So what do you think about the Roswell Incident? Do you think it was in fact a military spy craft (I hope by now everyone is in agreement that it was not a weather balloon)? Or do you think it was indeed a crash of an alien spacecraft? Do you believe that the military did find alien bodies? What do you think they did to them and to the remains of the craft? Share in the comments!

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