On July 4, 1947, many residents of the sleepy agricultural town of Roswell, New Mexico, reported seeing an unidentified flying object streaking across the night sky. Other locals reported a loud explosion. The next week, the local newspaper, the Roswell Daily Record, reported that the authorities at Roswell Army Air Field had found the remains of a flying saucer that crash-landed in the vicinity. The story was based on the only military or federal disclosure of a possible UFO in history. The facts, however, quickly shifted: Officials recanted the initial account within days and said it was a weather-balloon experiment gone awry.
Nevertheless, the events of July 4, 1947, have been hotly debated ever since, with scads of conspiracy theorists and skeptics dissecting the facts and eyewitness accounts. Conspiracy buffs have cried that this was a government cover-up, alleging that the spacecraft and the bodies of its extraterrestrial passengers were taken to Area 51 in Nevada for top-secret research and experimentation. The skeptics, on the other hand, say the whole thing is hooey and that the UFO in question was indeed a weather balloon. Visitors flock to Roswell's International UFO Museum and Research Center to judge for themselves.
Address: Roswell Chamber of Commerce
131 W. 2nd St
Telephone: 505/623-5695, 877/849-7679
To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
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- New Mexico State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in New Mexico, as well as other recreational activities.
- Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.