This was my experience, you may have a very different impression, especially if you enjoy conspiracy theories (and I realize many do) .
There are some places that I just have certain expectations about. I’m trying to keep an open mind to accepting things as they come on this trip, but I realized I had a clear expectation for Roswell the minute I entered the Roswell UFO Museum. What I expected to find was a fun museum with tongue in cheek displays about UFO sightings. I expected to find people with a “wink, wink” attitude, and a certain level of silliness. At this point in my trip, I was really ready for that and looking forward to it.
That’s not what I found.
I entered the museum and thought, “Hmm. It’s smaller than I would have thought given how it’s in most of the guide books I’ve read.” I walked over to the registration desk, where they ask you to “sign in” and let them know how many days you’ll be in town and why you came, and where you’re from. I forked over $5, and was told if I hurried, I could catch the movie about the government cover up of what happened here. Tempting, but since it’s a long movie and also available on Youtube, I decided to go ahead and skip that. I then turned to the large map of the U.S. where visitors are asked to put a little pin in to mark where you’ve come from. They remove the pins at the end of every month, so I pushed one in to represent good ol’ New England, and noted not many of us had been there yet this month, then off to the exhibits I went.
The best way I can describe the exhibits is to say they reminded me of a grammar school pseudo-science fair, only with students shooting for no more than a C+. My self righteous gene began to fire wildly. I wandered to the first section to see what everyone was reading so intently, and found “affidavits” (signed, sworn, witnessed) of the famous Roswell incident. I looked about and realized a surprising percentage of people were taking this all very seriously, and suddenly I felt like a non-believer who had stumbled into a Scientology meeting. This was a very disturbing feeling, and I think I would have felt less weird at that point had I seen an actual alien.
Anyway, I moved on to the big room, which featured a life size diorama of aliens under a flying saucer. The special effects were intense (she says sarcastically), with fog periodically emitting from the scene and and an occasional creepy slight motion of one of the alien’s head. I actually laughed, and I was the only one who did. Creeeepy.
From the big room, I looped around to the exhibits that focus on the alien experiences of indigenous cultures around the world:
then past a wall of artwork featuring aliens:
the obligatory discussion of crop circles:
and finally past the big finish which is this:
before heading out to the gift shop.
Since I skipped the conspiracy theory movie, the entire experience took only about 15 minutes, including the gift shop visit and the purchase of a holographic alien guitar pic.
Overall impression: It has the same strange draw as road kill.
Costs: $5 admission.