High Strangeness: The Roswell Challenge

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Roswell Challenge

The other night I was in a bookstore, a Barnes & Noble, and naturally sought out the paranormal & occult section... B&N seem to think that this corner of the store will appear more respectable if they call it the "New Age" section, but it's chock full of books about Bigfoot, 2012, Hitler's secret deals with Nostradmus, Jesus being a spy for the CIA and all sorts of very un-respectable things, so I don't know who they think they're fooling.

Anyway, I looked to see what they had in the way of UFO books and found two all-new exposes of the Roswell incident. I resisted buying either, because it's easy to get over-Roswelled. And that's a problem.

You may be familiar with the events of July 8, 1947... A rancher finds strange, lightweight but very strong metallic wreckage inscribed with odd symbols on his New Mexico ranch... He hauls the wreckage home with him, shows it to his family, his neighbors, the cops... Cops call the nearby Air Force base at Roswell... Air Force Officers inspect the wreckage, think it's from another world, and announce to the press that they have recovered the remains of a crashed spaceship... Sensational news story about the Air Force recovering a crashed flying saucer hits the wire services and goes national... Freaked out Air Force officials in Washington squash the story, claiming that the rancher and the Air Force officers at Roswell are mistaken and the wreckage was the remains of a crashed weather balloon... Rancher and Roswell Air Force officers are humiliated and marginalized, and a legend is born.

But of course the Air Force was lying all along... There really was a crashed spaceship. They recovered alien corpses, perhaps an intact flying saucer, shipped them all to Wright-Patterson AFB outside of Cincinnati, performed all sorts of autopsies, shot some video, gave to it to Fox News, and, well... the rest of a legend was born.
You may not think that, after 64 years, there could possibly be anything more to write about Roswell, but, oh, you would be wrong, and Barnes & Noble can prove it. So can Amazon. I just checked on my kindle, and the kindle store has 24 pages of books with "Roswell" in the title. Granted, there could be a "Roswell Cookbook" in there bringing the overall count down, but it's still a lot of Roswell books.

My problem is not deciding which true story of Roswell is the true-est. My problem is figuring out something I can write about Roswell that hasn't already been written. What angle is left? Just this year a book came out proving that the Roswell flying saucer was a Soviet aircraft piloted by "alien-like children" genetically-engineered by Nazi medical pioneer Josef Mengele. I swear, I did not make that up. The author even scored an interview segment with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." She has got some publicist.

So, where does that leave me? On the fringes once again. Well, I may be down but I am most certainly not out. I know that there is one more Roswell story out there that is truer than true and just waiting for me to discover it and write about it. And when I do, I must get the name of that publicist.

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