Today was about the aliens (allegedly). Tomorrow is about people watching the visitors coming to find the aliens.
CORONA, NEW MEXICO
I was driving in last night through some really desolate country roads, it was absolutely pitch black. I passed just 2 cars coming the opposite way in as many hours and my mobile phone had no coverage. The road was perfectly straight, for about 40 miles at one point. Strange, flashing red lights appeared just to the right side of the horizon, as I neared I counted about 7, then 8, then 12, then dozens! I pulled the car over and switched off my headlights. I could see a vibrant star scape above and these strange pulsing red lights to my right. I tried to take a photo but really didn’t fancy stepping out of the car alone and due to the long exposure needed I was unable to document with any evidence.
When I got to my motel for the evening I asked Rhonda, the owner. I didn’t like to suggest I’d see ‘strange’ lights or even say I’d had an encounter, so I asked if there was an airport on Highway 42 at mile marker 28? She said this always catches out guests arriving at night from that direction and the unexplained lights I’d seen were actually the lights of a wind farm!
Rhonda, told me that she had a party inflatable hire company she built up in Seattle, but 2 years ago at age 58 her family decided to up sticks and escape the rat race by starting a hotel here in Corona. She said it was the best thing she ever did and has never looked back. Every room had a different theme and she spent lots of times searching for decor.
My day starts in Corona, I plan to head out to the (alleged) crash site of 1947. Rhonda said that she’s not sure it’s still accessible or if the land is privately owned by ranchers.
I spent an hour searching online and found 3 claimed UFO Crash sites. Most witnesses had passed away in the 70 years that had passed and it reminded me of Lapland where several sites claim to be ‘official’ Santa workshops…
UFO CRASH SITE, NEW MEXICO
Based on what I’d read over the years, I opted for the site closest to Corona; the other 2 sites were a little too close to Roswell given the eye witness statements I’d read. I’d also read about a documentary by Sci-fi Channel in 2002 had identified the site closest to Corona as the most credible based on eye witness accounts and university analysis of the land and soil.
I set off, and couldn’t understand my own excitement, I was ultimately heading to a barron spot in a desert… Nothing would be there now. Perhaps it was years spent reading the legends in my childhood.
In a nutshell, the story goes that a young rancher found a crashed unknown craft made from materials he couldn’t describe. The police were involved, then the army. The army released PR on the news wires saying they had retrived and extra terrestrial craft and it’s occupants. They were taken to area 51 in Nevada. The press went crazy and within 48 hours the army released another PR saying that everyone was confused as the craft was actually a weather balloon and there were no aliens. This totally back fired and few believed it, especially when the ranchers that found the debris denounced the story too. The rest is history. Whatever actually went on was top secret. Numerous freedom of infomation requests have been submitted over the years and all have been declined.
Me? I’m sure as hell that something happened but whether it was an alien spaceship I reserve judgement. This last week I’ve seen the huge White Sands Missile base and spoken with people who live nearby. All say they have seen incredible sites they cannot explain, other than it’s military.
So off I set to the GPS coordinates I’d found on a wierd online forum. I had cross referenced the coordinates, just in case I was driving into a honey pot of freaks!
The tarmaced road continued for about 25 miles, before taking me off on a dusty uncovered road. This led me south deeper into the fields and it wasn’t long before I lost mobile coverage. There were cattle grids every couple of miles but they weren’t as aggressive as UK cattle grids. My record was 90mph over one, all I could see in my rear mirror was a cloud of dust.
After about 12 miles on the dusty road, my GPS started telling me to make a u-turn, in 156 miles! I must have over shot a turn off. Stopping the car carefully so I didn’t end up in one of the deep ridges at the side of the road, I turned around and back tracked more carefully. The GPS was showing a right turn but I couldn’t see anything for miles. When I got to the exact point there was a closed gate and an even smaller track leading out into the desert. I pondered giving up at this point, but logically if I wasn’t allowed then the gate would be padlocked and there would be signage up warning trespassers. This must have just been to secure cattle I told myself opening the gate.
The track beyond was treacherous, it was 2 tracks just wide enough for my wheels but I was concerned for my ground clearance with the tall central ridge. There were also many points where large rocks would have blocked the Toyota Corolla I had originally booked. I would have had no chance.
I continued driving for another half hour, I was just starting to contemplate turning round and giving up when I climbed over the brow of a hill and saw a stone obelisk in the distance. Racing towards it I was convinced this was the site. Sure enough when I pulled alongside it, there was a plaque which the tv show had placed to commenerate the position.
I had driven for miles and miles and was now far from civilisation, but looking at my phone it suddenly had a full signal. I spun around to take in my surroundings, it was incredibly windy. In every direction flat desert stretched out all the way to the horizon, I’d assume at least 15 miles. Yet here I was with full cell signal. Bizarre. I phoned home, just like ET wanted to, and did a video call to show my accomplishment. I was very, very proud with myself.
CHRIS vs FOOD
I saw ‘Endless shrimp’ (giant king prawns) advertised at the Red Lobster chain a few night ago while watching Discovery Channel. It’s not often I fall for big chain marketing but I just fancied this tonight.
It was only $17.99 for an unlimited choice of 7 dishes, regular mains were $18.99 although I expected the endless ones to be smaller than normal main courses I could order as many as I liked.
The ‘endless shrimp’ promotion runs annually for just a few weeks, this year it ends tomorrow. I had to try it! I read advice online of how to cope, tips and peoples’ personal bests. The best I saw was 175 shrimps, I’d be happy to get 100.
My server explained I could order 2 dishes to kick off, then it was a single dish at a time. She tried to entice me with carby sides but I declined opting for a simple salad to bed the shrimps on.
Mediterranean shrimp 10
Shrimp linguine Alfredo 14
Hand breaded shrimp 10
Grilled shrimp 5
Popcorn shrimp 16
Mediterranean shrimp 5
Garlic shrimp scampi 7
Grilled shrimp 6
Garlic scampi shrimp 7
TOTAL: 80 Food Wins!
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO
I’d planned to stay 2 nights in Roswell, not because there was so much to see (there actually isn’t!) but because I have a 9 hour drive South on Sunday to Big Bend National Park and I wanted to catch up on some sleep.
Searching around I was amazed that no themed hotels existed in Roswell, so I turned to my preferred booking website hotels.com. Using loyalty points I managed to book 2 nights in a comfortable Days Inn (which would earn me Wyndham Rewards of 10% back as credit to use in future) for just £13.88 per night, including breakfast. In addition I received £1.17 back from TopCashback as I clicked their link before booking.
Hotel In The Centre Of Roswell: £13.29 per night (inc. Breakfast)