Aliens stand watch inside the International UFO Museum & Research Center, Wednesday, as visitors begin to arrive in Roswell for the upcoming UFO Festival. Mark Wilson Photo
Ready for take-off? The UFO Festival Roswell 2012 and 2012 Galaxy Fest events are set to carry participants through vast stretches of the unexplored.
The UFO Festival, sponsored by the city and MainStreet Roswell, launches today with the Roswell 2012 Conference Lecture Series and laser light shows at the Roswell Museum & Art Center. Lecturers throughout the festival include UFO experts Dr. Don Burleson, Dennis Balthaser, John LeMay, Karen Green, Noe Torres and E.J. Wilson, all of whom will offer attendees rare treats in education and speculation.
“The lecture series should prove to be very informative,” Caroline Brooks, RMAC assistant director, stated. “Topics explore the many angles of the local Roswell Incident and Area 51. One that is sure to be popular theorizes the death of Marilyn Monroe in relation to a UFO coverup.”
Laser shows will fill Goddard Planetarium with dazzling colors and groovy sounds, exhibitions centered around artists like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Metallica, U2 and They Might Be Giants, as well as themes of retro, vinyl, pop and spirit.
“They’re for all ages,” Brooks stated. “… The Planetarium’s laser shows are always a hit and are a good excuse to come in from the summer heat. Adults enjoy the retro, cool music, and kids love the experience of visiting the planetarium and seeing a laser show, perhaps for the first time.”
You won’t want to miss the 18th annual Alien Chase, a cornerstone of the UFO Festival that kicks off Saturday’s events at 7 a.m. The Chase, put on by the Roswell Recreation Department and Roswell Runners Club, will feature four races that begin at the Civic Center, with nine age divisions for both men and women in each race. For more information, call 624-6720.
Other UFO Festival events Saturday include a car show, hopping contest and Alien Parade. The car show will be located at Pioneer Plaza, with set-up from 7 to 9 a.m., and judging from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The hopping contest is located in front of the Chaves County Courthouse on Main Street, and will take place at 4 p.m. The Alien Parade starts at approximately 6 p.m. at the south side of the Civic Center, continuing to Third Street. To register for the parade, call 627-8292.
This year’s Alien Costume Contest on Saturday is destined to be a popular hit once again, with separate contests for pets and humans that always offer a remarkable display of imagination and creativity. The pet contest will be held on the north lawn of the Civic Center at 10 a.m., and the contest for humans will be inside the Civic Center at 3 p.m. For more information or to register, call 624-6744.
The 2012 Galaxy Fest, sponsored by the International UFO Museum & Research Center, lifts off Friday with an opening ceremony outside the UFO Museum at 9 a.m. The event will feature multiple food vendors, live music, UFO researchers, authors and celebrity guests. Guests include Denise Crosby, who played Security Chief Tasha Yar on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and Ray Wise, known for his roles on TV shows like “Twin Peaks” and “Reaper.”
Galaxy Fest, which runs through Monday, will offer participants a variety of riveting discussions, including an alien abduction panel Friday at 7 p.m., with Kathleen Marden, Derrel Sims, Yvonne Smith, Travis Walton and Steve Pierce. A panel Saturday at 7 p.m. will feature the expertise of ufologists like Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist-lecturer whose influential research has led him to appear on numerous radio and TV programs like “Larry King Live.” Friedman is considered the original civilian investigator of the Roswell Incident.
Sharon King’s Junior Alien Zone, an arts and crafts workshop for kids, will be held each day in the Library Magazine Room from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost is $1 per child.
“There’s a little bit of everything,” said Mark Briscoe, UFO Library and Research Center director. “… It will be a fun atmosphere; we’re all really excited. It’s simply for people to come in and have a good time. They can visit with a movie star, get an autographed picture. … People can visit with several (researchers), ask them questions. … It’s a family atmosphere by all means.”
For more information about Galaxy Fest, call the UFO Museum at 800-822-3545.