Trip to New Mexico 2004
Wed., June 30 - Tues., July 6, 2004
We flew into El Paso airport via Southwest Airlines on Wednesday, June 30th. The airport facility was in flux with airport repairs going on. The remodeling changes add a nice western style of granite stones along one of the hallway. This was very nice since we came to see the “west”.
We went to a great Mexican restaurant near the airport was called Franky’s Restaurant on Montana Ave. I found out about the restaurant on the flight, from a lady who lived in El Paso. It was Mexican food like we had never eaten. I just kept thinking, I wish I could eat food like this every day. The Mexican food at home, was as if we had a cheap imitation--until now. This was definitely authentic Mexican food.
As were were leaving El Paso and heading north we would see vehicles from Fort Bliss Military Reservation. Bliss borders El Paso but is mostly in New Mexico.
We stayed the first night at a Motel 6 in Las Cruces. It was a pretty little college town in the desert, just north of El Paso. There didn’t seem to be much in the town, but it did look nice. Most memorable are the small peaks just outside of the Motel 6. Those peaks looked quite awesome. The name in Spanish means "the crosses", referring to a grave site in the desert.
On the way to Hillsboro I got very nervous that we were going to run out the gas and then be left on a deserted road without water. We had went quite a way down a deserted road and saw no one. I yelled at Andrew that Billy said it was really easy to run out of gas in the desert. But, after a while we came around a turn, there was the little town of Hillsboro. And there was a gas station and plenty of water to drink, as well. Andrew said he was never happier to see $2.18 per gallon of gas (it was $1.90 at home). We drove on down to a Café after gassing up. The Hillsboro General Store & Café was nice site, that we won't soon forget. We had a late breakfast at the Café. It was full of old treasures on the wall from times gone by. The owners ran the place, one of which was originally from Canada. I bought a yellow Hillsboro apple festival t-shirt for my mom at the store.
As we drove through Alamogordo, the view was nice with the mountain ranges in the background. Actually, one drives over a mountain pass and it is quite a view. Alamogordo has military bases around it. The town probably would not be much, except for the military presence. It is a fairly large town with Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range nearby.
White Sands National Monument is a wonderland of white sand. There are dunes of gypsum sand that cover 275 square miles of desert. It is the world's largest gypsum dune field. The brilliant white dunes are ever changing and moving. There are desert plants and animals that have adapted to this white desert. It is a beautiful and bright place.
Alamogordo is like nothing in the eastern US. Sandy colored soil with bushes throughout the small hills. Interesting to me we were on U.S. Hwy. 70. It is the same highway that runs east and west all the way to Huntingdon, Tennessee were I went to grade school and high school. The view is so different of Hwy. 70 -- New Mexico and Tennessee.
This is a hilly and tree-covered land. It has very beautiful mountains and hills. There are conifers growing up the sides of the mountains. The Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation was quite nice. They have a casino which was quite packed. We did not go but drove by it. We went to the Ceremonial on the July 4th weekend. They were celebrating their daughter's crossing into womanhood. The people were most kind. They gave us lunch to eat as we watched the Indian dances that afternoon. The people were proud of their heritage. They were not shy about being Americans as well. There was a flag at the ceremony grounds, and one on the highest peak above the grounds.
Ruidoso is a small town outside the reservation. There were several hotels there, but we didn't find one for ourselves. They were full because gambling was in full swing.
Carlsbad, as a town, seems a little like a town that has seen better times. Perhaps, the oil and gas industry were doing better at one time than they are now. Artesia looked as it had better economic times. In Artesia we saw refineries on the way into Carlsbad.
There is a long windy road as one drives into Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It climbs up the sides of the small mountains in the area. The cave visitor’s center is up above the plains on this plateau or mountainous area.
At the Carlsbad Cave we saw the Natural Entrance, the Big Room and the Kings Palace. It was basically a self-guided tour that last around 2 or 3 hours, depending how quickly that one walks. Outside the cave was even better, as far a beauty. It was nice and sunny and very hot, but not humid. It is a desert range with a wonderful overlook, and you can look outward for miles. The Carlsbad cave and tourist center is on this little mountains or plateau. I think it was 103 degrees F. when we were at Carlsbad. The heat was not too bad because of the low desert humidity. You could get in the shade and feel comfortable. You just had to drink a lot of water, because the heat just felt like it sucked it right out of your pores. You didn’t seem to sweat, although actually you do, but you do not feel sticky like in Kentucky or the mid-south.
We stopped at a little Mexican restaurant in Hondo. A 30-something guy with his son came in both wearing cowboy hat boots and spurs. It made me feel like we were in real cowboy country. There were others who came in, as well, wearing working clothes of jeans and boots. The food was nice, tortilla wrap with chicken inside. It was good and inexpensive. Later, we heard that Sam Donaldson for ABC News has a ranch around Hondo. We didn’t see his ranch, simply because we didn't know where to look, even if we wanted to see it. Ranches out in New Mexico have distinctive gates with the name of the ranch on them. At least, that would be an interesting site.
We went to International UFO Museum. It was an interesting museum, along with a nice gift shop. The museum had an outline of the entire account in 1947 of Mac Brazel finding the debris from crashed UFO on the Foster Ranch north of town. It explained the military recovery of the UFO, alien bodies, international media attention, and then the military cover up of the incident. We listened to an organized presentation there from researchers Tom Carey, Don Schmitt & Stanton Friedman. We saw slide show of the recent archaeological investigation of the crash site. The investigation was aired on the Sci Fi Channel.
The July 4th weekend annual festivities look back to the Roswell Incident. Various speakers were at the Roswell Civic Center speaking on various UFO related topics. We stop in for that. We met Gloria Hawker, author and abductee. We talked with her personally. Andrew commented that she had fear in her eyes when she talked about her incident. Later she saw us and made eye contact while in the Roswell alien parade. Another speaker was guy who said that he spent 15 years of his life researching secret underground facilities.
There was fine Mexican food at El Toro Bravo in Roswell. The Denny’s across from the UFO Museum was terrible the day we stopped in, but we did see some guys from Nacogdoches, Texas, there. They had a band called, something like, the "space debris" band. Reflecting the fact that Nacogdoches was where part of the last shuttle was found.
Roswell was a nice town, it reminded us of Bowling Green, Kentucky, but, without traffic and in the desert. Roswell is just big enough to have everything that one needs.
On the way out of town, we went north and stopped at the road marked, Chaves County 39 West. It was apparently on the the edge of the former JB Foster Ranch. There is a sign for the UFO Crash Site. We stopped there and made pictures of ourselves in the near the crash site sign.
We drove up from Roswell north to Fort Sumner via State Hwy 285 then northeast on State Hwy 20. At Fort Sumner we saw the Grave of Billy the Kid. There are 2 museums in town, but we only went to the museum next to the grave. In this museum, there was a lot of items from the period. The displays discussed the story of how Billy the Kid was shot. They also talked about how stories abounded that Billy did not die in Fort Sumner, NM, but lived out the remainder of his life elsewhere. There were quite a few people who claimed to be "the Kid" as time passed by and his notoriety grew.
Interesting to me was a display of the various types of barbed wire and its evolution though history. Barbed wire was used to fence up the west especially for cattle ranching.
The actual fort of Fort Sumner itself is known for the place where Indians where held captive in 1860s. It was called, the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation. There were about 10,000 Navajo that were forcibly relocated (called, the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo) from near Four-Corners and 500 New Mexico Apaches that were forced to live there. One winter many of them starved. It was a sad day in American history.
On the way out of town, we stopped by the Pecos River. The river runs near the road at one point. It runs north and south. It is a very nice view.
On Tuesday, July 6th, we left New Mexico and entered west Texas on our trip after leaving Carlsbad to go back to El Paso. Our adventure was nearing it end for now. It was time to go back to the airport. We went by means of U.S. Highway 62/180. The view from Guadalupe Pass down the road was beautiful. The highway actually goes around much of the mountain range on the way to El Paso.
The Guadalupe Mountains were beautiful we had to stop at the Texas visitor center near the Pinery and take a better look. By the quality of the visitors center, one had the distinct impression that Texas is a rich state. It was a very nice center and mini museum. We were actually in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in the state of Texas.
I took pictures of the area. There is a path to the ruins of the old Pinery Station, which runs for San Francisco to St. Louis for 2,800 mile Butterfield Overland Mail Route back in 1859. The area is in part of the Chihuahuan desert. There is a plaque from American Airlines at the site commemorating the over land route which in the 1930s was converted to an airmail route for the nation.
We arrived at the airport early and it was now time to go home to Kentucky on Southwest flight 1243.
It was a great trip and we both want to come back someday on another adventure in New Mexico and Texas.
By J.M. Sarkozi
The International UFO Museum & Research Center was a great place to visit.
The UFO Museum has the testimony in writing of around 350 people who say that the government's version of the story is simply a cover up of the an extra-terrestrial crash of a craft near Roswell in July of 1947.
On July 4, 1947, Rancher Bill “Mac” Brazel found a large batch of debris strewn across a field at the J.B. Foster Ranch. It was reported by him and the military that he had found the of wreckage from a damaged alien spacecraft.
There is so much evidence, but much of it is second hand testimony. Apparently, the 1st hand witnesses were silenced for fear of imprisonment or their perhaps their lives, as some have said. National security, purposes were proposed. The rancher Mac Brazel may have been paid for his silence, as the story goes.
The story is interesting no matter what you believe about UFOs.
International UFO Museum & Research Center at Roswell114 North Main St.
Sheriff George Wilcox
Newspapers were told that the wreckage was a weather balloon, not a ship as earlier stated.
Found wreckage commonly believed to have fallen from a damaged alien spacecraft.
Encountered unusual behavior on the part of the local military, and claims to have talked to a witness that saw dead alien bodies.
Claimed to have handled alien wreckage from Brazel's debris site, that is father brought home.
Claims to have handled wreckage from an alien spacecraft, and that her father saw dead alien bodies.
Claims that she and her husband handled wreckage from an alien spacecraft that was shown to them by Mac Brazel.
Son of Mac Brazel; claims to have kept pieces of wreckage from an alien spacecraft until military personnel took them.
Son of Jesse Marcel, Sr.; claims to have handled wreckage from an alien spacecraft and that his father was victim of a government cover-up.
Claims that the story of the incident stems from experimental weather balloons and crash-test dummies dropped from high altitude.
Roswell Daily Record (newspaper - Roswell, New Mexico)
July 8, 1947 - RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region
July 9, 1947 - Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer, Associated Press
July 9, 1947 - Harassed Rancher who Located ‘Saucer' Sorry He Told About It
rocketry pioneer Robert H. Goddard