And the title of “Second Worst Museum” goes to…
Last week I wrote an article featuring the completion of the Creation Museum in Petersberg, Kentucky, which is opening today. However, there is another museum, in Roswell, New Mexico that ranks perhaps as the second most credulous institution in America, and a recent article on CBC.ca prompted me to write a bit about it.
As far as mythology is concerned, it’s hard to beat the Roswell story. In 1947, a farmer claimed to have discovered a crash site containing ‘odd looking metal fragments’. The government announced the craft was indeed an unidentified flying object, but soon retracted their statement, explaining instead that the craft had been a weather balloon. Adding to the conspiracy, 8 years later the US military established an airbase nearby, fueling claims that some sort of cover-up was occurring.
Roswell has since become a huge tourist attraction, centered almost entirely on the mythology of an alien crash-landing. In 1992, the rather silly ‘International UFO Museum and Research Center’ opened to the general public. The museum, soft on facts and heavy on theory, features a messy array of ‘artist rendered’ paintings, drawings, and testimonials of UFO sightings. Anyone who has not bought the conspiracy theory is therefore instantly bored, as they are introduced to sketches of pale gray humanoids with almond shaped eyes; a vision so paltry and tired one wonders how much imagination went into such a creation.
The fact that a museum of a non-events exists in the first place is a sad testament to our credulity, and shows that it is not only religion that can hold sway to our irrational impulses. Even if an alien craft had landed, what sort of proof can the museum offer that is of any scientific merit? Their only research is into testimonials of abductees, all of which recount a cookie-cutter story of alien incompetence and obsession with sexual probing.
With the future opening of a theme park, Roswell’s tourist industry will no doubt boom, attracting more droves to the silly and laughably unscientific museum. Although admittedly it may cause no real harm to visit such a place, I shudder at the fact human beings allow themselves to be fooled so easily. Even if an alien vessel had landed there, how much information on the event could this place really report? What lessons can it hope to inculcate? Anyone interested in the least educational tour possible, once they are finished visiting the museum of lies, should make a stop here. Otherwise, stay clear.