Roswell, NM, March 29, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- A new book by Roswell, New Mexico, historian and author John LeMay provides a fresh new look at the world’s most famous UFO case, the alleged 1947 crash of a flying saucer in the desert north of Roswell. The 254-page paperback, "Roswell USA," available from RoswellBooks.com, looks at the so-called “Roswell Incident” from the unique perspective of someone who was born and raised in the “Alien Capital of the World.” LeMay’s childhood was filled with tales of flying saucers and alien autopsies, and, in his youth, he rubbed elbows with several key Roswell eyewitnesses.
In his book, LeMay discusses how the UFO phenomenon has radically changed Roswell, beginning with what occurred in the summer of 1997, when about 40,000 tourists and reporters descended upon the desert town to celebrate the 50th anniversary of an event that skeptics claim did not even happen. Never had the world seen such an amazing spectacle – an entire town celebrating the crash of a flying saucer and the alleged recovery of extraterrestrial beings. Despite controversy that persists to this day, UFO tourism was born that summer in the New Mexico desert, and the annual celebration of the Roswell Incident became a fixture that continues to fill the town’s coffers to overflowing every July. Indeed, in a town once known as the “Dairy Capital of the Southwest,” UFOs and “Little Green Men” have become Roswell's top tourist draw.
Relying on his extensive personal knowledge of all things Roswell and his unlimited access to the archives of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico, where he works as an archivist, LeMay presents a careful reconstruction of the famous UFO crash, including details that many readers may not have previously heard. In describing the discovery of strange metallic fragments at a sheep ranch north of town, LeMay writes, “At daybreak, Monday July 7, the three men arose and went out to survey the debris field. Sheridan Cavitt, Army counterintelligence agent, and Mack Brazel, local rancher, on horseback, and Jesse Marcel, intelligence officer, in a military jeep, soon came upon the mystery that would haunt the rest of their lives. Marcel and Cavitt finally understood what had caused Brazel’s agitation on the previous day as they came upon a vast field littered with the same type of strange metallic debris that Brazel had taken into town. Marcel speculated that the stuff must have come from some type of aircraft that exploded over the ranch.”
In addition to revisiting the 1947 UFO incident, LeMay also provides a unique glimpse into what it’s like to live in the one place on Earth most closely associated with flying saucers and extraterrestrials. His analysis of the odd things that happen in Roswell, especially during its annual UFO festival, is priceless. For example, he tells the story of an object that surfaced during the 2008 Roswell UFO Festival that subsequently went “viral” and generated interest all over the planet – a small rock.
LeMay’s keen insight and marvelous sense of humor also focuses on some of Roswell's other, lesser-known mysteries, such as the “alien ghost” that haunts the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center. “In July 1997, when interest in the Roswell Incident was peaking due to the 50th anniversary celebration, Josephine Morones, stepped out of the staff kitchen one night and was struck by a very odd sensation,” LeMay says in his book, “Turning to look down the hall, she saw the most bizarre sight of her life - a small figure that looked somewhat human but clearly was not.”
Roswell is by no means the only town to use strange events and bizarre creatures to draw tourism dollars. Nor was it the first. In the second part of LeMay’s book, he takes us on a tour of other towns all over the U.S. that celebrate weirdness – such as Churubusco, Indiana, where a nine month long hunt for a giant turtle in 1948 has served the town well in tourism for the last 60 years, and Flatwoods, West Virginia, where a one-time alleged sighting of a strange alien monster has since resulted in the “Flatwood Monster Days” festival and toy figures of the creature being sold all the way in Japan. Also, there is Lake Champlain, New York, which has since become America’s very own Loch Ness. Point Pleasant, West Virginia, celebrates Mothman Days and has its own Mothman Museum. The list of weird creatures and bizarre events goes on.
Roswell USA is published by RoswellBooks, and is available in paperback for $14.95 from the publisher's Web site. It is also available on Amazon.com and other major online retailers, and in the Roswell area, may be purchased at Roswell Landing, 205 North Main Street (Phone: 575-622-3036).