Sixty years ago something happened in the godforsaken town of Roswell, New Mexico. Now the town has two competing, yet complementary, festivals celebrating either the first recovery of an alien spacecraft or the routine crash of a weather balloon. The festivals have attracted a diverse crowd of scientists, purported alien abductees, minor celebrities, and wingnuts.
The 1947 incident has single-handedly made Roswell a tourist destination. The festivals draw over 50,000 people annually. And the International UFO Museum and Research Center draws another 12,000 year 'round. The executive director of the museum, Julie Shuster, is the daughter of Lt. Walter Haut, who wrote the Air Force's initial press release on the crash. (Read more Roswell stories.)