This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Roswell Mystery

International UFO Museum and Research Center, ...Image via Wikipedia
Roswell UFO Museem

        Sometimes I think about that night.  I don't know why it comes to me now and then.  Perhaps it has something to do with thinking about God watching over me or maybe because it had something to do with my destination of Roswell, New Mexico.

         Yes, that Roswell of UFO notoriety.  The place that has been featured in documentaries, science fiction movies, and even a popular television show.   If you aren't familiar with Roswell, the town gained fame from a supposed UFO crash in 1947 after which supposed alien bodies were recovered.  It's one of those things that conspiracy theorists and UFO buffs love to study and debate.

        The town now capitalizes on the famous event with a museum dedicated to UFOs and alien life, an annual festival, and lots of souvenirs to cater to the many tourists who come there each year.   It's all interesting to me, but not of extreme consequence.  I used to go there every year on business and if not for that I may have never bothered to go there despite the fact that I had relatives living there.  And they were human relatives and not aliens, but that's another story.

         Anyway, this particular night took place in 1985 I think it was.  The show I was working with at the time had finished a gig in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  After tearing down and loading the truck we were going to make a night jump to Roswell, where our next performance would be.

       We pulled away from the venue where our performance had been at about 10 PM.  My wife, three year old daughter, and I were in our van.  Driving separately from us was the show truck and another van with four other performers.  As we were often wont to do when we had a night drive like this we stopped at a McDonald's for some food to go.  By the time we had done this, crossed the span of the city, and reached the outskirts of Santa Fe it was about 10:30.  We still had a couple hundred miles to go.  I was guessing we would arrive at the motel I had reserved in Roswell at about 1:30 AM.

       At night New Mexico is a very dark place.  Our route did not involve interstates.  We would be traveling U.S. highway 285 all the way to Roswell.   Rolling down that highway in the night with the stereo cranked up I felt detached from the world.  There were few cars on the highway and only a few towns that we passed through.  Surrounded by blackness it seemed like the van was in space except for the highway beneath our tires humming with a lulling dullness.

        We stopped at the small town of Vaughn to gas up and get some snacks.   It felt like a dream in which we were moving fast in a slow motion world.  Ethereal neon lights seemed surreal after emerging from the darkness of the empty highway landscape.  It reminded me of some outpost in space where intergalactic travelers stopped to restock their starships.

         Soon we were on the road again, later and darker than it had been before, as though in a place of ancient and sacred silence disturbed by our music, the steady engine song, and the tire rubber on the asphalt.  I strained to see something beyond my headlights but an ebon vacuum surrounded me.  My daughter was sleeping in the back seat and my silent wife slept as well.

         I longed for sleep, anxious to get to the cool sheets of a strange room, another home for a day.

         Then, a strange thing hit me as we passed into the Roswell city limits, the town asleep for the most part except for the dream drivers like me.  I had this peculiar realization that I remembered virtually nothing of the journey between Vaughn and my now arrived at destination.  Had I been so lost in the music, darkness, and driving that the drive had all slipped past me in a blur that did not recognize the concept of time.  The time had elapsed far too quickly.

          In the motel office as I was registering, a glance at the clock on the wall confirmed my fearful suspicion.  It was only 12:45.  We had made excellent time--too good of time.   According to my calculations we had averaged over 95 miles per hour.   A gush of icy blood coursed through my veins briefly and I felt afraid.

          Could this be true?   As I parked the van and unloaded our suitcases into the room, I marveled at the calculations.  Prior to stopping at Vaughn I was sure that we had never gone faster than 75 miles per hour.  We had lingered at the gas station a bit and had to slow down for the few towns we had passed through.  That would have meant that the last unremembered ninety miles or so were made at an average of more than a hundred miles per hour.

           I tried not to think about it because it made me feel uneasy.  To have had my family in a vehicle going that fast and not being able to remember the trip was beyond irresponsible--it was plain crazy.

           The other two show vehicles arrived at the motel about 45 minutes after I had gotten situated in our room.  I gave them their room keys and retired to an edgy sleep that sped through dark highways of my dreamworld.

          Oh dreamers of the highway, I wish you safe travels night or day.  Most will survive, but some will not. I have been fortunate in my many miles and years of traveling.  I believe that I have been blessed with divine protection in my travels throughout my life.  I thank God for that.

          Some say a UFO crashed near Roswell in 1947.   I'm relieved that a red and silver Chevrolet Sport Van didn't crash on a dark night in 1985.

           Have you ever arrived at a destination only to realize that you did not remember the journey to get there?   Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?  Have you been to Roswell, New Mexico?


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  1. Sure, I arrive at work every morning with no recollection of the drive!
    It's easy to speed in the desert. You were probably just going faster than you thought. And the hotel clock was probably off a bit.

  2. Yes I have, and in town at rush hour at that. Scary stuff that shakes you to your bones when you realize how inattentive you've been. I think it comes from having too much going on in your head, too many worries.

  3. Eerie! I've gotten from point a to point b without recollecting the ride. I wonder if my daydreams take over and I'm thankful I'm a good driver on those days.

  4. I've often arrived at my destination, but totally unaware I've driven through heavy traffic, negotiated roundabouts and traffic lights - scary, but I presume a part of my brain must be able to cope with the routine route. I'd be more concerned if it was an unfamiliar journey, though!

  5. Yep, but it was due to my low blood sugar. I have gotten lost before on my way home from the grocery store. Thank God I have Him as my Pilot.

    This was very spine-chilling to read, Lee. It gave me a zillion goose bumps. *waving*

  6. Years ago I had a long commute to work...almost an hour. After doing it for six years straight, sometimes I would find myself on the road and have no idea of where I was. Was I between exits 12 and 11, or exit 6 and 5. It used to unnerve me to be driving so unaware. Thankfully I always "woke up" before I missed my own exit.

  7. This kind of thing freaks me out so much to be honest Lee, I'm not a huge fan of those types of shows or films to be honest. Great post anyway, although it did give me some chills which I'm not sure is always a good thing or not, excellent work regardless buddy.

  8. You're a great story-teller. Very creepy and mysterious. Glad we didn't hear about that crash.

  9. Wow, Lee, what a great story. I have lost track of time on the boring stretch of highway between Eugene and Salem on I-5 sometimes, but I think that I was probably thinking of other things because it was so boring. Nothing like what you have described though. No, I've never been to Roswell.

    Kathy M.

  10. No, no, and no.

    Twice, however, I sighted UFOs here in Arizona, and the first of those two experiences was quite bizarre.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  11. The only time I remember forgetting was when an illegal substance was involved. that was scary. So I get where you're coming from. Perhaps it's God's protection?

  12. Alex -- Actually the motel clocked matched the time on my watch so my calculations were probably pretty close. I'm sure I was exceeding the speed limit, but that was ridiculous.

    Delores -- Rush hour? Not good. On that night I probably didn't have all that much on my mind other than getting to the motel and going to sleep.

    Miranda -- I think daydreams are probably a big factor in not remembering reality.

    Sue H -- Often we do things out of habit and don't pay attention to details of what's around us. Back then when I was on the road day after day, driving was just a daily routine for me.

    Robyn -- I have diabetes, but my blood sugar never seems to drop to any serious level. I do however have occasional memory lapses which could be attributed to a number of things I suppose.

    Gregg-- Be careful!

  13. Liza -- Driving by rote can be a recipe for "that's all she wrote". Minds wander when we are lost in routine activities.

    Matthew -- I've never seen most of those shows either. Thanks for the good words.

    Maurice -- You and me both--glad there was no accident involved. Thanks for the compliment.

    Kathy -- It's like driving through West Texas--long stretches of sameness. One has to be particularly careful when driving on boring stretches.

    StMc -- I'm convinced that you were abducted by an UFO and had something implanted in your brain. You are not of this world.

    Thea -- Uh, I'm not even going to go into the illegal substance stories today. I think a lot of us who survived crazy antics of our youth were being watched over by God.

  14. I have never fallen asleep while driving but there was a kid in my senior class who did. Among his other grave injuries, he had to carry portable oxygen for a year.

    Cautionary post, Lee.

  15. My first guess would have been you crossed into a new time zone, but when everyone else showed up 45min later...

    I've seen lights in the sky on more than one occasion. It took a while to figure out what they were. In November when they start to harvest, they run all night. Large harvesters have bright lights and they will have 1-5 of them going per field. This makes for some weird lights when one points in your direction on the horizon followed shortly by a second, third, fourth as they move down the fields. Heat from the desert air can distort them and make them appear in the sky. Very spooky when 1-5 bright lights appear in the sky, move a little then fade away. Only to return 15-20 min later.

  16. Lol! One of My Three Bosses was actually born in Roswell - or, perhaps, hatched?

    We always joke about him being an alien.

    My theory, is you just entered "the zone" and leadfooted it.

  17. Lots of good theories here as to what happened. Not sure who is right, but you do tell a good story! Glad you made it to the hotel alive.

  18. Wonderful read Lee, I well remember when my husband was alive and we'd be on the road visiting our mothers' he'd say "Have we been through Bath"?( A place on the way to Bristol UK. we had indeed passed it yet he couldn't remember. A good job for all concerned I can't drive.

    Have an enjoyable week-end.

  19. [:-) HA!-HA!
    I'm viewing that as nothing less than an A-List compliment. In fact, my best one of 2011... so far.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  20. Suze -- Falling asleep while driving can have tragic consequences. It's a good idea to take precautions.

    SB -- I've seen those harvesters at night. I never considered that they could be mistaken for UFOs in some cases, but I see what you are saying.

    Beverly -- Thank goodness I didn't enter the zone of no return.

    Kirsten -- Thank you for saying so. Yes, it's always good to reach one's destination alive.

    Yvonne -- I think it's probably a pretty common occurrence to become absent minded when you drive a route with regularity.


  21. What a great story. I felt like I was there with you, and was so anxious to find out what was going to happen. I have not experienced anything like this, thankfully, but I can imagine it is a very eerie experience!

  22. ah, I love your narrative stories, Lee!
    I haven't been in Roswell, but I did translate LIBRARY OF THE DEAD from Glenn Cooper, which brings the most amazing explanation of the place :)

  23. That's wieeeerd. You're one good story teller...I was thinking how perfect that would be told around a campfire late at night! :) I have fallen asleep once...I was having a hard time staying awake late on a Sun. night headed back to A&M Univ.after a long weekend...I was so sleepy.I felt myself nodding off, the bumping of the road barrier and then LIGHTS and SIRENS. No, I didn't crash, but I got pulled over for speeding and got a big fat ticket. As angry as I was at myself for getting a ticket, it probably saved my life!!
    Enjoyed your post!


  24. That is too weird!I tend to drive slower at night.
    Blessings, Joanne

  25. Sometimes I don't clearly recall getting to a destination, but I usually remember something of the trip.

    No, I've never fallen asleep while driving. I've come close to it though. Scary.

    I haven't had the pleasure of going to Roswell...yet.

  26. Yes, i think this happens often when you're driving. You just kind of drift away. My dad always says that (he was a driving instructor) it's actually the safest time you can be driving - when you're not concentrating too hard on doing the right things.

  27. Julie -- Your comment makes me feel good. Thank you.

    Dezmond -- You've piqued my curiosity. I may have to investigate this one.

    Scarlett-- I'm glad no cops pulled me over that night. I would have gotten a ticket for sure.

    Joanne -- When I'm on stretches of open highway with no traffic it's easy for me to step up my speed some.

    Medeia -- Yes, it is scary to even start to fall asleep. It's happened to me a few times and always jolts me into hyperawakeness or makes me pullover for a brief nap.

    Trisha -- Your dad'a theory is an interesting one that seems contradictory and yet I can kind of see a logic to it.


  28. Every time I go to work, I usually zone out the whole time and can't remember anything about the thirty minute drive.

    I have almost fallen asleep while driving a few times. It's terrifying.

    And yes. My husband and I went to Santa Fe for our honeymoon and on the way home, I told him we had to stop at Roswell. I am such a conspiracy buff/believer in all things unexplainable. Lol. And I completely know what you being by being in an ebon vacuum. It's crazy dark in New Mexico. But at the same time, I think I would love it if I lived there. I would be able to see stars. :D

    Great post,

  29. Lee-

    Sadly, I have fallen asleep while driving enough that I won't try an all-nighter alone anymore.

    At a certain point, coffee doesn't do much for me except prompt another stop...if ya knows what I mean.

    Never been to Roswell.


  30. It is worrying when you realise the journey has passed without noticing. It's happened to me when I've been very tired.

  31. you might like it Lee since it brings the idea of a library which contains the dates of the births and deaths of all people who've ever existed and who will still exist :)
    The book also has a sequel - THE BOOK OF SOULS. Both were bestsellers both in USA and in Serbia ;)

  32. I think I remember this story, Lee, but I don't know if it was the tour I was on or if I just recall you telling us about it. I remember Roswell quite well, though. All the alien-themed tourist stuff was a hoot, but I also remember it being fairly progressive and hip --coffee shops and things long before that trend hit my part of the country.

  33. We once lived in New Mexico for a few years, and not too far from Roswell. And we also experienced a couple of eerie incidents in the desert.

  34. Ashley -- New Mexico is a great place to go for getting away. I can see how places like Taos and Santa Fe have been a draw for many artists, celebrities, and others.

    Larry -- Yes, I know what you mean about the extra stops. These days I just naturally stop every 100 miles or so to take care of whatever needs to be taken care of and sometimes that includes a nap.

    Janice -- It's easy for time to elapse without awareness when you are tired. In that state of mind I just want one thing--sleep.

    Dezmond -- I will have to check out these book recommendations.

    Kelly -- You must have been exploring the city more than I was. I was probably visiting my relatives .

    Carol -- Desert places are conducive to mystical and mysterious happenings.


  35. I was just thinking the other day that this sort of thing only happens in the US, with our long straight roads and miles and miles of country. Nothing like living (and driving) in England for me to realize what a difference in roads can do to your level of alertness while driving. In England, if I so much as blinked, I could get in a wreck. The roads were always winding and twisting, filled with roundabouts, or so narrow that you often had to pull over if a car was coming from the other direction. In the US, it's much easier to get lost in your thoughts and arrive at your destination with no memory of the drive itself.

    I can't speak to how quickly you got to Roswell, though! Yikes. Glad your family made it!

  36. Wow - what a spooky experience. I've arrived at places and not remembered the journey, but not with a time shift like that!

  37. Amazing piece of writing Lee. My lucky day to run into you at BWELA! Have you written any novels? If not, are you working on any?

  38. Yikes! That's one creepy story, Lee! Good thing I live nowhere near Roswell!

  39. Nice articles. I'm just blogwalking and very happy to stop here. And also give you some comment here.

    Dont forget to give us some your comment into my blog too.

    Thanks for share,
    * Rio Prasetyo *

  40. I've not been to Roswell Lee but would love to see it. However, on more than one occasion I have gotten from point A to B on auto pilot and had little memory of the trip. As far as falling asleep at the wheel - yes. I was fortunate enough twice to catch the drowsiness before something seriously could have happened.

  41. I think that you probably do have a guardian angel. I'm glad that you made it safely then, and continue to navigate well on your road trips. Some things just can't be explained, but they're very interesting to think about. Julie

  42. I used to watch the television show Roswell without fail. I am glad that they have a museum now. We live surrounded by mountains, but whenever we get a chance we look down Storm King mountain and my nephew wonders if people down there think there are different people up here. I simply laugh.

  43. I'm pretty sure I remember how I get to most places....hehe Great post btw.

  44. Carolina -- The U.S. has some great highway systems that are long, straight and conducive to lulling one to sleep. It would be bad news to fall asleep on roads like in West Virginia or as you say, in England.

    Jemi -- The suddenness of the arrival is what disturbed me. I often lose track of where I am though.

    Buck -- Have not finished any novels yet but I've got some still on the burner. It was great meeting you as well. I've enjoyed reading what you have to say and you say it well.

    Talli -- I guess it's something that could happen anywhere.

    Prasetyo-- I will be stopping by.

    Paula -- Falling asleep at the wheel is not a good thing to happen. I've always awakened before I've had an accident and I try to be very careful about not falling asleep. Sometimes it just seems to creep up on you.

    Julie -- I think we all have guardian angels and many times we just don't realize how close to danger we have been.

    Munir -- It is interesting to contemplate what we know little or nothing about.

    TF -- I usually remember how to get to a place and most of the trip getting there, but occasionally there are lapses in memory. Thanks for stopping by.


  45. I did that once or twice on the desolate drive across the southern Utah desert. It's scary feeling to realize how easily and quickly everything could have gone wrong.

  46. Karen -- Driving in the desert can make you feel very sleepy.



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