Day 226: Roswell Nell

Roswell, New Mexico, has around 45,000 inhabitants, and is perhaps best-known for its association with unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The association stemmed originally from an incident that occurred in 1947 that has come to be known as the Roswell UFO Incident, even though the presumed UFO crash site was about 75 miles away from Roswell.

At the time of the incident, the Roswell Army Air Field Public Information Office issued a press release saying that personnel from the base had recovered the remains of a flying disc. The next day, the Air Force high command contradicted the story, saying what was actually found was debris from a crashed radar-tracking balloon. The case lay dormant for about thirty years, until a Canadian-born physicist, named Stanton Friedman, began investigating the incident and found several witnesses who claimed that the Air Force had covered up the incident. The upshot of Friedman’s investigation and those that came after was that Roswell became a destination for serious ufologists and for tourists who are simply curious.

Laetitia took her group, who—unsurprisingly—were UFO enthusiasts, to the UFO Museum and Research Center and then on a UFO crash site tour. On their way to their hotel, they stopped at a bar for happy hour and everyone had a glass of Roswell Alien Amber Ale, appropriately labeled with a smiling green alien. The bar was a lively place, with most of the men giving their attention to a young woman named Nell, whose attire and the sense of mystery created by her cryptic comments suggested that she might be an alien from outer space, or at least the next county. Laetitia was grateful to the woman for providing the limerick of the day.

A plastic-clad lady named Nell
Fascinated the men of Roswell
With an alien look
That kept them on the hook
For a secret that she wouldn’t tell.

Day 90: Alien Amor

Lisdoonvarna, in County Clare, is a spa town of fewer than 1,000 people most of the year. In September, 40,000 singles from all over the world go there for the annual Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. Some obviously go there seeking a mate for life, others perhaps a mate for just an evening or two, and still others, married or single, just for a good time. The festival features traditional Irish music and dance, horseracing, and speed dating. There is also a contest to choose Mr. Lisdoonvarna, the most eligible bachelor, and the Queen of the Burren, the most eligible bachelorette.

Laetitia and her group were standing in a crowd in Lisdoonvarna listening to a ceili band when a disheveled middle-aged American woman came running through the crowd yelling something about an alien. The news spread, and a crowd rapidly surrounded her, but Laetitia was able to get close to hear what she was saying. Her story was that she had left the main area of the festival in search of a loo and had found herself in a secluded place where she encountered an alien. He touched her in such a way that that she was unable to resist his advances. The woman, who said she was Lorna from Spring Valley, Wisconsin, described the experience as cosmic, though horrifying, and said she needed a drink. Several men rushed forward for the honor, and she left with one of them.

Her account was presented in a very convincing manner. She didn’t seem like the kind of down-to-earth person who would just make something up and many in the crowd believed her story. There were comments like, “Wow, this festival is more popular than I thought; imagine drawing folks from other planets.” However, others were skeptical. Laetitia also heard questions such as, “Does she mean an alien from outer space or just some other country?” Next to Laetitia was a man with a broad grin on his face. When Laetitia asked him why, he said, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from Elmwood, Wisconsin. Spring Valley isn’t far away. Each July, Elmwood has a UFO festival. She does this act there every summer. It usually gets her a free drink or two and sometimes a man for the evening.” Laetitia thanked him; he and Lorna had given her the limerick of the day.

Though most knew it likely a yarn, a
Wild rumor engulfed Lisdoonvarna
Of the alien abduction
And cosmic seduction
Of a matronly lady named Lorna.