While you could spend your summertime beach bumming or exploring nature, maybe its time to pursue another true American pastime—visiting weird UFO sites. Although we are a serious journalistic entity and would never support the extraterrestrial theory of UFOs, here are some suggestions for you as you make the cosmic trip of a lifetime.
In 1965, Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, had its own Roswell when a bell-shaped craft blazed through the late afternoon before crashing into a nearby wood. Of course, it was immediately covered up by the military—or at least the legend goes—but not before the residents saw Egyptian-like hieroglyphics on the side as it was hauled off.
There was a protracted legal battle to find out what crashed in those woods, and strangely enough, Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta . Podesta has had a interest in UFOs and had been of Kecksburg documents since at least 2002.
Aliens, a failed Russian Venus probe, and even a have been implicated, but a points to the research of two Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) member points to an even more mundane explanation: a General Electric Mark 2 Re-entry Vehicle, a spy satellite launched by the U.S. Air Force, went off course, crashing into the woods.
Today, a with a gift shop onsite.
Speaking of Roswell, the town of Roswell, New Mexico, is home to the , which is exactly what it sounds like. It's a kitschy monument to the 1947 crash of what was likely a developed under something called , which was basically the Google Loon of highly classified nuclear weapons surveillance.
For the "That's what they WANT you to believe" crowd, a couple things to bear in mind: Roswell is near the White Sands Missile Range, aka the Trinity Site of the Manhattan Project.
Interestingly, from that day in July 1947 until the 1980s, no one within or outside of the UFO community remembered Roswell much until UFO researcher Stanton Friedman brought it to light. A documentary called puts forth the claim that the government engaged in deliberate disinformation campaigns to cover up weapons testing featuring a shifty reported government spook who claims he was paid to carry it out.
If you're in New Mexico, you can also visit a in Aztec and . Even Roswell has allegations of a . You can also head on over to neighboring Arizona to take the hosted by a supposed alien abductee.
If you believe that aliens crashed at Roswell, then you likely know they were taken to Area 51. The official line is that it's a top secret weapons testing facility, where crafts like the U-2 bomber were first flown. Regardless of what you believe, you blow $200 of your hard earned Vegas-gambling money on an around Area 51. Of course, you could skip that and just drive to the yourself.
In a tiny town called Hooper in south central Colorado, there's a platform built for staring skyward. According to the National UFO Reporting Center (), the watchtower has actually yielded "results."
Because the San Luis Valley in Colorado has been hotbed for reported UFO activity, the watchtower was an inevitability. Getting into the watchtower won't cost you an arm and a leg — a single admission fee is $2, a whole car is $5, and you can camp for $10. Be careful camping, have been also been reported in the area.
In 1994, the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet crashed into Jupiter, sending up quite a fireworks show in the solar system. The Green River city council in Wyoming wanted to build a refuge for any Jovians wishing to flee, and thus rechristened their tiny blip of an airstrip the "Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport." For the most part, though, it's been used by humans. Sadly, says the sign designating it the Intergalactic Spaceport has since been removed (or stolen.)
In Bowman, South Carolina, a man named Jody Pendarvis built a trash castle monument to our alien overlords called the UFO Welcome Center. Pendarvis allows visitors to his rickety outsider art project. The idea reportedly struck him in the 1990s (sort of like the potato Devil's Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but made out of sheet metal) and , it was open for business.
A farm near Kelly and Hopkinsville, Kentucky was the site of an ambush from above in 1955 when several goblin-like creatures reportedly descended on the house of Elmer Sutton. By the time authorities arrived, the visitors were gone though the occupants of the house were spooked by the encounter.
These days, Kelly plays host to the annual , which falls on the third weekend of August every year, the same time as the encounter 62 years ago. This year, the festival happens to fall on the same day as a total solar eclipse sweeping the nation on August 21, the same day as the alleged encounter. Coincidence? Let's see what happens in Kelly that afternoon a few months away.
In other UFO/farmhouse related news, McMinville, Oregon, has its own UFO festival as well, aptly called . This year's event is set for May 18-21. McMinville was the site of .
In the 1890s, there were a rash of "mysterious airship" sightings, and like all good hokum, some of those allegedly crashed to the ground, . The good people of Aurora, Texas, reported one such landing, and the townsfolk did what was only right: gave the dead .
Some small town papers of the time didn't quite have the upstanding journalistic integrity of The New York Times and would, from time to time, throw in a bit of made up entertainment. That may well have been the case both in Max and Aurora, as subsequent investigations of the cemetery have turned up nothing.
Betty and Barney Hill were driving through rural New Hampshire on the way back to Portsmouth when something happened. Under hypnosis, the couple claims they were abducted by aliens, becoming one of the first widely publicized cases.
Later termed the Zeta Reticuli incident, it's been a contentious story since, though a tried to take the incident seriously. Current editor-in-chief David J. Eicher tells of the story: "The well-known astronomy popularizer Terence Dickinson, then Astronomy's Editor, penned the article. It probably cost Terry his job, as he was gone from the magazine a few months later. Astronomy was just a year and a half old at the time, and this story set the fledgling magazine's credibility back a long way."
Though the Hills have since passed away, New Hampshire has of the couple's encounter with...something.
In the 1960s, you didn't just have the chance to see UFOs in the sky — for the right price, you could live in one. The so-called were a Finnish design meant to embrace modernity, but instead were regarding as something more of an eye sore. A few of them still exist today. has a map of the homes that still exist today and some remain in better shape than others.