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Socorro: New Mexico’s Other UFO Town

Roswell, New Mexico, is the self-declared Alien Capital of the World, and it has made a name for itself by commemorating a flying saucer crash that supposedly occurred sort of, kind of near there in 1947. Plans are even being drafted to develop an alien theme park in that relatively remote desert community.

Now a rival New Mexico town wants to get some of that action.

Socorro, New Mexico, is actually much better positioned to reap a UFO-tourist bonanza than Roswell. The flying saucer that visited here in 1964 landed in town, and just off of I-25. According to an editorial in Socorro’s El Defensor Chieftain, the site is so well-known locally that the dents left by the craft’s four feet have been outlined with circles of rocks. But unless you know what you’re looking at, it still isn’t much to lure tourists — even if it is only a couple of minutes off of the interstate.

Socorro intends to change that. For now a pink flag has been placed at one of the rock circles to mark the spot. The town plans to add a plaque at the landing site and some benches for contemplation. It’s a small start, but it marks an important shift in thinking: Socorro is no longer content to be New Mexico’s UFO destination doormat. “Look what Roswell did with theirs,” the editorial quotes Socorro Police Chief Lawrence Romero, “and ours is better documented.”

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