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Alien autopsy.

Alien Zone: Area 51

Field review by the editors.

Roswell, New Mexico

For our limited attention span, perhaps the most satisfying attractions in Roswell is Area 51 at the Alien Zone cafe and gift shop. It was built in 1998 by Randy Reeves, a commercial artist and pastor of Roswell's Washington Avenue Baptist Church. "Families with kids were coming to town and they were bored with the UFO Museum," said Elsie Reeves, Randy's wife. "We decided we'd become like the Hollywood part, where they can become part of the story."

To that end, visitors to Area 51 are encouraged to pose for photos with dummy aliens in about twenty different life-size dioramas: a crashed saucer scene (you can crawl into the saucer), an alien in an upside-down room, an alien at a bar-b-que, in a jail, in an outhouse. Particularly memorable is the "alien autopsy" scene, complete with bloodied plastic meat cleavers that you can hold aloft.

Alien on ventilator.

In the early 2000s Alien Zone opened a second store in Roswell with a new attraction: Hangar 84, named for the place where Roswell's aliens were supposedly first hidden. That location closed in 2008, but Randy salvaged much of Hangar 84 and added it to Area 51, accessible through a small tunnel. It presents a much darker view of extraterrestrial relations, depicting a crew of aliens undergoing what appears to be War-on-Terror-era enhanced interrogation techniques. In one corner, a cage of what look like super-intelligent rats gnaw on alien bones.

Ready to be probed?

Elsie said that Randy enjoys making people happy, so he's always adding new things to the Alien Zone (He'd been installing aliens in the cafe when we visited). "There's room to keep going, so he'll just keep going."

Also see: Creatures Guide: Space Aliens | Roswell Alien Attraction Autopsy!

Alien Zone: Area 51

216 N. Main St., Roswell, NM
On the west side of Main St./US Hwy 285 a half-block north of 2nd St./US Hwy 70. The entrance is via the doorway to Cosmic Jukebox.
M-W 11-3, Th 11-4, F-Sa 11-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $5.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Alien Riding RoadrunnerAlien Riding Roadrunner, Roswell, NM - < 1 mi.
Roswell Alien Attraction AutopsyRoswell Alien Attraction Autopsy, Roswell, NM - < 1 mi.
We Believe! MuralWe Believe! Mural, Roswell, NM - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Spaceport Roswell, Roswell, NM - < 1 mi.

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