Spongy ETs a lost tourism lure
In June, a horde of UFO fans will travel from all over to world to gather in Roswell, New Mexico, to attend the 12th Annual Roswell International UFO Festival.
From June 30-July 3, thousands of people will seek the truth from UFO researchers while happily enjoying wacky forms of entertainment.
Amid the Galactic Costume Contest, Lights in the Night parade and a slew of huskers and vendors in the civic plaza, noted scientists and UFO experts will deliver guest lectures and workshops.
The annual UFO Festival celebrates the unique distinction for which Roswell is famous: the mysterious 1947 crash of something or other in the desert outside of town. Since then, Roswell has blossomed into a multi-million dollar tourist destination, with seven new hotels and scores of restaurants - the perfect place to seek an "out-of-this-world" experience.
Many believe that in July 1947, what crashed just outside Roswell was an unidentified flying object. The supposed recovery of "aliens" has been the subject of international attention. The so-called "Roswell incident" was reported to the intelligence office at the military base in Roswell, and for days thereafter, the crash site was closed while the wreckage was cleared.
This is so spooky, generating exactly the sort of excitement that happened in Thailand last week when an "unidentified flying object" landed in a backyard in Uthai Thani: a four-inch jelly-like slug. Soon more sightings were reported in Bang Kapi, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, Phrae and Khon Kaen.
Television channels thoroughly covered the story, televising the wonder and fear of rural people who believed the objects came from another world and accidentally landed from the sky. One woman boiled the UFO with rice for her children, believing that the meal would make her kids smarter.
It was fun to learn that while scientific officials asked for two days to examine the white tube-shaped thing, a housewife instantly recognised it and posted on the website Pantip.com that the mysterious object was actually a fever gel pad, used to reduce fever in children.
Two conclusions can be drawn from this.
First, a little knowledge makes people receptive to all kinds of heresy. For them, scientific proof is unnecessary.
Second, Thailand is reckless with waste disposal. If the person who used the fever gel pad had properly dumped it, the damn thing wouldn't have been caught up in the wind and rain and flown around in the air to land as a backyard UFO.
Whatever, now that we know it's a fever gel pad, Thailand is disqualified to join the UFO Festival in Roswell. That's too bad. We were this close to being a new tourist magnet.