Roswell gears up for UFO festival

Posted at: 07/03/2013 6:49 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For some people in Southeastern New Mexico, this 4th of July is all about aliens.

The annual UFO Festival starts Thursday in Roswell.

Wednesday, downtown Roswell transformed into an amusement park.

“I'm really excited about this year," said Joe Vargas, an organizer of the festival.  “Every year it seems to get bigger and better.”

It’s all for the annual UFO Festival.  People from across the country descend on Roswell.  Joe Vargas said the hotels are already filling up.

“We've heard that they're starting to get full," said Vargas.

The festival starts with the carnival tomorrow, but the main event is Friday.  People will be in town to share their accounts of the UFO that allegedly landed outside Roswell in 1947.

"I started the investigation as a skeptic, I came away now 99% convinced it did happen," said Don Schmitt, a UFO investigator.

Schmitt is in town from Chicago.

"Roswell is like my second home," said Schmitt.

He’s written bestselling books about the crash and led the archeological dig projects at the crash site.

He says he’s in town not only to share what he knows but to continue the investigation.

“As the World War II generation continues to pass away, we're making every final effort to track these people down," said Schmitt.

The UFO mystery is a largely debated topic, dividing New Mexicans no matter how long they've lived here.

But whether you’re a believer or not, there’s no doubt this weekend will be good for Roswell business.

"It does seem like we're going to get a good crowd," said Vargas.