By Jean Strauber, Travel Editor
It was in 1947 that a man named Kenneth Arnold, a skilled and experienced pilot, reported seeing nine unusual objects flying in a chain near Mount Rainier, Washington. His description of them being “flat like a pie pan”, or “saucer-like” gave birth gave birth to newspaper reports of “flying saucers.” There had been earlier printed reports: In 1878 a local farmer reported seeing a large, dark, circular flying object resembling a balloon flying “at wonderful speed.”
Martin also reported it as being the size of a “saucer.” In 1926 Nicholas Roerich reported members of his expedition saw “a shiny body flying from north to south. Field glasses were at hand. It is a huge body.” During World War II, Allied and Axis pilots seeing “foo fighters.” `In 1948 a US Air Force pilot sighted and pursued a UFO for 27 minutes over Fargo, North Dakota In 1952 during two consecutive weekends, July 19-20 and July 26-27, an air traffic controller at Washington National Airport, spotted seven objects on his radar. And, then, July 8, 1947 there was the Roswell UFO incident where it was printed that the United States Army Air Forces allegedly captured a flying saucer and its occupants. Top Secret Tours offers to the curious, the non-believer or the skeptic an opportunity to travel to fascinating UFO sites in a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience in helping you to discern what the truth is.
TOP SECRET TOUR NO. 1
Arrive Albuquerque International Sunport and transfer north to Santa Fe for lunch at the Santa Fe Plaza. You’ll have time to browse through some of the local Native American art galleries and various shops that ring the plaza. Your tour director will probably show you the building on Palace Street that was the address of people living in Los Alamos: birth certificate, driver’s license, checkbook, etc. Later, you’ll board you motorcoach for a drive to Los Alamos with your first stop at the noted Otowi Station Book Store and Science Museum. You’ll check into your hotel before your tour director’s noted Welcome Dinner.
After breakfast you’ll begin with a Walking Tour of the Atomic City, including stops at the historic Fuller Lodge, Bathtub Row (so named because they were the only residences that had bathtubs-others only had stall showers), Ashley Pond and the Ice House Memorial. You’ll also visit the Los Alamos Historical Museum. After Lunch (on your own) you’ll visit the Bradbury Science Museum, one feature being a replica of “Fat Boy”, the atomic bomb that exploded over the Trinity Site and ushered in the Atomic Age. Tonight, its dinner on own.
After breakfast and hotel check-out you will be heading to the Frijoles Canyon located in Bandelier National Monument. At the Visitor Center you’ll learn about the ancestral Pueblo people. You’ll hike along the Main Loop Trail where one sees the ruins of Tyuonyi village, original cliff dwellings and hundreds of ancient Petroglyphs. After lunch (on your own) the afternoon drive will take you to the nearby White Rock overlooks to take in the panoramic view of the Rio Grande River. Your day will conclude in Albuquerque and a visit the Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Dinner is included tonight.
The first destination, after breakfast and hotel check out, is the White Sands Missile Range and a tour of the Trinity Site where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time on July 16, 1945. After lunch you continue to the Lincoln State monument in the tiny hamlet of Lincoln, New Mexico, one of the most authentic “Old West” towns remaining in the United States. You’ll then travel on to Roswell for your hotel check in and included dinner with guest speaker, Stantion Friedman, the original civilian investigator of the Roswell Incident.
After breakfast your day will begin with a Walking Tour of downtown Roswell where you’ll re-trace the events of that day in July which became the “Roswell Incident” followed by a visit to the International UFO Museum and Research Center. After lunch there’s a tour of the former Roswell Army Air Field/Walker Air Force Base. The rest of the afternoon you’re at leisure with dinner on your own. Later you’ll hear from Dennis Balthaser, a Certified UFO Investigator with MUFON (Mutual UFO Network).
The morning, after breakfast and hotel checkout, you’ll have free time in Roswell to relax, shop and visit the impressive Robert Goddard Collection at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. The exhibits display actual engines, rocket assemblies and other rocketry parts developed by pioneer rocket scientist Goddard. During the afternoon you will travel through some fantastic scenery in the Lincoln National Forest to the Lodge Resort in Cloudcroft (alt. 9,000’). Overnight and Dinner is on your own at the Lodge.
Several options are open to you today. You can relax and a spa treatment, golf, hike, play horseshoes, or even encounter “Rebecca’s ghost.” Other options would be a short drive to Alamogordo and visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History, including the John P. Stapp Air and Space Park, International Space Hall of Fame and more. Another choice would be to visit the National Solar Observatory, located in the nearby village of Sunspot. Dinner is on your own tonight and overnight in Cloudcroft.
After Breakfast you’re on your way to White Sands and thr Whiter Sands Missile Range Museum. Your tour of the museum includes the impressive V-2 exhibit and outdoor missile park with over 50 different missiles and rockets that have been tested at White Sands. Tonight it’s at Truth or Consequences (NM) for hotel check-in and dinner on your own. A bit of trivia: Once upon a time there was a very popular radio show called “Truth or Consequences” produced and hosted by Ralph Edwards, also know for very popular early TV program, This Is Your Life. In 1950 he offered to air the program from the first town that would rename itself after the show. Hot Springs (NM) won the honor and for the next 50 years Edwards visited the town during the next 50 years even though the show was no longer on the air. The city still celebrates Fiesta that first May weekend.
After breakfast you will be taking a Morning Tour of Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport and global headquarters for Virgin Galatic Airlines. Keep your eyes open for Very Large Array (VLA) which, if you saw the movie Contact, is comprised of 27 radio telescopes in a “Y” pattern. After lunch you’ll then board your bus and head north to Socorro for hotel checkin. Dinner is on your own tonight. DAY 10- After breakfast and hotel check-out your motorcoach will make its way to Albuquerque and the airport for flights home.