Inside the Capitol

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

6-6 Billy and UFOs

Syndicated Columnist

SANTA FE -- We're hearing breaking news almost daily about our U.S. Senate primary candidates and about the unfolding judicial scandal. But let's pause just a moment for a little bit of summer fun.
I'm talking about Billy the Kid and UFOs. Not together for the first time. At least I don't remember any B movies about Billy and little green men. Although I seem to remember one about werewolves.
After a recent column about the one remaining tintype of Billy being auctioned in Colorado on June 25, Santa Fe gallery owner Andrew Smith lamented that New Mexico will be losing a very important piece of its history if that tintype ends up out of state.
I reported that wealthy buyers from out of state are interested in the tintype for their personal collections. Smith says the tintype should be in the Museum of New Mexico. He hopes a group of New Mexicans can get together to buy the tintype and donate it to our museum.
Estimates are that the tintype will go for $100,000 to $500,000. That's a pot full of money but we heard of political donations in the last gubernatorial campaign approaching that amount.
My previous column also speculated about why such a ladies' man looked so goofy. I have learned since that column that Billy's pals were standing behind the photographer making faces during the lengthy process.
A Billy the Kid trail ride was completed yesterday, tracing Billy's route from Lincoln to Fort Sumner after he escaped from jail. If you missed it, a ride is being conducted by another company, Great American Adventures, Oct. 9-14.
And now to UFOs. A new book is out called "Area 51" which is reported to be a very well documented case for the existence of a super secret Nevada base where spy planes and all manner of top secret experiments are conducted.
Then the author takes on the 1947 Roswell UFO crash with only one source to back her up. That source claims a disc-shaped object, developed by captured Nazi scientists, crashed in the area, on orders from Josef Stalin, in order to panic Americans into thinking Martians had landed.
A decade earlier, Orson Welles had scared the pants off us with his "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. Were we still as gullible nine years later after having undergone another World War? Most news sources think not.
But Julie Shuster, with the UFO Museum in Roswell, says it is sure to bring more people to town. The big UFO Festival this year will be July 1-4. The city and the UFO Museum are working together this year on the festival so it should be better than ever.
Recently the FBI launched an online data base so researchers won't have to file Freedom of Information Act requests. It is convenient for researchers and saves the FBI a ton of time. FBI sources say UFO requests are the most popular subject matter.
Matthew Arco, with the Roswell Record says one document has caught the attention of UFO researchers. It is a memo from a special agent to J. Edgar Hoover informing him that an investigator for the Air Force stated that three flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico.
The agent said the government has very high-powered radar in the area that evidently interfered with the controlling mechanism of the saucers. Julie Shuster says bring it on. This is just one more fascinating bit of information that will get people coming to Roswell.
The annual Paranormal Symposium will be held Oct. 25-30 this year. The site has moved from Angel Fire to Taos, at the Kachina Inn. The focus last year was on the secret Dulce UFO base.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, better known as SETI, has run out of money and shut down just as it was planning to point its radio dish at a recently discovered group of planets, judged to be the right distance from their suns to make them inhabitable.
And finally, the Vatican announced it is OK to believe in aliens because we can't place limits on God's creative freedom.
Somewhere, Galileo must be smiling.
MON, 6-6-11

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)



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