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Lesley is also a columnist for UFO Magazine. Check it out !

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Billy Ray Cyrus, Feuds and the ETH

Normally, my July 4th weekend (meaning the weekend closest to that date, when it doesn't actually fall on a weekend) revolves around The Roswell UFO Festival. I don't actually drive the 250 miles to Roswell, but since it is a big UFO event in New Mexico, I feel obligated to keep everyone up to date on what is going on at my NM LOWFI blog. Normally, there is lots of local news coverage, also national, Larry King does a Roswell Show and at least a blogger or two are there and posting updates that I can comment on and link to.

None of that happened this year.

We can blame the lack of a Larry King Show on his announcement of retirement on the Friday that he would normally do a Roswell show, but what about everything else?

The only news story actually making the rounds was one about 2011 cuts to the festival budget. Apparently, Billy Ray Cyrus, not being the smartest cookie to come out of the cutter, thought they meant that he wouldn't be paid for this years fest and canceled. That was extent of Roswell news.

Now it is time for me to lay blame for this lack of coverage and I lay that blame on the continuing feud between the UFO museum and the city of Roswell. It's Ufology, so you knew there had to be some feud going on.

The easiest explanation of this feud is that the UFO Museum does not like it that the city started having their own festival and their own speakers. Now, if you had traveled to the festival in the years when the city didn't play a big role -- you would have found far less attendees and probably even lots of open hotel rooms, even though there were less of those too. So you would think that the museum would be happy with the way the festival has grown over the years, but apparently not.

You see, here is another sticking point, as Norio Hayakawa mentioned at his blog -- presentations by the city speakers are free, but the museum charges, so more people probably attend the city events. Also, the museum likes to stick to speakers that are on the ETH side, totally ignoring great speakers that might have a different type of interesting theory.

I think it is pretty obvious that the museum really only cares about the museum and their ETH agenda. Now I have no big problem with the ETH, but since Roswell is a city and not only a museum, whatever best benefits the community should be what is done and I think it is pretty obvious that whatever attracts the most people is the most beneficial to the community -- which means that all the city events should be just as welcome as what goes on at the museum. Frankly, that is why I side much more with the city. They seem to want to make the festival have the broadest appeal and attract the most people, for the good of their tax base probably, but it still benefits far more people than just the museum does.

I don't know who dropped the ball this year, but whoever was in charge of media relations and promotion (for both city and museum) did a really lousy job. Also, I realize budgets are tight, but the variety of speakers for both the city and museum was certainly not enough to make me even consider driving 250 miles to Roswell and I am a UFO junkie.

OK, I am done griping for now and instead I am going to hope that most people in Roswell with any influence over the 2011 festival (whether with the city or museum) are smart enough to put aside their differences for the good of all.

Oh, and one good thing came out of it all -- Richard and Karyn Dolan were in New Mexico for the festival and I was lucky enough to get to have a wonderful dinner with them and their kids, Michael and Elaine, here in Albuquerque.

  • Check out Lesley's Blog HERE

    As well as her Beyond the Dial blog