Longtime readers of SciFiHistory.Net will know that -- when it comes to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and even Reality -- I do take my various fascinations very seriously, and I've always confessed -- whenever asked -- to having been a lifelong fan of UFOlogy as well. While never having seen a flying saucer myself, I've read countless books examining the whole affair, and I've come to the conclusion that the truth behind whatever the phenomenon is has to be something vastly more complex than perhaps society has ever considered. Yes, yes, yes, I say this knowing that there are cases that most likely are little more than clever hoaxes, but the vast majority of the unexplained accounts still need the sometimes dry examination of science even though (ahem) scientists consider the subject well beneath them. Sad. Very sad, indeed.
Still, it's understandable how a guy like me could be interested in saucers, ships, and the supernatural; so over the weekend the wifey was kind enough to drag me to Scottsdale, Arizona (of all places) for a tour of The UFO Experience. It's a somewhat kitschy attraction that -- on the surface -- folks might think was designed for kids. Being part of a location popular with families (including an aquarium, a butterfly attraction, and a few other haunts), it certainly is a premium (and modestly expensive) place to go, and -- yes -- one might argue that even the UFO Experience is a bit pricey given the lack of definitive proof into the whole field of the flying saucers. I can assure you that as far as the wifey and I are concerned? We had a blast.
The UFO Experience begins in a little ampitheater wherein the seated audience is given a bit of an introduction to the place. While it would've been nice for the facility to, perhaps, have given a stronger set-up for the whole of the UFO phenomenon, this video really is a bit more kiddie-focused, pretty much boiling the topic down to mysterious lights in the sky, a few CGI graphics of space travel, and a single Man-In-Black who kinda/sorta promises to keep an eye on your while you're under his roof. Again, it's clever -- very kid-friendly -- but nothing in-depth or earth-shattering. Not exactly what I was expecting, but it's heart was in the right place, after all.
Yes, I took a walk on the moon. Why do you ask?
There are even a few audiovisual attractions wherein you can sit and watch such things as U.S. Congressional hearings into the subject of UFOs. The chamber focused on abductions has a few small video features -- they highlight the Betty and Barney Hill story along with the Travis Walton affair -- but those were in use while we were there so I couldn't get a seat to check them out. But the real focus throughout the exhibit is on reading the wall materials, and -- to be fair -- there is plenty to read. Nothing goes to any great depth, but if you're like me you make the most of what there is.
All-in-all, the wifey and I spent about 90 minutes in the place, and that includes nosing around its way-too-small gift shop. (I was hoping for a greater assortment of books to check out, but I did find something from Nick Redfern that I don't have in my collection so I made the purchase.) Honestly, we could've been there longer -- had we invested time in the audio/visual spots -- but they were occupied, and neither of us like to be perceived as 'Lookie Lous' while others are partaking of them. While some might not find it as good a value for their money, I did think it was worthwhile, mostly because (as I've already disclosed) I've always been in to this kind of thing. Yes, it could've used a bit more depth here-and-there, but as a tourist-style attraction dedicated to shininig just enough light on one of mankind's enduring mysteries? It works very well for casual observers.