UFOs. Aliens. Crash test dummies falling from the sky. Area 51. Government cover-ups and explanations. And now, Martians?
By now you know the U.S. Air Force tried to debunk, once and for all, the tale of a wrecked spacecraft and dead aliens near Roswell, N.M., on July 7, 1947. "Case Closed," the Air Force titled the 231-page report this week.
There was a big-time Washington press conference. Very serious.
At the Fund for UFO Research, actually a phone and fax in the Alexandria home of Don Berliner, the report only furthered suspicions. Dummies in parachutes? "Sierra Sam?"
"I think this is the dumbest thing the Air Force has ever put out on the subject," says Berliner, a member of the group's executive committee. "It looks to me like the Air Force is getting a little desperate. This is the third 'final report' they've put out."
Berliner says he can't be 100 percent sure about Roswell. He's more in the 90 percent range. "I can't help feeling there's more behind this," he says.
And The Martians? They're Baltimore guys.
Jay Rydzewski, 25, sings and plays rhythm guitar; Matt Collorafice, 25, is the drummer; Brian Siegert, 28, plays lead guitar and does back-up vocals; Cord Neal, 29, is the bassist.
And no matter what the Air Force says, there will be Martians in Roswell.
It says right there on the 500 T-shirts they've printed up for their appearance at the "Roswell UFO Encounter," a three-day festival that includes rock concerts, a UFO film festival, alien costume contest and tours of the alleged crash site.
Who knows how many true believers, curiosity seekers, hangers-on, space-stunned paparazzi and E.T. fans looking for a close encounter will be there for the 50th anniversary -- 10,000, 100,000?
Rydzewski says he has heard that "there isn't a vacant hotel room for 200 miles."
The Martians, which grew out of a band called Euthanasia, aren't part of the Roswell cult, however. They work at video stores and T-shirt factories. They picked up the name while joking about "a local bar that used to let almost any band go up there and play," says Rydzewski.
That was three years ago. Now, their time has come. Collorafice saw a notice about the festival. It seemed too perfect. They were the Martians. Who better to play at Roswell. Calls were made. Now there's a tour with nine shows from Knoxville, Tenn., to Roanoke, Va., and, of course, Ground Zero in the world of objects unidentified.
"I think it's just a coincidence that this happened like this," says Rydzewski.
Coincidence? Come on. Martians in Roswell on the 50th anniversary a mere coincidence? Tell it to the Air Force.
Pub Date: 6/26/97