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today ::
posted :: 29-May-2001

S T A T S
ROSWELL, NM:
N: ?
W: ?
ELEVATION: ?
?? miles from the Man.


C R E D I T S
READING MATERIAL:
"Burning Man"
by Weiners & Plunkett
published by HardWired, 1996.
The coffee table book of Burning Man, now out of print, but a few copies may still be in some bookstores.


"X-Force" Issue #75
published by Marvel Comics, 1997. The Burning Man comes alive in this comic book adventure. Available at comic collector stores.

:: the journal :: < last :: next >
* Everything is perfectly normal. No, really.
[05.21.01 ROSWELL, NM]
None of this is a fabrication. [BIGGER]

[DESTINATION ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO] :: Memory is returning now. The communications blackout began just outside of El Paso, when I attempted an Internet uplink at a greasy spoon truck stop. It shoulda worked… hand dialing into El Paso gave me all the right beeps, but remote access programming could not link the modems. Then I tried various providers in every configuration, even going long distance through major cities, but no luck. Next year we'll have the cell phone talking to the Mac or go satellite-direct from the roof of the Silver Seed. As I continued towards Roswell, even the cell signal dropped out. Then the GPS got lost on level ground with an unobstructed sky view. When I arrived in Roswell, I discovered that my jeep-like playa patrol vehicle, The Electrolux, was inoperable. The battery ground cable was severed from the engine frame, the alternator mounting bracket was broken in half (metal fatigue?) and the starter was hanging by the solenoid wire, both mounting bolts missing.

Roswell conjures up a mental picture that has been constructed over time with many millions of words of hard-copy text and untold numbers of moving images on projection screens and cathode ray tubes. The alien face and the UFO is now so common that any advanced intelligence could use the image to their advantage— or maybe they would just look like us and land a ’63 Plymouth Valiant in the WalMart parking lot.

In Roswell, I eased the old RV into that WalMart parking lot. I was not alone. WalMart has become the urban alternative to KOA for Good Sam travelers everywhere. Why not overnight here… now? In the 1940s, this parking lot was a cow pasture just outside of a small town called Roswell. The town has grown and it has a lot of history, both real and created. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. A few miles away is Roswell Air Base where the Enola Gay was stationed in 1945. On August 4, 1945, we sent the Enola Gay to set us up the bomb on Japan. It was on July 4th, 1947 that a UFO crashed on a nearby ranch at a place called Corona. Military officials from the Roswell base were sent to investigate the crash site, so that's the name that stuck. It was here that people begin to distrust our government. Then on July 7th, 1947, there was a UFO sighted over the city of Phoenix, which began a world-wide rash of sightings that continued through the 1950s. Why did this meme become so prevalant in our atomic age culture? I think that we need to beleive in more than weather balloons and swamp gas. There is something in here as well as out there.

My night in Roswell was filled with strange dreams which I barely remember. One of them involved a faint memory that I have from Burning Man 1995. It was just after the burn, that I made contact with the scaly tribe at the edge of the chaos vortex. I was not following what have now become standard Ranger procedures for surviving the zone of chaos and so slipped into the vortex and became lost. It was during this time of great disorientation that I found the mylar skin lying on the playa. It was hundreds of feet long and I rolled it up as I pulled myself back through the zone. Just as it ended, I looked up and saw the argon/mercury light on the far side of center camp. It was just three letters, which I interpreted as “deus ex machina”. Representing both potential hope and potential danger.

They came to Roswell because of the Bomb. We came to Black Rock because of the Man. Both are radical concepts that have changed the way we view the world. It's the process that has become an art form.

-Danger Ranger
All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

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