My name is Mike Smith. I live on Albuquerque's east side, I am 33, and I am a writer.
I am the author of "Towns of the Sandia Mountains," the writer of NEW MEXICO NEWS, and hello. Hi. Hi.
into the first one. By then I'd got the idea. "Skrillex but way worse."
Because I think it's important to keep our transportation infrastructure maintained and safe, but I thought I saw that the ALIBI's official voter guide advised voting against it. Did this change?
Unfortunately. Every word of the story of our arrest and year-long legal hassle happened to us just as this man said.
Another great article from Ty Bannerman, historian author, and retired urban explorer. Ty & the ALIBI, you did this story justice.
The poll on the left seems to be about red and green chile, not alien abductions....
I'm currently in the middle of reading every book written about the Roswell Incident, for a book of my own I'm co-writing, and I've got to say: great story, but definitely just a story. Read the books in order, and you can easily see how the new pieces of information get invented, get refined, and get fit into place. The mythology is more like a big, fictional Wikipedia entry written over decades by tons of UFO believers than it is anything like an example of real research or real history.
If Roswell is the best evidence there is for alien visitation, then the case for any visitation at all is pretty poor.
One more note--the above still from the so-called alien autopsy--that's been confessed to as a hoax by its creator--and its caption, although I suspect it was written with tongue in cheek--“'Just a weather baloon,' psshhh"--is kind of a straw man argument, as no skeptic really says it was just a weather balloon, they say it was a downed high-altitude balloon train used to spy on Soviet nuclear tests, part of the top-secret Project Mogul, which launched and lost balloon trains from Alamogordo shortly before the infamous Roswell UFO debris was found on Mac Brazel's ranch.
The idea of skinwalkers has proven a fairly convenient one for residents of small desert towns and wide-open reservations--perfect for blaming for unusual happenings, and to use to ostracize unpopular community members.
For instance, say you don't like your neighbor, and you keep getting sick. Logically then, he must be an evil medicine man, and you must be cursed. Tell everyone of your suspicion, and see how well his standing in this mystically-leaning community fares. This may be an conscious or unconscious form of revenge, but it's certainly effective.
A great book that deals with this subject is "The Navajo Mountain Community: Social Organization and Kinship Terminology," by Mary Shepardson. It's one of the most clear-minded approaches to this topic that I know of, eschewing the supernatural and the mystical in favor of anthropology and real-world social relations.
That said, once, a couple of years ago, I was camped out in the desert near the ghost town of Una de Gato, with my wife and a couple of friends. I was telling skinwalker stories around the campfire, to freak everyone out, and my wife was desperately protesting that I needed to stop talking about it because THEY were drawn to whenever people talked about them, or even thought about them. C'mon, wife....
Anyway, I ignored her protests, and the next morning we woke up to find the juniper tree we had camped near was almost covered in feathers, feathers tied to its every branch with coarse bits of rope. Admittedly, it had been getting dark when we selected our campsite, and we might not have seen them had they already been there, or who knows, maybe my wife (or one of our friends) did it as a completely-out-of-character joke, but wow, that was freaky.
It still makes me a little uneasy, just recalling it, even though I don't believe in the things.
It's always a thrill to read the well-informed, well-articulated thoughts of intelligent people. It's really inspirational what the guy has done with his website, and it looks--judging from its high-profile political advertisements--as if it may even be making the guy some money.
Good work, Jim Scarantino! Good work, Heath!
Hayley Shoemaker and the Alibi, you rock!
Thanks for going out of your way to help promote New Mexico's online Web presence--in particular, my site, Mystrangenewmexico.com. Woo-hoo! That was a great surprise to read that in there, and, more than ever, it made me sincerely hope that Andrew Keen was wrong when he wrote in "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture" about how blogs are destroying real print journalism. Because, if that's all true, I don't think I could handle the irony of this piece appearing in the Alibi.
I write a (usually) weekly column of strange New Mexico history and lore ([link]) for the New Mexico Daily Lobo, and I swear I've been saying most of what this guy says here for months now.
For instance, one of the stories I investigated was the rumor that a SCUBA diver had dove into Santa Rosa's Blue Hole--a sinkhole that's realy not that big--disappeared, and turned up dead six months later in Lake Michigan, naked with much of his skin scraped off--as if he had been pushed through miles of underground tunnels.
I pretty much approached that story the same way this guy would have--secretly hoping it would be true, but fairly certain that it might not be--and I have to say that it was seriously disappointing and kind of sad to find out that no drowned bodies had ever gone unrecovered at the Blue Hole and that the geology of the area really made the possibility impossible. And it made me feel kind of like a jerk, like that guy Jan Brunvand that dispels all your favorite childhood stories as urban legends.
Another story I looked at was the rumor of flightless, five-foot-tall giant owls along New Mexico's northern border. I remain mostly unconvinced of that one, but, I've always said--and Radford suggests the same here--that even if there aren't giant owls running loose in New Mexico, there are people who THINK there are, and that could be even scarier.
Overall though, I really like what this guy has to say, and Marisa Demarco writes about him well.
I think a danger, though, of this sort of research is the danger of becoming too glib, too snide, of mocking things too much. It doesn't sound as if Radford has this problem necessarily, but I think it really is a danger with this sort of work, that if one isn't careful, one can easily fall into the sort of "smug safeplaying" that writer James Agee hated so much--into forgetting that the people being written about are generally sincere and if nothing else genuine human beings.
Oh, and as for Bigfoot in New Mexico--there are more sightings that people might think, though a lot of them blur with Zuni lore about demonic, cannibalistic hairy beings from other worlds. I'll probably write about them at some point in the future. Until then, check out "Cryptozoology and the Investigation of Lesser-Known Mystery Animals" by Chad Arment; there's good New Mexico Bigfoot information in there, and you can find the book on Amazon.com.