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The Small Town Where 'X-Files' Is Real Life

Ever since the incident in 1947, this small New Mexico town can’t shake its obsession with aliens.

Ever since an alleged UFO hit the town of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, the town has survived by creating a cottage industry supported by alien hunters, conspiracy theorists, and paranormal enthusiasts. With the upcoming release of an X-Files miniseries on FOX and the surrounding interest in all things conspiracy-related, our colleagues at VICE decided to head to Roswell to find out what life is like in a small town where paranoia is for sale.


VICE talked to resident believers, business owners, and experts on the Roswell incident, including Stanton Friedman, a real-life Mulder and the original investigator of the Roswell incident, and, Joe Nickell, our real-life Scully and the biggest skeptic and paranormal investigator in the field today.

The team even pays a visit to the actor who plays the Smoking Man, the series' villain but a real-life skeptic, and the real scientists spending day in and day out scanning radio waves in space looking for life out in the void. And what alien hunting trip isn't complete without a visit to Roswell's UFO festival?

So what do you believe? Are believers clinging too tightly to shreds of evidence, or are scientists and skeptics just too above it all to seriously look at what's in front of them?