So, a gal walks into an (unnamed) chain bookstore–okay, so I was the gal and this isn’t one of those jokes. It’s a (mostly) true story. I usually shop for books online, because all I have to do is click and the books come to me, but this time I wanted to thumb through some books before I bought. I wasn’t sure what I needed, just that there would be a Roswell something in Kicking Ashe.

So the hermit left the hideout and headed for the bookstore. Inside, I approached the help desk, because I needed help. I didn’t know where to look for books about Roswell, NM. It’s not like there is an alien spaceship crash section (though there totally should be).

The following conversation has been edited for clarity, but otherwise is totally as it happened (or at least as I remember it happening):

Help Desk Person: Can I help you?

Me: Why yes, thank you. I am looking for books about Roswell, New Mexico. 

Help Desk Person blinks a couple of times before offering cautiously: Our maps and tourist books are right over there.

My turn to blink, but I wouldn’t have asked for help if I had a clue where they’d put the Roswell books so I trotted over to maps, etc and took a look. No surprise there were no books on Roswell, though I did find a tourist guide to New Mexico and a map. Back to Help desk, which I’m starting to believe might be mis-named, or perhaps overhyped.  

Help Desk Person: May I help you? (The again was implied.)

Me: I’m still looking for books about Roswell, New Mexico. (Another blink from help desk person.) You know, about the alien space ship crash? (Several blinks this time.) In the 40’s? (eyes widen this time) Outside Roswell?
No sign of an aha or sign one might be incoming. I lean close and suggest she type Roswell, New Mexico into her computer. After a dubious pause, she complies. Then starts back in wholly obvious surprise–her body language is the cliche of surprised in fact–as the titles start to scroll. 

Help Desk Person: Oh!

Me: (eye roll) Yeah, so what do you have here in the store?  

After all that, they only had two books in stock, but at least this time I was directed to the proper place (history–an interesting choice, I thought).
So, which side of the help desk would you be on? The side that knows Roswell or the side that has no clue? For those who don’t know, or those who would like to know more, I offer the following, actually helpful links:
UFO Roswell
There’s a lot of books on the subject, too. Just ask the Help Desk of your local bookstore. Or check Amazon. They have over 400 books on the subject. 🙂

So, what do you think? Do you “know” Roswell? Have a Roswell, or bookstore story? Please share!


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Pauline Baird Jones has woven the Roswell crash into a couple of her books, but she has no clue about what actually happened, despite her research. She makes no secret of fact that she has written 12 novels, all of which are fiction. You can find out more about her at

Do You Know Roswell?

9 thoughts on “Do You Know Roswell?

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  • April 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I love, it, Laurie! that is so cool! I did know there was also a crash in NM and there was also one in TX! It was a bad time to be an alien. LOLOL!

    I had heard that about NM and that sometimes the post office misdirects NM mail to Mexico. Oh my. I have driven through NM and it a) does exist and b) IS part of the US. LOLOL!

  • April 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    LOL, Pauline. Well, actually, I do know Roswell! I attended police academy there many moons ago. And I managed the budget for a military training site that was in the same location as the old Hangar 41 (also referred to as Hangar 13) that supposedly housed the crash victims and mangled vessel. Very sad, neglected structure, for all its fame. (BTW, the crash actually occurred on a ranch near Corona, New Mexico, which oddly enough, was where one of the victims in the widely known Arizona abduction case hailed from.) But I digress…

    I guess I’m not too surprised that a book store clerk wouldn’t have a clue about the Roswell Incident, because I’ve encountered book store clerks who didn’t even know New Mexico is part of the U.S! 🙂

  • April 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Oh. My. Word. That’s just, oh my word. I’ve been in a bookstore and helped patrons on occasion, when the clerks were fumbling. Now, I’ve been in bookstores where the staff are amazing, helpful, knowledgeable and beyond. Maybe they should have a test to work at the help desk of large chain stores. LOL!

  • April 17, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I heard a story where an author went into a bookstore and asked for her own book. The clerk couldn’t find it. (It WAS there).

  • April 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    LOL! What can I say but that’s very cool! 🙂

  • April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    All I will divulge is that I was born the next month. Coincidence? I think not.

  • April 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I know! I really get not knowing obscure stuff, but Roswell???? I heard about it in Wyoming. LOL!

  • April 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    It is funny how people that work at a bookstore should be able to help but honestly at times they are more lost than the customer.

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