Fairy-Tale Files: The UFO Southwest

Fairy-Tale Files

Fairy-Tale Files, published once weekly, feature three variations of a fairy tale chosen by one of Fairy Tale Review’s editors, readers, editorial assistants, or contributors.

Fairy-Tale Files, published once weekly, feature three variations of a fairy tale chosen by one of Fairy Tale Review’s editors, readers, editorial assistants, or contributors.


Though thirteen months separate us from Roswell’s 70th anniversary, ET affinities for Arizona and New Mexico abound. First up, the story of logger Travis Walton, allegedly abducted by a UFO in November, 1975. Disappearing from the Sitgreaves National Forest (outside Snowflake, AZ), Walton claims five days aboard a spaceship, though many ufologists dismiss him as a fraudster. Still, his saga captivated Hollywood and Geraldo alike, the former leading to 1993’s Fire in the Sky starring T-1000 heavy Robert Patrick; the latter, a Good Night America segment nine years prior to a certain vault stunt involving Rivera and one Al Capone.


Socorro, New Mexico, entered Project Blue Book with the testimony of police sergeant Lonnie Zamora on April 24, 1964. Zamora described an egg-shaped object, in addition to two beings who wore white coveralls, his career in law enforcement lending a greater believability factor. New Mexico residents lacking Zamora’s credentials are free to file their sightings with the National UFO Reporting Center whose website catalogs accounts from The Land of Enchantment dating as far back as 4/2/44 to as recent as 5/4/16 (“I realized this was real when it did the flip.”).


They’re here, they veer, they’re shaped like the letter V. More than 700 witnesses, including Arizona’s then-governor Fife Symington III, reported the Phoenix lights (as they came to be known) on March 13, 1997. Various documentaries and historians have propelled the incident into UFO longevity. Thanks to their otherly origin, Phoenix joins the list of cities who fall under the “mysterious lights” category which includes Marfa, TX, and Tinley Park, IL. Marfa, who hosts the Lannan Literary Awards Residency Program—Jamaal May, CA Conrad, and Layli Long Soldier among its recent awardees.

This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by poetry editor Jon Riccio.