The UFO Watchtower in Hooper (part of Westword's weird and wonderful Summer Guide from 2009) is many things: fascinating and disappointing, endearing and strange. There isn't much there -- just a metal platform, a giftshop and the crazy garden that Kirk Johnson talks about in his New York Times article this morning.
Oh, and Judy Messoline, who welcomes you with a smile and open arms. You might want to make fun of the place a little. But you can't. She is too sincere.
As Johnson writes about her is his cool profile of the Watchtower today:
Having fun in thinking about extraterrestrials, she said, is usually bound up with something deeper right here on the home planet.
"The world needs a place where people can go to talk about their experiences and not be laughed at," she said.
And, after all, who knows what's really out there.
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I visited the Watchtower two years ago, on my way back from a trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. My only regret: that I didn't leave something in the UFO garden.