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An alien doll hangs out a car window in downtown Roswell, New Mexico as part of the 2000 UFO Encounter. - 


Doug Krizner: This week, folks in Roswell, New Mexico are marking a different type of anniversary. The celebration may not have fireworks, but it packs in the tourists and revenue. Marketplace's Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.

Janet Babin: In July 1947, Roswell made international history with news that the Air Force had captured a flying saucer just outside town. The next day, officials claimed the UFO was really just a wayward weather balloon.

The alleged military cover-up that followed kept the town silent and paranoid for decades

Larry Fry: People are still trying to get some answers about exactly what did happen during that time.

That's Larry Fry. He runs Roswell's finances. Questions may linger, but now the town's embracing its alien past for a profit.

The town website blares creepy tongue-in-cheek tunes, and a festival this week commemorates the 60th anniversary of the UFO incident.

Roswell's population's expected to double during the four-day festival. In that time, Fry expects hundreds of thousands of dollars will land in city coffers.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.