Six Days in Roswell By Mike White. Six Days in Roswell (Timothy B...
Six Days in Roswell (Timothy B. Johnson, 1998)

Roswell, New Mexico is a nice city with a Walmart and a terrific Mexican restaurant. Roswell also plays host to one of the cheesiest museum-cum-tourist attractions I’ve seen west of Irish Hills, MI. The better part of the exhibits has re-creations and imaginings of what alien entities or spaceships look like. I guess the price was right (free) but I had hoped for more “historical data” about the Roswell crash and documented sightings and encounters. Instead, the closest one gets to the “secrets of Area 51” are some pictures of “no trespassing” signs.

The most fun to be had at the museum wasn’t from the stuff inside but from the people. After browsing around the gift shop, I checked out the museum’s library. It was an odd, hushed atmosphere inside; quieter than any library I’d been in before. Stranger still was the handful of people sitting around the lone table. I felt that I had walked into the middle of something. After I jotted down some information about a video on Nikola Tesla (See CdC #11), I made my way out. Just as I reached the doorway, I heard the woman at the table say to her compatriots in a hushed, stern voice, “It was not a bird!” They were quick to comfort her, “We know, honey, we know!” I had had a close encounter with someone who had had a close encounter!

When I heard about the film Six Days in Roswell, I was afraid that it was some horrid TV movie based on the WB Network show, Roswell. Luckily, that’s not the case. Timothy B. Johnson’s documentary features Rich Kronfeld, a sappy Minnesotan seeking a close encounter of the third kind. In fact, he’s hoping to be abducted by aliens. Perhaps among them, he’ll feel more at home.

Kronfeld takes a trip down to the Roswell U.F.O. Encounter ’97, hoping to garner some tips to better meet aliens. As expected, Kronfeld meets some odd folks that make for some entertaining interviews. Johnson’s film plays well for a while but, as time goes on, I got the feeling that Kronfeld was more than the audience’s foil and, rather, a fictional protagonist.

In an era of rampant mockumentaries, it’s difficult to determine what’s real and what’s not, especially when dealing with this potentially outrageous subject matter. A peek at the film’s web site reveals that Kronfeld is far from fictional but, apart from his name and “Star Trek” peccadilloes, his mainstay is comedy. By employing Kronfeld as a hapless interviewer, the creators of Six Days in Roswell do themselves a disservice. There’s no need to buttress such inherently interesting subject matter with Kronfeld’s hijinks.

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