Josh Gates to crash UFO Festival; Host of Travel Channel show ‘Expedition Unknown’ will take part in 70th anniversary celebration
If you don’t plan on making an appearance at this year’s UFO Festival, you might want to reconsider.
Josh Gates, the host of the hit Travel Channel show “Expedition Unknown,” will be in the Alien City during the 70th anniversary of the world-famous UFO incident.
Gates, also an executive producer, and his team will be filming in Roswell as part of a four-part special on extraterrestrials, called “Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials.” He knew Roswell had to be a part of the special.
“There’s no doubt that Roswell is the mother of all UFO stories,” Gates said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Record. “You know, the events of 1947 continue to fascinate people nearly three-quarters of a century later, so we really knew that (Roswell) had to be a part of this story. It’s the most famous case in U.S. History.”
Gates, who was filming in Guatemala City at the time of his interview Wednesday, isn’t merely interested in Roswell from a historical perspective.
“Look, for me, of course I’m interested in the Roswell incident, but I’m also really interested in it as a cultural event,” Gates said. “There is a real passion and a real steadfast belief that so many people — that there is a conspiracy here, that there was an event here — and so I’m fascinated by that, by the fact that this is so important to so many people.
“And that’s an interesting question. Why does Roswell still resonate so many years later? And that’s really what I want to be a part of finding out.”
Gates doesn’t want to try and solve the mystery of Roswell, because he’s not sure if it can ever be solved.
“I think for us it’s about understanding it, not just as an event, but also as a cultural phenomenon,” Gates said. “And we don’t want to go to Roswell to try to unravel the mystery. I’m not sure it ever will be fully unraveled at this point. So much time has passed and there’s so much disagreement about the facts of the case.”
The Daily Record hasn’t given up hope for the mystery to be solved. With the help of Nick Pope, a former United Kingdom Ministry of Defense UFO investigator, the newspaper has launched a campaign to solve the mystery of Roswell.
In a column initially published in the newspaper on Dec. 18, 2016, Pope called for citizens of Roswell to search through their things, to look in a trinket box on a mantelpiece, to clear out a desk drawer and try and solve the mystery once and for all.
Gates, who is slated to make an appearance at the Daily Record’s sponsored event, “The Roswell Incident,” which will take place June 30 to July 2, supports the campaign.
“I’ve heard about this and I think it’s really exciting,” Gates said. “You know, I think we are at a moment in history where a lot of the key players from the Roswell story have passed and — in not too much time — maybe all the key players will have passed, so I’m really supportive of the idea that there is a call to find any existing evidence or if anyone has any memories or recollections of the event to come forward. I think that’s a terrific endeavor.”
While he’s still figuring out who he’s going to interview while in Roswell, Gates knows he wants to take part in the celebration.
“We’re still figuring it out, exactly what kind of presence we’re hoping to have there,” he said. “We’re certainly going to be there to participate in the festivities.”
However, Gates did mention a few names of individuals he hopes to speak with while in town, including Pope.
In addition to filming in Roswell, Gates will travel all over the world for the extraterrestrial special.
“We’re going to the deserts of Chile, where we’re working with scientists at one of the world’s most powerful telescopes that are peering into the deepest reaches of the universe,” Gates said. “We’re going to Zimbabwe in Africa to meet with students at a school who had one of the largest reported mass sightings of a UFO in history, and we’re getting them together to hear about their experience.”
In 1994, over 60 children reportedly witnessed a UFO land on school property during recess in Ruwa, Zimbabwe. Some children reported the extraterrestrials could silently communicate with them just by looking into their eyes.
Gates will also travel to Rendlesham Forest, which he describes as “England’s Roswell,” to meet with some key players of that incident.
In December 1980, there were numerous reports of strange lights over a series of nights near Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, England. The Rendlesham Forest incident has more evidence than any other UFO case, including testimonies from high-ranking military officers, in addition to other evidence, such as trace and physical evidence.
Gates will also visit the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, as well as NASA in Houston for the special.
For the special, Gates wants to talk to individuals from both sides.
“We’re really trying to cover this from a lot of different angles,” he said. “From a very scientific point of view, and a skeptical point of view, but also from the point of view of being open-minded, to people who claim that they had experiences.”
Gates, a resident of Los Angeles, can’t recall when he first heard of the Roswell incident. It’s just something he’s always known about.
This will be Gates’ first time in Roswell.
In 1947, a U.S. Air Force balloon –– others believe the object was extraterrestrial –– crashed on a farmer’s ranch. Despite the fact the crash was actually closer to Corona, which is a little over 100 miles from the Alien City, Roswell has gained attention from the incident across the world since.
This year’s UFO festival celebrates the 70th anniversary of the crash and is scheduled to take place June 29 through July 2. Events slated for the four-day festival include presentations from guest speakers, the Alien Chase 5K and 10K run, a parade and the highly popular costume contest, according to the festival’s official website.
Gates is no beginner to the world of extraterrestrials, as he traveled to a mine in Chile that is connected with UFO activity and searched for UFOs in the forests of Kazakhstan for his Scyfy Channel show “Destination Truth.”
“UFOs is a fascinating topic to me,” he said. “I certainly don’t believe that we are alone in the universe. I think you have to be kind of cocky in order to say we’re the only thing out here in this vast, truly endless expanded space.”
While Gates would love for extraterrestrials to exist, he would need to see some evidence.
“I am, I think, an open-minded skeptic in many ways, I would certainly love for that to be true,” he said. “I would love the idea that another intelligent life form has come to this planet — but I don’t know. I’m still going to need to see the evidence.”
When asked if he was going to visit anywhere else while in New Mexico, he said he wanted to keep the focus on Roswell.
“On this trip, we’re really going to be focused on Roswell and on the 70th anniversary, but the great thing about ‘Expedition Unknown’ is that there are a lot of other destinations and mysteries out there, so I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re back in New Mexico again.”
The four-part special will premiere on the Travel Channel this October.
For more information on the Roswell Incident, visit roswellincident.com.
To learn more about Gates and his adventures, visit his website at joshuagates.com.
General assignment reporter Katy Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or firstname.lastname@example.org.