The true character of Roswell has been largely obscured over the last few decades by the brouhaha over UFOs. Rather than a hotbed of extraterrestrial activity, Roswell is in reality a simple, conservative city with an economy based on manufacturing, agriculture, oil, and gas. The population of around 50,000 grew out of a farming community founded in the fertile Pecos Valley about a century ago; artesian wells still provide
the water used to irrigate crops like alfalfa, hay, and cotton. Residents may sigh over the fact that visitors only come here in search of spaceships—but they've also learned to have fun with it, and to cash in on the tourist trade.