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The tension between the two Navajo legends – on the one hand, the sky being the source of life, on the other, a constant threat – is one that lies at the heart of the alien obsession here: are aliens helpful friends contributing their technological expertise? Are they intruders looking to abduct anyone who crosses their path? Or are tales of their existence a front for the military who want to dominate the skies with explosive force? Whatever the truth, there’s no doubt that travelling through this huge land makes you conscious of how small human beings are in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that New Mexico is a place that’s forever looking up to the heavens for something bigger than itself.

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The article ‘New Mexico’s alien nation’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.

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