"It's the mystery. We don't have a piece of the wreck or pictures, but we have the newspaper that said it was a flying saucer and then, oops, no, it's not," she said. "This mystery involved a very elite group of military people in a very rural area, and the fact that it was kept quiet for so long intrigues people."
The moneymaking potential stemming from the Roswell legend may get an even bigger boost from a proposed UFO-themed amusement park with a possible 2010 opening — something that LaGrone is excited about.
"Our state legislators gave us $245,000 for a feasibility study, and I believe this is absolutely going to happen. Part of the plan includes a $100 million indoor roller coaster ride — it's a huge thing for us."
As the Roswell debate continues, UFO proponents see a political light at the end of the tunnel.
New Mexico's governor — and 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful — Bill Richardson has chimed in on the controversy and believes there's more to Roswell than meets the eye.
In the foreword to a 2004 book, "The Roswell Dig Diaries," Richardson wrote that "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained — not by independent investigators and not by the U.S. government. … There are as many theories as there are official explanations.
"Clearly, it would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows," Richardson added. "The American people can handle the truth — no matter how bizarre or mundane."
Despite the ongoing disputes between flying saucer advocates and skeptics, Roswell is in no danger of losing its stature as the UFO capital of the world.
As Friedman delivers his pro-UFO ideas this weekend in Roswell, he goes into it knowing full well that the skeptical attitude is always close by.
"Naturally, the resistance to acceptance of this case is going to be stronger than any other case," he said, "because if it's true, it's everything — bodies, wreckage, cover-up, threats — what more do you need?"