How did the museum celebrate?
Within two months of receiving its new designation, the museum held a symposium on whether Area 51 was an alien processing plant, under the bizarre title "Area 51: Myth of Reality." Well, the physical parcel of land exists, so there's that. A new exhibit followed, including alien blow-up dolls, UFO-themed artwork, and "information" about the Roswell crash. Most disturbing of all, the museum labeled material from Russia "authentic alien artifacts" despite no such proof. (And really, if they're the only documented artificial extraterrestrial artifacts on earth, what are they doing in the back room of a Vegas museum?) All of this was now held under the banner of the Smithsonian Institution.
Shaeffer was outraged that a Smithsonian-affiliated museum would even broach the topic of UFOs, which he considers prima facie unworthy. I'm OK with museums having exhibits on topics of public interest--and no one can argue UFOs aren't of interest to the public--but I am outraged that the museum is using its government designation, enacted by the Congress and signed by the President, to provide a UFO narrative that does not make clear the government's position and scientific findings about UFOs: that is, that they are not alien spacecraft. It's interesting look at UFOs as a sociological phenomenon, but any museum that portrays them as actual extraterrestrial craft (with "real" ET "artifacts" no less!) is undeserving of government sanction.
The only thing that could be worse is if the government declared Ancient Aliens a "national" scientific treasure.