David Marler, the executive director of the National UFO Historical Record Center, has a dream to create a first-of-its-kind public archive in Rio Rancho.

At the May 10 Sandoval County Commission meeting, Marler took another step toward making that dream come true by asking the commission to serve as fiscal agent for funds to help his nonprofit build a facility to display his vast collection of UFO data.

Marler is among the leading UFO historians and archivists in the world – and his collection is growing. His Rio Rancho home has  32 four-drawer file cabinets with government documents, reports, case files, hundreds of thousands of news clippings and more than 1,500 books cataloged so far. There are also hundreds of historic audio recordings and museum-quality artifacts from the USAF Project Blue Book.

“My colleagues and I have spent decades collecting original documentation and various materials,” Marler said. “A large percentage of this material are original and military government documents. This is not National Enquirer material we’re talking about. With this archive, we’d like to elevate the dialogue and also serve the public educational role, really trying to provide credible material to scientists in the general public.”

To do that, Marler needs a building that can both store the collection and serve as a UFO museum.

Marler estimates the archive will need up to 10,000 square feet of space, 5,000 for Phase 1. He says the goal is to include a library, workspace and public museum of artifacts related to UFO research. Marler says the archive will allow both researchers and civilians to analyze documents that have been kept locked away for decades.

“The state of New Mexico is the one most often associated with this subject,” Marler said. “So I feel that this would be an appropriate place to have an incredible educational institution where we centralize all of this data.”

Marler, who moved to Rio Rancho in 2012, has looked at some Albuquerque locations for the facility, but he is working hard to find a spot in the City of Vision.

“It’s important to me to give back to the community by bringing something like this here because I do plan on living here the rest of my life,” Marler said.

Marler also said the archive will eventually grow into a museum that could be a tourism destination like the UFO Museum in Roswell. But he has a different vision for his facility.

“You’re not going to see animatronics, you’re not going to see UFOs belching fog with sound effects,” Marler said. “You’re not going to see all of the telltale signs of science fiction movies. We want to make a clear delineation between science fact and science fiction.”