The most famous early example of a story about a UFO crash landing is the Roswell incident of 1947. This event is known to have helped spark the modern UFO subculture and the idea that Earth is being regularly visited by intelligent beings. A less well-known example is one which happened 50 years earlier in a town in northern Texas in 1897. It is referred to as the Aurora incident. Although most investigators dismiss the Aurora airship incident as a hoax, it is still celebrated by some UFO enthusiasts as an early example of a UFO sighting and crash landing.
The Aurora Airship Incident
According to the Dallas Morning News, on April 19, 1897, an airship was seen in the early morning hours in the small town of Aurora, Texas. It was cigar-shaped and only moving at about 10 miles (16 km) per hour. Observers in the town watched the vehicle slowly drift across town until it flew over Judge J.S. Proctor’s property.
This is where catastrophe struck as the airship collided with a windmill, causing an explosion. After the explosion settled, the townspeople looked through the wreckage and recovered the pilot. Then the story gets particularly strange.
The pilot was described as badly disfigured, but recognizably non-human. Also, the pilot had papers with him that were written in unidentifiable hieroglyphs. The witnesses reported that the pilot was “not an inhabitant of this world.”
T.J. Weems, a local signal service officer and a person described as an “authority on astronomy,” suggested that the individual might be from the planet Mars. The next day, the pilot was given a “Christian burial” and a tombstone was placed over the grave.
On the tombstone, a crude drawing of the pilot’s vehicle was made. This tombstone was allegedly stolen in 1973, so there is no evidence of the tombstone and no information about where the pilot was buried. In 2008, the makers of an episode of a show called UFO Hunters found an unmarked grave which the producers thought could be the grave of the pilot . However, they were not allowed to exhume the grave so there is no way of knowing if the unmarked grave contained the remains of any pilot, let alone an alien pilot.
Back in 1897, Aurora Texas was a dwindling town. Spotted fever was just one of the tragedies that sent residents packing. Then in April of that year, a space craft crashed in a field and an alien was located and buried in the local cemetery. Some swear they witnessed the event and others say it was a hoax designed to bring people back to the town.
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