History

The 1897 Aurora, Texas, UFO Crash & the ‘Alien’ Buried in the Cemetery

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When you hear the phrase “UFO crash,” you probably think of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, but did you know that 50 years earlier, a mysterious airship allegedly crashed in Aurora, Texas? Not only that, but The Dallas Morning News claimed that the airship pilot, who was killed in the crash, was “not an inhabitant of this world.” The body of the pilot was buried in the local cemetery. You might dismiss it all as a Texas-size tall tale, but in the 1970s, reporter Jim Marrs managed to track down and interview a living eyewitness to the Aurora airship. Was this little Texas town, located about 20 miles northwest of Dallas, the site of an other-worldly encounter?

Between 1896 and 1897, dozens of reports of strange, cigar-shaped airships were reportedly witnessed across the country. The sightings began in California and headed east. The most dramatic of all these reports appeared in the April 17, 1897 edition of The Dallas Morning News. An article by Aurora resident S. E. Haydon claimed that near dawn two days earlier, an airship crashed into Judge J. S. Proctor’s windmill in Aurora.

The 1897 Aurora, Texas, UFO Crash & the 'Alien' Buried in the Cemetery
Photo: Facebook/Eric Shirey

“…the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which had been sailing throughout the country,” Haydon wrote. “Evidently some of the machinery was out of order, for it was making a speed of only ten or twelve miles an hour and gradually settling toward the earth. It sailed over the public square and when it reached the north part of town collided with Judge Proctor’s windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank and destroying the judge’s flower garden.” Haydon wrote of the corpse: “…while his remains are badly disfigured enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.”

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