Some 6-7 years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight, 50 years before the Roswell UFO crash, and 112 years before a UFO slammed into a wind turbine in Lincolnshire, England, there was a UFO crashing into a windmill in Aurora, Texas. No one can say what they saw flying over Aurora was an airplane or helicopter (like skeptics sometimes like to say) because nothing like that existed at the time in 1897.
Shockingly, this wasn’t an isolated incident. Years before the Aurora UFO crash newspapers from around the United States ran similar stories of strange airships being sighted from coast to coast. These strange unidentified craft, before the invention of the airplane, were simply called “airships” or “flying machines”. Then after the Kenneth Arnold sighting of some flying objects over Mount Rainier on June 24, 1947, they were called “flying saucers”. Now they are most commonly called “UFO’s”.
An airship was also the name of a dirigible or a blimp which was also cigar shaped rarely traversing the skies of America and Europe at the time. But I think that a UFO was called an “airship” or a “flying machine” because there was no other word to describe it at the time. Those dirigibles were not made of an alloy of aluminum and iron back then, and its pilot was not described as small in stature and “not of this world”. And even if it were a manmade craft crashing into a windmill without a survivor, the love ones would have been notified and buried in his respective city or town. Although given a Christian burial, he would have been given a proper family burial.
Also at that time, the beings aboard those strange craft were rarely called extraterrestrials or aliens, simply 'Martians', in accordance to their beliefs, at that moment, that those strange airships sighted only came from the planet Mars.
Reportedly, some of the wreckage from the crash site was dumped into a nearby well located under the damaged windmill, while some ended up with the alien in the grave. A few years later people who drank from the well were stricken with a strange sickness, one that misshaped and altered their bodies. One who got sick drinking that water was Mr. Brawley Oates, who purchased Judge Proctor's property around 1945. Oates cleaned out the debris from the well in order to use it as a water source, but later developed an extremely severe case of arthritis, which he claimed to be the result of contaminated water from the wreckage dumped into the well. Thus, Oates sealed up the well with a concrete slab and placed an outbuilding atop the slab (according to writing on the slab, it was done in 1957). For years every attempt to open the well was turned down by the property owners until it was opened in a UFO Hunters TV episode.
Less than 3 miles from the well is the Aurora Cemetery. According to local legends and reference in a newspaper report, the alien there was given a Christian burial. These account appeared on the April 19, 1897 edition of “The Dallas Morning News” written by Aurora resident S.E. Haydon. His column included the town people’s plan to bury, “with Christian rites”, what they perceived to be an alien pilot, in a local cemetery. For reasons unknown, the Aurora Cemetery Association fought the attempts to exhume the alleged alien body. They were successful, and the dead alien’s remains remained a mystery.
On November 19, 2008, UFO Hunters first aired a television documentary regarding the Aurora incident, titled “first Contact”. On that episode, ufologist Jim Marrs, who had been researching the Aurora incident since the early 1970’s, was interviewed by Bill Birnes. Mr. Marrs stated that, “back in ‘73 it was obvious that there was some sort of grave there and at that time the little headstone was still in existence and that was very unusual”. Mr. Birnes asked, “And you just saw it with your own eyes”? Mr. Marrs replied, “Yes, it was probably sandstone, it was about that high (indicating with hands the size about a foot high), and it had a “V” edged into it with little circles. One side was abruptly broken off and I think there had been another portion to it. And if you extract to this side over to this side (motioning with his hands) you get a saucer object with little port holes. Okay, it was definitely there. Why don’t they exhume the grave, a very common practice and then we’ll know for sure what was going on? Well, a series of events happened, they didn’t want anybody opening the grave, they put a police guard up … a couple of weeks went by, the excitement died down. The very night they pulled the police guard, the little headstone went missing and it is not being seen since”.
The strange metal:
MUFON's investigation uncovered a piece of metal, reportedly from the wreckage, that upon further analysis was revealed to be composed of 95% aluminum and 5% iron, with no traces of zinc. This alloy is very uncommon in nature (and the lack of zinc, normally present with iron, even more uncommon), and combined with other analysis which stated that the metal was air-cooled on the ground, led to the assertion raised in MUFON's report that, given the presumption that it originated in 1897, the sample could not be of terrestrial nature. Furthermore, more of that metal alloy was found and analyzed during the UFO Hunter investigative TV documentary.
Written by Jim Marrs
AURORA,Texas — Resident Robert L. Brown, now in his eighties, was using his metal detector around the Aurora baseball field back in the late 1960s when he made a surprising discovery.
Digging down about more than a foot, Brown found an odd medallion composed of two dish-shaped halves held together by heavy metal wire perhaps made of copper.
“At first I thought it was something made by the Indians,” said Brown. But then he remembered that the location of his discovery was less than 150 feet from the reported site of a spaceship crash here on April 17, 1897.
“Because of the depth at which I found it, I think it must have come from that spaceship crash,” offered Brown.
After his curiosity grew over the object, Brown took it to an area aerospace contractor for analysis. “They said the interior of the medallion is made of gold,” Brown said. “But since I didn’t ask what the exterior was made from, they didn’t say. Actually, they said they didn’t know what it was.”
After placing a small leather strap through the connecting wire, Brown wore the medallion for a while before storing it away at his home.
With renewed interest in the Aurora spaceship crash story, Brown retrieved the medallion and brought it to a recently-opened gift shop in Aurora to show visitors.
The following is the story of the incident as it appeared in the April 19, 1897 edition of the Dallas Morning News. Written by newspaper reporter S.E. Haydon.
“About 6 o'clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing around the country. It was traveling due north and much nearer the earth than before. 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 it collided with the tower of Judge Proctor's windmill and went into 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. The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one aboard and, while his remains were badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world. Mr. T.J. Weems, the U.S. Army Signal Service officer at this place and an authority on astronomy gives it as his opinion that the pilot was a native of the planet Mars. Papers found on his person -- evidently the records of his travels -- are written in some unknown hieroglyphics and cannot be deciphered. This ship was too badly wrecked to form any conclusion as to its construction or motive power. It was built of an unknown metal, resembling somewhat a mixture of aluminum and silver, and it must have weighed several tons. The town is today full of people who are viewing the wreckage and gathering specimens of strange metal from the debris. The pilot's funeral will take place at noon tomorrow.”
In conclusion, it is this writer’s assessment that Mr. Haydon could not have made the story up, like some skeptics argue. Why involve a judge in a lying newspaper article? Why not an ordinary person? I’m sure that Judge J.S. Proctor would’ve been pretty angry if someone included him in a lying newspaper article that his windmill was demolished in his property by, of all things, a spaceship from the planet Mars. Wikipedia gives a good definition of a judge: “A judge, or arbiter of justice, who presides over a court of law. The judge hears all witnesses and any other evidence presented by the parties of the case, assesses the credibility of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law.” As a retired law enforcement officer this writer finds it hard to believe that a judge would risk ruining his reputation and/or his job by staying quiet on such a lie. The Aurora, Texas UFO incident, in my opinion, is one of the greatest mysteries in UFO history.