When people think of UFO crashes, they often think of the infamous Roswell incident in 1947, which took place in New Mexico. However, little is known about a lesser-known occurrence in Aurora, Texas, nearly five decades before.
According to reports, an enigmatic airship is said to have gone down in Aurora, with the news station in Dallas even claiming that the deceased pilot of the airship was “not of Earth.” The pilot’s body was laid to rest in a local cemetery.
Although some may dismiss this account as a tall tale, it is worth noting that in the early 1970s, journalist Jim Marrs located and interviewed an eyewitness to the Aurora airship incident.
Could this small Texas town have been the crash site of an extraordinary encounter from beyond our world?
During the period of 1896 to 1897, numerous accounts of peculiar sightings involving cigar-like airships emerged across the United States. The sightings initially started in Southern California and gradually spread eastward.
One of the most notable and sensational reports emerged in April of 1897. A column in the Dallas newspaper authored by S. E. Haydon, a resident of Aurora, detailed an extraordinary event that occurred just two days prior. According to Haydon’s account, at the break of dawn, an airship collided with a windmill in the town of Aurora, which belonged to a man named J.S. Proctor.
Aurora residents were taken aback by the appearance of an airship that had been traversing the region,” Haydon recounted. “Clearly, some of its machinery was malfunctioning, as it was moving at a mere speed of 10-12 mph and slowly descending towards the ground. It passed over the town square and, upon reaching the northern part of the town, collided with Proctor’s windmill, resulting in a catastrophic explosion. Debris was scattered over many acres, causing extensive damage to his water tank, windmill, and flower garden.”
In describing the deceased, Haydon mentioned, “…although the body was severely disfigured, enough fragments were recovered to indicate that the individual was not of earthly origin.”
Unusual hieroglyphic scripts were found on the deceased.
As per Haydon’s account, the vessel was “constructed with an unfamiliar metal, bearing a resemblance to a blend of silver and aluminum, and it appeared to have weighed many tons.”
From Aurora to the surrounding areas, people assembled to witness the wreckage, while a funeral ceremony for the deceased pilot took place the following day.
The striking parallels between contemporary UFO cases and the Aurora incident cannot be easily dismissed as a coincidence.
Although it was forgotten for many years, the Aurora incident resurfaced in the public consciousness in 1973, when journalist Jim Marrs conducted an interview with Charlie C. Stephens, an 83-year-old resident, who initially hesitated to involve himself in the investigation.
Through friendly conversation, Marrs eventually convinced Stephens to recount his experience as a young boy on that fateful spring morning. On that day, while working with his father tending to the cattle, Charlie and his father observed a cigar-like craft flying at a low altitude, accompanied by a blinding light. Both he and his father watched as it moved towards Aurora, followed by the sound of an explosion and the sight of fire in the sky above.
“I was keen to rush and check out what had happened,” Stephens disclosed to Marrs, “though my father insisted that we complete our chores first.” The next day, Stephens’ father took a ride into the town and witnessed the wreckage of the airship.
During his 1973 visit to the Aurora Cemetery, Marrs came across what he thought was the burial site of the pilot. The grave was marked by a partially broken headstone. On the portion that was still intact, there was an engraved design that bore a resemblance to “a single side of a saucer-like structure,” featuring small circles resembling portholes. Interestingly, the size of the grave was not full-sized, indicating that it belonged either to a young child or an exceptionally small individual.
Bill Case, another journalist at the time, conducted a search with a metal detector and detected the presence of “three sizable metal fragments” within the grave. However, upon returning to the site later, Case found that the unusual signal had vanished. It was evident that someone had inserted a large metal pipe into the site’s ground, suggesting that the pieces of metal had been removed.
Speculations abound regarding the identity of the airship’s pilot.
Could it have been an extraterrestrial being, a visitor from another dimension, a severely burned person, or simply an elaborate but late April Fool’s prank? The possibilities surrounding the true nature of the pilot remain open to conjecture.