Aurora Texas UFO Crash
Of 1897 - Myth Or Mystery?
By Jim Hickman <>
Head for Aurora, Texas, "the town that almost was" as their tiny town history book states, to take a look at the burial site of an alien pilot that crashed its UFO there in 1897. The town is just off US 287 west of Rhome heading toward Bridgeport on 114. Look for the sign saying CEMETERY pointing south. There is a historical marker that includes the word "spaceship" at the site. Newspapers from April 1897 reported that the alien craft hit a windmill and was torn to pieces, along with its occupant. A 1986 movie, "Aurora Encounter," tells the tale. The official historical marker was installed by the state, although nobody knows exactly where the grave is. Here is the text of the marker as seen in the photo below.
Aurora Cemetery
The oldest known graves, here, dating from as early as the 1860s, are those of the Randall and Rowlett families. Finis Dudley Beauchamp (1825-1893), a Confederate veteran from Mississippi, donated the 3-acre site to the newly- formed Aurora Lodge No. 479, A.F. & A.M., in 1877. For many years, this community burial ground was known as Masonic Cemetery. Beauchamp, his wife Caroline (1829-1915), and others in their family. An epidemic which struck the village in 1891 added hundreds of graves to the plot. Called "Spotted Fever" by the settlers, the disease is now thought to be a form of meningitis. Located in Aurora Cemetery is the gravestone of the infant Nellie Burris (1891-1893) with its often-quoted epitaph: "As I was so soon done, I don't know why I was begun." This site is also well-known because of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash, was buried here. Struck by epidemic and crop failure and bypassed by the railroad, the original town of Aurora almost disappeared, but the cemetery remains in use with over 800 graves. Veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts are interred here.
Aurora is located West of Rhome and 1/4 mile South of SH 114.
Aurora brings up images of high-speed space travel. In fact, our new space plane is named 'Aurora' for a UFO incident that took place in 1897.
Last year was the 100th anniversary of the crash of an unknown airship in Aurora, TX. The TV show "Sightings" had a special called '100 years of UFO Cover ups,' that featured the recovery of an alien body in Aurora, Texas.
This incident has been covered up by the Government and was then widely reported to be a hoax (a weather balloon?). Sounds a lot like Roswell in 1947? The US government has a long history of cover-ups in regards to things like this. I hope this investigation will clear up the Aurora event for good.
Here is the story as written in 1897 in the April 19 edition of the Dallas Morning News is as follows:
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 tomorrow.
The article was written by E. E. Haydon who was a part-time reporter for the Morning News. As startling as the news was, no other newspapers in the world ran the story in their paper. News of the incident remained dormant for almost a century (May 24, 1973) when newspapers around the country published the following United Press International account:
"Aurora, Tex. -- (UPI) -- A grave in a small north Texas cemetery contains the body of an 1897 astronaut who "was not an inhabitant of this world," according to the International UFO Bureau. The group, which investigates unidentified flying objects, has already initiated legal proceedings to exhume the body and will go to court if necessary to open the grave, director Hayden Hewes said Wednesday.
"After checking the grave with metal detectors and gathering facts for three months, we are certain as we can be at this point [that] he was the pilot of a UFO which reportedly exploded atop a well on Judge J.S. Proctor's place, April 19, 1897," Hewes said. ÒHe was not an inhabitant of this world."
A few days later, another UPI account datelined Aurora quoted a ninety-one-year-old who had been a girl of fifteen in Aurora at the time of the reported incident. She said she "had all but forgotten the incident until it appeared in the newspapers recently." She said her parents had gone to the sight of the crash, but had refused to take her along. She recalled that the remains of the pilot, "a small man," had been buried in the Aurora cemetery.
Not to be outdone, the Associated Press, in a story datelined Denton, Texas, reported that "a North Texas State University professor had found some metal fragments near the Oates gas station (former Proctor farm). One fragment was said to be 'most intriguing' because it consisted of primarily of iron which did not seem to exhibit magnetic properties." The professor also said he was puzzled because the fragment was "shiny and malleable instead of dull and brittle like iron."
The Aurora Cemetery Association was successful in blocking the attempts to dig up the grounds in search of the "Martian pilot." The incident will probably go underground again (pun intended) until its centennial in 1997 will bring another round of widespread press coverage.
Last year we made a field investigation in the small town of Aurora, Texas, just north of Fort Worth. The results of our research are weird to say the least... One of the first things you might notice when arriving in Aurora is that there are military traces everywhere in town. It even boasts a small military type airport, circa 1940's. Even the streets of town are laid out in typical "base" fashion. To anyone who ever served in the military, the signs of military habitations are clear.
Why would the military want to have a base in Aurora? I asked myself... back in the '40's? hmm... let's see. If my memory is correct, I believe that the Roswell crash debris was flown directly to Ft. Worth, TX, (which is less than 10 miles as the crow flies from Aurora.) Coincidence? I don't think so. Could the military have had an "alien" recovery base set up and running from clear back 100 years ago? I am beginning to wonder as we continued on our tour of Aurora, the city.
As we continued through town, we found the famous old Judge Proctor's place and we visited the town square. Of course almost the entire town from those days is gone, replaced by modern buildings. Nearby is the town cemetery, where it is alleged by some that a small visitor from space was buried over 100 years ago. A quick visit to the cemetery showed a very neat, well kept place, with no sign of the tombstone. It was stolen some years ago and never recovered. There are picture records of its existence, and above is a photo of it.
There is a movement in town to exhume the body of the alien, replace the headstone and do a complete search for remains of the crash. Also, there have been several interesting pieces of metal found in the area that have been confiscated for analysis by the military and never returned.
Aurora, another unsolved mystery
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