Auroura spaceshiptThe Aurora UFO Incident

The Aurora UFO Incident is a UFO incident that reportedly occurred on April 17, 1897 in Aurora, Texas, a small town in the northwest corner of the DFW Metroplex. The incident (similar to the more famous Roswell UFO Incident 50 years later) reportedly resulted in a fatality from the crash. The alleged alien body is reportedly buried in an unmarked grave at the local cemetery.

During the 1896–1897 timeframe (some six or seven years before the Wright Brothers' first flight), numerous sightings of a cigar-shaped mystery airship were reported across the United States.

One of these accounts appeared in the April 19, 1897 edition of the Dallas Morning News. Written by Aurora resident S.E. Haydon, the alleged UFO is said to have hit a windmill on the property of a Judge J.S. Proctor two days earlier at around 6am local (Central) time, resulting in its crash.

The pilot (who was reported to be "not of this world", and a "Martian" according to a purported Army officer from nearby Fort Worth) did not survive the crash, and was buried "with Christian rites" at the nearby Aurora Cemetery. (The cemetery contains a Texas Historical Commission marker mentioning the incident.)

Purportedly, 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. Adding to the mystery was the story of Mr. Brawley Oates, who purchased Judge Procter'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. As a result, Oates sealed up the well with a concrete slab and placed an outbuilding atop the slab. (According to writing on the slab, this was done in 1957.)

Aurora Cemetery

Aurora Cemetery may contain the most important grave in the world, or it may simply be that historical markers in Texas are more open-minded than those in other states. Whatever the reason, the official plaque outside of this graveyard does mention that it might contain the grave of a pilot of a "spaceship" that crashed nearby in 1897.

Newspaper accounts in April 1897 reported that the alien craft hit a windmill and was torn to pieces, along with its occupant. A 1986 movie, Aurora Encounter, recreates the tale.

Cemetery Historical Marker.

Everyone agrees that the tombstone, if there ever was one, is gone now, and so there's nothing to see here except the plaque (Though there's a consolation grave marker, if you can find it, for "Loreta The World's Talking Bird").

The marker also mentions that Aurora was "struck by epidemic and crop failure and bypassed by the railroad." No connection is made between these calamities and the decomposing body of an ET in the town boneyard, but we suspect that that omission was just to avoid panic -- because historical markers always tell the truth.

The Historical Marker's full text:

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 meingitis. 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.

The Movie

There was also a movie done about this events.

The Aurora Encounter

bk The Aurora Encounter

Directed by     Jim McCullough, Sr.
Produced by     Jim McCullough, Sr.
Written by     Melody Brooke
Jim McCullough, Jr.
Starring     Jack Elam
Peter Brown
Carol Bagdasarian
Dottie West
Music by     Ron F. Lulio
Cinematography     Joseph Wilcots
Editing by     Sheri Galloway
Distributed by     New World Pictures
Release date(s)

December 29, 1986 (West Germany)
Running time     90 minutes
Country     United States
Language     English

Personal Note: Jack Elam is one of my wife's relatives.