Creepy Mysteries: Aurora Space Man
The flying saucer which crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947 has become a story ingrained in our culture. But what if there was another alien craft which years earlier had crashed down in the American Southwest. This would have happened in an era before two World Wars turned our military into a fine tuned machine so things would have been more chaotic as people scrambled. According to multiple accounts fifty years before the incident at Roswell that is what happened. On April 17, 1897 in the small town of Aurora, Texas a flying object not from our world fell from the skies.
Oddly between 1896 and 1897, the American Southwest multiple sightings had been recorded of a tube shaped craft dubbed an “airship”. The sightings of this unidentified object seemingly crescendoed with the event in question. In the skies above Aurora, it was reported that the airship collided with a windmill on the property of Judge J.S. Proctor. On the way down it created a “terrific explosion” taking out a water tank and leaving a field of debris. Naturally the citizens of Aurora had to head over to see what had fallen onto their little town.
What the discovered was the remains of a craft which seemed to be a light but relatively durable metal. One local described it as “a mixture of aluminum and silver”. While the metallic material was fascinating what truly drew the attention of everyone was the burn-damaged body of the ship’s pilot. Described as being small and humanoid, the being was in what was left of the cockpit and according to witnesses was carrying a strange paper-like material with hieroglyphic etchings. Because there is no protocol for when an extraterrestrial being crashes in your small town, the people of Aurora decided to show respect to the strange unearthly visitor. Giving him the name, Ned, they gave the alien a Christian burial in the Aurora Cemetery. To this day the site is supposedly marked by a headstone with a crude etching of Ned’s spacecraft.
The following day the Dallas Morning News plastered the story of the Aurora Spaceman on the front page and news of the event spread across Texas. While most considered it a joke, many did flock to Aurora to see the grave of an alien. These visitors soon discovered that the citizens of the town were very serious about what they had witnessed. But as news stories tend to do, it faded from public consciousness and people moved on. Aside from the new owner of Judge Proctor’s land discovering shards of strange aluminum-esque metal in a well in 1945 nothing new ever came from it.
In 1972, the memory of the crashed spaceship would reemerge when an aviation expert from the Dallas Times Herald, named Bill Case began to poke around. With the help of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), Case ventured to Aurora and began to interview the surviving witnesses of the crash as well as dug through written accounts. Of course his trip would not be complete without a trip to the cemetery where he found a small damaged headstone with the crude etchings of a ship on it. Barring the exhumation of the site, Case did the next best thing and ran a metal detector over the grave discovering a large metal deposit buried beneath it. Granted the reporter would claim on later explanations that the metallic reading was no longer there.
The downside to the story of the Aurora Spaceman being resurrected was that it inevitably attracted vandals to the Aurora Cemetery. Before too long Ned’s small gravestone was damaged even further before going missing altogether. With this goes the only marker indicating where the alien pilot was laid to rest. Requests have been made over the years to exhume where the body is suspected of being, but of course out of respect all such requests are denied. In 2010 a replica headstone was placed in the cemetery, yet in 2012 it too went missing. The historical significance of the cemetery as a whole has been recognized by the state of Texas, and on the historical marker which stands there it mentions the doomed flight of the “airship” which crashed there in 1897.
While Aurora, Texas may seem like another small American town, the event which happened in the spring of 1897 has the potential to be world-changing. While all those who witnessed the crashing of a UFO may have passed on, many of their claims have been recorded for future research. Hopefully despite the frequent vandalism his grave has endured, a little alien named Ned who was respectfully buried there is resting in peace.