What came to the mysterious skies above Aurora?

aurora-cemetery

“ARE WE THERE YET?” A little voice in the back seat of the car chirped.

John Anderson had heard this question for the fifteenth hundredth time as the family rolled along on their summer adventures.

“Almost, buddy.”   Mr. Anderson had not relished going on the family vacation with his persnickety wife and a back seat full of noisy children. He considered it his duty and was determined to make the most of it.

“Why did we even come here?” An older son asked this from his back seat perch.

Since they were on a little country road, John Anderson pulled his car over and turned around as far as he could crane his neck and asked the audience sitting there, “Did we not go to Six Flags all day yesterday? Have we not gone to The Alamo this week? Did we not eat a delicious meal at The Stagecoach Inn in Salado and all of the fast food you could possibly consume? Did we not go to Aquarena Springs, and both the Dallas and Fort Worth zoos? We are coming to this place because it is something I want to see myself, and it is something I have wanted to see for a long time. Is that all right with you?”

The children did not say anything else for quite some time. After a few more miles, John Anderson pulled up to a cemetery.

Gravestone in Aurora Cemetery bearing the image of an alien spacecraft.
Gravestone in Aurora Cemetery bearing the image of an alien spacecraft.

“This is it? A graveyard? We have come to see a graveyard?” As a brave soul in the back seat ventured this question, John Anderson turned around and gave a look. When he pulled up to the Texas Historical Marker, the children began to chatter quietly among themselves.

There are many on this earth that claim to have seen a UFO. For some strange reason, some people see more than one in their lifetime. Some even see several and have had close encounters of varying degrees. Why do certain people on this tiny blue marble have this privilege, or bad fortune, however you see it? Is it something in their body chemistry? Does their body or soul sense where to go to see one and seek that area out? Do they live in an area that is considered to be a good landing spot—thus more chances for a view? Are they chosen by mind-controlling extra terrestrials as being receptive to the experience? John Anderson was one of these people, although he was very tight-lipped about his UFO experiences. He had seen three of the craft, pretty up-close and personal, at different times in his life. He had not even told his wife about all three of them. She only knew of one of them and did not put much stock it.

As the children remained in the back seat for a moment, Mr. Anderson exited the vehicle. He stood in front of the Texas Historical Marker and read it several times. He took a few photos of it with his camera. A feeling of bliss came over him and his facial expression reflected this. His wife got out of the car and stood next to him. The kids tumbled out of the back seat and followed.

“You’re nuts!” She exclaimed when she saw his face.

The youngest son had a look of terror on his face. “Are you nuts, Daddy? Are you really?”

John Anderson did not say anything. He withdrew a piece of paper from his hip pocket and started walking further into the cemetery. No one was following him. Instead, his daughter, the middle child, was reading the Texas Historical Marker plaque out loud to her siblings. Every now and then the oldest son had to help her with a word she could not pronounce. When they got to the part about the UFO, they became very excited. Now they were interested.

John Anderson scanned the area for an old oak tree with a limb bent at a right angle. When he spotted the ancient tree, he looked at his piece of paper again and walked up to a promising bit of soil. It was just an unmarked piece of ground, a depressed area. He stood there for a long while, looking at the depression and area around it. When the time was right, he would pack up his family in the vehicle and head for home. It wouldn’t be much longer, he decided.   He took a couple of photos of the depressed area.

Aurora1

News reports written in 1897, one by S.E. Haydon, was about the very subject John Anderson was now pondering. On April 17, in Aurora, Texas, Wise County, an airship was traveling due north. There had been several sightings of cigar-shaped airships all over country, but this was at a time before airplanes were even invented, or flying. The astonished people viewing it, thought it was having mechanical trouble. It slowed down considerably. It drifted over the town square. Then, it crashed into Judge Proctor’s windmill. It seemed to explode, scattering debris. Within the mass of debris, was a being, a lone occupant, no longer exhibiting signs of life. Examination showed that he was not of this world. An astronomer speculated that the being was from Mars. Charts found on this otherworldly visitor were written in a type of hieroglyphics. The metal from the space vehicle seemed to be aluminum or silver. When Haydon wrote his newspaper account, he announced that the funeral for the pilot would be at noon the next day.

The pilot of the crashed spacecraft was given a Christian burial and interred there at the tiny Aurora cemetery. It was in a marked grave for a time, but the marker disappeared. Many outside groups want to dig up the area, but the cemetery board won’t allow such things. In fact, the first group requesting to dig was met by shotguns and rifles.   They did make sure that the event was mentioned on the Texas Historical Marker plaque, with other items of historical importance about the cemetery.

Every such story has its debunkers. One woman claimed it was never true because Judge Proctor did not even have a windmill on his property. In fact, a shed had been erected over the original spot. When the shed was lifted up and moved, there they saw the lower structure of the windmill, so it did exist.

Judge Proctor’s property has been through several hands. One of the first buyers of this property, Brawley Oates, developed a horrible form of arthritis after drinking some of the well water. The joints of his hands swelled to over triple normal size. What is significant about this? It was said that debris from the spacecraft had been thrown down into the well. Oates capped the well and drank no more of the water.

MUFON has done some of its own investigations. In 1973 they located two witnesses. One had been a ten year old boy at the time of the UFO crash and he had seen it leaving a trail of smoke before it went down. Another was a woman whose parents had witnessed the crash and had gone to the property when it happened. She had heard their stories of the event and related them to the MUFON investigators.

MUFON investigators also found an old grave marker scattered in the cemetery that seemed to depict a flying saucer on it. When they returned on another day, the grave marker had mysteriously disappeared.

Some early tests of the well water on Proctor’s property indicated that it did have a high aluminum content.

What did happen on that 1897 day? The believers seem to outweigh the non-believers.

Please click the book cover image to read more about Sara Marie Hogg and her books.

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  • Sara Marie Hogg

    I love the illustrations you picked, Caleb. Thanks a lot.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Sara, I’ve trekked the ground around Aurora, spent some time in Judge Proctor’s backyard, and walked through the cemetery many times, and I’m still baffled about the report of a UFO. However, you won’t find many in town who don’t believe the airship crashed.

      • Sara Marie Hogg

        The fascinating thing about what you relate, Caleb, is that the town believers are mostly relatives or descendants of the people who actually saw the UFO and maybe the “being.” Thanks!

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