Six years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight in the small town of Aurora, TX was one of the most convincing UFO crashes in history. Between 1896 and 1897 there was a large amount of sightings, at least six that I could find, involving a cigar-shaped airship across the United States. This all culminated in Aurora, Texas on April 19th, 1897 when a cigar shaped craft crashed into a windmill that was located on Judge J.S. Proctor’s land. Among the crash debris was a being that was described as “not of this world” as well as a “martian” by the Army officer from Fort Worth.
According to reports the being was buried “with Christian rites” in the Aurora Cemetery along with an unmarked headstone. In addition to the headstone a Texas Historical Commission marker was placed to remember the incident. The remainder of the debris that was associated with this crash was sealed in a well on the Proctor property with the hopes it would never be unsealed.
In 1945 Mr. Brawley Oates purchased the Proctor property and unsealed the well as it was intended to be used as a water source for the newly purchased property. Oates removed the debris from the well and disposed of it in an unknown fashion. It was at this point that we seem to have lost the evidence that was sealed in the well. I have done a bit of research into where the debris was taken upon being removed from the well and it seems to be heavily disputed.
After cleaning out the well, Oates developed an extremely severe case of arthritis which he claimed to be the result of coming in contact with the metals and the contaminated water from the wreckage. This was never confirmed and is only speculation by Oates.
Later in 1957, we think, the well was once again sealed with a concrete slab and an outbuilding place above to prevent further access. The actual date of the concrete slab is up for debate, however more feel it was in 1957 due to some writing that was found in the slab before it completely set.
This story was covered in great detail for the time and many articles explaining the incident still exist today. Many are in the image gallery below. Some feel that this entire encounter was simply a hoax created by Proctor to help keep the small town of Aurora from going bankrupt. In 1897 the town of Aurora had experienced more than its fair share of adversity. The local cotton crop was destroyed by boll weevils, a fire destroyed many buildings and killed many of the townspeople, shortly after the fire a spotted fever nearly finished off the remaining residents, and to top that off a railroad that was scheduled to connect to the town stopped 27 miles short.
With all of the bad news and events the town had experienced, it is thought by some that S.E. Haydon, the author of the original article exposing the crash, simply made up the encounter in an effort to bring some attention to his dying town. They support this stance by saying that a follow-up article was never published on the story which seems highly unusual considering they had supposedly buried an alien body in their cemetery.
Some even go as far as claiming that Proctor did not even have a windmill on his property, although in an investigation by the UFO Hunters, they seem to have proven that a windmill did in fact exist. The UFO Hunters did unseal the well in 2008, with permission, and did not find any remaining debris, however they did determine that the water had an unusually large amount of aluminum present.
The grave of the alien was also examined using ground-penetrating radar, however the results were inconclusive. When UFO Hunters asked for permission to exhume the grave the request was denied to protect the deceased, in the event it is a hoax.
I believe this to be a legitimate sighting simply because there were many reports around the country of similar cigar shaped craft in an era where flight had not even been invented yet. Remember, this event took place nearly six years before the Wright Brothers figured out how to fly.
Additionally, the people who claim this to be a hoax used “facts” that turned out to be inaccurate. There was a windmill on the site that was torn down after the crash, and there are very few explanations as to why the well has such high amounts of aluminum in it. Also considering the fact that when the well was cleaned out by Oates he developed a horrible case of Arthritis which he directly claims to be caused by the debris.
Ultimately, this case is very well documented, in an era before flight, from many different angles. It is also one of the very few that could have evidence if we were allowed to exhume the body. While I highly doubt the body is still the original alien body, I think we could determine that it has at least been swapped out at a later date than the original grave.