The Aurora UFO Incident of 1897: Texas’ Own Roswell


In the small town of Aurora, Texas, something strange happened in 1897. It’s often called Texas’ own Roswell because of its mystery and connection to UFOs. This incident has intrigued many people over the years.

What Happened?

On April 17, 1897, a local newspaper, the “Dallas Morning News,” reported a strange event. According to the article, a UFO crashed in Aurora. The report said that a “cigar-shaped” flying object hit a windmill on a farm and exploded. The crash spread debris all over the place and caused significant damage.

What Happened

Eyewitness Accounts

Eyewitness accounts from residents like Mary Evans and Charlie Stevens vividly describe the crash. Mary, just a young girl at the time, recalled seeing a strange airship collide with a windmill on Judge J.S. Proctor’s property, an incident that left a lasting impression on the small Texas town.

Charlie Stevens, another resident, also witnessed the event. He described the moment the airship hit the windmill, causing a fiery explosion that scattered debris across the crash site. These accounts were essential in piecing together the bizarre events of that day.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Aurora incident is the claim that an alien was buried in the local cemetery. According to the stories, the townsfolk discovered the body of a small, humanoid figure in the wreckage. They decided to give it a proper burial, adding a twist to this already mysterious event.

In 1973, researchers found debris at the crash site that seemed to support the eyewitness accounts. Despite facing numerous obstacles and evidence tampering, these discoveries have kept the legend of the Aurora UFO incident alive.

Airship Crash Details

Airship Crash Details

When the mysterious airship collided with Judge J.S. Proctor’s windmill, the ensuing explosion scattered debris across his property and beyond. Residents quickly converged on the crash site, discovering not only pieces of the vessel but also the remains of its pilot. This alien body is described as small and unlike anything in this world.

Uncertain of how to handle the situation, the citizens decided to give the alien a proper burial. They interred the body in Aurora Cemetery, a decision that would transform this small Texas town into a focal point for UFO enthusiasts.

The wreckage from the crash was gathered and reportedly dumped into a nearby well. Years later, in 1945, Mr. Brawley Oates, who owned the property, sealed the well with a concrete slab due to concerns about potential contamination.

The airship crash left a lasting mark on Aurora, embedding itself in the town’s lore and raising questions that continue to this day.

Investigation Findings

Investigators have explored the incident, uncovering conflicting accounts and evidence that challenge the story’s credibility. Despite numerous efforts by local TV stations, cable television, and documentary filmmakers, they haven’t found definitive evidence supporting the existence of extraterrestrial life in Aurora.

The investigation has revealed several critical points of interest:

  1. Judge Proctor’s Property: The supposed crash site was near Judge Proctor’s property, raising questions about the authenticity of the claims.
  2. Mary Evans’ Testimony: Resident Mary Evans provided details from her childhood, but her accounts have varied, contributing to the confusion.
  3. Local Legend: The story has become a local legend, passed down through generations, but tangible proof remains intangible.

The water pump tower near the well where the alien body was reportedly buried, contradicts claims that the incident was entirely fabricated.

Paranormal researcher Jerry Drake disputed the construction details of the well, further deepening the mystery.

Despite ongoing efforts to verify the incident, the lack of evidence fuels debates among believers and skeptics alike. The mystery surrounding the Aurora UFO incident continues the question of whether the truth is still out there waiting to be uncovered.

Hoax Theories

Some claim the incident was an elaborate hoax orchestrated by local newspaperman S.E. Haydon. Skeptics argue that Haydon fabricated the story to revive the economically struggling. Local historian Etta Pegues insisted that the incident was entirely Haydon’s invention, casting significant doubt on its existence.

The presence of a water pump tower near the well where the alleged alien body was supposedly buried adds confusion to the hoax theory. Some believe the tower’s proximity undermines the idea that anything extraordinary happened there. However, paranormal researcher Jerry Drake questioned the construction details of the well, suggesting the water pump tower might not be as critical in exposing the incident as skeptics think.

Despite multiple investigations by local TV stations, cable television, and documentaries, no sure evidence has emerged to definitively label the incident a hoax. Conflicting accounts and a lack of concrete proof leave the story shrouded in mystery.

Consequently, the authenticity of the event remains a debated topic among both believers and skeptics.

Media Coverage

The event has captivated media outlets for decades, embedding itself in popular culture. When the story first broke, the town was buzzing with curiosity, and popular news stations at the time quickly covered the event sparking widespread interest.

Throughout the years, books, documentaries, and TV shows have kept the Aurora UFO incident alive, ensuring it remains a subject of fascination and debate. The continuous media coverage attests to the enduring intrigue and mystery surrounding this historic event.

Cultural Impact

The event has left a mark on both local culture and the UFO community. This small Texas town has fully embraced its mysterious past, transforming it into a tourist attraction that keeps the legend alive. Visitors come from far and wide to see the gravesite of the alleged alien.

Adding another layer of intrigue, resident Brawley Oates, who later purchased the property where the UFO supposedly crashed, claimed to have suffered severe health issues after cleaning a well near the crash site. He attributed these issues to contamination from the alien wreckage, further fueling fascination and speculation.

The incident has filled the media. The 1986 film ‘The Aurora Encounter’ dramatized the event, while the History Channel’s ‘Ancient Aliens’ featured it in an episode on 19th-century UFO sightings. Even satirical works like The Firesign Theatre’s LP ‘Everything You Know Is Wrong’ have poked fun at the incident, demonstrating its enduring impact on entertainment and humor.

The Aurora UFO Incident Today

The town has become a point of interest for UFO enthusiasts and curious tourists. The cemetery where the alien pilot was supposedly buried is a popular spot, even though there is no definitive marker for the grave.


It remains one of Texas’ most intriguing and mysterious stories. Whether it was a true encounter with extraterrestrial life or a clever hoax, the incident continues to fascinate and gather interest more than a century later. 

The tale of the mysterious crash and the efforts to uncover the truth all contribute to Aurora’s unique place in UFO lore. The story serves as a reminder of the enduring power of mystery and the human fascination with the unknown.

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