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Alien Gravesite in Aurora Cemetery: The Roswell of Texas?

Headstone at alien gravesite in Aurora, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Headstone at alien gravesite in Aurora, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Aurora Cemetery: Home of the Strangest Historical Marker in Texas

My husband and I take day trips in the Dallas – Fort Worth area of north Texas as often as possible. We enjoy exploring historic downtown squares, cemeteries, family-run restaurants and uncovering quirky and/or overlooked sites.

Yesterday, we popped over to the Aurora Cemetery which was established in 1861. Like many older cemeteries, it has a Texas State Historical Marker. While pioneers, cattlemen, farmers and soldiers often figure prominently on such signs, what makes this historical marker so unusual is that it mentions a spaceship crash in 1897.

A spaceship crash?

In Texas?

In 1897?

Yes, indeed!

The following is an adapted excerpt from my Amazon Best Seller: Unexpected Texas. Enjoy!
Aurora Cemetery
Aurora Cemetery was established in 1861. Like many older graveyards, it has a Texas State Historical Marker. While pioneers, cattlemen, farmers, and soldiers often figure prominently on such signs, what makes this historical marker unusual is that it mentions a spaceship crash in 1897.
The Roswell of Texas?
You’ve probably heard of the Roswell Incident, an alleged spaceship crash in the desert of New Mexico in 1947. While the Roswell Incident is arguably the most well-known case in UFO history, here in north Texas there exists an alleged extraterrestrial wreck (complete with an alien body) which took place 50 years earlier.
A spaceship crash in north Texas?
As the story goes, in the early morning hours of April 17, 1897 a mysterious craft crash-landed in the north Texas town of Aurora.

According to a newspaper article which appeared in the April 19th edition of The Dallas News, a cigar-shaped airship ran into a windmill, spread debris across several acres and – strangest of all – a small humanoid body was discovered in the wreck.

According to the reporter, although the petite alien was “not an inhabitant of this world,” his or her body was buried in the local cemetery.

Here’s a link to a scan of the original article, and here’s what the reporter claims:

“About 6 o’clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing around the country. It was traveling due north and much nearer the earth than before.

Evidently some of the machinery was out-of-order, for it was making a speed of only ten or twelve miles an hour, and gradually settling toward the earth. It sailed over the public square and when it reached the north part of town it collided with the tower of Judge Proctor’s windmill and went into pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank and destroying the judge’s flower garden.

The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one aboard and, while his remains were badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.”

What with epidemics, crop failure and being slighted by the railroad, the townsfolk of Aurora paid little attention to the odd incident. Given the mindset of the era and the challenges they faced, it’s not surprising that instead of studying the alien’s body for science, the locals buried the creature and moved on with their lives.

No reportage exists regarding the actual funeral ceremony, although a headstone was placed at the grave site. According to photos and verbal accounts, this first headstone depicted a crudely carved cigar-shaped object with portholes in the side.

In any case, the weird incident faded into the background as the once-booming town of Aurora withered into near oblivion. Then, in 1973 a United Press International blurb mentioned the alleged spaceship crash reported in north Texas.

This little article created so much interest in the old story that local police had to guard the alien grave day and night to keep trespassers from digging it up. Sadly, the night they quit this vigil someone stole the original headstone for the space creature. There was even a push to officially exhume the alien’s body, but the cemetery association declined.

Of course, there is also the strong possibility that the whole thing is a hoax.

Here’s what debunkers say:
1. There was no windmill on Judge Proctor’s land.

2. There is no well.

3. There is nothing buried beneath the gravesite.

4. There is no mysterious metal near the crash site.

5. The reporter made the story up hoping to make the town a tourist attraction.

Here’s what believers say:
1. The History Channel found evidence of a windmill on Judge Proctor’s land.

2. They found a well at this site, too. The well was capped in the 1950′s because the owner thought it was contaminated by the alien debris. The History Channel convinced the current owner to let them uncap it and test the water.

3. Melted metal has been found in the alleged crash site area. This metal is not some unearthly element. It’s aluminum. While aluminum seems commonplace to us now, it was actually quite rare in the late 1800′s.

4. The History Channel also found, via ground-penetrating radar, a casket-shaped item in the ground exactly where the alien is allegedly buried. (While the original tombstone was stolen in 1973, a new grave marker, which I’ve seen, was added by the local townspeople back in 2000.
Unfortunately, as of this writing the alien’s headstone has been stolen once again.)

5. The 1947 Roswell Incident crash debris was taken to Fort Worth, Texas which is only 30 minutes away from Aurora.

6. The town of Aurora is set up like a military base. (I’m not sure what they mean by this, since as I mentioned earlier the town of Aurora is barely there. I did notice a street called, “Base,” but beyond that, I don’t understand this claim.)

While I don’t think there is conclusive proof that an alien crashed to earth here in north Texas, I do think something unusual happened in Aurora back in April of 1897. Sadly, it is such a cold case that we may never know the truth.

I definitely wish the Aurora Cemetery would let a respected investigation group exhume the alien’s coffin and see what is really in there. Maybe there’s a note saying that the whole thing is a prank. The cemetery board very nearly exhumed the body back in 1973. However, since Texas state law requires the next of kin to be notified prior to exhumation, that makes this case a little tricky!

There was a rash of, “mysterious cigar-shaped airship,” sightings all across the US, but especially in Texas, in 1896 and 1897. Some of the accounts are downright ridiculous. In one I came across, the aliens reportedly sang religious hymns and had a barbecue.

Perhaps what makes the Aurora incident so enduring is that – even if it is just a tall Texan tale – its details dance along the edge of possibility without plunging overboard and landing in the utterly implausible. This is good advice for storytellers (and other professional liars) everywhere. Then again, to paraphrase Freud, “Sometimes a cigar-shaped object is just a cigar-shaped object.”

Visiting Aurora Cemetery: Directions and Finding the Alien Grave
There isn’t an official street address for Aurora Cemetery, but it’s not hard to find. If you have a GPS, set it for: Cemetery Rd, Aurora, TX 76078. If not, head towards Rhome, Texas on US 81/287. Exit onto Highway 114, drive roughly 1.5 miles then turn onto Cemetery Road. The cemetery will be on your lefthand side.

To find the alien grave site, turn right as you enter the Aurora Cemetery gates. It’s pretty easy to find there in the older section of the graveyard. There aren’t any graves near it, for some reason. Perhaps people were creeped out at the idea of being buried near the creature, or – since the alien didn’t have any family members – there was simply no one to put beside him or her.

Want to read more?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!

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Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!
Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!

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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider's writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and more. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Snider has several more books in progress, including a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols and a book about the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897. Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website: TuiSnider.com.
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Published inHistoric Cemeteries

41 Comments

  1. Consider our first airplanes were flying tubes but now we use more sleeker even triangular craft as they are more aerodynamic in our atmosphere and stealthy. I imagine an alien species may have found the cigar shaped craft didn’t work well in our atmosphere, perhaps this is why so many crashes are reported. Now that humanity has advanced in our aerial detection abilities, the aliens may have had to adjust the type of crafts they used to better avoid our radars just as we use stealth planes to do the same.

  2. Carp Carp

    I live only a few miles from Aurora, Texas. I smile at some of these tales. Does anyone really believe that if such a thing happened the U.S. govt agencies would not have been (there if not when it happened then years later when the headstone was stolen and the story drew attention). If you blink you will miss Aurora. That tells you the size and governmental power it has. Did anyone get permission to take the remains at Roswell? No they were there overnight with guns and military. Controlling press releases and anything else associated with it. If there was anything to this story, the military would have been all over the place and all of Fort Worth and Dallas would have known about it. aw hem.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hey, Carp! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Stealing a headstone is just plain rude, no matter what may be buried there… It’s definitely an intriguing bit of local lore, that’s for sure!

  3. Betty Clark Betty Clark

    B.Clark 8/15/14
    I like what you reported about the alien crash. I recently visited Dulce New Mexico and all the alien base news that has been
    reported I believe is true .The daughter of the rancher with mutilated cattle talked of what had happen at her home. A rare
    Interview and meeting. Check this place out. A new book Dulce has just been released by a friend of hers.
    Regards.
    Betty Clark

  4. […] I just lately met Steven Hudgeons of the Mutual UFO Community (MUFON) and he stated I’m one of many few individuals to have an honest photograph of the alleged alien’s most up-to-date gravestone earlier than it was stolen. For extra info (together with a hyperlink to a Historical past Channel investigation) take a look at Alien Grave in Aurora Cemetery: The Roswell of Texas? […]

  5. Someday there will be a major manifestation of Alien beings all over the Earth. They will travel from one place to another , revealing there selves to thousands and thousands of people all over the planet; so much so, that the government will make absolute fools of themselves trying to create cover-ups and false stories. They’ll have to accept it. And that day won’t be long from now.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Vernon, Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. It certainly does seem that humans are pretty used to the idea of alien races. We’ve certainly come a long way since Orson Wells freaked everyone out with his radio broadcast. :)

      • Yea, that grand Government experiment. When they realized how simple it was to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses they knew then that they could count on public sensational ploys from then on. Only the tactics have changed along with the motives. But when this “manifestation” actually takes place, they’ll show us things, such as conscious materials and mind phenomena that we ordinary humans will not be able to sham.

        • Tui Snider Tui Snider

          Hi Vernon, I hadn’t thought of it that way! We could be in for a wild ride, eh? :)

          • The aliens actually are very close to the universal power of love. They wouldn’t do anything contrary to our will which may upset us or put us in antipathy toward them. They understand our condition very well. There really are no evil aliens as portrayed on TV. The only reason why they visit earth is help. I personally believe, along with others, that they have the ability to dismantle nuclear weapons by mental remote control. The only real “wild ride” is in the human mind.

          • Tui Snider Tui Snider

            Hi again, Vernon! Thank you for dropping by again. I especially like your line, “The only real ‘wild ride’ is in the human mind.” :D

  6. CHET RYSKE CHET RYSKE

    I am sure that a very small scale group could easily obtain invaluable historic
    evidence with a discreet late nite visit to the site. any one game?

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Chet, I am super curious, too, but I think anything sneaky would only damage the case. Much better to get The History Channel to go there again and do something legit.

      • Jimson Jimson

        In the 70’s MUFON was investigating the case. They applied to exhume the body and were denied almost immediately. The very next day they went back to the site, only to find the body had been removed overnight. Sure seems like someone is covering up something from us.

        • Tui Snider Tui Snider

          Hi Jimson! Well, now… That is a fascinating twist on the whole incident! Hmmm… I would love to learn more about that. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. If you learn anything more, let me know! :D

          • Jimson Jimson

            Tui, I heard this on MUFON’s new show on H2 (History 2) titled Hangar 1. It’s a very informative and interesting show, that is based on MUFON’s research. I would highly recommend it. They have shown information regarding many cases I’d never heard of. If you get the chance, check it out. It airs Friday nights at 10 pm. Love the site! Keep up the great work.

          • Tui Snider Tui Snider

            Thanks, Jimson! I will keep an eye out for that show. Sounds good!

            Yeah, it’s funny, but most people I meet around north Texas have not heard of the Aurora Incident, even though there’s a Texas State Historical Marker. I was pretty thrilled to find that it’s only a short drive from my house.

            Dunno if you saw while looking around my site, but I just released a book called Unexpected Texas. I’m working on a sequel right now called Unbelievable Texas. If you hear of anything I should look into, let me know.

            Thanks again! :D

  7. Rev. Robert M. Paris Rev. Robert M. Paris

    My family goes back to 1838 in the Republic of Texas, and I have been to Aurora, and after having been there I believe the story to be genuine, but as I am fond of saying about most things, “To the believer no proof is required, to the unbeliever no proof will suffice.” However the crash being recorded in the 1800s gives it some credence in light of the fact that no manned flight had been accomplished by man.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Howdy Reverend Paris! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your Texas lineage stretches back quite a ways, doesn’t it? I’ve only been here 4 years, but I am impressed by the rich history of Texas. Aurora, in particular, fascinates me. I live close enough to drop by the cemetery from time to time. Unfortunately, someone has stolen the space alien headstone again. I think it went missing in early 2013.

  8. MadMike MadMike

    This is a true story. My grandpa went to school with one of the survivors, a 8 year old Venusian. He later married a cousin of grandpa and they had 4 children.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      A Venusian, eh? That’s quite a tale, Mike. Sounds like your grandpa was an interesting fellow. :)

  9. Steve Steve

    Wonderful story! I was drawn to it immediately and, although I find the History (sic) Channel a travesty of historically factual reporting, went directly to YouTube to watch it and gleaned a lot of info. Then I read the original article. Uh-oh. Two things in particular about the 1897 article dissuade me of probable basis in fact. One is that the alien had “papers” of hieroglyphic-like writing. The author could not have known that an interplanetary species would not be recording events with a pencil. Also, that the craft was only traveling at “about 10mph.” In the 1890s, 40mph was fast. But to a flying culture, 10mph is all but immobile. Still, it’s a great story for a writer, myself, to enjoy. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I love this story – I don’t care if it’s true or not, I just love the idea of it. In a way it’s a nice contrast to Roswell – the Roswell myth is that the aliens were dissected and put on ice, while in Aurora they gave the ‘alien’ a decent burial. I think that contrast is why I like the story so much.

    That and the fact that I love the idea of 19th century airships flying around America!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Matthew,

      I’m with you: It’s a great story no matter how much of it is fact or fiction!

      Good point on the contrast between Roswell & Aurora. Back in 1897, it was probably just a given that you would give a humanoid a decent burial no matter where it came from. By the 40’s, though, people were more science-oriented and didn’t think of it with the same kindness, perhaps.

      ~Tui

  11. Avinash Machado Avinash Machado

    Might have been an early man made experimental airship or blimp that crashed.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Avinash,

      Yeah, who knows? Back then, it would have been odd – and probably rather frightening – to see anything floating in the sky.

      ~Tui

  12. woofmutt woofmutt

    Once upon a time most of the aliens came to Earth in cigar shaped crafts. Either they came up with better designs in our 20th century or the cigar shaped craft aliens stopped visiting Earth.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Heya Woofmutt,

      Hmm… Interesting. Yes, aliens used to fly around in cigar-shaped craft, but nowadays, they seem to prefer triangular craft. Maybe the cigar-shaped ones went out of style or got really bad mileage!

      ~Tui

      • Actually if you go to MUFON site and do a search by craft type you will see quite a bit of cigar shaped crafts being seen, even recently.

        • Tui Snider Tui Snider

          Hi Steve, You have a point! Cigars and triangle-shaped craft seems to be pretty “popular,” don’t they? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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