Day Trips: Aurora, Texas

UFO incident leaves alien pilot dead and locals scratching their heads

Day Trips: Aurora, Texas

The airship that destroyed Judge Proctor's windmill, water tank, and flower garden in Aurora left behind more mysteries than debris.

Day Trips: Aurora, Texas
Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

An article in The Dallas Morning News on April 17, 1897, says residents of the community north of Fort Worth were awakened early in the morning by an explosion. Sifting through the aircraft's wreckage, residents found a body "that was not an inhabitant of this world."

According to the article's author, S.E. Haydon, an officer of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and expert on astronomy speculated that the pilot was "a native of the planet Mars." No explanation was given as to how the official knew what a person from the faraway planet might look like.

Supposedly, the pilot was buried in the Aurora Cemetery and the wreckage was dumped down the judge's well. No concrete evidence of the spaceship has turned up after 118 years of searching by UFO investigators, but conspiracy theories abound.

One of Haydon's contemporaries accused him of being the town's practical joker. Several commentators have suggested that he was trying to prop up a fading town struck by a series of disasters. The 1986 movie The Aurora Encounter helps keep the legend alive.

The Aurora Cemetery, where the spaceman is supposedly buried in an unmarked grave, is a few miles west of U.S. 287 on Cemetery Road, off TX 114 between Rhome and Boyd. Aurora is a smattering of homes, but the historical marker at the cemetery mentions the extraterrestrial legend. So it must be true.


1,248th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: Sebastopol House Historic Site, Seguin
Day Trips: Sebastopol House Historic Site, Seguin
Historic limecrete mansion honors Black entrepreneurship

Gerald E. McLeod, Aug. 7, 2020

Day Trips: Fort McKavett State Historic Site, Menard
Day Trips: Fort McKavett State Historic Site, Menard
Frontier fort was home to Buffalo Soldiers

Gerald E. McLeod, July 31, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Aurora, Texas, Judge Proctor, UFO

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle