Sunday, October 29, 2006

Before Roswell, There Was Aurora

Aurora Article Snippet
By Rick Cousins
The Daily News

     AURORA — A spectacular UFO crash witnessed by locals and the military, an alien’s small body recovered and then a fantastic cover-up.

Roswell, N.M., in 1947, right?

Nope. Aurora, Texas. In 1897.

The compelling story was first reported by the Dallas Morning News on April 17 of that year and is all the more intriguing because there was little aloft in the skies over Texas in these years before the Wright Brothers’ initial 1903 flight.

Reporter S.E. Hayden wrote:

“Aurora, Wise County, Texas, — About 6 o’clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing throughout the country.

“It sailed directly over the public square, and when it reached the north part of town, collided with the tower of Judge Proctor’s windmill and went to 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 are badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.”

More than a century later, this dramatic story brought a TV crew from The History Channel to Texas, led by producer-writer John Greenewald Jr., who produced the show “UFO Files: Texas’ Roswell.”

Greenewald, a former on-the-air interviewer, went behind the camera to direct interviews of UFO experts and Aurora residents.

“It is a town legend, but I’m curious if there is any truth to it,” Greenewald said. “We talked to the experts — some very intelligent people who are convinced that it happened.”

He added that Aurorians were more forthcoming about their belief in the early UFO on the phone, but that they often softened their stories once the camera lights were on.

He noted that there were many reported sightings of mysterious airships across the Midwest in 1897.

“The town is (now) so adamant that the event wasn’t real,” Greenwald said. “But the (UFO) investigators are so adamant that it was real.”

He said that the program would air again on cable, but that the next date is uncertain.

The TV folks said they were denied access to the cemetery, where they had hoped to scan for alien remains. They were also unsuccessful in getting permission to examine Proctor’s water well, which was purportedly used as a disposal site for scraps of metal from the crashed vessel.

Village lore has it that the next owner of the property blamed his bad health on drinking water from the contaminated well.

Texan Derrel Sims, who bills himself as the Alien Hunter and claims to be a former CIA agent, had fewer reservations.

“I have put together one of the most compelling ideas on why Aurora might have happened,” Sims said. “It is most interesting is whether an alien is buried in Aurora — or whether someone may have picked up the little bugger and taken him away.”

The History Channel production and many other sources do report the commonly accepted theory that all the fuss was the result of a sympathetic reporter and local collaborators drumming up interest in the town.

Aurora, it seems, was thought to be facing doom. Not from the sky, but rather from railway plans to bypass it, effectively removing it from the map of 19th century economics.

This week’s Halloween costumes probably won’t include the option of going as the Aurora Alien, but the next time someone mentions Roswell, N.M., you might remind them that historic accounts put Texas a half century ahead of their little green men.

More . . .

See Also: Fact Or Fiction? Space Alien Buried In Texas Town


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