The oldest known graves, here, dating from as early as the 1860s, are those of the Randall and Rowlett families. Finis Dudley Beauchamp (1825-1893), a Confederate veteran from Mississippi, donated the 3-acre site to the newly- formed Aurora Lodge No. 479, A.F. & A.M., in 1877. For many years, this community burial ground was known as Masonic Cemetery. Beauchamp, his wife Caroline (1829-1915), and others in their family. An epidemic which struck the village in 1891 added hundreds of graves to the plot. Called “Spotted Fever” by the settlers, the disease is now thought to be a form of meingitis. Located in Aurora Cemetery is the gravestone of the infant Nellie Burris (1891-1893) with its often-quoted epitaph: “As I was so soon done, I don’t know why I was begun.” This site is also well-known because of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash, was buried here. Struck by epidemic and crop failure and bypassed by the railroad, the original town of Aurora almost disappeared, but the cemetery remains in use with over 800 graves. Veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts are interred here.
These are the words on the Historical Marker that is in the Cemetary in the sleepy little town of Aurora Tx. Aurora is on Hwy 114 in Wise County Texas. Although the population now is just 1400, back in the late 1800’s it was the largest town in Wise County with a population exceeding 5000.
In the late 1890’s Aurora hit some hard times. The cotton crops were wiped out by a boll wevil infestation, then a fire claimed several buildings and lives on the west side of town. Shortly after this a spotted fever epidemic wiped out most of the population causing the town to be quarantined. After all of this the planned railroad that was supposed to come into to town got within 27 miles but never made it into town.
Fast forward to April 17, 1897. In the early morning hours ,what is described as an alien craft crashed into the windmill over the well on the property of Judge James Spencer Proctor, destroying the windmill and his flower garden. There was a large explosion and debris flew everywhere over an area several acres wide.. The pilot of the alien aircraft was taken to a barn and attempted to be saved but died that day.
According to the Fort Worth paper the alien pilot was given a Christian burial in the Aurora Cemetery at noon the next day. On April 19, 1897 the Dallas Morning News ran an article about the crash and about sightings in 21 different towns in North Texas between April 15 and April 19, 1897.
The Proctor property was bought by the Oates family who have claimed nothing would grow there for years The Oates family also suffered from health problems including cysts and goiters supposedly from drinking the well water.
Over the years, different groups have attempted to dig up the alien body but have been turned away by towns members. The headstone marker which was the only thing pointing out the grave disappeared in 1973. After this happened the cemetery board hired an attorney to fight researchers who wanted to exhume the body. The town had been wiped out by a spotted fever epidemic in 1888 and the officials did not want the bodies disturbed. Graves we not well marked at the time and there was fear that digging might happen in the wrong place and disturb the rest of citizens.
There have been claims over the years that it was all a hoax. One person stated there was never a windmill on Judge Proctors property, however in 2008 a crew from a UFO television show investigated and dug up struts for a windmill around the well. There have also been reports of interviews with people who were alive at the time of the crash that stated government personnel appeared in town the day after the crash and took the wreckage away.
Short of finding the gravesite and digging up the body, we will never know if there is actually an alien buried in Aurora TX or not. Truth or legend, it is and likely will always remain part of the history and claim to fame for this small Texas town.
Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=52130170
Booth, B. (n.d.). 1897-The Aurora, Texas UFO Crash. Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://ufos.about.com/od/bestufocrashcases/p/aurora.htm
Greetings Earthling… Welcome to the portal of the City of Aurora. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://www.auroratexas.gov/