On April 19, 1897, a “Mystery Airship” plummeted from the sky and crashed to the ground in tiny, remote Aurora, Texas. The bizarre mishap was seen by dozens of witnesses. The bewildered townspeople buried the alien pilot in the local cemetery.
Further, between 1895 – 1898, across numerous American small towns spanning three Southwestern states – Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana – there were many of these mysterious airship sightings. Witnesses passed along their verbal accounts which soon became family legends. A few witnesses shared the details with newspaper reporters, others documented events in civic records or personal letters.
Across four years, three states, thousands of miles…. there were many hundreds of first hand eye witnesses who recounted similar tales of a “cigar shaped flying craft,” and short brown men who appeared alongside the spacecraft. (Interestingly, in the majority of cases, the short men spoke English and were very grateful for the hospitality bestowed on them.)
Five years later, 1902, the Wright brothers debuted their most advanced glider: “Our new machine is a very great improvement over anything…anyone has built. Everything is so much more satisfactory that we now believe that the flying problem is really nearing its solution.” Wilbur Wright October 2, 1902
What are we supposed to make these mystifying spotting of UFOs during the last few years of the 19th century… aliens? I do believe in life on other planets and would love to accept these events as more proof of aliens and UFOs. But in this case, I actually believe these are incidents that prove the U.S. government was far more advanced in the testing of flying machines than anyone ever suspected, for clearly the military would have been trying to create an airship at the same time so many engineers and scientists around the world were experimenting with the possibility.
Abbreviated TIMELINE of AVIATION:
- 1802, hot air balloons are put into use
- 1842, British engineer William Samuel Henson designs and patents a “power-driven airplane with steam engine drive”
- 1843, William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow incorporate Aeriel Transit Company, the 1st air transport company
- 1845, William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow build a model aircraft, powered by steam
- 1848, William Samuel Henson “flies a powered monoplane a few dozen feet” (Wikipedia)
- 1852, Henri Giffard, French engineer, flies 17 miles in a dirigible at 10 km/h
- Next several decades are an extensive list of engineers from nearly every major country around the globe (England, France, Italy, Russia, Japan, etc) designing airships out of metal, with motors, some with propellers
- 1883, Gaston Tissandier (France), takes flight in first electric-powered dirigible
- 1884, French Army makes the first flight that returns to its starting point
- 1896, Samuel Pierpont Langley flies an unmanned Aerodome over the Potomac
“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.
Mr. T. J. Weems, the U. S. Army Signal Services officer at this place and on astronomy gives it as his opinion that the pilot was an native of the planet Mars. Papers found on his person… evidently the records of his travels… are written in some unknown hieroglyphics and cannot be deciphered. The ship was too badly wrecked to form any conclusion to its construction or its motive power. It was built of an unknown metal, resembling somewhat a mixture of aluminum and silver, and it must have weighed several tons. The town, today, is full of people who are viewing the wreckage and gathering specimens of strange metal from the debris. The pilot’s funeral will take place tomorrow”.
“The article was written by E. E. Haydon, who was a part time reporter for the Morning News.” (Courtesy of James L. Choron, TexasEscapes)