In 1897, six years before humans took to the sky by airplane, eyewitnesses from California to Michigan to Louisiana reported seeing mysterious cigar-shaped crafts sailing gently through the sky. But one of them stood out from the others. Something had crashed.
Part 1 - "A windmill demolishes it"
Early on the morning of April 17, 1897 a craft was seen over the little Texas town of Aurora. The craft came from the south and seemed to have mechanical problems. The craft lost altitude and crashed into a windmill on Judge J.S. Proctor property about 06:00 am. local time.
The craft destroyed upon impact and debris was scattered around the windmill. Witnesses that seen the craft coming rushed to the scene to see the still smoldering wreckage. As they searched through the debris, a small dead body was found, said to be the pilot of the craft.
NOT OF THIS WORLD
T.J. Weems, an army officer from nearby Forth Worth, said that it was not of this world and said it had to come from Mars. The body was given a proper Christian burial on April 18, the day after.
Almost all of the above information comes from an article published in the April 19 edition of Dallas Morning Star, who was written by one S.E. Hayden, a resident of Aurora. It states as follow:
"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.
T.J. Weems, the U.S. Signal Service Officer at this place and an authority on astronomy, gave it as his opinion that (the pilot) was a native from the planet of 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 conclusions as to its construction or motive power. The town is full of people today who are viewing the wreck and gathering specimens of strange metal from the debris. The pilot's funeral will take place tomorrow."
Image left: The news report printed in Dallas Morning Star on April 19 mentioning the incident.
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