HomeReligionUFO Religion: Flying Saucer Cults and Crashes

UFO Religion: Flying Saucer Cults and Crashes

Gregory L. Reece.

Early Accounts Of Extraterrestrial Craft: The Stockton Evening Mail Report

In the November 19, 1896 edition of the Stockton Evening Mail, one of the earliest written accounts of a sighting of an extraterrestrial craft was documented. Colonel H. G. Shaw, while driving his buggy through the countryside near Stockton, California, claimed to have encountered what appeared to be a grounded spacecraft.

Described as one hundred and fifty feet in length and twenty-five feet in diameter, the vessel had sharp points on both ends and featured a large rudder on its smooth metallic surface. The presence of three strange beings accompanying the craft further heightened the inexplicable nature of the encounter. This report and similar accounts from the nineteenth century have intrigued researchers exploring the mysteries of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and extraterrestrial phenomena.

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Standing nearly seven feet tall and possessing a remarkably slender build, the beings approached Colonel Shaw emitting an unusual warbling sound. They inspected Shaw’s horse and buggy and attempted unsuccessfully to coerce him into joining them aboard their spacecraft. Lacking the necessary physical strength to compel him, they hurried back onto their craft without their intended captive.

Shortly thereafter, the vessel ascended from the ground and swiftly vanished into the sky. Shaw speculated that the beings hailed from Mars and pondered whether their mission to California involved the abduction of an Earthling for unknown, possibly sinister purposes. He mused that their failure to overpower him might deter further such endeavors.

Aurora, Texas Encounter: The Airship’s Return (April 17, 1897)

On April 17, 1897, S. E. Haydon, a cotton merchant and occasional correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, relayed a remarkable account of the return of the mysterious airship. He reported that the airship was sighted above Aurora, Texas, around six o’clock in the morning.

Unlike previous sightings, it was observed traveling north at a significantly lower altitude than usual. Haydon’s report detailed the unexpected reappearance of the airship, sparking intrigue and speculation among the populace.

It appears that the airship experienced mechanical issues, as observers noted it traveling at a reduced speed of only ten or twelve miles per hour and gradually descending toward the ground. As it passed over the public square and headed towards the northern part of town, it collided with Judge Proctor’s windmill tower, resulting in a powerful explosion.

The impact caused the airship to break apart, scattering debris across several acres of land and causing significant damage to the windmill, water tank, and the judge’s flower garden.

Extraterrestrial Encounter in Aurora, Texas: Aftermath Of The Crash

After the crash of the airship in Aurora, Texas, investigators discovered that the sole occupant, a crewman, had perished in the accident, with his body severely burned and disfigured. Despite the damage, it was evident that the crewman was not of terrestrial origin. Mr. T. J. Weems, a US Signal Service officer, asserted his belief that the crewman hailed from Mars.

Investigators discovered papers inscribed with hieroglyphics that defied translation among the belongings found on the crewman’s person. They noted that the craft itself sustained significant damage and observed that it consisted of a combination of aluminum and silver, weighing several tons. Curious townspeople gathered to inspect the wreckage and collect unusual metal souvenirs. Plans were made for a funeral service to honor the deceased pilot the following day.

Surprisingly, the newspaper did not prominently feature the Aurora, Texas encounter report; instead, it appeared inconspicuously on page five. This placement raises doubts about the seriousness with which the newspaper regarded the story, as significant events typically merit front-page coverage.

Additionally, it is notable that only the Fort Worth Register joined in reporting the incident, suggesting limited interest from other media outlets. Neither the Dallas Morning News nor the Fort Worth Register deemed it necessary to dispatch reporters to Aurora, despite its proximity, to cover the purported funeral of the spaceman scheduled for the following day. Furthermore, no local obituaries mentioned the funeral, casting further skepticism on the authenticity of the event.

Revival And Investigation: The Aurora, Texas UFO Incident

The Aurora, Texas UFO incident remained largely forgotten until Frank Tolbert, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, brought it back into public consciousness in the mid-1960s. After a reader sent him a copy of the original story, Tolbert’s revival of the tale coincided with the peak of UFO interest in the 1960s. Ufologists seized upon the notion that a saucer might have crashed in Texas during the late nineteenth century.

In subsequent years, saucer investigators, including a well-publicized team sponsored by the Mutual UFO Network in 1973, descended upon the town of Aurora to probe the incident. The 1973 version of the story garnered significantly more attention than its original counterpart. Investigators managed to locate witnesses who were willing to testify that they recalled hearing about the saucer crash from relatives who claimed to have witnessed it firsthand. While second-hand accounts may seem less compelling, investigators made other discoveries during the investigations.

Aurora Cemetery Investigation: The Search For The Extraterrestrial Grave

During investigations within the Aurora Cemetery, some researchers believed they had located the burial site of the extraterrestrial pilot. Their attention centered on an old grave marked by a rudimentary sandstone marker adorned with a triangle containing three small circles. While skeptics dismissed these markings as random features of the stone, others became convinced that they symbolized the crashed airship from years past.

Adding to the intrigue, metal detectors detected signs of metal beneath the gravesite, prompting investigators to request permission for exhumation. However, to their disappointment, officials denied their request, dashing their hopes.

During the early hours of June 14, 1973, someone stole the tombstone marking the supposed grave of the spaceman in the Aurora cemetery. Reports emerged, as detailed in the July 4, 1973, Dallas Times Herald, indicating that the thieves utilized long metal probes to investigate the grave, potentially collecting metallic samples or specimens from the body. The current whereabouts of the stolen tombstone and any analysis conducted on the collected materials remain undisclosed.

Early UFO Encounter: The Nebraska Nugget Report (1884)

The Nebraska Nugget of Holdrege, Nebraska, featured an account in 1884 that predates the Aurora crash story. According to this report, on June 6, 1884, rancher John Ellis and three herdsmen were conducting a round-up when they heard a loud noise emanating from above. Upon looking up, they witnessed a flaming object descending to the earth. Rushing to the crash site, the men discovered various pieces of machinery, including cog-wheels, strewn across the ground. The machinery emitted intense heat, causing scorch marks wherever it came into contact with the earth. The article vividly depicted the scene of this early UFO encounter:

The extreme heat emitted by the peculiar wreckage overwhelmed a cowboy named Williamson, causing him to collapse when he approached too closely. His face exhibited blisters, and his hair was severely singed. Reports indicated that his condition was perilous.

The party, unable to safely approach the mysterious visitor, retreated along their trail. Upon the initial impact, the ground beneath the wreck was sandy and devoid of vegetation. The sand had fused to an unknown depth within an area approximately 20 feet wide by 30 feet long, while the melted material emitted bubbling and hissing sounds.

Examination of Wreckage: Discovery of Strange Objects

Upon cooling, the wreckage became accessible for closer examination:

Using a spade, someone recovered a piece resembling the blade of a propeller screw, appearing brass-like in metal, measuring approximately 16 inches in width, 3 inches in thickness, and 3½ feet in length. Despite its relatively light weight of around five pounds, the piece exhibited remarkable strength and solidity.

Another fragment, resembling a wheel segment with a milled rim and an estimated seven or eight feet diameter, was also retrieved. It shared the same material composition and exhibited similar remarkable lightness.

The main component UFO, purportedly an aerolite or similar object, appeared cylindrical, measuring about 50 to 60 feet long and 10 to 12 feet in diameter.

Additional newspaper reports similar to the Aurora crash and the Nebraska Nugget story might have existed, but they are now lost to history. These accounts, including the crashes and deceased extraterrestrials mentioned, are likely best-considered newspaper hoaxes. However, it’s important to recognize that long before the UFO craze of the 1950s and 1960s, and even before the widely publicized 1947 Roswell incident, stories of crashed spaceships and extraterrestrial beings were already present in popular culture.

While these nineteenth-century tales, such as Roswell, may not have directly influenced the more famous crash stories of the twentieth century, they offer early glimpses into themes that would later become prominent. The resurgence of interest in UFOs and extraterrestrial encounters in the twentieth century brought these nineteenth-century stories back into the spotlight from relative obscurity.

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Prakriti Paudel
Prakriti Paudel
Prakriti Paudel, a meticulous editor and insightful writer, navigates the realms of storytelling with precision and creativity.

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