The Real Story Behind The 1897 Aurora Incident: When A UFO Destroyed A Windmill

By Sophia Maddox | December 19, 2023

The Aurora Incident

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A windmill at dawn. Source: (Sharpshooters/VWPics/UIG via Getty Images)

Forget Roswell and the UFO that reportedly crashed there in 1947. Fifty years earlier, in 1897, the town of Aurora, Texas, may have had an unearthly visitor crash land there, taking out the local judge’s windmill in the process. And according to the newspaper reports of the time, it is just possible that the alien who was piloting the ill-fated spacecraft is still in Aurora today, buried in the local cemetery. Let’s examine what is known about the U.S.’s earliest reported flying saucer crash. 

What did They do with the Wreckage?

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There were no dumpsters or recycling centers in 1897, so the people of Aurora disposed of the wreckage the same way they disposed of much of their discarded items. They threw them in the well. Years later, in 1935, Brawley Oates, the new owner of the land, decided to clear out the debris from the well so it could again be used as a source of water. He spent long hours cleaning out the well. Later, he developed a severe case of arthritis that left his hands deformed, knotted, and twisted. Oates believed that the water in the well had become contaminated by the alien wreckage. He filled the well in with concrete and built a shed on top of it.