While it receives no fanfare today, the small town of Aurora, Texas was once the Roswell of its day after a well-publicized UFO crash in the area, and the pilot of the spacecraft is said to still be buried in the local cemetery.
According to a story run in the April 19, 1897, edition of the Dallas Morning News a “mystery airship,” as UFOs were known in those days, came sailing out of the sky, smashing through a windmill belonging to Judge J.S. Proctor, before finally crashing into the ground. The debris also destroyed the good judge’s flower garden. Unfortunately the pilot was also killed in the collision, but locals were able to drag what was described as a “petite” and “Martian” body from the wreckage. The body was supposedly buried under a tree branch in the Aurora cemetery, observing good Christian rites.
As the story goes, the locals placed a headstone on the spot with a crude etching of the alien’s ship on it, although no evidence of this (hoax or no) exists. However a more modern version of this apocryphal gravestone did eventually appear, placed under a tree in the spot the body was supposedly buried. UFO enthusiasts even began petitioning the cemetery to exhume the spot. So far the request has been denied.
Today, the alien’s headstone has been stolen but all traces of the Wild West alien spot are not lost. The Texas state historical marker that commemorates the cemetery still mentions the Martian burial among the other honored (and real) dead buried at the site.