The Aliens at Aurora

May 19, 2013

This is from Notes To My Kids. All of you who are interested in UFOs will recognize this story.

To Roger and Jane:

In 1897, it is said that a UFO came flying low over Aurora, Texas, hit a windmill, and crashed, casting wreckage over several acres of farmland near the town. Supposedly, the body of the pilot of the alien saucer was buried in the cemetery there. This series of events was even reported in the Dallas Morning News, which still publishes to this day. In the present time, this purported “Texas Roswell” has been investigated, but no set of data or facts has emerged to prove or disprove the story absolutely. But the general opinion is that it was a hoax of some kind, perhaps done to save the town of Aurora, which was shrinking in size.

Regardless of the truth of the matter, we went up there one weekend with MeeMaw to see the site and the cemetery. Aurora is not far from Fort Worth, being just west of Rhome, which lies on highway US 287. Aurora, itself, has few buildings, and one could make the case it is hardly a town. But the story of the UFO looms larger than the city limits do, and we arrived there one afternoon.
After exiting 287 and arriving in Aurora, we went to three places. The cemetery was first, the hilltop where the UFO supposedly crashed was second, and the UFO gift shop, painted green like an alien, was the last.

At the cemetery, a state historical marker about the incident explains the story and talks about the UFO’s pilot being in an unmarked grave. We entered the graveyard, which was covered with oak trees, and looked around its grounds. I had seen some information in a book that discussed possible locations of the alien’s grave, and we went to those places and looked around. We didn’t solve the mystery, so we then went up to the hill, where the stories say the spacecraft crashed.

Right by Highway 114, which bisects Aurora, we went up a road to the top of a low lying hill, where a couple of houses stand. You can go only so far since there are fences and gates around the homes. If you did not know the story of the UFO, the scene could be anyone’s rural abode: no historical marker or shrine—just houses, outbuildings, equipment, and some junk. No sign of a long, downed saucer was seen.

We went back down the hill to our last stop in our investigation: the green UFO museum and gift shop. It is a small house by the road, mere yards from the supposed crash site. We parked and went inside to look at their wares. On its shelves, one saw UFO books and VCR tapes— this was a little before DVDs were the rage. Of course, there were toy aliens and UFOs as well, plus some arts and crafts for the not-so-extra-terrestrially inclined.

But one thing did catch my eye that I bought for Jane. That thing was a drawing by a local artist that showed a cowboy pointing up and shouting a dire warning about things coming from the sky to Aurora. To me, that was the most unique thing in that entire green structure. We took it home, and I had it framed; and for a while at least, it hung on Jane’s bedroom wall, but I do not know where it is now, I am afraid.

But whether or not that neat picture still exists, tucked away in some box of half-forgotten mementos, is not important really. What is important is the fact that stories come down to us from the past to be considered in the present. These tales can be myths, something historical and real, or a story like Aurora that is somewhere between fact and fiction. Spending time together to see if they are real is the big discovery to be unearthed, you see. Going to some slightly out of the way place to see something new or strange is an expedition well worth the time. Especially, if one’s companions and crew are not a bunch of aliens in an UFO, but instead are the ones you dearly love.

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The Aquarium Note To Jane

May 5, 2013

Sometimes something at work connects with family. An email turns into a note. Life turns around us. One day this may be in book #5. Yes, i have to do #4 next….

To Jane:

Do you recall that clear blue water bottle and blue shark adorned coffee mug I bought at Aquarium in downtown Houston when we ate there last fall? I have them at work and I lug the water bottle around with me to my many meetings. Yesterday in a meeting a man asked me about them and which Aquarium I bought them at. He goes to Galveston sometimes. We talked about it some, plus the Houston Aquarium restaurant which he has not been to. I think he went to the one in Kemah perhaps.

That happy day in Houston, and others like it in Galveston with you, seems like a long time ago already. Days from another world and time gone forever now that you have graduated and moved away to Tennessee – the place where the Martin’s, Meemaw’s mom’s family, came from.

All of that, like Roger moving back here from Atlanta, is simply a new turn, or two, on the Wheel Of Life, eh? And sometimes the Wheel takes you back to those places that our family hales from like Tennessee. The Wheel turned for some of our ancestors over a century ago and we appeared here in Texas. Some of those same folk’s kin – like Linda Gupton (she writes too) – live near you now. So the Wheels turning returned some us, you that is, to from whence we came.

But we never know in advance how it will turn, but turn it does and life goes on for us within the larger world around us regardless of where we find ourselves when it stops its endless circles for a time. And turn again the Wheel will, always providing something new in our lives to suffer through, exalt in, or try.

But I digress, now back to my work and you should go sell some more pretty tropical fish and coral – where you work is another stop of the Wheel too you know.

Love Dad