Article by Bartee Haile October 28, 2020 (haysfreepress.com)
- Texas’ history is full of UFO sightings. In 1873, stupefied farmworkers in Bonham, Texas, northeast of Dallas, reported that they an enormous “serpentine object” float overheard in broad daylight.
- This event was followed twenty years later by the first nationwide commotion concerning UFOs known as the ‘Great Airship Mystery’ in1896-97 when Americans saw giant propeller-powered flying machines slowly travel from the West Coast to the East over a six-month period. This was prior to the invention of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane. On Nov. 19, 1896, as an oblong craft flew over Oakland, California, witnesses said that they heard voices, laughter and Christmas carols emanating from the craft. In the weeks that followed, flying cigars and cylinders were spotted over Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis and countless other communities. In April 1897, an entire fleet of UFO’s caused a high-altitude traffic jam over metropolitan Chicago.
- A former Kansas Congressman reported an encounter when an airship hovered 30 feet off the ground and he could see six odd-looking creatures were plainly visible inside a transparent undercarriage. The shaken ex-lawmaker said, “I don’t know whether they were angels, devils or what.”
- Popular speculation hinted that the flying contraptions were the secret creations of Thomas Edison, proof of the public’s boundless confidence in the inventive genius. But Edison indignantly denied any involvement and dismissed the strange phenomena as an elaborate fraud.
- Meanwhile, a Dallas newspaper reported the crash of a spaceship in the town of Aurora, Texas near Fort Worth. According to a local correspondent named S.E. Hayden, the craft collided with a windmill and exploded killing the lone alien occupant. The blast “scattered debris over several acres of ground” but enough remained of the intergalactic guest “to show he was not an inhabitant of this world.” A local ‘authority’ on astronomy determined that the strange looking pilot of the craft “was a native of the planet Mars.” The deceased was given a Christian burial in Aurora.
- November 1951 saw the “Lubbock Lights” media frenzy when blue lights were observed and photographed by numerous eyewitnesses streaking across the sky on a crystal clear night over the Texas panhandle. Unable to dismiss four Texas Tech professors and an Atomic Energy Commission representative as crackpots, the Air Force blamed the light show on migratory birds.
- In 1957, glowing “eggs” materialized on highways outside Levelland, Texas, near Lubbock. Folks driving on the highway near the glowing orbs had their car engines suddenly die. Government investigators blamed them on ‘ball lightning’. But in 1973, the incident renewed the public’s interest in UFOs. Some of them went to the site of the old Aurora UFO incident but failed to find a single fragment of the shattered spacecraft. A team of Oklahoma UFO hunters requested to exhume the ‘Martian’ body in the Aurora cemetery, but were flatly denied. A guard was posted at the burial ground. Later on, the entire April 1897 Aurora incident was completely debunked as fiction, made up by the townspeople.
- Still, hoaxes, birds and ball lightning cannot explain the thousands of sightings in Texas and elsewhere for over a century. To borrow the tag line from a popular television show of the 1990’s, the truth may still be out there.
A torpedo-shaped sphere cruised the night sky over the West Texas town of Levelland on Nov. 2, 1957, while on the ground mysterious “eggs of light” blocked the roads.
The reexamination of the so-called “Roswell Incident” in the 1990’s revived interest in Unidentified Flying Objects. Although nothing in the Lone Star past can compete with the controversial claim that a flying saucer crashed in the New Mexico desert 73 years ago, Texas history is full of out-of-this-world sightings.
Farmworkers at Bonham filed one of the earliest reports on record in 1873. Stupefied laborers swore they saw an enormous “serpentine object” float overheard in broad daylight.
This obscure episode preceded by a generation the Great Airship Mystery, the first nationwide commotion concerning UFO’s. Starting on the Pacific coast in November 1896 and slowly moving eastward for six sensational months, thousands of Americans insisted they gazed upon giant flying machines two decades before the Wright brothers mastered heavier-than-air flight.
An oblong, propeller-powered craft supposedly churned against the wind over Sacramento on Nov. 19, 1896. The next day a similar airship mystified
Oakland, where onlookers said they heard voices, laughter and Christmas carols.
During the wacky weeks that followed, flying cigars and cylinders were spotted over Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis and countless other communities. In April 1897, an entire fleet of UFO’s caused a high-altitude traffic jam over metropolitan Chicago.
A former congressman had a Kansas encounter of the much-too-close kind. As an airship hovered 30 feet off the ground, six odd-looking creatures were plainly visible inside a transparent undercarriage. The shaken ex-lawmaker said, “I don’t know whether they were angels, devils or what.”
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