Before Roswell, there was Aurora. On April 17th, 1897, an alien craft crashed down on a farm near Aurora, Texas, smashing into a windmill and resulting in the occupant’s death.
The farmland belonged to a judge J.S. Proctor and the crash was reported to an Army officer out of Fort Worth, Texas. The alien astronoaut was described as “not of this world”, and Martian, which was the parlance of the time. The Martian was buried in the Aurora cemetery with full Christian rites.
The debris of the U.F.O., or airship was thrown into a nearby well. The farm was later purchased by a man named Brawly Oates in 1935. Oates cleaned out the debris from the well and used it for his drinking water. He soon developed an extreme case of arthritis and figured it was on account of the wreckage contaminating the well.
Barbra Brammer, a former mayor to Aurora, researched this incident and came to the conclusion it was likely a hoax with good intentions. The town of Aurora was in the middle of a bad luck streak and was in danger of becoming a ghost town, so, a local reporter decided to cook up a Martian story in order to draw interest and possibly new life into a dying town.