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Author, conspiracy theorist dies

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Jim Marrs, local author and conspiracy theorist who studied the Aurora alien spaceship crash of 1897, died Wednesday. He was 73.

According to a post on Marrs’ official Facebook page, he died following a heart attack. Marrs bowed out of speaking engagements earlier this year due to poor health.

Jim Marrs

Marrs is best known for his 1989 book on the John F. Kennedy assassination, “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy,” which reached the New York Times paperback non-fiction best seller list and provided inspiration for Oliver Stone’s film “JFK.” Marrs’ 1997 book “Alien Agenda,” which delved into the world of UFOs, was the top-selling non-fiction UFO book in the world.

Marrs told the Messenger in a 2011 interview that the Aurora spaceship crash was the best evidence of UFOs he’d ever seen.

“I think the Aurora story is as strong as you can get,” he said. “It had contemporary reports from newspapers. And it was corroborated with all these other stories. The stories started appearing in 1896 in California. There were stories across the nation. Then after the crash in Aurora, there were no more stories. Something happened.

“This was six years before the Wright Brothers flew. There was nothing in the air.”

A documentary on the Aurora crash featuring Marrs was played at the 2016 Aurora Alien Encounter, an event that celebrates the town’s legend.

Marrs formerly worked as a journalist at the Denton Record Chronicle, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. During his time at the Telegram, Marrs also wrote scripts and acted for the “Fort Worth Gridiron Show.”

“He was an extremely talented guy, in so many different ways,” said Messenger publisher Roy Eaton, who was on the “Gridiron Show” with Marrs. “He was a really talented writer and reporter; a true character.”

Marrs also taught a course on Kennedy’s assassination at the University of Texas in Arlington from 1976 to 2007. Marrs wrote more than a dozen books on conspiracy theories and appeared as a guest on a number of talk and television shows, including the History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” and “History’s Mysteries.”

His final book, “The Illuminati: The Secret Society That Hijacked the World” was published earlier this year.

“People put me down as a conspiracy theorist, or call me a nut,” Marrs told the Messenger in 2011. “That’s all right because I know of what I speak. I only write about things I can prove or support. Saying ‘I don’t believe that’ is not a valid argument. That’s fine. It’s an opinion, but it’s not facts or knowledge.

“The whole world history is a giant conspiracy,” Marrs added. “My motto is, ‘If it’s not an act of God, it’s a conspiracy.’ Ships sink, planes crash, auto accidents happen, everything is not a conspiracy. But if it’s not an act of God, somebody planned it.”

According to Marrs’ Facebook page, his family will hold a “Texas-sized” wake for him at their home next month.

Jim Marrs


Jim Marrs, 73, died Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Wise County.

Jim was born Dec. 5, 1943, in Fort Worth.

He received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas and attended graduate school at Texas Tech in Lubbock. He has worked for several Texas newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Beginning in 1976 until his retirement in 2007, Marrs taught a course on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at the University of Texas at Arlington. In 1989, his book, “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy,” was published to critical acclaim and reached the New York Times paperback non-fiction best seller list. It became a basis for the Oliver Stone film “JFK.”

Other books by Marrs include “Alien Agenda” (1997), which was the top-selling non-fiction UFO book in the world, “Rule by Secrecy” (2000), “The Terror Conspiracy Revisited” (2007), “The Rise of the Fourth Reich” (2008), “The Trillion-Dollar Conspiracy” (2010), “Our Occulted History” (2013), “Population Control” (2015) and his last book “The Illuminati” (2017).

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Marrs is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carol; daughters Cathryn Lafitte of Fort Worth and Jayme Castle and her husband, Chris; brother David and wife, Sandy, of Bridgeport; and grandchildren Moxy, Jackson and Scout.

Memorial donations to go toward Jim’s medical expenses can be sent to: P.O. Box 189, Springtown, TX 76082 or visit

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