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Out of this world tour; Town to revisit alien encounter

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, April 21, 2018
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Here Lies Ned

HERE LIES NED – According to legend, an alien crash-landed its ship in the small town of Aurora in 1897. “Ned,” as the locals call him, was supposedly buried at this spot in the town cemetery. Daniel Jones will lead a guided tour of the burial site April 28. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

In April of 1897, a Dallas Morning News writer named S.E. Haydon penned an article claiming a being who was “not an inhabitant of this world” crashed its spacecraft in the small town of Aurora, where the residents gathered up the wreckage and buried the body.

Truth or fiction, the legend of the alien that crash landed in Aurora has only grown in the 121 years since.

The supposed grave site of the extraterrestrial, fondly named “Ned” by Aurora City Administrator Toni Wheeler, is marked with a large rock where those interested in the legend often leave trinkets behind – watches, quartz and coins. Someone has drawn a little green man in a spaceship, writing “Rest in peace my alien brother.”

Daniel Jones, the program director of the DFW Mutual UFO Network, a group that researches UFO claims, will lead a tour near the crash site and in the graveyard in honor of Ned’s 121st anniversary. The free tour will start at 11 a.m. April 28 at the city’s alien monument off Texas 114, near the supposed spot where the ET fell to earth.

Aurora Legend

AURORA LEGEND – Daniel Jones believes that something happened in Aurora in April 1897, when a UFO supposedly crash-landed in the town, he’s just not sure if it was alien-related. Regardless, Jones wants people to keep an open mind when they tour the crash area and the grave site April 28. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Jones will share the story of the Aurora UFO and other, similar phenomena in Texas, and there will be food trucks available for lunch. After lunch, the group will head to the cemetery, where Jones will discuss the burial sites and other strange encounters. There will be a memorial for Jim Marrs, the local conspiracy theorist who helped make the Aurora legend popular, at the cemetery at 5 p.m.

Marrs is the one who introduced Jones to the story of Ned.

“I was fortunate enough to work with and study under Jim Marrs,” Jones said. “He was someone I think spearheaded alternative views of situations such as the Aurora incident and others, JFK and things like that, and his work in ufology, the study of UFOs, really spearheaded a lot of groundwork in research for other investigators.”

Marrs and Jones partnered with the city to create the Aurora Alien Encounter convention in 2016 and created a documentary about the UFO sighting. Marrs died in August, but Jones wants to keep up the interest Marrs generated for the Aurora crash.

“Jim Marrs referred to this case as the ‘smoking gun,'” Jones said. “It has everything you could want in an UFO case. We’re dealing not just with a UFO sighting, but a crash and a body.”

It’s especially interesting, Jones said, that the townspeople would consider burying the pilot of the craft in the local Masonic cemetery.

“They were acknowledging it was a person, or looked like one,” he said.

Personally, Jones believes there’s compelling anecdotal evidence that something happened in Aurora on April 17, 1897, he’s just not sure what.

“I like to entertain the possibility of aliens, but it could be something else,” he said.

Jones said people are more open to the idea of extraterristrial sightings since the Defense Department declassified videos showing U.S. Navy fighter pilots encountering unidentified aircraft.

Jones hopes those with any interest in UFO research will come to the tour to get an idea of what it’s about, or at least come and visit the town to learn more about Ned.

“It’s something people can check out at any time,” Jones said. “We’re looking to be more encouraging of that, to have an open mind. We don’t know everything about the world we live in.”

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