I had the distinct privilege of palling around with my heroes this past weekend at the first annual ParaMania Unconference in Dallas, Texas. The fellowship was life-changing, and I mean that non-hyperbolically; ever since I entered into the realm of the paranormal, I have been looking up to the likes of Greg Bishop and Red Pill Junkie, and articulating the feeling of hanging out with them over three days is simply not within my vocabulary (meeting Tim Binnall, Cam Hale, Kyle Philson, Miles Lewis, Roejen Razorwire, hanging out with my NC brother Micah Hanks, and introducing myself to a ton of exciting new faces was a thick layer of icing on the cake!).
As the youngest of the group (I believe), I thank everyone’s tolerance of my youthful shenanigans.
On our final day, we made our way out to Aurora, site of an alleged 1897 airship crash. According to town legend, the pilot—said to be “not of this earth” (or a “space mammy,” for my ParaMania buddies)—crashed its ship into a windmill on the property of Judge J.S. Proctor early the morning of April 17. The pilot was buried in the nearby cemetery, the scattered wreckage of its airship carelessly tossed into a well near the windmill. Stories abound that a strange, aggressive form of arthritis beset those who sought to remove the wreckage, or partook of its water.
During our brief visit we stopped by the cemetery, where the pleasant presence of author Jim Marrs awaited us. Today, a large boulder marks the “alien” gravesite, replacing the original headstone that was stolen years earlier.
The well still exists too, an unassuming hole in the ground marked by the gate of a chain link fence, serving as a makeshift cover. You wouldn’t find it if you didn’t know where to look; luckily for us, Daniel Jones, who is hosting next week’s Aurora Alien Encounter event, was along for the journey, and kindly pointed us in the right direction.
Was the Aurora crash an alien spacecraft? Did it happen at all? I’m not sure. If my feet were held to the fire, I’d probably side with something akin to Walter Bosley’s research involving airships and secret societies.
My interests tend toward notions often too esoteric for fellow esoterics, notions that dovetail with Loren Coleman’s thoughts on “twilight language,” odd, seemingly tenuous connections that suggest a larger narrative at play behind the scenes of our everyday reality. I find it more interesting that the resting place of the pilot is a Masonic cemetery, or that for years conspiracy theorists have whispered of a secret aircraft called the Aurora.
Ufological phenomena is theatrical. Symbolism is the currency of communication in these events, and Aurora may be no different.
Before we proceed further, know that I’m not entirely sure what I’m suggesting in writing this, just that there are some curious thematic consistencies that might be worth addressing.
With that in mind, let’s broaden our interpretational perspective and double down on the symbolism of the Aurora Crash. I have long found Carl Jung’s thoughts on the UFO phenomena fascinating, in particular his theory that the circular nature of flying saucers is somehow an expression of the mandala, a circular eastern symbol representing mankind’s desire for wholeness and completion.
While the Aurora craft was not saucer-shaped—more akin to a cigar, according to witnesses—it nonetheless crashed into a mandala of sorts: the windmill.
Jung often compared mandala iconography to the ouroboros, the alchemical sign of the snake consuming its own tail. To the alchemists, this image represented the final goal of their efforts, the spiritual and material totality achieved by creating the Philosopher’s Stone. The ouroboros, however, not only depicts totality but also cyclicality, something evident in the ever-spinning spokes of the windmill.
Could the Aurora airship—or, more accurately, the phenomena people interpreted as an airship—have been somehow “drawn” to this powerful Jungian symbol?
If not the windmill, then perhaps the well. Unexplained phenomena have a well-documented affinity for water. The frequency of sasquatch sightings in the United States can be directly correlated with an area’s average rainfall, and the beasts are often seen traversing near (even through) rivers. Ghost researchers have long posited that spirit phenomena might be catalyzed by underground sources of running water. Moreover, Russian UFO researcher Vladimir Azhazha once stated:
50% of UFO encounters are connected with oceans and 15% more with lakes. So UFOs tend to stick to the water.
Regardless of how you view Azhazha’s credibility, this is a widespread ufological assumption.
The Aurora craft crashed right on top of a well, rather than in the vast surrounding Texas scrub. True, there is plenty of water around Aurora in the form of small ponds and, some miles to the south, the sizeable Eagle Mountain Lake. The windmill, however, was built upon one of the highest spots in Wise County; perhaps some combination of the two caused the phenomena to focus on this exact location.
The presence of water brings up an even more niche line of thought. Consider the timeline of the Aurora crash: an aircraft hits a windmill, resulting in an explosion. Some reports claim that the pilot was burned; either way, the body was buried in earth, the airship debris disposed of in a well.
It is easy to argue that the windmill represents “air,” the explosion “fire,” the burial “earth,” the well “water.” These are the classical elements of antiquity, the building blocks of western scientific thought. Each of these fundamental elements “consumed” (or decomposed, or destroyed—all three are the same in alchemical thought) the Aurora aircraft and pilot in its own way: air (windmill) collided with the craft; fire (explosion) consumed the craft; water (well) consumed the remnants; and earth (burial) consumed the body.
These classical elements were also essential to the arcane alchemical process. Both fire and water, for instance, were crucial in achieving the alchemist’s ultimate goal, the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone. The final stage of this process, just prior to the Stone’s formation, was called the albedo, the daybreak, when the precious metal (or the self) had been elevated into a “sun state.”
“Aurora,” of course, means "sunrise." So we have the symbol of alchemical unity—the windmill, simultaneously representing air—destroying/destroyed by an unknown force in an act of fire, then further broken down by water and earth. The unknowable rendered into its base components.
In this sense, the Aurora event was a reversal of the alchemical process, the fantastic rendered mundane. It is the antithesis of what we tend to think UFOs cases should embody—whereas most crashes end in government cover ups, the Aurora event ends with a Christian burial in a Texas cemetery. It would be difficult to conceive of a more humdrum conclusion.
If we entertain the possibility that UFOs might perhaps be spiritual in nature, it is almost as if the non-material was rendered material in Aurora that morning; that is to say, physicality was asserted upon an ethereal phenomena. The four classical elements asserted their dominance upon the phenomena, and succeeded.
To borrow from Marian lore, the Aurora event was something of a “reverse assumption”; whereas the Blessed Virgin was escorted into heaven from earth, the UFO phenomena was brought from heaven to earth. The fantastic made mundane.
Or hell, maybe it was just a space mammy.