There is something about the Wild Weird West that evokes a UFOlogical feel to me. Perhaps its just the similar folktale, friend-of-a-friend nature of some western tall tales.
I’ve still not seen Cowboys and Aliens. I’ve wanted to but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I know, I know…
Anyway, here is an excerpt from a blurb in the Books section of Huffington Post (of all places) discussing a recent book (from Roswell Books) doing some chronicling of Wild West UFO History and comparing that to the media’s portrayal of the subject in the recent Cowboys and Aliens film:
Just like “Cowboys & Aliens” was not the first western movie ever made, UFO encounters did not begin with the alleged Roswell UFO crash in 1947.
In fact, there were hundreds of reported sightings of UFOs and extraterrestrials between 1840 and 1900, according to Noe Torres, a librarian in South Texas, and John LeMay, a historical archivist in Roswell, N.M.
The two have documented 14 of those sightings in a new book, “The Real Cowboys & Aliens: UFO Encounters of the Old West,” which Torres published via his own company, Roswell Books, which specializes in paranormal literature.
The book analyzes UFO reports that took place in America between 1840 and 1900, the period when “Cowboys & Aliens” is set, and contrary to what the characters played by Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig think of the creatures — they call them “demons” — LeMay said the idea that Earth could be visited by people from other planets wasn’t an alien concept.
The Mufon STAR TEAM lead field investigator I met recently (Fletcher Gray) suggested the body in the story looked alien and child like from burning up and shrinking into the fetal position and that it was likely the body of the pilot/inventor of whatever airship had crashed.
But just like with the other UFO flaps / eras, there seem to be far too many reports for it to be a lone mad scientist flying contraption inventor.
One good book on the Texas flap is The Great Texas Airship Mystery. Another interesting “alternate” take is this awesome art book: THE SECRETS OF DELLSCHAU – The Sonora Aero Club & the Airships of the 1800s, A True Story by Dennis Crenshaw in collaboration with P.G. Navarro.
The FringeWare store in Austin (and its print publication FringeWare Review) fixated on Aurora for a time, with dark fiction writer and former head of the Temple of Set Don Webb and the FringeWare folks cooperating to replace the stolen/missing gravestone for the poor abandoned alien:
- – FringeWare Benefit Honors UFO / Aurora Marker Project
- – Aurora’s Harbinger: A Fable for the Fin de Siecle by Jeff Gorvetzian
- – Cowboy Hats of the Gods: UFO Millenial Cults in Texas by Doc Hambone
- – Donn Webb’s (former Temple of Set High Priest) support of the Aurora Marker Project
More recently, UFO expert Jerry Clark has expounded upon his own investigations into the strange Texas tales of airship encounters. He reminded me about the Beaumont and Deadwood Texas Airship Sightings:
(Go to the 7 minute 25 second mark on the second video.)
“Finally, early in the evening of April 30, in Deadwood, Texas, a farmer named H. C. Lagrone heard his horses bucking as if in stampede. Going outside, he saw a bright white light circling around the fields nearby and illuminating the entire area before descending and landing in one of the fields.
“Walking to the landing spot, Lagrone found a crew of five men, three of whom talked to him while the others collected water in rubber bags. The man informed Lagrone that their ship was ONE OF FIVE that had been flying around the country recently, that theirs was in fact the SAME ONE that had landed in Beaumont a few days before, that all the ships had been constructed in an interior town in Illinois -which borders Iowa -and that they were reluctant to say anything else because they had NOT YET TAKEN OUT ANY PATENTS. By May of that same year, the sightings ended….”
Finally … some interesting articles from the archives dug up at UFO Chronicles:
Diary Describes UFO Seen in 1808
A STRANGE STORY-REMARKABLE DISCOVERY
By Missouri Democrat