Reward Offered for Return of Stolen 'Alien' Gravestone in Aurora, Texas

The historical marker outside Aurora Cemetery references the legend of the crashed spaceship.

The historical marker outside Aurora Cemetery references the legend of the crashed spaceship.

Dallas civil trial attorney Stratton Horres is offering $1,000 for the return of a gravestone stolen from Aurora Cemetery that legend states marked the final resting place of an extraterrestrial.

According to local legend, an airship sailing over Aurora, Texas, on the morning of April 17th, 1897, met an untimely end when it collided with a windmill.  The Dallas Morning News reported at the time that only the airship's pilot was aboard, and although his remains were "badly disfigured," it was clear that "he was not an inhabitant of this world."  T.J. Weems, the United States signal service officer in Aurora, gave his opinion that the pilot was a native of Mars, and a funeral for the unfortunate extraterrestrial was held the following day, reported the newspaper.

Horres told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that while he doesn't necessarily believe the legend, he enjoys reading about and researching stories about unidentified flying objects.  He hopes that his offer of a financial reward might result in some evidence being brought forward.

"It's a legend that persists after 120 years. It's pretty remarkable," Horres said. "I'm skeptical but would love to find some evidence that something has happened that we could not explain."

Horres also posted to social media site LinkedIn to explain his interest.

The original gravestone was stolen in 1972, and a replacement was stolen in 2012; the location is currently marked with a boulder featuring graffiti commemorating the purported event.

An image of the stolen gravestone.

An image of the stolen gravestone.

Horres does not plan to pursue criminal charges against anyone coming forward with the missing gravestone, he told the Star-Telegram.

"It will be no questions asked," he said. "I don't want anyone to feel like they were in trouble."

If the gravestone is recovered, Horres plans to hire an investigator to study the object in the hopes of learning more about its origin, and will subsequently consider its donation to city officials or the local cemetery association.

"It would be for the return and examination to the original gravesite, for everyone to see it," he said.

Anyone with information regarding the gravestone is encouraged to email Horres at

Tobias Wayland