"Aurora, huh? I heard a space ship crashed there." This comment was repeated several times as I researched the Aurora crash in the nearby town of Decatur (Aurora no longer has a city hall). Everyone seems to know of it, but little know that many facts about the incident.
This is basically what happened. Early morning on April 17, 1897 flying machine came ripping through Aurora, stopped only when it crashed into a windmill belonging to one Judge Proctor. The craft, recovered years before even the first plane, bore strange, heiroglyphic markings that no one understood. And the occupant, dead on arrival, "...was a native of the planet Mars"(qtd. in Pegue 55).
The "Martian" was buried in Aurora's cemetery. It's burial location is unknown, for its original marker was stolen, but locals still claim to know where it is.
So was it a hoax? Most definite evidence points to yes. Proctor owned no windmill, only cheap aluminum was found at the supposed sight, and S.E. Hayden the famous article regarding the crash, was known for a fantastic imagination.
So why does Aurora cling so tightly to something that should be an embarrasment? And why do high school student not only mention it, but believe it to true? Why would a film company invest the money to make the film "Aurora Encounter"?