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from the April 2003 Star Beacon

by Ann Ulrich Miller

The Aurora Encounter

     In 1897, a UFO visited the town of Aurora, Texas, crashing into Judge Proctorís windmill and destroying his flower garden and thus killing the unlucky alien. Astounded by the event, Aurora townspeople searched through the wreckage and discovered hieroglyphics, possibly a travel log of the space creatureís wanderings. Not knowing what to do about the situation, they simply declared him a "Martian," then buried him along with his spaceship. They even blessed him with a tombstone.

     Aurora, located northwest of Fort Worth, has talked about little green men, alien technology and government coverups ever since. Janet Derting opened a store for alien enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists, named "Area 114," after the two-lane highway that goes through the town. She has for sale Aurora T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and alien candy.

     "The whole world knows about Roswell and Area 51," she says, "but we were the first one - the first government coverup." Perhaps Aurora will finally get some of the respect from the UFO community it deserves. The small town has a population of 1,000 and Derting and her husband, Steve, who is also Auroraís mayor, donít want the townís legend lost in a crush of subdivisions. She hopes her store will educate people with its tables full of alien books and other alien theme goodies.

     According to Jim Marrs, author of Alien Agenda, who lives in nearby Paradise, Texas, the reason Roswell, N.M., flourished as an "alien capital" while Aurora didnít is because the country folk of Wise County wanted it kept quiet.

     Every so often interest in Aurora resurfaces and amateur UFO researchers call the Fort Worth Star-Telegram or Rosalie Gregg, chairwoman of the Wise County Historical Commission, both parties of which insist the saucer crash of the 19th century was a hoax.

     "We have an interview with a fella who was 11 years old and lived there at the time," Gregg says. "He had all his sensibilities about him when we spoke and he said that it did not happen."

     But the town remains divided on the issue. On the day of Area 114ís grand opening, a man came in holding a medallion he insisted had been unearthed at the crash site.

     "Iím pretty convinced something happened there," Marrs says. "Iím not going to say it was a spaceship because I donít know."

     However, the Dallas Morning News was convinced of the story in 1897. Their story included accounts from "credible witnesses" of the mysterious aircraft that passed over Rhome nearby.

     "The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one on board," wrote reporter S.E. Haydon, "and while his remains are badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.

     "Mr. TJ Weems," the story continues, "the United States signal service officer at this place and an authority on astronomy, gives it as his opinion that he was a native of the planet Mars."

     Derting believes itís possible that something happened 105 years ago. "Iíd be really naive to think in this vast huge universe we were the only intelligent beings," she says. Her store has a Web site -

     Marrs, who is a former Star-Telegram reporter, visited the Aurora Cemetery in 1973 along with a reporter from the Dallas Times-Herald. They brought a metal detector along and got positive readings. Marrs says, "The stone had like an inverted ĎVí on it with three circles. If you duplicate it and put it together with a mirror image, that design makes a little saucer and portholes in it."

     Unfortunately, the headstone vanished after the news stories appeared and "Rubberneckers" hit Aurora. Marrs says that when he returned with the other reporters years later, the metal detector no longer showed any readings on the alienís grave.

     "Thereís some strange stuff," he said. "Somewhere in all that smoke, thereís fire."

     (From an article by Josh Shaffer of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that appeared in the Green Bay, Wis., News-Chronicle, Aug. 20, 2002)

Sweet Sixteen

     With this issue comes the 16th anniversary of The Star Beacon. Can you believe it? One hundred and ninety-two publications packed with a diversity of information. Some of you have been reading these monthly issues since 1987. I appreciate all of you so much for your support and encouragement.

     In honor of "Sweet Sixteen" and as a promotional tool, Earth Star will publish a book, Cosmic Cooking, Healing Potions and Other Magic by Star Beacon Readers this fall, in honor of the subscribers who have helped bring TSB to where it is at this crucial time in history.

     The book will include YOUR recipes, YOUR potions, YOUR stories! So please contribute! Details are on the Web site at Deadline for submissions is June 15.

Metal spheres reported over the Yucatan Peninsula

     SOURCE: Centro de Analisis de Fenomenos Espaciales , A.C.
     DATE: Friday, Jan. 17, 2003
     TIME: 11:30 p.m.
     LOCATION: Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico
     WITNESSES: Ms. Maria Barrera

     On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2003, we received a report from Ms. Maria Barrera, 42, a resident of Merida, Yucatan. She informed us that on Jan. 17, she saw the following from the port of Progreso (30 km. north of this city) over the bridge that crosses the swamp leading to the harbor area: 40 glowing metallic spheres presenting a rising and descending motion, seemingly unaffected by the prevailing wind. This discards the possibility that they were balloons or flocks of birds. After a brief time period, the spheres disappeared toward the horizon. Skies were clear.

     The witness remarks that this is not the first time this event has happened. She said that last year, while the median strip was being expanded in the same location, both she and the construction companyís workers saw more than 80 spheres executing a variety of movements over the same site.

     DATE: Wednesday, January 29, 2003
     TIME: 11:00 p.m. (local time - 6 GMT)
     PLACE: Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico
     WITNESS: Maria Barrera

     Another sighting was reported along the Merida to Progreso highway, this time in the vicinity of the Flamboyanes subdivision (5 km from Progreso) at 11:00 p.m.

     Mrs. Maria Barrera, the eyewitness in the Jan. 17 report, has seen the phenomenon once more, this time in greater numbers, since 80 spheres were reported on Jan. 29. On this occasion, the event lasted between 15 to 20 minutes, and the spectacle was also seen by the drivers of several vehicles who pulled over to watch the phenomenon, among them an official vehicle from the Federal Electric Commission. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to report. (The witness) states that she looked carefully at the spheres as they made figure-like shapes in the air, first a rhomboid and then an arrow. The apparent diameter of these spheres, explained Mrs. Barrera, was between 30 and 40 centimeters. She made it clear that the sky has been completely clear on both occasions.

     This is the third report of such spheres at the site.

     (Translation © 2003. Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology. Special thanks to Ing. David Triay Lucatero, Centro de Analisis de Fenomenos Espaciales (CAFE).)

Lawsuit aims to silence voice of critic in UFO debate

     Sean David Morton, a UFO researcher, has filed a $1 million dollar defamation lawsuit against UFOWATCHDOG.COM. Morton was the subject of a series of UFOWATCHDOG.COM articles, most notably "The Shameless Psychic and His Prophecy of Lies," in which many of Mortonís claims were called into serious question.

     In his lawsuit, Morton alleges all information pertaining to him published by UFOWATCHDOG.COM is false, including an autobiography and a list of production/writing credits both authored by Morton himself.

     UFOWATCHDOG.COM editor Royce J. Myers III calls the lawsuit "completely meritless and an absolute abuse of the judicial system." Myers further added, "Mr. Morton is simply trying to use the courts by trampling on the First Amendment in an attempt to silence one of his numerous critics."

     Due to Mortonís lawsuit, the Web host has shut down the UFOWATCHDOG.COM Web site. According to UFOWATCHDOG.COM, Mortonís lawsuit is clearly retaliatory and intended to stifle any debate about Mortonís public claims about UFOs, the paranormal, and his credentials. "Essentially, heís trying to scare anyone from engaging him in the eye of the public and apparently is under the assumption that issues pertaining to UFOs and the paranormal are one-sided debates solely for him to participate in," Myers stated.

     Since early 2001, UFOWATCHDOG.COM has been a news source for both UFOs and the paranormal. Most notably, UFOWATCHDOG.COM has challenged a number of the claims made by well known UFO personalities, has provided commentary on the UFO and paranormal fields, as well as having exposed UFO hoaxes all in an effort to further more rational and scientific debate regarding issues such as UFOs and the paranormal. For more information, contact:

Ann Ulrich Miller is publisher of The Star Beacon.

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