Alleged airship crash in Aurora, Texas on 17th April 1897 involving reports of a badly disfigured pilot not an inhabitant of this world.
Reported in the 19th April 1897 edition of the Dallas Morning News.
Claims to fame
This incident is Case 51 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 53 of the books covered by that article.
Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 3,380 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)
(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 51 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.
(2) “Credibility” Rating of 4 (out of a potential score of 14), because several authors have given considerable evidence that this incident was a hoax..
(2) “Expert” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this relatively low rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), and it is sometimes mentioned by UFO researchers as a good example of a hoax. For example, Jerome Clark has written several items giving evidence for his conclusion that this was a hoax.
(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14): While the true nature of the "bodies" shown on the photograph are not immediately obvious upon looking at the Bonilla photos, there are no details or structures visible that rule out a number of mundane explanations (e.g. birds or insects). Similarly, Bonilla's accompanying account does make a specific mundane source clear but does not provide any details which (even if they are all true and accurate) would exclude a number of mundane explanations. The Bonilla photos are therefore given a relatively low “Strangeness” Rating. It would be helpful to have the photos considered by somone familiar with taking photos of the Sun and/or to compare the Bonilla photos with photos of various objects crossing in front of the Sun.
1. Web Resources
2. Book References
3. Other material