Dublin 1891

In January 2008, several residents of Erath County in North Texas saw a huge UFO in the skies above them. The object, estimated to be about half a mile long, was seen near the towns of Stephenville, Texas, and Dublin, Texas. After this happened, some of the older residents remembered a UFO case that took place many years earlier, back in 1891. That was when a flying object exploded in the sky above a local cotton gin. The 1891 case is very interesting because it happened before airplanes were invented and before hot-air balloons were very common.

The UFO sighting took place on Saturday, June 13, 1891, a quiet summer day, in the small town of Dublin, Texas. At that time, the town had a population of about 2,000 people, and one of its major businesses was the Wasson & Miller flour mill and cotton gin.

The gin was closed for the weekend, and several townspeople were out for a walk near it when they suddenly noticed something very unusual in the sky above the gin. Witnesses saw a bright, oblong-shaped object hovering about 300 feet in the sky.

An eyewitness, whose name was not given, told the local newspaper that what he saw looked like “a bale of cotton suspended in the air after having been saturated in kerosene oil and ignited, except that it created a much brighter light.”

The witness said that the light was so bright it “dazzled” people who were standing several hundred feet away from the light. This is a mystery, since in the year 1891, bright artificial lights did not exist. Although electric light bulbs had been invented a few years before, they were not widely available yet.


Simulation of Explosion over Cotton Gin

In the 1890s, the most common sources of light were kerosene lamps and campfires. Neither of these was very bright.

Some people think that the brilliant light might have been caused by an electrical fire or explosion inside the UFO. Maybe the flying object had overheated, causing it to glow brightly be-fore the whole thing blew up in the sky.

Although the local newspaper later described it as a “meteor,” the UFO did not look or behave like a meteor. It seemed to “hover” over the gin, and it gave out an extremely intense light. Also, it shattered into pieces before it hit the ground.

The witness continued watching the bright light until the flying object suddenly exploded. After the explosion, chunks of a strange, burning-hot metal fell to the ground, setting the grass and weeds on fire. The explosion of the UFO was so loud that it was heard by “nearly everyone in that portion of the city,” ac-cording to the newspaper.

The man who witnessed this event was so scared by what he saw that he ran away from the gin and hid himself. Later, when he was asked to provide the exact size and appearance of the


The Old Cotton Gin (Right) As It Looks Today (Courtesy of Mark Murphy)

UFO before it exploded, he could not. He said he was too scared to pay close attention.

After returning to his home, the witness continued thinking about the UFO and was not able to sleep well. He decided that he would return to the scene of the explosion early the next morning – Sunday, June 14, 1891.

The witness was embarrassed at having run away, and he wanted to conduct an investigation into what happened. When he went back, his eyes beheld an amazing sight. Scattered across a field of burned grass and weeds were strange pieces of metal. He described them as “fragments of the most remarkable substance ever known to explode.” The metal was of the same color as lead. He also saw some “peculiar stones” that looked like lava from a volcano. And there was something else – even more mysterious. As the witness looked around, he found several small pieces of what looked like paper with strange writing on it.

It looked like torn pieces from a newspaper, but the writing on it was not English. In fact, nobody could identify what lan-guage it was.

Original Newspaper Article from 1891 (Mark Murphy)

Original Newspaper Article from 1891 (Mark Murphy)

“The language … was entirely foreign to him, and, in fact, no one has yet been found who has ever seen such a language before,” said the report about the incident, which appeared later in the Dublin Progess.

After finding the scraps of paper with the strange writing, the witness became completely “bewildered.” The newspaper reporter said that the witness “worked himself up to such a pitch of excitement” that he could not answer any more questions. He would not show any of the wreckage to the reporter or talk any more about it.

The cotton gin where the UFO exploded still exists today. The local museum in Dublin, Texas, hopes to restore the building and preserve it as a historical landmark. Dublin is well known in Texas as the town where the soft drink known as Dr. Pepper got its start. The very first Dr. Pepper bottling plant was built there in 1891.

Until now, nobody has tried to find any of the strange pieces of metal that fell to ground. Some of the fragments may still be there, buried under the surface. It is possible that someday, the material will be found. In addition, nobody has ever found traces of the paper with the strange writing on it. Maybe it still exists today in somebody’s attic?

Below is a Google Map showing the area as it looks now:

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