Dundy County UFO Crash (1884)

The event took place on June 6, 1884, in Dundy County, Nebraska, and is known as the Dundy County UFO crash. According to the story, a group of cowboys, including a local rancher named John Ellis, found a long, cylindrical object in the area near the settlement of Max after the crash of what appeared to be a meteor. This object was described as being about 50 or 60 feet long and approximately 10 to 12 feet in diameter. The cowboys reportedly found metal machinery scattered over the prairie, but they couldn’t get too close initially due to the intense heat emanating from the wreckage​.

The event is said to have occurred about 35 miles northwest of Benkelman, Dundy County, Nebraska. Local rancher John W. Ellis, three of his herdsmen, and other cowboys were reportedly involved in a roundup when they witnessed the incident​. Witnesses described hearing a “terrific whirring noise” and seeing a “blazing body falling like a shot to Earth,” which created a split in the ground as it dragged to a stop. The object crashed with such force that it was hidden from view by a bank.

It is not known if there was any bodies.

Benkelman, originally called Collinsville, was renamed in 1880. The area benefitted from the establishment of one of the largest cattle shipping points, which was set up by J.G. Benkelman around that time. The end of the Civil War and the subsequent movement of cattle from Texas for final fattening and shipping to larger cities spurred the development of the area. The railroad depot built in 1882 further boosted the town’s growth, making it a significant shipping point for grain, livestock, and cream by the early 1880s. The census of 1880 showed a population of only thirty-seven in Benkelman​.