When I met Jim Marrs for the first time he agreed to talk about one of his favorite subjects.
"Yeah, think it happened," he said on the 120th anniversary of the alien incident of 1897 in the North Texas town of Aurora. It's the infamous tale of an alien spaceship that allegedly crashed in the town north of Fort Worth and whose occupant was given a "good Christian burial" in the town cemetery.
Decades later Marrs and a colleague took a metal detector to the grave and found readings for possible metal fragments. But the next day the readings disappeared.
"He said I think it was the government and I said I think you're right," Marrs said with a laugh.
"The personification of a good Texas man. Honest as the day is long," said former Fort Worth Star Telegram colleague Donna Darovich. “If you looked up character in the dictionary it would say Jim Marrs. He was the personification of a character."
Marrs was a long-time reporter for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He was also the author of a dozen books including Alien Agenda and the book Crossfire - The Plot that Killed Kennedy. The conspiracy narrative became much of the motivation for the Hollywood movie by Oliver Stone.
"Jim was one of the first people to find his niche and stuck to it and found a great audience," said Fort Worth Star Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy. "What I admire about Jim is that I don't really believe everything he wrote but I believe he knew how to sell books."
Jim Marrs died of a heart attack last week at the age of 73. Tributes poured in over social media over the weekend from across the world.
"I can't think of him as not being vibrant and alive somewhere in the cosmos," said Linda Moulton Howe, an investigative reporter in Albuquerque, New Mexico who became friends with Marrs at multiple conferences across the country. She admired him for his dogged determination to get government officials to answer long-standing questions and conspiracies.
"Jim Marrs' 12 books have helped open up minds to facts that were contradictory to US policies of denial. His work I think will live on and on because that is all that Jim Marrs wanted to do - find out the truth and report it in the face of political agendas, policies of denials and lies."
"I believe in a God," Jim Marrs told me in our conversation about aliens and UFO's. "But, I know there are UFO's," he laughed.
"A wild and wacky guy but a really sweet good ole Texas boy," said Darovich.
A good ole Texas boy, journalist, and author whose influence and who's countless questions live on.
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