Records on Kecksburg 1965 event an unsolved mystery
November 11, 2009 - Whatever dropped out of the sky in Kecksburg more than 40 years ago, NASA officials insist they have no records documenting its origin, recovery or supposed removal by the military.
No records of a meteor, as state police immediately described it to reporters.
No records of a Russian space satellite, as some conspiracy theorists claim it might have been.
No records of anything related to the incident, actually, despite a large network of eyewitness reports of an orange fireball over the Mt. Pleasant Township community on Dec. 9, 1965.
A New York investigative journalist's seven-year campaign to seek available documents from the federal agency, supported by the recently renamed SyFy channel, turned up nothing about Kecksburg.
It became the first case for Leslie Kean in forming the volunteer advocacy group, Coalition for Freedom of Information. She filed a federal lawsuit under the federal Freedom of Information Act, alleging NASA was inadequately responding to her requests.
Kean insists it's "highly unlikely" that NASA had no documentation about the object, though she received NASA files on other fireball meteors around the same time.
She claims NASA's historical records were "inventoried in a cursory, seemingly arbitrary way" after learning that some of the files she requested were missing, including paperwork apparently signed out but never returned by a now-retired employee.
Four of the missing 20 boxes Kean sought were supposed to have files pertaining to NASA's agreements with the Department of Defense.
"The whole time, you just feel like you're down the rabbit hole, like in 'Alice in Wonderland,'" she said Tuesday.
Kean said the case illustrates what citizens face in requesting greater government openness. In 2007, a federal judge presiding over the lawsuit approved a settlement, awarding Kean $50,000 to cover her attorney's fees and outlining a schedule for NASA to respond to her requests.
A NASA spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on litigation.
The missing documents call to mind NASA's disclosure four months ago that it is spending $230,000 to refurbish footage of the 1969 moon landing after officials discovered nobody preserved the original video of the live TV transmission.
While a tiny group of conspiracy theorists long has challenged the veracity of the moon landing, residents in several states and Canada reported seeing something fiery in the sky four years earlier.
When it fell, state police responded to the scene in Kecksburg, as did the Army and Air Force.
Some of the locals in Kecksburg claim the military removed an acorn-shaped object the size of a Volkswagen on a tarpaulin-covered flatbed.
Greensburg resident Stan Gordon, who was 16 at the time, has researched the incident by interviewing hundreds of people who claim they witnessed it. In 1998, he produced a documentary about Kecksburg.
"We were always quietly hopeful, but at the same time, there was some doubt in the back of my mind that we would find anything" from NASA's records, Gordon said. "I have no doubt that an object of undetermined origin landed in Kecksburg in 1965, and what that object was is still open to interpretation."
Bob Gatty, the Tribune-Review reporter who covered the incident that night, said officials at the scene told him there was nothing there, but threatened to arrest him if he tried to get closer.
"I've always just kind of said something landed there, they were lying about it, but I don't know what it is," said Gatty, now a communications consultant who lives in Maryland. "I just like to see the story stay alive."
As chairman of the annual Old Fashion Days & UFO Festival in Kecksburg, Ron Struble says he doesn't care if anybody ever learns the truth about what happened.
The festival helps to raise cash for the local fire department, as do sales of UFO-related merchandise at the fire hall.
"It's helping us get a little bit of money," Struble said. "We're not going to make a killing, but little by little it keeps growing each year."
1965 Kecksburg UFO crash: The Story
On 9th December 1965 hundreds of witnesses in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania observed a UFO crash. It first appeared to be nothing more than a spectacular meteorite but 30 years on it is still a source of much controversy amongst UFO researchers.
In March 1966, UFO researcher Ivan Sanderson compiled a detailed account from various eyewitnesses, and soon realized that there was more to this story than that of a simple meteorite.
His findings indicated that the object showed a clear trajectory, moving from north-west to south-east. Its total visible journey lasted no more than 6 minutes, which indicated a speed far too slow for a meteor. Sanderson calculated a speed of only around 1,000 mph.
Not all the eyewitnesses were located on the ground at the time of the sighting, there were also several pilots who spoke of being buffeted by shock waves as the large bright object sped by. This was strange as most meteorites are observed several thousands of feet above most commercial aircraft. There were also claims of shock waves and sonic booms reported from witnesses on the ground.
The vapour trail left by the object were so intense that they lasted for more than 20 minutes in which time they were filmed by several people.
Several bits of silvery debris were found on the ground at Lapeer, Michigan and these were assumed to be from the object. Later analysis of this material indicated that they were indeed chaff which are pieces of aluminium foil released by aircraft to fool radar.
However the most convincing aspect that Sanderson discovered to rule out the possibility of a meteorite was that the object appeared to change direction and head in an easterly direction.
The object finally came to rest in a wooded area in the town of Kecksburg. The object was initially witnessed by 2 children who reported that a "start that had caught fire had crashed in the woods". Their mother who's first thought was that her children had witnessed a plane crash called the state police and the fire service.
As soon as she had finished phoning she went out into the woods and to her surprise found that a military unit had beaten them to the crash site. This unit took command and told all civilians, police and fire department officials to leave the site immediately.
The military unit reported to the police that they had found nothing, and they left. This remained the case for around 15 years when some UFO researchers 're-opened' the case.
After some investigation they found out that the fire service had come within 200ft of the object before being turned away by the military. They reported seeing blue flashing lights, and noticing that the tops of several of the trees nearby were broken as if an object had come crashing through.
The investigators also reported that they had found witnesses who had seen a large flat-bed truck leaving the area of the woods with a large oval object covered with sheets. Another witness indicated that he observed the military loading the object onto truck. He described the object as looking like a large acorn, with 'bumpers' on the base. He also noticed that there was strange hieroglyphics on the craft surface.
The case was reported in the Project Blue Book files and indicated that "a three man team has been dispatched to investigate and pick up an object that started a fire". This three man team is now known to of been part of the then highly classified "Project Moon Dust."
The official report was that the UFO was simply a meteorite.
In 1990 a new witness came forward who claimed to be part of the military team that was sent in to retrieve the object. He claims that he was given orders to 'shoot anyone who got too close'. He also revealed that the object was being transported to the Wright Patterson base.
The last major discovery related to a worker at Wright Patterson who claims that a strange object was shipped in on the 16th December the same year, just days after the events at Keckburg. He described the object almost identically as the other witnesses had described. Whilst he was observing the object a guard escorted him out of the hanger and told him "that you have just seen an object that will be common knowledge in 20 years time."
HISTORY CHANNEL, KECKSBURG, AND LBJ
In case you missed it, the History Channel ran a show last night on the Presidents and UFOs, from Franklin Roosevelt to G.W. Bush. Of particular interest to readers of Reich of the Black Sun and The SS Brotherhood of the Bell was the short segment that they ran on the alleged crash and retrieval of a UFO at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in December of 1965, during the Johnson Administration. The show noted that the very day after the Kecksburg incident, the then head of NASA, James Webb, and the Governor of Pennsylvania were flown to President Johnson's ranch in Texas, ostensibly for a conference on the progress(or lack thereof), in Vietnam with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Lyndon Baines himself.
Well, if that just doesn't ring true (the governor of Pennsylvania and the head of NASA in conference with LBJ and the Joint cheifs to discuss Vietnam!!??), then consider my alternative. As I outlined in Reich of the Black Sun and further commented in The SS Brotherhood of the Bell, the "Keckburg Acorn" resembles the Nazi Bell
in a number of significant data points, such that it is a reasonable speculation to assume that they may have been one and the same object, or perhaps two objects, both products of the same project. If that project remained more or less independent of American (or any other government's) postwar control, then the reason for the high level concern at LBJ's ranch, far from the prying eyes of Washington reporters, seems obvious.
The plot, as they say, thickens...
posted by Joseph P. Farrell
at 7:26 AM
The most dangerous traps are the ones you set for yourself. - Phillip Marlowe