NASA officials insist - no records on Kecksburg UFO.

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NASA officials insist - no records on Kecksburg UFO.

Postby barracuda » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:32 pm

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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."

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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."

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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
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Postby barracuda » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:37 pm

Is Case Finally Closed on 1965 Pennsylvania 'UFO Mystery'?

By Leonard David
SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
posted: 24 November 2009
09:57 am ET


In the chronicles of UFO oddness, there's been a long-standing oddity – some say folklore, others deem it reality. This saga, now over four decades old, centers on a reported out-of-the-sky incident involving the small town of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.

The date is Dec. 9, 1965: Residents see a ball of fire shooting through the darkening evening sky and then, seemingly, the object – purportedly shaped like a jumbo-sized acorn after impact – makes some sort of controlled crash into the woods. From there, the strangeness factor escalates with purported military personnel isolating the area from curious onlookers and toting something out of the locale on a flatbed truck.

A meteorite? A wayward classified aircraft? Reentering space hardware of Earthly origin? An alien craft from afar?

You pick.

Up against NASA

Whatever took place in Kecksburg, a dutiful look into the episode escalated to a lawsuit against NASA for access to information on the incident.

A central figure in the weirdness is New York-based investigative journalist, Leslie Kean. Working with the Coalition for Freedom of Information, she was on the receiving end of loads of documents – an outcome of winning the lawsuit.

This stage of the saga began in 2002, when Kean was asked to spearhead a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) initiative sponsored by the Sci Fi Channel – an effort to acquire government documents on the Kecksburg case. The following year, she ended up as the plaintiff in a federal, FOIA lawsuit filed against NASA in Washington, DC.

"After previously promising to conduct an expedited search for files related to the 1965 Kecksburg UFO crash case, NASA had stonewalled and was withholding documents, leaving no recourse but this one," Kean explained in a just-issued report. "A settlement four years later, in October 2007, required NASA to provide hundreds of new documents and pay my attorney's legal fees."

No smoking gun

NASA's resulting search, monitored by the court, was completed in August 2009. The outcome of the investigation is available in Kean's paper, which was posted online this month to the coalition's Web site.

The report, flatly titled, "The Conclusion of the NASA Lawsuit - Concerning the Kecksburg, PA UFO case of 1965," explains how the process worked and the results of the search after the 2007 settlement in federal court.

The bottom line: No smoking gun documents were released, Kean notes, but many provocative questions and unresolved contradictions were raised by what was received, as well as by the fact that many files were missing or destroyed.

One open-ended aspect of Kean's reportage is the role of "Project Moondust" – a U.S. government-run activity involved in examining non-U.S. space objects, or objects of unknown origin. Indeed, various State Department documents show that NASA played a role in the recovery and examination of space object debris.

Cold trail, hot caveats

After months of studying the material received, Kean reports that the trail is cold – but with caveats.

"I am convinced that something came down and landed in Kecksburg," Kean told SPACE.com.

Kean thinks that a UFO connection of the extra-Earth type "is a possibility that has to be considered. It can't be ruled out," she said.

Other potentials, Kean added, "include a very secret U.S. project or another nation's hardware. But both of these explanations are unlikely."

Kean's research indicates that it appears doubtful that the object in question was either Russian or from any other country on our planet – backed up by NASA orbital debris elucidation. Also, data from the U.S. Space Command and the Russian Space Agency fortifies the fact that whatever came down that day was not a Russian satellite or space probe, she stated.

"So I would rule that out, and say it's either a UFO or a secret American device of some sort," Kean said. "If it was our own," she added, "why couldn't they tell us about this 40 years later?"

Therefore, that's why the UFO possibility "has to be kept in the running, as hard as it may be to accept," Kean said. "Possibly it was some kind of secretive U.S. government project...or program...or the testing of something. Maybe it was highly radioactive so they don't want anybody to know about it."

However, a central take home message from Kean has no connection with alien visitation – more a governmental encounter of the lack-of-transparency kind.

The effort highlights the problems inherent to the use of the Freedom of Information Act in our democracy, Kean explained.

"It has been a long, long process," she said. "The important thing about this has nothing to do with UFOs. It just points out the problems with the Freedom of Information Act as it stands today."

A case worth investigating

The NASA lawsuit was made possible because of the support of a major television network, Kean said. Also add to the investigation, John Podesta -- President Clinton's former Chief of Staff -- an archival research group, a lawyer, and a public relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Larry Landsman, then Director of Special Projects at the Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy), launched the UFO advocacy initiative, with the Kecksburg lawsuit as one component of that larger undertaking. He is now an independent television producer working on various specials and miniseries.

"In early 2002, a group of us began to seriously explore what initiative could be launched that would be appropriate to the spirit of the network," Landsman told SPACE.com. "After much brainstorming, I proposed a campaign that pushed for the truth behind all of the many reports of UFOs and other unexplained phenomena. We were the first -- and so far, only -- company ever to pursue such an initiative and we attacked the issue on a number of fronts both on air and off air," he said.

As for Kecksburg, Landsman continued, "we felt it was a case worth investigating," supporting Kean's Freedom of Information pursuit of the full and uncensored reports about the incident.

"There were too many lives that were upended from this event and American citizens had -- and have -- the right to know the truth. Clearly many things are going on in our world that cannot be easily explained," Landsman said. "Polls show that a majority of Americans believe the government is covering up information on UFOs. The truth should not be kept in the hands of only a relative few at various government agencies and military departments."

Keep an open mind

For Stan Gordon, a steadfast on-scene investigator of what took place in Kecksburg those many years ago, the case is far from closed.

"My feelings today in regards to the Kecksburg incident are unchanged. I remain convinced that an object of still undetermined origin fell from the sky into a wooded area near Kecksburg," said Gordon.

Gordon told SPACE.com that multiple independent witnesses described the object traversing the sky. As it turned and neared Kecksburg, the object was described as moving and descending slowly, as if making a controlled landing.

"The semi-buried metallic acorn shaped object was observed on the ground by a number of independent eyewitnesses. Whatever that object was, it was important enough for the military to quickly arrive on the scene and recover the object in question," Gordon said.

One plausible theory, Gordon suggested, is that the object was an advanced secretive human-made space device with re-entry control capabilities which apparently failed. Another is that this could have been an extra-terrestrial spacecraft, he noted.

"Until definitive evidence is found that will conclusively explain the object, I will continue to keep an open mind concerning all theories as to the origin of the object," Gordon concluded.

For Kean, even after years of work trying to unravel the Kecksburg incident, "what took place there is an unanswered question."
The most dangerous traps are the ones you set for yourself. - Phillip Marlowe
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