On December 9th, 1965, at approximately 5:00 P.M. EST, witnesses described seeing a fireball in the evening skies over Pennsylvania, a controlled landing and the systematic military recovery of an object. This same object was also seen by witnesses in Canada, Michigan, and Ohio prior to veering in the direction of Pennsylvania. This incident was the subject of the Sci Fi Channel documentary "The New Roswell:Kecksberg Exposed", which aired on 10-24-2003, hosted by Bryant Gumbel.
Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, often misspelled as "Kecksberg", is located approximately 40 miles from Pittsburgh in a rural area of Western Pennsylvania. This story was of special interest to me due to the fact I had once resided in Altoona, Pennsylvania, not too far from the scene of this mysterious incident.
Numerous witnesses saw a brilliant object moving across the sky. The news media focused on a young boy, who while playing outside, said he saw an object fall from the sky into some nearby woods. The media pursued his story since there were numerous accounts from other witnesses that an unusual object was seen over a large area including multiple reports from the greater Pittsburgh area. In addition to law enforcement officials, various newspapers and radio/TV stations around Pittsburgh had their phone lines jammed with calls about the object in the sky. Coincidentally, author Frank Edwards, who had written some popular books on UFOs, was a guest on a KDKA radio talk show in Pittsburgh that evening, hosted by the late Mike Levine.
Witnesses state that moments after the object fell, blue smoke rose up among the trees, but dissipated quickly thereafter. Many people say that the military, including members of the Army and Air Force, began to arrive in the area around the village of Kecksburg within a few hours after the reported landing. That evening, reporters from numerous media sources went to Kecksburg to investigate the event. The area around the alleged impact site was roped off and a search for the object was conducted in the woods. Neither civilians nor reporters were able to get near the spot where the object had reportedly gone down. Hundreds of spectators looked on from a narrow country road which circled around the area, unaware that the object appeared to have fallen on the opposite side of the woods.
As time passed that evening, many folks left disappointed that they couldn't see the object. A few curious folks tried to sneak down into the woods, but later advised that they were turned back by the military. Later that night, others say they observed a military flatbed tractor-trailer truck, carrying a large tarpaulin covered object, leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Reporters are among the many witnesses who verify that they saw military personnel in the Kecksburg area that night. The front page of the Greensburg, Pennsylvania Tribune-Review county edition dated December 10th, 1965, ran the headlines "Unidentified Flying Object Falls Near Kecksburg" and "Army Ropes Off Area." The city edition of the same paper however, on the same day ran the headline "Searchers Fail To Find Object." Officially, no object was found in the woods by searchers. It was suggested that the most likely explanation was that the brilliant object in the sky was a meteor. But word that something had been removed from the site by the military that night quickly circulated around the county. The Kecksburg incident remained a topic for area radio talk shows for years afterward, and continues to be a hot topic of discussion to this very day. Many of those involved with the incident even today, wish to remain anonymous. Some witnesses have gone public and stand by their accounts. Some have faced personal attacks and ridicule. Many important witnesses have since passed away.
What we now know is that there are individuals who say that they went down into the woods that December day in 1965, before the military arrived and came across upon a large metallic acorn shaped object partially buried in the ground. The device was described as being large enough for a man to stand inside of it. The object was a bronze-gold color, and appeared to be one solid piece of metal, displaying no rivets or seams. At the back of the acorn shape was what witness Jim Romansky calls the bumper area.
Upon this area were unusual markings that Romansky says looked similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Romansky, who has been a machinist for many years, says the object itself looked as though it had been made from liquid metal and poured into a big mold. Since the object was impacted in the ground, the bottom portion was not visible, but what could be seen appeared well intact. The late John Murphy, was the new director of WHJB radio in nearby Greensburg at the time, and is believed to have been the first reporter on the scene. John Murphy's former wife says that she was in radio contact with her husband from the site that day and that he told her that he went down into the woods and saw the object.
Before Unsolved Mysteries broadcast their story about Kecksburg in 1990, a former Air Force security policeman stated that he was a member of the unit that guarded the object from Kecksburg when it arrived in the early morning hours of December 10th, 1965 at Lockbourne Air Force near Columbus, Ohio. He remembers extreme security measures at the time and says that the object was only at the base for a short time before being transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio.
The object was allegedly sealed up inside a building at that base. After years of searching for government documents relating to this event, the only official record found was located in the Air Force "Project Blue Book" files. Included in the report it was stated "A further call was made to the Oakdale Radar site in Pennsylvania. A three man team has been dispatched to Acme (Some residents not far from the site have an Acme mailing address) to investigate and pick up an object that started a fire." While the report shows a lot of interest from various agencies concerning the aerial object, the report also indicates that the search found nothing.
Based on the accounts of multitudes of eyewitnesses, it seems readily apparent that an object did fall from the sky and apparently was removed by the military. Other witnesses say they saw NASA personnel at the scene that night also involved in the search. What then was this mysterious acorn-shaped craft that fell from the skies that night? The two most likely possibilities are: A highly advanced man-made space probe with some reentry control capability, or an extraterrestrial spacecraft. It has been confirmed that a faulty Soviet Venus probe identified as Kosmos 96, reentered in Canada on the same date, but at about 3:18 A.M. The sightings around Kecksburg occurred at about 4:47 P.M. many hours later. The Russian's have stated that Kosmos 96 was not the source of what fell that day.
From what the observers tell us, the object whatever it was, appeared to be slowing down a few miles before it impacted. During it's flight, it appears to have made some turns, and those who saw the object drop from the sky, say it was moving quite slowly as it moved towards the woods. This might account for the excellent condition of the object itself, and the little damage at the impact site, except for trees which were reportedly knocked down. Various witnesses have now gone public confirming that armed solders were around the village, and were preventing anyone from trespassing near the crash site. Jerry Betters, a popular jazz musician from Pittsburgh, has gone public and told his story that soldiers aimed rifles at him and his friends, ordering them from a back road as an Army flat bed tractor-trailer with an acorn-shaped object on board made it's way up from a field. More recently, a prominent area businessman has gone on record stating how he and his friends, then teenagers in 1965, tried to get near the site and were stopped my military personnel. He was frightened at the time of the experience and thought the soldier was going to shoot him. Would armed soldiers respond to the scene of a meteorite crash? Who issued the orders for such an operation to take place?
Witnesses that evening insist what they saw was an alien ship from outer space. Law enforcement officials insist this object was a meteorite. Reporters are convinced that what landed was a Russian probe. Military sources insist that nothing landed at all. As long as the government refuses to release the truth, we can only guess as to what really happened that evening in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.