Eyewitnesses in the village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed that something had crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land. His mother saw blue smoke rising from the woods and called the authorities. Other witnesses from Kecksburg included volunteers from the local fire department, they reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn the size of a small car. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics was said to be written around the base of the object. Witnesses also reported that military personnel secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed the object on a flatbed truck. At the time, however, the military claimed they searched the woods and found nothing.
The Greensburg Tribune-Review sent a reporter to the scene, the headline in the newspaper the next day read "Unidentified Flying Object Falls near Kecksburg - Army Ropes off Area.”
The official explanation given for the Kecksburg UFO was a medium-sized meteor. Speculation as to what the Kecksburg object was range from it being an alien space craft to the remains of an unmanned Soviet Venera-4 atmospheric probe, also known as Kosmos-96, originally destined for Venus. This explanation has however been completely ruled out.
Because of similarities between Kecksburg and
The Roswell Incident
in New Mexico, the Kecksburg UFO has become known as "Pennsylvania's Roswell".
Air Force "Project Blue Book" documents indicated that a three-man team were sent from an Air Force radar-installation near Pittsburgh to investigate the Kecksburg UFO crash. The report they filed claims that nothing was found.
In December 2005, just before the 40th anniversary of the Kecksburg UFO crash, a NASA spokesman admitted NASA had examined metallic fragments from the object and now claimed it was from a re-entering "Russian satellite."
According to an Associated Press story:
The object appeared to be a Russian satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and broke up. NASA experts studied fragments from the object, but records of what they found were lost in the 1990s, "As a rule, we don't track UFOs. What we could do, and what we apparently did as experts in spacecraft in the 1960s, was to take a look at whatever it was and give our expert opinion. We did that, we boxed (the case) up and that was the end of it. Unfortunately, the documents supporting those findings were misplaced."
This new claimed explanation from NASA contradicts the official Air Force explanation in 1965 of the UFO being a meteor and nothing being found.
This claim contradicts what journalist Leslie Kean was told in 2003 by Nicholas L. Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris. Kean had Johnson recheck orbital paths of all known satellites and other records from the time. Johnson told Kean that orbital mechanics made it absolutely impossible for any part of the Cosmos 96 Venus probe to account for either the fireball or any object at Kecksburg. Johnson also stated there were no other manmade satellites or other objects that re-entered the atmosphere on that day.
This raises the question as to what "Russian satellite" could have accounted for the debris that NASA now says they examined. Furthermore, Kean and others find it highly questionable that NASA could actually lose such important records.
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The Rendlesham Forest Incident
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