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40th Anniversary of UFO crash at Kecksburg

by Richard Frager. Posted May 7, 2006.

Newspaper report of Kecksburg UFO incident
Newspaper report of Kecksburg UFO incident
40 years ago on Thursday, December 9, 1965, at about 4:45 p.m. EST, a bright fiery object hurtled across the sky above the Great Lakes, leaving a smoky trail in it wake, until it finally came to ground at Kecksburg, Westmoreland County, in southwestern Pennsylvania, about forty miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The passage of the fiery aerial object was witnessed by many ground observers in several states, as well as by pilots in flight over Lake Erie. As the object veered southeastward over Pittsburgh, calls reporting sightings of it jammed the phone lines of police, the news media, and the Allegheny County Observatory.

Most witnesses thought they were observing a plane going down in flames. But in Kecksburg, where the objects arrived suddenly and made its spectacular landing, the earliest reported eyewitness, a seven year old boy playing outside with his sister, declared that it looked like "a star on fire." The children's mother later described, "a column of blue smoke rising through the trees, "from the woods about a mile away where the object landed, and another "brilliant object," hanging above the tree line and to the left of the smoke column. She described this second objects at resembling a "four-pointed star."

There were other witnesses in different parts of the village who independently saw the object go down into the woods, and at that time, they heard no sound, but momentarily after it happened, they saw the dust rise and a blue column of smoke go up, and in a matter of minutes it dissipated. When they saw this thing coming in, by the descriptions, they were not just seeing a fireball or bright meteor. Some of them had seen this thing pass very close over their heads, it was slow moving, it was gliding in. . it appears to have been a controlled reentry vehicle of some type. . it appears that it was purposely trying not to hit the edge of the ridges, to guide itself around those ridges, and was trying to gain altitude.

Apparently, it did not gain enough over the last ride when it crashed. Not long after the crash, members from the local volunteer fire companies were combing the woods, searching for what was still assumed to be a downed airplane. The state police also arrived, to coordinate the search as well as keep order, as radio and TV news reports of the mysterious, no longer assumed to be a mere airplane, had drawn crowds of curious onlookers to the site for a glimpse of whatever it was. A state police fire marshal, accompanied by an unidentified man carrying a Geiger counter descended into the woods.

Upon their return a few minutes later, the state police fire marshal ordered the woods sealed off. John Murphy, news director of the Greensburg radio station WHJB, was one of the first people on the scene. Murphy knew the fire marshal well, but when he attempted to get information from him as to what he had seen in the woods, received the reply, "I'm not sure. You better get your information from the army." Murphy phone the state police barracks at Greensburg, and was informed by the commanding officer there that personnel from the 662nd Radar Squadron, out of the Oakdale Army Support Facility were expected to arrive and conduct a briefing. Surprisingly, he invited Murphy to attend.

At the barracks Murphy found both Army and Air Force personnel present, and was issued an official denial: "The Pennsylvania State Police have made a thorough investigation of the woods. We are convinced there is nothing whatsoever in the woods." Despite this, the military-state police contingent departed for those woods where "nothing whatsoever" occurred, taking Murphy with them. When they got there, a whole bunch of military personnel. . in uniform, carrying equipment had arrived. The woods were declared off-limits and was under quarantine. By the time they got back down to the fire hall, there was wall to wall military everywhere: cars, jeeps, trucks, there was military personnel carrying things in. The guys at the door had riffles and they were loaded.

Later that night witnesses saw a military flatbed truck emerge from the woods, lashed on top of it was a large, tarp-shrouded objects, its shaped described variously as resembling an upside down acorn, a mushroom, or a bullet. The military vehicles then left, carrying it's booty/ Then came the explanation: a fallen meteorite, the "nothing whatsoever" that didn't crash into the woods, and that apparently wasn't hauled away under wraps at high speed, either.

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