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Home » The Kecksburg, PA UFO Crash Landing in 1965

The Kecksburg, PA UFO Crash Landing in 1965

Kecksburg is a very small unincorporated rural community in Mount Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania that is located along State Route 982 about 32 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, PA. Something fell out of the sky 56 years ago and landed in a wooded area of this tiny community. So important was this “object” that the United States military was immediately dispatched to retrieve it. News reporters, state police, and many people from the local area converged to see the mystery in the woods, that evening. It eventually became national news. To this day some of the residents are still not convinced on what it was, meteorite, a man-made satellite, or possibly a probe from another world?

The story begins on December 9, 1965, when what was first believed to be a bright meteor in the late afternoon sky was sighted crossing the heavens by thousands of people in six USA states and at least two provinces in Canada. The states include Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, and New York. The two Canadian provinces are Ontario (especially in the city of Winsor) and Quebec. There are reports of the bolide shedding fragments in the sky. But, there is evidence that this fireball may not have been the Kecksburg, PA UFO. The tracking stations and astronomers in the USA and Canada originally estimated that the fireball or bolide most likely extinguished itself; burned up or hit near or in the western part of Lake Erie, perhaps 150 miles north of Kecksburg. Furthermore, investigations, photographs, and sightings indicated its path was probably too steep to be consistent with a manmade spaceship re-entering from earth orbit. However, more recent research suggests that the measured trajectories were inaccurate and the object could have indeed fallen to earth over Kecksburg.

Was the fireball unusual for any reason? No, not really Fireballs, are simply extra brilliant meteors that do happen on occasion and often coincide with meteor showers. During this time, the planet earth was also experiencing the Geminid Meteor Shower which occurs every year from about December 4 to December 16, usually peaking in somewhere between those dates. But, as we shall reveal within this article, the Kecksburg, PA UFO was Not a meteor Nor a meteorite.

The first sightings of the Kecksburg, PA UFO, by witnesses, are claimed to be at 4:47 PM, just minutes before sunset. The brilliant object according to eyewitnesses blazed across the cloudy skies, slowed down, turned away from the village, as if to avoid crashing into a populated area, and came to rest in the woods nearby. Observers claim it appeared to make a controlled landing on the ground from what they could see in the distance. The object appeared to be under intelligent guidance. There were also reports of a sonic boom, vibrations, and the sound of a thud of something hitting the ground. But, the UFO did not hit the ground with tremendous force; there was no crater, no big, deep pit. Most individuals who later came upon the scene report that the object was only slightly submerged into the ground.

Approximate location of the landing site near Kecksburg, PA.

Some of the witnesses reported seeing blue smoke in the area. Others reported seeing a blue glow around it. Seems both the blue smoke and glow were just temporary. The Kecksburg, PA Volunteer Fire Department went out to look for a fiery object believing it to be an airplane that crashed and possibly was on fire. The fallen object did not look anything like a meteorite but resembled either a satellite or some type of spacecraft. There were hundreds of curious people, including journalists and tv and radio news reporters, from all over the area including the nearby City of Greensburg, who went looking for whatever crashed from the sky to the earth. The local authorities were there, and a short time later the USA Air Force and USA Army. There was a special unit of men wearing fire-resistant suits carrying Geiger counters and other equipment.

The Keckesburg object replica was created by the set of Unsolved Mysteries in 1990.

The military quickly cordoned off the area with ropes and ordered civilians to leave. Curious onlookers faced arrest at gunpoint forcing many to retreat. But, the military did not know, then, that there were quite a number of townspeople, already deep in the woods around the crashed space traveling vehicle. There were several witnesses who got a good look at the craft. The object resembled an acorn, as big as, “the size of a Volkswagen Beetle Car”. The downed spaceship was gold-colored, had no exterior attachments such as antennas, and toward the bottom had writings of a strange, foreign language. Some folks had the time to take pen and paper and reproduced the odd writings before the military moved them away. Allegedly, there were local citizens who took pictures of the spacecraft but had the films confiscated by military personnel.

One of the eyewitnesses was Jerry Better, a Pittsburgh Jazz vocalist who was interviewed by The Trib-Review Newspaper during the fortieth anniversary of the incident. Mr. Betters recalls hearing about the crash on the radio on the evening of Dec 9, 1965, and decided to head out to the site with several others. The military was already blocking the main roads but he knew the back roads and arrived on the scene. There were many soldiers there, even military brass, and people with lab coats on. Betters said the craft he saw had strange hieroglyphics writings on it was loaded up on a flatbed truck and driven out of the woods.

Jerry Betters a witness signed a sworn statement of what he saw in Keckesburg, PA on Thursday, December 9, 1965.

One of the most popular explanations as to what was retrieved that December evening was a fallen Russian or US satellite. And that explanation seems to be a good cover story for the military, but we question the satellite explanation. The first story is the re-entry of the Russian Cosmos 96/Venera type spacecraft which was launched and aborted on December 9, 1965; the same date as the Kecksburg, PA UFO sighting. The spacecraft was part of a failed attempt to send a Russian spacecraft to Venus. But, that particular satellite lost control and ended its flight prematurely falling from the sky into Canada. The Air Force tracking data on the Russian satellite indicated the spacecraft fell thirteen hours earlier before the Kecksburg incident and the timing was confirmed by NASA

UA Army truck re-enacting the Kecksburg incident with “unknown” cargo aboard.

Another theory of the Kecksburg UFO sighting is the possibility of it being a fallen USA satellite, the GE (General Electric) Mark 2, which the USA Air Force launched as a spy satellite. But, official records of the GE Mark 2 satellite launches do not confirm such a satellite passed over the Kecksburg area or after the object was retrieved by the military. However, the GE Mark 2 does have a shape that could be described somewhat like the Kecksburg UFO.

Image of Russian Cosmos satellite

Yet there are other mysteries here. The Kecksburg spaceship does not fully resemble the Russian Cosmos 96/Venera style; and is of a different color. While the GE Mark 2 device is acorn-shaped as the Kecksburg UFO is, unlike both satellites; engineers and metallurgists have said the Kecksburg UFO as described by eyewitnesses, differs in unworldly ways. The unidentified craft has no outer appendages, looks to be formed out of a single huge sheet of thick metal that has no rivets, bolts, or seams visible. The manmade US and Russian satellites have frames and panels, unlike the Kecksburg UFO. Furthermore, there appears to be no type of door or hatchway visible to enter or service the vehicle; there are no windows on the object which may indicate that the UFO is an unmanned or “unaliened” (no alien occupied) spacecraft.

So, what does the Kecksburg PA UFO spacecraft appear now to be? Perhaps the answer is simple: a satellite from another world; a highly intelligent planet not of our solar system. A satellite, without any crew, to study, store, and transmit information about our planet earth.

One of the most interesting witnessed claims described the strange writing found on the Kecksburg UFO at its base. Investigators stated that that writing; the closest style of writing to it, was hieroglyphics. Yet Hieroglyphics is a type of written word of the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Mayans. None of the earthly satellites known have this type of writing on them. The inscriptions appear to be of a foreign language not found on earth. Perhaps some similarities that exist between previously known UFO’s and the Kecksburg object will help.

Investigations of the flying saucer crash at Roswell, New Mexico, and Aztec, New Mexico from 1947 link information of another crashed flying saucer recovered by the USA Army from Mexico in 1950. The New Mexico flying saucer yielded the bodies of aliens who looked like perfectly ordinary human men but at a uniformed size of only 3 feet tall. One alien-human man was 3 and one half feet tall.

An alien human-looking man from the Mexico flying saucer crash of 1950 was an inch under 2 feet tall. Found within the flying saucer wrecks were strange “hieroglyphics writings” that strongly resemble the inscriptions on the base of the Kecksburg, PA UFO. The remains of the flying saucers and dead alien humans were taken by the USA military to secret bases to be studied; the dead bodies were put in refrigeration, and because of the classified security, the USA military publicly denied the whole bizarre occurrence never even happened. But various de-classified documents, under the USA Freedom of Information to the Public Act, tell an entirely different story. Over the years there appeared photographs and videos reputably the government has of everything: the crashed saucers, the dead alien humans, and the strange writing. However, it is difficult to determine what is real from all of this.

The movie “Kecksburg” premiered in 2019 here’s a sneak preview. Be prepared for conspiracy theories.

So on the matter of Kecksburg can we conclude a few things? Could the same extraterrestrial beings responsible for the flying saucers in the 1947 -1950 events that, unfortunately, crashed leading to the loss of alien life be the same beings responsible for the Kecksburg, PA UFO? This is of course speculation based on language writings on the crafts mentioned are rather similar. Perhaps the extraterrestrial humans, in wanting to avoid more downed; crashed flying saucers and avoid the deaths of their fellow space crew members, decided, in our time period of 1965, to launch a satellite, which most likely was unmanned to the earth for further exploration. Another possibility is their exploration satellite was probably not meant to travel light years to their home planet but was to be retrieved by an orbiting spacecraft of theirs in an orbit above our planet. But, something went wrong, and the spacecraft malfunctioned and fell to Kecksburg. Even though the odds are against it was the object intercepted by meteorites during the Geminid meteor shower of the time, and the damage caused the spacecraft to descend to earth?

In 1990, a replica depicting the crashed UFO at Kecksburg, PA was created for the television show called “Unsolved Mysteries”, and then put on display on a special stand near the Kecksburg fire station. On the acorn-shaped model, the strange writing of an unknown, alien language is clearly visible. Today the residents of Kecksburg celebrate the 1965 incident usually in July, with food, beverages, t-shirts, guest speakers, and fun that attracts people by the thousands. After many years the strange tale of what happened on that faithful night remains and it is a good one!


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