Case File: Kecksburg UFO
Location: Kecksburg, Pennsylvania
Date: December 9, 1965
Description: Kecksburg is an unincorporated community in Mount Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It is located along Route 982 in a heavily wooded area about thirty miles southeast of Pittsburgh at an elevation of 1,200 feet.
History: On December 9, 1965, a bright light flashed across the sky over Canada, and over the Northeastern United States, which was seen by over thousands of eyewitnesses. The object was described as a fireball which crashed in the woods and later described as a large metal bell-like structure the size of a Volkswagon Beetle with Egyptian hieroglyph-like markings etched into it, about eight feet long, and was in the shape of an acorn. When it was in the sky, it was described as an orange fireball with a tail on its end.
In Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, two brothers, Robb and Ray Landy, were riding their bicycles when they saw the object fly over them. In a creek nearby, another local boy, Randy Overly, also saw the object over him. Nearby, Nevan and Nadine Kalp were playing in their yard when the object flew overhead and crashed into a ravine. After the object crashed, Frances Kalp, the siblings' mother, heard an emergency broadcast on the radio and called in to say that the object appeared to be part of an airplane, not a full airplane as the broadcast claimed. A few minutes later, Frances got a call from a man on the US Navy, and was told to watch around the area of the crash, and to call back to them. The operator then came on the line and told that the police were arriving. State troopers and two unidentified men soon arrived at the Kalp home and Frances told her where the crash site was located. The object crashed about half a mile from the Kalp home.
Search teams were called in to locate the actual crash site. Volunteer fireman Jim Mayes led one team of state troopers to the ravine and located the site from an overlook above the ravine after Jim noticed several blue flashing lights coming from the area. Thirty volunteer fireman began searching for the object in the ravine. James Romansky, a volunteer fireman, was part of the search team who located the object, and he did not believe that the object was an aircraft, and noticed strange writings on the object. The men were then told to leave the site as the military arrived at the crash site. The site was cordoned off by the military, and all of the civilians were refused entry. A local farmhouse owned by Lilian Hays was taken over by the military and although the officials made several phone calls to unidentified individuals, no calls turned up on her bill.
A teenager named Bill Weaver was one of many spectators that tried to get a glimpse of the mysterious object. Bill saw four men carrying a large box into the ravine, but it appeared too small to fit the object, and some believe that the military was removing something else. Bill and the other spectators were then told to leave the area. Meanwhile, back at the fire station, James Romansky and the others were refused to enter the station, which was being used as a military post. At that same time, James saw a covered object that he believes was the UFO that fell from the sky. Lilian Hays's son John believes that he also saw the mysterious object leaving in a military convoy. No one knows where the object went to afterwards.
Background: Kecksburg is an unincorporated community in Mt. Pleasant Township, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The town has just 250 residents in 1965. It is about thirty miles south of Pittsburgh. The ravine that the object crashed into was located less than a mile from Kecksburg village, and stretched across eight-hundred yards.
Investigations: The Kecksburg UFO is one of the most hotly disputed objects since the Roswell Crash. Articles about the crash have appeared in Sky & Telescope and The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. A local reporter from the radio station WHJB at the crash site named John Murphy reported that the military had seized all his wife's images of the object except one roll of film. He later went on to write the radio documentary, Object in The Woods. He was later intimidated by two men claiming to be government officials. In 2003, Sci Fi Channel (now SyFy) featured a documentary on the mystery which revisited the site of the crash and talked to witnesses. In 2005, NASA changed it's opinion on the object from a meteor to a fallen Soviet satellite called Cosmos 96. This case has been investigated by Stan Gordon, a UFO researcher, and has examined several theories about what the object may have been. One of the theories was that the object was a meteor, but that was discredited because of how the object entered the atmosphere and into the ravine. Stan believes that the object was a UFO and that the government knows what the object was. Another theory was that the object may have been space debris, but that theory is unconfirmed. Stan Gordon believes that the object was either a space probe from another country that was higly techinical for 1965, or that it was a UFO from outer space. The Kecksburg UFO case was also investigated and covered by documentaries on the Sci-Fi and History Channels.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the September 19, 1990 episode.
The case was also featured in the Discovery Channel series Conspiracy.
Results: Unresolved. Several theories have recently been put forth to explain what the mysterious object was. In 2015, two researchers announced that they believed the object was a GE Mark 2 re-entry vehicle. The vehicle was in the nosecone of several rockets that were used in the 1960s. The vehicle was also allegedly used to spy on the Russians. The vehicle had jets that could have allowed it to make the turns that the object was seen doing by eyewitnesses. Also, it was made of copper, which could explain the green flames seen by some witnesses. Finally, it had markings on it which could be misinterpreted as foreign markings (as described by witness James Romansky). However, the military continues to insist that the object seen by eyewitnesses was a meteor. A model of the crashed object originally created for the show is now on display near the Kecksburg Fire Station.
- Kecksburg UFO on Unsolved.com
- Kecksburg UFO at Wikipedia
- Search For Meteor Is Unsuccessful
- Meteor Search Fails
- 'There's a UFO in woods'
- Residents say UFO landing was a hoax, not unsolved mystery
- Kecksburg Incident: NBC's 'Unsolved' UFO mystery wasn't
- Pennsylvania is becoming a hotbed for UFO sightings
- Space Acorn - Pennsylvania's own Roswell-style UFO mystery.
- Is Case Finally Closed on 1965 Pennsylvania 'UFO Mystery'?
- Nearly 50 years later, Kecksburg UFO sighting remains mystery
- Five decades later, the Kecksburg UFO is identified (probably)
- UFO festival crashes into Pennsylvania town for annual re-investigation
- Engineer chasing clues in Kecksburg cold case
- UFO sighting legend coming to the big screen in rural western Pennsylvania