Thousands see a UFO in the sky above Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.
Witnesses reported mysterious object
The U.S. Air Force investigated
On December, 9, 1965, a brilliant light streaked through the sky over Canada. It was also seen over the northeastern United States. Thousands of eyewitnesses reported its trail, which was visible for hundreds of miles in every direction.
The official Air Force report
In Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Robb Landy and his brother Ray were outside riding their bicycles:
“We were riding up the road and we just happened to look up into the sky and we saw this thing coming over the tops of the trees. It just glided right across the sky, like across the horizon of the trees. We were just, like, in awe, you know, as we watched it. Then it disappeared, and we ran.”–Ray
“You knew what an airplane looked like, you knew what a helicopter looked like, and that didn’t look like anything we had ever seen before. And the angle that was coming in, I mean, you knew that it had to hit the ground.”–Robb
Three miles away, another local boy, Randy Overly, also saw the object:
“I was playing by a creek at the time, and heard a deep hissing noise. And I looked up in the sky and saw an object coming at me from a pretty good distance away. It flew right over the top of me, no higher in the air than 200 feet, and was going no faster than a small airplane would go.”
There were strange markings on the object
Nevin and Nadine Kalp were also playing outside when the object flew overhead and crashed in a wooded ravine, half a mile away:
“This ball of, like, fire came through. It’s something that I’ve never seen before. And never seen it since. Seeing the smoke then, at that time, down in the hollow there.”
The Kalp farm is located less than a mile from Kecksburg Village. The object appeared to have crashed a half-mile from the Kalps’ home. Within minutes, Pennsylvania State Troopers descended on the site. By now, there was no smoke and the light was fading. Search teams were called in to locate the actual crash site.
Later, volunteer fireman Jim Mayes located the site from an overlook above the ravine:
“We went up this road and came to the brow of the hill and stopped, and down to the right, in the hollow, were these blue flashing lights. It wasn’t searchers, down in the woods, with flashlights or anything. It was a real bright blue. Real bright. Like a, electric welder. The flashes seemed to be timed, at what intervals, I don’t know. At that point the Troopers decided to close the area off. Close the roads off. So he brought the two of us that was with him back to the fire station.”
A military unit arrived to the scene
A call went out to all the local fire departments and more than 30 volunteer firemen were dispatched from the Kecksburg station. Volunteer fireman, James Romansky, was with a search team that actually found the crash site:
“Here was this humongous metal object, half buried in the ground. About six, seven, eight foot around, and it was every bit of eight, ten, twelve foot long. And to me the object looked like exactly like a fresh acorn that you’d pick off of a tree. There was no wings, there was no motors. There was no propellers. There was no identification whatsoever that would identify it as a aircraft that I would know. There was a bumper on the bottom part of it. On that bumper there was what I call, it looked to me like the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was markings like stars, and shapes and figures and circles, and lines, and what it was, I don’t know. To this day I’ve never seen anything like it. So we’re all standing around this thing, wondering what in the heck it could be, and finally here come two men down through the woods. And they took one look at the object, and immediately told us to leave. ‘We are in charge, we’re taking command, get out of here.’ So we left there, and by the time we got back down here to the fire hall, I mean, this place was wall to wall military.”
An hour later, military authorities took over a farmhouse near the ravine owned by Lillian Hayes:
“Well the military was coming in and out of my house all evening. And they were making a lot of phone calls and they were standing around in groups talking. I have no idea who they telephoned. No calls turned up on my bill.”
Nineteen-year-old Bill Weaver was one of many spectators who tried to catch a glimpse:
“I looked down in there myself. I seen there was something down in there, that had bright lights on it. But I couldn’t see the object itself. Some time later, I seen a van type truck pull up there. There was some men dressed in moon suits, we called them at the time, and they had a light colored box, roughly five foot square. They carried it down into the ravine.”
Was the object space debris?
The box seemed too small to hold the object itself. Maybe there was something inside the object that the military wanted to remove.
Back at the Kecksburg fire station, Jim Romansky and the other volunteers waited for orders:
“We looked up and here comes this Jeep down over the hill with its red light on. And right behind the Jeep was a large flatbed truck. And on the back of the flatbed was this covered object. And on down the road they went, and where they went, I have no idea.”
U.F.O. researcher Stan Gordon, believes the government knows what happened:
“Whatever came down in Kecksburg that night, is of high importance to the military agencies. The most mysterious thing about the whole case is the fact that after 25 years, the government still refuses to give us any actual information on what occurred.”
Stan Gordon interviewed dozens of Kecksburg eyewitnesses and has examined several theories:
“Astronomers who looked into the case at the time basically felt that the object in question was a bolides, which was a very bright fire-ball type meteor. But we now know the thing basically was coming down from the tip of Ontario, and appeared to have made about a 25 degree turn to the east, near Cleveland, Ohio. And the interesting thing is, now that the new data suggests that the object made a turn towards the south, and then the object made another turn towards the village of Kecksburg where it was proceeding towards the northeast. Within several miles of the crash site, multiple witnesses tell us that this object was coming in at a very, very slow speed of descent. Meteors do not make controlled turns. They do not come in at a slow speed like this. And they in fact do not glide in, which this thing apparently did.”
Jim Mayes is still baffled by what fell from the sky that night:
“My personal opinion, what landed in Kecksburg that night was a capsule of some kind, from where, whether it was one of ours, or foreign, I have no idea.”
Another theory put forth by Stan Gordon is that the object was space debris. The government has always monitored not only U.S. space activity, but also launches from other countries:
“Going back into the records we have from NASA, and documents we have from other agencies, they apparently have no loggings for any type of space debris on that date and the time of this observation. So we also have to look to the other possibility. Could this indeed have been an extraterrestrial spacecraft?”
Stan Gordon obtained through the Freedom of Information Act the official Air Force record of the Kecksburg incident:
“The report indicated that there was quite a lot of interest by government agencies as to what the object may have been. There were memos there and requests for information from Houston Space Center, from NORAD, from the Air Force Command Post, the Pentagon, even the Chairman of the Office of Emergency Planning requested information. The official Air Force explanation was that it was likely a meteor. And basically what it goes on to say is, the fact that the search was called off around 2:00 A.M. and that nothing was found. But evidence indicates that something indeed was found at the site.”
Bill Weaver was one of the eyewitnesses:
“The military’s idea of finding completely nothing is completely false. There was something down in that ravine that night. There was something that glowed an awful bright light. And they took something out of there that night.”
Many eyewitnesses reported seeing the military convoy coming out of the ravine. John Hays was only ten years old when a flat-bed truck with a large covered object on the back rumbled by his bedroom window:
“What was on the back of it I had no idea. But it was about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle from the distance I was at.”
According to Stan Gordon, eyewitnesses identified the military unit as an Air Force radar squadron based in Pittsburgh. Gordon believes the unit was part of a top-secret operation investigating UFOs:
“There is no entry at all for December 9th of 1965 in the December log of all activities for that squadron. That tells us that somebody apparently wanted to keep all the information associated with the unit’s involvement in that site away from public information. We can see the fact that the government has not told us everything they know about the Kecksburg case.”
James Romansky, a volunteer fireman doesn’t believe the government reports:
“Official reports that the military and the government put out, as far as I’m concerned, are a bunch of bull. If this thing was a meteorite, then why didn’t they just bring it out and say, ‘Here it is,’ let the reporters take pictures of it, let the firemen see it, let the people in this area see it… why the big mystery?”
Stan Gordon, U.F.O. Researcher concludes:
“Either, one, we’re dealing with some highly advanced space probe, probably of a foreign nation, that appears to be very highly technical for what we knew about 1965. Or, the possibility exists that we may indeed be dealing with an extraterrestrial spacecraft.”
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.