I won’t start this entry by saying that Kecksburg does not appear in my GPS unit.
Nor will I say that the postal code for Kecksburg does not appear in the GPS unit either.
I won’t even start this entry by stating the final twenty-some miles I drove to Kecksburg, I was followed by a black SUV with tinted windows. Even as I turned onto Water Street, I debated what to do if the vehicle followed me to the monument location. Thankfully it didn’t and continued on Route 982.
If I would have started this article with either of these events, one might think I’m paranoid that little green men or Men in Black were out to get me. Just because something strange fell out of the sky one winter’s night does not mean there’s some massive cover up that has existed since December 9, 1965 and continues to this day. Or does it?
I parked in the gravel lot located along Water Street and stared at the odd monument, which looks like a gigantic acorn covered in hieroglyphics, sitting on top a pole at the back of the parking lot. The “space acorn” created for an episode of Unsolved Mysteries about the strange incident that happened in Kecksburg.
The evening of December 9, 1965, would be etched in the memories of thousands as a large object streaked through the night sky. The unidentified object was seen over six states and also Ontario, Canada. Most of the witnesses thought it was a fireball, but reports of metal debris falling and starting fires across Michigan and Ohio were soon called in to local authorities. As the object approached Pittsburgh, witnesses reported hearing sonic booms.
The unidentified object crashed into the woods near Kecksburg. Nevin Kalp, a local boy, reported seeing the object fall into a wooded ravine and his mother reported seeing a wisp of blue smoke rising from the area, which had cleared up within a couple minutes. Others reported feeling a vibration in the ground at the moment of impact.
The first people on scene reported seeing an object that was the size of a Volkswagon Beetle and appeared to be acorn shaped with strange writing all over it. Around 2 a.m. the following morning, a group of searchers, including a State Trooper, witnessed a blue light coming from the ravine roughly one hundred and fifty yards from where they were standing. The State Trooper started to descend towards the light, but the light disappeared when he tried to get closer.
Things would turn even stranger as the U.S. Army arrived on scene. The military would later claim that they searched the area and found nothing although numerous residents reporting seeing a flatbed trailer with a large object on it leaving the area of the crash. The secrecy of the military in the aftermath of the crash has caused many to refer to the incident as “Pennsylvania’s Roswell.”
The question remains: What landed in the wooded ravine that December evening?
The official explanation at the time was the object that crashed into the woods north of Kecksburg was a meteor. This explanation offered by astronomers stated the object entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a steep angle which caused the fireball effect seen by people that evening. The December 11 issue of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gave the following explanation: “As it became incandescent from the friction of its high speed passage through the atmosphere…it blew up and scattered fragments over a wide area.” This wide area covered the six states and portion of Canada it passed over.
Many thought the object came from outer space, possibly having alien lifeforms aboard it. This theory was popular from the start as “metallic objects” were discovered along the pathway the object raveled. Even more interesting, NORAD made a statement that none of its tracking stations had picked up the object as it passed through the atmosphere. In the December 10 edition of The Pittsburgh Press it stated “if it were a meteor it should have shown up on their radar scopes.” The extraterrestrial theory gained more strength with the secrecy of the object’s removal.
However, there is a better explanation that has a more Earthly answer and would explain why the military arrived quickly to recover the object. After looking at a number of sources I think believe they arrived to remove the remains of a top secret satellite, but which one they recovered Is not clear as two different satellites were destroyed that week.
The first theory is it was a part of the Kosmos 96, a Russian spacecraft that fell to Earth on December 9, 1965. The spacecraft was launched with the hopes of it doing a flyby of Venus, but the craft failed to make it out of a low Earth orbit. When it was launched on November 23, 1965, one of the fuel; lines ruptured during the third stage of the flight, causing an explosion which caused the rocket to tumble out of control. The craft was released, but did not have enough power and stability to remain in orbit. On December 9, 1965 it was destroyed when it returned to Earth. The vast majority of the spacecraft crashed in Canada earlier that day, but maybe a portion of it crashed within our borders. In 2005, shortly before the fortieth anniversary of the Kecksburg Incident, NASA released a statement that the object was a fallen satellite. When asked about seeing the findings, NASA has reported the documents to have been lost.
A second theory is it was a United States spy satellite that crashed into the woods. The most common theory is the object was a GE Mark 2 reentry vehicle, which had been launched a few days before over the Pacific Ocean.
Either one of these two satellites would have had the U.S. Army scrambling to quickly recover the object.
I finished taking pictures and left the Kecksburg monument to the mystery crash of December 9, 1965. What crashed into the wooded ravine that December night has never been fully explained. After looking at pictures of the GE Mark 2, I’m personally convinced this was the object that crashed into the mountains of Pennsylvania that evening.
But then again, I could be wrong and the “space acorn” may have been piloted by little green men.