Kecksburg Crash

Date: December 9, 1965
Location: Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Appearance: Acorn, bronze-colored
Classification: CE 2
Sources: Blue Book; Stan Gordon; Leslie Kean
Summary: Mass UFO sighting in Kecksburg

Numerous residents of Kecksburg, near Pittsburgh in the USA, saw an object, described as streaking green fire across the sky. The fireball was reported from as far away as Ontario, Canada, and was seen by many observers over Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The object showed a trajectory moving from NW to SE. It changed direction in mid flight and started to head east. The UFO was visible for about six minutes, this would put its speed too low to be meteor. The calculated speed was around 1000 mph (1600 km/h).

UFO researcher Stan Gordon conducted an exhaustive investigation during 50 years. He has spoken with hundreds of people who were involved with the incident.

AcornThe UFO was observed by pilots in the air as well as by ground witnesses. The pilots reported shock waves as it flew past them. Sonic booms were also reported on the ground. The object left a vapor trail that stayed in the sky for about 20 minutes. It eventually landed in a heavily wooded area of Kecksburg.

Firefighter James Romansky said he saw a bronze-colored, acorn-shaped object with no windows, doors, or seams, partially buried in a gully. It was about 10 - 12 feet tall and 8 - 12 feet in diameter. On a section of the object were raised up symbols, similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Soon, government and military officials arrived and ordered everyone from the scene, posting armed guards around it. They removed the acorn shaped UFO on a flatbed truck. Jazz musician Jerry Betters said he was ordered at gunpoint to leave the area after he and his friends caught a glimpse of an acorn-shaped object, a little bigger than a Volkswagen, on the back of a truck. The extensive military response was reported by television, radio and newspapers, and was witnessed by hundreds of people who had come to the town.

Later on, the military claimed they searched the woods and found "absolutely nothing".

Artist impression based on

What was it?

  • A Soviet satellite? James Oberg argued that it was the failed Soviet Venus probe Cosmos 96 that reentered the atmosphere. But Nicholas Johnson, chief scientist for orbital debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center, wrote in 2005: "No part of Cosmos 96 could have landed in Pennsylvania in the local afternoon of 9 December 1965." Johnson also told that Cosmos 96 was the only catalogued object that reentered the earthís atmosphere on December 9. And the Cosmos capsule was only three feet in diameter, much smaller than the object reported by Kecksburg witnesses.
  • The GE Mark 2 reentry vehicle? This was a possible explanation by John Ventre and Owen Eichler from MUFON. When a photo of the GE Mark 2 spy capsule was shown to witness Jim Romansky, his comments were: "Not even close. No Comparison. You can see itís manmade and constructed." He also said that the acorn shaped object he saw was at least twice as big as the object in the photo.
  • A meteor? The object's speed was to low to be a meteor. In addition, Steven Kite and Ray Hicks of West Virginia University conducted an investigation of landscape disturbance in 2003. They wrote that a dense meteorite would have caused serious damage to the surrounding forest vegetation and left a pronounced impact crater, none of which was found.