The Annual Kecksburg UFO Festival Marks The Anniversary Of Kecksburg UFO incident
Once a year, flying saucers take over the streets of the small town of Kecksburg, in the county of Westmoreland. The Volunteer Fire Department puts on the annual UFO Festival, which includes the parade.
Each year, people from all over the state who are interested in UFOs build fake spaceships and dress up in costumes for a weekend-long party that is mostly fun.
Since the covid-19 pandemic started, the Kecksburg UFO Festival has not happened. During the same time, the U.S. military released information that included hundreds of reports of flying objects that could not be identified.
Even though that wasn’t the main focus of the festival, it wasn’t far from the minds of those who went.
“I think they put it out during covid so no one would notice,” said Lindsey Zambo of Latrobe, who has been to festivals in Kecksburg for the past few years.
So, how did the Kecksberg UFO festival find its origins? On a cold night in December of 1965, something happened that would change the small town of Kecksburg in western Pennsylvania for good. Read on to know everything about the incident and how it shaped modern UFO lore.
The Kecksburg UFO incident Explored
On the night of December 9, 1965, people in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada, saw a large, bright fireball flying over the Detroit, Michigan–Windsor, Ontario area. People from all over the state and the United States say they saw a bright light streak across the sky.
The fireball was blamed for reports of hot metal pieces over Michigan and northern Ohio, grass fires, and sonic booms in the Pittsburgh area.
Some people in the village of Kecksburg, which is about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Pittsburgh, said they saw wisps of blue smoke, felt vibrations, and heard a “thump.” They also said that something from the sky had crashed in the woods.
Even after it fell in a field in Kecksburg, no one knew what it was. People in the area say it was a spaceship. Whatever it was, it was taken by the U.S. Army, and a legend was born.
Various Theories About The Kecksberg UFO Incident Examined
The following was written in an early story in the Greensburg Tribune-Review:
The area where the object landed was immediately sealed off on the order of U.S. Army and State Police officials, in anticipation of a ‘close inspection’ of whatever may have fallen … State Police officials there ordered the area roped off to await the expected arrival of both U.S. Army engineers and possibly, civilian scientists.
When state troopers and people from the Air Force looked through the woods, they found “nothing at all.” The headline of the next issue of the Tribune-Review was “Searchers Fail to Find Object.”
Authorities ruled out ideas like a plane crash, a failed missile test, or debris from a satellite falling back into Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, they thought it was probably a meteor. Paul Annear, an astronomer, said it was likely a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere. George Wetherilo, a geophysicist, ruled out the idea that it was debris from a satellite and agreed that it was probably a meteor. William P. Bidelman and Fred Hess, who are both astronomers, were sure it was a bolide meteor. A spokesman for the Department of Defense in Washington said that the first reports of the fireball suggested that it was a natural event.
NASA’s Stand About The Kecksberg UFO Incident
In December 2005, NASA said that experts had looked at metal pieces found in the area and found that they came from a Russian satellite that had re-entered the atmosphere and broken up, but that records of their findings had been lost in the 1980s.
Leslie Kean, a “Sci-Fi Channel-backed investigative reporter,” is said to have “sued NASA under the Freedom of Information Act” for the missing NASA records. During the hearing, Steve McConnell, NASA’s public liaison officer, said that two boxes of papers from the time of the Kecksburg incident were missing.
In 2008, space writer James Oberg said it was unlikely that NASA had any such documents because he thought it was very likely that the “NASA team” that investigated the site was actually made up of Air Force members who said they were from NASA. This was a common thing for military members in civilian clothes to do in the 1960s. He also said that Kean’s action was nothing more than a “publicity stunt” for Kean’s bosses.
John Ventre of MUFON and Shafton native Owen Eichler say that their recent research has led them to think that the object that was said to have landed in Kecksburg was “a General Electric Mark 2 Re-entry Vehicle that had been launched by the Air Force as a spy satellite but fell out of orbit.” However, “we need confirmation from NASA or the Air Force,” they say.
NASA’s most recent statements about a link to a Soviet satellite are less positive:
Some people think that the fireball seen over southwestern Ontario, Canada, and at least eight states from Michigan to New York on December 9, 1965, was caused by the reentry of a Cosmos 96/Venera-type spacecraft. Photos and reports of the fireball showed that its path through the atmosphere was probably too steep for it to have been a spacecraft re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, it was probably a meteor in a prograde orbit from the area of the asteroid belt, and its flight probably ended over western Lake Erie. The U.S. Air Force’s tracking data on Cosmos 96 also show that the spacecraft’s orbit changed before 9 December at 21:43 UT. Other unconfirmed reports say the fireball landed in Pennsylvania southeast of Pittsburgh near the town of Kecksburg (40.2 N, 79.5 W) at 4:46 p.m. EST (although estimating the impact point of fireballs from eyewitness accounts is notoriously inaccurate). It’s hard to say for sure if the fireball was the Cosmos 96 spacecraft because there are some unknowns about its orbit, reentry coordinates, and time.
Witnesses Claim The Fallen Object Appeared To Be Intelligently Made And Not A Meteorite
People in the small western Pennsylvania town of Kecksburg said they saw the object crash into the woods near the town. Today, many people think this was just an optical illusion and that the object could not have landed in that area. However, at the time, the US Army took the sightings very seriously.
The area was eventually blocked off with a rope, and people who went into the woods to see what was falling were sent away by armed men. The Army said that nothing was found when they looked in the woods near Kecksburg. This claim is disputed by witnesses.
Bill Bulebush says he saw the object in the sky turn around “like it was being controlled” before it crashed into the woods. He drove out to see what was going on and found something that looked like an acorn burning in the woods. Bulebush was scared by the way it shone, cracked, and sparked, so he didn’t get too close to it. When he heard people coming, he ran home.
James Romansky saw it too. He said that he and a group of volunteer firefighters found the object in the woods when they were called to what they thought was a plane crash. Instead, he found a strange metal object covered in hieroglyphics that was buried in the ground.
Romansky says that mysterious men in trench coats then told him to leave, and that he later saw the military take the thing away on a flatbed truck. Several people later saw this flatbed truck, which was carrying something strange, leave the area. Also, an Air Force security officer named Michael Rambacher said he had watched over the object, which he said came on a flatbed truck and was not from this world.
People in the town who don’t believe these witnesses will, of course, attack and discredit them. Why did Bulebush run away? Can Romansky be trusted, given that he has been in trouble with the law? How about Rambacher, who is now a UFO researcher but says he has never seen the object for himself?
Does the fact that the stories are similar show that they are true? Even now, people in Kecksburg and all over the country still have a lot to say about these questions.