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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Kecksburg UFO Crash: December 9th, 1965

From AboveTopSecret.com  Thread: The Kecksburg UFO Crash: December 9th, 1965
Posted by jkrog08, on September 8, 2009 at 22:56 GMT

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Image courtesy of www.davidsankey.com
Hynek Classification: **Reported Crash/CE2
The Kecksburg, Pennsylvania UFO crash of December 9th, 1965
Yes, most of us probably know at least some of the story, some probably know the entire available story. This case is also sometimes referred to as the “Great Lakes Fireball of 1965”. But even with ATS being as great of a ufological knowledge database as it is, this top ten UFO incident as not been covered to any detail it deserves. Thus I will documenting this crash in detail to add to the ATS archives for all to see and learn. This is a very in-depth case with investigations STILL going on, with the most recent breakthrough happening in 2003, with NASA releasing some records via the Freedom of Information Act due to a class action law suit filed by the Coalition of Freedom of Information against them. Unfortunately the 40 pages released added nothing to this case.
In this case we have numerous witness reports of an “acorn shaped” UFO crash landing in the woods of Kecksburg, PA on the night of December 9th, 1965. We have numerous witness reports of USAF, US Army, NASA, and unknown government agents at the scene covering up the incident while recovering something—that much is known and admitted, what it was however is still disputed to this day, some 44 years later. We also have a town conflicted, with some residents not even talking to each other because they are so divided about what really happened that fateful night in 1965. This case is chalk full of accusations a United States government and NASA deflection/disinformation campaign and alien cover-ups, misidentifications, and inflation of mundane evidence. Some researchers consider this case the “second Roswell”, while some consider this nothing but a ‘conventional’ cover-up of a downed Soviet space probe. As usual it is up for you all to decide for yourselves what really crashed that night---Something truly unknown or something truly mundane?
Chapter Summary:
  1. The Incident
  2. The Investigation
  3. Official Conclusions and My Conclusions

1) The Incident
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Image courtesy of www.ufo-reports.com
At approximately 4:44 PM EST on December 9th, 1965 an unknown fireball was seen and detected entering the atmosphere at a calculated speed of 1,600 km/h by aircraft pilots, witnesses over several states as well Ontario, Canada, and multiple witnesses in the Kecksburg, PA area. The object was said to have dropped molten debris over Michigan and Northern Ohio, which started several grass fires reportedly. Sonic Booms were also heard in western Pennsylvania and by pilots who reported being rocked by shock waves. It was also noted that the smoke trail from the object lasted for around 20 minutes. When the object finally came to rest in Kecksburg, PA police phone lines were jammed with calls from witnesses reporting an object crashing into the woods of Kecksburg. Emergency officials went immediately to the scene.

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Photograph showing objects smoke trail over Royal Park, Michigan on December 9th 1965 4:43 p.m. E.S.T. by Richard Champine. 2 miles east of Pontiac, Michigan, photo taken approximately 45 seconds after the fireball passed. Among the first witnesses to report the incident was Frances Kalp, who reported seeing a fiery object crash into the woods and called the WHJB radio station at around 5:30 PM EST. She contacted the stations reporter and news director John Murphy, who in turn immediately reported the incident to the Pennsylvania state police. Multiple witnesses managed to investigate the scene before military officials arrived. Of them were fire department officials, regular civilians, Murphy, and the Pennsylvania state police. Here is some more information:
Shock waves were reported by pilots, and a seismograph near Detroit recorded a shock, wrote investigator Stan Gordon, of Pennsylvania Association for the Study of the Unexplained (PASU) in a recent journal article. The crash has been a pet project of the Greensburg man "since the night it happened," he said, noting he is still trying to obtain information on the incident. Although the military eventually labeled the object a meteor, as did the Associated Press account published in The Bulletin the day after the crash, Gordon says recent evidence, including the discovery of a man who saw the object, supports the idea that the object was a true UFO.
"I was a teenager then," said John (not his real name). "It was in the early part of December and there was a little snow and a little rain, and mud."
He was called to the scene after the 4:44 p.m. crash as a fireman from the Latrobe area, to search for the crashed object.
"I had seen a fiery object in the sky. I can't say exactly which direction but it was coming from the north. It was not too much longer and the fire whistle went off," he said. "I answered the call and was told they needed a search team because at the time they believed it was a downed aircraft. And I thought, 'My God, this is what I have just seen'."
When firemen arrived at the Kecksburg Fire Hall, maps were reviewed and groups were given sections to search.
"It was getting semi-dusk and we had flashlights. We were taken in the back of a truck and dropped off and told to go 'this way' which we did. I was not on the initial contact team. Another team found the object.
www.ufoevidence.org...

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Reported track of object courtesy of thewebfairy.com
So now we have an official search and rescue operation going on by the local fire department. The interesting part of this story as really always been what these witnesses saw when they got to the actual site. Here is some more information:
"It was definitely, unequivocally, positively, absolutely no aircraft, plane, helicopter or rocket, at least not to my knowledge. It was in an area that was part field and part woods and we went down to investigate," he said. "We found the object had crashed at a 30 to 40 degree angle, and had broken off numerous tree branches in its impact path. My initial reaction was 'This is no airplane.' I observed no shrapnel, no breaking up of the fuselage. It was one solid piece, no doors, no windows.
"Preliminary searches found no bodies or casualties. It was shaped like an acorn, laying on its side, like the acorn nut is in its shell when it's on a tree," he explained. "I've been a machinist for 24 years and I've worked with a tremendous amount of different metals, and I have never seen any type of metal that looked even close to that."
www.ufoevidence.org...

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Picture taken on December 9th by Lowell Wright in Orchard Lake, Michigan


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Picture taken on the 9th by same person from another angle

Now anyone familiar with this case (which I expect quite a few, being this IS ATS ;) ) would be familiar with the common theories (which I will get into in a bit) about what really crashed that night. Well here is an interesting eyewitness account of what was seen that night by some witnesses:
John said the object was not broken, "not even cracked, just dented a bit. It did not give off smoke, steam or vapors, at least none that we could see."
He described the portion visible as between eight and 10 feet long, six and seven feet across, and said a man of average height would probably have had little trouble standing up inside it. The crater it plowed into the ground was "rectangular in shape." John said the state police were there and the area was soon quarantined.
Now reportedly the state police and fire department went into the woods to search while Murphy was interviewing Kalp and her children. Whatever the police saw in the woods caused them to come back out stating they “you better get your information from the military.”Of course this did not stop other witnesses from walking into the woods and trying to see what crashed for themselves. Every witness (including firemen) that entered the woods and viewed the object reported it as being “acorn” or “cone” like, with “hieroglyphic-type” writing on a “fender-like bulge” at the base, as well as leaving a trench in the ground where it crashed. Here is some more information on the early part of the incident, according to what witnesses claim to have happened:
Most witnesses thought they were observing a plane going down in flames. But in Kecksburg, where the objects arrived suddenly and made its spectacular landing, the earliest reported eyewitness, a seven year old boy playing outside with his sister, declared that it looked like "a star on fire." The children's mother later described, "a column of blue smoke rising through the trees, "from the woods about a mile away where the object landed, and another "brilliant object," hanging above the tree line and to the left of the smoke column. She described this second objects at resembling a "four-pointed star." There were other witnesses in different parts of the village who independently saw the object go down into the woods, and at that time, they heard no sound, but momentarily after it happened, they saw the dust rise and a blue column of smoke go up, and in a matter of minutes it dissipated. When they saw this thing coming in, by the descriptions, they were not just seeing a fireball or bright meteor. Some of them had seen this thing pass very close over their heads, it was slow moving, it was gliding in. . It appears to have been a controlled reentry vehicle of some type. . It appears that it was purposely trying not to hit the edge of the ridges, to guide itself around those ridges, and was trying to gain altitude.
Apparently, it did not gain enough over the last ride when it crashed. Not long after the crash, members from the local volunteer fire companies were combing the woods, searching for what was still assumed to be a downed airplane. The state police also arrived, to coordinate the search as well as keep order, as radio and TV news reports of the mysterious, no longer assumed to be a mere airplane, had drawn crowds of curious onlookers to the site for a glimpse of whatever it was. A state police fire marshal, accompanied by an unidentified man carrying a Geiger counter descended into the woods.
Upon their return a few minutes later, the state police fire marshal ordered the woods sealed off. John Murphy, news director of the Greensburg radio station WHJB, was one of the first people on the scene. Murphy knew the fire marshal well, but when he attempted to get information from him as to what he had seen in the woods, received the reply, "I'm not sure. You better get your information from the army."
www.ufodigest.com...
Some more witness reports...
Report By Doug Yurchey It was a warm December night in 1965. I was 14 years old and my cousin John was 12 years old as we left my house to sneak a few cigarettes down the alley. We lived in the suburban community of Bridgeville; 12 miles southwest of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We came to this lithographic building which had a loading dock in the back. It was the perfect place to sit and smoke in secret. We knew we had to leave soon. The time was getting late into the evening. But, before we made our way back to my house:
Something pierced the night's sky over my left shoulder. Our heads turned to the left and our eyes could not help but notice a bright ball of light! Both John and I were stunned. Our mouths dropped. The object was about the size of a full moon and it trailed sparks or little bits of light. The odd thing about it was the thing did not fall straight down. The UFO went laterally; sideways; almost up! Whatever this was...it could not have been a meteor. A shooting star (or space debris) falls down. A natural object does not move horizontally. Meteors do not go up.
www.ufoevidence.org...
John Murphy reportedly managed to take several rolls of film of the crash site, as well make an audio recording of what he saw. Unfortunately he could not exit the area before the United States Army arrived to secure the crash site. They are reported to have confiscated all but one roll of film and his audio files. Murphy reportedly (according to his wife) showed one image to his wife:
“It was very dark and it was with a lot of trees around and everything. And I don’t know how far away from the site he was. But I did see a picture of a sort of a cone-like thing. It’s the only time I ever saw it.” ufoin.com...
The remaining roll of film and audio recorder data Murphy had is thought to have been taken during a reported later encounter with two reported Men in Black shortly after the event, thus no pictures or data recorded from him exist. Murphy was heavily investigating the crash and intending to come out with an in-depth documentary with pictures and such, obviously after the MIB event the interview was highly edited and nothing new came to light in it, in fact Murphy refused to talk of the incident again. It is also noteworthy to add that John Murphy was killed in a “hit and run” four years later while in California. Apparently the local fire department got within 200 feet of the object before being turned away by the military:
After some investigation they found out that the fire service had come within 200ft of the object before being turned away by the military. They reported seeing blue flashing lights, and noticing that the tops of several of the trees nearby were broken as if an object had come crashing through. www.ufologie.net...
There were many witnesses that claim to have either seen the conical shaped craft itself or the heavy military presence in the area shortly afterwards. However there is also an equally strong amount of witnesses in Kecksburg who claim there was no more than a small team (Oakdale radar unit) in the area. Current theories by many ufologist do lead to a much heavier military presence- including NASA, however. Summation of Events
  • 4:44 PM EST: Unknown object detected over many states and Canada traveling at around 1,600 kph.
  • 4:50 PM EST: Unknown object believed to have crashed into the Kecksburg, Pennsylvania area. The object is reported to have been immersed in a “bluish glow with smoke” and have “descended intelligently” before finally coming to rest in a old creek bed in the woods of Kecksburg. Emergency officials called, fireman on scene shortly after.
  • 5:30 PM EST: One of the first reports come into radio station WHJB, received by John Murphy. State police contacted and arrive shortly after.
  • 5:30 Onward: Multiple witnesses including state police, fire officials, John Murphy(reporter), and civilians report seeing something unusual either in the woods or that crashed ‘intelligently’ from the sky. Common reports are consistent with a “cone or acorn shaped object” resting horizontally in a disturbed creek bed. Reports also state that “hieroglyphic-type writing” was observed on the object.
Thie writing was seen around the base of the object. A hour or so after the call to the state police the military arrived, the only officially acknowledged group was the Oakdale radar unit which was reportedly sent by Project Blue Book to investigate. The military are then said to have completely closed off the site and threaten anyone around the area with force. They reportedly took all pictures they could find from John Murphy and stop anyone else from viewing the crash area. According to about half the town of Kecksburg(that were alive during the time) NASA, USAF, and US Army, as well as other unknown government personal, were at the scene that night. According to some witness reports the numbers were over 100, with full command set-ups. Some witnesses report hearing a “horrifying scream” come from within the woods hen the military proceeded to penetrate the crash site. Some time later a large military flatbed truck was seen with a “acorn or cone shaped” object being load on to it and covered with a tarp. The truck is said to have then sped off, after that all of the officials in the area are said to have departed—but not before warning certain people who may have seen something to “shut up or else”. To this day the entire severity of military involvement is disputed between townsfolk in Kecksburg, with disputes leading to lost friendships and serious disputes in some cases.
The official military explanation from 1965 to 2005 was that “nothing but a meteor had crashed that night”....
Example of conflicting witness accounts:
The meeting — an “historic” event, said Greensburg UFO investigator Stan Gordon — was organized and filmed by the cable channel as part of an investigative documentary titled, “The New Roswell: Kecksburg Exposed.” The two-hour special, produced by MPH Entertainment, Inc., and hosted by Gumbel, is scheduled to air 9 p.m. Oct. 17. After a brief on-camera introduction, Gumbel turned his attention to Chuck Hilland, Jr., whose family has long maintained nothing happened that night.
“I was only 2 at the time, so I can’t confirm or dispute anything that happened,” he said, adding his father was working that night and didn't’t get home until after midnight. His mother didn't’t leave the house.
“All I can tell you is my parents really believe nothing significant happened that night,” he said.
In 1965, John Hays, now of New Florence, was living in a farmhouse close to the scene.
As a 10-year-old, he thought all the activity was “exciting ... like a big party.” And even though he was told to go to his room, Hays said he tried to sneak downstairs frequently to get a look at all the members of the military and officials from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration who were gathering at his house. Hays said he later saw a flat-bed truck emerging from the site near his house carrying something the “size of a VW.”
www.ufoevidence.org...
More witness accounts of some strange events at Kecksburg that night...
Michael Slater, then 14 and living in Kecksburg, was outside with his brother that evening when a military jeep pulled up. The two boys were asked to assist with “crowd control.” If anyone asked for directions to the crash site, they were to give them the wrong directions. “We had fun sending people all over the place,” he said, adding the men in the jeep told them they were “doing a service for your country.” Slater said he and his brother later saw a flat-bed truck emerge from the woods, carrying an object covered by a tarp.
Don Sebastian, who lived in Johnstown at the time, was in the area visiting friends when they heard the radio report that something had crashed near Kecksburg. They jumped in the car, only to be turned away by armed state police, he said. But determined to find out what was going on, Sebastian persisted, sneaking around the roadblock and heading back toward the scene.
“I saw a line of soldiers down in the clearing ... best guess, maybe 100 guys ... armed at hip level and walking single file parallel to the crash site,” he said prior to the meeting. “It looked like a drill. Perfect formation. Nobody out of step.” Until they heard a scream, he said.
“This was a terror scream, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” he said. After a minute or two, he heard another scream.
“It didn't sound human,” he said. “That’s when I lost my nerve. I figured this was a place where I could get shot. So, I was out of there.”
“The Army was definitely there. It’s irrefutable. I saw them,” said Dave Newhouse, a teenager at the time. When he and a friend tried to sneak into the woods, they were stopped by an Army guard.
“He pointed his rifle at me and said get out,” Newhouse said before the meeting. “So, something was definitely there. I don’t have any idea what it was, but the Army doesn't’t come out to guard a patch of woods.”
www.ufoevidence.org...
Now one must seriously question exactly what was of such a high priority for the following to take place (according to witnesses):
"They drove us out. It was late at night when we finally got back to the fire hall and it had been completely taken over by the military. They were carrying in large pieces of equipment, radios and such, and they had armed guards posted outside so nobody could get in or out. The firemen were thrown out. We weren't even allowed in to use the bathroom. "The military had control of the whole operation," John recalled. "After a while we saw a flat bed truck come by with some other military equipment, a crane or something.
"It was not too much longer, an hour, an hour and a half, when the trucks came back and there was a large object on the back of the flat bed, covered by a tarp, with military escorts front and back. I got the feeling that if you had stepped on the road you were dead meat. They weren't stopping for anything."

2) The Investigation
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Reproduced model courtesy: en.wikipedia.org
The official Kecksburg explanation of a meteor, as stated by the military, stood and was accepted by the mainstream until the case came out of its’ stagnation again in 1990 when native and UFO researcher, Stan Gordon came across a first hand witness, who was with the volunteer fire department and was on the scene that night, as well (mainly) when Unsolved Mysteries aired a nationally televised documentary on the incident in 1990. The witness, James Romansky had recalled seeing the object on the ground about 25 yards away. He also reported that he had been expecting to see a crashed airplane but when he got there he saw a bronze colored, acorn shaped, and 12 by 25 feet in size object with a raised “blunt” end that had strange markings on it:
"It had writing on it, not like your average writing, but more like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. It had sort of a bumper on it, like a ribbon about six to 10 inches wide, and it stood out. It was elliptical the whole way around and the writing was on this bumper. It's nothing like I've ever seen, and I'm an avid reader. I read a lot of books on Egypt, the Incas, Peruvians, Russians and I've never to this day come across anything that looked like that." www.ufocasebook.com...
After the Unsolved Mysteries documentary aired two important witnesses came forward in the investigation. Both were military, here is the information gathered by the witness testimony:
After the television show ran, two new witnesses came forward. One was a USAF officer at Lockbourne AFB (near Columbus, Ohio). In the early hours of December 10, a truck arrived by the little used back gate of the base and he was ordered to patrol it. It was a flat-bed with a large tarpaulin on the surface covering a conical object. He was told to shoot anyone who tried to get too close. He was advised the truck was bound for Wright Patterson AFB, which is the reputed home of other crashed saucers.
The other witness was a building contractor who was asked two days later to take a load of 6,500 special bricks to a hangar inside Wright Patterson. When he sneaked a look inside the hangar he saw a bell-shaped device, some 12 feet high sitting there. Several men wearing white anti-radiation style suits were inspecting the object.
After he had been escorted out he was told that he had just seen an object that would become common knowledge in 20 years time.
www.ufocasebook.com...
There were high hopes for this case being totally explained in the early part of this century, as a law suit was filed against NASA in December of 2003:
A researcher backed by cable television's Sci Fi Channel plans to sue NASA for records she contends the agency has of a UFO that reportedly crash landed and was recovered by government workers in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1965. The Associated Press obtained an advance copy of the lawsuit to be filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Leslie Kean, a San Rafael, Calif., investigative reporter backed by the cable channel and a group called the Coalition for Freedom of Information.
"Our lawsuit is aimed at getting NASA to tell the public what it knew and when it knew it," said Ed Rothschild, a lobbyist the Sci Fi Channel hired from the Washington firm PodestaMattoon, who is also identified as CFI's executive director. Former President Clinton's one-time chief of staff John Podesta, whose brother is a principal in the lobbying firm, has supported the cable channel's effort to declassify the documents.
Bob Jacobs, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said he was unaware of the lawsuit and could not comment.
www.ufoevidence.org...
They were asking for any and all information pertinent to Kecksburg be released. The lawsuit was sponsored by the SyFy Channel and the Coalition for Freedom of Information ended with NASA, in November of 2003, releasing 40 pages of documents pertaining to the incident. The released documents were of absolutely NO HELP to the investigation and mostly contained references to other works on Kecksburg. NASA claimed that “two other boxes went missing” and could not be found. You can explore the FOIA files yourself below, if you wish:
This from a SyFy channel official (remember they were backing this whole law suit) :
  The lawsuit contends NASA has thwarted Kean's efforts to retrieve official files on the incident by sending her irrelevant information or nothing in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. "Despite our serious effort to uncover the facts, NASA still refuses to provide the public with any information," said Sci Fi Channel president Bonnie Hammer. "We are hopeful that our legal system will help us find out what really happened in the woods outside Kecksburg."
www.ufoevidence.org...
I can personally state that NASA, the USAF, and any other branch of the government are near impossible to attempt to gain information on Kecksburg from. This summer I was personally trying to gain access to FOIA records and was met with many ‘brick walls’ by all agencies, sometimes with sarcastic comments such as “we are not a repository for UFO knowledge”. So for the moment I have given up on any FOIA related Kecksburg requests as you really are ran in circles for nothing. After this ordeal the SyFy channel released a long documentary hosted by Bryant Gumble in October of 2003. This did bring further attention to the Kecksburg incident but unfortunately yielded no now evidence other than new interviews with witnesses of the incident. This was not the end of the NASA lawsuit however, as it still continues today with the request being for NASA to attempt to search for the reported lost records:
In December 2005, a lawsuit was filed to get NASA to search more diligently for the alleged lost records. On October 26, 2007, NASA agreed to search for those records after being ordered by the court.[11][12] The judge, who had tried to move NASA along for more than 3 years, angrily referred to NASA's previous search efforts as a "ball of yarn" that never fully answered the request, adding, "I can sense the plaintiff's frustration because I'm frustrated."[13]
During the hearing, Steve McConnell, NASA's public liaison officer, admitted two boxes of papers from the time of the Kecksburg incident were missing. Stan Gordon, principal investigator of the Kecksburg incident for several decades, stated "I have no doubt the government knows a lot more about this than it has revealed to the public."[14]
en.wikipedia.org...
The History Channel series, UFO Hunters, went out to the Kecksburg site for a February 2009 episode, but nothing conclusive was found.
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YouTube Link
So in summation what we have here is some documentaries and a few new witness accounts, as well an expensive lawsuit against NASA, which as still not added anything of value to this case, and likely will not in my opinion. I must say that in my humble opinion the only good thing that has came from the efforts since 1990 was the drawing of public attention to this case as well some hope (as slim as it is) that the legal system can indeed be used to uncover classified information in regards to UFOs.
Alternate Explanations
A Meteor
This was the USAF and official explanation for 40 years until NASA stated the object was debris from Cosmos 96. Many skeptics still think this is true, since the Cosmos theory has been destroyed by NASA itself. In 1967 the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (JRASC) published their findings on the fireball and came to the conclusion it was in deed a meteor. The conclusions was that the fireball was falling at a steep angle, moving southwest to the northeast, and likely impacted on the northwestern shore of Lake Erie near Windsor, Ontario. However, newer and further analysis of available photographs and the calculations seem to show that may have been a hasty conclusion by the astronomers:
The triangulation base used by the astronomers in their calculations was very narrow. As a result, even very small errors in determination of directions could result in a very different triangulated trajectory. It was found that measurement errors of slightly more than one-half degree would make possible a straight-line trajectory towards the Kecksburg area and a much shallower angle of descent than reported in the JRASC article. It was also pointed out that the photos used actually show the fireball trail becoming progressively thinner, indicating motion away from the cameras or in the direction of Pennsylvania. Had the trajectory been sideways to the cameras, as contended in the JRASC article, the trail would have remained constant in thickness. Thus, the contention that the JRASC article conclusively ruled out any connection between the fireball and the Kecksburg events is now open to question. en.wikipedia.org...
Here is a link to another report on the JRASC findings, followed by the disputing research (a lot of trig here guys):
Cosmos 96 In addition to all that, I mean SERIOUSLY, all that activity for a meteor, which NASA has already stated is Cosmos debris—WHICH we now know is false..

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Cosmos 96


From 
Journalist Leslie Kean wins lawsuit with NASA to disclose Kecksburg! - www.abovetopsecret.com/
In 2005 NASA claimed that the examined debris from the object in Kecksburg showed that it was indeed from the failed Soviet craft, Cosmos 96 and NOT a meteor as the USAF had previously claimed. However one of NASAs own and best scientists in the field of orbital mechanics and debris, Dr. Nicholas L. Johnson has stated that there is no way what crashed in Kecksburg was a Russian probe, its debris, or anything manmade in space at the time. Here is some more information: 
Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Nicholas L. Johnson, who is recognized internationally as an authority on orbital debris and foreign space systems, has determined that Cosmos 96, the Russian Venera probe that has been considered a possible explanation for the Kecksburg object for decades, did not land in Pennsylvania on the afternoon of December 9, 1965. Furthermore, he states that no other man-made object from any country came down that day. Debris from Cosmos 96 has been a leading contender as an explanation for the Kecksburg object, due to the fact that it came down early that morning over Canada. Perhaps part ended up in Pennsylvania later, the theory went. The Air Force stated at the time that no space debris entered the atmosphere that day, and that all aircraft and missiles were accounted for.
Johnson examined the orbital data for Cosmos 96 and was able to calculate when it would have passed over Pennsylvania if it had been in orbit that day. The time, when it traveled from north to south, was at approximately 6:20 am. The Kecksburg object came down at 4:45 p.m. “I can tell you categorically, that there is no way that any debris from Cosmos 96 could have landed in Pennsylvania anywhere around 4:45 p.m.,” said Johnson in an interview on October 10, 2003. “That’s an absolute. Orbital mechanics is very strict.”
The US Space Command reported in 1991 that Cosmos 96 crashed in Canada at 3:18 a.m. Johnson does not have information about the time of demise of Cosmos 96, but he did confirm that it was over Canada at this time.
One part of Cosmos 96 could not have stayed in orbit until 4:45 p.m. after the object came apart hours earlier, as some had speculated.
www.freedomofinfo.org...
Here is some interesting information from Dr. Johnson who states that there is a very slim chance that what crashed was anything currently known to have been flying in orbit at the time: 
Even more intriguing, Johnson’s data shows that no man-made object from any country entered our atmosphere and landed in Pennsylvania on the afternoon of December 9. Cosmos 96 was the only catalogued object that came down at all that day. He says that anything not catalogued would have been so small that it would not have survived reentry. “I cannot absolutely confirm that it was not some completely unreported event, but the chances of that are virtually nil,” said Johnson. “You can't launch something without somebody seeing it. By 1965 the US and Soviets were both reporting their launches.” www.freedomofinfo.org...
Credentials of Dr. Johnson: Dr. Nicholas Johnson, NASA A US Spy Satellite Film Canister

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Courtesy: www.pbase.com
This has also been ruled out, here is some more information: 
The possibility of a US reconnaissance satellite dropping a large film canister on that day has also been ruled out. These capsules were dropped following secret missions over the Soviet Union. Data on these flights was recently declassified. By checking launch and retrieval times, these capsules can also been eliminated as a possible explanation for what landed in Kecksburg. www.freedomofinfo.org...
Aside from that professional statement from NASAs leading orbital debris scientists, we can clearly see that although the shape and color do match the Kecksburg object the size is WAY off for any known or practical satellite film canister.

A US or Soviet Nuclear Warhead

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Image of Mk-6 RV courtesy of www.geocities.com...
Another theory is that what feel from the sky that evening was a nuclear warhead that was possibly part of an early US attempt at SDI-like technology. The object which seems to possibly match the object is the Mk-6 RV, or Mark 6 Re-entry Vehicle:
The Mark 6 was designed to be shot into space. The MK 6 RV, manufactured by General Electric, was built to sit on top the Titan II ICBM and carry the W-53 multi-megaton warhead. The MK 6 was 122.27 inches long, 57.27 inches in diameter at its base, and weighed 2,076 pounds. The spherical-nose of the RV was composed primarily of aluminum honeycomb internal structure to which was bonded an ablative phenolic heat shield. www.nuclearmuseum.org...
This would surely be of enough concern for a massive military build up in the area which would make sense to involve multiple branches and NASA, as well the secrecy, even today. This, to me, seems like possibly the most likely alternate explanation to the Kecksburg incident. Although there are no records showing that anything remotely similar to this fell from orbit that day it still seems like a plausible explanation. Now even though the size of the RV does not match the reported size of the Kecksburg object I think it is important to remember that SDI was also working on a multiple warhead delivery system, which is exactly what the object that fell could have been. This theory deserves more attention in my opinion. Here is a related thread I found:
Now there is other theories, such as the Kecksburg object being a crashed object similar to the rumored NAZI Bell, and there is some credence to the popossibilityn my opinion. But in an effort not to postulate a theory upon a theory I will not discuss any other theories in greater detail as any decent evidence is still lacking for them. A related link on the Bell theory:

3) Official Conclusions and My Conclusions The official conclusions of this case come from NASA, which states that the object at Kecksburg was the crashed Cosmos 96 probe. Of course one of NASAs own said this is impossible but this is the only official response that exists to this day. The following are relevant links confirming NASAs stance:
My Conclusions This is a great and now well known case. But even rehashing this as I just have is lengthy because there is so much information but so little absolutes. What we can say for sure in my opinion is that what crashed that evening in Kecksburg was NOT the following:
  • A meteor
  • Cosmos 96
  • A satellite film canister
  • Any other known manmade object
  • Nothing
Now what is could have been is the following, although there is little if any evidence to back up these claims:
  • A Soviet or US warhead re-entry vehicle (dummy or live)
  • A craft similar to the rumored “NAZI Bell”.
  • Some other type of unknown manned or unmanned spacecraft or aircraft.
Of course we still have the question of the strange hyhieroglyphicike writing, the ‘scream’ (which may or may not be credible), and the fact that the majority of everything else seems not to fit. So that obviously leaves us with the “UE” (Unknown Entity) origin theory. One also must consider the other reports in other cases of similar shaped objects and writing as well, and when you do I think the UE hypothesis becomes a very strong possibility to consider. Now as far as my own conclusions goes, I think I summed it up above. I really have no certain idea what crashed in Kecksburg, but SOMETHING did crash and it WAS NOT anything we have been told thus far. I am interested in hearing some members own opinions on what they think might have crashed that night. I do have a feeling that whatever did crash was and still is extremely secret to this day for whatever reason. So right now if one were to ask me what I think crashed in Kecksburg on December 9th, 1965 I would say either an alien spacecraft, some ultra black government related craft, or a nuclear warhead re-entry vehicle (possibly related to SDI). Again, I know many here likely already know of this case but it has not been ththoroughly documented on ATS before so thus this re-hash. Hopefully we can spark up some good discussions or draw new information to light. I truly hope everyone enjoys reading about this GREAT UFO case, that in my opinion is second or third only to Roswell and Height 611 in ufology. This still is a fairly active investigation with the ensuing lawsuits and all, as well as continuing digging by other means so maybe one day we can all know the truth of what crashed that night. Thanks for reading everyone. 
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