Kecksburg UFO Witness Says Object Was Not GE Mark 2 Reentry Vehicle
From Stan Gordon
Photo of the mockup of the Kecksburg UFO made for the Unsolved Mysteries TV show in 1990.
(Credit) Stan Gordon Collection
I have always kept an open mind as to the origin of the object that fell near Kecksburg, PA on December 9, 1965. For years, I have stated that it was possibly a very advanced man-made space device that had some reentry control capabilities, or possibly even extraterrestrial. I learned during my 50 year investigation of the case that some local residents, after seeing the object descend into the woods went into that area to look for what had fallen from the sky.
Bill Bulebush lived in nearby Mammoth. He saw the fiery object as it moved from Norvelt toward the mountain near Laurelville. He ran to the road and watched the object in the distance as it appeared to hesitate, than make a turn and began to track back towards Kecksburg. He jumped into his car and went to the highest overlook. Down in the distant woods he saw blue arching and he entered the woods to investigate. He stood behind a tree as he looked at the acorn shaped object imbedded in the ground with strange markings on it. He also noticed the damaged trees in the area. Other independent witnesses came upon the fallen object as well.
Later, volunteer firemen from Kecksburg and other surrounding fire departments conducted a search in the area for a possible downed aircraft. One of those volunteer firemen was Jim Romansky who was not a resident of Kecksburg. The man walked over to the impact location after learning from a radio call he heard that another search team had found the crash site. Jim joined a small group of other volunteers on an embankment only a few feet away from a strange metallic object that appeared to be semi-buried in the ground.
Jim described the object as “a huge acorn.” His best estimate was that the object was at least 10-12 feet or more in length and about 8-10 feet or more in diameter. He said that a grown man could have easily stood up inside of the device and moved around inside of it. Jim, who later worked as a machinist and was familiar with metals, said that when he looked at the object, it gave him the impression that it was formed by pouring liquid metal into an acorn shaped mold. He didn’t see any seams or rivet marks where it was joined together. It was one solid piece of metal.
On the back of the object was the raised up area that the witness called the “bumper area” that he related to the cupule part of an acorn. It was on this raised structure that he saw what looked like symbols. He recalled seeing among those symbols zig-zag lines, stars and circles. Later, he spent time looking up information trying to identify the strange markings. The closest he found were ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Jim’s description of the mystery object that he saw on the ground in 1965 is similar to what other witnesses also described observing that day.
There was another physical detail that was observed on the object that is not widely known. Several witnesses were in a position to see the object without obstruction and noticed a rounded protuberance at the front of the object.
During the fifty years that I have been investigating the Kecksburg incident, numerous theories have been brought to my attention to explain the origin of the object that fell near Kecksburg. Among those theories have been a meteor, a missile, Cosmos 96 (a failed Soviet Venus probe), and even an extraterrestrial spacecraft. There was also information that an Air Force officer who had interviewed members of a local family at the time of the incident had related that the object was a Gemini capsule that had been expelled in the area.
Another man told me that he was aware that the object was a projectile fired from a giant gun from a railroad car in Canada. Other independent researchers had looked into secretive U.S. and Soviet space projects from that time period (other than Cosmos 96 or the GE Mark 2 reentry vehicle) and were sure their research could explain the object as well. Another person had information that it was a Soviet ICBM that went out of control. And a popular theory in more recent years to explain the object is the “Nazi Bell.”
In early October of 2015, PA MUFON State Director, John Ventre, and Owen Eichler, sent out a report and announced that they had uncovered another possible explanation for the Kecksburg object. The information in their report suggested that what fell near Kecksburg may have been a GE Mark 2 Reentry vehicle. That spy capsule had the capability to carry a nuclear weapon or be used for other missions, and according to the report, was not revealed until 1991.
I read the report and looked at the photo of the GE capsule. It was similar to a number of other space devices that I had looked into that had been operational in the 1960s. I contacted witness Jim Romansky to see if he had heard about the latest possible explanation. He had not, so I asked him to look at the photo of the GE Mark 2 to see if this was the object that he stood close to on the ground near Kecksburg in 1965. A picture of the GE Mark 2 can be found on the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum website. http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19751430000
After Jim had time to examine the picture, his comments were, “Not even close. No Comparison. You can see it’s manmade and constructed.” He told me again the object he saw was not constructed like the GE Mark 2. He stated that what he saw “looked like one piece of metal. Looked like it was forged using liquid metal and poured into an acorn shaped mold. This thing you could not stand up inside of, the acorn you could.” Jim also said that the acorn shaped object he saw was at least twice as big if not bigger than the object he saw in the photo. The GE Mark 2 Reentry vehicle does not match the description of what witnesses saw on the ground near Kecksburg.
Investigative journalist Leslie Kean wrote a detailed account of her research into the Kecksburg case in the Volume 30, Number 1 edition of the (IUR) International UFO Reporter, published in October of 2005, by the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies. Kean got involved in the Kecksburg investigation in October of 2002, when the Sci Fi Channel launched its “UFO Advocacy Initiative” and the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFi) was established with Kean appointed as the director of investigations. There was a lot of research conducted to attempt to find the answer to what the object was that had fallen near Kecksburg.
In 2003, Kean conducted a series of interviews with Nicholas L. Johnson, chief scientist for orbital debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Johnson is recognized internationally as the leading authority on orbital debris and foreign space systems. For many years there was speculation that the failed Soviet Venus probe Cosmos 96 may have been involved at Kecksburg since it reentered the earth’s atmosphere at 3:18 AM on the same date over Canada. The Kecksburg object dropped from the sky around 4:47 PM. Consequently, as detailed in Kean’s article, Johnson was able to eliminate Cosmos 96 as the object that fell near Kecksburg.
According to Kean, Johnson also told her that Cosmos 96 was the only catalogued object that reentered the earth’s atmosphere on December 9, and that no other man-made object from any country came down that day. Johnson explained to her that anything not catalogued would have been so small that it would not have survived reentry, and anything larger would have been detected. Kean also quoted Johnson as saying “I cannot absolutely confirm that it was not some completely unreported event, but the chances of that are virtually nil,” Johnson said. You can’t launch something without somebody seeing it. By 1965 the U.S. and Soviets were both reporting their launches.” See the IUR story for more details. http://www.jerrypippin.com/kecksburg%20(2).pdf
Johnson also looked at the recently declassified CIA data concerning the dropping of film canisters from secret reconnaissance satellites during that time period. By checking the launch and retrieval times he determined that there was no secret mission that could have led to an inadvertent reentry of a capsule that day. As with other famous UFO cases such as Roswell, there are various opinions as to what the object was that fell near Kecksburg, PA in 1965.
Whatever that object was, it was important enough to quickly send armed military personnel to that quiet Pennsylvania community 50 years ago. I am continuing to uncover new details concerning what took place during the Kecksburg incident and my research continues into this local mystery.
(This article was originally published in the July, 2015, Kecksburg VFD booklet printed for the Kecksburg, Pa UFO Festival. See the Kecksburg VFD website at: www.kecksburgvfd.com.)
50 Years Later, The Kecksburg UFO Incident Remains a Mystery
By Stan Gordon
It is hard to believe that when I started investigating a local UFO incident in 1965, that 50 years later, that case would become one of the world’s most famous unsolved UFO mysteries. I was a curious child at age 10 in 1959. My interest in science, electronics, and strange and unusual happenings led me to the Greensburg library and newspapers to do more research. This was the beginning of my research into UFOs, Bigfoot, and other things that go bump in the night.
That Thursday evening is etched in my mind. I remember the day the Kecksburg incident occurred as if it was yesterday. It was December 9, 1965. I was eagerly awaiting that evening to tune into the Contact radio show on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. The late Mike Levine, the talk show radio host, was going to have a guest on named Frank Edwards to discuss strange occurrences such as Flying Saucers. To my surprise, the program focused on a breaking news story about a briiliant object seen in the sky over a wide area that had taken place only hours before. The fireball was reported from as far away as Ontario, Canada, and seen by multitudes of observers over Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
At about 4:47 PM, the object passed over the greater Pittsburgh region and continued toward Westmoreland County. The object moved over Greensburg and headed out towards Route 30 east. Near the old Gee Bee’s store, the object began to turn south and was observed from many local communities as it continued to move toward the mountains near Laurelville. The object turned and headed back toward the Kecksburg area, where it fell slowly into a wooded area. The telephones at news station WHJB in Greenburg were ringing off the hook with eyewitness accounts.
As my investigation into the matter continued over the years, I uncovered many details that were publicly not known at the time of the event. It is now known that some local residents who saw the object descend that afternoon, quickly entered the woods in an attempt to locate what had fallen. They came across a strange object semi-buried in the ground. Trees in the area had been knocked over and damaged as well.
What they discovered looked like a giant bronze-gold colored metallic acorn shaped device that was large enough for a man to move around inside of. The object was one solid piece of metal with no rivets, seams, external apparatus, windows, wings or visible openings. On the back ringed section of the object were raised up markings that looked to be symbols and were described as looking similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
That object,,whatever it was, appeared to have been of a high interest to our government. Within a relatively short time after it fell, the military began to arrive in the Kecksburg area. According to former Kecksburg firemen and other witnesses, the military apparently utilized the Kecksburg VFD truck station as a temporary command post. The late Jim Mayes, the First Assistant Chief of the Kecksburg Fire Department at the time, later told me that he organized the search that day for a possible downed aircraft in the area after numerous eyewitness reports came in of a fiery object in the sky.
As the report of the UFO falling near Kecksburg that evening was being broadcast on Pittsburgh area radio and TV, hundreds of people found their way to that Mount Pleasant community. Among the large crowds that night were reporters from all of the major Pittsburgh radio, TV, and newspaper sources. Many reporters I interviewed who were at Kecksburg that night confirmed the military presence.
As hundreds of spectators rolled into the area, so did the officials. State Police and the Kecksburg VFD as well as other local authorities helped with crowd control. Later that evening, some of the country roads around the wooded area where the object had fallen were temporarily closed. Once the military showed up in force, it is apparent that they took control of the situation.
Many people who drove to the area that night were disappointed that they couldn’t go down into the woods to see what had fallen. Some teenagers that night decided to try to sneak down to catch a peek of the object. Many were stopped by armed soldiers. In some cases, I learned that military personnel aimed their weapons at civilians to make them leave the area. The military was unaware that some individuals apparently did make it down and near the impact site.
In my nearly 50 years of investigation into the case, I have spoken with hundreds of people who were involved with or have knowledge of information concerning the incident. Many witnesses who were involved at the time only shared their experiences with those who were close to them. When they saw the official explanation the next day in the news that people had only seen a bright meteor in the sky but nothing had fallen, they decided to keep their experiences to themselves.
It was learned that that the object was taken from the impact area, early the next morning, on the back of a military flatbed tractor-trailer truck covered with a tarpaulin. The object was transported to Lockbourne Air Force Base near Columbus, Ohio and stayed at that location under heavy security for a short stay over. It continued on to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where it was reportedly sealed in a warehouse building. Where the object rests today is not certain.
What the object was the fell in 1965 still remains a mystery. It was the early days of the space program. The object that fell near Kecksburg reportedly moved slow across the sky before it fell, changed directions along its trajectory, and made what looked to be almost a controlled crash-landing without parachutes into the wooded ravine late that afternoon. Was this some very advanced manmade space probe which has been kept secret all of these years, or did we have a visitor from another world drop in on this friendly local community? Only our government can give the residents of Westmoreland County and the citizens of country the answers to what they recovered that day so many years ago.
I believe that some area residents may still hold evidence from 1965 that can still help solve this historic case. I learned many years ago and heard again even more recently, that photos or slides taken of the object on the ground or of military personnel and vehicles that were on the scene may still exist today. If you have these pictures or other evidence please help us to find an answer on this case and get in contact with Ron Struble at the Kecksburg VFD. or myself. You can remain anonymous.
It is sad that many of those individuals who were directly involved with this incident have now passed on and never had any closure as to the true nature of the mysterious object that fell from the sky that day. The Keckburg incident is a part of our local, statewide, and national history. After 50 years, its time our government tells the public the truth as to what took place on December 9, 1965. Your help in providing these pictures can help solve the mystery.
Stan Gordon-P.O. Box 936, Greensburg, Pa 15601-724-838-7768 or firstname.lastname@example.org.