Update: Monday, March 3, 2003
Greensburg, PA - Lending their voices for a federal investigation into the 1965 crash of an object in Kecksburg, PA, representatives of SCI FI Channel and the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFI) today began a
three-day visit to the Kecksburg area and announced their support for a local petition drive
(www.signpetition.com) spear-headed by long-time investigator Stan Gordon.
"By signing a petition, citizens here and elsewhere in the state can help put public pressure on their congressional delegation to request an investigation by the U.S. General Accounting Office," said Larry Landsman, Director, Special Projects, SCI FI Channel.
Something was seen in the sky and landed in the woods near Kecksburg on December 9, 1965. Since then, the U.S. government denies that anything fell - despite testimony from citizens who saw the partially buried object in the woods and statements from fire-fighters, reporters, dozens of witnesses, and newspaper accounts confirming the military response to the area.
Noting that "Kecksburg is one of those historic, unexplained incidents that requires a full public accounting," Leslie
Kean, an independent journalist and research director of CFI, said that she has recently filed Freedom of Information Act requests to numerous federal agencies and military services seeking records from their involvement.
"This case is more than 37 years old," said Kean. "It's high time for our government - whether it's the U.S. Air Force or NASA or any other agency - to come clean and tell the public what they know."
SCI FI Channel, which is supporting public advocacy efforts to gain release of secret government records on unidentified aerial phenomena, believes the government may be withholding information about UFO activity. "On the one hand, government agencies state that UFO sightings are not a threat to national security, but nearly in the same breath they say that they cannot reveal information on national security grounds. They can't have it both ways," said Landsman.
The initiative has the support of John Podesta, President Clinton's former chief of staff. "I think it's time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark, on the question of government investigations of UFOs," Podesta said at a news conference in Washington last October, launching the CFI Freedom of Information effort.
Both Landsman and Kean say that the Pennsylvania petition asks the right questions:- What landed near Kecksburg, PA on December 9, 1965?- Where did the orders come from for Army, Air Force, and NASA personnel to be dispatched to the scene?- Why did military personnel brandish weapons at local citizens to prevent the object from being observed? - What was the importance of the object that caused the military to rapidly respond to the Kecksburg area?
"Getting answers to these questions should be at the core of any investigation. But to get such an investigation requires the public to demand it," said Stan Gordon, who will be distributing and collecting petitions through his office in Greensburg. -----
Petition to Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation for Investigation of 1965 "Kecksburg Incident"
Whereas, on December 9, 1965 something fell from the sky and crashed in the woods near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania; Whereas, for the past 37 years, citizens of Westmoreland County and surrounding communities have
attempted to find out what it was; Whereas, military personnel
from the Army and Air Force as well as NASA, were identified at the scene by eyewitnesses, including news reporters and
fire-fighters, as involved in the search, and military vehicles were observed at or near the impact site; Whereas, some witnesses reported seeing an object on the ground prior to the arrival of the
military; Whereas, some witnesses state that a large covered object was transported out of the area that night on a military flat bed tractor-trailer truck; Whereas, some witnesses report being stopped by armed U.S. military officials who prevented them from approaching the landing site;
Whereas, after all these years, our government continues to insist that nothing was found and so far has refused to disclose all the records on the incident;
Whereas, the Cold War is long gone;
And whereas, the public has a right to know what its government discovered and answers to the following questions:
- What landed near Kecksburg, PA on December 9, 1965?
- Where did the orders come from for Army, Air Force, and NASA personnel to be dispatched to the scene?
- Why did military personnel brandish weapons at local citizens to prevent the object from being observed?
- What was the importance of the object that caused the military to rapidly respond to the Kecksburg area?
Therefore, be it resolved that we, the undersigned, believe that the time has come to get answers from the Air Force, Army, and NASA and hereby petition members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation to request an investigation by the U.S. General Accounting Office that will obtain answers to these and other questions related to the December 9, 1965 event.
2nd August , 2003
article was published in: The Tribune Review - Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Kecksburg Site Of Documentary
By Ann Saul Dudurich
Cameras will be rolling in Kecksburg
today as the Sci Fi Channel continues production of its two-hour
investigative documentary," The New Roswell: Kecksburg Exposed."
In an effort to shed light on the uncertain events of Dec. 9, 1965 --
when some people claim an unidentified flying object came to Earth in
the Mt. Pleasant Township community -- the cable channel will sponsor
what it bills as a "town meeting" at 10 a.m. in the Kecksburg fire hall.
Bryant Gumbel, former host of "Today" and "The Early Show," will serve
as moderator for the "open dialogue," said Larry Landsman, director of
special projects for Sci Fi. "There will be a number of witnesses there,
including a number of new witnesses who have just recently come
forward," he said. "There will also be those present who claim nothing
at all happened that night."
NASA Releases Documents as a Result of Sci Fi Investigation Into Kecksburg
Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A day after SCI FI Channel announced its
unprecedented support for legal action against the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) to release its records on the 1965 UFO
incident in Kecksburg, PA, NASA informed Lee Helfrich, attorney for the
Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFi), that it is releasing 36
pages of documents connected to the incident.
ten months of pursuing the records in Washington, D.C. through the
Freedom of Information Act, NASA has finally responded to public
pressure. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Army have yet to
release any records.
more than four months we have received no response from NASA," said Lee
Helfrich of DC based Lobel, Novins and Lamont, "but one day after John
Podesta, President Clinton's former chief of staff and member of the
Moynihan Commission, and Bonnie Hammer, President of SCI FI Channel,
called on government agencies to make public records that are over 25
years old, lo and behold, NASA responds."
its fair to say that we have truly entered the realm of science fiction
D.C.," said Podesta at a national press conference this week, "when it's
fair game to disclose the identity of a clandestine CIA agent but not
the records of an unexplained crash in Kecksburg,
Pennsylvania that occurred 38 years ago."
don't know what is in the documents," said Kean. "They may not be
responsive to our specific requests or relevant to our investigation.
However, we are cautiously optimistic."
receive will determine our next steps," said Helfrich.
December 9, 1965, witnesses described seeing a fireball in the evening
sky, a controlled landing and the systematic military recovery of an
object. As reported by local radio and newspapers, U.S. military
personnel cordoned off the area, investigated the site, and left without
ever providing a full report.
26th October, 2003.
Doug Yurchey claims - I Saw The Kecksberg
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.
There was no sound. We could not tell its distance from us since the
object appeared just like a big dot of light. This was no saucer with
lights or any kind of features. The entire sighting lasted for
approximately 5 seconds. Then, the object passed over the southern
hill; behind the trees of what was called
John and I immediately reacted. We ran to my house very excited. My
father, an old skeptic, thought we were crazy. UFOs were not a part of
his belief-system. Nevertheless, I convinced him to drive us up to the
top of the hill and check to see if anything came down there. At the
time, my cousin and I thought the thing could have hit somewhere around
School. My father humored us and drove us around. We saw nothing
strange. This convinced my dad that there was nothing to this UFO
business. 'Ah, UFOs' he would say and had a good laugh at my expense.
Thirty-eight years had passed. I don't smoke cigarettes anymore. I had
seen a number of UFOs in my life. When looking back at the past, I
almost did not put this experience in with those other unexplainables.
Probably, the reason was it did resemble a close meteor fall. I assumed
this was merely a natural event and was nothing extraterrestrial.
Very recently, on television's Sci-Fi Channel, they showed previews of 'Kecksberg
Exposed.' This was a 2-hour special hosted by Bryan Gumball. I looked
forward to this because they were calling it the 'new
Roswell' and it happened in the Pittsburgh area; my home town. Minutes
into the show, my mouth dropped (as it did 38 years ago) and I said 'Oh,
my freaking God.' I saw the Kecksberg UFO!
I certainly should have heard of this event and I'm a little ashamed
that I'm not that up on UFO history. Actually, I'm glad that I didn't
put 2 and 2 together before this point because that would have lessened
the revelation that occurred during the documentary.
most compelling factors in the show that led me to conclude I saw it
This was the time I had my sighting; late one warm December night in
1965. 2) Kecksberg is 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh; Bridgeville is
12 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. The object moved south and it
appeared to us to pass over the southern hill.
The UFO, according to all reports, did look similar to a meteor.
In an old newsreel film, an interviewer asked a very young Kecksberg
resident: 'What did it look like?' The boy answered: 'A star on
street in the small farming town of Kecksberg was named METEOR Street
because of this encounter with the object. People who were able to get
a good look at it said that it was acorn-shaped. An acorn monument was
erected in the town and stands to this day.
The first reports came out of
Canada and the thing in the night's sky continued southward. The UFO
buzzed the Pittsburgh area and turned...which, of course, indicates that
it was not a natural phenomena. Thousands of reports flooded into news
agencies. KDKA received hundreds of calls alone. If I was only mature
enough, I would have searched through newspapers the next day. This
would have told me that my cousin and I were not alone in our
Kecksberg was another
Roswell because the military was dispatched. Oncemore...government
agents, soldiers, Men in Black converged on a small American town. Guns
were pointed at citizens; people's lives were threatened; there were
'radiation' scares; and authorities told people to lie. People
witnessed that federal 'suits' seemed to give orders to the military.
This convergence of government officials does not happen when a meteor
falls to Earth. Of course, there are those that will say the Kecksberg
UFO was a piece of Soviet intelligence...and that was the reason for
military intervention. The same was said about
A large, flatbed truck was seen entering the wooded area where the thing
seemed to come to a soft landing. The truck was empty when it went in
and covered when it left. To this day, the Kecksberg controversy rages
on as townspeople are divided as to what really occurred. Some deny the
fallen object and that feds made any appearance at all. Others claim to
have had been in direct contact with government intimidation.
This writer is very pleased that something did happen at Kecksberg. I
wish my father was alive so I could tell him that I was not crazy.
Or...look dad; there are many others that are just as crazy as I am,
Update - October 21, 2003
Statement of Robert Gatty Reporter
who covered Kecksburg Incident
4 years with LIPI, Catty worked on Capitol Hill for two US. Congressmen.
He returned to journalism in 1978, and is now Executive Editor and
Publisher of Advantage, a food industry trade magazine published by the
Food Marketing Institute, Washington, DC.) I was
a reporter for the Greensburg Tribune-Review in 1965, and upon returning
from an assignment the evening of December 9, 1965, was sent to
Kecksburg, PA to cover the reported sighting of an unidentified flying
object. It was the story of the century, my editor said.
arrived at the scene, I was told by armed Army personnel and
Pennsylvania State troopers that there was nothing there and to leave.
They were extremely defensive, and when I said, If there is nothing
there, what s the problem? I was told, You can t go down there,
indicating the wooded area where the object was thought to have landed.
There were probably a dozen or so Amy
personnel at the scene, most of them sealing off the area and preventing
local people and reporters from walking into the area. I grew up in an
Army family and I can distinguish the uniforms of the services.
was a huge traffic jam on the little country road that bordered the
area, and plenty of excitement. Time was short, and it was tough to find
someone right then who had actually seen the object fall. But a local
farmer and fireman, Dale Howard, told me he felt a vibration and a thump
about the time the object reportedly fell. I reported those comments in
the article that appeared the morning of December 10 in the
Tribune-Review. I filed my report from Howard s home, where I borrowed
afternoon edition carried an article that I wrote containing more
details of the incident, including quotes from a nearby resident, Mrs.
Arnold Kalp, of Acme, PA, who said her eight- year-old son, Kevin, saw
the object come down. It looked like a flaming star, Mrs. Kalp said. It
left a trail of flames behind it and fell in the woods. Mrs. KaIp also
told reporters she was told by military personnel not to tell anyone
what her son had seen until an investigation was launched.
I was at Howard s home, another eyewitness, Jim Mayes, of Mammoth, PA,
walked in and said he and six other men had seen three blue flashing
lights near the area of the sighting. Tribune Review photographer Jim
Downs and I managed to work our way into woods where Mayes said he saw
the lights. However, we came
up empty. Shortly thereafter, I left the Tribune-Review for a new job
with United Press International in Harrisburg, so was not involved in
further follow-up articles. However, since my father, at the time of the
incident, was stationed at an Army Nike missile site at nearby Irwin,
PA, I suspected that perhaps there was a mishap with one of those
missiles and the Army wanted to hush it up. It was simply a theory, but
I do believe from what people told me and what has since been reported
that something did land in the woods near Kecksburg that evening.
Certainly, it is high time that the residents of the Pennsylvania
communities affected by this event be told what happened. The Army
appeared to be protecting something that night. If the government is not
willing to release the files on this case, Congressional representatives
from Pennsylvania should take an interest and demand some answers. At
this point in time, nearly 40 years later, what possibly could be the
reason for continuing this cover-up