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The UFOLOGIST Articles and Editorials
Article and Illustration
By Billy John Booth

Kecksburg UFO Sightings

The Kecksburg Sightings
One question that has endured for many years is what exactly soared through the late afternoon skies of Canada, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania on December 5, 1965. Eye witnesses described the unknown object as a "fireball," but it seemed to be under some type of intelligent control, as it veered somewhat in Ohio toward the Quaker state. One of the first official reports of that day came from Frances Kalp, who phoned in her experience to radio station WHJB in Greensburg at 6:30 P.M. She related seeing a fiery object crash into a wooded area near her home in Westmoreland County. Kalp and her children had approached the site within a half-mile, and there they saw an odd object resembling a "four-pointed star." Radio station employee John Murphy immediately phoned in the report to the Pennsylvania State Police Department. The Police phoned Kalp and arranged to meet her in Kecksburg.

Murphy also raced to the site of the alleged crash. He interviewed Kalp and her children for his report, while the State Police searched the woods for the crashed craft. Murphy was eagerly awaiting for the return of the searchers. When they finally returned from their search, Murphy was unable to get any clear information from either Carl Metz or Paul Shipco. They were not forthcoming with search details, only stating that they were calling in the Military to handle the case. Undaunted, Murphy made phone contact with Captain Dussia at State Police Headquarters in Greensburg. Murphy was instructed to visit the office to receive an official statement. Upon arriving at Police headquarters, Murphy noticed that the Military had already arrived in force. Murphy was startled when he received the "official" statement. "The Pennsylvania State Police have made a thorough search of the woods. We are convinced that there is nothing whatsoever in the woods."

By this time, Murphy was convinced that there was a cover-up of some kind. If there was nothing in the woods, why would the Military be in force at Pennsylvania's Police headquarters? After turning in his report to the radio station, Murphy overheard one of the policemen involved in the search describing a "pulsating blue light" in the forest. Murphy was told that Officer Metz and the Military were going back to the woods, and to his surprise he was given permission to join the second search. Murphy's excitement soon turned to disappointment when he was denied access to the woods. Murphy was eye witness to the Military sealing off the area, and banning all civilians from the scene. The story of the crash had now made newspapers, and television, and soon the area was overflowing with people wanting to get first hand information on what could possibly be a historic event.

It soon became common knowledge that some eager, interested civilians had made the trip into the woods before the Military boycott. These few individuals were interviewed by Stan Gordon, and told an amazing story. They stated that they saw a copper-bronze colored, saucer-shaped object. This craft was anywhere from 9-12 feet in length, and bore a gold band around it's bottom. Some of the witnesses described writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics. These few witnesses were quickly whisked away when discovered by Military personnel. That very night, other witnesses stated that they observed a flatbed truck toting a large object, covered by a tarpaulin. Shortly after the departure of the flatbed, other Military personnel left the search area.

An extremely intense day and a half of activity was followed by a quiet morning, and it seemed that what had occurred was just a dream. The Air Force concluded their investigation with the "official" statement that a meteorite was responsible for the report of a glowing craft, and subsequent crash in the woods. The media as a whole accepted this explanation, and the matter seemed for all intent and purposes, closed. Had it not been for a 1990 television program, the Kecksburg crash would have been just another fancied report by a few over excited witnesses.

The area of Kecksburg would again become a beehive of controversy after a dramatization of the events on "Unsolved Mysteries." The citizens of the area seemed to be equally divided, with some accepting the "official" explanation, and others claiming "cover-up." Even before the segment aired, some protesters promoted a petition to block the segment from airing on television. The actual witnesses of the event prevailed, stating that the petitioner's list did not include any eye witnesses. Direct opposite sides were also taken by those investigating the facts of Kecksburg. Robert Young became an advocate of the Military's official explanation. Stan Gordon, on the other hand, believed the eye witness accounts, and the cover-up theory.

Gordon took his findings to the next level, producing a video of his findings, titled "Kecksburg: The Untold Story." As to be expected, alternative theories were put forward, such as the reentering of the Russian VENUS probe, but this was denied by the American and Russian governments. One interesting footnote to this haunting tale came from the widow of John Murphy, who shortly after his death, publicly stated that her husband had been one of the first on the scene, and had actually photographed the strange craft. Supposedly, these valuable snapshots were confiscated by Military officers, and Murphy was instructed not to discuss what he knew, unless he wanted to suffer severe consequences. The Kecksburg crash still remains an extremely interesting one, and is listed today as "unexplained."

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