|By Stan Gordon
“Not even close. No Comparison. You can see it’s manmade and constructed”
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. (See picture of the GE Mark 2 below):
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.
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.