Tag Archives: December

Army Alerted as Burning UFO Crashes

Army Alerted as Burning UFO Crashes - The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Florida) 12-10-1965

     U.S. Army officials and the Pennsylvania State Police Thursday night sealed off an area in southwestern Pennsylvania explaining there “is an unidentified flying object in the woods.”
By The Orlando Sentinel
12-10-1965

A spokesman for a team of radar experts from the Army’s 662 radar squadron here said, We don’t know what have yet.”

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KECKSBURG UFO INCIDENT: Eyewitness, Report To US Air Force

Eyewitness Report Re Kecksburg UFO (Pg 1) 12-9-1965
Eyewitness Report Re Kecksburg UFO (Pg 2) 12-9-1965

Eyewitness Report
To The US Air Force
12-9-1965

Dec 9th, 1965

Gentlemen,

I have just returned from a convention in Miami beach, via Tampa on Air Canada Flight.

Since I just sighted this “thing” over your country I suppose you are the people I should report to.

At approx 4:45 p.m. and at about 10 minutes flying time south of the city of Pittsburgh when we were at 18,000 ft. I was looking out the window toward the east when I saw “it.”

A sort of pencil shaped object flying horizontal for a second then going into a 70° dive with an orange flame then appearing behind it. In a matter of just 3 or 4 seconds it was gone. Just like a rocket taking off but this was in reverse – going down.

Apparently I was the only one on board who saw it. However when I asked the stewardess to speak to the captain she told me that he had seen the same thing and was reporting it on the radio.

I was not drinking and have flown quite a bit as a passenger and am a former R.C.A.F. pilot from the last war. I have never seen anything like this before, especially the rapid changes in direction and terrific speed.

I hope that this information may be of some use.

Yours Truly,
[redacted]

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Kecksburg UFO Incident: Eyewitness Interviews | VIDEO

Kecksburg UFO

Editor’s Note: The Unsolved Mysteries series would first investigate the Kecksburg UFO Incident, in September 19, 1990; they would revisit the case in 2008, as seen below. Watch eyewitnesses describe in their own words, seeing a mysterious craft land in the woods, followed by a military response and retrieval of the unidentified craft–FW
By Unsolved Mysteries
10-13-08

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Kecksburg UFO Incident: Scientist Says ‘Flying Object Was Not A Meteorite’ | UFO CHRONICLE – 1965

Scientist Says Flying Object Was Not A Meteorite - Amarillo Globe-Times 12-16-1965

     Shortly before sundown on Dec. 9 (1965), a fiery bright-orange object, or objects, flew from Michigan to the tip of Ontario and western Lake Erie, and then the northeast corner of Ohio, apparently landing in a densely wooded area about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pa.
By Ivan T. Sanderson
Amarillo Globe-Times
12-16-1965
[…]

* Special Thanks To Tim Printy / SUNlite

See Also:

Kecksburg UFO Crash – First Eyewitness?

“When I Got To Kecksburg That Night, I Was Met By Army People and State Cops”

NASA Ordered To Turn Over ‘Kecksburg UFO Files!’

THE CONCLUSION OF THE NASA LAWSUIT: Concerning the Kecksburg, PA UFO case of 1965

‘Unidentified Flying Object’ Falls Near Kecksburg | UFO CHRONICLE – 1965

Kecksburg UFO Case Report Author, Responds to Skeptics

Skeptic Robert Sheaffer Critiques Recent ‘Kecksburg UFO Incident’ Report

Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery – Pt 1

Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery – Pt II

After Fifty Years, Kecksburg UFO Mystery Solved?

Kecksburg UFO ‘Was Not’ GE Mark 2 Reentry Vehicle

– click and or right click on image(s) above to enlarge –

REPORT YOUR UFO EXPERIENCE

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Kecksburg UFO Crash – First Eyewitness?

Kecksburg UFO Crash - First Eyewitness

     On December 9, 1965 hundreds of eyewitnesses watched an amazing object streak across the sky, the object was witnessed from Canada all the way to Kecksburg, Pennsylvania where the object crash landed. Soon after it was reported to be a spectacular meteorite by military and other officials. Eyewitnesses who saw the object, claimed what they saw sitting in a ravine was certainly no meteorite, but rather an unknown object.

I received an email from a gentleman who told me he had been witness to the crashed object at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. What I didn’t realize was that this fellow, who was 15 years old at the time, and out hunting with his brother and a friend may have been the first eyewitness to actually see the crashed object.

Brian Vike

*By Brian Vike
The UFO Chronicles
(© Brian Vike)
5-9-06

In the interview I have done with him, he goes on to tell of an amazing story and notes that later in life while serving in the military he came across a pilot who was scrambled to intercept the Kecksburg UFO. Because I feel that this is such an important piece to the puzzle I have decided to post the audio clip to my website where visitors can listen to the actual audio interview which can be heard at the link below.

I would like to give my many thanks to the eyewitness for his excellent report. Also I would like to encourage any other folks who have been witness to this event, or have any information to please contact me at: hbccufo@telus.net

I have written up the report which I have taken from the audio interview I did with the eyewitness today, October 22, 2005. The full report is below.

As mentioned above I called the witness on October 22, 2005 and took his statement of the events that he remembers happening in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. The man was very aware of what he saw, although this event took place so many years ago. He went on to explain why he was in the area at the time of the amazing experience and of course described what he saw.

The witness said it was a particularly warm night for December, by local standard it was rather balmy he told me. He, his brother and a friend decided to go raccoon hunting. They gathered up the three dogs and drove out to an area called Freeman Falls. From there the fellows all split up and had agreed to meet back at the truck. They were walking through the woods with quite a bit of space between them. Larry, the man I spoke with, was at the lowest end of the line, which had him closer to where the crash site was going to be. At one point, as he was moving through the woods, he looked back in the direction of Kecksburg because a bright light happened to catch his eye. His first thoughts were that it was a plane with a orange landing light on it, but quickly realized that the light was just to bright to be on a plane, and seemed now to be a plane on fire or in trouble. All of a sudden whatever it was, changed course 90 degrees very abruptly. At this point the object was heading directly towards his position but again it made another course change, moving away from him. Then suddenly its direction changed once more and seemed to be heading straight for him.

He stated that it appeared to maintain a certain altitude then all of a sudden made a sharp dip downwards from roughly 500 to 600 feet in altitude to approximately 300 feet and at a high rate of speed. Standing rather in shock, he assumed his brother and friend had also seen this due to it’s brightness and flying at such a low level. But he told me that the other two people had not seen it, which may have been due to them being a distance away from him. From this point he watched it come down. He moved quickly threw the woods with one of the dogs to the area where the object had crashed and scrambled down into the ravine, thinking he might be able to help someone from the crash. He immediately noticed a small brush fire had started around the crash area. Once in the ravine and close enough to the crashed object, he quickly figured out that what he was looking at was not an airplane that he knew of. The object had partially dug itself into the ravine and he could see that approximately two to three feet of it was buried into the ground. He noted the back side of the object was flat and approximately five feet in diameter and the sides looked textured/rippled. Larry had with him a six volt dry cell light that he was using for raccoon hunting, he shone the light on the object and could see that it was steaming due to the intense heat it was giving off, plus some smoke due to the small brush fires that had been started.

With his light, he tried to see if there was any kind of opening or identifying markings on it, but saw a metal band about one foot up from the base. Larry could clearly see some kind of drawings or lettering on the band. It was maybe two inches wide. Still looking at the lettering or figures, to him they made no sense or were not any written language he had seen before. He said there were a series of dots, swirls, triangular shapes and some looked like crosses with two lateral lines running across them.

At the time, he was only about 15 feet away from the bronze colored object and seeing Larry was looking at something very unknown to him, his next thought was to go back to get his brother and then to seek or get to the phone to call for help. He climbed back out of the ravine, couldn’t find his dog anywhere, then whistled and his dog did finally come to him. Running through the bush and yelling out his brothers name, he finally met up with his brother and the friend. The first thing out of Larry’s brother’s mouth was, “my god, what was it”? Larry took his brother and friend to the area where the object was embedded into the ground to show them, all of them at a bit of a distance and the other two could not figure out what it was either. Then the fellows all heard the fire engines coming in their direction from Kecksburg. Seeing the fire department was on the way, Larry’s brother mentioned that there wasn’t much they could do, so they left and took the dogs home.

(Note: Larry thought it was important to note that when the three of the fellows were standing looking at the object, and having their dogs with them all of the dogs were certainly agitated and had the hair standing up on their backs and sniffing the air. The dogs also kept trying to hide behind the fellows as the leashes were getting caught up in the guys legs).

After the brothers arrived home they told their parents about what they had seen and that got the boys father’s curiosity going and they decided to go back for another look. Larry said at that time alot of folks were driving up to the area to see what had happened. Of course by this time the Mount Pleasant Fire Department was on the scene as they thought they were heading to a plane crash. Of course when the general public and Larry and his family arrived near the location where he saw the object, the Sheriff’s department had already erected a barrier across the road and not allowing anyone to get close to the crash site. When Larry’s father asked the Sheriff what had happened, he said he had no information other than the Fire Department was dealing with the incident.

Eventually they left and went back home, and watched the news later that evening but didn’t hear anything really on what happened. But the next day Larry went to school and the teachers told the classes that they were not to talk about the event that took place the night before. Actually Larry went on to say that the teachers mentioned that what people saw, was no more than a meteor/meteorite that has crash landed. As Larry said, he found that rather odd that they weren’t to talk about a meteor. Well he knew it wasn’t a meteor as he had witnessed it up close and personal, and told his friends about what he witnessed.

(At this point in the interview Larry stated the reason why he was coming out with this now was he hoped that by telling what he saw in the ravine that night, it just might mend the rift that was dividing the community. He also stated that what hit the ground was certainly not a meteor, he wasn’t claiming it to be a UFO as he just didn’t have any ideas to what it was he saw. He even had thoughts of it being a Russian Space Capsule).

Larry spoke about the reproduction that was made of the object and which was placed on top of the Kecksburg Fire Department, it was very similar to what he saw in the ravine that evening.

As the months and years passed by and things settled down over the event that took place in Kecksburg, it was a few years later when Larry enlisted into the Airforce as a aircraft fighter mechanic, and was stationed at Hamilton AFB which is located in Marin County, CA. He was in the barracks one evening when the alert siren went off and some F106 jet interceptors were scrambled and had intercepted something over the Pacific ocean. He mentioned that this was common as the Russian and American aircraft would play this cat and mouse game. Over some time the aircraft mechanics and pilots became rather close, and they became good friends. Larry told me that one of the pilots stationed at the base was a very seasoned pilot, did two tours in Vietnam and the next day Larry asked the pilot who was a Major, you guys were scrambled last night, the pilot said yes. Larry asked were the Russian playing games again, and the pilot replied: Quote: “I don’t know what the hell it was”!

Larry then started talking to him and related his story of what he saw in the ravine at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. Larry said the pilots jaw dropped almost to the ground. And asked, you actually saw it? Larry said yes and assumed he was the first person to see the object. Well it ended up that the pilot had a good friend who served with the Michigan National Guard back in 1965 who actually intercepted the object which fell in Kecksburg on the same night Larry saw the object. There were a number of fighter aircraft that had followed the object, or from their aircraft could track it. Larry assumed that the fighter jets had tracked the object for some distance before it hit the ground, but he said he had heard no aircraft on the night the object crashed. Later on after the Michigan National Guard pilots who followed the object returned to their base, they were told by base commanders that the object had landed in Western Pennsylvania and was nothing more than a meteorite. End of story!

Brian Vike asked Larry if he roughly knew when the military showed up in the town of Kecksburg. He said approximately one hour after the object crashed. I also asked how far away any military base would have been from the crash site. Larry said the nearest base was not all that far away. (Brian Vike is wondering how the military was able to arrive so quickly after the object crashed, and in force by the sounds of it. Then one looks at the fighter aircraft already being sent out and following the object, the military knew ahead of time where the unknown had come down, or at least the approximate location where to look. Of course Larry believed the military were also already on their way as well as they had to have been tracking it as it came in).

Larry said another thing he felt important to mention was, that night of the crash when they came back with their father to the crash area, the Fire Department were there along with the police who did have the road blocked off so no traffic was able to pass by as I mentioned in the report above. But then the next day the family traveled back to the area where the object came down, Larry said the military were everywhere! And in another hamlet called Mammoth the military were walking all over the area and with a barrier set up, and on the barrier there was a sign which read, “deadly force authorized beyond this point”, “no admittance” and the soldiers were carrying M-14’s weapons and Larry said they were pointing the guns in the direction of people. And of course the military still telling everyone in the community that all the object was, was a meteorite. As Larry said, why all the fuss and pointing weapons at folks if all it was, was a meteorite.

Larry also remarks, when the military really lost credibility, is when they said nothing had landed.

Anyway he went on to say it was the night of the second day of the crash, or the night after the crash the military removed what ever it was on a flatbed truck covered with a large tarp and rumors were saying it went to Wright-Patterson AFB.

Larry also said folks living at the junction at Meteor Road witnessed the military trucks (a number of them) moving into the area, one appeared to be a mobile command unit and pulling a trailer. A perimeter was set up all around the crash site.

Larry said about a year or two after the crash, and them still hunting in the area when his brother was coming over the top of a hill and walking through a hay field he came across a K- ration can. After his brother found the one K- ration, he kicked the ground a little bit and discovered a few more cans, of course military issue. The fellows investigated a little more to see if they might find any more trash left behind by the military, and Larry said nothing else was found. They swept the area in a circular pattern, but he thought it might be interesting if someone was to go to the area with a metal detector to see what, if anything, they might be able to find, which might provide an answer to how the area was cordoned off to the general public by the military.

So there we have an interesting report from a person who had an incredible experience, one I am sure he will never ever forget.

Remember, you can listen to this telephone interview at my website. I gave the link for the audio report near the middle of this story. It is well worth listening to.

I would also like to thank Larry for allowing me to do an interview with him for the audio portion, and also for a fascinating report.

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Kecksburg UFO Case Report Author, Responds to Skeptics

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Film Bucket Return Capsule Used in Corona Satellites

Editor’s Note: Recently we published a report on The Kecksburg UFO Incident, researched and written by Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross. Dr. Gross’ thesis is that the mystery object that fell at Kecksburg on Thursday, December 9, 1965 was in fact a top secret satellite, under the Corona Program. Well known skeptic Robert Sheaffer took issue with Dr. Gross’ hypothesis, arguing that the object was merely a meteor. Here below is Dr Gross’ rejoinder—FW

     I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr. Sheaffer’s Thursday, September 14, 2017 review of my article recently published by Frank Warren in The UFO Chronicles.com. Mr. Sheaffer’s review was titled: Another Nonsensical “Explanation” for the Kecksburg Incident. My article was entitled: Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery. Most of Mr. Sheaffer’s critique targeted the second part of my so-called “loopy ‘explanation.’”

During his critique, Mr. Sheaffer seems to have made an attempt to mislead his readers by failing to mention that the bulk of the material

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross
Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross
The UFO Chronicles
© 9-15-17

he critiqued was lifted out of context from my article’s “Prediction” section. The “Prediction” section was a subsection I included in my article under the heading: “Applying the Scientific Method to the Kecksburg UFO Riddle.”

As many quality researchers understand, such predictions allow a scientist to be specific about how to demonstrate that a hypothesis is accurate. My stated hypothesis was: A Corona Satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on December 9, 1965. Due to an anomaly of sorts, its recovery vehicle separated from the satellite earlier than planned. Thus, this Corona recovery vehicle in conjunction with its film bucket is a highly viable candidate for the object that landed in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania on that same date.

Once a hypothesis and a prediction are developed, a true scientist does not change them even if the results of the experiment show that they are wrong. An incorrect prediction is not a failure. It merely indicates that the experiment demonstrated new facts that were previously unknown. Experimental information by nature is imperfect. Scientific results usually contain errors. One of my research goals has always involved minimizing errors. Thanks to Mr. Sheaffer’s own recent research, I now have even more information to possibly conduct an ancillary study related to the Kecksbrug UFO mystery.

Although the Corona Satellite project was technically declassified around 1995, the contents of some satellites are currently classified—even as I write. Such contents may be classified because of the nature of the nuclear materials they enclosed. Furthermore, NASA has not yet provided a detailed description of the nuclear experiment on board Satellite KH-4A 1027 (NASA has provided detailed descriptions of nuclear experiments on board other Corona Satellites).

A NASA document that I obtained in 2017 stated that: There were no data collections returned (for United States Air Force Photo Surveillance Satellite KH-4A 1027). That NASA statement seems to contradict the statement Mr. Sheaffer recently proved in his brilliant critique whereby one of his sources indicated: The condition of the air recovered capsule was normal. Thus, I will probably investigate the capsule condition issue more. Thanks to Mr. Shaeffer, I now have some potentially valuable bits of new information to help me ferret out the true answer.

In closing, it seems as if Mr. Sheaffer may have missed or at least misread the sentence in my article that read: disinformation has been an integral part of the secret Corona program. Therefore, it is quite possible that even a witty gentleman such as Mr. Sheaffer may have been duped via disinformation. Since disinformation is a variable that figured heavily into my Kecksburg UFO research, I do not accept my recent findings as wrong—at least not yet. Disinformation is an area that must be investigated thoroughly in the Kecksburg UFO case. If it eventually turns out that Mr. Sheaffer was indeed hoodwinked by disinformation, it may help for him to remember that science is a process of becoming less wrong over time.

The UFO Chronicles.com article (Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery) was based upon a whitepaper report that I developed and wrote. The title of that report is: KECKSBURG UFO WHITEPAPER REPORT: Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened a New Mystery. The full whitepaper report is available on my website at: bobwenzelgross.com.

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Skeptic Robert Sheaffer Critiques Recent ‘Kecksburg UFO Incident’ Report

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 Great Lakes Fireball
The train of the Great Lakes Fireball, seen across at least six states and Ontario, that started the Kecksburg ‘UFO crash’ story. Photo taken 9 December 1965 4:43 p.m. E.S.T. by Richard Champine of Royal Oak, Michigan. Location: 2 miles east of Pontiac, Michigan, approx. 45 seconds after event.

Another Nonsensical “Explanation” for the Kecksburg Incident

     The so-called “UFO Crash” at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1965 has become a UFO legend as a ‘second Roswell.’ In reality, there is no mystery at all. The supposed “UFO” was simply the Great Lakes Fireball of December 9, 1965, reported by many observers over a wide area and written about by astronomers.

[…]

By Robert Sheaffer
badufos.blogspot.com
8-15-17

Now there is a brand new theory to explain Kecksburg, by Bob Wenzel Gross, a “semi-retired researcher and writer with a forthcoming non-fiction memoir entitled: In Pursuit of Anomalies: How Great Music and Real UFOs Can Save the Human Race. Dr. Gross has worked as a researcher, field investigator, scientist, writer, lecturer, educator, administrator, change agent, turnaround specialist, and professional musician.” Published in Frank Warren’s UFO Chronicles, Gross’ account is very long-winded, and you can mostly ignore Part 1 – it’s just Gross showing what a clever guy he is ….

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Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery – Pt II

Film bucket with strobe light
Figure 2. A black and white photograph of a film bucket with strobe light (Courtesy of the National Reconnaissance Office).

Applying the Scientific Method to the Kecksburg Riddle

Observation:

     As mentioned earlier, in 1965 I heard the Kecksburg UFO story unfold on live radio. The radio announcers broadcasting the news about the object were sincere. Then, in 1987, I heard two eyewitnesses, who testified in a public forum, describe what landed at Kecksburg in 1965. I could sense by the sincerity in their voices, that these men had genuinely experienced something rare. As a resident of Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1992, I had the good fortune to speak with other Pennsylvanians who had experienced occurrences related

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross
*Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross
The UFO Chronicles
© 8-29-17

to the Kecksburg object. One such witness observed the bright object fly, slow, stop, and turn in the sky above him. Another witness claimed he had watched as the United States Army replaced trees the object had either damaged or closely passed over during its landing. Again, these two witnesses were males. Both men were extremely sincere when describing their experiences. They could also accurately recount their emotions and psychological states during their UFO-related encounters.

Early Research:

I started to aggressively dig into the Kecksburg case in 2012 after being asked to prepare a brief talk on the event. However, the ingredients for this mystery were in the mix long before December 9, 1965. On October 24, 1957, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) birthed a spy satellite program code named Corona. Corona reconnaissance satellites changed the concept of unmanned covert intelligence collecting. The 1950s and 1960s were decades when it was extremely difficult to gather top-secret information about strategic military systems operated by the Soviet Union, Communist China, and their allies.

By December 8, 1957 members of the CIA were busy building components for this highly classified project. In August 1960, the United States was poised and set to launch a reconnaissance satellite. The Corona reconnaissance satellite program enjoyed a lengthy period of development and success. The United States Government, however, did not acknowledge its use of space satellite imagery for intelligence missions until 1978 (Order et al. 1998).

The Corona surveillance satellites were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Each Corona satellite system employed a Thor-Agena rocket combination. The Thor-Agena arrangement incorporated a multi-stage rocket with a Thor first stage and an Agena second stage (Order et al. 1998). The Thor rocket alone has a maximum speed of about three miles per second—additional boosters could be used to increase the amount of lift off thrust.

From June 1959 to January 1968, the Corona program employed the Thor-Agena system to launch military reconnaissance satellites operated by the CIA. In total, there were approximately 144 Corona satellites launched. However, only about 102 returned with usable photographs.

Figure 1. Components of a Corona SRV showing ablative forebody and film bucket assembly (Courtesy of the National Reconnaissance Office).

Corona satellites employed Satellite Recovery Vehicles (SRVs). These recovery vehicles were essentially space capsules with nosecone-like forebodies featuring heatshields made from a type of a composite metal that, to a degree, burned away during reentry. Enclosed within the SRV’s protective heat shielded forebody was perhaps the most valuable part of the SRV. It was a gold-plated capsule designed to be recovered by parachute. This prized retrievable canister was called a film bucket (Figure 1).

All Corona satellites used gleaming acorn shaped film buckets as part of their reentry vehicles. The buckets returned exposed surveillance film to Earth for expert assessment. These shiny bullet-like buckets were designed to be snagged by specially equipped cargo aircraft during a parachute descent through the atmosphere. The film buckets were designed to float in the ocean for a while—just in case the planes couldn’t snag them. To make a floating film bucket easier for a recovery plane to spot from the air, engineers fitted the film buckets with strobe lights (Figure 2, above top).

Hypothesize:

A Corona Satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on December 9, 1965. Due to an anomaly of sorts, its recovery vehicle separated from the satellite earlier than planned. Thus, this Corona recovery vehicle in conjunction with its film bucket is a highly viable candidate for the object that landed in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania on that same date.

Prediction:

On December 9, 1965, a dual panoramic camera system, strategically packed inside a cigar-shaped Corona satellite, was placed on top of a Thor augmented Delta-Agena D rocket. The rocket system was equipped with a Thor first stage and an Agena upper stage. This top secret satellite was scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base that day. Missiles and payload were ready and waiting to be hurled into space.

Although the Corona program had been classified as top secret since 1963, this particular spacecraft, Satellite KH-4A 1027, was especially secret. Modifications to the overall satellite’s system allowed a second recovery vehicle to be added to the spacecraft. It is reasonable to think that one of the SRVs had a potent nuclear experiment packed on board.

Documentation about this nuclear experiment has been lacking by design. However, it is clear that this experiment was intended to study Earth’s magnetosphere. The experiment was developed by the Phillips Laboratory in conjunction with the US Air Force. The experiment was enclosed inside a recovery capsule. Thus, the experiment would have been stowed carefully inside the film bucket of one of the satellite’s two SRV’s. For practicality and functionality, the front recovery vehicle (SRV-1) probably contained the nuclear test.

The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) has not yet supplied sufficient details about the true nature of this nuclear emulsion experiment. From the onset, disinformation has been an integral part of the Corona program (Norman 2017). Therefore, based on continual research, I can confidently surmise that the magnetosphere study may have encompassed at least three possible sorts of nuclear trials. I ranked these proposed experiments by danger levels. The danger levels take into account both physical and political safety considerations.

A rather low-danger-level nuclear experiment may have involved a cosmic ray study to detect radioactively charged particles trapped in an emulsion by energy generated through cosmic radiation. The radiation would interact with the emulsion. Such emulsions are made of gelatin and silver salt molecules that act when charged particles pass through. The molecules are excited by the passage for a period of time and can be converted to metallic silver. A satisfactory approach to this kind of test involves exposing the emulsion to high cosmic radiation long enough to capture particles (Stratopedia 2017).

A moderate-danger-level nuclear experiment may have involved studying organisms’ sensitivity to radiation in microgravity. As a result, such experiments may have involved placing by-products of nuclear fission in the recovery capsule along with a living animal. In this case, the animal may have been a primate (Popular Mechanics 2010).

An extremely high-danger-level nuclear experiment may have involved atmospheric tests of a nuclear explosive device. In the 1960s, the United States wanted to find out what happened when nuclear weapons are detonated in space. Regardless of the potentially great danger related to physical damage, the political damage associated with testing any nuclear device in space would have been astronomical.

Nuclear explosive devices generate heat, light, X-rays, gamma rays, and subatomic particles. More importantly, the resulting shock wave would expand in all directions since there is essentially no atmosphere at extreme heights. A moving electron is affected by a magnetic field, so scientists needed to know how electrons flow along the Earth’s magnetic field lines and drop into the upper atmosphere.

When nuclear explosive devices are detonated, electrons undergo incredible acceleration. Thus, they create an extremely powerful magnetic field. This is called an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). The pulse can affect the flow of electricity on Earth hundreds of miles away.

Electrons from such a blast would linger in space for months. Trapped by Earth’s magnetic field, an artificial radiation belt would be formed above Earth’s surface. As a result, attempted high altitude nuclear device tests ought to use only small amounts of explosive materials. Currently, explosion energies related to such tests are classified (Pait 2012). Satellite KH-4A 1027’s nuclear experiment may have been a covert attempt at atmospheric testing.

Regrettably, placing any one of the above mentioned experiments on board a Corona spacecraft would have created an attitude (orientation) problem. Thus, at some point after liftoff, an anomalous variable of sorts probably triggered a series of unpredictable issues that made controlling the orientation of the spacecraft problematic. Following is my statement of likelihood related to what happened to United States Air Force Photo Surveillance Satellite KH-4A 1027 that afternoon in California:

Corona satellite systems were known for weight variance issues. Such issues can cause angular problems during a spacecraft’s flight. Therefore, sometime after launch, problems developed with controlling the orientation of the spacecraft. A slight velocity-related angular error resulted in a decidedly misbehaving liftoff. This angular error caused the spacecraft to stray outside of its allowable launch azimuth. The rocket’s behavior indicated to its controllers that the satellite might not achieve the intended orbit (Day et al. 1998). The ground command controllers were desperate to find the root of the spacecraft’s attitude dilemma.

Consequently, instead of heading south, the rocket system headed for a launch trajectory that would cut a northeasterly path across the United States. Any azimuth angles far north or east would send the spacecraft over habitable areas. Such a path would adversely affect safety, termination, vehicle separation, and political considerations.

Normally, such a problematic launch would be aborted by a range safety officer who would send a destruct signal to destroy the missile. Defective range safety equipment may have figured into the complication. More likely; however, range safety controllers were concerned about destroying a missile transporting a nuclear experiment—especially if the rocket was directly over the launch pad, a railroad train passing through the area, or a populated section of California.

As a sidebar, in 1962, nuclear weapon launch failures from Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean—another United States satellite launch site—caused serious contamination to the island and surrounding areas. Various alleged test launch failures in 1962 scattered radioactive debris over Johnston Island contaminating it, the lagoon, and a nearby island (Nautilus Institute 2005).

In an attempt to regain control of Satellite KH-4A 1027’s orientation, the foreword recovery vehicle (SRV-1) was separated from the spacecraft. The separation was done at some time before the engine burn that would have injected the satellite into orbit. This action was followed by placing the aft recovery vehicle (SRV-2) into a passive mode for the time being. Fortunately, jettisoning SRV-1 resolved the Corona satellite’s attitude problem for the time being.

Due to the conditions described above, Corona spacecraft KH-4A 1027 was in all probability placed into a less desirable, not-so-camera-friendly orbit. The satellite remained in that orbit for two days. For that reason, the spacecraft was operating for two days before its SRV-2 could be safely coaxed back to Earth. Thus, after just two days of operation, SRV-2 reentered Earth’s atmosphere and its film bucket was recovered in the air by a designated Air Force recovery team. The quality of the exposed film in the recovered bucket would indicate if the satellite’s cameras operated satisfactorily.

A Thor rocket alone, without the assistance of other boosters, travels at a speed of about 11,505 mph. Technically, at that speed, it would take less than fifteen minutes for something launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to reach Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. As it sped through the atmosphere, SRV-1’s ablative forebody would glow and melted away due to the resultant extreme heat. Chunks of melting hot matter could fall to Earth and started grass fires. The vehicle’s high speed would cause sonic booms (MUFON 2009).

At around 4:47 P.M. Eastern Time on December 9th, SRV-1 was maneuvering in the air above Western Pennsylvania. Its cold gas spin components hissed as it flew above the tree tops (Gordon 2001). Just before landing, four explosive charges on board SRV-1 were fired. The charges were used in conjunction with ejection pistons to eject the recovery vehicle’s parachute system cover. Detonating the four charges simultaneously created a star-like effect in the sky.

Consequently, the routine of jettisoning a two-parachute deceleration system was put into motion (Clausen and Miller 2012). Under normal conditions, the first decelerator parachute would slow the reentry of the thermal-shielded vehicle and pull out the main parachute—thus separating the film bucket from the forebody. In this case; however, the film bucket started to eject from the reentry vehicle’s forebody at an altitude much lower than usual. Therefore, the bucket was only partially detached from the forebody when the bucket/forebody combination collided with the trees below. Fortunately, the flexible branches and small tree trunks slowed the decent without much damage to the vehicle.

The shiny film bucket with a scorched forebody connected to its front end, creased the forest’s supple topsoil. Upon hitting the dirt, the payload forged through an old creek bed. When the object came to a complete stop, the seared orange forebody looked as if it was a proper extension of the shiny gold film bucket (Gordon 2015). At that point, the object would look like a true anomaly—a large golden acorn with a protuberance resembling a burnt orange trashcan on its front (Robinson 2017).

The exposed film bucket almost certainly had identification marks etched into its base. These marks would have been made by launch preparers who utilized symbols found in the Phillips Laboratory emblem to label the bucket (Mulcahy 2012). The Phillips’ emblem combines a Zia symbol with stars (Bass et al. 1995). Thus, it was not a fluke that the identification symbols engraved on the bucket included straight lines, circles, broken lines, and stars (Gordon 2015).

Almost as soon as it stopped moving, the film bucket’s recovery aids would have started working. The radio frequency beacon began broadcasting a signal and the strobe light on top of the capsule started flashing. Anyone hunting for the device would know exactly where to find it.

Several media outlets from Western Pennsylvania picked up on this as a UFO story. Media hosts from the powerful KDKA-Radio and KDKA-TV stations began broadcasting information about the suspected UFO incident in and around the Pittsburgh Area. It wasn’t long before police cars and at least one firetruck arrived at the landing site.

Alerted by the news media’s announcements, droves of idle people in KDKA’s listening and viewing area launched spontaneous expeditions to Kecksburg. Throngs of thrill- seekers set out for the woodlands. Several of them beat the crowds to what appeared to be the UFO landing spot in hopes of getting unobstructed glimpses, and maybe a few photographs, of the unusual object.

Then, within a relatively short period of time, at least a hundred uniformed individuals, representing various branches of the military, joined the police to rope-off part of the forest. The authorities present started warning visitors to stay away from the area because there was a risk that radiation might be leaking from the object (Farrell 2004). Soon, individuals wearing radiation protection suits and operating Geiger counters wandered into the woods searching for traces of radiation. Other similarly-suited people carried a large box—a box likely lined with lead to transport radioactive materials (Ventre and Eichler 2015). Such precautions would be required to safely retrieve Phillips Laboratory’s nuclear experiment.

Armed guards were eventually posted on the roads. Then, in an orderly military fashion, a secure perimeter was set-up around a rather large zone of woodsy Pennsylvania. As the evening progressed, the Air Force began to set up a command center at a local fire station.

Understandably, Dr. Eric Walker was called to the Kecksburg site to assess the danger of the immediate situation and recommend actions regarding nuclear waste management and disposal. In 1965, Dr. Walker was the President of Penn State University and served as an expert in Nuclear Science, Nuclear Engineering, and Nuclear Waste Materials. An abandoned airport in nearby Latrobe, PA would have been used to accommodate Dr. Walker’s flight from University Park to Kecksburg (Farrell 2004). As expected, Dr. Walker advised the local command center officials to move the Pennsylvania space debris (now contaminated with radioactivity after incurring landing-related damage) to Wright Paterson Air Force Base in Ohio where it would eventually be buried.

Two large trucks were summoned to Kecksburg. A United States Army star was displayed on at least one of the trucks. Late that night, the small truck convoy left the area. A flatbed truck hauled away the bullet-shaped SRV and film bucket under a tarp (Gordon 2017). Another truck carried boxed nuclear experiment parts. At least two different sized objects were transported away from the site. The large acorn arrived at Lockbourne Air Force Base near Columbus, Ohio on the morning of Friday December 10, 1965. On Saturday, December 11, 1965 it reached its destination at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Testing the Hypothesis with New Specific Relevant Data From the Literature:

In 1963, a late modification to the Corona system added a second film bucket and recovery vehicle to these spy satellites. Although the film recovery mechanism was commonly referred to as a bucket, it clearly resembled a copper kettle with a rounded bottom. These buckets were gold plated and shaped like a big acorn (Figure 3). They were beautiful. But, they were designed primarily to be functional—the buckets returned exposed surveillance film to Earth.

With two recovery vehicles positioned inside each satellite (Figure 4), the filming capacity for a given mission increased. Satellites sporting two film buckets could eject the first bucket to Earth, while the second bucket was deactivated and stored passively in orbit (Ruffner 1995).

The second bucket could begin filling immediately thereafter, or filming could be delayed for days. Furthermore, to keep the Soviet Union or Communist China unsure about the true purpose of the Corona program, some satellite missions included classified scientific experiments in one bucket while the other bucket was intended solely for film (Aga 2013). However, adding a second recovery vehicle and film bucket to an already complicated satellite system required a major, as well as sensitive, redesign of Corona’s command and control mechanisms (Day et al. 1998).

Figure 3 A Film Bucket Return Capsule Used in Corona Satellites
Figure 3. A film bucket return capsule used in Corona satellites (Courtesy of the National Reconnaissance Office).

The KH-4A camera system was the first to use multiple film buckets and was referred to as the J-1 model. If all went well during separation and reentry, the gleaming film bucket was recovered by well-trained team members of a select fleet of Air Force cargo planes. Corona satellites flew in low Earth orbits to optimize the resolution of the camera systems employed.

Corona J-1 System Payload
Figure 4. A Corona J-1 system payload featuring two tandem Satellite Recovery Vehicles (Courtesy of the National Reconnaissance Office).

The J-l model carried two reentry vehicles and two panoramic cameras. Thus, by design, one Corona satellite housed two SRVs. Each SRV had a shimmering film canister enclosed. Of the 52 J-1 satellites launched between 1963 and 1969, only 94 of the 104 SRVs were recovered—ten were lost (Intellipedia 2014).

The hull of the J-1 model satellite held the two SRVs in tandem. Each SRV had a forebody that was a capsule-like ablative heat shield which also functioned as a nose cone. Tucked away inside the ablative forebody was the mirror-like golden film bucket. The buckets were made of consecutive layers of metal and plastic and were plated with gold to provide a protective smooth finish (Clausen and Miller 2012).

A film bucket, two parachutes, a retro rocket, pistons with explosive charges, and stabilization jets were all carefully stuffed into each SRV’s ablative forebody. The stabilization jets used a cold gas spin mechanism that employed specialized nozzles and a tank filled with three gases (Central Intelligence Agency 1976). The stabilization jets in combination with the retro rocket could steer the vehicle and alter its speed. If by chance a film bucket was not air-recovered, a radiofrequency beacon and flashing strobe light were built into each gold plated capsule to provide location information (Clausen and Miller 2012).

These buckets were designed to be precisely attached to the inside of the ablative forebody. Ablative heat shields were constructed of experimental materials designed to absorb and dissipate extreme hotness by melting or wearing away the heat shield of an SRV speeding through the atmosphere. The ablative process involved melting and vaporization. Molten materials carried the energy caused by aerodynamic heating away from the forebody (Sutton 2006). The film bucket’s thin gold coating helped to protect its contents in case the heat shield failed (Neufeld 2014). For the most part, the glimmering buckets carried precious cargos. The buckets were originally designed to bring back exposed film taken of faraway places of interest, but sometimes the buckets hid scientific and quasi-scientific experiments.

A big, shiny, goldish-yellow colored acorn was reported by individuals who were lucky enough to make it into the woods that December day in 1965. Other witnesses would eventually come forward twenty-two years later and maintain that the object was big, metal, and shiny gold and burnt orange in color. It had no rivets, portals, seams, or visible openings.

Some of these now mature observers saw an arcing bright light coming off of the object. At least one onlooker recalled seeing a distinct raised gold band around the thing’s base—it seemed to serve as a bumper. Odd symbols were etched or maybe welded into the band. For the most part, combinations of circles, stars, straight lines, dots, and broken lines made up the band’s geometric markings (Farrell 2004).

The SRV’s burnt forebody, shiny film bucket, and remnants of the Phillips’ nuclear experiment were trucked to Wright Patterson AFB. Overall, the mysterious cargo looked to be about the size of a Volkswagen (VW) Beetle automobile. In 1965, VW Beetles were about 5 feet wide and 13 feet long. At Wright Patterson, the Corona SRV components were deposited in a landfill which served as a burial site for radioactive waste materials (Engineering Science 1982).

New Relevant Evidence

1. Tucked away inside the ablative forebody was a film bucket made of consecutive layers of metal and plastic and plated with gold (Clausen & Edward 2012).

2. With two recovery vehicles positioned inside each satellite the filming capacity for a given mission increased enormously. J-1 model satellites sporting two film buckets could eject the first bucket to Earth, while the second bucket was deactivated and stored passively in orbit. (Ruffner 1995).

3. Each SRV had a forebody that was a capsule-like ablative heat shield which also functioned as a nose cone. Tucked away inside the ablative forebody was a mirror-like golden film bucket. The buckets were made of consecutive layers of metal and plastic and were plated with gold to provide a protective smooth finish (Clausen & Edward 2012).

4. There was a Nuclear Emulsion Experiment on board Spacecraft KH-4A 1027. Nuclear emulsion experiments involved performing scientific procedures concerning radioactivity and cosmic radiation, as well as the effect of radiation on various materials and tissues. The Phillips Laboratory was conducting the nuclear emulsion experiment on board this satellite. Phillips conducted experiments related to studying radiation contamination and the magnetosphere (National Aeronautics Space Administration 2017c).

5. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reported this about an intended 17 day mission: Erratic attitude necessitated recovery of this KH-4A type spacecraft after just two days of operation. All the cameras operated satisfactorily (National Aeronautics Space Administration 2017a)

6. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also reported the following: There was 1 experiment returned. There was no data collections returned (National Aeronautics Space Administration 2017b).

7. Its gold-plated sides gleamed brightly in the light streaming in through the recovery doors. We also took notice that the top was scorched and in some areas, handwriting was visible, probably from the launch preparers. The homing beacon was still broadcasting its signal and the strobe lights on top of the capsule were still blinking (Mulcahy 2012). The Philips Laboratory emblem combines a Zia symbol with stars (Bass et al. 1995). The identification symbols engraved on the bucket were zigzag lines, straight lines, circles and other shapes (Robinson 2017).

8. The stabilization jets in combination with the retro rocket, under certain conditions, could steer the vehicle and alter its descent speed. This SRV’s stabilization jets used a cold gas spin mechanism that employed specialized nozzles and a tank filled with three gases (Central Intelligence Agency 1976).

9. Also, if by chance a film bucket is not air-recovered, a radiofrequency beacon and flashing strobe light were included in the gold plated capsule to provide location information (Clausen & Edward 2012).

10. A radiofrequency beacon and flashing strobe light were included in the gold plated capsule to provide location information (Clausen & Edward 2012). Some Pennsylvania residents saw the object moving slowly in the sky; others saw smoke and brilliant bluish-white lights like an electric arc when it first crashed (Kean 2005).

11. Explosive charges were used in conjunction with ejection pistons to eject the recovery vehicle’s parachute system cover. As a result, a two- parachute system was jettisoned (Clausen & Edward 2012). Detonating the four charges would create a star-like effect in the sky.

12. In 1965 Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio maintained a landfill which served as a burial site for radioactive waste materials (Engineering Science 1982).

13. The Tribune Review said it would not run the MUFON Kecksburg UFO story because it would hurt the Kecksburg Fire Department fund raiser (UAMN TV 2017).

14. Penn State University has a history of supporting and leading in the fields of nuclear science, nuclear engineering, and nuclear waste management and disposal. Penn State developed its own nuclear reactor on campus. Penn State’s entry into the field of nuclear science is due to the efforts of Dr. Eric Walker—President of Penn State University from 1956 to 1970 (Vincenti and Dornsife 2005).

Early Accurate Supporting Statements

1. He described the object as bronze colored and shaped like an acorn with a lightly blunt backend (Robinson 2017)

2. There, maybe a quarter-mile into the woods, laid this thing—burnt orange, maybe 10 feet long, shaped like an acorn, he said (Gibb 2003).

3. It reportedly dropped hot debris that started grass fires in Michigan and Ohio (MUFON 2009). Several witnesses were in a position to see the object without obstruction and noticed a rounded protuberance at the front of the object (Gordon 2015).

4. After a short period of time, individuals wearing radiation protection suits showed up. They were operating Geiger counters and wandered into the woods searching for something. Other similarly dressed people were walking around the area carrying a large box. (Ventre and Eichler 2015).

5. All the cameras operated satisfactorily (National Aeronautics Space Administration 2017a). These capsules were dropped following secret missions and sometimes they fell where they were not supposed to. No secret mission could have led to the reentry of a capsule that day (Kean 2005).

6. Individuals wearing radiation protection suits showed up. They were operating Geiger counters and wandered into the woods searching for something. Other similarly dressed people were walking around the area carrying a large box (Ventre and Eichler 2015). On December 11, 1965, the SRV-1 ablative forebody, shiny film bucket, and its radioactive nuclear experiment remains were returned to Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio by the Army. Thus, the SRV-1 film bucket was not recovered by the special Corona Air Force Recovery Team.

7. 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 (Gordon 2015).

8. Another eyewitness described the object as “sort of acorn-shaped” with a raised area around the back and brownish-greyish in color with fire coming out of the back of it. There was a rounded part on the very tip of the object, and it seemed to be covered in some kind of vapor which enveloped it as it flew by. Only a mere 200feet in the air and hissing as it passed (Robinson 2017).

9. Witnesses also said, “It glowed green in the sky; it was a burnt orange color on the ground; the site may be radioactive; there was an arcing blue light coming from the woods; it looked like Egyptian hieroglyphics were welded on a bead in different designs around the base; and that four guys in NASA moon suits took a four to five foot box into the area” (Ventre and Eichler 2015).

10. Many people say that the military, including members of the Army and Air Force, began to arrive in the area around the village of Kecksburg within a few hours after the reported landing (Gordon 2017). It was giving off flashes of bright arcing light (Ventre and Eichler 2015).

11. And, during the final moments of the event when the reentry vehicle landed in Kecksburg, an eyewitness remarked about seeing a “four star” object (Ventre and Eichler 2015).

12. A few days after the incident had taken place, a truck driver using the pseudonym Myron was delivering special bricks to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Myron’s firm had ordered 6,500 double-glazed bricks which he claimed “were for building a double-walled shield around a recovered radioactive object.” He first noticed the “bell-shaped” object whilst he was unloading the bricks; he said it was resting on stilts with large parachute-like screens covering it up. The shape was silhouetted by floodlights and he managed to get a closer look through a small opening in the tent (Robinson 2017).

13. Are we looking for truth (UAMN TV 2017)?

14. Over the years, a series of researchers questioned Dr. Eric Walker about his involvement in UFO phenomena including his presence at the site of a crashed of an alleged UFO in Kecksburg, PA in December 1965 (Cameron 1991). Dr. Eric Walker, the president of Penn State University at the time, admitted to visiting the Kecksburg crash site on December 9, 1965 (Rudiak 1991).

Conclusion:

Corona satellite KH-4A 1027 was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:07 P.M. Pacific Time on December 9, 1965. Due to acute issues with controlling the spacecraft’s orientation in flight, recovery vehicle SRV-1, containing a golden film bucket that concealed a nuclear experiment from the Phillips Laboratory, was separated from the main body of the satellite prior to it achieving orbit. SRV-1 and its film bucket crash landed at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1965—the day of the launch.

NASA described a Phillips Laboratory nuclear experiment on board Spacecraft KH-4A 1027. The United States Army returned the crashed ablative forebody and golden film bucket that housed the experiment, along with related radioactive materials, to the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) on December 11, 1965. However, NASA failed to report the date when that nuclear experiment was given back. Nevertheless, the nuclear experiment was returned by the Army—not recovered by the Air Force. Furthermore, no data was collected from the magnetosphere-related test (National Aeronautics Space Administration 2017c). The information gathering component of the test was damaged when the bucket made contact with trees prior to landing. The objects were transported to Dayton, Ohio because WPAFB maintained a burial site and landfill for radioactive materials there (Engineering Science 1982). Two days after launch, SRV-2, which contained a film bucket with exposed film from the mission, was recalled from its orbit and recovered by one of the several US Air Force Corona Special Recovery Teams.

Therefore, after reviewing the currently existing literature, I conclude that my hypothesis is true: Corona Satellite (KH-4A 1027) was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on December 9, 1965. One of the satellite’s recovery vehicles (SRV-1) separated early from the satellite due to an attitude problem. So, this recovery vehicle is a highly viable candidate for the object that landed at Kecksburg on that same date. SRV-1’s ablative forebody in combination with its golden film bucket made up the mysterious object that crash landed at Kecksburg in1965. In closing, the Kecksburg UFO was neither a manmade space probe with unique reentry control capabilities, nor a deep space probe from a planet other than Earth.

* Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross is a semi-retired researcher and writer with a forthcoming non-fiction memoir entitled: In Pursuit of Anomalies: How Great Music and Real UFOs Can Save the Human Race. Dr. Gross has worked as a researcher, field investigator, scientist, writer, lecturer, educator, administrator, change agent, turnaround specialist, and professional musician.

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross is an artist who works with music by nature—and he is a scientist out of necessity. Dr. Gross holds a Doctorate from Penn State University where his solid approach to advanced research resulted in PSU’s Graduate School awarding his dissertation an excellent rating. Moreover, he has 40 years’ experience as an educator at all levels of instruction and has been an adjunct professor at Penn State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, New Mexico State University, and South Texas College. Email: rwgross98@hotmail.com.

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Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery – Pt 1

Closing the Kecksburg UFO Case Opened Another Mystery

Introduction to the Kecksburg Mystery

     It was Thursday, December 9, 1965. Something odd in the sky caught the attention of thousands of people as it pierced the Earth’s atmosphere. Observers who looked toward the sky that day were treated to an anomaly. Individuals from Canada, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania experienced a unique object in the heavens—and on the ground— that embodied phenomenal qualities. Following is a synthesis of several eyewitnesses’ statements about what they saw:
Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross
The UFO Chronicles
© 8-29-17

The projectile was brilliant. At times, this fireball glowed intensely, and gave off tints of color, as it shot across the sky. The airborne anomaly was afire and southeasterly bound. Its tail was a display of flames that left traces of smoke hanging among the clouds (Gordon 2001). The smoke outlined a dynamic, irregular trajectory.

The object didn’t maneuver like an ordinary meteor or piece of space junk. To the contrary, this red-hot contraption slowed, stopped, stood still, and changed course on its sinuous way to Kecksburg. Unquestionably, the brilliant object qualified as a UFO because of its unique appearance and strange movements.

It made weird noises too. This thing boomed and blasted at times, and it hissed as well. In addition, as this peculiarity flew above Pennsylvania readying itself to land, it seemed to morph. By the end of its journey, the oddity had changed shape—from a blazing ball to a fiery four-pointed star (Ventre and Eichler 2015). Over a densely wooded section of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, the quirky craft glided from above the treetops to the forest floor in a controlled manner.

Alerted by the local news media’s announcements about the potential UFO crash, masses of people started for Kecksburg. The crowds that amassed were hoping to see a wrecked aerial phenomenon. At one point, a police spokesman appeared and stated to the gathering that an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) had indeed landed in the woods (Farrell 2004).

Although it broke a few trees on its way to the ground, the objet touched down almost completely undamaged. It came to a halt after plowing through the woodland’s rich soil. At the end of a mud furrow, the anomaly was partially buried and reclining on its side. Grounded and motionless, the thing had a shape like a large acorn. This particular huge acorn, however, was shiny, seamless, and the color of honey.

The big acorn was giving off flashes of bright arcing light (Ventre and Eichler 2015). In addition, the golden, smooth metallic object had a protuberance on its front. The protuberance resembled a burnt orange trashcan (Robinson 2017). The craft had a raised band around its base. The band was marked with an arrangement of unfamiliar symbols.

Local citizens, police, members of the media, and some Air Force investigators gathered at the landing site (Farrell 2004). Within a short period of time, uniformed individuals representing various branches of the military joined up with members of the local police force to rope-off part of the forest. The scene was busy. Even the then President of The Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Eric Walker, joined the others at the Kecksburg crash site (Camron 1991).

Soon individuals wearing radiation protection suits showed up. They operated Geiger counters and wandered into the woods searching for something. Other similarly dressed people were walking around the area carrying a large box. (Ventre and Eichler 2015).

Later that night, a small convoy of trucks (at least one truck was displaying an Army insignia) entered the area. A flatbed semi-trailer truck left carrying an object covered by a tarp. The item underneath the tarp was acorn-shaped and about the size of a VW Beetle (Gordon 2017). Regardless, by the next day (Friday, December 10, 1965), local newspapers were reporting that searchers had failed to find any suspicious objects in the woods . . . .

My Kecksburg Backstory

For more than fifty years, Kecksburg, Pennsylvania was famous. It was the site of one of the most important Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) events in modern history. As time would have it, the incident continues to impact my life. After more than five decades, the Kecksburg case remains special to me for the following four reasons:

Reason One: Early in my life, I heard the Kecksburg UFO incident unfold in front of me through the medium of live radio. I vividly remember it as if the riddle started to develop yesterday. The 1965 Kecksburg mystery had an impact on how I conducted the rest of my life.

It was Thursday, December 9, 1965 and the Pittsburgh Area was progressing toward evening. I was at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. I wasn’t alone. I was with my twin brother, Rick.

But, unlike Rick, I wasn’t inside the church. I was in the church’s parking lot—seated in the front bench seat of my parents’ 1965 Chevrolet Impala. As I recall, our mother had ordered us both to the church to confess our sins to a priest before Sunday’s mass. I had made my confession with haste. But Rick was still inside the confessional bragging to the priest about his recent blameworthy accomplishments. Freed of my wrongdoings, I sat in the great car alone and prepared to listen to a radio station of my choice.

If Rick would have made his confession first, I would have had to suffer through his ritual as the lucky driver of the trendy family car. He’d open the hood and unscrew the wing nut on top of the big engine’s air filter and carefully remove the unpopular particle absorbing device. Then he’d tuck the bulky silencer away in the trunk. Next, he would jump into the driver’s seat; start the engine; and pump the accelerator—revving the engine anywhere from 3 to 30 times.

But, this month I was the first twin to make it to the car. Thus, instead of gunning the engine, I quietly dialed through several stations on the analog car radio hunting for my standard target—Pittsburgh’s channel KDKA. As KDKA’s signal began to emerge out of the radio’s background noise, an announcer was in the midst of broadcasting a breaking news bulletin. The broadcaster reported that an incident was unfolding near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. It seemed as if a bright aerial anomaly—a genuine UFO — had been observed falling near there. Reports were being received by KDKA indicating that people may have seen the object crash land.

Kecksburg was about an hour away from the church parking lot where I sat. When my brother finally dashed out of the church and jumped into the car, I told him all about the subject of the recent radio broadcast. We decided to go to where the action was. So, I quickly drove us to our home which was a couple of miles away. When we arrived, we begged our parents for permission to drive to the alleged crash site. It didn’t work.

Because of our past driving records, my parents could not, with straight faces, permit my brother or me to make the 53 mile trek to Kecksburg. Sadly, I thought for sure that the Kecksburg case had ended for me then and there. I was wrong.

Later, in 1966, I graduated from Har-Brack High School and started attending Duquesne University in Pittsburg where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970. Soon after that, I started teaching music in the Cambria County public schools. At the same time, I enrolled in graduate school at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where I received a Master of Education Degree in 1974. By 1975, I had enrolled at Penn State University to study filmmaking. In 1977, I was accepted into one of Penn State’s doctoral programs where I studied acoustics, aesthetics, and research design, among other subjects.

As a young professional music educator, I taught in Pennsylvania’s public schools and held concurrent adjunct positions at Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 1980, I co-wrote a children’s musical play about a supernatural being known as a goblin. This musical theatre work was entered in a national competition sponsored by the Open Court Publishing Company. Open Court awarded the musical play second prize. More importantly, writing a musical about the supernatural provided me with firsthand knowledge related to the popularity of rare and mysterious experiences. Furthermore, the second place award involved a summer studying musical play writing at Illinois Wesleyan University.

By 1984, I had earned a Doctor of Education Degree from Penn State University—a highly rated research facility. My thorough approach to advanced research was a direct result of The Pennsylvania State University Graduate School awarding an excellent rating to my dissertation. Soon, I acquired a reputation as a researcher, scientist, writer, lecturer, and educator who began his professional career as a musician. Thus, I was an artist who worked with music by nature. However, out of necessity, I was a scientist.

In 1985, mostly because of the success of the earlier kid’s goblin musicale, I decided to write another children’s musical play. During the mid-1980s, popular topics for children’s stories included extra-terrestrials, spaceships, and battles in outer space. The films E.T., Star Wars, and Star Trek were extremely popular. Accordingly, planning a musical play with a UFO-related plot seemed in order. Therefore, in preparation for writing this second musical play, I decided to learn as much about the UFO phenomenon as I could.

Reason Two: I may have been the first professed researcher of unexplained phenomena to hear eyewitnesses to the Kecksburg incident volunteer live public testimonies. In 1987, to gain a sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge about UFOs for my upcoming children’s musical, I attended a UFO data-gathering event known as National UFO Information Week. The event was jointly sponsored by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) of Seguin, Texas and a Pennsylvania clearinghouse for UFO sightings.

It was almost twenty-two years after the strange event had happened at Kecksburg. To my knowledge, no eyewitnesses had yet come forward to offer details about that occurrence. While National UFO Information Week was allegedly designed as an effort to make all UFO sightings public, the event could also serve as a platform for latent Kecksburg eyewitnesses.

The UFO affair was held in a shopping mall in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. This mall featured an enclosed shopping area that accommodated several stores. The main floor of the galleria was designed in the shape of a large cross. A huge courtyard was at the center of this comfortable indoor market. The courtyard was more packed that day than on a typical Saturday in August. Pedestrians and shoppers were all over the place.

On that specific Saturday, my personal mission was to get an intense exposure to UFO culture. Therefore, I spent a considerable amount of time looking into the UFO-related exhibits on display and I courteously engaged professed UFO witnesses in stimulating conversations about the behavior and appearance of the odd objects they had seen in the sky. During other times, I strolled along the mall’s walkways—reflecting and briefly talking with passersby, shoppers, or pedestrians who were visiting the unique gathering.

During one of my meanders that day, I recall my breath and heart rate increasing as I overheard an alleged eyewitness describe a UFO that landed near Greensburg in 1965. As it turned out, he was describing what had happened in Kecksburg. That was the first time I had experienced anybody offer precise details about the Kecksburg incident in a public gathering. The experience literally took my breath away. Following is what happened:

I was walking around the mall in an area that was rather far away from the UFO exhibits. While roaming around that space’s walkways, I noticed people naturally gathering into clusters. In each assembled cluster, people were freely talking about UFO-related topics. Eventually, I wandered upon one sizeable group of people who had gathered themselves into a formation that roughly resembled two Socratic circles. One small circle had formed inside a larger circle and a solo speaker was standing in the middle of the smaller circle. As I recall, the smaller inner ring was made up of at least ten people, while the larger outer ring held twenty or more individuals. I wedged into the outer ring.

After elbowing my way through the crowd and squeezing myself into the larger circle, I used my listening skills to focus on what the speaker in the center of the two concentric circles was saying. Since most of the people around me were taller than I was, I couldn’t get a real clear look at the presenter at first. But, I could tell this speaker’s voice belonged to a male. From what I could see, he appeared to be moderately built, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, and had brownish colored hair. However, I didn’t know if the speaker was a formal presenter sponsored by MUFON, or if he was an impromptu speaker who had actually experienced a close UFO encounter.

This speaker said that the thing he saw on the ground that day was a big piece of metal and was sort of burnt orange in color. It was partially buried in the mud after tearing a trench into the dirt while landing. In addition, this object was giving off very bright sparks or flashes of light.
At that point in his testimony, I wasn’t really sure about where this speaker’s UFO experience had taken place. Then suddenly, another male speaker spoke up. This second speaker was standing in front of me and off to my left. He was part of the smaller (or inner) Socratic ring. Since I was standing in the larger (or outer) Socratic ring at that time, I could hear him and see him clearly. He was about 6 feet tall, dark haired, and had a moderate build.

The second speaker interrupted the first speaker by shouting: That was us! After the initial interruption, he went on to say that the bright flashes the first speaker described were probably from the flashbulbs on the cameras he and his friends were using to take photographs that evening. He went on to say that he and some of his friends had driven to Kecksburg that December—twenty-two years ago—shortly after hearing about the UFO through the media.

Supposedly, he and his friends had flashbulb-equipped cameras with them when they ventured into the woods at around sundown. While wandering among the trees, he and his group came upon a rather large, smooth, shiny, acorn-shaped object. He said it was the color of honey. The thing was resting at the end of a mud furrow.

Allegedly, the second speaker and his group took several snapshots of the unidentifiable object before leaving the woods. The second speaker also maintained that the bright bursts of light the first speaker saw were probably from their flash cameras. Additionally, the second speaker maintained that he and his buddies were on the opposite side of the object from where the first speaker was standing.

Next, a third man in the crowd (who was standing outside of both Socratic circles and off to my right) spoke out. He asked the second speaker if he had reported his alleged UFO incident to anyone. The second speaker said: No. As a result, the third male speaker hurriedly approached the second speaker. The two men talked briefly, and then walked off together toward the area of the mall where UFO artifacts were being exhibited.

At that point, I recall becoming ecstatic when I realized I had just heard two potential genuine eyewitnesses to the Kecksburg incident give live verbal testimonies about the famous episode. Again, to my knowledge, no eyewitnesses had come forward since 1965 to testify about the Kecksburg case. Thus, on August 15, 1987, I may have been the first individual—who was admittedly researching unexplained phenomena—to hear living testimonies about the Kecksburg incident.

Hearing the above mentioned real-life verifications, confirmed in my mind at least, that Pennsylvania was a bona fide UFO hotspot. As a curious UFO researcher who lived and worked in Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1992, I’ve spoken with several people who have allegedly experienced UFOs while living in that eastern state.

Between late 1989 and early 1990, my career as a professional music educator began to pick up. I was publishing articles in professional journals and lecturing at state and national music education conferences. My attendance at events related to the UFO phenomenon declined. The children’s musical play that I had been writing fell to the wayside.

Reason Three: The Kecksburg event was the first UFO incident that I prepared and presented a formal talk about. That talk consequently led to speaking engagements with an established lecture circuit. The circuit was based in Texas and included established UFO researchers such as: Stanton T. Friedman, Travis Walton, and Noe Torres.

Because of the Great Recession of 2007, I was forced into semi-retirement during the summer of 2010. As a result, I moved to McAllen, Texas because of its strong economy and burgeoning arts scene. However, severe underemployed drew me back into my favorite kind of work—research. Fortunately, my employment situation afforded me sufficient time to revive some stimulating research I had put on the proverbial back burner decades ago. For several years, I’d been enamored with how humans grappled with mysteries.

Regardless, by 2011, I was really getting bored. So, I joined an organization known as the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). I contacted MUFON’s Texas State Director and asked for information about any active UFO researchers in my area that might be able to use my assistance. I was put into contact with Mr. Noe Torres, the director of MUFON in South Texas. I emailed Noe a brief history of my UFO studies including my personal research regarding the Kecksburg crash. Mr. Torres responded and claimed he had been fascinated by the Kecksburg case for years. In fact, he had written about the Kecksburg crash and recovery in a couple of the UFO books he had published.

Since I had been essentially working on this case since 1965, my new MUFON director acquaintance encouraged me to give a brief overview about the Kecksburg happening at an upcoming presentation he was scheduled to give for a public library in Alamo, Texas. Thus, in 2012, I began conducting research for my impending Keckburg talk. I reviewed my existing files on Kecksburg and I initiated additional research that uncovered more recently de-classified information on the topic. I found lots of information related to the Kecksburg mystery by searching the internet.

From that point on, I served as a participant in a Southern Texas UFO lecture circuit. I was introduced to several respected UFO researchers and countless sincere eyewitnesses—some of which possessed hard evidence. Noe’s initial encouragement caused me to return to researching and lecturing about UFOs and anomalies in general.

Prior to my 2012 Texas research spurt, I had served as the multimedia assessment specialist for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Arts Education Consensus Project in Washington, DC. That project lasted from 1992 to 1998. As the project’s assessment specialist, I was introduced to the work of Dr. Howard Gardner. Dr. Gardner, a psychologist from Harvard University, developed the theory of multiple intelligences (MI). His MI theory explained how people perceive the world through each of their intelligences. In 1999, Dr. Gardner wrote about the possibility of expanding his multiple intelligence theory to include existential intelligence.

People with a strong existential intelligence have the capacity to think about why things exist and if there is intelligent life throughout the Universe. Also, they need the freedom to ponder, conceptualize, and hypothesize, as well as analyze and think about questions that do not have clear answers. Individuals with a strong existential intelligence also wonder about how variables interact, and evaluate how concepts relate to one another (Gangi 2011). I have a strong existential intelligence.

A March 2013 phone call led to a rejuvenated correspondence with Dr. Howard Gardner. I initiated a probe about starting up an independent research project related to existential intelligence. Through phone calls and emails, I proposed launching a scientific study to investigate how encounters with unexplained phenomena might shape the human brain. Dr. Gardner provided valuable guidance about such a study. Thus, almost immediately I initiated an independent research project that explored potential links among existential intelligence, aesthetic experiences, anomalies, and the paranormal.

Through the process of conducting research for this independent study, I was introduced to neuroaesthetics. Neuroaesthetics is a relatively new subfield of neuroscience that merges neuroscience with observed aesthetics. Since my preferred career path at that time—educational administration— had abandoned me during the recession, I felt I had nothing to lose by chasing a research topic that captured my curiosity.

Reason Four: On or about June 1, 2016, I declared that the Kecksburg case would be my inaugural attempt at unraveling an established (fifty year old) UFO mystery. I gathered and analyzing new relevant data from the existing literature. Thus, I closed the Kecksburg case, once and for all, by applying scientific methodology to aggressive research. I strongly believe I solved the Kecksburg enigma—beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Several months earlier, in 2015, I had reviewed an article published by MUFON. The article addressed the Kecksburg case. The authors of the piece mentioned that a December 9, 1965 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California of a Thor Agena-D rocket took two days to recover after an erratic attitude (Ventre and Eichler 2015). That was essentially all they wrote about Corona satellites.

The authors of the MUFON-recognized article essentially dismissed the Corona satellite launched on December 9, 1965 as a candidate for the Kecksburg UFO. As an aggressive researcher, I found it troubling that MUFON-associated researchers fundamentally ignored a spacecraft launched from California (on the same day as the Pennsylvania incident) as a Kecksburg UFO contender. Then and there, I decided to carry out my own research study related to the Kecksburg event.

* Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross is a semi-retired researcher and writer with a forthcoming non-fiction memoir entitled: In Pursuit of Anomalies: How Great Music and Real UFOs Can Save the Human Race. Dr. Gross has worked as a researcher, field investigator, scientist, writer, lecturer, educator, administrator, change agent, turnaround specialist, and professional musician.

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross is an artist who works with music by nature—and he is a scientist out of necessity. Dr. Gross holds a Doctorate from Penn State University where his solid approach to advanced research resulted in PSU’s Graduate School awarding his dissertation an excellent rating. Moreover, he has 40 years’ experience as an educator at all levels of instruction and has been an adjunct professor at Penn State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, New Mexico State University, and South Texas College. Email: rwgross98@hotmail.com.

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‘Kecksburg UFO Crash’ Movie Sparks Casting Call for Local Actors

Soldiers Approach Kecksburg UFO

     KINGWOOD — Regional actors of all ages seeking roles are invited to audition on May 7 at the Preston Community Arts Center in Kingwood for a part in a forthcoming feature film based on the historical incident of a supposed UFO crash-landing in Pennsylvania.
By www.theet.com
5-2-17

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