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Kecksburg Crash – 1965

The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965, at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, USA. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires and caused sonic booms in Western Pennsylvania. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris.

  
The Incident (as reported)

However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed something crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and "a thump" about the time the object reportedly landed. Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed the object on a flatbed truck. At the time, however, the military claimed they searched the woods and found "absolutely nothing"

The Tribune-Review from nearby Greensburg had a reporter at the scene; the headline in the newspaper the next morning was "Unidentified Flying Object Falls near Kecksburg — Army Ropes off Area". The article continued with, "The area where the object landed was immediately sealed off on the order of U.S. Army and State Police officials, reportedly in anticipation of a 'close inspection' of whatever may have fallen… State Police officials there ordered the area roped off to await the expected arrival of both U.S. Army engineers and possibly, civilian scientists." However, a later edition of the newspaper stated that nothing reportedly had been found after authorities searched the area.

Map of the area 
The official explanation of the widely seen fireball was that it was a mid-sized meteor. However speculation as to the identity of the Kecksburg object (if there was one — reports vary) also range from it being an alien craft to debris from Cosmos 96, a Soviet Space Probe Intended for Venus but never left the atmosphere.

Similarities have been drawn between the Kecksburg incident and the Roswell UFO incident, leading to the former being referred to as "Pennsylvania's Roswell."

Scientific articlesSeveral articles were written about the fireball in science journals. The February 1966 issue of Sky & Telescope reported that the fireball was seen over the Detroit-Windsor area at about 4:44 p.m. EST. The Federal Aviation Administration had received 23 reports from aircraft pilots, the first starting at 4:44 p.m. A seismograph 25 miles southwest of Detroit had recorded the shock waves created by the fireball as it passed through the atmosphere. The Sky and Telescope article concluded that "the path of the fireball extended roughly from northwest to southeast" and ended "in or near the western part of Lake Erie".

A 1967 article by two astronomers in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (JRASC) used the seismographic record to pinpoint the time of passage over the Detroit area to 4:43 p.m. In addition, they used photographs of the trail taken north of Detroit at two different locations to triangulate the trajectory of the object. They concluded that the fireball was descending at a steep angle, moving from the southwest to the northeast, and likely impacted on the northwestern shore of Lake Erie near Windsor, Ontario.

The JRASC trajectory was at nearly right angles to that proposed earlier by Sky and Telescope, or a trajectory that would have taken the fireball in the direction of western Pennsylvania and Kecksburg. Thus, if the calculation was correct, this would rule out the fireball being involved in any way with what may or may not have happened in Kecksburg. The JRASC article is often cited by skeptics to debunk the notion of a UFO crash at Kecksburg.

However, the JRASC article has been criticized as lacking any error analysis. Since the triangulation base used by the astronomers in their calculations was very narrow, even very small errors in determination of directions could result in a very different triangulated trajectory. Measurement errors of slightly more than one-half degree would make possible a straight-line trajectory towards the Kecksburg area and a much shallower angle of descent than reported in the JRASC article. It was also pointed out that the photos used actually show the fireball trail becoming progressively thinner, suggesting motion away from the cameras, or in the direction of Pennsylvania. Had the trajectory been sideways to the cameras, as contended in the JRASC article, the trail would likely have remained roughly constant in thickness.

Kosmos 96There had been some speculation (e.g. NASA's James Oberg) that the object in the Kecksburg Incident may have been debris from Kosmos 96, a Soviet satellite. Kosmos 96 had a bell- or acorn-like shape similar to the object reported by eyewitnesses (though much smaller than witnesses reported).

However, in a 1991 report, US Space Command concluded that Kosmos 96 crashed in Canada at 3.18am on December 9, 1965, about 13 hours before the fireball thought to be the Kecksburg object undergoing re-entry was recorded at 4:45pm.

In addition, in a 2003 interview Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center Nicholas L. Johnson stated:

I can tell you categorically, that there is no way that any debris from Kosmos 96 could have landed in Pennsylvania anywhere around 4:45 p.m.[…] That’s an absolute. Orbital mechanics is very strict.
 

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Originally posted 2017-12-11 05:50:24.