Ep 61: The Kecksburg Incident

1) This is a replica model of what was described by eye-witnesses as the craft that crashed in Kecksburg. This styrofoam model was made for the episode about the event on the television program, Unsolved Mysteries. After the show's production, the town's representatives asked the producers of Unsolved Mysteries if they could keep the model and put it on display and the producers agreed. It currently resides on a pedestal near the town's Volunteer Fire Department station. Photo credit: "Navy2004" under CC BY-SA 3.0. 2) Photo Credit: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's website. This is the General Electric Mark II Missile Re-entry Vehicle thought by John Ventre and Owen Eichler to be the actual item that crash-landed in Kecksburg, PA. From the Smithsonian's webpage description: This is an unflown Mark 2 reentry vehicle (RV) that carried the nuclear warhead atop the U.S. Air Force Thor intermediate-range ballistic missiles and early test versions of the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Made by General Electric, the blunt nose is copper and the rest of the metal is stainless steel. It is the only operational "heat sink" RV the United States employed and was designed to protect the warhead from the tremendous heat generated during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere by absorption. This artifact was transferred by the U.S. Air Force Museum to the Smithsonian Museum in 1975. The copper cladding on the vehicle is what is thought to have given the trailing fiery tail the green coloring; 3) A vintage USAF photo of an unused Mark II RV in its holding rack on display; 4) An image of what some believe the crashed object was, a Russian space probe called Kosmos 96; 5) Photograph showing object's smoke trail over Royal Park, Michigan on December 9th, 1965 at 4:43 p.m. E.S.T. by Richard Champine. 2 miles east of Pontiac, Michigan. The Photo was taken approximately 45 seconds after the fireball passed.



So often the event of a mysterious object falling to earth has too few witnesses or leaves no evidence, but this is not the case with the "Kecksburg UFO Incident" unless you ask the US Army. On December 9, 1965, a fiery object streaked across the afternoon skies over at least six US states and Ontario, Canada and was seen by thousands, with many claiming it even seemed to be under "intelligent control." The object crash-landed in the woods near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, where first-responders and local eye-witnesses said it looked like a giant acorn with some reporting strange lettering around a band near the bottom that resembled Egyptian hieroglyphs. If it was only a meteor as was first reported, then the Army and unknown government agents sure took an immediate interest in a commonplace astronomical event, cordoning off the crash site and hauling away the object and other possible items on flatbed trucks under tight security. So what was it?

Tonight's Quote:

“As a specialized aspect of its overall material exploitation program, Headquarters USAF has established Project Moon Dust to locate, recover and deliver descended foreign space vehicles.”

— The Betz Memo, November 3, 1961


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Episode 61 - "The Kecksburg Incident" Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Edited by Sarah Vorhees, Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess. All Rights Reserved.