It has been 51 years and there is still divided opinion regarding what exactly crashed in Kecksburg.
An object, described by witnesses as a fireball, soared through the skies over Canada, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania on Dec. 5 1965. Some said he had intelligent control because it changed direction at times.
The object crashed in the woods shortly before 6:30 p.m., near the home of Frances Kalp in Westemoreland County. She called into WHJB radio and stated she and her children got within a half mile of the object and saw where it resembled a “four-pointed star.”
The official word, published later, was the object was a meteor. However, witnesses claim the night’s events didn’t match that explanation.
John Murphy, a WHJB employee, called Pennsylvania State Police and rushed to the site. As police emerged from the woods, they told Murphy they were calling in the military. Murphy was eventually instructed to go the State Police Headquarters in Greensburg for an official statement. He was surprised by military presence there and even more surprised at the statement.
“The Pennsylvania State Police have made a thorough search of the woods. We are convinced that there is nothing whatsoever in the woods.”
The military presence, combined with the denial statement, was the beginning of cover-up suspicions. While Murphy said nothing at the time, his widow later said he had pictures of the object but officials confiscated them.
There were more oddities during the investigation, according to Murphy. The area was sealed off by the military and all civilians were banned. However, that doesn’t mean that no one saw what was in the woods.
A few people managed to get into the woods before the military. They said they saw a copper-bronze, saucer-type object that was around 12 feet long. It had a gold band around the bottom and what appeared to be Egyptian writing on it. Military personnel took it away in a flatbed, the witnesses stated.
Other witnesses at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in neighboring Ohio came forward years later to describe the object entering the base and being investigated in a hanger. They gave the same description as the witnesses. Local firefighters said in 1980 interviews they saw an object on the ground after it crashed through the trees.
Research Stan Gordon tracked down an original witness, James Romansky, in 1990. He was 18 years old and a firefighter when he crash happened. He said he was called to duty when a crash was reported and remembered seeing a bronze object shaped like an acorn and being around 12 feet long and 25 feet in diameter.
“It had writing on it, not like your average writing, but more like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. It had sort of a bumper on it, like a ribbon about six to 10 inches wide, and it stood out,” Romansky told Gordon.
While some still believe the crash was only a meteor, those who witnessed it and their families insist there must be more to the story. NASA released around 40 pages of documents related to the Kecksburg incident in 2003. Those files can be found on www.ufocasebook.com.