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    The Kecksburg UFO incident

    Variousmag
    Tuesday, October 22, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-22T10:17:39Z
    The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965, at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, United States when a fireball was reported by citizens of six U.S. states and Canada over Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada. Astronomers said it was likely a meteor bolide burning up in the atmosphere and descending at a steep angle.

    NASA released a statement in 2005 reporting that experts had examined fragments from the area and determined they were from a Russian satellite, but records of their findings were lost in the 1990s.

    NASA responded to court orders and Freedom of Information Act requests to search for the records.

    The incident gained wide notoriety in popular culture and UFOlogy, with speculations ranging from alien craft to debris from the Soviet space probe Kosmos 96, and is often referred to as "Pennsylvania's Roswell."

    On the evening of December 9, 1965, 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, Canada area. Reports of hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, grass fires, and sonic booms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area were attributed to the fireball. Some people in the village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, reported something crashing in the woods, wisps of blue smoke, vibrations and a "thump".

    According to an initial story in the Greensburg Tribune-Review "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."

    When State troopers and Air Force personnel searched the woods, they reportedly found "absolutely nothing". A subsequent edition in the Tribune-Review bore the headline “Searchers Fail To Find Object”.

    Authorities discounted proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris and generally assumed it to be a meteor. Astronomer Paul Annear said the fireball was likely a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere. Geophysicist George Wetherilo discounted speculations that it was debris from a satellite and agreed the reports were probably due to a meteor. Astronomers William P. Bidelman and Fred Hess said it undoubtedly was a meteor bolide. A spokesman for the Defense Department in Washington said first reports indicated the reported fireball was a natural phenomenon.
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