After fighting against doing so in federal court, NASA will look once more in its archives for documents pertaining to a 1965 "UFO" occurrence near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.
Prior to this, the government would not release information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, about what had been reported to have traveled through the sky and then crashed in the Kecksburg woods.
The Air Force had explained the UFO as having been one or more meteors. A December 9, 1965 nighttime search did not result in the finding of anything, according to an Air Force memo.
But, according to local eyewitnesses, an object approximately the size of a Volkswagen bus and the shape of an acorn was conveyed away on a flatbed truck. Some say the strange artifact was adorned with unusual hieroglyphs, and that officials visited homes to warn residents to not tell others of what they had seen.
A model of the "acorn," created for the television show Unsolved Mysteries and based on what the residents had described, has been kept out back of the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department.
The media had long shown an interest in the case. The earliest news account of the incident was in the Greensburg Tribune-Review on December 10, 1965, and its headline was "Unidentified Flying Object Falls Near Kecksburg — Army Ropes Off Area."
Sky & Telescope, in its February 1966 issue, reported on the much-seen fireball that many have linked to the Kecksburg object.
Definite answers to its identity have long been sought. In 2003, Leslie Kean, a New York journalist, sued NASA for information, but only received documents which were not what was requested. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed with this assessment, and did not let NASA get away with a claim that two boxes of paper from that time had been lost. In March 2007, Sullivan turned down a request by NASA to throw the case out of court. Negotiations followed that concluded with the agency promising during October 2007 to do a more thorough search.
When interviewed in 2003 by a documentary team from the Sci Fi Channel, a NASA official said that the object would not have been a satellite — which was in opposition to a later 2005 NASA claim that it had indeed been one — the remains of a Russian satellite. A statement by Leslie Kean emphasized that an acknowledged authority on orbital debris, Nicholas Johnson of the NASA Johnson Space Center, had determined that the object was not the Russian probe Cosmos 96. According to Kean, Johnson's data showed that no object made by man landed in Pennsylvania at that date and time.
Whether it is a Soviet object, an extraterrestrial one, or even something else, there seems reason enough for typical bureaucratic obfuscation of the data.
— Douglas Chapman
The Observer, Guardian Unlimited, http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2209114,00.html, 11/11/07
MSNBC, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21494221?gt=10450, 10/26/07
Wired Blog Network — Wired Science, http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/10/nasa-opens-keck.html, 10/29/07
Statement of Leslie Kean, Investigative Journalist, http://www.freedomofinfo.org/campaign/pr-leslie-kean.pdf, 10/21/03
Kecksburg UFO Incident, — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kecksburg_UFO_incident
Rachel Bernasconi, 33, of Homestead Road in Hatfield, UK, was so frightened by a UFO that she almost went into labor. At that time, in early October 2007, she was 39 weeks pregnant.
Her husband Mark had seen two bright yellow lights over the houses across from their own. He first thought that the lights were those of an airplane because they resembled those on wing tips.
When they remained visible, he called for his wife to join him. She got out of bed and observed the hovering UFOs from an open window. When the lights neared, both Mark and Rachel fled the house, since both Bernasconis believed that the objects were going to crash in back of their home. But the phenomena had silently gone.
She believed that what she had observed was neither a plane nor a helicopter, because the lights were not close enough together for the latter and their altitude and speed were not those of the former. There was no engine noise.
Rachel cannot explain what she saw, even though she considers herself a skeptic. She now wonders "what is out there."
— Douglas Chapman
Welwyn & Hatfield Times, http://www.whtimes.co.uk/, 10/03/07
On July 25, 2007, Anfield resident Lee Jones gazed into the sky while in the garden at the back of his Liverpool house and spotted something which hypnotized and frightened him — a gigantic craft in the shape of a saucer coming out of the cumulus clouds.
A commercial plane seemed tiny in comparison, so Jones thought the UFO had a diameter of more than a mile.
He ran indoors and got his wife and mother-in-law to come outside. They all observed the circular object, as clouds passed over its surface, sometimes obscuring it. After about a quarter of an hour, it could not be seen.
As no sonic boom was ever heard, it was unlikely to have left at high speed.
Ed Casson, of the Maghull and Aintree Star, received many other accounts of what seemed to be the same object.
But this was not the only time such a large UFO had been observed. In January 2007, Childwall resident Mr. Fraser walked on Menlove Avenue and spotted some lights in the sky, which he realized were on a circular and darker thing that was much larger. That UFO went towards Hazelwood and then Netherley, observed also by a woman who passed by. Similar sightings were made the same week in January and in June.
— Douglas Chapman
IC Sefton and West Lancs. (from Maghull and Aintree Star), http://icseftonandwestlancs.icnetwork.co.uk/icmaghull/news/tm_headline=mysterious-object-is-a-return-visitor-to-liverpool&method=full&objectid=19550621&siteid=60252-name_page.html, 8/2/07
Geoffrey Feld, a 59-year-old resident of Dorset, England, did not feel endangered by the UFO he and others sighted circa September 1995. He claimed to have come within 200 feet of the thing. Feld, managing director of the Heathland Hotels Ltd., Bournemouth, described it as house-sized but silent. He noted that if it had been a helicopter it would have been noisy and would have caused the trees to move.
He was among a group of friends and relatives in two cars who were travelling at 11:00 p.m. through Brockenhurst. Of this group of eight, three observed the UFO. Mr. Feld, who watched it above him for a minute, described it as being dark-centered, with a glowing outline of white light — and with blue and red beacons at its three corners.
Several campers may also have seen the UFO.
In Belgium during March 1990, 13,500 people saw a similar UFO, in a case considered the best-ever UFO sighting.
The man was in Harrogate as a delegate at the Town and House Planning conference, and he also got to see a UFO.
On October 30, 1995, he had taken Kings Road to get to his hotel. Just prior to 8:30 p.m. he had sighted a cigar-shaped thing traversing the sky. According to the account he gave the police, it was surrounded by a great many small lights. He was sure it was not fireworks.
An RAF Leeming spokesperson claimed that nothing out-of-the-ordinary had shown up on their radar that night.
The news item printed in the November 3, 1995 Harrogate Advertiser out of Yorkshire, England, revealed that Harrogate CID's DC Chris Nunns disclosed that the man's report was the only one of this particular UFO.
Nick Page, a 29-year-old civil servant from the Ministry of Defence, has written a book entitled Open Skies, Closed Minds, scheduled to be published this summer in Britain by Simon and Schuster.
Previously skeptical, some hard-to-explain British sightings had convinced him to believe in UFO aliens.
Page, as part of his ministry job, had been privy to very sensitive information on the subject, and was an important part of UFO investigations for four years.
According to London's Sunday People (September 10, 1995), his superiors at the ministry are said to be infuriated at his turnabout.
On February 2, 1996, the Times recounted that, according to an official report made public the previous night, a British Airways passenger jet, with 60 people aboard, had a near miss with a UFO. In the study, the Civilian Aviation Authority investigators of the occurrence recommended commendation of the jet's pilots for their courage at coming out with their information.
The incident involved occurred the previous year, on January 6, 1995, at 6:48 p.m. when the Boeing 737 was overtaken by a wedge-shaped aircraft. Captain Roger Wills and co-pilot First Officer Mark Stuart encountered the thing at an altitude of 4,000 feet as they were descending towards Manchester airport. They were sure that what they sighted was not a balloon, a model, or a Stealth aircraft (which the Captain would have been able to identify).
Captain Wills described how the UFO silently sped so near the right side of the jet that Stuart ducked. Wills also described the thing as having little white lights and perhaps a black stripe on its side.
The pilots filed their "airmiss" report last year, and this year's aforementioned official follow-up did not offer any explanation for it.
Source: The Times, 2/2/96
Uncle Sam, not Big Brother, is watching you!
On the Defense Department's behalf, Charles Swett recently put together a report, released summer 1995, analyzing the Internet's value to U.S. intelligence efforts. Swett, a policy assistant at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, in his report, advised that Defense might encounter "early warning of impending significant developments."
The Mutual UFO Network was one of the observed organizations, because of its Internet dissemination of accounts of military operations and its surveillance of sites tied in with claimed UFO coverups.
While apparently the Defense Department's surveillance interests have tended more to organizations on the left than to "fringe groups" and MUFON, Swett's contention that the Internet could be used for propaganda including psychological operations campaigns and for "unconventional warfare objectives," should give pause.
A copy of Swett's report was (and may still be) available on the Federation of American Scientists Web site on government secrecy (at http://www.fas.org/pub/gen/fas/sgp/).
Source: David Corn, "Pentagon Trolls the Net," The Nation, Volume 262, Number 9 (March 4, 1996).
The Northeast Aviation Centre of the Civil Aviation Administration, according to the News Report paper, told how a certain phenomenon of 1994 had re-occurred at approximately the same calendar date in 1995.
According to Associated Press, Beijing, on December 4, 1995, four airplanes travelling over northeast China at about the same time observed at least one Unidentified Flying Object. A white UFO of oval shape moved about 900 kilometers per hour near the flight of a Northern Airlines plane at 5:45 p.m., according to its captain's account. A radio message from the captain of another aircraft revealed a viewing of the same object.
Source: Sunday Post (Bangkok, Thailand), 12/31/95
Eight-five-year-old wealthy philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller provided the funds for a study of the Roswell Incident. The 150-page result, entitled "The Best Available Evidence," was to be sent in December 1995 to every U.S. senator and congressperson — as well as John Gibbons, the Science Advisor at the White House. It reportedly contains testimonies from astronauts and former officials of the U.S. military that are in contradiction with the many denials by the Air Force, according to the head of the New York Center for UFO Research, Michael Luckman.
The report could well have found an interested reader in President Clinton, who, when asked about Roswell during November 1995, said, "...If the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies, they didn't tell me about it either, and I want to know."
Source: Daily News (New York), 12/18/95
Sherry Keene, who worked for the Colorado Daily during the 1960s, occasionally got hints of what her father, Jack Keene, was up to during that decade. Once she and her dad were on an automobile trip through California when a radio report told of a UFO sighting in New Mexico. He told her, "We must have launched last night."
She was curious about the extent of his travels, his employment in various major aerospace companies, and about his recurring bouts with tropical diseases. His lack of health led him to retire early and settle in Denver.
Sherry once inquired whether his secretive work had caused a particular nasty illness. Her father told of the time during the '60s when he spent more than a day taking out black boxes from a space capsule wrecked in a tropical locale, while two lifeless astronauts hung over him (an event the official histories somehow missed).
Sherry's husband was around when Jack Keene and a loose-lipped former colleague got drunk and the latter said "at least we kept Project Gambit secret" to the former's great irritation.
This led Sherry to get in touch with Senator Gary Hart, whose office found out for her that the project still existed and was still classified--and supposedly not linked to her father's sicknesses.
Columnist and Boulder County commissioner Paul Danish, writing opinion in the Colorado Daily during December 1995, told of collaborating on journalistic investigations with Sherry Keene for that paper. However, during the 15 years following Sherry's sharing of the story with Danish during the late 1970s, both reporters were unable to find anything about Gambit or the astronaut deaths ("training accidents"?).
Occasional mentions of Project Gambit in Aviation Week and Space Technology proved to Paul Danish that Gambit actually existed. And in March 1995, the present administration gave permission for the CIA to release to the public 800,000 spy satellite photos taken between 1960 and 1972. Subsequently a conference publicly mentioned Project Gambit.
The Aviation Week and Space Technology issue of June 18, 1995 featured a report, written by Philip Klass, on the two-day conference that made known details on Project Gambit. It mentioned the "close-look" photos from Project Gambit which were not declassified, and the powerful rockets necessary to lift the "satellites" into orbit.
Paul Danish believes the Gemini docking maneuvers -- not followed up by the Apollo missions -- and rocket choices hint at methods for maneuvering satellites so as to avoid predictable repetition. He posits that there were at least a few clandestine spy missions in space making use of NASA personnel and technology if not NASA involvement -- and that (at least) one may have had fatal consequences.
Sources: Colorado Daily, 12/6/95 and 12/8-10/95
A UFO Watch had been organized in order to obtain needed funds for the Cowling Junior Football Club. When 70 participants actually saw a UFO, the formation of the Sutton UFO Watchers' Group resulted.
During the fundraiser, at 2:00 a.m. on a late October night in 1995, 10 adult helpers, 10 St. John ambulance members, and 50 boys had seen the zig-zagging bright light that was bigger than a star. Its movements, observed by the shocked group for a quarter of an hour, covered a very large area of sky.
The Sutton group intends to meet on a regular basis at Crag Delph Nook, West Lane, in Sutton.
Source: Keighley News (Yorkshire, England), 10/27/95
A half-hour after the scheduled time for the UFOs to show up, the awaiting crowd was told by mediums that area warplanes were frightening the extraterrestrials off. According to the BTA news agency, an hour after the expected arrivals at the northern Bulgarian airfield, the crowd of 1500 was informed that, since President Zhelyu Zhelev wasn't going to meet the aliens, the beings were definitely a no-show.
The resulting anger did not end in mob violence.
According to police Major Stoyan Marinov, eight extraterrestrial spaceships had been expected at 11:00 a.m. to make their appearance. State television described how the three responsible mediums, Radka Trifonova, Ekaterina Nikiforova and Zdravka Krumova, had promised that the UFO occupants would assist Bulgaria to pay its foreign debt of $12.9 billion.
Source: Chillicothe Gazette (from Associated Press, Sofia, Bulgaria, 9/12/95)
Alan Beazley put his town's three UFO sightings to good use. The 28- year-old taxicab driver, a resident of Tilehurst, used the times of these sightings as numbers to bet on the lottery.
As of August 18, 1995, the cabby felt he had high hopes of winning.
This optimism was the result of the flaming orange sphere which reportedly had sped through the sky only a few hundred feet from Beazley's taxicab, which he took to be a good omen.
Beazley was not the only cabby to see it in mid-August 1996; another, named Chris, saw it some five miles away only a few seconds before Beazley had. And a Kebab van owner had also spotted the orange object.
The times of their sightings had variously been 12:30 pm and 12:36 pm, so Alan gathered from these the numbers 2, 8, 12, 24, 30, and 36, with which to place his wager on Britain's National Lottery.
Source: Evening Post (Reading, England), 8/18/95