Sunday, October 16, 2011
Interesting UFO cases revisited: 5. Kecksburg
The alleged crash of a UFO at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, on 9 December 1965 is interesting mainly because it is an example of the resolutely irrational approach taken by most ufologists, particularly when investigating reports which generate a lot of publicity. The cause of the incident did not remain a mystery; it was solved very quickly.
I can keep this posting very brief as the details are readily available on the Internet. The incident known to ufologists as the Kecksburg UFO crash is known to astronomers as the Great Lakes Fireball.
The reason why the UFO/fireball became associated with Kecksburg is simply because some people saw it apparently falling into a nearby wooded area, and could not know that it was not something nearby but of the order of 100 miles away. They could not judge its distance as they did not know what it was. Local news media published reports, together with some rumours and exaggerations.
The Kecksburg story was revived occasionally, each time gaining new alleged witnesses to increasingly sensational events, which they had apparently kept quiet about at the time. When Kecksburg believer Stan Gordon published some details of these alleged events on UFO UpDates without stating when they were first published, he was challenged by Brad Sparks, here, for example, who asked such pertinent questions as why there were no photographs, films or contemporary newspaper reports of the crowds of military personnel, and their vehicles, spectators, press reporters, photographers, etc.
One of the best summaries of the facts of this case can be found on Tim Printy's website. On the other hand, if you prefer the typical ufological angle on the incident you can find a pretty dire example on the UFO Digest site.
Didn't the Berwyn mountain case follow similar lines, and possibly even Rendlesham, the latter without the armed guards (so far at least)?