The Kecksburg Incident: Mysterious UFO Crash Of The '60s

By Jacob Shelton
Detail of cover art for 'They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers' by Gray Barker (1956). Source: Amazon.com

The Kecksburg UFO incident that occurred on December 9, 1965, may have happened over Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, but it was seen by people across North America. On that night, a fireball streaked across the sky that was so bright it was seen by people in six states, and in Windsor, Canada. This isn't a story about two people who claim to have seen little green men, it's a real deal close encounter that's never really been explained.

Because of the volume of reports of something in the sky, and the ever-changing story from U.S. government officials, the Kecksburg Incident has lodged in the minds of believers and skeptics alike as ... something. There are simply too many accounts from witnesses on that night for it to be a hoax or hallucination. Whether what fell from the sky was man-made or of a more exotic nature -- that's a matter of debate. But the Kecksburg Incident has inspired such fascination over the years that it's sometimes called the "Roswell of the East," a reference to the site of an alleged 1947 UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico.

At the time of the incident, astronomers claimed that the fireball was nothing more than a meteor burning up in the atmosphere, but since then authorities have claimed that what people saw could have been anything from a Russian satellite to various fragments of a stellar body returning to Earth. To make matters even more confusing, NASA reports that all of their findings were list in the 1990s.

So what happened in Kecksburg when so many people witnessed an object burning through the night sky? Was there a cover up? Or was it just a flailing satellite? There's definitely a cover up happening here, but what exactly is being covered up?