Rock­ets, rep­tiles, and a res­ur­rec­tion

PETER BROOKESMITH sur­veys the lat­est fads and flaps from the world of ufo­log­i­cal re­search

Fortean Times - - Ufo Files -


Not so much an old ch­est­nut this time, as an old acorn – the ‘UFO’ that al­legedly crashed in the woods at Kecks­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia, on 9 De­cem­ber 1965 (see FT171:18, 179:22,

206:27). The ‘in­ci­dent’ is rooted in a huge me­te­orite known as the Great Lakes Fire­ball that was vis­i­ble that af­ter­noon across some six states plus On­tario. Ufol­o­gists took no no­tice un­til the late 1970s, when Leonard String­field re­tailed Clark McClel­land’s rather more elab­o­rate ver­sion of events in the sec­ond of his UFO Crash

Retrival Syn­drome sta­tus re­ports. McClel­land sug­gested that it was a Rus­sian satel­lite that had crashed in the woods, was re­cov­ered by po­lice, fire­men, and “a large con­tin­gent of mil­i­tary spe­cial­ists” (ac­tu­ally there were fully three of them), and was hid­den un­der a tarp be­fore be­ing hauled off in a 10-ton truck. From there the le­gend grew, that truck even­tu­ally be­com­ing a mil­i­tary M123 low-loader that, hav­ing trav­elled un­no­ticed (and il­le­gally) on pub­lic high­ways and at im­plau­si­ble speed to the ‘crash site’, man­aged to ne­go­ti­ate the woods and trun­dle off to who knows where with what had be­come an acorn-shaped alien cargo. Wit­nesses came forth to con­firm all this. The ‘acorn’ ac­quired strange ‘hi­ero­glyphic’ mark­ings, the way crashed UFOs al­ways do. The mil­i­tary threat­ened civil­ians with guns to keep them away. The only thing miss­ing from the tale is some­one spy­ing an alien’s arm hang­ing out from un­der a sheet (no body bags in 1965 – they were all be­ing re­served for the bat­tle of Ia Drang?).

Even with­out that de­tail, the par­al­lels with the Roswell story are ap­par­ent. But even­tu­ally it seems to have wormed its way into some parts of the ufo­log­i­cal skull that per­haps the acorn wasn’t alien af­ter all. Ster­ling and tren­chant work, es­pe­cially by Robert Young, had rather un­der­mined that idea. (For the most com­pre­hen­sive ac­count and de­con­struc­tion of the Kecks­burg ‘crash’, see SUNlite Vol 3 No 6, Nov.-Dec. 2011, at­tron­o­ pdf.) But the worm of a no­tion that a se­cret satel­lite of some kind crashed at Kecks­burg was still alive.

So, in 2015, John Ven­tre of MUFON and Owen Eich­ler pro­posed that the Kecks­burg in­ci­dent was caused by a GE Mark 2 cap­sule from a Pro­gram 437 rocket launched from John­son Is­land in the Pa­cific on 7 De­cem­ber 1965. The ma­jor dif­fi­culty with this wheeze was that the launch in ques­tion used a sin­gle-stage, sub-or­bital Thor rocket that had no chance of putting a fall­ing satel­lite any­where near Kecks­burg.

Now along comes one Dr Bob Wen­zel Gross, mu­si­cian and ed­u­ca­tor, to tell us (cour­tesy of Frank War­ren’s UFO Chron­i­cles web­site) that the Kecks­burg acorn was ac­tu­ally a se­cret Corona spy-cam­era satel­lite launched from Van­den­burg AFB on 9 De­cem­ber 1965. Gross main­tains that “in­stead of head­ing south, the rocket sys­tem headed for a launch tra­jec­tory that would cut a north­east­erly path across the United States... In an at­tempt to re­gain con­trol of Satel­lite KH-4A 1027’s ori­en­ta­tion, the fore­word re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle (SRV-1) was sep­a­rated from the space­craft. The sep­a­ra­tion was done at some time be­fore the en­gine burn that would have in­jected the satel­lite into or­bit.” And, so, the satel­lite landed at Kecks­burg.

Two lit­tle lo­cal dif­fi­cul­ties here. First: the of­fi­cial record of the launch says the satel­lite was suc­cess­fully put into or­bit but lost sta­bil­ity on or­bit 15. It was dumped on or­bit 17 and re­cov­ered from the ocean by air­craft on 10 De­cem­ber. Kecks­burg is some dis­tance from the sea. Sec­ond: con­tem­po­rary re­ports from Kecks­burg men­tion noth­ing about odd bits of kit be­ing hauled out of the wood, by low-loader, camel train, hordes of coolies, or what­ever. Ob­jec­tions along these lines to Dr Gross elicited what can only be called ram­blings about gov­ern­ment dis­in­for­ma­tion, &c &c ad

so­porem, which scarcely clar­i­fied mat­ters that had been clear enough from day one.

LEFT: A model of the crashed ob­ject cre­ated for the show Un­solved Mys­ter­ies on dis­play near Kecks­burg fire sta­tion.


Mean­while, some for­got­ten old news has be­come new again. You may well be amazed to learn that be­neath Hol­ly­wood there are worse things to fear than the cast­ing couches up above. Ac­cord­ing to Dis­, via the NeonNet­tle web­site, “a map of un­der­ground tun­nels and cities has ex­posed rep­til­ian ‘lizard peo­ple’ who have al­legedly been se­cretly liv­ing di­rectly un­der Hol­ly­wood, Los An­ge­les. The tun­nels are said to be equipped with ‘huge cham­bers’ that are big enough to house 1,000 fam­i­lies. The Rep­til­ians were dis­cov­ered by a min­ing en­gi­neer named George War­ren Shufelt back in 1933. Shufelt was the in­ven­tor of what he called the ra­dio X-ray ma­chine, a de­vice that en­abled him to de­tect tun­nels un­der­ground. Shufelt was in pos­ses­sion of the un­der­ground map which de­tailed the tun­nels and cities the rep­til­ians lived un­der Hol­ly­wood, Los An­ge­les. Of course, no­body has seen the map un­til now.” (Pause here to note that the web­site re­pro­duces Los

An­ge­les Times ar­ti­cles of 1934 with said maps.) There are ap­par­ently 285 tun­nels cov­er­ing “1,900 sq ft of tun­nels along with rooms that had 9,000 ft of floor space and 16 rooms in which gold was stored” – loads of it, ap­par­ently. Shufelt, who seems to have failed to patent his ground pen­e­trat­ing radar, didn’t find any. Those in­clined to give cre­dence to this tale should be warned that the web­site also fea­tures the deathbed con­fes­sion of a for­mer MI5 agent that he bumped off Princess Di, and the news that an an­cient text “con­firms that Je­sus Christ was a rep­til­ian shape shifter”. And you may be as­sured that when not writ­ing this col­umn and sam­pling fine wines and nu­mer­ous dusky vir­gins, I re­lax in my true shape as one of Ken Liv­ing­stone’s newts.


My col­league Jenny Ran­dles has re­vived

NUFON News af­ter a 16-year hia­tus, and has been in­stru­men­tal in get­ting Alan God­frey’s au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal vol­ume Who or What Were

They? pub­lished. See www.oz­fac­tor­books. com for de­tails. One gath­ers Mr God­frey doesn’t think much of the anal­y­sis David Clarke, Andy Roberts and I put for­ward of his ex­pe­ri­ence ( FT269:44-47, 270:46-49). I’ll read the book and re­port on what I find.

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