Well, boys and girls, faithful followers of my blog and fellow UFO enthusiasts, the Kecksburg, PA UFO Festival has arrived and I am here, just in time for a big parade, a bed race and an "Auction on Alien by W.D. Frye, Auctioneer."
The photo above is me with the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department's replica of the UFO "object" that was described by eye witnesses that night of December 9, 1965. It stands in tribute to the lore that, if nothing else, gives the local VFD a way to raise badly needed cash while maintaining interest in a mystery that still persists.
What landed in that farmer's field that night? Today, I spoke with an eyewitness who as a 13-year-old boy saw it blaze through the sky, trailing yellow and orange smoke, and followed by two fighter jets.
"It kind of wobbled and then landed," said the eye witness, Marty Spisak. "It landed with a thud."
What did you do then? I asked him.
"I was 13," he said. "I just shrugged and went back to playing football with my buddies."
So, it's an exciting time here in Kecksburg, a little farming community southeast of Pittsburgh, nestled in beautiful green rolling hills and farmland. Here's a quick video of the Kecksburg UFO parade:
The night the UFO was reported to have landed, eye witnesses reported seeing an army truck carry out an acorn-shaped object covered with a tarp. That report was recreated for the parade.
Meanwhile, here's a very cool story from the Greensburg Tribune-Review about the festival, making note of the fact that I'll be giving a talk tomorrow at the Kecksburg UFO Conference, in which I will recount my experience covering the reported landing of an unidentified flying object on December 9, 1965. I was working then for that very paper, the Tribune-Review.
As I've written here before, it was the "story of the century," according to my editor who I thought was sending me out on a wild goose chase, maybe a sick initiation stunt for a green reporter. I was only 22, so that was only logical.
But no, it was a real assignment and if you could attend tomorrow's UFO Conference, which I'm told will attract around 200 people, you could hear all about it. Suffice it to say, though, that the story has followed me for the last 50+ years and has been responsible for providing me with more than a few minutes of fame.
Did a UFO land in that farmer's field that evening so long ago? Well, a lot of people say they saw it, and some even say they saw the military haul a tarp covered object out of the hollow where it was reported to have landed. Some of those witnesses are still alive and I am now meeting some of them.
It's a great story, and my editor was right. For me, it was the "story of the century" --at least a half-century.
What else is happening at the Festival?
Well, after the Conference sponsored by the Kecksburg EMS, which is part of the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department, the overall sponsor of the Festival, there will be a hay bale toss. Before the Conference, which will feature speeches about paranormal happenings in around the area, there is to be a UFO Hot Dog Eating Competition.
Of course, a big draw has been the acorn-shaped replica of the UFO in the photo above.
I'll be sure to report more to youu when I get back -- if I get back.
You never know about these things.