Monday, December 07, 2015

Stan Gordon and Kecksburg

As I knew would be the case, Stan Gordon has provided information about his lengthy and unparalleled research on the Kecksburg UFO crash case. For those who wish to read his take on the latest, you can find it here:


David Rudiak said...

Stan Gordon is independently raising the same objections I did to this latest theory: Alleged object too small (according to eyewitnesses), doesn't explain observed "hieroglyphics", most importantly doesn't explain how object could make a highly controlled soft landing without parachutes.

Stan also makes some other points. Eyewitnesses do not agree that the shape matches or that object looked man-made (in particular, it was smooth and looked like it had come out of a mold rather than being riveted together). Most importantly, Stan cites the opinion of NASA's Nicholas L. Johnson, chief scientist for orbital debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center, whom Leslie Kean consulted in 2003 while investigating Kecksburg on behalf of the Sci-Fi network. Gordon describes him thusly: "Johnson is recognized internationally as the leading authority on orbital debris and foreign space systems."

"According to Kean, Johnson also told her that Cosmos 96 was the only catalogued object that reentered the earth’s atmosphere on December 9, and that no other man-made object from any country came down that day. Johnson explained to her that anything not catalogued would have been so small that it would not have survived reentry, and anything larger would have been detected. Kean also quoted Johnson as saying “I cannot absolutely confirm that it was not some completely unreported event, but the chances of that are virtually nil,” Johnson said. You can’t launch something without somebody seeing it. By 1965 the U.S. and Soviets were both reporting their launches.” See the IUR story for more details."

"Johnson also looked at the recently declassified CIA data concerning the dropping of film canisters from secret reconnaissance satellites during that time period. By checking the launch and retrieval times he determined that there was no secret mission that could have led to an inadvertent reentry of a capsule that day..."

That last statement alone would virtually rule out this latest theory of secret U.S. spy satellite reentry.

Wansen said...

I too have seen the video interviews and heard the eye-witness accounts of this object changing directions and executing a 'controlled' crash landing...I should think this completely rules out re-entry of a (known) terrestrial vehicle.

KRandle said...

Loki -

Yes, your post had nothing to do with Kecksberg and is gone.

Michael -

Not at this times.

Wind Swords said...

So Stan Gordon goes to ONlY ONE witness? What about the others? I remember one witness in a documentary who was shown a drawing of the Kosmos 96 depicted as buried halfway in the ground and said yes, that was what it looked like. This witness was shown artist drawings of several objects half buried in the ground, including the engine pod of an SR-71. He picked the Kosmos 96. Does that mean it was the Kosmos? No. It means that you can't go to just one witness and show them a picture of a PRISTINE reentry vehicle and say "hey is this what you saw half buried in the ground? 50 years ago? No, why case closed! We can all close our minds and say yep it's still aliens!"

1.) If it was the reentry vehicle it did not look like the picture on Smithsonian web site after coming down so hot it gave off a glow like a meteor and then crashing in the woods and embedding itself halfway in the ground. It would have looked quite different, maybe even like something "smooth and looked like it had come out of a mold".
2.) The GE Mk 2 had four control jets, which would explain the controlled, turning descent that witnesses described.
3.) The witness cited by Stan Gordon had no idea about the size of the reentry vehicle and was in no position to say it was not large enough to be the object he claimed to have seen.
4.) The markings around the base could EASILY have been mistaken for the "hieroglyphics" observed. Late at night, strange object crashes in the woods, lots of excitement, and low visibility. Yea, I'm sure they saw those markings "clear as day" - not!

Brian Bell said...

"....I should think this completely rules out re-entry of a (known) terrestrial vehicle."

Really? Why? Because man-made vehicles don't have control jets? Right.

Besides, no one knows what the military had or has flying, then or now, that could turn in flight while descending from orbit.

I guess everything in orbit or in the air must be alien spaceships!

Wansen said...

Brian Bell said...

"Really? Why? Because man-made vehicles don't have control jets? Right.

Besides, no one knows what the military had or has flying, then or now, that could turn in flight while descending from orbit."

Now is irrelevant. The subject is Kecksburg 50 years ago. Can you name a (known) craft as described by the witnesses
that can turn or is this yet another of your futile efforts to perpetuate the myth that there's nothing to the vast majority of the incidents discussed here?

Paul Young said...

Decades later, seemingly nothing matches the performance of this object. I'm trying to think of any man made object that can re enter our atmosphere and survive more or less intact, without parachutes (and in the case of the space shuttle, an extremely long runway.)...but nothing comes to mind.

David Rudiak said...

Wind Swords wrote:
"2.) The GE Mk 2 had four control jets, which would explain the controlled, turning descent that witnesses described."

The factual information below (items 1-4) was provided me by Larry Lemke, literal NASA rocket scientist (now retired):

1) The MK 2 nose was designed for ICBMs, i.e. SUBORBITAl missions at well below orbital speeds. It was NOT designed for orbital mission. At orbital speeds, it would have burned up upon reentry. Different types of heat shields that could withstand greater temperatures (ablative, not heat sink like the MK 2) were needed for orbital missions.

2) The Thor rocket that was proposed to carry this MK2 was incapable of orbital speeds. (The one that went up Dec. 7 at Johnson Island, the proposed Kecksburg object, was a mission designed to carry a nuke to near space, not orbit, with the idea of knocking out Russian ICBMs.)

3) The MK 2 had only a one hour battery power supply because it was designed strictly for SHORT missions well under one hour. Therefore, even if you had a rocket capable of inserting the MK 2 into orbit, it could not have used its maneuvering jets to maintain itself in a stable orbital position for very long (less than 1 hour) much less control movement 2 days later.

4) Since the proposed launch was Dec. 7 from Johnson Island and Kecksburg was Dec. 9. the theory absolutely demanded that the MK 2 be put into orbit, yet this was impossible because the rocket was too small, the MK2 was not designed for orbital missions, would be dead after an hour, and could not survive reentry from orbit.

5) Even if you ignore all of the above, the MK2 was designed to deliver nukes, not make soft landings. Maneuvering jets were strictly for suborbital maneuvering, and had NOTHING to do with making a landing. Yet the object at Kecksburg made a soft landing, yet there is no evidence of any parachutes being involved (which again the MK 2 had no need to carry). Neither the U.S. nor Russia had any probe of any kind capable of soft landing in a higher gravity environment like Earth without the use of parachutes.

6) When Leslie Kean in 2003 consulted with NASA's Dr. Nicolas Johnson, their expert in orbital debris, ours and Russian, he absolutely ruled out Cosmos 96 and said nothing else came down that day (Dec. 9). He said it was virtually impossible that something unknown that big could have been launched without us tracking it and knowing about it.

It doesn't even matter about judging object size or shape or smoothness or whether bolts were perceived as "hieroglyphics". The MK 2 could not possibly account for what came down at Kecksburg. End of story.

David Rudiak said...

Paul Young wrote:
Paul Young wrote:
Decades later, seemingly nothing matches the performance of this object. I'm trying to think of any man made object that can re enter our atmosphere and survive more or less intact, without parachutes (and in the case of the space shuttle, an extremely long runway.)...but nothing comes to mind.

Yes, that has always been my problem with the conventional object theory, whether Russian or ours. Nothing made by us or them could make a soft landing like this without parachutes. (The later lunar Surveyor space probes could make soft landings without parachute, but they needed to slow from only 1/3rd of earth orbital speed onto a low-gravity body with gravitation pull only 1/6th of earth. And they looked nothing like the reported Kecksburg object).

Here is a Project Blue Book document from an eyewitness writing that the object he saw executed extreme maneuvers: (page 1) (page 2)

The eyewitness was on a Canadian airline flight 10 minutes south of Pittsburgh at 18,000 feet, a former RCAF fighter pilot during WWII. At the same time as the Kecksburg incident, looking to his left (or EAST since they were flying south toward Tampa, or OPPOSITE of the direction of the widely seen fireball over the Great Lakes region).

"It" was "a sort of pencil-shaped object flying horizontal for a split second then going into a 70 deg. dive with an orange flame appearing behind it. In a matter of just 3 or 4 seconds it was gone. Just like a rocket taking off but this was in reverse -- going down... I was NOT drinking and have flown quite a bit as a passenger and am a former R.C.A.F. pilot from the last war. I have never seen anything like it before, especially the rapid changes in direction and terrific speed."

Brian Bell said...

@ Wansen

"Can you name a (known) craft as described by the witnesses that can turn...?"

Yes, conventional aircraft as well as suborbital x-planes being developed at the same time during the 1960's.

@ Paul

"Decades later, seemingly nothing matches the performance of this object. I'm trying to think of any man made object that can reenter our atmosphere and survive more or less intact, without parachutes.."

What performance? It came down probably from suborbit burning and then crashed into a forest. You make it sound like the thing was showing off as if it was doing acrobatics and stunt flying at a major air show! Like I said, it probably wasn't coming down from earth orbit but rather suborbital flight (unless it really was a meteor). Given its reported size and shape, I doubt it was a manned vehicle. Sounds more like a part of a vehicle, or if you wish, even space junk actually from upper orbit, or potentially even a meteor. The reports of a controlled "landing" are not very convincing. Besides, what pilot knowingly chooses to ditch his aircraft/saucer/spaceship into a forest when open fields would have been a better choice?

If you insist on it falling from space orbit you can find a reasonable explanation for a meteor here:

@ Rudiak

Yep, you're right. Whatever came down was most likely not in upper orbit IMO, it was suborbital (most probably) which accounts for why it came down more or less intact. Even Gordon said he wouldn't rule out a secret aircraft of some kind on

'One plausible theory, Gordon suggested, is that the object was an advanced secretive human-made space device with re-entry control capabilities which apparently failed. Another is that this could have been an extra-terrestrial spacecraft, he noted.'

Let's not forget that in the 1960's both the Soviets and the US were spending a great deal of time testing not only ICBM interceptor rockets, but also the Russian EPOS and the Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar.

Just because it's an old case doesn't mean parts aren't still classified. It's ridiculous to suggest the military can hide an alien presence but not hide their own USAPs. Just because it hasn't been made public doesn't mean it can't be one of our own projects.

Wind Swords said...

Kecksburg_proof-not_dot_com part 2

Notice at the end of my previous post it the Atlas rocket. It was mentioned that the Thor could not achieve orbit and so could not have been the Kecksburg object. But the Atlas is a whole different kettle of fish. But as I will show later, the Thor could also achieve "orbital" status, it just depended on the what the definition of orbital being used.

Continuing with the show notes:
The shape of the vehicle resembles the description given by eyewitnesses as that as an acorn. Also depicted are the control jets used to maneuver while in orbit. When in controlled level flight in the atmosphere, the blunt end of the vehicle encountering the forward oncoming atmosphere can be tilted by the use of the trajectory control system to change the leading edge of the vehicle thereby changing/steering the path of the vehicle. The vehicle then in effect can rise or fall or turn left or right. This in flight capability was demonstrated by the object seen by many observers. And, during the final moments of the event when the reentry vehicle landed in Kecksburg, an eyewitness, Frances Kalp, remarked about seeing a “four star” object. The “four star” reference most likely was the four control jets used to steer the vehicle while in orbit and possibly used to change the descent speed. Note the similarities between the prototype, the actual MK2 RV and the hand drawn sketch/deposition by musician Jerry Betters who had never seen a MK2 RV or any other space craft up close. As explained below, the MK2 had various capabilities for delivering many payloads such as a nuclear device. Note the funneled end of the MK2 RV. Provisions are made to eject a data capsule, or possibly a camera/film canister for later recovery.”

What about the predominantly green color of the object? Mr. Eichler states, “I was able to confirm that the blunt end of the object, the heat sink, was made of copper with minute alloying metals such as beryllium. Reports of green fireballs seen in the southwestern state of New Mexico occurring during the 1950s involving early test flights of reentry vehicles were followed up by ground surveys identifying copper residue over and above normal levels in the low-flying flight path of objects seen flying over the area. Copper heat sinks sound counter-intuitive to protecting a reentry vehicle from heat but the physics of the blunt body design demonstrate that there can be ample heat protection. As a note of record, later RV heat rejection techniques used an ablative material; a design that allows for heat absorption and subsequent stripping of the ablative material from the reentry vehicle to release heat. The ablative design allowed for a completely different physical shape than that of the MK2 reentry vehicle.”

Mr Eichler further stated, “The deployment of the Thor MK2 armed nuclear missile was eventually recalled … as a result of advancing technology and the vulnerability of the MK2 reentry vehicle to intercepting enemy aircraft as the MK2 was slow moving and could be shot down. However, during the 1960s the United States Atlas Rocket was phased in to deliver the MK2 reentry vehicle. The Atlas SM-65 rocket gave some advantages that the Thor rocket was lacking. For example, much longer range and orbiting capabilities. The Thor rocket could only deliver a sub-orbital payload. With the Atlas Rocket, the IRBM became an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). With the introduction of the Atlas rocket also came smaller and more efficient reentry vehicles. So, then, because there were so many of the MK2’s made, possibly over 2000 units, they became useful in other areas of space research and development. Many MK2 vehicles were used to monitor atmospheric parameters in support of the United States moon landing. Another remarkable program employed by the United States was Program 437.

Wind Swords said...

Kecksburg_proof-not_dot_com part 3

But what about the markings on the base of the Kecksburg object?

“I also have a suspicion that the strange markings around the base of the Kecksburg UFO may have been caused by the superstructure of a second reentry vehicle being welded to the base of the MK2. After the remnants of the superstructure burned away upon reentry of the MK2 in the atmosphere, all that would be left would be illegible weld spoils in various unintelligible configurations when seen by a common bystander. And, in addition, the base of the MK2 is the only place of attachment of a superstructure as the rest of the MK2 was buried in nose of the launch vehicle and was made of thick 316 alloy stainless steel sheeting, copper cladded and overall electro-coated with platinum. Also, the strange markings may be identification marks created with a welding stick and a welder to provide positive identification as to the particular model (MK2A, MK2B, and MK2C) of the RV and its payload”.

The possibility of the reentry vehicle that landed in Kecksburg of carrying a nuclear warhead is remote. Witnesses stated they saw people dressed in what they describe as full body suits and carrying something resembling what is commonly called a Geiger counter. Examination of Mr. Eichler’s research demonstrates many reentry vehicles of the 1960s needed a power source. Mr. Eichler says, “Early power sources utilized batteries, with AC-DC inverters or nuclear thermopiles. The power source of record was a Radio-isotope Thermal Generator (RTG). The generator uses a nuclear material that generates heat. The heat, in turn, heats a thermocouple assembly to generate electricity to power communications and control systems. In the early models, Plutonium-238, Curium 244 and Strontium 90 were used as the heat source. Factually, the authorities would be looking to verify the structural integrity of the reentry vehicle was not breached as a result of the impact potentially releasing radioactive contaminants from the RTG.”

The Corona program was operated by the CIA with assistance of the Air Force and was used to spy on the Soviet Union and China beginning in June 1959 and ending in May 1972. Program 437 turned the Thor into an operational anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon system; a capability that was kept top secret. The Program 437 mission was approved for development by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on November 20, 1962 and was based at the Johnson Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Program 437 used Thor missiles and added booster engines to achieve orbital flights. Eighteen more sub-orbital and orbital Thor launches took place from Johnston Island during the 1964–1975 periods in support of Program 437. In 1965–1966 four Program 437 Thors were launched with “Alternate Payloads” for satellite inspection from Johnson Island. Two of the four payloads were designated as APX-1 and APX-2 both of which carried cameras. These launches were evidently an elaboration of a proposed system to allow visual verification of an in-space target before potentially destroying it."

Remember what I said in my first post about “satellite inspections”?

Wind Swords said...

Kecksburg_proof-not_dot_com part 4

Continuing with the show notes:
There were four launches planned from Johnson Island in 1965; three are listed as successful. The first one on December 7, 1965 does not list an outcome. On December 7, 1965 at 19:29 Military Standard Time (MST), the 10 ADS Air Force crew launched Thor missile Number J8-2299 skyward on an interception azimuth of 153. The target was SPADATS object Number 613; an expended Atlas Agena rocket body. Interception occurred 8:18 minutes after launching following normal lift-off, booster separation, flight path assumption, and payload operation. The camera-bearing capsule registered a miss of .56 nautical miles from the programmed standoff distance of 3.2 nautical miles. All payload functions were performed normally up to separation except for film cutting and sealing operations. The failure was academic; however since the ejected film capsule was stated as never recovered and was visible at 19:45 heading for the ocean. The outcome of this mission is a prime candidate for the Kecksburg UFO!" Break

So what do we have so far? The Thor and the Atlas were used with the Mk 2 reentry vehicle. The Atlas could achieve orbit. But so could the Thor – if equipped with a second stage. As a matter of fact, the Thor Delta is the most sucessful space launch system that NASA has ever used. The most economical as well. It is the only “heritage” (based off a Cold War missle system) rocket still in use by NASA and the Air Force to deliver payloads into space.

Please refer to for more info on the Thor/Able/Delta platform then you would ever want to know.

Please note that the definition of "orbit" is different to different people. If you are a rocket scientist, orbit means you put it up and it stays up for a long period of time. Example: Sputnik. It eventually came down to earth, but for a long time its orbit was stable. To less technical folks orbit means to go around the earth one or more times - even if the orbit is unstable and cannot be maintained. The Thor had an apogee of 900 miles. Astronaut John Glen was put into a stable orbit just 100 plus miles above the earth. The Thor cannot achieve a stable orbit, but if you throw something up 500 to 900 miles above the earth, don't you think that the earth might rotate once or twice underneath it before it comes back down?

Back to Podcast UFO’s excellent show notes:
“There would have been a five hour time difference from Johnson Island to Kecksburg Pennsylvania due to daylight savings time in 1965. That would put the reentry vehicle loss at 12:45am eastern standard time on December 8th. Could it stay in orbit for over 39 hours? The answer is yes: it could take two hours to three days to come down from low earth orbit. For example, the December 9, 1965 launch from Vandenberg AFB of a Thor Agena-D took two days to recover after an erratic attitude. More complete analysis is required of the RV/rocket separation which altered descent characteristics since the Air Force said they lost track of it at 7:45pm on December 7th. There is no question that the MK2 RV was capable of extended orbital capabilities and controlled landing.

I attended the 50th anniversary UFO festival in Kecksburg in July 2015 where witnesses told their story and I also analyzed the testimonials on Stan Gordon’s Kecksburg DVD created in 1998. Although Project Blue Book said that there were only three Air Force personal on site to recover a meteor, numerous civilian witnesses verified that there were as many as 25 armed military personnel present. Project Moon Dust was in place at that time and the response was consistent with this project’s recovery efforts."

Wind Swords said...

Kecksburg_proof-not_dot_com part 5

"It makes sense that the December 7, 1965 GE Mark 2 launch in the Pacific was tracked on radar. This explains the military response within 30 minutes to the small rural town of Kecksburg. The copper heat shielding would glow green, the stainless steel would turn a burnt orange color, and the technicians on site would wear proper radiation suits and would carry the correct size lead box for a radioactive power source. They may have had to cut the power source out with a blow torch and walked it out of the woods like the arc of the covenant. They could not risk a radiation leak when exiting a residential area. It was equally as important not to divulge we were spying on Russia.

Since NASA has eliminated the Cosmos 96 probe as the Kecksburg UFO by confirming it came down 13 hours earlier, after our exhaustive research, we are only left with the Bell Project, a Mark 2 failure or a real extraterrestrial UFO. Since NASA was ordered by a Federal court to turn over its files on Kecksburg and they responded that the file box was lost, it is doubtful that NASA will confirm or deny our GE Mark 2 theory. Without confirmation from NASA, GE, the Air Force or the Navy, we have the most scientific explanation for Kecksburg but can only add the GE Mark 2 reentry vehicle to the short list of an extraterrestrial craft that maneuvered in the sky and crashed or a government spy reentry vehicle that fired its control jets and minimally crash landed. We believe a GE Mark 2 RV landed in Kecksburg."
End of show notes.


What you have to come to grips with is that the proposed theory matches all the common characteristics noted by the witnesses:
1.) low speed of the object
2.) path of the object
3.) colors of object as it descended - green (predominate), orange, white
4.) change of direction of the object
5.) burnt orange color of the object on the ground
6.) shape of the object on the ground
7.) rapid response of the military, gieger counter, radiation suits, quick removal of the object
7.) secrecy surrounding the object (by the way, 50 years of secrecy is nothing, why, the British kept their code breaking technology from WWII a secret for 30 years after the war, and there was no reason to as the technology was outdated within 10 years, yet they waited 30 years! There are still US documents from the WWII era that classified to this day).

If it walks like a Mk2 reentry vehicle and quacks like a Mk2 reentry vehicle then I propose that it was in fact a Mk2 reentry vehicle. Remember we have to choose between the possible and impossible and then the probable and improbable. Kecksburg alien? In my mind not possible but if you want to say it is then it is certainly improbable. Kecksburg something manmade? Definately possible, definately probable. Kecksburg a Mk2 reentry vehicle? Most definately possible, and most definately probable.

In the end, do you really want to believe that after all these years of UFO's demonstrating apparently advanced propulsion systems thought to be based on magnetic, gravimetric or other unknown principals that the aliens in Kecksburg crashed in a primitive blunt shaped reentry vehicle, using friction with the atmosphere to slow them down (but no primitive parachutes for soft landing)?

That makes no kind of sense whatsoever.

As far as I am concerned THIS is "end of story"!

Wind Swords said...

(Note: I don’t know what happened to part 1. According to the computer it posted. Ah, the wonders of the internet! I apologize for the confusion. Please read part 1 so that you can more fully understand parts 2 – 5)

Kecksburg_proof-not_dot_com **Part 1**
(Because I don't have the money for my own website)


This isn't hard. Really. The info I am about to share with you took me oh, about 15 minutes to find on the internet. Maybe it's just because I'm an engineer by trade and I know where to look. Maybe it's because Google is so damn good in its search algorithms.
I got up this morning looking for some new podcasts to listen to and ended up at at Podcast UFO. Here was a show on the latest theory by John Ventre and Owen Eichler. I had already heard them on C2C AM and I did not know if I wanted to hear them again. So I looked at the show notes.

I will be quoting from this, but please go there and read it for yourself, it's very illuminating, and answers most, if not all, the objections raised by some here.
Among the many things mentioned (in print in the show notes, so I don't have to transcribe them from memory) is the mention of Program 437. I had not heard of this before. So I looked it up.

"Another remarkable program employed by the United States was Program 437. The latter program, akin to President Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative, focused on using a nuclear explosion in space to disable an enemy’s satellite with Electro-magnetic Pulse waves."

More info on Program 437:
"The program's facilities were located on Johnston Island, an isolated island in the north central Pacific Ocean."

"Part of Program 437 was 437 Alternate Payload (AP) which was used for satellite inspection. Thor DSV-2J missiles were used for the 437 Alternate Payload program. Eighteen DSV-2J Thors were launched from the Atoll between February 14, 1964 and November 6, 1975."
Remember that phrase in the Wiki article-satellite inspection.

Before I go back to the UFO Podcast show notes let me point you to another excellent source, a PDF I found entitled Shooting Down a "Star" - Program 437, the US Nuclear ASAT System and Present-Day Copycat Killers" by Clayton K. S. Chun, Lt Col USAF, US Air Force Academy Institute of National Security Studies. I only skimmed through this but (to me at least) it will be a good read:
Ok back to the show notes.

"I was contacted in February 2015 by Owen Eichler in regards to his theory that the December 9, 1965 Kecksburg UFO incident was potentially a crash and retrieval of a GE Mark 2 reentry vehicle (RV) launched on December 7, 1965. Owen said he has spent ten years researching his theory and believes he is correct. The GE Mark 2 RV has never been mentioned as a possible candidate for Kecksburg. This object was a spy capsule that was kept secret until 1991. I posed a few questions that were significant to the case:

How did the object turn, slow down and perform a controlled landing? Owen said the GE reentry vehicle had four control jets and an internal weighting control system for stability and guidance using the coanda effect to glide. Owen also said this was not a NASA project.

Why would the military show up in such force for a GE reentry vehicle? Owen said it was used for in-space identification of orbiting space craft and may have contained a Radio Isotope Thermal Generator (RTG) that needed to be recovered in order to control and prevent a radiation leak. The first nuclear power generators were used in 1961.

What is the explanation for the writing or symbols on the sides of the object? Owen said it was the result of identification welding on the reentry vehicle because there were numerous launches. The RV was also attached to the Atlas rocket at the base."

starman said...

Wind Swords, I think you're mixing apples and oranges. The British didn't keep ULTRA classified for 30 years for technical reasons but just so the Nazis couldn't blame it for their defeat. As for classified US documents from WWII, I very much doubt the motivation is to keep certain technology from that era secret. More likely certain atrocities like those committed against Germans around the end of the war, or responsibility.
GE Mk2 technology must be antiquated for some time. Add to that government eagerness to debunk UFO reports, and it's hard to believe this wouldn't have been revealed years ago had it in fact been the explanation for Kecksburg.

Paul Young said...

Brian Bell wrote..."What performance? It came down probably from suborbit burning and then crashed into a forest. You make it sound like the thing was showing off as if it was doing acrobatics and stunt flying at a major air show!"

Did I really make it sound like that, or are you using wild exaggeration to make your usual?

The point is that this "thing" (it's probably best to describe it as that because I'm buggered if I know what it was, and seemingly the so called experts can't agree either) managed to retrieve a rather sticky situation.
How many man made objects, seemingly ablaze, can then slow itself down, change direction and land without causing too much damage to itself.
Pretty good "performance" for an object that, by all accounts, had no aerodynamic shape to it and didn't need a parachute.
Pretty good performance for something that you consider to be unmanned. (I'll give a ten out of ten for the guy steering this object remotely)
...And extremely good performance for its era.

David Rudiak said...

(1 of 2)
Much more fundamentally wrong with Windswords rant is that he continues to ignore the actual FACTS. Much like the Mogul balloon theory for Roswell that uses a nonexistent flight to “explain” Roswell, an impossible missile launch is being used to “explain” Kecksburg. However, for the theory to work, you need the following:

1. An actual rocket capable of orbital flight (to explain the 2 days between launch and Kecksburg). It wouldn’t hurt to have an actual record of such a flight instead of NONE existing (as confirmed by NASA’s chief of keeping track of things in orbit, Nicholas Johnson, back in 2003).

2. An actual nose cone capable of re-entry (also capable of stable satellite flight while in orbit)

3. Something actually capable of a soft landing.

Windswords provides references that supposedly back him up (the same ones I found with Google searches) and copies a lot from the original MUFON article, but obviously doesn't comprehend a word of what he is reading (if he bothered to read them at all).

Instead what we get is BS and handwaving. It’s just a hodgepodge of quotes with no coherent argument behind them, other than if Windswords wishes strongly enough, then that makes it true. But in the REAL word, the historical FACTS show the following.

1. Regarding the Thor DSV-2J rocket launch Dec. 7, 1965 from Johnston Island (alleged Kecksburg object source), a part of a Project 437AP (Alternate Payload) anti-satellite program. The Thor DSV-2J class is listed as an ABM or anti-ballistic missile (thus with no need for orbital flight or re-entry). ALL of the Project 437 launches used NON-ORBITAL Thor missile, the main idea being to destroy relatively nearby Soviet satellites or ICBMs by getting the Thors close and nuking them. The maximum range of any of these Thor IRBMs was under 2000 miles and maximum speed upon reentry of only about 10,000 mph (vs ~17,000 mph needed to achieve orbit). Thus it was quite IMPOSSIBLE for this Dec. 7, DSV-2J rocket to achieve orbit or reach Kecksburg, some 5500 miles away

The 437AP program was four test launches with modified MK-2 nose cones fitted with Corona spy satellite cameras to try to intercept and take inspection pictures of NEARBY passing satellites (instead of nuking them), then retrieve an EJECTED camera canister by snagging in the air by plane. Again, these were strictly LOCAL launches, NOT intercontinental or global (i.e., orbital). In fact, if Windswords had paid attention to his Chun reference (p. 26), it would have told him the MAXIMUM range of a 437AP mission was only 800 miles. The test flight on Dec. 7, 1965 did make a close intercept of one of our satellites passing OVERHEAD, but the mission was an overall failure because the film canister was not retrieved. These flights ONLY list apogees (or high points of trajectory), whereas if they were orbital there would also be a perigee (or closest point) distance for the orbit.

2. The MK-2 nose cone was NEVER designed for orbital re-entry, which it could not survive (yet again, you need an orbital flight to account for the 2 day delay between the Johnston Island 437AP launch and Kecksburg). The MK-2 was strictly a lower speed protector of its carried nuke for IRBM flights. (Once again only about 10,000 mph re-entry speed for the Thor vs. 17,000 mph for an orbiting satellite,)

David Rudiak said...

(part 2 of 2)
3. The MK-2 was never designed or intended to make a soft landing, which would be quite pointless given its primary mission--delivering nukes, which go boom at the end of the flight. In fact, I know of NO soft landing craft of that era, Russian or U.S. capable of a soft landing without the use of parachutes (such as on manned Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space capsules). All the talk of the Coanda effect, “gliding” MK-2’s and steering jets enabling a soft landing is total, unmitigated bullshit (along with claims of orbital flight).

4. Calling this modified MK-2 protective nosecone a "spy satellite" on these 437AP missions makes it sound more exciting and mysterious and thus a reason to cover it up, but there really wasn't anything to cover up, since it was never a "satellite", but a straight up, straight down flight into the Pacific, and totally incapable of reaching Kecksburg. Likewise, these flights lasted no more than 18 minutes, thus simple battery power alone would suffice. No need for "Radio-isotope Thermal Generator (RTG)", which are strictly used for VERY LONG missions (weeks, months, years) where such things as solar arrays are impractical (e.g., deep-space probes or near-orbit spy satellites), and just more BS to make it sound more mysterious and to account for a strong military presence at Kecksburg.

By why let simple, incontestable FACTS get in the way of a totally preposterous debunking theory?

Isaac Koi said...

I've now posted a relevant item on ATS evaluating the GE Mark II capsule explanation for the Kecksburg incident put forward in the current MUFON Journal, including on its cover.

That item on ATS, "Kecksburg UFO – GE Mark 2? MUFON researchers can't keep it up long enough", is at:

For ease of reference, I'll quote part of that item (without the links embedded in that text):

I’d like to compliment MUFON on making the content of the relevant
article in the December issue of the MUFON Journal freely available on
a new page on the MUFON website. Most MUFON Journal articles are not
made freely available online. (MUFON did take the useful step a few
years ago of working with the Blackvault website to make most older
issues of the MUFON Journal and some other MUFON material freely
available online, but that project seemed to come to an end for no
good reason discernible to me. I viewed the ending of that project as
unfortunate, particularly if MUFON’s goals include, as stated on
MUFON’s website, to “promote research on UFOs” and “educate the
public”). MUFON making this particular article freely available online
allows much more open peer review of the content of this item than
with most of the stuff that appears in the MUFON Journal. I think that
makes it worth spending some time on this article and commenting on
it, in the hope that feedback on it will encourage MUFON to freely
share more of the articles from the MUFON Journal.

Having complimented MUFON for taking that step, however, for reasons
explained below I consider the Program 437 capsule theory to be, quite
simply, clearly fatally flawed. The capsule launched on 7 December
1965 could not have been the cause of the Kecksburg incident on 9
December 1965 due to the very limited (and very well documented)
flight duration and range of the relevant single stage Thor rocket
used for that launch.

In the few days since the MUFON article has been released, this has
already been recognised (apparently independently) by several
researchers ranging from prominent UFO skeptics to those, well, rather
more inclined to accept extra-terrestrial explanations for UFO events.
Items by those commentators have included:

(1) Information from Larry Lemke, a retired NASA rocket scientist,
posted by David Rudiak in the comments section of Kevin Randle’s “A
Different Perspective” blog on 8 December 2015 and subsequently,
including the fact that “the smaller Thor rocket in this Dec. 7, 1965
test (and other Johnson Island tests) was incapable of attaining
orbital speeds”;

(2) Emails by Michael Tarbell to the Current Encounters email
discussion List making similar points on 12 December 2015 onwards;

(3) an item by Ted Molczan (a satellite expert, whose work has been
praised, among others, by skeptic Robert Sheaffer in a post his Bad
UFOs blog) making similar points on the Fotocat website on 18 December
2015. He concluded that the theory advanced in the MUFON article is
"impossible, primarily because Kecksburg is beyond the range of the
missile used by Program 437" and “There was zero possibility of
anything ever reaching Kecksburg”.]; and

(4) Further shorter (and more dismissive) comments by other skeptics,
including in discussion groups on Facebook;

(5) An article by prominent Kecksburg UFO researcher Stan Gordon on his
website, which focused on softer issues (such as witness evidence)
rather than relevant physics.

Isaac Koi said...

Another paragraph from the item I've posed on ATS:

A relevant key argument made very briefly in the MUFON Journal article
is shown to be, um, wrong (being polite) by reference to the various
well documented characteristics of the relevant Thor single-stage
rocket included in the sections below (particularly in Section C). In
the section briefly considering the length of time that the capsule
could remain airborne, the MUFON Journal article clearly treats the
single-stage Thor rocket used on 7 December 1965 as being the same as
a multi-stage Thor rocket used for a different project. That is a
fatal flaw. When looking at the single stage rocket actually used on 7
December 1965, the conclusion is inescapable : the Mark 2 capsule
would not have remained airborne for the duration required by the
MUFON researchers’ theory. They simply can’t keep it up long enough.

David Rudiak said...

Not that anyone is likely reading this thread anymore, but thanks Isaac for the additional information. Again it PROVES that this very specific proposed explanation for Kecksburg was IMPOSSIBLE: Proposed rocket launch incapable of orbiting or in any way flying 5500 miles to Kecksburg. Also impossible was the particular proposed re-entry nosecone (MK-2) was also incapable of surviving orbital re-entry. And finally, no explanation for the soft landing that would have been required for the object at Kecksburg.

I did notice another of your factoids having another Thor rocket launch at Vandenberg AFB of a Corona spy satellite on Dec. 9, 1965, thus orbital and also the right day. However, no indication of any re-entry of this satellite on this day. Nor does there seem any possibility that it would be in the right orbital plane to account for the widely seen fireball just before the Kecksburg event.

These Vandenberg rocket launches were NOT launched over North America (for safety reasons), instead were launched west over the Pacific (primarily for ICBM tests), or southerly following the California and Baja coastline. It would require a SE or ESE launch to account for the fireball and possibly having a correct trajectory taking it to Kecksburg. They wouldn't do that, because such a launch would take it over HEAVILY populated areas like Los Angeles or San Diego.

Even if you assume such a highly errant launch (for which there is ZERO evidence), it still doesn't account for the object observed at Kecksburg or how it could make a soft landing sans parachute.