Summary: As a result of continued resistance by key federal agencies to release records concerning the 1965 UFO incident in Kecksburg, PA, SCI FI Channel today announced its support for legal action against NASA and the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Air Force to make those records public.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As a result of continued resistance by key federal agencies to release records concerning the 1965 UFO incident in Kecksburg, PA, SCI FI Channel today announced its support for legal action against NASA and the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Air Force to make those records public.
On December 9, 1965, witnesses described seeing a fireball in the evening sky, a controlled landing and the systematic military recovery of an object. As reported by local radio and newspapers, U.S. military personnel cordoned off the area, investigated the site, and left without ever providing a full report of the incident other than to dismiss it as a meteorite.
A year ago, with the support of John Podesta, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff and member of the Moynihan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, SCI FI Channel and the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFi) initiated an effort to obtain classified and other government documents on the Kecksburg crash.
"Since last year, we have supported archivists, researchers and scientists, as well as partnered with CFi's investigative director Leslie Kean and attorney Lee Helfrich in order to get to the bottom of what happened in the woods outside Kecksburg on the evening of December 9, 1965," said Bonnie Hammer, SCI FI Channel President.
For decades, through one administration after another, NASA, the Department of Defense and other agencies have fended off numerous attempts to find out what happened.
"Now, one year later, despite serious effort to uncover the facts, NASA and the Department of Defense are still maintaining their wall of silence," said Hammer. "In response, we will support the filing of a series of lawsuits by Leslie Kean of the Coalition for Freedom of Information beginning with NASA."
"Numerous eye-witness accounts coupled with local newspaper and radio reports clearly indicate that something crashed," said Kean. "New forensic evidence also supports this finding, while the elimination of Cosmos 96 from the picture only heightens the mystery." Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Nicholas L. Johnson, a recognized international authority on orbital debris and foreign space systems, recently analyzed orbital data on Cosmos 96, the Russian Venera probe that has been considered a viable explanation for the Kecksburg object for decades. "In a recent interview, Johnson told me that no debris from Cosmos 96 could have possibly landed in Pennsylvania on December 9, 1965," Kean stated. "Furthermore, he states that no man-made object from any country came down that day."
In SCI FI's forthcoming documentary on Kecksburg entitled THE NEW ROSWELL: KECKSBURG EXPOSED, John Podesta states unequivocally, "Records of the investigation should be released. [Forty] years of holding them secret is long enough." The hard-hitting expose, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, airs exclusively on SCI FI Channel on Friday, October 24th.
"Our government is not leveling with the public. After giving life to the term 'UFO' and after spending millions of taxpayer dollars investigating the phenomena, the government should make all these records public," added Lee Helfrich, attorney with DC-based Lobel, Novins and Lamont.
Helfrich admitted that she began this project as a skeptic, but now believes that "the miniscule amount of documentation in the public file is way out of sync with the degree of military interest in the (Kecksburg) incident as reflected in contemporaneous radio and newspaper accounts."
Amber Moulton-Wiseman, a Research Historian for History Associates Incorporated, after a thorough search of records in the National Archives, commented, "Other than reports in the Air Force Project Bluebook files, we found no documents pertaining to what happened at Kecksburg." Moulton- Wiseman also stated that many agency records have yet to be transferred to the National Archives and that recent records are still held in Federal Records Centers throughout the country. "These records, many of which, according to our research, could contain records about Kecksburg, have not been made public forcing us to rely on the FOIA process."
As Podesta stated in SCI FI Channel's Kecksburg documentary, "Certainly having the military descend on a United States town, holding people at gunpoint, is not the ordinary way we do business in this country. People should have an explanation about what triggered that sort of military response...so that people can judge for themselves whether it was appropriate."
"The public has a right to know what happened in Kecksburg," concluded Hammer. "Government agencies have an obligation to make public what they know. Instead of a willingness to open up files that rightfully belong to the American people, government bureaucrats are making it as difficult and time-consuming as they can to uncover the facts. That's not right."