Claim: Authorities supressed alleged UFO findings of a reporter of the 1965 Kecksburg crash

ParanoidSkeptic2

Active Member
In 1965, there was an alleged UFO sighting in Kecksburg Pennsylvania and it's been alleged that a reporter on the case, John Murphy, had found additional information, was making a radio documentary called "Object in the Woods", was contacted by government officials to not release it, and eventually was killed by them in 1968.

This was addressed in a 2015 video by a conspiracy/UFO channel and was told as if it's what happened, I'll link the video below and transcribe the bit

The video starts talking about Murphy at 8:18 (link is time-stamped)

The video itself provides no sources of the description of this (or, for that matter, any) claim and when you click on their website to see if maybe they had the sources there, the website consists of just a conspiracy based podcast. The language in the video also seems so assertive of this being the case and seems dismissive of other explanations. In addition, I don't understand why the date 5th of December is mentioned when the incident occurred on the 9th of December

I looked into it and the only source I could find that detailed anything like this was from a conspiracy website from 2011.

Interestingly enough, in 2007 Wikipedia was edited to contain the John Murphy allegations. It wasn't sourced and in 2014, the part on the Wikipedia was word for word exaclty the same as the one on the website, thus it was removed. However, the Wikipedia page did have a few links to some alleged sources

Excerpt from the 2014 edition of the article
1602693501710.png

Excerpt from the website
1602693528741.png

The whole section was removed as it was uncited and was exactly the same as the articles on the website.

I checked the citation and it gives an error 404, I looked on the wayback machine and it seems to be just directing to the Sci-Fi documentary The new Roswell: Kecksburg. The other is a CFI report which, again, is a dead link. But using the wayback machine I managed to get the report up. It says to read the 4th and 5th page for details. The report was written by Leslie Kean who has previously worked on different UFO related stories and it pretty much retells the same exact things as the other sources (Murphy making the documentary, being supressed, releasing a censored version and eventually being killed). I believe this report is from 2005 making this the earliest source of the John Murphy planning on creating the documentary.

I couldn't find anything else aside from the rehashing of the same story so I decided to look for the documentary and again I could not find anything, the top result was the Wikipedia article and the others were either unrelated or where the same word-for-word retelling of the same story.

At this point I started to even question if the person existed, apparently there is archive footage of him as he's credited in conspiracy documentary1602694833899.png
In addition, apparently there have been records of the documentary as, according to this website, they know how the documentary started but again it's not sourced.

I'm quite stumped, I cannot find anything else besides the surface level re-telling of the same story and no other source I delve into don't go into anymore detail.

What do you guys think? Do you think the documentary existed and if it did, do you think it was suppressed?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
it's possible he was asked not to release photos or certain information if it was indeed Russian technology they were stealing. But it's also possible it's just a story that evolved with time. Your only alleged quote from him says it didn't happen.

link to Pittsburgh Gazette:
https://old.post-gazette.com/magazine/19980908ufo1.asp




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_96
 

Rocky

Member
Like the Roswell story this always seems to get bigger then what it actually was. Mysterious witnesses coming forward, retired military personnel claims etc. It's just a mess of a nothing burger. The UFO community just loves promoting fantasy based on zero evidence.
 

ParanoidSkeptic2

Active Member
it's possible he was asked not to release photos or certain information if it was indeed Russian technology they were stealing. But it's also possible it's just a story that evolved with time. Your only alleged quote from him says it didn't happen.
Yeah, I think it was that he was asked to not release the footage as it was during the cold war and anything that landed which was unidentified was assumed to either be secret US technology or Russian technology, either way, the US wouldn't want this going out into the public in case of unwanted parties finding out what's going on.

It's interesting to note that there doesn't seem to be any records prior to the 2000's about the claims that Marshall had some secret info, so it feels like it was a story that just evolved and escalated as they usually do; people would rather make stories that sound plausible but are backed by no evidence than accept uncertainty.

Like the Roswell story this always seems to get bigger then what it actually was. Mysterious witnesses coming forward, retired military personnel claims etc. It's just a mess of a nothing burger. The UFO community just loves promoting fantasy based on zero evidence.
Oh yeah, that's ufology and conspiracies for ya. But at least we have communities like this one that look at these incidents purely from empirical perspective.

You should see what the believers are saying, they think that this acorn shaped thing is actually a Nazi super weapon. Their evidence is that people alleged that it looked like an acorn. That's all...
 

ParanoidSkeptic2

Active Member
it's possible he was asked not to release photos or certain information if it was indeed Russian technology they were stealing. But it's also possible it's just a story that evolved with time. Your only alleged quote from him says it didn't happen.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday, September 9th, 1998 it is claimed the object which
crashed in the woods outside Kecksburg was in fact a
secret Russian military satellite.

The problems with this theory is that eye witness reports recall an object that was acorn shaped and much
larger than the Venera 7. Also, while it is true that Cosmos 96 did break up and re-enter the earth’s atmosphere it was 12 hours earlier than the Kecksburg UFO.

In 1991 James Oberg, a noted expert on Soviet spacecraft and UFO skeptic, reviewed the ordinants of the reentry trajectory provided by the Goddard Space Center
to see if Kecksburg’s UFO could have been Cosmos
96. Oberg concluded that it could not be Kosmos 96.


However, in 1993 he reversed himself:

"In the 1960s, U.S. military intelligence agencies interested
in enemy technology were eagerly collecting all the Soviet missile and space debris they could find.
International law required that debris be returned to the country of origin. But hardware from Kosmos
96, with its special missile-warhead shielding, would have been too valuable to give back." He believed Cosmos broke up into several pieces, one of which landed at Kecksburg.
Content from external source​
link to Pittsburgh Gazette:
https://old.post-gazette.com/magazine/19980908ufo1.asp




Kosmos 96 was destroyed when it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 9 December 1965.[7]
Content from external source​
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_96
I looked into it and apparently Oberg dismissed the Kosmos-96 hypothesis

That's from the website that alleges that the incident was to do with Nazi technology

However, I did find a primary source from Oberg where he acknowledges that he believes that the Kosmos-96 is an unlikely explanation.

http://jamesoberg.com/statement_nasa_kecksburg.pdf
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Further examination has been conducted in the Kecksburg case. The Sci-Fi (now Syfy) Channel sponsored a study of the area in 2003 and concluded that something did crash into the woods in 1965. This conclusion was due to the damage to the trees and disruption to the soil that scientists found which dated back to the year of the alleged crash. There was also a demand for NASA to release the documents related to the case, but NASA claimed they were unable to find the information.

That "demand" was a FOIA lawsuit brought by Leslie Kean; there was some kind of ruling in 2007, but I haven't found out if anything came of it.

Article:
A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) spokesperson says there's no cover-up - the "UFO" was a Russian satellite, but government records documenting it have been lost.


MUFON says it may be US-made:
Article:
The unidentified flying object that came down Dec. 9, 1965, they say, was a General Electric Mark 2 Re-entry Vehicle that had been launched by the Air Force as a spy satellite, but fell out of orbit.


The topic of this thread isn't about what crashed there. The topic is about the cover-up claim.

Did the cover-up really take place?
Did the military think at the time that they had recovered pieces of a satellite, and wanted to cover that up?
Was it an invention by John Murphy to make his story more interesting and cover up the lack of information?
Has anyone interviewed his co-author, Mabel Mezza, after John's death?
 

ParanoidSkeptic2

Active Member
Did the cover-up really take place?
I cannot find anybody talking about the alleged cover up prior to the 2000's, it seems like with the popularisation of the internet, the topic got more attention and that's where the story began to surface. The earliest mention of it I could find was from a 2005 ufology article by Leslie Kean.

Did the military think at the time that they had recovered pieces of a satellite, and wanted to cover that up?
Considering the height of the cold war, that seems plausible. There have been records of the military asking people to not disclose information but not to the violent extent as many people say.
Was it an invention by John Murphy to make his story more interesting and cover up the lack of information?
I didn't think of that, that may be a possible explanation, create a mystery where there wasn't one.
Has anyone interviewed his co-author, Mabel Mezza, after John's death?
I looked into it and I couldn't find any interviews with Mabel Mezza after John's death, the extent of information about her is pretty much what's been said.

I think its interesting to note that all these are second hand sources, I haven't come along one primary source in all of this. It seems that only conspiracy theorists mention the alleged coverup, people who looked sceptically at the whole Kecksburg incident only briefly mention John Marshall and don't mention anything about an alleged cover up.
 

Alexandria Nick

Active Member
I cannot find anybody talking about the alleged cover up prior to the 2000's, it seems like with the popularisation of the internet, the topic got more attention and that's where the story began to surface. The earliest mention of it I could find was from a 2005 ufology article by Leslie Kean.
While I have nothing I can point to, I grew up in the region, about 50 miles away. As far back as the 80s, it was in the local popular lore as "a spaceship crashed over in Kecksburg and the Air Force came and took it away." It was basically the same story people had been telling for decades about the B-25 that crashed in the Mon River, except without "secretly lost an atomic bomb" and with "aliens."
 
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