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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 10

NASA To Probe Self For UFO Data

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:03:03 -0500
Archived: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:03:03 -0500
Subject: NASA To Probe Self For UFO Data

Source: The Chicago Tribune - Illinois, USA


December 10, 2007

NASA To Probe Self For UFO Data

A federal ruling requires the space agency to turn over any
files it might have related to a 1965 incident in a small
Pennsylvania town

By Sean D. Hamill
Special to the Tribune

KECKSBURG, Pa. -  The U.S. government says nothing of note
happened in this small town in the hills of southwestern
Pennsylvania at 4:47 p.m. on Dec. 9, 1965. A meteor may have
passed by, but no alien ship or Russian space probe fell to
Earth, as many here believe.

Still, Bill Bulebush, 82, says he knows what he saw, heard and
smelled, despite the doubts of the government and others in this
community 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

"I looked up and saw it flying overhead and it was sizzling,"
said Bulebush, a retired truck driver. "I found it in the woods
down there [in a valley] and I got to it 15 to 20 minutes after
it landed. I saw it 10 to 15 feet away from behind a big tree -
because I was worried it might blow up - and it smelled like
sulfur or rotten eggs and was shaped like a huge acorn, about
the size of a VW."

Other people said that shortly afterward, dozens of Army
soldiers and three members of the Air Force showed up; later
that night a flatbed military truck took the object away.

Despite such accounts, the government has been "trying to make
it out like we're a bunch of liars," Bulebush said. But now he
and his fellow believers may have their best chance yet to prove
their case.

A recent settlement in a 4-year-long Freedom of Information Act
court battle requires NASA to meticulously comb its files for
documents about the Kecksburg incident.

The lawsuit was filed in December 2003 in the District of
Columbia by Leslie Kean, a freelance journalist, with financial
support from the SciFi Channel, which ran a show that year
titled "The New Roswell: Kecksburg Exposed."

Searching for answers

Kean was asked by SciFi in 2002 to find a UFO case with credible
witnesses and possible physical evidence. She created the
Coalition for Freedom of Information to support the effort and
to look into other "unexplained aerial phenomena."

Part of Kean's own criteria, despite SciFi's title for the
Kecksburg show, was to pick a case as far removed as possible
from the 1947 incident in Roswell, N.M. - thought by many to be
a crashed alien spaceship but later revealed to be a top-secret
research balloon.

"The types that go to Roswell and parade in the street in
costumes, we try to stay far, far away from that," she said.

Kean pressed the case after she filed a Freedom of Information
Act request earlier in 2003 and NASA said it couldn't find any
documents related to Kecksburg. But Kean already knew the space
agency, which had a program in the 1960s to recover and analyze
space debris, had some documents. Stan Gordon, a UFO and Bigfoot
researcher with whom Kean was working, had information he got in
response to a request he sent NASA in the 1990s.

"In the beginning, they probably saw Leslie's request and
thought, 'Oh, she's after UFOs,'" said her attorney, Lee
Helfrich of Washington. "Maybe they just didn't treat it
seriously at first."

They do now.

From frustration, action

After NASA turned over about 1,000 pages of documents that
failed to adequately address Kean's request, the case boiled
over on March 20 for federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, who had tried
to move NASA along for more than three years.

According to a transcript, the judge angrily referred to NASA's
search efforts as a "ball of yarn" that never fully answers the
request, adding: "I can sense the plaintiff's frustration
because I'm frustrated."

A settlement was reached Oct. 17 specifying how NASA will make a
new records search and that both sides must report to Sullivan
periodically, starting Dec. 17. NASA also agreed to pay Kean
$50,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

In a statement, NASA would say only that it was "conducting
another records search."

This past week Kean and her attorney received the first batch of
documents: 689 pages of Form 135s, which are inventory sheets
that indicate what is in boxes and files in NASA's archives.

Based on a first read of the documents - from which Kean will
select files for NASA to review for any documents related to
Kecksburg - Kean said she's "cautiously optimistic" that
they'll turn up something.

"I asked my attorney if she found the 'Kecksburg UFO Explained'
file," Kean said with a laugh. "She said, 'Not yet.' But I'm
still hopeful."

Many people in Kecksburg believe Kean's effort is just another
frivolous step down the rabbit hole of fantasy.

"I wouldn't go along with the stories because it didn't happen,"
said Ed Myers, 81, who was chief of the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire
Department in 1965 and said he didn't see the dozens of soldiers
or the blue lights some people swear they saw.

Myers no longer helps his hometown fire department, a decision
that began when the department encouraged UFO speculation by
displaying a mock-up of the craft that Bulebush and others said
they saw.

The mock-up was created in 1990 for a documentary and now sits
prominently on a hillside behind the fire hall.

After years of rejecting efforts to make money off the story,
the fire department hosted a wildly popular Kecksburg UFO
gathering two years ago on the 40th anniversary, and began
selling T-shirts, mugs, plates and hats with a picture of the
flaming acorn hurtling across the sky, along with the date, Dec.
9, 1965.

Sales continue today at the Kecksburg UFO Store in the basement
of the Rescue EMS headquarters house near the fire hall.

"We've made about $10,000, mostly from shirts, so far," said Ron
Strueble, 64, a fire department volunteer. "We're at the point
now where we can start buying some additional equipment for the

For Bulebush, the UFO store is good for the town, but it's the
lawsuit that he hopes will be his validation.

"I don't have too much time in this world. I'd like to be here
to see this through," he said. "I want to find out what they're
holding back on us."

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