In the late afternoon of 9 December, 1965, many people witnessed a large, orange coloured light in the sky above Lake Erie and several other locations to the north.
Small lights were seen breaking away from the larger object and smoke reported as far away as the bordering New York State.
The emergency services had been contacted with reports of an aircraft which was possibly in trouble and a Mrs Jones, from Mount Pleasant, reported that an object had crashed into woods near her home.
At around 7:30 p.m. the area was secured by State Police.
Soon the military took command and the local Kecksburg Fire Department HQ became a temporary base. Military vehicles, including a flatbed truck and a crane, were seen heading towards the woods and there was talk that a high-level team of military and scientific personnel had arrived on the scene.
Later that night, a large truck was seem leaving the area at high speed. It carried flashing lights to signal its importance, but that wasn't all it carried...
A large tarpaulin concealed an unknown cargo.
The military eventually labelled the object a meteor, as did the Associated Press account published in "The Bulletin" the following day.
In 1990, Stan Gordon from the Pennsylvania Association for the Study of the Unexplained, traced an apparent first-hand witness. James Romansky recalled seeing the object on the ground some 25 years previously, when he was an 18 year old fire fighter, called on duty following concerns that an aeroplane had crashed.
He described the object as bronze coloured and shaped like an acorn.
Some 12 feet long and 25 feet in diameter, it had slightly raised "blunt" end and strange markings.
"It had writing on it, not like your average writing, but more like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. It had sort of a bumper on it, like a ribbon about six to 10 inches wide, and it stood out.
It was elliptical the whole way around and the writing was on this bumper".
"It's nothing like I've ever seen, and I'm an avid reader. I read a lot of books on Egypt, the Incas, Peruvians, Russians and I've never to this day come across anything that looked like that."
But it seems there may be a prosaic explanation to the strange events which unfolded that December evening.
On 23 November, 1965, from a remote area deep inside the former Soviet Union, a rocket was launched. The payload was COSMOS 96, a satellite based on the modified Soyuz spacecraft, whose design was itself based on the diving bell.
Colonel Rodney S. Lusey, Deputy Chief of Staff, US Space Command, confirmed "A booster failure caused this satellite to decay after its launch. ...COSMOS 96 was launched on 23 November 1965 and decayed on December 9, 1965, at 51.8 north latitude and 85.2 west longitude".
There seems little doubt that despite the expected official denials, what was recovered at Kecksburg was indeed the fallen COSMOS 96 satellite.
UFO Magazine (UK), September/October 1994
The Kecksburg UFO Mystery, by Mark Ian Birdsall
Kecksburg Crash Controversial, by Kim Opatka