The Long Way Home


To the Ends of the Earth: Kecksburg

 

replica of ufo that landed in Kecksburg on December 9, 1965

replica of ufo that landed in Kecksburg on December 9, 1965

Ever since Jeff and I caught the Kecksburg episode of “Unsolved Mysteries,” we knew we had to check this out for ourselves. Kecksburg is only  30 miles outside of Pittsburgh, but pretty much anywhere outside the city limits feels like another world.  We set out one very frigid February afternoon, along with our friend Bill, to see what the fuss was all about.

 

Kecksburg view from the car window

Kecksburg view from the car window

 The last day of February was bitingly cold and damp and to make matters more frustrating, there were so many detours through PA66 that we passed Kecksburg a few times before finding it. It’s easy to miss — there isn’t a main street, just a house, an aluminum-sided shed-like building, a giant parking lot and a tiny sign pointing down a dirt road that directs visitors to a replica of the UFO that landed in this tiny patch of Pennsylvania land 44 years ago.

 

the road where we had to turn around and go back

the road where we had to turn around and go back

On that cold winter night, Kecksburgers reported a burst of red light trailing through the sky, then landing in a field much like the ones we passed on our way into town. What they found was a UFO that was carted away by the government. The replica is a tribute to that UFO sighting.

 

aliencorn

aliencorn

At first, Jeff, Bill and I were a little disappointed about the acorn-like structure, then full of questions about its existence. Where were the windows? What did the heiroglyphs on the side mean? Was this monument to scale? Where were the aliens? Westmoreland County, where Kecksburg lies, has some of the most active UFO sightings in the country according to a recent article in Popular Science. The boys quickly got over their initial sadness so they could document our visit to Kecksburg.

 

Bill, frequent traveling partner, stands proudly beneath the majestic aliencorn

Bill, frequent traveling partner, stands proudly beneath the majestic aliencorn

 

I think a person could fit inside that thing.

I think a person could fit inside that thing.

There were lots of cars parked in front of the windowless aluminum-sided building. This serves as the town’s Volunteer Fire Department/Bar/UFO store. We tried desperately to find a way into the store, but it was pretty dark inside. We weren’t feeling brave enough to interact with the locals in the BAR either.

alienstoresign

We didn’t hear any noise coming from the Bar, nor did we see any citizens of Kecksburg. Granted, it was freaking cold as hell, and the town is a post office town, but it gave me an eerie feeling as it grew dark. My boots were caked in a strange, skin-colored mud, which I spent most of the ride to Pittsburgh trying to scrape off. Had the land been affected by alien radiation from the giant acorn? I carried that land with me as I treaded into our city home.

 

Westmoreland County in winter

Westmoreland County in winter

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3 Comments so far
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Hi. I assure you that the locals in the bar are quite harmless.

Come back in September I think its the 2nd or 3rd weekend we have a small firemens festival. All the UFO information will be out and you can get all your questions answered. You may or may not find a local who is willing to talk about that night. Most still will not say one word about it and may even take what they know to their grave. People out here are just like that. 🙂 But we are a friendly community all the same. Just look up Kecksburgh fire hall on google they have a websight with more info on it.

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Comment by Diane

Diane,
Thanks so much for the info! I know my husband would love to go to the fireman’s fest (and back to Kecksburg as well). On the day that we went, it was so, so cold and the bar was so quiet — I think our main concern was to get somewhere warm. It’s such a beautiful area too.

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Comment by Lisa

I wanna go back in the summer. the VFD also seemed to have a kickin’ barbeque pit. i don’t know why, but I guess that aliencorn made me hungry for some hog!

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Comment by Bill_Pittsburgh




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