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Journalist Leslie Kean Receives Court Ordered Files From NASA

Source: Blogs

June 16th, 2008
Author Leonard David

Call it NASA’s X files if you must, but investigative reporter, Leslie Kean, is hot on the trail of what in the world (or out of it) took place in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in December 1965.

It took the winning of a lawsuit against NASA in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, but now the investigator has her hands on a load of files that may — or may not — offer new clues about the Kecksburg incident.

For years, Kean has been seeking documents about the purported crash of an unknown object in that locale over forty years ago. Witnesses described seeing a fireball in the evening sky, some sort of a controlled landing, followed by a military recovery of a spacecraft-like 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 is as a meteor.

Since the settlement of the lawsuit in October, Kean has been following the steps laid out in the settlement agreement. Both sides needed extensions at various times due to the volume of work selecting which files to pull, and then for NASA to conduct the search, the investigative journalist explained to me.

Helping to open this case, Kean has been working with the Coalition for Freedom of Information.

In her on-going research campaign, Kean culled through 689 detailed pages of file-inventory lists.

The documents just arrived over last weekend, Kean told me, “so I haven’t yet had a chance to go through them…and don’t yet know what I’ll find.”

NASA searched 297 boxes of files, Kean said via email. A sampling of a few of the more interesting files from these boxes, which she requested — and which could shed light on one or more of the many facets of the Kecksburg event — gives a flavor of what the files contain.

The data haul includes files on Navy and NASA Recovery Operations - Trajectory and Orbits Panel; Russian Vehicle and Launch - 1962-1965; Department of Defense (DOD)-NASA relationships; Recovery Sites - NASA/DOD FY 65 Facilities; and a series of files on orbital debris and fragments.

“Even if not specific to Kecksburg, they will very likely inform us about interesting aspects of NASA’s space program related to the retrieval of unidentified objects during this time period,” Kean said.